Category Archives: Eyes Open

Eyes Open Kickstarter Postmortem

The Situation

We ran the Eyes Open Kickstarter from August 2nd to September 1st, with a funding goal of $8,000.  By the end of the campaign, we had raised just over $5,000.  “We” was three people from my college, the Rochester Institute of Technology – Sean Brennan, Sarah Armstrong, and myself.

One of the goals we had going into Kickstarter was to document the entire process.  We wanted to be able to show people the experiences we had, so we spent a fair amount of time trying to document our Kickstarter strategies and situations as they happened. Continue reading

Why don’t we include any RPG elements or puzzles?

I want to start this post off by apologizing for the lack of updates that you’ve seen on this blog over the past few days. When we initially started the Kickstarter, I had hopes that this blog would be updated daily, and for a while, it was.  Unfortunately, time constraints caught up to me very quickly, and I had to slow down the frequency of my babbling.

The good news is that my college has recently approved an Independent Study with Eyes Open.  For the next semester, all the way up to the Holidays, I’ll be able to devote an entire class to Eyes Open on top of all the development our team will be doing outside of school.  And one of the requirements of the course is that I keep you guys and this blog updated – with a bare minimum of 1,000 words a week. Continue reading

What does losing maximum sanity do for the player?

The mechanic of losing maximum sanity came relatively late in our prototype stage as I was thinking about ways to balance difficulty. I really like how it plays out, even this early in development while our game still has an unfortunate arcade-feel to it.

At the risk of speaking prematurely, I really like how the mechanic is shaping up, so I thought I’d talk about that. Continue reading

What is predictable collision detection and why does it matter?

One of the things I really want to emphasize during this Kickstarter is that Eyes Open is a very mechanically driven game. This is different than a lot of horror games for a number of reasons, not the least being that most horror games like Amnesia or Slender play out in the first person. These are games that focus on atmosphere and visuals to push their experience, even in the case of Slender where those visuals originally weren’t the most polished. A game like Slender can get away with never actually animating Slenderman and teleporting him around, because his appearance is so shocking that you’re going to be looking away most of the time. The environment is dirty and imprecise – you click on notes whenever you’re kind of close to pick them up, your flashlight never displays its battery state so you’re always guessing as to what position you’re actually in. It’s much less Super Meat Boy, and more Dear Esther. Continue reading

Should the player be able to walk through monsters?

This is a pretty straightforward question.  Our current build of the game, and the first build that will be publicly available to any backers, will have monsters that the player can dash through.  It drains your sanity like crazy, but monsters don’t physically impede your progress.

Should it stay this way?  I’ll go over my current list of pros and cons below. Continue reading

How did we choose our Kickstarter reward tiers?

How are and were the tiers structured?

In the last marketing post, I used the phrase “openness is our currency”.  The gist of the phrase was that since we don’t have a huge number of credentials to offer or to inspire you to back our project with, we were focusing on honesty and large amounts of information to convince people that our game was good.

When we designed our tiers, I wanted to follow that same principle, so very early I decided to center our rewards around access to even more information about the project.  While you can look at the current tiers on the Kickstarter page, I thought it would be interesting to go over what the tiers used to be, and how they’ve evolved in that goal since then. Continue reading

Why do we have a GUI?

The original Eyes Open was deliberately GUI free – we included a single number telling you how far you’d progressed in the game, but the thought was always that as soon as we switched out of an arcade-style prototype to real maps, we’d remove that as well. We were looking for an experience that was both immersive and simplistic. We didn’t want the player to need to pay attention to details outside of the game, and we didn’t want to the player to be crunching numbers and getting too gamey in the middle of our art. Continue reading