With the new funds, they hired some additional developers and released the game a year after their failed Kickstarter drive.
Even with funding, however, the team faced some obstacles. They encountered several programming limitations and, a few months after their launch, shut down the website to recreate Grafighters for smart phones. The team has spent the last six months developing a series of mobile Grafighters games to release this summer.
Despite the ups and downs, Cleckner says, he has never regretted a single part of the experience, not even the ill-fated Kickstarter campaign.
“It was so interesting to see the ups and downs of having an idea and getting super psyched about Kickstarter and all these possibilities,” he says. “I think it's always been something we've wanted to do, and that's been very helpful for us."
If you want a model for a success, take a look at Planetary Annihilation. This large-scale real-time strategy game by Uber Entertainment, based in Kirkland, Wa., had a funding goal of $900,000 and closed its campaign with $2 million.
“I knew that we had something that was going to be pretty cool, but I had no idea that many people would notice this. I was really just blown away,” says Jon Mavor, self-proclaimed "tech commander" for the company.
Planetary Annihilation brings players to an intergalactic arena, where you build massive armies to destroy your enemies (and, yes, annihilate entire planets). While the industry has released great strategy games, many of them work on a much smaller scale, he says. Mr. Mavor wanted a large-scale game for a change, with massive battles and action.
What’s in a successful Kickstarter campaign? Mavor names three key ingredients: Credibility, a great pitch, and a hook.