Forced Out, But Forging Ahead – The Incredible Story of BetaDwarf
But as they say, the night is darkest just before the dawn. BetaDwarf would end up being saved when the Danish Film Institute awarded the company $40,000 in funding for Forced, making its team the first students to ever receive support from the DFI. From there, a quick google search of “The Cheapest Place to Live in Denmark” led the team to move into a three-story house together in Kaarlsunde, on the outskirts of Copenhagen.
“Everybody lived on the first floor, we had a programmers’ basement, and artists and designers in the living room. And that worked well,” Kabblegaard said. “We had an art director who was a girl, and she wanted her own room. So she actually redecorated the sauna and the cellar and moved into the sauna.”
“In the middle of the night, my phone started vibrating insanely on the wooden floor … I got really curious, so I checked it out and realized we were funded overnight”
But the incredible story doesn’t end there. While the $40,000 from the DFI served well in providing the team with a new home and office, they still needed more money to fund the development of their game. So they turned to the place where game developers’ dreams are either made or laid to rest: Kickstarter.
The team set the Kickstarter goal at $40,000 and billed Forced as a cross between Left 4 Dead and Diablo. Interest in the game was relatively high, but with a week left before the closing of the Kickstarter, Forced was still only at 64 percent funding, and things started looking a little grim.
“The odd thing was that we basically couldn’t get through to the normal press because everybody was so tired of writing about Kickstarters, as I’m sure you’ve also noticed,” joked Kabblegaard. “You need a unique angle, which we didn’t have.”
Failure seemed imminent, but before giving up hope, Kabblegaard decided to go for a social media Hail Mary. He created a gallery of images that detailed the story of BetaDwarf and put it on the image sharing site, img.ur.
While the team in Denmark slept, the gallery spread like wildfire on social media channels. Kabblegaard awoke that night to a cellphone that was so excited, it just wouldn’t shut up.
“In the middle of the night, my phone started vibrating insanely on the wooden floor that we have, because every time we get a pledge on Kickstarter, we get an email,” said Kabblegaard. “I got really curious, so I checked it out and realized we were funded overnight. Then I screamed a lot and woke up everyone in the house.”
As the release date draws near, Kabblegaard said it’s a huge relief to have an actual deadline on which the game will be done, rather than it just feeling like it’s an eternity away. But the team is already looking forward to a potential sequel, which Kabblegaard described as Forced, but combined with elements of The Binding of Isaac.
For now though, gamers can look forward to Oct. 24, when BetaDwarf finally reaches the finish line and releases Forced on Steam. To drum up some excitement for the launch, BetaDwarf is also holding a pre-release tournament for the game Oct. 11-13, with more details found right here.