NEWS
Project Update - February 2019
07 Mar | 10:00 am

A lot has happened since our last project post where we looked back on 2018 as a sort of a year assessment.

Prologue

We finished the year with releasing the Prologue section of Vagrus just around Christmas. Our hopes were high and the results were... even better! Let's delve into the details.

We published the Prologue build first on GameJolt, a week later on itch.io, and then on IndieDB in late January. Together on these platforms RPG enthusiasts have downloaded the game in over 1200 copies, which - considering that we had spent exactly zero on marketing, we regard as a huge success. More importantly, the general feedback has been very positive. People loved the setting, the story, the art style, the music, and the atmosphere.

Social Media

Across all game portals Vagrus has now more than 1700 followers, up 600 in the last two months (on Steam we consider only active followers here, there are even more players who have Vagrus on their wishlists). Our twitter fan base increased with more than 50% while our Instagram account got about +100 followers but the winner was our Facebook page which has received a +75% bump in Likes since our last account.

Another great development was when we got featured on IndieDB's front page in February, and since then two of our devlogs landed on their main news stream as well, gaining hundreds of views. That gave us exactly the right kind of exposure. Since then three different bloggers/press representatives reached out to interview us about the game and the studio. The first interview has already been published and you can find it here: Indie Game Picks

Crowdfunding 

We have been hinting at running a crowdfunding campaign for some time. Originally, we wanted doing that in October but we felt that the Prologue needed further polish and then the Christmas season came, which is a well-known off-season for indie games due to the massive competition for people's wallets,  as well as due to the sky high ad prices on all social media outlets. For these reasons, no indie dev would run a campaign during the winter season, unless they have no other choice. Now that it is soon over though, this topic is back on our agenda. The usual suspects are of course Kickstarter and Fig.co, both with their pros and cons. 

Kickstarter is better known to the general public but by now it is just as crowded with projects as Steam is with games. Assuming that anyone would find our campaign just because it's on KS would be foolish. We would need to take people there with PR and a massive marketing spend. Alternatively, we could build a sizable community in advance which would mean delaying the campaign until we reach that point.

Fig on the other hand focuses on video games only and is directly involved in promoting all their campaigns, adding a great boost to start a project with. It is also more lenient with regards to the legal entity starting the campaign (KS cannot be started from Hungary, for instance).

With these factors in mind we are leaning towards Fig at the moment but we will let you know of course in due time which way we are going to go and how you can help, so stay tuned!

Demo

We also had to think through what we can offer to people who pledge their money towards realizing Vagrus in a crowdfunding campaign, and one of the things that certainly motivates players is accessing content in Alpha/Beta stages (earlier than others). While we work tirelessly on the vanilla content it will take some time to make it ready for fans, so the Prologue remains the bulk of the content we can offer for early access. Naturally, expecting players to pledge while offering the same content for free on game portals would just not work, so as we indicated from the beginning: the time for downloading the Prologue for free will be ending soon. Of course, giving a taste of the Riven Realms for potential support is crucial, so we are going to prepare a public demo that can remain available for free for everyone. It's going to be the early chapters of the Prologue, probably running up until reaching the city of Avernum.

Unity Version Upgrade

A less curious piece of news perhaps but rather important to us in the long run is that we have upgraded to the latest stable Unity version that caters for nested prefabs. Without going too much into details, that functionality allows us to change user interface (UI) art assets way easier than before. It requires the same time to build new UI screens but if any changes were to be made to them later on, implementing them is a matter of minutes instead of hours.

The upgrade was not an easy ride, though. Since this feature was new in Unity, we expected to run into some hiccups but boy, there were (and still are) way too many. It took us almost a month to get all the existing functions in Vagrus to work again on the new version. On the surface, it looks like we have not progressed a jot during that time, and that kind of bothers us too but on the other hand we do expect this investment to pay of during the course of 2019.

We hope you are equally excited about our progress and plans as we are. Please do let us know what you think, add comments or reach out to us through Discord!

Also, a huge thank you and our warmest welcome to Solus who became our newest Benefactor on Patron in February. Thanks a lot mate, appreciate it!

The Lost Pilgrims Team

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