Legend of Iya and the Importance of Communication.
A pixel art platformer that had a successful $75,000 Kickstarter over a year and a half ago. It was supposed to launch at the end of 2014, but the delivery has slipped by a bit due to personal issues that the developer ran into.
Updates on the Kickstarter page had been few and far between for most of the last year, and fans/backers seemed to be getting a bit worried about whether Legend of Iya was still in development.
Why are you talking about this?
While this is normally a website for showcasing indie games/art, as some of you know I source most of my games from reddit. A couple of months ago I came across an interesting game called Mystik Belle. I started researching it a bit to dig up screenshots/videos to make a post, and I noticed that the developer had also been making another game, Legend of Iya.
To make an extremely long story short; LoI ran into legal troubles and the developer was making Mystik Belle (a smaller game) in order to fund the completion of LoI. At the time, he wasn’t communicating any of this to his backers (not even that backers over $10 would be getting Mystik Belle) out of fear of the backlash due to the disappointment caused by a further delay in LoI.
When he did announce all of this information to his Kickstarter backers, along with the fact that the Legend of Iya date would be pushed, they were…actually mostly OK with it. Some of them even happy they were getting an extra game. All of the stress of the last few months over a backlash seem mostly unwarranted.
I bring all this up because I know a lot of game devs follow my blog, and I think it’s important to note how crucial it is to communicate with people supporting your development (especially when it’s monetary). A lot of people will be OK with you not delivering on time, or below par, or even completely failing, once you’ve kept them updated and been honest.
In this case, much of the initial confusion of the the backers of Legend of Iya (along with worry that it was still in development), and stressful hand-wringing by the developer, could have been avoided with an open line of communication.
The developer has promised to be better at communicating in the future, and I really hope that’s true. Everyone makes mistakes; hopefully we can all learn from them.
Happy devving. :)