Recently, I’ve been made abundantly aware of Dungeon Alchemist, thanks to the plethora of commercials in YouTube over the past week. And of all the commercials I came across, this one definitely had me clicking.
I just hope it’s more than a cash grab, to be honest. And if this is a real thing coming soon, I definitely want a copy for myself.
What is Dungeon Alchemist
Dungeon Alchemist is an AI-driven platform that helps you create complete maps for role-playing games. You simply draw the shape of the room and the system does the rest.
This includes adding furniture elements, walls and flooring tiles, visual effects, and a slew of other additions.
If you’re not satisfied with how the AI has built the room, Dungeon Alchemist allows you to grab each element and make changes. In other words, you can easily create a unique room every time.
Then, you are capable of printing out the maps or importing them into supported Virtual Tabletop systems, like Foundry.
At the time of this article, Dungeon Alchemist has a Kickstarter campaign that has long passed its goal. In fact, it superseded what the developers were asking for within the first three days.
Coming to Steam
From what I can gather, the platform is coming to Steam, according to the devs. It’ll have integration with Steam Workshop, which allows you to publish and share various maps with others.
Eventually, the developers want to add modding functionality and let others customize and create 3D models to share as well.
In reality, this would probably be the only way I would remember to buy Dungeon Alchemist. And I’ll set up a reminder to keep checking back on any release date.
Why Does Dungeon Alchemist Give Me Pause for Concern
OK, a lot of people have been burned by Kickstarter campaigns. From scammers trying to rip people off completely to developers biting off more than they can chew, a lot of games and gaming elements have fallen the wayside.
I’m not saying that this is going to happen with Dungeon Alchemist. However, some things surrounding the campaign are throwing up a few red flags for me.
Though, this could be nothing and perhaps I’m just being overly paranoid.
Insane Amount of Money Pledged
The initial need for Dungeon Alchemist to succeed on Kickstarter was $54,094. And with 29,412 backers, it vastly overshot what the devs were looking for.
However, this isn’t what gives me cause for concern. It’s the sheer amount of money that has been pulled in by the Kickstarter campaign.
Unfortunately, I’m somewhat soured on the whole aspect of crowdfunding. I’m sure there are millions of great projects out there. And Kickstarter has helped a lot of indie developers and small businesses.
But when your campaign draws in more than $1.5 million with eight days left, it makes me wonder if the creators are going to keep milking as much as possible.
Now, milking it by itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But I’ve seen tons of money change how creators approach a project. I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Massive Influx of YouTube Commercials
The money that Dungeon Alchemist has pulled in thus far piqued my interest about the same time the commercials on YouTube grew in frequency.
I can’t watch a single video on YouTube right now without seeing commercials for Dungeon Alchemist. In fact, the massive influx of marketing was noticeable a few days ago.
Why put more money into marketing when you’re well on your way to two million dollars and you only needed $54k?
Obviously, the devs have seen how well a marketing campaign has worked on YouTube and are looking to pull even more money into the pot.
Although the developers of the map maker might have legitimate reasons behind pumping up marketing to something that surpassed its needs by more than 28 times, the skeptic in me is far more cautious.
One or two commercials might not be so bad. But every video I watch regardless of topic or niche is riddled with Dungeon Alchemist advertisements.
So, either YouTube’s algorithm has a long way to go for showing me ads I care about, which is a distinct possibility, or the devs are looking to pad the Kickstarter campaign to ridiculous levels.
Although the devs may be earnest and will put that money to extremely good use, I’ll sit back and watch.
The world has turned me into a pessimist.
No Website or Social Elements?
And lastly, the developers of Dungeon Alchemist didn’t bother setting up a website or social media profile for the software. If I was building something this blatantly cool, I’d be marketing a blog every chance I got.
Now, I only spent about 20 minutes looking for any kind of system that connects me directly to the devs. The only thing I could find was a Discord server and a few references to tabletop gaming systems.
You can’t tell me that the devs didn’t have an extra $120 to set up a website for this awesome piece of software for the next three years.
Besides, a website could easily be used as a base of operations while keeping backers, fans, and supporters apprised of what’s to come. You could even link something like Buy Me a Coffee, Patreon, or Ko-Fi and get continued monthly support.
I’ve seen people creating things far less interesting who at least have a Twitter account set up.
I know, I’m probably just nit-picking at this point. But, a little bit of marketing can go a very long way outside of YouTube ads.
Definitely One to Keep an Eye On
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally down on Dungeon Alchemist. In fact, I’m really hoping that it’s a legit platform. I’d love to sit back and just create maps for hours on end.
Then again, I’m a bit weird like that. Besides, it’ll help me in future campaigns with the kids.
My biggest issues just come from a place of seeing so many people get burned on Kickstarter…and a lot of them were from the gaming community.
But in reality, I’d probably toss a few bucks their way if I had it readily available. It’s definitely one I’ll keep my eye on.
In fact, as soon as it hits Steam, it’ll be in my library.
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