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Vigrior Got Fueled but Mercenary Games Wants More

By on May 24th, 2012 9:08 am

FleetCOMM: Operation Vigrior

Couple of months ago I wrote about Vigrior: Maneuver Warfare, a science fiction real-time tactics game proposed by Mercenary Games, that debuted on kickstarter asking for $12,000 to deliver for Windows, Linux and Mac. Mercenary Games’s appeal was successful, with $17,427 raised (145%). The game got renamed to FleetCOM: Operation Vigrior and is now on Desura on alpha-funding with a free demo. Last word is that FleetCOMM: Operation Vigrior will enter in public beta on August 15, 2012.

So, after succeeding on kickstarter, Mercenary Games now turns to Indiegogo asking for additional funds to deliver for the iOS. My understanding is that this new croundfunding campaign aims exclusively on getting the iOS port done, so, apparently no new features will be provided on top of what they proposed before.

A word to the developers out there. Look at how these guys move. With a good game base already established for sure, they went on to Kickstarter in order to secure what looked like operational funds. Money to pay the development crew, in their words “to survive” with “some of us still go(ing) to school”. Basically to finish the game.

Well, being it charity, merit, faith or whatever these guys succeeded on kickstarter but they didn’t stop and managed to get their game through alpha-funding on Desura. And, now they turned their batteries to Indiegogo in order to stretch the visibility window (this post is an example of that) to try to reach more people and secure extra funds to port their game to a new platform. This is an example of some available possibilities that a dev can explore in order to get the word out and try to secure some funding. This doesn’t mean it will be easy of course.

A bit of a disclaimer now. As always, everyone of us need to decide by ourselves consciously what games we should back or not. By default I don’t endorse any kickstarter/indiegogo project you’ll see featured in SpaceSector.com. In other words what you see here is material that I think is of interest to the community, but mainly for information sake, to get the word out and provide visibility to the devs and their game projects. So, unless explicitly stated Space Sector doesn’t endorse the projects presented or suggests that you back them in any way.

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16 Comments


  1. Thanks for the article on this! :)

    It is definitely not easy. I can start feeling the “criticism” about getting more funds from another site.

    Allow us to explain the core reason for getting an Indiegogo funding cycle going; yes we wanted to explore our visibility options, and also expanding our audience.

    We also wanted to secure more funds to avoid the “holding period” that platforms have before they distribute royalties from game sales. Desura has a 3 month holding period. iOS and similar app stores have their own holding periods, which I still don’t know about, nor have I had time to research. This means that, even if we get paid for game sales, we wont see any of those payments for a significant amount of time.

    I’m not gonna risk my team not having funds for 3 months, during the Fall. I didn’t like having a funding blackhole, and I’m not gonna go through that again. We had a funding hole for TWO YEARS, and we’ve had enough of that kind of stress.

    We also need to get a gear load out for iOS. Currently, I am the only one setup for iOS + Mac OSX. I’d like to get as many of my crew on the load out.

    Indiegogo is also a “flexible” campaign, so we don’t have to reach a specific goal. We also want to reach out to people who missed out on us (even with some media coverage, it wasn’t enough to penetrate the firewall of celebrity projects). We don’t feel like leaving people behind. This extended campaign acts more like a safety buffer, instead of “critical funding needs”. Call it an insurance policy.

    I can already feel some cheap Kotaku article on this, “greedy” or whatever. But who cares what Kotaku has to say right? :P

    • Adam Solo says:

      You surely have your reasons. But yes, superficially it may seem like greed or a “grab as much as we can” strike for many people. That was one of the reasons I decided to write this article, to use you as a case study on what other devs can do, to show the several options available for getting attention and funding.

      I think your road has been very interesting so far. You succeeded at kickstarter, went to Desura for alpha funding and are now requesting further funds on Indiegogo. But I know that nothing of this is easy or decided lightly. From the outside it may seem easy but I’m sure it’s not.

      And, people are not stupid, so, I guess you deserve the success you had so far. In indiegogo you will attract the funds you deserve to for what you asked. And, there’s nothing wrong in asking people for money. If you deserve it and people need it you’ll get supported, if not you’ll not, simply as that.

      I think that people like you, well, everybody that goes to these new fashionable croudfunding platforms, like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, and succeeds has a great responsibility in their hands. The concept is great, I think everybody agrees on that, but your responsibility as applicants to these platforms is very big because the way these pioneer projects turn out in the end will dictate the future of the concept. I’m sure you feel this responsibility and I’m sure also that people are excellent at detecting phonies, so I’m confident that the concept will turn out alright in the long run.

      • Indeed, since we are taking on funding from real people, not just “angel investors”, we have a greater responsibility.

        This isn’t a new method though; studios and startups have always had multiple funding cycles, some even lasting years. Consider the Facebook IPO, before that, Zuckerberg had to play court in Silicon Valley.

        We’ll use as much crowdfunding resources as we can, to get this game delivered, and pad my crew with an insurance buffer.

  2. jay says:

    No offense Slade Villena, but your post only made it more obvious that this is a cash grabbing attempt of some sort.
    Firstly, you go for indiegogo (right after a successful kickstarter) and use their flexible funding scheme. ie you receive every cent people send you which by itself is already suspect enough.

    Secondly, supposedly one of the main reasons for this new campaign is the “holding period”, but you don’t have time to research the holding period of the iOs app store and others ?
    You say “some of us still go to school” which implies you are not full time devs. Not being full time devs, you don’t rely on the income from the game to keep going, which again makes me wonder what’s the big problem about having to wait 3 month to receive the desura (and other stores) payments.

    Thirdly, the main reason for this new campaign is the iOs port. You say you already have the set up for it, but you’d like one for each member. I don’t know how many programmers you’ve got, but in my own experience the iOs port could be done by one person easily so you don’t need more than one set up and the iOs developer program is like 90$ a year. Not to mention that if the iOs port was such a necessity you could wait for the sales of the PC version and fund it yourself.

    Summing up, I don’t see the need for this new campaign. It just reeks of an attempt of grabbing some easy money. If you want the media to pick up the game, I don’t think pulling such a smelly scheme is the best option, well on the contrary. Just my two cents.

    • “No offense Slade Villena, but your post only made it more obvious that this is a cash grabbing attempt of some sort.”

      Funny how the “no offense” clause is always stated, directly preparing for an offensive….

      “Firstly, you go for indiegogo (right after a successful kickstarter) and use their flexible funding scheme. ie you receive every cent people send you which by itself is already suspect enough.”

      Actually no. We’ve explained why we need more funds.

      It’s funny how we can get this sort of criticism on a funding block less than 50k…..

      “You say “some of us still go to school” which implies you are not full time devs. Not being full time devs, you don’t rely on the income from the game to keep going, which again makes me wonder what’s the big problem about having to wait 3 month to receive the desura (and other stores) payments.”

      Um…. your reasoning here is flawed. Just because *part* of my crew isn’t on a fulltime schedule, does not mean that we don’t need the fuel.

      We do.

      “Thirdly, the main reason for this new campaign is the iOs port. You say you already have the set up for it, but you’d like one for each member. I don’t know how many programmers you’ve got, but in my own experience the iOs port could be done by one person easily so you don’t need more than one set up and the iOs developer program is like 90$ a year. Not to mention that if the iOs port was such a necessity you could wait for the sales of the PC version and fund it yourself.”

      Well, I guess your experience with porting is also juvenile at best.

      I need as many of my crew geared up for porting, artists and programmers. It’s pretty lazy to depend on only one person to handle the entire port. You need artists to check and verify if assets look right, if measurements and user interface flow properly.

      Porting is not as simple as “letting the programmer do it.” That’s kind of absurd, and very immature.

      “Summing up, I don’t see the need for this new campaign. It just reeks of an attempt of grabbing some easy money. If you want the media to pick up the game, I don’t think pulling such a smelly scheme is the best option, well on the contrary. Just my two cents.”

      Easy money? Now you’re just being insulting.

      We’re operating on survival funds, part of my crew operates on “part time work” that they could use for things like, oh tuition, books, room and board.

      But hey, feel free to keep slinging on ignorant and hateful criticism like this.

      It’s sad that we get that kind of criticism, on such a LOW BUDGET……

  3. jay says:

    I’ll just sum this up:
    You are asking for people to fund your game when you could be very well asking for a loan at the bank/getting a job/etc… Jumping on the crowdfunding craze is the easy way.
    Potential backers like me, are here to decide whether to help you out or not. For that, the least we expect is honesty. What I wrote wasn’t “hateful and ignorant criticism”, they were valid concerns, which in all honesty you made a terrible job at correcting which in turn ended up raising a lot more questions.
    Don’t bother coming up with that survival/tuition/etc bullshit. So now your team is relying on kickstarter/indiegogo money to avoid starving/pay for tuition/etc ? I’m pretty sure if they were in such a desperate situation the last thing they would do is disregard potential part time jobs to work on a game that is relying on crowdfunding funds to be made with the extra that there’s a pretty huge risk they might be 3 months without receiving a single cent.
    Things get more suspicious when realize your “team” is made of 6 members and at the moment you have a budget of 17 000$, and that’s excluding taxes and kickstarter fees and other expenses. That’s aprox 2800$ each. Who can live on that as a full time job ? That’s not counting the alpha desura sales which will probably be quite low given the low profile of the game but regardless, 2800+sales allows you to survive for what, 2/3 months tops in the US ? As a reference, a person on the minimum wage earns $15,800 a year. You claim not all crew members work part time. I find that very hard to believe.

    • “You are asking for people to fund your game when you could be very well asking for a loan at the bank/getting a job/etc… Jumping on the crowdfunding craze is the easy way”

      Obvious troll is now obvious.

      Thank you for verifying this, enjoy your mediocre, and pointless arguments.

      • Miklas says:

        Slade Villena: I don’t understand why you say “obvious troll is now obvious”, his remark is valid…and you haven’t answered to his other points…

        I suspect we have a new mythic-like scam on our hands…

  4. jay says:

    What did I say exactly that makes me a troll ? Setting up a kickstarter page and waiting for the cash to flow is harder than getting a job to get the funding or asking for a loan at the bank?

    Calling me troll out of thin air and using that as an excuse to conveniently avoid my questions on your project only mounts further suspicion upon you.
    Anyway I think it’s clear enough that something about your project doesn’t add up. Backers I would think twice about putting my money on this.

  5. Adam Solo says:

    Come on guys, no need to overreact on this. My opinion from the outside by reading your comments was the following.

    @Miklas
    I don’t see the scam. Scam is when you deceive and lead people to believe that they will get something they will not. Basically when you lie to people. Till now we have no reason to believe that Vigrior people will not deliver. And if they do not deliver (as for any one who submits to kickstarter) it’s their responsibility to justify that to their backers/investors later on.

    @jay
    I think you underestimate people when you say “attempt of grabbing some easy money”. From what I understand Indiegogo is a even an harder place to get funds than kickstarter because what you give is final and not like kickstarter where some people may just “enter the game”. It’s my impression that it’s VERY HARD to get funds in Indiegogo. As I said previously, people aren’t stupid.

    @Slade Villena
    Your reaction was harsh. Even if you may think that jay was aggressive you had the opportunity to defend your cause honorably and assertively (if you think your cause is an honorable one) but you choose the counter aggressive way. That showed weakness in my opinion.

    Kickstarter, IndieGoGo and Desura are there to anyone who satisfies their requirements and wants to apply, whatever their reasons to ask for the funds are. For sure people have different reasons.

    In the end people get funds if they deserve to. If they deceive their backers or fail to deliver it’s their responsibility. People that give/invest also have a responsibility. There is risk involved. At least that’s how I see this kickstarter/indiegogo thing.

    But this is still all very recent. Crowdfunding is still in its infancy. People are still learning and adapting to this new funding model. With time, as in any system, things will start to converge and it will start to become more obvious who deserves and who does not deserve to be funded. I think it’s easy to tell, but the system is not fool proof to scams of course.

  6. jay says:

    Adam, by “easy money” I meant “relatively easy money” in the sense that it’s way easier and less risky than funding the game yourself by getting a job or loaning money for example.
    Even if only one person backs say, 20$, that’s 20$ you just made by setting up a indiegogo page, sending a few emails and bam. In around 10 minutes you made the easiest 20$ ever. No strings attached, no need to pay back that money later, etc…
    By the way you are not forced to go for the flexible funding (ie what you give is final) when you sign up for indiegogo, you can also go for a fixed funding program (just like kickstarter) but he chose the former, after he had a successful kickstarter. By itself that’s enough to raise a few eyebrows, to say the least.

    Also I don’t think this is a scam either, at least so far I don’t have any reasons to think he won’t deliver the final product. I think it’s pretty obvious however he is lying to us and not telling us the whole picture. If he wants us to give him our hard earned money, the least we can expect is he is honest and straightforward to us.

    • “I meant “relatively easy money” in the sense that it’s way easier and less risky than funding the game yourself by getting a job or loaning money for example. ”

      Those two options you mentioned, I’ve tried option 1 (did so for 2 years).

      Loans are out of the question. We do not sacrifice equity, nor are we, Mercenary Games, going to participate in the loan shark economy.

      “Even if only one person backs say, 20$, that’s 20$ you just made by setting up a indiegogo page, sending a few emails and bam. In around 10 minutes you made the easiest 20$ ever. No strings attached, no need to pay back that money later, etc…”

      Are you seriously thinking this is a “no risk” operation?

      Our NAMES ARE ON THE LINE. We’ve identified ourselves in a project, publicly. This is why I am defensive about accusations of “scam”. You can ask our Kickstarter patrons yourselves.

      And you think this is easier?

      “By the way you are not forced to go for the flexible funding (ie what you give is final) when you sign up for indiegogo, you can also go for a fixed funding program (just like kickstarter) but he chose the former, after he had a successful kickstarter. By itself that’s enough to raise a few eyebrows, to say the least.”

      No, just your eyebrows.

      We explain why we need the funds, we need as much iOS gear, and funding for the Fall.

      ” I think it’s pretty obvious however he is lying to us and not telling us the whole picture.”

      We have, through Indiegogo, our desura page, and our kickstarter update.

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mercenary-games/vigrior-maneuver-warfare/posts/235232

      http://www.desura.com/games/vigrior/news/crowdfunding

      You’re the one not seeing the whole picture.

  7. Chris Biot says:

    This is a rather interesting discussion right here, honestly Slade you should be more open to criticim and do not answer with some images. You loose credibility and reputation, you seem ignorant to some valid arguments that Jay points out.

    You appear as ignorant and not Jay, try to adress those arguments with proper answers.

    I do not want this to turn into a flame dicussion, but Slade seemed inmature.

  8. hobocup says:

    I would not support Mercenary Games.


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