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Posted by OhYeah

Could they have let this fail just to get publicity?

Posted by saturn639

Why go to Kickstarter at all? Just sell a game as an alpha or beta (see Minecraft and Don't Starve).

Posted by cassus

It's like 4 guys read this entire article.. So many comments talking about "why didn't they pitch the last $28 lol". The "why" is in the article.. Read it, it's actually a good article.

Posted by waylonflinn

The extra 30 minutes for close call projects is a good idea. I hope the publicity around this causes Kickstarter to consider it.

Posted by echronorian

Why didn't someone on the team just pledge the petty remainder?

Posted by Os_Money

damn that sucks

Posted by gillagorilla

Ridiculous.

Edited by Brackynews

I had no idea people back-pedalled on their pledges. Then again I rarely pledge more than $10, and $3-5 is more likely. (I bought a MaKey MaKeykit via its KS, that's it. It already met the goal.) I'm still approaching KS under the PayPal tip jar methodology. I've never found the "merch" appealing enough to care, and it just drains money away from the actual project goal to deliver physical goods. I have enough t-shirts, and I don't hang up posters anymore.

The terms of service language is not accurate to its own spirit. This case (and probably others) has proved that back-pedalling in the last 24 hours can prevent a goal from being met, in aggregate. The math behind the scenes is looking at per-backer amounts, and that's not what's actually happening. They should revisit the policy.

Posted by ROKE46

I feel sorry for them...

Posted by iainfarrell

Isn't this just Kickstarter working out the teething problems?

Posted by heythisisgandhi

While it's easy to feel some sympathy for these particular developers, it shows both sides of the absurd and shallow hype-chamber that is Kickstarter.

One the one hand, overambitious teams overstate their abilities and receive thousands, due mostly to a marketing video and a promise that they aren't beholden to some "evil publisher." While another team may lose out on funding because they didn't win the lottery of good PR.

As was stated in a previous comment, the developers may have dodged a bullet here, as $50,000 doesn't pay for much in the way of game development.

Posted by dropstring

Jeeeez, I'm really sorry for the Alpha Colony guys.

Posted by MasterBrief

So is it not possible for them to throw in that extra bit themselves or is it like where management can't vote for employee of the month?

Posted by Diachron

This story supports my theory that as Kickstarter gets older, the population of projects that under deliver will cast an increasingly large shadow on the model.


That, or the practice of understating the true financial requirements of a project will have to diminish or be scrutinized.

Posted by SpartanHoplite

Ha, & i remember that 'Day late' song from Finnish Hanoi Rcks, good times :D

Posted by kollerj

I guess I'll research more thoroughly next time I pledge.

Posted by JimmyEcho

devastating

Posted by sickVisionz

@TrueEnglishGent: I think Kickstarter will still be around next year. It was around before video games started popping up and will be around once they stop.

It's a great system, but game devs seem to be, for lack of a better term, trying game it. Asking for half of what you need as if that's some cheat code for success is unethical. Devs need to do the due diligence to

  1. know what all of Kickstarter's costs are. These are clearly displayed and involve math even a 3rd grader could do so this is a poor caveat to get tripped up on.
  2. know what your project will cost. Don't pull numbers out of your ass. Get quotes from people and make realistic estimates and be fricking honest. Don't make your funding goal something that won't come anywhere near your funding goal as if that's some Mario pipe that takes you to a land filled with gold coins as far as the eye can see that you can grab and make up the difference.

Kickstarter is good but developer incompetence and purposeful deceit have a real shot at turning people off from the platform as a method of funding anything other than the most high profile projects.

I'm also against this overtime thing. Video games don't deserve special treatment and site-wide policy shouldn't be changed to help some crying game developer. I think game devs have already forgotten that Kickstarter isn't some guaranteed backing for any project you can imagine. Much like going to a venture capital form or game developer, the crowd totally has the option of saying, "no," which is what a funding failure represents.

Posted by Sordel

I don't know anything about this particular project, but I have supported other projects on Kickstarter and I think that - especially in the games world - it is important that projects do fail to raise their money. There's a big "gold rush' mentality from new Kickstarter backers, and you see a lot of projects being floated that are very weak or speculative indeed. Project starters need to realise that this is not money for nothing and their kicks for free.

The project that I am carefully watching is Godus. Now, personally I think that Peter Molyneux is someone who has never been "punished" for making promises that he didn't keep ... I would love for this project to fail. But, bystanders cannot make a project fail ... they can only watch, and I find it amazing that the project is half way through and less than 50% funded. If nothing else, that shows that the same community that massively overfunded Project Eternity is at least sceptical when it comes to this game.

That's great ... that's how it should be. Backers should back the projects that they want to see funded, not just the ones with star names attached. The failures are just as important as the successes.

Obviously we want to see as many developers and software programmers in work as possible, and I can feel for the guys who lost out on their funding here, but the success of non-viable projects is in no one's interest, and it's pretty clear from the article here that the project could not have succeeded with only its minimal funding.

Posted by sins_of_mosin

I've always had zero interest in giving money to things like this.

Posted by Dberg

@Christoffer said:

@Dberg said:

@Christoffer said:

@pleasedaddyno said:

half of the people in the comments DID NOT READ the article. ugh. please overcome your urge to react just to the heading, when the greater article already addresses your concerns--and not even that far in.

Haha, I noticed that to. I don't know what's worse. If they commented without reading the article, or if they read it without comprehending it.

In either way, it's just sad.

Allow me to shed some light on this as a person who did not read the article: It has a sensationalist headline. As a dude who still read tabloids from time to time, I'm no stranger to being lured to an article I don't care about, at which point I leave my tangentially related thoughts on the headline before bailing out.

Quick fix: Stop being lured, stop reading tabloids. I hope you didn't expect us to find you non-readers less idiotic because of your non-explanation.

Nah, that's okay. I'm nowhere near optimistic enough to think people will stop bitching about other people in comment fields.

Posted by Christoffer

@Dberg said:

@Christoffer said:

@pleasedaddyno said:

half of the people in the comments DID NOT READ the article. ugh. please overcome your urge to react just to the heading, when the greater article already addresses your concerns--and not even that far in.

Haha, I noticed that to. I don't know what's worse. If they commented without reading the article, or if they read it without comprehending it.

In either way, it's just sad.

Allow me to shed some light on this as a person who did not read the article: It has a sensationalist headline. As a dude who still read tabloids from time to time, I'm no stranger to being lured to an article I don't care about, at which point I leave my tangentially related thoughts on the headline before bailing out.

Quick fix: Stop being lured, stop reading tabloids. I hope you didn't expect us to find you non-readers less idiotic because of your non-explanation.

Posted by monsterelite

$28 bucks did they really want to make this game? Really?

Posted by Harabec

Found the article to be really insightful into the developers mindset when trying to get funding through Kickstarter.

Posted by MagikGimp

Majority of comments giving a perfect example to when people don't read an article in full but still voice their useless reaction to just the headline.

Posted by muralbat

@Floppycock: Dude, read the fucking article holy shit it explains it all in there. Why comment if you haven't read it?

Posted by seek83

What are backers doing pulling out? If the project falls short they get the money back, yeah?

Posted by rick_deckard

@xdaknightx69: Did you even read the story?

Posted by Visualize

@DarthTater5: I'm relieved to see that at least one other person out there knows about CW's questionable character. I backed the project the first time but not the second after doing research on him. The whole cutting back to 1/10 of the amount needed seemed shady and dishonest to me. So I researched and found this: http://www.bouldercounty.org/safety/court/pages/publicreports.aspx Login and search his name. Middle name is Preston, born in 1969, lives and works in Lafayette, CO. Searched even more and there is so much info out there, enough to put the pieces together and confirm this is him. He is a criminal. So ironic that he's trying to develop a family friendly game when in fact he is not a family friendly person at all. It is a shame he is a father. Furthermore, I think you are spot on -- borderline mentally unstable, and he comes across as very narcissistic. No one should be backing this criminal and con-artist. He has fooled so many people, but he is not fooling us. Sorry you had to work with someone like this and hope you are in a better place now.

Posted by jscro

I didn't even know about the Sportsfriends Kickstarter until I heard someone mention it on a podcast earlier today then Patrick's story reminded me to get over there and contribute. It's a shame it seems they won't reach their funding goal.

Posted by Boopie

crowdfund my ass more like loudfund am I right?

Posted by rcath

This is honestly a great article.

Posted by gbrading

I'm afraid I don't feel particularly sorry for unsuccessful Kickstarter projects: That's just the way the dice rolls. Some projects are funded, and some aren't. This game doesn't seem particularly interesting, ergo it doesn't get funded. Backers have the right to pull out at any time, even right at the end. Yes it's sad it wasn't funded by only $28, but that still wouldn't make me want to back it because I'm simply not interested in it.

If you game has the spark, gets traction and gets press, you'll probably get funding. That's Capitalism.

Posted by Groof

Crazy discussions in here, but all I gotta say is damn, too bad.

Posted by Seeric

It seems like this game suffered in large part from a lack of advertising, though it is worrying that the creators seem to place the blame largely on big gaming news sites not covering their game during the Kickstarter.

Really, there are dozens upon dozens of websites out there aimed at small/indie developers which they could have tapped to get the word out. Even if those sites would not make a story about their game, it is usually entirely acceptable, even encouraged, to post about your upcoming projects on their forums. If they can't raise a decent amount of hype after all that, then they should take a serious look at their own game.

In short, while more publicity would have certainly helped them, it's ultimately their own fault for not trying hard enough to raise hype within gaming communities for a project they are presumably passionate about.

Posted by Dberg

@mr_shoeless said:

@Dberg said:

Admittedly I only read the lead paragraph here, but if a project on Kickstarter is just barely at its mark by the skin of its teeth, then that kind of proves it's not popular enough. In this case, if none of the bidders could be bothered kicking in an extra 28 bucks, what does that say about the viability of the project itself?

If you had read the article, you would know. Why do people comment on articles they haven't read?

Why do people answer rhetorical questions?

Posted by DeadDorf

Hey Patrick, it doesn't look like they make board games from their website, but rather traditional card games.

Posted by selbie

The biggest mistake was coming back to KS again. If your project fails, it was either because of a terrible campaign, or your idea just doesn't interest people. It has nothing to do with the amount of money you ask for.

Edited by leebmx

That is a really interesting article. I guess people are taking these sorts of risks and making these sorts of compromises with business plans everywhere and its only through Kickstarter that we actually get to see how a lot of the thinking and planning (or lack of) plays out.

I would be really interested for some proper qualified economists to have a look at some of the data and stories behind Kickstarter, kind of like the guy they have blogging over at Valve.

Also might not blame them for not asking for the full amount but I do. If its not shady then it is at least incompetent and unsafe with investors money. Once they have blown through that $50k they will either have a game which wasn't what they promised or will have nothing and have to try and get new investment. Its misleading and although I am no expert it seems potentially criminal. For example if I say to someone 'give me $50k and i'll build you this game' and know I can't possibly do that. Is that not fraud?

Also the amount of fucking people who post without reading the article is nuts.

Posted by Branthog
Given Alpha Colony previously raised more than $100,000, Williamson told me he assumed it would be easy to hit that a second time around, and had scaled and budgeted his game within that range. If Alpha Colony had managed to raise $50,000, it would have just barely done so, and that came with big consequences.

I've backed more than 400 crowd-funded projects and the one hard and simple rule of managing a fundraising project is ASK FOR THE MONEY YOU NEED. Don't ask for more; don't ask for less. That they asked for $50k, when they're both expected and needed $100k is fucking awful. Frankly, it's downright dishonest. If they had succeeded, they would have been forced to put forth a likely shoddy project, at best. And they clearly know that.

YOU ASK FOR THE FUNDS YOU NEED TO COMPLETE YOUR PROJECT. If you need $50k, don't ask for $100k. You may lose your entire project, because you're reaching for the stars. Likewise, don't ask for $50k if you require $100k.

When someone is backing your crowd-funded project, they are forced to make the assumption that you've done the math and know how much you realistically need for your project. Period. This is not a place to play e-Bay auction games of "well, if I start the bid low, it'll entice people to come and bid it up higher". Projects are being funded that range from $500 up to millions, A $100k goal is not absurd, so setting it too low for your needs accomplishes absolutely nothing.

Patrick and the guy managing the project are incorrect in suggesting that "backing a winner" really means much of anything. Setting it at a lower price than necessary in some absurd idea that it'll fuel a sky-bound trajectory is not backed by the actual experiences of crowd-funding. As I mentioned, I have backed hundreds of projects and how great or small the goal and how near to being funded it is has very little significant impact. Quite simply, people back stuff they're interested in. The spike at the end has nothing to do with "Oh, I want to be involved with a winner!" and more to do with "Okay, I don't have much time left to make up my mind and I guess I'm going to pull the trigger on backing this project".

Playing silly games like the above is all sorts of wrong (and unnecessary).

Now, on to a more technical point with regard to Kickstarter:

In a discussion with them in the past, I'd made a suggestion that some sort of algorithm that kicks in near the end of a project could be interesting. I don't know if it is necessary since projects usually don't come so close and fail (Fargoal came close, but succeeded by a few dollars in literally the last few seconds) -- but it'd still be interesting to consider an algorithm that takes into account the percentage left for the project to be funded and the recent velocity of that funding to extend the fundraising time in small increments.

This wouldn't be just to see a project so near the goal get pushed over, but to allow some extra time for projects that have already met their goal but are seeing a flood of excited backers in the last few minutes. There's no harm in allowing a very successful project to keep going until the wave subsides.

Posted by mr_shoeless

@Dberg said:

Admittedly I only read the lead paragraph here, but if a project on Kickstarter is just barely at its mark by the skin of its teeth, then that kind of proves it's not popular enough. In this case, if none of the bidders could be bothered kicking in an extra 28 bucks, what does that say about the viability of the project itself?

If you had read the article, you would know. Why do people comment on articles they haven't read?

Edited by Dberg

@Christoffer said:

@pleasedaddyno said:

half of the people in the comments DID NOT READ the article. ugh. please overcome your urge to react just to the heading, when the greater article already addresses your concerns--and not even that far in.

Haha, I noticed that to. I don't know what's worse. If they commented without reading the article, or if they read it without comprehending it.

In either way, it's just sad.

Allow me to shed some light on this as a person who did not read the article: It has a sensationalist headline. As a dude who still read tabloids from time to time, I'm no stranger to being lured to an article I don't care about, at which point I leave my tangentially related thoughts on the headline before bailing out.

Posted by Sooty

Dull sounding game doesn't get funded.

More at 11.

Posted by Christoffer

@pleasedaddyno said:

half of the people in the comments DID NOT READ the article. ugh. please overcome your urge to react just to the heading, when the greater article already addresses your concerns--and not even that far in.

Haha, I noticed that to. I don't know what's worse. If they commented without reading the article, or if they read it without comprehending it.

In either way, it's just sad.

Posted by pleasedaddyno

@Floppycock: READ THE ARTICLE.

Posted by Kucheeky

He couldn't ask a friend or family member to pitch in 28 bucks?

Posted by Spekingur

I have backed 26 projects on Kickstarter and of those 5 have been unsuccessful in their funding.

This project doesn't look very interesting to me to tell the truth. And I didn't know about it. That's part of the problem, there are way too many Kickstarter projects out there and you have no knowledge of who you can trust and who you can't.

Posted by pleasedaddyno

half of the people in the comments DID NOT READ the article. ugh. please overcome your urge to react just to the heading, when the greater article already addresses your concerns--and not even that far in.

Posted by SharkEthic

@Terramagi said:

So the asshole lied about how much money he needed, got nothing, and now everybody is supposed to cry about it.

He lost. He failed. Twice. Why the fuck is this a news story.

Pretty much my immediate reaction as well (minus the news story part I guess). Seems like a total cop out to not just throw in the last 28 fucking dollars yourself. Makes it seem like even the guys behind the game didn't believe in the project. So him bitching about not being featured in Kotaku sooner? Give me a break dude, what, you don't have 28 dollars to your name?

Posted by galloughs

I don't understand the attention this case is getting. Outside of the $28 shortcoming, this game appears to be an utterly mediocre casual game, and I don't think it deserves anything close to the coverage it's been getting.

Any line drawn in the sand will inevitably have people landing extremely close to either side of it. Statistically, things like this are going to continue happening, and probably already have several times outside of the gaming category. But then, most people these days don't seem to remember there are categories outside of games on Kickstarter.

Anyway, it's just strange to me that this crummy looking casual game is the one getting all the press.

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