Clockwork Demon’s indie game Adopted raises $17,000 in first 4 days of Kickstarter

Lincoln-based game company Clockwork Demon raised over $17,000 in its first 4 days of its Kickstarter campaign for its first game, Adopted, and is poised to reach over $20,000.


Clockwork Demon cofounder Caleb Moore and his boston terrier Jackson, from their Kickstarter page

Lincoln-based game company Clockwork Demon raised over $17,000 in its first 4 days of its Kickstarter campaign for its first game, Adopted, and is poised to reach over $20,000 by the end of the day.

“Right now we’ve got a 15% conversion rate for people who’ve seen the video and have backed,” said Megan Vokal, designer and graduate of the Raikes School. “That’s pretty good for a Kickstarter video.”

Currently they are focusing on increasing their visibility and getting more early bird backers.

Much of Adopted’s charm comes from it’s unique point of view–that of a dog. As the pet dog Luchador, the player barks, chews, and fetches to manipulate the humans around it and to change the course of the story. The original idea formed as a kind of tribute to co-founder Caleb Moore’s beloved former pet, a boston terrier named Jackson.

Early praise for Adopted

So far the idea and prototype for Adopted has been warmly received by the indie gaming community.

“We’ve got a ton of positive feedback on the game so far,” said Vokal. “And we’ve gotten some pretty positive press from some of the smaller gaming publications.”

The game has also already received praise from indie game veterans. Mike Bithell, the creator of indie game hits Thomas Was Alone and Volume, has helped promote the game via Twitter:

“It means a lot to have another independent game creator who we respect and are inspired by believe in our product,” said Leo Glass, one of the cofounders of Clockwork Demon.

Building a Kickstarter strategy

Clockwork Demon received an innovation grant from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development to prototype the game. Now they are looking to build on that.

After considering venture capital and other paths forward, they decided that the strongest supporters of their work would be fans within the indie game niche.

“We’ve had tons of our game devs tell us they think that Kickstarter is for either small goal, small focus projects or celebrity games built by well known big budget studios,” said Glass.

bw3The team agrees that Kickstarter campaigns can be difficult for game creators who don’t already have a large following. But it’s clear they have put in a lot of thought and research into their Kickstarter strategy. They reached out for advice to friends in the games industry, and they analyzed several successful Kickstarter campaigns and picked what works for them.

“We believe 7,000 people will be convinced to give us $20,” said Glass.

That goal of $140,000 has surprised some.

“One of the major challenges of the initial campaign has just been getting people over the sticker shock. However, if they do some research they’ll start to realize that other indie games they love, in spaces like ours, cost more than we’re spending,“ said Glass. “Braid, for example, cost $400,000. Among The Sleep needed $200,000. It took an initial investment of $300,000 to make Amnesia: the Dark Descent.”

Art, technology, story, mechanics

It’s clear from talking with Clockwork Demon that they are passionate about creating rich, meaningful games.

“There’s a lot of research out there that suggests the the best selling and most loved games of all time have a unique blend of four components: art, technology, story and mechanics,” says Glass. “If you look closely at the Kickstarter, you’ll see that our game was intentionally designed with all four of those core components in mind.”

You can support this game by backing it on the Adopted Kickstarter campaign page.



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