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Building Fallen Angel and Launching a Kickstarter Campaign

Kickstarter Story

Kickstarter Story

Building Fallen Angel and Launching a Kickstarter Campaign

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Hunter Wu

Hunter Wu

Founder

Fallen Angel

Pixel Art Hack and Slash RPG in which you take the role of Lucifer and explore a twisted version of Heaven 

🇺🇸 Based in Philadelphia , PA

📅 Founded August 2018

🏆 1 Founder

💵 Monthly Revenue = NA

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Who are you and what game did you create?

My name is Hunter Wu, and I’m currently and undergrad senior at Drexel University studying Game Design. I’ve been doing game development since middle school and Fallen Angel is my first commercial project! Fallen Angel is a pixel art hack and slash RPG. I wanted to make a game about Lucifer since everyone knows of him, but few games explores his story. I was super inspired by the game Hyper Light Drifter, and I wanted to make a game that would be interesting to HLD’s fans but also be its own unique game. 

I am now currently back in school, but I was working on the game full time this past summer. As my own boss, I woke up and got to work whenever I wanted, which was around maybe 11 am. This was probably the best part of running my own startup! I got through my to do list by 5-8pm and spent the rest of the night in my free time. However, there were crunch and crisis moments a few nights when I had to work through the late hours.

I work with 5 independent contractors, all my friends or people I met online. My programmer is from Brazil, and my environment artist is from Norway. We work online together using discord. I’m also in contact with many publishers who are interested in a partnership.

Walk us through the process of creating the game.

I have been working on the game as a passion project on the side since I started college. I met my first programmer online on reddit, he was from Portugal. We started development in Unity, but he eventually left the team and I was forced to scrap that project because I am not very skilled in programming. I continued working by myself in creating a dumbed down version of the game in Game Maker Studio, which was easier for me to use.  

Development really sped up the past year after my school gave me a grant to fund my game startup. This grant was huge for me, and basically got me all the progress this past year. It allowed me to attend conventions such as PAX West where I got the most attention about my game. Overall, it’s been over 3 years of development.

I made a lot of games in highschool that did not commercially release, they were just little projects. I created these games in Game Maker Studio, and I’m still using GMS to develop Fallen Angel. You can find my previous projects here!

How did you launch?

The game is still in development, but we launched a Kickstarter campaign on Oct. 8th. We used social media, mailing lists, and the help of a marketing team to spread the news of our project around gaming communities online. Our website was built on wordpress with the help of the web designer on our team.

What are some of the most effective ways that you attract people to your game?

We have 800-900 followers on Twitter and Instagram, our main sources of social media presence. We got this number by posting frequently for a year about our game. We showed gifs of the gameplay often and it really attracted people to our game. Our Kickstarter campaign is currently mostly funded in the past week by our friends, family, and social media followers. We are also running ads through facebook but we have yet to see a rise in backers from ads.

What have been your greatest sources of inspiration?

Our game is inspired by John Milton’s Paradise Lost. This 17th century epic poem is the story of the War in Heaven and Fall of Lucifer. We also take a lot of inspiration from general biblical mythology. I’m a hardcore gamer myself, and just playing all the amazing indie games out there really keeps me working hard so one day we can make it into the spotlight. I am also part of the Entrepreneurial Game Studio here in Philadelphia, and we are all students or former students trying to start indie game studios. At EGS, student dev teams incubate and get help from other experienced developers. This is a huge source of inspiration and help for me.

What’s been the biggest business challenge you’ve overcome?

Creating Matrioshka Games was my first venture into the business world of game design. I had to create an LLC and establish my bank account, and deal with real money for the first time in my life. I learned a lot about running a real business, and it was all worth it in the end because all these steps allowed me to swiftly get my game on to Steam.

Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs or game creators?

As a student, I was able to get a lot of help from my university. I would advise any student to look for opportunities at their school! For non-students, don’t be afraid to contact people online. 

I found the bulk of my team just by meeting other developers on reddit, and in today’s world you can honestly really start a venture over the internet with anybody.

Just make sure you get contracts out so no legal issues happen. Creating a basic contract is also not that hard, but making sure it is legally operational might be difficult. I am able to get legal help from my school, but outside school it might cost some money.

In general, the greatest opportunity we ever got was going to PAX West. Gaming conventions are the best way to increase your exposure, meeting developers, and meeting potential investors in your game. If you have the funds, definitely showcase around at as much conventions as you can, it is so worth it, you never know when you might meet one person that may be key to your success.

How are things today and what are your plans for the future?

Currently, we are hard at work making sure our kickstarter campaign reaches our goal. Depending on how that goes, our development roadmap will change over the course of the next month. If publisher negotiations work out, we might also be able to strike out a deal!

Where can we learn more?

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