today I scheduled the publication of a video on Kickstarter requesting approximately $5,000 in order to complete the iPhone shooter game I started 1 year ago after quitting my job.
I invested more than $20,000 in the game so far (for artwork, music, legal and accountant expenses) and I am now getting cold feet about my decision of publishing the video.
The game is "nearly finished", in other words: the game mechanics are working but I still have some bugs to fix. Once I will have finished this (I hope will take me 1 or 2 weeks) I plan to start working on the actual level balancing (e.g. deciding the order of appearance of enemies for each level and balancing the number of hitpoints and strength of bullets that the enemies have).
Reasons for not publishing the video are:
fear that the concept can be copied easily: the game is a shooter game set in a different environment (its a pretty cool one, believe me :)) and I am worried that someone might copy* the idea (I know, its the usual "I am worried story.."). A shooter game is one of the easiest game to implement and hence there will be hundreds game developer able to copy it by just adapting their existing code and changing graphics (not as straightforward).
It took me one year to develop this because I was inexperienced plus there are approximately 6/7 months of work from the illustrator and there are 8 unique music tracks composed.
The soundtrack of the video is the soundtrack of the game which is not yet published and has not been deposited to a music society. I did create legally valid time-stamps for the tracks and I am considering uploading the album on iTunes before publishing the video so I can have a certain publication date. But overall I am a bit scared and worried because I have never done this before and even the simple act of publishing an album requires me to read a long contract from the "aggregator company") which, even if I do have contracts with the musicians do worry me as I am not a U.S. resident and I am not familiar with the U.S. law system
Reasons for publishing the video are:
- I almost run out of money (but this is not a real reason as I should have enough for one more month of development time)
- ...I kind of need extra money as, even if I do have money for 1 month of development I do not have money for marketing and for other expenses (e.g. accountant)
- It will create a fan base
- I could get some useful feedback from a wider range of beta testers
- It might create some pre-release buzz in case some blogger or game magazine likes the concept
Anyone has had similar experiences? Is there a real risk that someone will copy the concept and implement it in a couple of months? Will the Kickstarter campaign be a good pre-release exposure for the game? Any references of similar projects/situations? Is it realistic that someone like ROVIO will copy the idea straight away?