To Annihilate or Not to Annihilate, That is the Question

I can’t decide whether or not to back Planetary Annihilation:

The game looks awesome, but I’m not sure if I’d actually play multiplayer all that much – I’m not sure if I could commit to any kind of game that took longer than an hour per session. There are four days left, and if they get to $1,800,000, there will be a replayable single-player campaign added to the game…in which case I may buy the game.

These guys are doing a couple things correctly that many other groups get wrong:

– Starting the video with gameplay. Don’t yap at me until you’ve showed me the goods, man! PA fucking kills it with the first minute of the video. It looks like Mario Galaxy and Command and Conquer had a love child and then pumped him full of anabolic steroids.

– Profess their love for the genre/project. This always seems like the easiest part, but it’s very easy to botch. Sure, this is your lifelong dream and all, and that helps us sympathize with you, but you are just going to get sad and pathetic after a while if you don’t do this section correctly. People can talk for hours about how much they love stuff. PA gets it right by keeping it short – 2:56 to 3:12 or so for a total of twenty odd seconds before they get into the…

– What makes us unique. This is pretty apparent, and they really hit it with the title of the game – destroying planets. They talk about this for quite a while as they transition into Uber’s unique abilities to pull off the project, but as they do so, they are constantly switching between interviews and video of gameplay so that I don’t get bored. Brilliantly edited video.

– Have a great sense of humor. This is critical to balancing the sympathetic/pathetic high wire that campaigns are forced to walk. Too much begging, too much professing of love, and they’ll just look like a bunch of ninnies. The Uber CEO looks like Comic Book Guy, and it’s pretty clear from the pitch video (and even more so from the update video) that these guys don’t take themselves too too seriously.


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