You might remember that a while ago, we’re talking two years ago at this point, Below the Stone was on Kickstarter. I’m not sure what it was, but at that point in time, it seemed like games were struggling on Kickstarter. They all got to almost fully funded and failed at around 75%. I can’t remember how close to 100% this game came, but it didn’t quite reach it. Now though, the game still has 27 days to go on Kickstarter and it’s already fully funded. This is a huge difference from where it was two years ago, and I thought it would be nice to explore how this has all come about.
So Below the Stone is a game in a pretty crammed genre, roguelikes. Sure, it’s got its own twist on the genre, just like they all do, but it was always going to struggle going in here. The thing is, I don’t think it was individual enough at the point when it first hit Kickstarter. I think that it wasn’t polished enough, because the only thing that’s changed is that more work has been put into the game from that point. There are now more features on show, a lot more content that eager fans can get excited about. That’s why it’s done so well in three or four days on Kickstarter this time around.
I don’t think there’s really a lesson for other game developers to look at here. This game has been worked on by an incredibly dedicated team, and they’re constantly taking feedback from the early alphas they offer on Discord. I think there’s more to be said for letting fans tell you what works and what doesn’t rather than working hard on your own to produce something. Fans are the best QA testers because they know what your target audience wants. If it weren’t for the demos, I think the game probably wouldn’t have done as well.
I’m really pleased that Below the Stoen is fully funded, because it means I’ll get the copy I’ve been aching to get my hands on for ages. If you’re hoping to pick it up, check out the Kickstarter campaign here.