Donation Tweaks

I’ve made some changes to our wallpaper and video game donation areas. Flattr and Litecoin have been removed. Instead of showing a Bitcoin address we now have a “Donate Bitcoin” button, supplied by Coinbase, to make things much cleaner looking and simpler for everyone.

BTW, if anyone was wondering, Bitcoin donations aren’t set to automatically convert to USD. We support and believe in Bitcoin and will hold and spend it directly, with USD conversion only happening when absolutely necessary.

That is all.

-Kronus GT

2013 WWF Donation Information

If anyone was wondering about our World Wildlife Fund donation for 2013, it has been delayed till next year. Why? The reason is rather simple: Our sales were so poor last year that we still haven’t cleared the $100 minimum required to receive a check from Zazzle 🙁 . Just like 2011/2012, we’ll be doing a combined total for 2013/2014 in early 2015 (need to give 30 days for final December sales to clear, so late January/early February).

Our projected 2013 donation is $22.86, give or take the small price difference caused by them not converting foreign currency to dollars until they send us a check. At 29, we actually beat our record for total number of Paper Animal sales by five (our 2011 total was 24), but Zazzle lowering our margins by half (30% to 15%) and the product mix containing a higher percentage of low cost items resulted in a lower total income and a donation $10 less than the previous year.

I haven’t done the math, but if anyone was wondering, the Paper Sloth and Paper Duck-Billed Platypus seem to be our two best sellers, lol. I doubt it’ll be our break-out year, as I’m pretty sure that won’t happen until Nightmare on Chicken Street is released, but I’m optimistic that 2014 will be a better year for us. I had Bobby take a small break from the game since I haven’t been able to work on it, so we should have a new set of designs/products ready sometime soon.

-Kronus GT

BoJo’s Bazaar and Bitcoins

I just wanted to make a formal announcement that outside of our shop, which we have zero control over (Zazzle handles the product manufacturing and shopping cart), we’ll be supporting the use of Bitcoins as an additional currency.

Any video game sold directly through our website will be able to be purchased using Bitcoins. Unfortunately, we don’t have any games available at the moment, so it will still be quite a while till you can actually purchase a game using them. However, you can help fund our games (crowd-funding style) using them. Meet the minimum donation and your reward will be a digital copy of the game. Visit our Video Game section for funding details.

We currently accept Bitcoin and PayPal for wallpaper donations as well. Wallpaper donation buttons are at the bottom of every wallpaper page.

Donations will only be used for their specified purposes. We have multiple Bitcoin and PayPal buttons to separate them. Wallpaper donations will only be used for wallpapers, game funding will only be used for the game being funded, etc.

-Kronus GT

Nightmare on Chicken Street: Progress Report #2

Development has pretty much stalled out again 🙁 .

We had finished the title screen and were working on getting the vehicles moving when work started coming in again. Unfortunately for us, I’m just plain unable to do both at the same time (nagging injuries, aches and pains, exhaustion, and general burn-out always ends up killing my productivity), so we haven’t made any progress on the game since late October. I might have a 4-5 week long job with my Dad coming up as well. A non-physical job might allow me more time to work on the game, but my social anxiety makes it very difficult to actually get work myself.

We’re still hoping to get the game out by the end of next year, but I’m not even going to try and guess a date for a demo and second funding attempt. It’ll be done when it’s done. If the job with my Dad goes through I should be able to take at least a few months off afterwards to work on the game. I can’t make any predictions beyond that.

-Kronus GT

Nightmare on Chicken Street: Progress Report #1

Although certain parts have been rough, I’m getting used to and am making decent time converting Nightmare on Chicken Street to the Unity game engine. I should have our title screen fully converted and will have began converting my menu manager and the existing menus by the end of the week. I’m hoping to have the menus converted and the game itself started by the end of the month.

Although a few things take a bit more code to accomplish (changing positions or transparency), there are others (the hair and trees blowing in the wind from our title screen) that take significantly less. It sucks that I can’t get Unity Pro yet ($1,500 🙁 ), but I’m fairly certain that moving to Unity was a good decision.

As I announced on our Twitter, we’ll be adding the ability to change the quality of the sprites. There will be three levels of sprite quality: Low, Medium, and High. Going downwards, each will be a 50% decrease in texture resolution (Example: 4096×4096 -> 2048×2048 -> 1024×1024), which will equate to each level using/needing 75% less memory (Example: 2048MB -> 512MB -> 128MB). This will greatly lessen the minimum requirements, allow more people to play it, and is a must if we port it to tablets or phones.

NOTE: A higher quality setting doesn’t always mean it’ll look better. These are sprites, so they always look their best closest to their native resolution (I’ll include the native resolution in the game for easy picking) because image editors have better image scaling (especially when dealing with vector graphics).

Bobby is currently focused on getting me the three sprite sizes for the title screen. When he’s finished he’ll go back to working on the chicken. Since it needs to run in eight different directions (plus a few other animations) and isn’t top-down or a 3-D model, it certainly isn’t as easy/fast as it could be. He’s pretty much finished with the main road and all of the vehicles, so by the time the Unity conversion is over I’ll have quite a bit to do.

Well, that’s it for this update 🙂 .

– Kronus GT

Nightmare on Chicken Street – Kickstarter Campaign Launched

EDIT: 8/27/2013 – Nightmare on Chicken Street Kickstarter Campaign… Cancelled.

It has become increasingly obvious that I’ve underestimated what it takes to launch a successful Kickstarter project. We got several things wrong, the biggest of which is to have enough supporters to drive traffic to our campaign and to give us some momentum. The second biggest was our inability to get published on gaming websites because we weren’t a known commodity, far enough along to have a gameplay video or prototype available, and simply very poor at promoting our game to them. No matter how good a game and campaign page are, it’ll fail if you can’t drive some attention to it… especially since everyone and their mother has a game on Kickstarter now.

We’re not cancelling Nightmare on Chicken Street, but we are cancelling the Kickstarter campaign. It’ll take a while–since we failed to get the funds needed to support us–but we’ll eventually be back with an improved campaign.

-Kronus GT

State of the Bazaar #7: Refresh Complete, Kickstarter Submitted

Time for another State of the Bazaar 🙂 .

Shop:

Our “Spring Refresh” was completed. Now that our shop is up-to-date, it will no longer be treated as a part of our main business. Video games, which were the reason we created Bojo’s Bazaar in the first place, need to be the main business. The shop simply takes up too much time and offers little return, especially since Zazzle recently halved our margins.

The shop will now be treated as a side project that will only be worked on outside of our designated work hours, at least until we’ve completed Nightmare on Chicken Street and have fully developed the fictional world of BoJo’s Bazaar, at which time we’ll likely reevaluate its status.

Game Update:

We’ve finished and submitted our Nightmare on Chicken Street Kickstarter campaign for review, so we’ll definitely be launching it as soon as possible. We would have had it done sooner, but I was forced to upgrade my computer because it simply couldn’t handle video editing software. We also had to renew our hosting and domain names. This resulted in me having to get as much work as I could in order to pay for them and having very little time to work on anything else.

My next post will be when we actually launch the campaign.

-Kronus GT