For some developers, passion outweighs a realistic salary, and so most of the budget from Kickstarter funding goes directly into the game. Fuzzy Logic needs what initially appears to be a lot of money for a mobile-only game, but according to Managing Director Jason Ried, unlike other independent developers, it can’t survive on passion alone.
“We’re a full-time team of eight who have offices and other monthly expenditure that needs to be covered,” Ried said in an interview. “And this is the amount to do that for the time we need to make this an amazing looking and playing game.”
The game is Titan Run, a fast-paced combat racer for iOS and Android devices. Fuzzy Logic needs £115,000, or roughly $200,000, to finish it over the next eight months. It promises 20 different, high-quality ships with an additional 20 variations of them over the course of the game’s five races that take place in different eras.
“The general ambition is to create ships that are incredible looking (think CSR Racing, Wipeout) and make players really want to own and race each one,” Ried said. “The budget should then also give the programmers the time to play around with different game modes that suit the game style, while also aiming to create a battle system that doesn’t get boring.”
Historically, mobile games have smaller budgets compared to games that hope to launch on PC, Mac, Linux, and consoles. The tablets and smartphones they support don’t have as capable hardware, and games with simple graphics and gameplay tend to be more successful.
Fuzzy Logic has made mobile-only games before. It’s most popular game, Soccer Moves, had a smaller budget, took longer to make, and was less “technically ambitious” than Titan Run, according to Ried. While working on Soccer Moves, the team kept afloat with work-for-hire projects on the side. They don’t want to do that again.
“The impact was it took a really long and during that time the whole mobile market changed,” Ried said. “Soccer Moves did really well but we needed to make a lot of last minute changes just to even survive. I genuinely believe we would have done better if we had just worked on Soccer Moves and got it done quicker.”
That’s the plan for Titan Run.
“We don’t want to do any other projects, just focus on this one and make it amazing,” he added.
So, why Kickstarter, a crowdfunding site that requires a lot of up-front transparency to potential buyers, and where several projects die and fewer find success, instead of traditional investors?
“We’ve been trying to work out the best way to fund development and had met a few people that have really enjoyed their Kickstarter experience,” Ried said. “We felt that we really liked the idea of including a public community, as it can help us when it comes to tricky questions which we would normally ask of a user test group. We often get to decisions where we simply don’t know which option is best and really need an outside opinion and Kickstarter would be perfect for this.”
But unless the campaign is successful, Fuzzy Logic will continue to work on freelance projects until it has secured funding. Ried said Kickstarter is currently “the most advanced of all avenues.”
“We could change the scope of the game though we feel we would lose a lot of what would actually make Titan Run a compelling and exciting project,” he said. “Creating Titan Run is the most important thing though, so we’ll consider all aspects if needed.”
At the end of the day, Fuzzy Logic is a company with offices in the UK and South Africa with employees that want to continue making games. It doesn’t survive on Kickstarter campaigns.
“From our side we embrace the indie dev culture and love being referred to as indie,” Ried said. “But the team (not myself) are salaried staff who get paid each month. They’re experienced guys with family that need to be fed. To be strictly indie I imagine many indies aren’t necessarily worried about that (but obviously want it). Fuzzy Logic do however have to cover costs or we simply wouldn’t exist.”
Titan Run’s campaign has 24 days to go. At the time of this writing, the project has raised £378, or about $624.