This Kickstarter is attempting to raise $40,000 for At the Gates, a turn-based strategy game set during the decline of the Roman Empire. This will be developed by Conifer Games, a new studio formed by Jon Shafer, most recently of Stardock and lead designer on Sid Meier's Civilization V when he was at Firaxis.. Shortly after it was announced that Shafer was joining Stardock it was said that he would "bring additional modding expertise to the recently launched Elemental: War of Magic and will take the lead in designing the next as-of-yet unannounced Stardock title." Jon's LinkedIn profile indicates he left Stardock in September 2012 after serving as "project lead for an unannounced title." Back to At the Gates, they offer a trailer with almost 15 minutes of gameplay, and do a much better job than many Kickstarters of summarizing what to expect:
At the Gates is an empire builder similar to Sid Meier's Civilization. Starting with a small tribe, you must explore the world, exploit its scarce resources, and eliminate or outsmart potential enemies. The game starts simple but grows in complexity until you command a mighty economic and military powerhouse.
Over the course of a single game your tribe will migrate to more lush and bountiful lands, conquer and barter with other clans, work alongside the Romans, learn from them, and finally destroy them. Along the way, you'll need to master the art of war and craft cunning plans to strengthen your kingdom - all while enduring the worst mother nature can throw at you!
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Re: Jon Shafer's New Studio Announces At the Gates
Creston wrote on Feb 6, 2013, 14:26: I haven't looked at their KS, but let's assume 5K of their donations go into rewards. And then Amazon/KS take another 5K. That leaves 30,000 dollars for a 3 person team, so that's 10K a pop. (and here's an interesting question: Does the IRS want their share? Because I'm going to assume they do?)
Unless these guys are supported somehow, that means they can work about 3 months on the game before they're out of money on normal salaries. We haven't even spent a dime on actual software or anything, yet. That's purely just to keep 3 guys tapping away on a keyboard.
So yeah, again, I don't have much faith this can get made for 40K. Obviously I could be wrong, if they are able to work on this without drawing salaries for themselves it can go a long way, but judging by where this guy came from, I'd say he's a full-time programmer. So he's going to need money to keep going.
They aren't going the "pay lots of money for rewards" route, so that's out.
But my expectation is that they are putting some of their own money in. Or, rather, they are paying themselves with their own money. If they were trying to completely support themselves with just 40K, yeah, I'd be extremely skeptical - it's just not feasible. But for that reason, it also seems unlikely that's the situation.