Considering the rather modest initial, goal of 35,000 Australian Dollars (which is just north of $26,000), and the fact that it was achieved so quickly, many wondered about the possibility of the classic stretch goals.
Turns out, there won’t be any, as mentioned in an update today by Project Manager Matthew Nguyen. The team has a 12-hour meeting discussing the matter, and decided against adding stretch goals:
“So we’ve said the vision for this game has been largely set coming into this crowdfunding, and our intent with crowdfunding was to allow this project to be funded with the promise of that vision. In traditional or larger Kickstarter efforts you would see content added as bonuses and goals in line with Stretch Goal progression, a game unto itself, however we see it differently. These goals would be additional promises to keep. With that in mind we’re reminded of the promise we have to you, the backer, that takes precedent above all: The completion of Project Wingman. More promises would indefinitely expand the scope of the game and the complexity of the technical debt already accrued, leading to us being unable to achieve our chief endeavor as best we can, only to disappoint you no matter how many Stretch Goals we would achieve.”
Nguyen explains that this is not a restrictive move but instead grants the project more freedom. As funding increases, the use of the money won’t be tied down to milestones or arbitrary goals. It will all go into development, without chaining the team to features that might not positively add to the game. On the other hand, ideas that would have been promised as stretch goals and that do make sense, will be developed anyway.
That being said, the team pledges to be transparent, and tell backers “every step of the way” where and why additional funds are spent. If you ask me, and keep in mind that this is just personal opinion, I really like this approach. Game development is very fluid, and ideas that may seem super-cool now can very well crash and burn when implemented.
Interestingly, while the game is planned exclusively for Windows at the moment, we also hear that the developers are “looking into what they can do to bring it to other platforms.” Considering that the Ace Combat fanbase is mostly on consoles, and this game appears to be inspired by Team Aces’ work, I can’t say that’d be a bad idea, but we’ll have to wait and see.
For the moment, the game is set to release in May 2019 on PC. If you want to contribute to the campaign, you can do so on Kickstarter. At the moment of this writing, the total is 53,656 AU$.