Nov 222013

8bitcoinAmid all of the craziness of trying to get the game ready for Steam, one of the road blocks that I’m currently running into is a shortage of available funds for development. Part of that stems from putting aside projects that actually pay the bills in order to work on NEStalgia (which doesn’t yet pay the bills)… but also because there are a lot of pre-release expenses piling up.

Many of you have been incredibly generous with donations to our cause in the form of gift subscriptions or the purchase of custom guild capes in the past. I’m always receiving requests from players who are interested in paying for other types of vanity items, but I didn’t want things to get micro-transactiony.

So, in what will hopefully be a win-win for everybody involved, I’m going to offer several different types of new vanity items, customization options, etc. for a very limited time. By “very limited time” I mean just a couple weeks, and that it will be the only time I’m ever going to do this. It is essentially a Kickstarter campaign, and if you want to make your mark on the game before it hits Steam, then now is your chance.

halloweenpack itemname maskpack

Like the custom guild capes that we’ve offered before, none of the stuff on sale here is going to give anyone a gameplay advantage. Players who don’t donate during this fundraising campaign won’t be negatively impacted in any way (though they will see some new masks/dyes/costumes on other players that aren’t yet accessible).

I’ve come up with the usual list of Kickstarter-esque donation options, but if you think of a cool option that isn’t on this list, then please share it in the comments. I’ve re-purposed the Put NEStalgia On Steam website for use in this fundraising campaign, so simply go to to check it out the list:

Put NEStalgia On Steam .com

Every donation helps and is greatly appreciated. Anyone who donates during this fundraising campaign will have their name permanently placed on a list of contributors in the game, and will be given full access to the eventual Key of the Exiles closed beta test.

The NEStalgia Pre-Steam Fundraiser starts right now and will end December 4th. As I said above, I won’t be extending this campaign nor offering anything like it ever again. Because we don’t have any sort of micro-transaction mechanism in the game, all of these items will need to be distributed manually, which we’ll work to do as quickly as possible. Thanks everyone!

  7 Responses to “NEStalgia Pre-Steam Fundraiser”

  1. Wow! I’m blown away by how much was donated in just the first evening. Thank you so much everyone – Balzack and I will be on the servers today passing out all of the items.

    The “Sponsor a Town” option sold out very quickly, and I’ve received lots of interest for a similar option. At the bottom of the page I’ve added a “Sponsor a Pirate Ship” option for players/guilds who want to live on as a permanent feature in the game.

    Thanks again!

  2. Hey. I’m new here, been playing for a month or so, but i had an idea for customizable HUDs, you know just to be able to change the color like in old final fantasy games, or if you wanted something harder maybe some simple background graphic, or a two tone fade. I searched the forum and didn’t see this suggested yet i don’t think, n figured i might as well put it here instead of making a new post.

    • loki,

      Thanks for the suggestion! That’s a good idea and something that I wouldn’t be opposed to down the road. The only roadblock is that implementation would be pretty time consuming at this point, so it’s probably not feasible anytime soon.

  3. I have to say as a fan, I am pretty disappointed by this turn of events. I am a lifetime sub and continue to play this game, I like it very much. However, your lack of content, or even communication with your fans, has been pretty bad. Now, because of an impending steam release, you are suddenly active again, and asking for money. I don’t begrudge anyone who decided to support you in this way, but I have to ask: After the initial excitement of the release dies down, will you still be engaged? Or will this be like when the Greenlight release died down and you lost interest? I would probably be more motivated to buy these items if I didn’t feel like this level of engagement will disappear once the hype dies down again.

    • Healer,

      Thanks for sharing your perspective. I can understand how an outside observer could come that those conclusions, so I’ll try my best to illustrate the other side of things.

      First off, I have a personal aversion to the concept of pure charity when it comes to stuff like this, which is why I’m trying to offer value in exchange for value. We constantly receive requests from fans to offer vanity items (etc) in exchange for money, so the concept for this limited fundraiser is based on what many players have been asking for for a long time.

      In terms of the differing levels of development engagement that you see from me personally, there is a lot more going on than just my level of interest in the game. When the game first launched back in 2011 I was able to turn development on the game into a full time job… but after a year and a half it wasn’t viable for me to continue doing that. When development has slowed down it’s almost always been because I’ve been doing other work in order to make a living and support myself. Last year after the game launched on Greenlight, I randomly received a full time job offer that I just couldn’t turn down. That job ended up sucking up the vast majority of my time and focus for almost a year, hence the sudden drop off in development.

      My “level of interest” in working on the game has remained consistent – for the most part it’s been my actually ability to work on it that has wavered. In retrospect I understand that players would have liked to have seen more “I’m still alive!” type posts this past year, but I really didn’t want to just make a bunch of blog posts reiterating the same information. I’m more anxious than anyone else to see the new content expansion get released, and that last thing that I wanted to do was to keep saying “it will come out someday” with no progress to show.

      Flash forward to the game getting Greenlit three months ago: in a bizarre coincidence I had actually quit that aforementioned full time job the day beforehand in order to strike out on my own and start my own business (I’m in advertising and video production). Part of my plan was already to get back into working on NEStalgia with my more open schedule – the news that we had been Greenlit simply raised the priority level, and the sense of urgency. Even then it took me about a month and a half to really get back into the swing of development due to prior commitments to my business’s clients.

      Some people have complained that I’m just in this to make money, and I can tell you that my bank account for the past three years says otherwise. Launching on Steam obviously has the potential to be very lucrative, but that has never been my end game. What launching on Steam will (hopefully) do is take the financial side of things out of the equation and allow me to freely work on the game without constantly scurrying around doing other jobs to pay the rent.

      The best way that I can describe it is this: imagine quitting your job today to work on your dream project; only that dream project makes little to no money. How much time would you realistically be able to devote to the project while still having to come up with money to pay the bills?

      The impetus for this fundraiser right now is that not only is NEStalgia not paying the bills, it’s actually costing me quite a bit of money. There are a ton of expenses piling up as we get ready to launch on Steam, and I think that most players would like me to continue developing the game rather than taking another month or two off to do other work to cover those expenses.

      Anyway, that’s the best short description (ha!) that I can give about what has been going on on my end. Huge companies like Valve delay games all of the time and even go for years without providing fans with updates (ex: Half Life 3). What that indicates is that developing games is much harder and more time consuming than players tend to think it is, and that a consequence of that are long periods of time with no new information or indications of progress. This entire endeavor continues to be a learning experience for me, but I’m trying my best to do right by players and make consistent progress on the game itself.

      To answer your main question: There are no long term guarantees about the speed of development, but my interest in finishing the game hasn’t wavered. If NEStalgia bombs on Steam then development will proceed much slower then it would otherwise. Regardless, I will remain fully committed to not only getting out the Key of the Exiles expansion, but to releasing several expansion beyond that to finish up the main storyline. I’m optimistic about our chances on Steam, so I expect that none of that will be an issue once we launch.

      • I appreciate the detailed explanation! It is hard not to draw those conclusions, but I can see where you are coming from not wanting to sound like a broken record. I understand a person has to pay the bills, and you have to do what you have to do.

        I just want to make it clear, I have no problem with you offering these or any other item for sale, especially when it is vanity and not game play advantage. If people are asking for it and willing to pay for it, why not? You have every right to make money. My frustration came from the lack of perceived involvement on top of it.

        I hope the game takes off and you can afford to spend your time on it, I really do. We all win that way. I really appreciate the long response.

        • No problem healer, I totally understand where you were coming from. If I were outside the development team, I’d probably come to the same conclusion as well. Thanks for expressing your concerns in a thoughtful way – I’m always happy to explain stuff like this, even if I don’t have the perfect answers.