For those who may have not heard, Celestial Games, the South African development team behind Toxic Bunny, launched a Kickstarter campaign for its new FPS horror game set in Africa, Muti; but the campaign was cut short.
MyGaming caught up with Celestial’s Travid Bulford to find out more on what happened to the Kickstarter campaign, and what is happening with Muti going forward.
MyGaming: What were the primary reasons for the cancellation of the Kickstarter page?
TB: “We felt that the KickStarter was not going raise the funds in the next few days so we decided to focus our efforts elsewhere for the time being. That elsewhere includes a few other opportunities to raise the required funds as well as pushing some of the other projects we are doing forward. The Windows 8 Mobile version of Toxic Bunny HD and the PS Vita port to name a few. Muti is going ahead we got good enough feedback from KickStarter and our pages to tell us that the idea is appealing and its up to us to make it work or not. I think I should mention that we certainly were not ready for KickStarter. There are many things we have taken away from this and we expect to be far better prepared should we take a project to KickStarter in the future. In the mean time its full speed ahead with Muti.”
MyGaming: Were there any other obstacles encountered during the initial development processes of Muti?
TB: “I should point out we are still in the initial development processes, we certainly don’t have our Alpha yet. We love the Idea of Muti. I have been toying with the game concept and story for about 4 years already. We just were not sure that there would be international appeal for it. Its expensive and time consuming to build a game we needed to be sure that there would be enthusiasm in the market. There certainly is and we really excited to have that affirmation to go with our own enthusiasm. I would say that one of the real challenges has been telling our story without (hopefully) offending people. Muti is a South African story. It crosses cultures explores the dynamics of our rich mixed heritage whilst giving people the chance to identify with everyone on some level. We have a strong black female protagonist which to my knowledge is fairly unheard of. Also we have a chance to give internationals an opportunity to feel what its like sneaking around your house late at night because you heard a noise (which we think is also very South African).”
MyGaming: What goals have you set in order to make Muti a success?
TB: “We still believe that the African art style is critical to our game. It will give us a niche on the ladder and also a representative art form can be extremely good when it comes to horror. We have decided we must have voice over acting for Muti, this we see as a huge challenge. There are certainly enough skilled artists and voice studios here in South Africa but our own inexperience in directing and managing that form of media does present a challenge. The last and most critical thing we have identified is we need to get people out there to know about Muti before its finished. We need a fan base that follows the making of the building and the early test versions. To break into the internet market you need people. Its might all be computers talking to computers but no one cares until people get involved.”
MyGaming: Has the popularity of Toxic Bunny (and the HD release) taught the team some more tricks about the local industry?
TB: “I think we have learnt a great deal in the last few months. Its fair to say that learning was always our goal (and always is cliche’ perhaps but a good one), if we can pay for our own pizzas/coffee from the experience, all the better. We certainly never expect to know everything and the markets have changed and modified over time so we are adapting to that. We still love the local market I would say these days that the best way South Africans can assist a local studios is to spread the word about our projects, to take pride in our accomplishments, and to tell every living soul about us. Ground swell is the most valuable commodity in an online international market.”
-How can people who are interested in the game continue to support the project?
TB: “Start by follow us on twitter @CelestialIndie or @MutiGame or the web celestial-games.com and mutigame.com we will keep everyone up to date on our projects progress and also on the ideas thought and hopefully a few public appearances to show off what we have and were we are taking the project. That interest is the most valuable contributions we could ask any South African for. We will be doing feedback sessions with gamers that show interest. Public play testing of ideas scenes and so on. That interest is going to really help us build the best game we can.”
Celestial Games is looking to get on the line-up of E3 devs, and you can assist by voting for them. All you’ve got to do is head over to the Indie Crash page and click “vote”, helping to get the SA game creators one step closer to Los Angeles.
Check out Muti in action: