$25,000 Kickstarter later, all his programmers quit.

edited in General
Remember we were talking about how we got very little feedback about the viability of Kickstarter projects as it was a fairly new phenomenon? Well looky, we've got an almost fail. Apparently the guy says the money's spent (dunno what on if all his programmers quit), but he will refund pledgers out of his pocket if anyone wishes to withdraw support, and that the game will get made, somehow, somewhen.

He Raised $25,000 To Make A Game. Then All His Programmers Quit.

Interesting read, and of course people will say Kickstarter isn't great, told you so, etc. To me though this kinda (for now) tells me that it's not that bad, just like travel by flight is safer than driving but plane accidents are more prominent.


  • It was a really sad story to hear, yeah. Didn't check the Kotaku link, so I dunno how much I'll be repeating, but I read about this on Rock Paper Shotgun. A big focal point of the article was the sobering reminder that Kickstarter has always been a slightly philanthropic venture, and the problem is that earlier projects often included disclaimers to the effect that funding a project is not the same as pre-ordering the game (even though, should sales commence, it amounts to something similar).

    Problem being that a lot of second-wave Kickstarter petitioners don't strictly understand this, and have stopped advertising their projects this way ... and many users basically just assume that something is just going to come out.

    This is the first time that gamers themselves have been able to fund the projects of their choice, and it's also the first time that they've been exposed to the risk factors and considerations that publishers have known about and lived with for ages: sometimes games just don't come out ...
  • edited
    To be fair: The project isn't cancelled, it has difficulties and there will be delays. The project being cancelled angle is press spin (though obviously it could fail and this is a major setback).

    Also to be fair: The guy working on the project was previously fired from the City of Heroes development team for mismanaging time. This seemed like a shaky venture to begin with. I don't get this "I told you so" aspect of the reaction. It's not like Double Fine tanked. It's some crappy developer that quite possibly would have failed at any game he tried making, and people bought into him regardless.

    As much as I like the easy-money angle of Kickstarter... I'd be glad if people become a bit more skeptical of Kickstarter game projects. That could benefit experienced reliable developers, and that's the position I hope to be in some day, and encouraging earning good track records can only be good for the industry.
  • I'm actually a lot more interested in the Brenda Brathwaite/Tom Hall "old school rpg" kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lootdrop/an-old-school-rpg-by-brenda-brathwaite-and-tom-hal/posts

    They raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars and then said "You know what, this isn't happening fast enough, there's not enough support for this" and pre-emptively told everyone not to fund them. I have to wonder why that happened, were they expecting to hit their goal faster? Was the $1M not the actual goal and they wanted to go much further?

    Couldn't they still have made something with $250K? I know I could...
  • @Dislekcia, doesn't Kickstarter work on a all or nothing basis? If they got $250k then the project wouldn't get funed. Or am I missing something?
  • That Shaker thing was interesting reading, and the story is super intriguing :) It's a shame the thing's not gonna get made (for now), I would have enjoyed it just as fiction (it smacks of LOST but it doesn't look like a written-by-tv-series-drag-on-forever-script).

    Maybe they looked at it and just saw they needed more money - maybe (the conspiracy theorist in me says) they saw that they were going to hit target, and decided to pull it so they can get more with a tweaked return, though that sounds a bit doubtful (and really hard to pull off since "investor confidence" might have dwindled. But it could also have a significantly better double exposure)

    @BlackshipFilltheSky (OMG I always thought it was black ship FILTHE as in filthy SKY) once again you have the industry insights that turns a story around quite a lot in terms of interpretation :) I think yeah, no matter what it is, I think it's good for people to take note of the story and realise that Kickstarter is an investment, not a pre-purchase, handle with caution.

    Though a lot of people would just say "ah well" about $40 going bust, that's where ponzi schemes started. Hopefully there're no sinister plots like that on Kickstarter.
  • @Rigormortis: Yeah, they wouldn't get funded. I'm just saying that if I could drum up $250K of support in a week, you bet I'd be making something with that! I really wonder what they were expecting, it's also the pre-emptive giving up on the kickstarter that I find strange.
  • @dislekcia Yeah that is quite strange. Perhaps they realized that they bit off more than they can chew.
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    So why not Kickstarter it again and go for $250K (and pass that by a bit) and make something badass, just a bit more indie.

    I'm pretty certain Bastion cost not that much more than $500K (2 years, 9 people).

    And if you're starting with over $250K already sold surely making a game of that scale is not a problem if you are Brenda Brathwaite/Tom Hall. I could even raise the extra money I think if I were in the position of already receiving $250K in support, possibly even the extra $750K.
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