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Kotaku looks into 11 long overdue and/or failed kickstarters

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Yeah what the heck at them claiming they already delivered all the rewards but the space, that sure isn't true! They promised 30 games and appear to have delivered 22 of them by my count, but none of those are the marquis games that were billed here:



Seriously, as far as I can tell, none of the ones in that pic are out. That's kind of why some of us contributed! At least I got my Keita game though. I honestly thought the space itself sounded a bit too pie in the sky to actually happen so I'm not surprised by that result.
What? Hotline Miami, Unfinished Swan, Bit Trip, Nidhogg, QWOP and Fotonica have been out for a while now.
 

hoggert

Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,770
0
0
I would want to know more what happened with Lioness. The project seems MIA, and it was one those kickstarters where the gaming press did their best to push people to support it, so maybe they should keep a closer eye on it?
Yeah, that was another kickstarter that I immediately thought of, even though it only raised 26,735 with a 7k goal. Gaf thread here. Reading around it seems Zak Ayles is still working on it, just doing complete radio silence on actual project updates and instead doing cryptic ARG-style bullshit. Because it's okay when Kentucky Route Zero does it 😎 I think the game will come out eventually but glad I ignored the hype and will definitely avoid anything by him in the future.
 

Patryn

Member
Dec 4, 2007
19,280
1
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That's pretty much it, but I never said it was a scam, as it's nowhere near Elite Dangerous. I said it was nothing like IE CRPGs, and I was disappointed.
I was comparing that situation with Clang's, which couldn't possibly be disappointing because the game isn't being developed anymore, but they still managed to give me my money back, and Obsidian refused to do so.
Why would you be entitled to a refund? The project is coming out and you are going to receive all rewards. Backing a Kickstarter isn't like buying something.

According to KS you signed a contract with Obsidian. If Obsidian delivers their end, you can't just back out because you don't like the final product, especially when the final product is exactly as described during the campaign.
 

Parsnip

Member
Feb 5, 2010
9,228
0
0
Finland
This thread inspired me to go and have look at my backed projects.

Projects I'm not worried about:
Mighty9 gets a lot of shit every time it's mentioned, but it looks like it will be able to deliver a thing by April 2015 which was their estimate.
La Mulana 2 estimate is December 2015, so that's still way too early to say. Curry Hell!
Massive Chalice estimate was August 2014, their backer beta started in October, it's also now on early access and it looks like they nearing completion since they just started collecting backer names for credits.
Ghost Song, missed May 2014 estimate. Still getting regular updates though, so not worried. Gaffer made?
Dreamfall Chapters, estimated November 2014. First part was out in October 2014, next will be March 2015.
Republique, estimate was September 2013. Though that may have been for the mobile version. Either way, first 3 episodes are finally coming out soon on PC as Remastered version.
Broken Age, estimate October 2012. As a pretty much the first KS project that made it big, that estimation was never going to hold since it was for the original small pitch. Despite the part 2 not being out yet, this has more than delivered for me because of the documentary.
Over a six-to-eight month period, a small team under Tim Schafer's supervision will develop Double Fine's next game, a classic point-and-click adventure. Where it goes from there will unfold in real time for all the backers to see.
It's a bit hilarious to see how Massive Chalice is nearing completion and might actually be out out before Broken Age part 2 is out.

Projects I'm slightly worried about:
Project Phoenix, missed their November 2014 estimate and I've tuned out of the updates. Apparently there's a alpha build for higher tier backers.
Legend of Iya, missed August 2014 estimate. Unexpected health problems or something.

Very worried:
Two Guys Spaceventure, it's been discussed in the thread already. They are still working on it I guess, but the estimation of February 2013 has long since past.

Projects that are done:
Broken Sword 5, estimate was April 2013. First part released December 2013, second part April 2014. Late but delivered.

So, estimates are hard.


Shoutout to Wildman: An "Evolutionary" Action RPG, they cancelled the KS because it didn't look like it was going to make it. It was heartbreaking to see Chris Taylor in the final updates. God damn. Went looking for some info and apparently Wargaming now owns Gas Powered Games, and they are called Wargaming Seattle. What a great name that is. I wonder what they are working on now. Wargaming also owns the Total Annihilation IP, it wouldn't be totally unexpected if Gas Powered were making a sequel to that now. Total World of Tanks Annihilation, coming soon.
 
This thread inspired me to go and have look at my backed projects.

Projects I'm not worried about:
Mighty9 gets a lot of shit every time it's mentioned, but it looks like it will be able to deliver a thing by April 2015 which was their estimate.
La Mulana 2 estimate is December 2015, so that's still way too early to say. Curry Hell!
Massive Chalice estimate was August 2014, their backer beta started in October, it's also now on early access and it looks like they nearing completion since they just started collecting backer names for credits.
Ghost Song, missed May 2014 estimate. Still getting regular updates though, so not worried. Gaffer made?
Dreamfall Chapters, estimated November 2014. First part was out in October 2014, next will be March 2015.
Republique, estimate was September 2013. Though that may have been for the mobile version. Either way, first 3 episodes are finally coming out soon on PC as Remastered version.
Broken Age, estimate October 2012. As a pretty much the first KS project that made it big, that estimation was never going to hold since it was for the original small pitch. Despite the part 2 not being out yet, this has more than delivered for me because of the documentary.

It's a bit hilarious to see how Massive Chalice is nearing completion and might actually be out out before Broken Age part 2 is out.

Projects I'm slightly worried about:
Project Phoenix, missed their November 2014 estimate and I've tuned out of the updates. Apparently there's a alpha build for higher tier backers.
Legend of Iya, missed August 2014 estimate. Unexpected health problems or something.

Very worried:
Two Guys Spaceventure, it's been discussed in the thread already. They are still working on it I guess, but the estimation of February 2013 has long since past.

Projects that are done:
Broken Sword 5, estimate was April 2013. First part released December 2013, second part April 2014. Late but delivered.

So, estimates are hard.


Shoutout to Wildman: An "Evolutionary" Action RPG, they cancelled the KS because it didn't look like it was going to make it. It was heartbreaking to see Chris Taylor in the final updates. God damn. Went looking for some info and apparently Wargaming now owns Gas Powered Games, and they are called Wargaming Seattle. What a great name that is. I wonder what they are working on now. Wargaming also owns the Total Annihilation IP, it wouldn't be totally unexpected if Gas Powered were making a sequel to that now. Total World of Tanks Annihilation, coming soon.
Ghost Song is being made by gaffer Jobbs and got picked up by Adult Swim Games. Don't think you have to worry.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
3
0
RE: "It didn't release on time"

Virtually no Kickstarter games from any dev at any budget level with any final release quality have released on time. To me, the release date is really only relevant to ascertain what the dev thinks the scope of the game and if they are even in the realm of sanity for funding. A dev that asks for $20k to fund a dev team of 10 for a year cannot guarantee the project will release. A dev that claims their game will go from concept art to release in 4 months when the game has any scope at all is simply wrong. Most of the games, even games done by people with a professional history, miss their date, generally by a fairly long amount of time.

The better move when evaluating already funded KSes is:
- Is the dev communicating with me?
- Is the dev frequently making excuses ("development is hard", "I didn't anticipate", there were health issues, there were staffing issues, hard to fix bugs, "it's a learning process", "sorry for not updating recently but an update is coming soon")?
- If the deadline has been totally blown, is it likely that the dev is now using their own money or do they have an external investor? If the game is on Early Access, are people buying it? Does it seem sustainable?
- When the dev misses a deadline, do they just randomly blurt out another date, or do they focus more on milestones?
- Are milestones happening? Is the dev further along than it seemed to be a few months ago? Are there targets you can evaluate coming up? What's going on with the version number?

Think like a publisher. If you funded a KS, you are a publisher to some extent.



I did a quick scan of 50k-75k KS projects. Success rate and communication quality overall is a little less than the 75k+, but still generally good. I think I'll add them to my Google doc probably around June of 2015.
 

Atomski

Member
Jul 20, 2009
9,810
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0
Knoxville Tennessee
Honestly suprised the list isn't much longer. while I feel there's been some downs for KS projects.. the Successes seem to out weigh these failures. Although I have yet to fund anything bad yet..
 

Parsnip

Member
Feb 5, 2010
9,228
0
0
Finland
Honestly suprised the list isn't much longer. while I feel there's been some downs for KS projects.. the Successes seem to out weigh these failures. Although I have yet to fund anything bad yet..
Only failures get press, successes just come out and most people don't have any clue they were kickstarted in the first place. I've seen a bunch of people wish that KS didn't exist while at the same time enjoying FTL or something. And then when you tell them the game they are playing was KS project, you'll get replies like 'it's so good that it would have gotten made anyway/some publisher would have funded it anyway'.
 
Only failures get press, successes just come out and most people don't have any clue they were kickstarted in the first place. I've seen a bunch of people wish that KS didn't exist while at the same time enjoying FTL or something. And then when you tell them the game they are playing was KS project, you'll get replies like 'it's so good that it would have gotten made anyway/some publisher would have funded it anyway'.
Here's a list of released Kickstarted projects. A lot of stuff I didn't realize was kickstarted, like Among The Sleep, Volgarr, Consortium, Spintires, Race The Sun, etc.
https://www.kickstarter.com/play
And even that's a partial list because games like See No Evil and Catacomb Kids aren't on there
 
May 16, 2011
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just going on a quick skim a lot of these budgets are waaaaaaaaay out of sync with the scope of their projects. it seems a lot of people don't run an honest and practical assessment of operating costs and overhead.

edit: so I skimmed the la game space page and there was no mention of costs/budget at all. am I missing something? did they just come up with a number?
 

Chris_C

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Jan 16, 2006
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Pasig, Manila
au.ibtimes.com
As someone who ran a successful Kickstarter (here) and is about to ship rewards in the next week or two, I can attest to the fact that Kickstarter is a tricky, difficult thing to pull off.

For the honest, it's incredibly humbling that so many strangers believed in something you were working on that they were willing to donate so much.

Before I get into this, I should mention that I'm not "business minded," neither are my brother and sister, we're all artists and writers primarily. That said, we went in trying to be as organized and informed as we absolutely could.

Our initial target was to raise $9,500 to fund the creation of our comic and the associated rewards. We intended to spend ~$3,000 on printing, and the rest on fulfilling our rewards, which were incredibly ambitious considering this was our first Kickstarter, our first comic, and no one knew us.

We figured if we made that amount we'd easily be able to cover the KS costs and maybe, maybe have a little bit left over for us to pay for labor. Not as much as we'd get from a publisher, but it'd be something. We budgeted we'd need about $7,000 to fulfill everything, with a buffer of $2,000 just in case.

We were wrong.

We ended up making nearly $15,000, which was incredible, really. Printing cost a little more than we expected, but that was primarily because since we made so much more than we budgeted, we figured we could upgrade the paper quality and still be well within budget.

Rather quickly, we discovered that our buffer might not be as much as we expected. The biggest blow came from the folks making our 2.5 inch mini-figures delivered substandard work, despite us providing higher quality samples be we paid. It sucked, and he refused to offer even a partial refund. What do you do? We spent a good chunk of money on those, and it was gone, so we had to find another vendor. I could give more examples of unexpected expenditures, but I'll stop here since the post is getting a little long!

Kickstarter is an incredible platform for dreamers. I've been lucky enough that I've never lost money on any of the 30+ projects I've backed... I think... I tend to fire and forget. It's hard for creators though, even those with good intentions. I think there's a responsibility on the the part of creators to fulfill their obligations to the best of their ability. I also don't think Kickstarter does ANYWHERE near enough to prepare creators for the reality of what a campaign entails, from the beginning through to fulfillment. That really sucks.

We aimed to ship in November last year, and were ready except that a single, vital vendor wasn't able to supply their rewards until last week. They delayed us by months, during which time we've had to pay for storage, of course. Our backers have been great because we communicated with them constantly, even when things were bad. I think many creators go into their shell a bit when things go wrong, they're afraid to let backers know. In my experience, the vast majority are extremely understanding and supportive, because they want to support you. They want you to succeed.

In the end, when Kickstarter works, it's amazing. We made an African Sci-fi adventure comic of the highest quality and got 2,000 prints made. We made statues, posters, commemorative coins, t-shirts and more. It was a dream my brother and I had for years, and we did it. All thanks to KS backers.

EDIT: If anyone would like to read the finished book, you can do so here, free of charge.. :)
 

mercenar1e

Member
Feb 20, 2009
7,771
46
790
can i buy H-Hour? seems like every crowd funded game has an option to purchase on Paypal after the campaign is over but this one doesn't.
 

patchday

Member
Jul 3, 2010
7,952
0
0
Texas, USA
Always thought the Stomping Land looked cool. Glad I didn't contribute to it after reading this. I joined kickstarter after it ran (thank goodness) [I mean I joined the site- not the campaign]
 

Great Rumbler

Member
Feb 12, 2006
4,640
0
1,305
Oklahoma
I did a quick scan of 50k-75k KS projects. Success rate and communication quality overall is a little less than the 75k+, but still generally good. I think I'll add them to my Google doc probably around June of 2015.
You're doing the Lord's work with that Google doc, Stump. It'll be a heck of a lot easier to glance through that than it is to plow through dozens of KS pages like I have been doing.

But there are a couple of small issues that I wanted to bring up about it:

1. Star Citizen shouldn't be in the green "release" category.

2. Godus should probably be downgraded from light green "low-risk" with everything that's gone down in the last couple of weeks.

That's the only two things that really stuck out to me in glancing through it.
 

HP_Wuvcraft

Banned
Apr 18, 2011
33,526
1
0
As someone who ran a successful Kickstarter (here) and is about to ship rewards in the next week or two, I can attest to the fact that Kickstarter is a tricky, difficult thing to pull off.

For the honest, it's incredibly humbling that so many strangers believed in something you were working on that they were willing to donate so much.

Before I get into this, I should mention that I'm not "business minded," neither are my brother and sister, we're all artists and writers primarily. That said, we went in trying to be as organized and informed as we absolutely could.

Our initial target was to raise $9,500 to fund the creation of our comic and the associated rewards. We intended to spend ~$3,000 on printing, and the rest on fulfilling our rewards, which were incredibly ambitious considering this was our first Kickstarter, our first comic, and no one knew us.

We figured if we made that amount we'd easily be able to cover the KS costs and maybe, maybe have a little bit left over for us to pay for labor. Not as much as we'd get from a publisher, but it'd be something. We budgeted we'd need about $7,000 to fulfill everything, with a buffer of $2,000 just in case.

We were wrong.

We ended up making nearly $15,000, which was incredible, really. Printing cost a little more than we expected, but that was primarily because since we made so much more than we budgeted, we figured we could upgrade the paper quality and still be well within budget.

Rather quickly, we discovered that our buffer might not be as much as we expected. The biggest blow came from the folks making our 2.5 inch mini-figures delivered substandard work, despite us providing higher quality samples be we paid. It sucked, and he refused to offer even a partial refund. What do you do? We spent a good chunk of money on those, and it was gone, so we had to find another vendor. I could give more examples of unexpected expenditures, but I'll stop here since the post is getting a little long!

Kickstarter is an incredible platform for dreamers. I've been lucky enough that I've never lost money on any of the 30+ projects I've backed... I think... I tend to fire and forget. It's hard for creators though, even those with good intentions. I think there's a responsibility on the the part of creators to fulfill their obligations to the best of their ability. I also don't think Kickstarter does ANYWHERE near enough to prepare creators for the reality of what a campaign entails, from the beginning through to fulfillment. That really sucks.

We aimed to ship in November last year, and were ready except that a single, vital vendor wasn't able to supply their rewards until last week. They delayed us by months, during which time we've had to pay for storage, of course. Our backers have been great because we communicated with them constantly, even when things were bad. I think many creators go into their shell a bit when things go wrong, they're afraid to let backers know. In my experience, the vast majority are extremely understanding and supportive, because they want to support you. They want you to succeed.

In the end, when Kickstarter works, it's amazing. We made an African Sci-fi adventure comic of the highest quality and got 2,000 prints made. We made statues, posters, commemorative coins, t-shirts and more. It was a dream my brother and I had for years, and we did it. All thanks to KS backers.

EDIT: If anyone would like to read the finished book, you can do so here, free of charge.. :)
Always love stuff like this. Thanks.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
3
0
1. Star Citizen shouldn't be in the green "release" category.
As with Oculus, I upgraded Star Citizen to green because it's so well capitalized at this point that I don't think there's any reason to fear that the game won't release. Now the form it'll take is clearly not what people were expecting when they first backed it, and I think people have reason to be angry about the creeping impact of the massive overfunding, but it's not like they're in risk of not delivering something.

2. Godus should probably be downgraded from light green "low-risk" with everything that's gone down in the last couple of weeks.
I made a conscious choice not to evaluate whether or not the project delivered the promised featureset. A lot of the games marked "released" are not necessarily good. Instead, I focus on whether or not the developer has released what they consider a final version. I guess if we ran into an issue of manifest fraud where a developer says "lol final version" and it clearly doesn't even run and it's ten minutes of content, I'd have to make a decision about how to handle that. But so far I haven't seen that, when stuff is released it's generally "finished", even if finished means a game people are disappointed in. The discussion in this thread about whether Project Eternity is a scam suggests to me it's not worth my while to assert more than that--Eternity has had stellar communication and is on track to deliver a release game that a lot of people are interested in. I have no idea if individual design decisions will alienate individual pledgers.

In Godus' case, there have been somewhat frequent updates including updates delivering new content. So their communication has been OK. I can't really evaluate whether or not there's a featureset problem, although from what I understand it looks like some core stuff might not end up delivered. My bigger concern is that they haven't updated since Christmas and press reports suggest they've pulled staff from the project. If they continue to not update for a month or two more, they're going to be downgraded on that basis alone.

If 22cans were to mark the current version as "feature complete", I'd probably mark it released but add a note that there's significant controversy around the product. There are a few games I did this for, normally games where the KS was to deliver a prototype but the rewards suggest people will get a game. H-Hour is one of these, I believe Castle Story was another, and several of the larger MMOs have done multiple KSes where the first one was for tech or a demo. I don't want to insert my editorial view, I just want to be able to make a quick decision and move on. Even with some of the automation I have beyond the scenes to check for updates, it still takes a while to maintain the list, so the easier I make it on myself the better.

As someone who ran a successful Kickstarter (here) and is about to ship rewards in the next week or two, I can attest to the fact that Kickstarter is a tricky, difficult thing to pull off.
Just briefly scanning through your campaign and updates, I want to tell you that you had model communication with backers. The public updates are all information rich, they're not filled with fluff, I don't see evidence of excuses, you seem to have kept them in the loop, your initial budget sounded reasonable. You should be really proud, beyond the production of the comic, that you ran an honest campaign. Best of luck with the remaining shipping and the series.
 

Stage On

Member
Oct 16, 2006
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1,005
I'd love to know what happened to Erythia: Shattered Dreams

In a lot of cases of games like the above I just deem it as too high risk to support since they are coming from someone with no real track record to back up if they can actually deliver or not.

That's proven to be a good stick to judge things on since stuff like Soul Saga and Echoes of Eternity might have looked rad on paper but neither of them are anywhere near their original projected release dates.
 
I don't get the "No real track record" or "proven developer" comments. Indie devs are often doing their debut game. Now some may have student projects or have done game jam entries, but others don't. See No Evil, Catacomb Kids, RimWorld, Dex, Noct, Heart & Slash, Olympia Rising, Rain World, and many more are debut games. They're all fun and enjoyable, and are either finished, have playable betas, or get development updates regularly.

I just don't think that rule of being wary of first-time devs applies to Kickstarters, at least not alone. Add a first-time dev, with an overly-ambitious project, extreme budget, promises galore, and then yeah, it's right to be wary
 

A-V-B

Member
Jun 10, 2013
9,758
0
0
Zombie Playground feels like it's been in limbo for a really long time. A shame, as that one really excited me based off the original concept art. It's a fantastic idea. Maybe they just didn't have the resources to pull it off satisfactorily?
 

Oreoleo

Member
Jun 3, 2007
12,165
0
915
Ohio
steamcommunity.com
I'm pleased that the only Kickstarter project I backed is releasing in a month's time.

What a shame that it's so easy for some of these people to so blatantly take the money and run.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
3
0
I'd love to know what happened to Erythia: Shattered Dreams
Well, they had a 12 month dev time projected with 9 people working on it (at least 3-4 of which would be working for most of the period) and they asked for $5,000, which wouldn't even pay the main developer's rent for the 12 months... and they wanted to go from an early prototype stage to 40+ hours of gameplay in 12 months (so that's equivalent to making 3.5 hours of content a month during that period). All done by people who hadn't made games before. With nothing in the KS explaining how they came up with the $5,000 figure or what they were going to do with it...

...
 

Mr. Nice_Guy

Member
Jun 25, 2014
4,235
0
0
Yeah I backed L.A. Game Space for $50, got a really cool shirt designed by Bryan Lee O'Malley, which was more than worth it given the amount of conversations I've had started over it.

But yeah, I lost track of it and thought the space happened and just not much came of it. I backed that when I was still in college, geez. Physical rewards took an eternity to arrive as well.

Edit: Did not see that tons of people did not get physical rewards. That's complete garbage.
 

Stage On

Member
Oct 16, 2006
3,666
0
1,005
I don't get the "No real track record" or "proven developer" comments. Indie devs are often doing their debut game. Now some may have student projects or have done game jam entries, but others don't. See No Evil, Catacomb Kids, RimWorld, Dex, Noct, Heart & Slash, Olympia Rising, Rain World, and many more are debut games. They're all fun and enjoyable, and are either finished, have playable betas, or get development updates regularly.

I just don't think that rule of being wary of first-time devs applies to Kickstarters, at least not alone. Add a first-time dev, with an overly-ambitious project, extreme budget, promises galore, and then yeah, it's right to be wary
Well speaking only for myself here it's mainly because I have a very limited amount of funds to spend on games, so I tend to stick to the safest bets possible for the most part to mitigate the risk factor and avoid losing out on my money for nothing in return.

Edit:

Well, they had a 12 month dev time projected with 9 people working on it (at least 3-4 of which would be working for most of the period) and they asked for $5,000, which wouldn't even pay the main developer's rent for the 12 months... and they wanted to go from an early prototype stage to 40+ hours of gameplay in 12 months (so that's equivalent to making 3.5 hours of content a month during that period). All done by people who hadn't made games before. With nothing in the KS explaining how they came up with the $5,000 figure or what they were going to do with it...

...
I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to answer my question. It's a shame they weren't able to set a realistic budget and work scheduled. I really liked the art style. Sad that it's now just a what could have been :(
 

Suikoguy

I whinny my fervor lowly, for his length is not as great as those of the Hylian war stallions
Jun 6, 2004
20,904
0
0
Nirolak, your listing there for my KS investigation is way out of date. Here's the up-to-date link:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lFW2sjShHriYRsyuVZx4Se8Qxjw38VJk4g-7cls8cpg/edit#gid=0

It's the progress status of every 75k+ Kickstarter up to June 2014.

I'd also note, H-Hour is sort of a weird case. The Kickstarter was not for a final game, it was for a demo... but the reward tiers were listed as including the final game. So it was like "I'll give you the full game even ... but I can't guarantee I'll make it, even if I get funded."
I've seen this before, but never got to say thanks!

I got screwed on a total of 2 projects, out of 20+ backed. So I'd say I'm happy so far.
A couple of them could still turn sour.

Edit: Thinking about it more, if a publisher could have 90%+ success, they would be damn happy and very successful.
 
I don't get the "No real track record" or "proven developer" comments. Indie devs are often doing their debut game. Now some may have student projects or have done game jam entries, but others don't. See No Evil, Catacomb Kids, RimWorld, Dex, Noct, Heart & Slash, Olympia Rising, Rain World, and many more are debut games. They're all fun and enjoyable, and are either finished, have playable betas, or get development updates regularly.

I just don't think that rule of being wary of first-time devs applies to Kickstarters, at least not alone. Add a first-time dev, with an overly-ambitious project, extreme budget, promises galore, and then yeah, it's right to be wary
It's more about matching that experience up with the scope of the game. See: Yogventures. Dev with no experience and the YogsCast people had none either. Add a hugely ambitious project, and you've got a recipe for disaster.
 

NoFaceNico

Member
Sep 8, 2014
3,135
0
0
Does anyone know what happened with DCS WWII Europe 1944?

I'm not a backer but it looks amazing, had I known about it I probably would have been. So I guess I dodged a bullet but I'm getting conflicting information about whether the game was released or not in some form or another.
 

Com_Raven

Member
Apr 30, 2008
880
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Europa
Nirolak, your listing there for my KS investigation is way out of date. Here's the up-to-date link:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lFW2sjShHriYRsyuVZx4Se8Qxjw38VJk4g-7cls8cpg/edit#gid=0

It's the progress status of every 75k+ Kickstarter up to June 2014.

I'd also note, H-Hour is sort of a weird case. The Kickstarter was not for a final game, it was for a demo... but the reward tiers were listed as including the final game. So it was like "I'll give you the full game even ... but I can't guarantee I'll make it, even if I get funded."
Thanks for that list, very helpful to have it all at a glance. Though I think you might have missed Kingdom Come, which was funded in Spring 2014. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1294225970/kingdom-come-deliverance?ref=nav_search

Also, with everyone being down on Kickstarter recently, it is worth noting how many of the games that got released turned out great. Shadowrun, Banner Saga, FTL, Elite, and many more ended up being really good games, and I have high hopes for many more (Star Citizen, Torment, Kingdom Come, Shadowrun Hong Kong, Pillars of Eternity etc.)

Sadly, a crowdfunded game being released and great seems to get a lot less press than a high profile failure.
 

KungFucius

Member
Jul 16, 2008
1,297
163
955
Why did Kotaku "look into" a project that was cancelled? Did they want a gimme project that didn't need to try too hard to look into?
Should an article that tries to look at failure in KS projects ignore ones that publicly gave up and only focus on ones that haven't admitted failure?
 

Terrified

Member
Mar 19, 2014
398
0
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As someone who ran a successful Kickstarter (here) and is about to ship rewards in the next week or two, I can attest to the fact that Kickstarter is a tricky, difficult thing to pull off.

For the honest, it's incredibly humbling that so many strangers believed in something you were working on that they were willing to donate so much.

Before I get into this, I should mention that I'm not "business minded," neither are my brother and sister, we're all artists and writers primarily. That said, we went in trying to be as organized and informed as we absolutely could.

Our initial target was to raise $9,500 to fund the creation of our comic and the associated rewards. We intended to spend ~$3,000 on printing, and the rest on fulfilling our rewards, which were incredibly ambitious considering this was our first Kickstarter, our first comic, and no one knew us.

We figured if we made that amount we'd easily be able to cover the KS costs and maybe, maybe have a little bit left over for us to pay for labor. Not as much as we'd get from a publisher, but it'd be something. We budgeted we'd need about $7,000 to fulfill everything, with a buffer of $2,000 just in case.

We were wrong.

We ended up making nearly $15,000, which was incredible, really. Printing cost a little more than we expected, but that was primarily because since we made so much more than we budgeted, we figured we could upgrade the paper quality and still be well within budget.

Rather quickly, we discovered that our buffer might not be as much as we expected. The biggest blow came from the folks making our 2.5 inch mini-figures delivered substandard work, despite us providing higher quality samples be we paid. It sucked, and he refused to offer even a partial refund. What do you do? We spent a good chunk of money on those, and it was gone, so we had to find another vendor. I could give more examples of unexpected expenditures, but I'll stop here since the post is getting a little long!

Kickstarter is an incredible platform for dreamers. I've been lucky enough that I've never lost money on any of the 30+ projects I've backed... I think... I tend to fire and forget. It's hard for creators though, even those with good intentions. I think there's a responsibility on the the part of creators to fulfill their obligations to the best of their ability. I also don't think Kickstarter does ANYWHERE near enough to prepare creators for the reality of what a campaign entails, from the beginning through to fulfillment. That really sucks.

We aimed to ship in November last year, and were ready except that a single, vital vendor wasn't able to supply their rewards until last week. They delayed us by months, during which time we've had to pay for storage, of course. Our backers have been great because we communicated with them constantly, even when things were bad. I think many creators go into their shell a bit when things go wrong, they're afraid to let backers know. In my experience, the vast majority are extremely understanding and supportive, because they want to support you. They want you to succeed.

In the end, when Kickstarter works, it's amazing. We made an African Sci-fi adventure comic of the highest quality and got 2,000 prints made. We made statues, posters, commemorative coins, t-shirts and more. It was a dream my brother and I had for years, and we did it. All thanks to KS backers.

EDIT: If anyone would like to read the finished book, you can do so here, free of charge.. :)
This is an excellent post. Thanks for sharing it.
 

HiddenWings

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Oct 4, 2007
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It's interesting, as Aura Tactics was one of the very first kickstarters I backed and it's (so far) the only one I've backed to completely up and disappear. It was right around the time when Kickstarter was just gathering steam for gaming projects thanks to Double Fine. They even had a playable prototype (which is still up) even though it wasn't that good, I figured given some time it could be refined, and the ideas weren't bad. It's been two years since the project last updated.

We can make comments about the quality of certain other projects and whether or not they've delivered everything that was promised, but I'm pretty happy with Kickstarter as a whole. The only other "failed" project I've backed is Tabletop Forge which got rolled into Roll20 and is comparable to paid products at what it does. I feel like over time I've gotten a bit better at seeing red flags, but I backed Soul Saga, so we'll see.
 

Hasney

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Dec 6, 2012
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After looking at what other people have posted in terms of status of everything they've backed, this is why I'll probably never back anything on KS again:

Double Fine Adventure Actually OK with how it's turning out, just want it a bit quicker
Mighty No. 9 Hate the artstyle now, probably wouldn't have bought it if I saw that as a final game. Horrible.
Mansion Lord Done a runner with the money

So yeah, KS has pretty much soured me. I'll wait until games are out before putting down money.
 
Apr 1, 2013
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Great post Chris_C; I do enjoy reading about creative development like this. I enjoy getting backer updates too and I always try to read them (particularly Cosmic Star Heroine, which I'm really looking forward to).

I think it would be really interesting for Kotaku to run a piece on successful Kickstarter games, like The Banner Saga, FTL, Among The Sleep, Broken Sword 5, etc. But I suppose that won't get as many hits.
 
After looking at what other people have posted in terms of status of everything they've backed, this is why I'll probably never back anything on KS again:

Double Fine Adventure Actually OK with how it's turning out, just want it a bit quicker
Mighty No. 9 Hate the artstyle now, probably wouldn't have bought it if I saw that as a final game. Horrible.
Mansion Lord Done a runner with the money

So yeah, KS has pretty much soured me. I'll wait until games are out before putting down money.
Interesting, individual opinion really is dependent on what you back

Here's my list:
Hyper Light Drifter - slow but steady progress, playable build released recently
RimWorld - regular and substantial content updates
Confederate Express - turned out to be a scam
Catacomb Kids - steady development, released on Steam Early Access
Dex - on Steam Early Access, nearing completion
Scraps - multiplayer beta build released recently
Rain World - nearly daily progress, going to be at PAX East
Olympia Rising - release planned for early 2015
Heart & Slash - regular progress, on Steam Early Access
Four Sided Fantasy - beta released, full released planned for this year
SuperHOT - steady development, backer alpha releasing soon
Witchmarsh - regular progress
NOCT - got picked up by Devolver, going to be at PAX East
That Which Sleeps - regular development, backer builds released
 
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