#1 Edited by Branthog (5583 posts) -

Alpha Colony's second crowd-funding attempt in just a few months came down to the final few minutes and they fell short of their $50,000 goal by TWENTY EIGHT DOLLARS.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1547218311/alpha-colony-an-exploration-building-and-trading-g?ref=email

While I feel bad for the guys (the project does have some popularity and a lot of fans in the industry as it's basically a take on MULE), the first thing I did when I got the "failed" email and clicked on the link was laugh. After backing 400 crowd-funded projects, this is the first time I've seen one fail by just six-thousandths-of-one-percent (.0006%).

Those guys must feel awful, this morning.

Update:

I just finally watched their final video from Friday, which makes this all even more unfortunate. In the last few days, they were able to get the State of Colorado Film Incentive Program and a private backer to agree to match all pledges. So they could have a $100k project if they got $50k in pledges from backers. So that $28-short didn't just cost them $50k. It potentially "cost" them $100k! Ouch!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1547218311/alpha-colony-an-exploration-building-and-trading-g/posts/359688#comments

#2 Posted by TruthTellah (9308 posts) -

@Branthog: Wow. If I were them and I knew it was so close in the final day, I'd have borrowed $1000 from someone(or gotten a formal loan) and plopped it down at the last minute if it looked like we weren't getting there. That's rough.

#3 Posted by Willin (1282 posts) -

I'm sure reading this they feel much better.

#4 Edited by Branthog (5583 posts) -

@Willin said:

I'm sure reading this they feel much better.

Hey, I gave them my $10. I paid for my minimal snark!

Or . . . well, no. I guess I didn't actually give them my $10, in retrospect. But you know what I mean. :)

@TruthTellah said:

@Branthog: Wow. If I were them and I knew it was so close in the final day, I'd have borrowed $1000 from someone(or gotten a formal loan) and plopped it down at the last minute if it looked like we weren't getting there. That's rough.

I slept through it, but from reading the comments on the page, it looks like they came down to $900 short in the final six minutes. That's remarkable, considering they were about $10k short (20% short, overall) in the final day. Some pushes from other successful project teams to their backers really got it a long way. Just not long enough.

Sword of Fargoal also came down to the wire, but succeeded. In fact, the live video was kind of nice to watch as it crossed the finish line in literally the last second. I can only imagine how much effort and stress goes into the month or two a lot of these take and to be so uncertain in the final hours -- and have it come out okay in the end . . . has to be crazy. (Video tagged to start of final minutes):

EDIT: Actually, I guess GB doesn't let you set timecodes. That's shit. VINNY OR ALEX GET ON THAT SHIT :P -- start at around 3h17m40s.

#5 Posted by Animasta (14711 posts) -

it's funny

whenever people say I don't mean to be X, they are always X; ALWAYS.

own up to it at least, come on. mad jerk move.

#6 Edited by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -
@Animasta said:

it's funny

whenever people say I don't mean to be X, they are always X; ALWAYS.

own up to it at least, come on. mad jerk move.

Kinda like how when people go "No offence but..."  
The next words out or their mouth is always offensive and they feel secure enough that I wouldn't punch them in the face and force them to pay for new teeth because they said "No offence" first. 
 
How wrong they were
#7 Posted by DarthOrange (3866 posts) -

Ouch, they must feel like shit, and I bet their friends who decided not to donate anything probably feel guilty too.

#8 Edited by Trainer_Red (314 posts) -

haha This is hilarious.

#9 Posted by MB (12714 posts) -

At $28 short...would't the project starters just have funded it themselves? I know they're not supposed to but I'm sure it happens all the time...or maybe get on the phone and start calling people and asking them to throw in the last few bucks or something...I mean damn.

Even a homeless crackhead can scrape together thirty bucks.

Moderator Online
#10 Posted by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

That... is unfortunate. A 30-day campaign coming 30 bucks short.

#11 Posted by MB (12714 posts) -

This is also why you don't set your kickstarter to end in the middle of the night. That was dumb.

Moderator Online
#12 Posted by bushpusherr (809 posts) -

How do you they not just call up their family and say "Hey, throw in 30 dollars and I'll pay you back"

#13 Posted by Branthog (5583 posts) -

Or "not to be a jerk" could be a textual preface for context to compensate for the fact that people can't see your face or hear your voice to comprehend that you're laughing in a "you have to laugh, otherwise it's just plain too sad" sort of way which is what it would otherwise be easy to assume. Fuck, I could have written "This is sad" as the subject and then had twenty posts of people saying "No, this isn't sad. Sad is being homeless and starving or being molested by your step-dad or a five year old stepping on a landmine in the middle east and losing their leg!".

I was going to insert Carlin's monologue on "no offense", but I couldn't find it. Starting to suspect it wasn't Carlin and I should turn in my geek-card. God damn it, who the fuck *was* it?! Anyway, I think "no offense" is a defensive phrase we've conditioned people to use in society, because we've had it ingrained in us that it's never okay to upset someone or make them look or feel bad, even if they're probably wrong, so we have to temper it with bullshit words. Sort of the say way in which we say "everyone is entitled to their own opinion" as if to say that you're a jerk for questioning or confronting the stupid opinions. :/

Also, "it's funny" usually means it isn't. AMIRIGHT GUISE?!

Anyway, I wonder what you do, at this point. Try a third attempt and hope you keep the momentum you had on your second?

I can't believe I just wasted like two minutes of my life replying to that. This is what happens when you sleep with your laptop (don't judge us - it's real love).

#14 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -
@Branthog: Even with that explanation I don't trust you at all, you wanted to be a jerk, I know it! :P 
 
Anyway, people (in the comments) seem to think that they should try again so I think they should just try it. 
Third time's the charm, right? The people who already backed it should also be behind backing it again so they should technically be able to get all that money again if the same people donated the same amount of money again, and faster.  
Unless of course most of those people didn't really want it to be funded, I dunno. 
#15 Posted by Branthog (5583 posts) -

@MB said:

At $28 short...would't the project starters just have funded it themselves? I know they're not supposed to but I'm sure it happens all the time...or maybe get on the phone and start calling people and asking them to throw in the last few bucks or something...I mean damn.

Even a homeless crackhead can scrape together thirty bucks.

@bushpusherr said:

How do you they not just call up their family and say "Hey, throw in 30 dollars and I'll pay you back"

Chances are everyone already made their pledges and as others pointed out, it ended at 11PM PST on a Saturday night. Bad timing (and hard to necessarily foresee it coming down that close to the wire). Especially, as I mentioned, when they were $900 away six minutes before and $10k away earlier in the day -- so I suspect they figured it wasn't likely to really make it, to begin with.

As to the launch/end time -- I'm not entirely certain how that is determined. It's my understanding that the decision of what day and time to launch is ultimately up to Kickstarter (though I don't know for certain). They space them out through the day and sometimes you have projects that are *launched* at a weird enough time that they don't have a chance to sink their teeth into the audience right out of the gate.

I definitely agree, though, that you would think they'd have a few people standing by and logged in that they'd have said "hey, if it gets down to a few hundred dollars short in the final few minutes, pledge whatever it takes to set it over the top and we'll pay you back out of our pocket".

IndieGoGo has something to deal with this, called "Flexibile Goals". They aren't popular among backers, because while they have an ultimate goal, anything pledged immediately and permanently goes to the project. So if you're raising $100,000k for your project and you only get $5k -- you get to keep that $5k. Something about that doesn't sit right with me (if you need $100k to do the project, you shouldn't be able to take and just keep $5k, since you probably can't do the project, then - duh!).

A proper solution could probably be implemented, where there is a certain amount of fuzziness. If you're within a certain percentage of the final goal, it either accepts it as succeeding anyway, or -- and probably better -- if it's within a certain percentage, it just extends the deadline by a few hours to give it that final chance. This way you don't mislead people, but you also have a bit of a buffer to avoid situations like this.

#16 Posted by Branthog (5583 posts) -

@ZeForgotten said:

@Branthog: Even with that explanation I don't trust you at all, you wanted to be a jerk, I know it! :P

Anyway, people (in the comments) seem to think that they should try again so I think they should just try it.
Third time's the charm, right? The people who already backed it should also be behind backing it again so they should technically be able to get all that money again if the same people donated the same amount of money again, and faster.
Unless of course most of those people didn't really want it to be funded, I dunno.

I'm trying to pull as much as I can from the history of projects I've backed over the last couple years, but the one thing I haven't really gotten a great grasp on is how re-launches of crowd-funded projects goes. Aside from them sometimes working and sometimes not (often because the project lowered their goal a little bit, too).

Out of about 400 backed projects, I've seen maybe 20 that launched a second campaign after a failure and probably a third to a half of those eventually succeeded (again, at a lower goal, often). Just not enough data points to know what relaunching a project does to the initial momentum; whether that carries over. And if so, is doing it right away better or is waiting more beneficial, to allow some breathing room?

Part of what makes it difficult to predict some of this stuff is that media coverage has an enormous impact. All it takes is a few niche sites (like RPGCodex, for example) to put out great comments about how much they liked the franchise or the thing your game is taking its cues from or that genre -- and bam, you start to get a lot of backing. Or RockPaperShotgun covers your project and -- bam -- you take off. Same with reddit. Other times, you get totally ignored. Maybe because everyone hit their crowd-funding-news-coverage for the week. Sometimes because you just came and went from the "recently launched" section of Kickstarter too fast for someone to see you.

For all the preparation you can make, a lot of it also comes down to sheer luck.

I guess that's why I don't get upset over lost of crowd-funding coverage, either. I figure the established developers and studios already have a direct line to getting a decent amount of coverage from outlets. Most of these little projects don't. So the annoying kickstarter/indiegogo/whatever stories are kind of their only way to balance it out for the smaller guys (excepting Peter Molyneux, of course, who I love but doesn't need charitable coverage to be talked about in an industry that would go into great detail on what he had for breakfast, if he was willing to share).

#17 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

That seems...easily avoidable.

#18 Posted by Branthog (5583 posts) -

The other possibility, which I forgot until now, is that they may have passed their goal for a bit. Not thought they had to worry. Then a backer could have screwed them over at the last second. Especially if it was someone pledging $100 or $500 or $2500 or something. If so, they'll have an email history of that and, perhaps, mention how it all went down in the end in a later update, I'm sure.

#19 Posted by Bollard (5661 posts) -

That seems like their fault. They must know someone in the world who they could have got to pledge $28 bucks. Seems fishy.

#20 Posted by Superfriend (1566 posts) -

@Branthog said:

The other possibility, which I forgot until now, is that they may have passed their goal for a bit. Not thought they had to worry. Then a backer could have screwed them over at the last second. Especially if it was someone pledging $100 or $500 or $2500 or something. If so, they'll have an email history of that and, perhaps, mention how it all went down in the end in a later update, I'm sure.

If that really is the case, then Kickstarter has a major, major design flaw. I don´t think people should be able to pull out at the very last second. That just creates potential for "trolling" for lack of a better word.

Anyway, regardless of when it was set to end, they should have found a way to throw in the last couple of dollars themselves. Nobody can possibly be that broke. Maybe it's for the best though, since these guys seem like a bunch of headless stoners, who would probably never get their shit together for a real project.

#21 Posted by Branthog (5583 posts) -

@Superfriend said:

@Branthog said:

The other possibility, which I forgot until now, is that they may have passed their goal for a bit. Not thought they had to worry. Then a backer could have screwed them over at the last second. Especially if it was someone pledging $100 or $500 or $2500 or something. If so, they'll have an email history of that and, perhaps, mention how it all went down in the end in a later update, I'm sure.

If that really is the case, then Kickstarter has a major, major design flaw. I don´t think people should be able to pull out at the very last second. That just creates potential for "trolling" for lack of a better word.

Anyway, regardless of when it was set to end, they should have found a way to throw in the last couple of dollars themselves. Nobody can possibly be that broke. Maybe it's for the best though, since these guys seem like a bunch of headless stoners, who would probably never get their shit together for a real project.

Unfortunately, it has happened before. I've seen projects where, in the final minutes (or hours), they've lost a $10k pledge. I can't remember which project it was, but there was even one where someone pledged $10k. That made the project close as SUCCESSFUL and charge everyone's credit cards.

Except, after the fact, the $10k pledge fell through. Meaning that *technically* the project did *not* reach the amount they wanted and said they needed in order to finish it. As you can imagine, if you were raising $50k and before fees and reward costs were taken out, someone dropped you down to $40k . . . that would hurt a lot. (especially if you stated $50k because that really is the amount you actually need to fund your project's costs).

In the case I was speaking of (damn it, I don't know why I can't remember which it was -- it was fairly popular, if I recall), the Yahoo!/outside pledges put them over the top. So it hurt, but they were able to still get the minimal money they needed. But that was just a stroke of fortune. They really seriously could have wound up totally fucked-over.

#22 Posted by Jimbo (9866 posts) -

Not to be a jerk, but there's one colony that's never making it out of alpha! UP TOP!

#23 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2894 posts) -

Too be a jerk, i will just say I think it is better that this game didn't get funded.  Moreover, I say this with great offence, but the five seconds it too to look at their projects page without reading it or looking at the video convinced me that the game would be crap.

#24 Edited by Alexandru (301 posts) -

When you are so close just put the fucking money yourself. Even with whatever flaws kickstarter has, once you get close to 1-2k, just put them yourself. If you cant find a way to come up with those money, then you clearly aren't competent enough to make a game.

#25 Posted by Swoxx (3003 posts) -

@MB said:

At $28 short...would't the project starters just have funded it themselves? I know they're not supposed to but I'm sure it happens all the time...or maybe get on the phone and start calling people and asking them to throw in the last few bucks or something...I mean damn.

Even a homeless crackhead can scrape together thirty bucks.

Indeed I can.

#26 Posted by Branthog (5583 posts) -

@Alexandru said:

When you are so close just put the fucking money yourself. Even with whatever flaws kickstarter has, once you get close to 1-2k, just put them yourself. If you cant find a way to come up with those money, then you clearly aren't competent enough to make a game.

I've always wondered why we don't see that more often. Especially since you get 90% of that money back to yourself (so if you were $1,000 short on $50k, you would pledge $1k to yourself, Amazon and Kickstarter would keep $100, and you'd get $900 of it back).

Of course, maybe it's just the flaw of being honest, for all I know. :)

#27 Posted by jsnyder82 (744 posts) -

I mean, if you're asking for that much money, wouldn't you be all hovered around a computer during the kickstarter's final minutes to see that you've got enough donations? Maybe I just don't know how Kickstarters work, but it just seems like they should have seen this coming and just put in the last final bit of money themselves.

#28 Posted by TheHT (11513 posts) -

That really fucking sucks.

#29 Posted by SharkMan (665 posts) -

@Jimbo: nice!

#30 Posted by CornBREDX (5607 posts) -

Ya I read about this today. It's so weird none of them had any friends who could add just 28$ in order to get this to the goal. I mean... a little forward thinking you guys. I know if it was me I'd have been up all night waiting for this to end so they must've known they were behind.

#31 Posted by Aureoloss (60 posts) -

My first thought was the same as everyone's: why not put in the $28 yourselves? Then I did a little more digging and found that in a lot of cases projects with relatively low goals like 50k, are being funded in great part by themselves. They ask relatives, friends, and everyone they know to please donate. A lot of those pledges come in as loans until the goal is met, and then they would have to repay them. In a case like this, I have a feeling that a lot of the goal was pledged in that sort of "loan form" and it would have not been worthwhile for them to even get it, since they would have to repay so many people and have had so little of the actual funds to use on the project.

#32 Posted by Nightriff (5147 posts) -

Man that is depressing, $28 is like what Johnny V spends at Taco Bell

#33 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Animasta said:

whenever people say I don't mean to be X, they are always X; ALWAYS.

I don't mean to be sexy, but I'm going to abuse the hell out of this.

#34 Posted by BestUsernameEver (4825 posts) -

@ZeForgotten said:

@Animasta said:

it's funny

whenever people say I don't mean to be X, they are always X; ALWAYS.

own up to it at least, come on. mad jerk move.

Kinda like how when people go "No offence but..." The next words out or their mouth is always offensive and they feel secure enough that I wouldn't punch them in the face and force them to pay for new teeth because they said "No offence" first. How wrong they were

"Don't take this personally, but I hate you, as a person. "

#35 Posted by omghisam (299 posts) -

@BestUsernameEver said:

@ZeForgotten said:

@Animasta said:

it's funny

whenever people say I don't mean to be X, they are always X; ALWAYS.

own up to it at least, come on. mad jerk move.

Kinda like how when people go "No offence but..." The next words out or their mouth is always offensive and they feel secure enough that I wouldn't punch them in the face and force them to pay for new teeth because they said "No offence" first. How wrong they were

"Don't take this personally, but I hate you, as a person. "

It's totally fine, but this is getting annoying.