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Kickstarter reward production and packaging

Hey everyone! This week I’ve finally been able to dive back into almost full-time development on Invisigun. I knocked off a ton of bugs, implemented a couple new game modes and some prototype abilities, and completely replaced the controller input subsystem. It feels great to finally get back to coding, and for those that are curious, you can always view the latest changelog here. I will probably slow down with posting updates on the Kickstarter campaign page in the future, so the best resource for status updates and development progress here on out will be here on sombr.com, the forums, and my Twitter account.


Thousands of pins, bagged up and ready

I’ve also been busy preparing all physical backer rewards, and we’ll be shipping them out soon. My girlfriend and I made and bagged thousands of buttons, and Gallery Nucleus is underway with the art print production. All is going well!

There are still about 120 outstanding Kickstarter surveys, so if you haven’t filled it out yet, I can’t deliver your rewards! I’ll of course still be fulfilling late surveys, but it helps to get them in sooner rather than later. Also, all alpha backers that have filled out surveys should have received forum invites, so if you’re expecting one and haven’t received it, please check your spam filters. If you still can’t find the invite, just send me a message and I’ll clear it up.

Invisigun Heroes marches forward!


Well, it’s been a crazy adventure from day one of this campaign. I was blown away by the support at the beginning and it continued all the way to the finish line! It’s definitely been one of the most memorable months of my life — from the puppet video creation, to launch, to driving a van full of booth gear 2,600 miles to PAX South, to these final moments — and I owe it to all of you to go above and beyond your expectations for the game.

Thank you all so much: my family, my best friends for all their help in production and spreading the word, all the new friends and everyone I met at PAX, the Kickstarter staff, streamers, my girlfriend (who endured my endless pacing), and last but not least, you guys! You’ve all championed it through the whole campaign, and it wouldn’t have been possible to get this far — not just because of the pledges, but because of all the continuous promotion from everyone.

I’ll be starting on all the post-campaign activities this week. My first priorities are to start working on the production and fulfillment of the physical rewards (art prints and pins), setting up the private backer forum, and collecting all your custom victory phrases. I’d like to work out a development schedule and possible periodic stream to keep everyone in the loop going forward. If you’re a backer, expect some Kickstarter surveys coming your way soon!

PAX South was unbelievable!


I’m back from PAX South, and still in a whirlwind of unpacking, catching up on email, and decompressing. With a minivan jam-packed with booth gear, we drove a total of 44 hours and 2600 miles (of mostly flat nothingness) to make the trip from Los Angeles to San Antonio and back. Being exhausted is a given, but I’m also thrilled from one of the best experiences of my life! It would have been logistically impossible without the generous help from two of my best friends (who also help with design/balance and music of the game). I put together a short video of some reactions to people trying out the pre-alpha build. This might seem a little repetitive, but this was literally happening all weekend long!

In the three days, there was never a moment without people playing, and there was always a small crowd around the booth. I was pretty nervous going into the show as I wasn’t sure if it was the type of game that would translate immediately to a convention floor. By the middle of the first day, I was overjoyed with its reception. Everyone got it right away, and by their second round, the concept was already internalized and they were working out next-level strategies.


Over the weekend I met a million different amazing people, and had an equal number of amazing conversations. This included new fans of the game, existing backers who wanted to check it out in person, new backers, publishers, press and journalists, youtubers and streamers, other developers, and parents of joyous kids. I had a list of booths I wanted to check out, but there was literally no down time (though I did manage to meet Adam Saltzman and purchase one of those adorable Overland shirts). There was some wonderful press fallout from the show though, and here are a couple of my favorite snippets:

  • “Invisigun Heroes could be the next Towerfall Ascension” – PC Gamer
  • “I wouldn’t be surprised if we see it being a popular YouTube and Twitch game after its launch.” – MMOHuts
  • “A simple concept can make for the best games.” – Gaming Trend
    This article has a really good write-up about the moment-to-moment feel of the game, and some emergent tactics.

We ran a bunch of mini-tournaments with future Steam keys as prizes on the last day, and there was already some high-level play shining through – including newly-discovered tactics that I hadn’t anticipated. That’s the best! Congrats to all the winners, and it was such a blast to meet you all. :)

Come play Invisigun Heroes at PAX South 2016

The Kickstarter campaign is going strong – 40% funded in 5 days –  though it is about to enter the frightening and much-reported-about slow middle period. I’ve been contacting as much press and blogs as I can about the project, and I hope to keep this up as much as possible over the next few weeks. I’m in debt to you all for backing the project, and if you can help spread the word to anyone that may be interested, that will be tremendously helpful through the middle of the campaign!


I do have some exciting news – Invisigun Heroes will be playable this weekend at PAX South 2016. We’ll have a small half-pod booth in the PAX Rising indie area, and if you or anyone you know is attending in San Antonio, please stop by and give the game a whirl. I’d love to meet some of you in person and answer any questions you have, and if anyone’s on the fence about backing, there’s no better way than playing it for yourself to help your decision.


Logistically, trying to plan for PAX and running the Kickstarter at the same time is quite a challenge. To make matters more interesting, I’m driving to San Antonio from Los Angeles which will add about 4 days of round-trip driving on top of the convention. However I do get to borrow this super large display and some other gear in exchange for helping to haul along some equipment for another exhibitor. :)

I really hope I won’t be too out of commission during the drive and convention, but most likely all my email correspondence and catching up will happen each night. I also have a bunch of press meetings booked, so coupled with the booth presence I think it will give the Kickstarter a little bump during this time. So many things! I wish I could hug you all!

The Kickstarter is live!

I started drafting this post just before launching our Kickstarter, but was immediately overwhelmed upon launch. As I write this the campaign is 30% funded and it has only been two days! I’m so grateful for all the support so far, and am more committed than ever to deliver the game that all these new fans are hoping for. It is a relief to see that other gamers have an interest in Invisigun’s concept, and the comparisons to Towerfall and Bomberman put it in really amazing company.

[gfycat data_id=”TerribleLinearBernesemountaindog”]

Invisigun Heroes has been a full-time project for me for the past 1.5 years – but this meant my savings were dwindling with every passing month. My goal was to be far enough along on the project that if I ran a fundraising campaign, backers could be very confident with the promise of fulfillment. I didn’t want to pitch just a concept or unskinned prototype – I wanted something more complete to instill that confidence, and worked all the way up to what I believed was a solid pre-alpha. Since the scope of the game (online features, many varied environments) requires about another year’s worth of work, I chose Kickstarter as a means to be able to keep working on it full time.

So far it’s been a joyous and disorienting couple of days here, and I think the highlight so far was this article on Kotaku. Not only did it describe the nuances of the game better than I have, but this quote made my day:

“maybe the best kickstarter video i’ve ever seen”
– Luke Plunkett

I know that Kickstarters tend to slow down after the initial launch, but there’s a lot more excitement on the way – we’ll be at PAX South at the end of this month, so if you’re in San Antonio and attending the expo, please stop by our booth. I’d love to meet you, and we’ll have a working 4-player build of the pre-alpha for visitors to check out. Stay tuned for more info about the expo in the next few days!

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