By Diego Hernandez / January 18th, 2019
Remort Studios announced during Visual;Conference that their game, When the Shutter Stops, would be receiving several updates. This includes sprites, animations and even a new platform! The title may sound familiar to you, and that’s because it was a Kickstarter project. While it didn’t meet the proposed goal, it did not stop the development team from figuring out what went wrong.
Ian “Nai” Glidewell took the stage for his talk titled: “When the Kickstarter Stops: A Campaign Postmortem“. Through this panel, we got a look behind the curtains, knowing what went on in terms of marketing and development. This includes insight that led to the announcement of an updated version of the game. Oprainfall reached out with a few questions for Nai regarding the game, and he kindly provided answers.
(For the fans reading). Who are you?
We’re Remort Studios. We’re a US visual novel development team. I’m Nai, and I do most of Remort Studios’ business, as well as writing and programming.
When did the idea for making the game come about and when did you decide to commit?
The idea sprang from a game jam we participated in several years ago. We had been lightly pursuing it for a year or so after, but I can’t say we fully committed to the project in 2017.
What were the main inspirations in making When the Shutter Stops?
Ace Attorney, the Tex Murphy games, film noir and a fair number of detective novels.
Did any movies or games influence what you wanted in a protagonist or a story?
We wanted a reluctant but eventually very campy heroine, similar to how we viewed Phoenix Wright in the early games of the Ace Attorney series.
We started at “What if a child detective were the heroine of a film noir” and it evolved from there into a ‘former child detective overcomes her ghosts’ type of story after feedback, so film noir came to inspire the more grave aspects of the story.
You went on to detail your journey with the When the Shutter Stops’ kickstarter during Visual;Conference. Some would say it’s painful but, can you tell us what was it like recapping the events?
Believe it or not, it wasn’t that painful. We had our doubts going into it, but the real crushing thing would have been ending the campaign with only 10 or 20% and a handful of backers.
Because we were able to bring together 200 amazing backers and raise 7.7k, we put ourselves in a fairly rare set of Kickstarters that exceeded 75% of their goal and didn’t make it, and our fans really pulled together to support our vision and honestly it was just amazing to see all of that. I was very proud of the attempt we made at Kickstarter, and failing definitely taught us a lot, but it wasn’t painful.
It was pretty exciting to put what we learned out there, really. There’s a lot of misconceptions about how indie VN devs should go about building up for their projects and the strategy that we spoke about does work.
Sprites, backgrounds and logo all updated as a result. What’s next for the project?
A lot! Scene and character animation is high on our list, as is developing for the Nintendo Switch, and polishing up a new demo for a reattempt at Kickstarter in the Spring.
Is there anything you or the team wanted to put in the game but were unable to do so? Features, scenes, etc. If so, why were you unable to?
We have professional connections to achieve quite a lot, but finances limit us more than anything. We’re largely self-funded where we can be, and since we’re in the start up phases, we’re tight on things.
The two big things would be an animated opening and an extended soundtrack. Our current soundtrack is decently sized but we’d really love to go for that double disk length if we could.
Right now, a fully animated opening is prohibitively expensive both in time and money. We’re having our soundtrack composed by Dale North. He’s a fantastic and talented man but the quality is something we’re paying for and an extended-size soundtrack is definitely on our Christmas list.
If you like what you read of the game so far, you’re cordially invited to follow their Twitter for updates.
KickstarterVisual NovelsVisual;ConferenceWhen the Shutter Stops