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IJBM: People saying things are "obviously" bad when they're extrapolating based on their impatience
TL;DR "life happens and we can't bring you updates like we wanted to"
The comments are mostly supportive, but there are few like these:
It's very clear that this game is never getting made. The fact that they used the 'life happens' excuse is proof. The entire update screams of whining. If you want to pretend to support them that's fine. The money is gone and they never had what it takes to actually make a game. The next update will be more excuses. Kickstarter needs oversight now to make people like this accountable.
How is this "very clear that this game is never getting made"? How does the "'life happens' excuse" prove anything? Isn't your comment "whining"?
So this was supposed to have been completed on October 2017, we've been patiently waiting for almost and extra year and a half and you haven't even gotten the first half hour completed? How do I get my money back, because this is obviously exactly the same as Mighty Number 9. A waste of my money and patience.
How is this "obviously exactly the same as Mighty Number 9"? Also do you know how many delays there were on La-Mulana 2? On Dysfunctional Systems episode 0? No? Then read up.
(Full disclosure: I didn't back this project, but I paid like $10 for the digital soundtracks on the backerkit website.)
There's a bit of a struggle here; on one hand, the developer is definitely having genuine life events happen to them. On the other, what they are doing in the eyes of their backers is slacking.
I mean, they essentially took a fun side-project and injected it with money and then continued to treat it as a fun side-project. However, once they took people's money it became more than that, it became a real responsibility. In fact, I'm not big on "pay $10 and begin to exert ownership over somebody's life", but that's essentially what kickstarter is.
These people seem to have real jobs, and I doubt any of the reasoning they've provided here would fly in the face of their actual jobs. At the very least, it would gain them a great deal of derision and a loss of goodwill. Especially in modern work culture (not that modern work culture is okay).
Really though, two people (one with a full-time job) deciding to kickstart the development of an entire video game is a bad idea. La Mulana 2 surely had full-time developers working on it.
Yeah I tried but information is really sparse.
This is a situation where the people developing the game have to acknowledge that they might not be able to complete it. It's a real possibility, especially when they mention that progress has been and will continue to be very, very slow. It's not exactly a confident position.
Kickstarter has always needed oversight but like, to be a cynic, it works for the owners the way it is so why should they care.
Also GMH this thread title is really misleading.
Now, video game development in general is inaccurate with deadlines so this doesn't mean the game won't get made, but the developers aren't helping assuage their backers.
The game looks quite nice tho.
"in the eyes of their backers" is a rather blanket statement that neglects that 8 of 12 commenters wrote (at least arguably) supportive/understanding messages, while 4 of 12 wrote (at least arguably) negative messages.
And I disagree with that thinking. People should see backing a Kickstarter project sort of like an investment, with the understanding that it might fail or it might produce what they don't want, rather than getting swept up in the hype and seeing it as a promise and then trying to demand someone make up for their broken dreams.
LM2 was a team of 3 devs who worked on the original LM, perhaps supported by a localization/publishing company to some extent, but still:
Estimated delivery: December 2015
Actual release date: July 30 2018
Meanwhile, Dysfunctional Systems had a Kickstarter, after which the team fell apart due to creative differences, despite a mostly finished episode 0 (they planned on releasing episodes 0, 2, and 3), and nothing happened for a while (and I think they even refunded some people's money but I'd need to dig up that post and check), but they later got back together and released episode 0 and have (reportedly) continued working on episode 2.
Estimated delivery: March 2015 (for episode 2; the original campaign was for just episodes 2 and 3)
Actual release date: July 24 2017 (for episode 0)
I can't tell when LM2's Kickstarter campaign beganLM2's campaign began in January 2014 while DS's campaign has an obvious start (actually, funding window end) time of March 2014 because their first backer reward happens to be "get a copy of Dysfunctional Systems 1")began in January or February 2014. So we're talking games taking well over three years to make despite initial expectations of taking one or two years.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night was Kickstarted in 2015, estimated delivery March 2017, actual delivery expected now is June 2019. This is with an experienced developer; the guy who directed multiple Castlevania games.
Forsaken Castle's campaign began in April 2017 and promised rewards in October 2017; without knowing much about the project I'd realistically expect them by October 2020.
And I haven't cited the numerous examples of delays for games that weren't Kickstarted.
This won't be the first delay in the videogame industry; it won't be the last either. Not even on Kickstarter.
How is this misleading? Aside from it being my judgement that the people who wrote these two comments are extrapolating based on their impatience.
What should I change it to?
I guess I could cede on this one thing but the truth is no matter how everybody "feels" the developers still have the obligation (ob-li-ga-tion) to deliver. Just because everybody "feels" okay doesn't make it okay that you gave people your money and then they proceeded to like, ignore the project they promised for most of their time.
You can't put the onus on the customer here, because it's really unfair. Kickstarter's marketing, which is what the end consumer engages with, constantly promises you that things will work out. The people working on the projects are also very enthusiastic at the start, almost never tempering expectations until stuff isn't working out.
Why is that? Because it's a surefire way to secure funding, duh. You can't just use a word like "investment" in this sense. Real investors, individual or institutional or even armchair, have to see themselves as such. Why? Because investing is extremely hard and taxing.
As an investor have to figure out if a project is worth backing. This involves a megaton of due diligence and knowledge of market trends. On Kickstarter you go with "Is this cool or something I like?"
As an investor, you are setting yourself up to own (as in, accept liability for, however limited) part of what you're betting your money on. On Kickstarter, you're limited to the end product and not any of the profits (if any, really, considering) the... kickstart..ee(?) will make.
Most of all, nobody is investing to see most of their projects go under. It's a reality they face, but it still hurts (both financially and mentally) when something doesn't work out. People demand answers, they don't just go "well, I guess they lost all that funding and that's a-okay!". Why do you think so many documentaries get made when a high-profile company goes belly up?
I'm glad to know that "I had fight with this person and they left and I never bothered to replace them" is enough to quell the anger of a kickstarter backer (I'm guessing, really, it wasn't).
Would this work? "IJBM: extrapolating from one's impatience to say that a game dev process is obviously going bad"
I'm not saying that it's okay to take the money and ignore the project. It certainly isn't, and people are right to demand answers.
I'm saying that it doesn't make sense to see an update post like this and respond with crazy blanket statements saying it's "very clear" that the game will "never" be finished, claiming that this post is "proof" that the game will never be finished (when at best this post is a proxy of uncertain accuracy).
Not to mention the nonsensical citation of Mighty No. 9 (which, by the way, did in fact get finished).
Perhaps Kickstarter may be partly to blame for people's getting their expectations up that things will always work out, but I'm pretty sure (1) every Kickstarter has a section for challenges and potential problems, and (2) there's some kind of warning somewhere that the project could go belly-up and fail with the backer losing money and having nothing to show for it.
And that's what I'm saying people shouldn't do with Kickstarter.
When deciding whether to
invest inback a Kickstarter project, here are some factors I think a potential backer should consider:
* Is the project feasible? Does the campaign have what seems like a practical set of steps that can lead to the goal?
* Will I be fine with receiving the product after a lengthy delay?
* Given the intentions of the creators and the specifications already given, in what other reasonably plausible ways could the product disappoint me?
* Will I be okay if, in the end, I gain no individual personal benefit from the project (such as, but not limited to, if the product does not release)? How much money would I be okay with losing if all that that money does is go toward a pool of money showing the world/the market/the industry/etc. that there is interest in a product like this one?
* ...and how likely is it for something of this sort to fail? (factors to consider: creator's experience/reputation, creator's understanding of the project, scope and simplicity/complexity of project, notable potential hurdles, etc.)
I didn't say "is this cool or something I like?", because if you're considering the possibility of backing it, you probably already think it's cool or something you like.
The reason I call it an "investment" is because any layperson thinking of the stock market knows that stock prices can go up or down and investing their money has the possibility of resulting in them losing that money, and they need to consider that before just buying into participation hype.
It's already been the thread title for this long. It doesn't need changing, just pointing it out.
On this we agree, I guess? However, people have to be really naive to put out their content in 2019 on the danged internet and expect solid, well considered and well thought out replies at all times.
I mean, even off the internet, what this is essentially is a microcosm of a customer service page. I think we've all had an experience where we were standing in a store or whatever and somebody was being an absolute nightmare for no real reason, even if they had been slighted in some way.
I don't doubt it does, but there are also quotes from reviews of some parts of the game from trusted(?) indie video game sites, which is really misleading.
I'm actually trying to find these sections you've described on the main page for the Kickstarter, and I'm all the way down to "oh we just need the money for music". Way, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay below that is the risks and challenges section. I think maybe I'm thinking too little of people on the internet, but you can't expect some excitable person to read through all of the risks on this site.
As I said, this is not exactly the developers fault (though they did not help) but Kickstarters. I mean, short of:
a) Making users watch a mandatory 10 minute video on the risks before using Kickstarter
b) A giant super huge sign about how Kickstarters can and do fail, right before you pledge your money to something
c) Kickstarter itself doing due diligence and entering into legal contracts with creators so they are liable (financially or otherwise) for these projects going belly up
I don't think this sort of site will ever achieve the sort of consumer protections I'd like to see. Honestly, a lot of websites, possibly almost all of, fail at this sort of stuff, but the stakes usually aren't this high. Kickstarter is basically an unregulated means of securing funding, which at worst can be turned into a profit engine by the most adept of snake oil salespeople.
Is it fair to put "feasibility" on the consumer and not the site itself? Like, there will always be those people who think "Oh it's on Kickstarter so it must surely be possible". To some extent, just being on the site is a badge of approval.
Now you just sound like Naas.
But seriously though, a site like Kickstarter operates on enthusiasm and blind faith. I doubt a lot of projects would get funding if you started making people really think. I mean, I doubt a lot of sales of anything at all on the planet would get this far if people had to think this hard about all of them.
Even this campaign has a $5 tip jar style thing.
The inverse of this is "How much money am I willing to lose to show that too few people are interested in this concept for it to ever be viable?"
Actually these last two points make me wonder if Patreon works so well for artists because the input costs and timesinks aren't as murderous as they are for video games.
If the creator had any clout, they'd be pitching in front of actual publishers. Here we're listening to pitches that were either rejected elsewhere or by relative unknowns.
I mean, every Kickstarter backed anime has kind of just... paused after a bit, because even though they could get one episode made no studio is still interested in making the rest. The only ongoing series with (non-Kickstarter) crowdfunding that are still going are Grisaia (probably backed by fans who play the games anyways) and Neko Para (same).
Anyways, now we're already entering like stage 1 of due diligence, which I don't think is fair to put on somebody who just wants to donate to a Kickstarter.
But everything and anything is on the internet anyway. Even knowing nothing about Kickstarter, I would expect a person to at least have a healthy amount of skepticism about requests for money, with one's judgement based on the purpose of the request, the way it's written, the way that money is said it's going to be spent, and so on.
And children (or people in general) who don't get this should probably not be using the internet.
And the default position on any Kickstarter project should be "I don't want to back this project".
That said a number of high-profile creators have shown up on Kickstarter. For example, notable videogame developers who recently left their jobs at famous companies.
My guess regarding this, based on what I've read with regards to the Under the Dog campaign (which I backed at the level at which I got the soundtrack, I forgot how much that is), is that it actually takes a lot more money than they asked for, to make the thing an actual whole series, and they were essentially aiming to get seed money to convince someone else to bring their project on.
If asking a few questions of this sort is already "stage 1" of due diligence (note: I have no expertise in due diligence), then this seems quite reasonable.
Who defines 'frivolous' though? Me? You?
Maybe I'm being presumptuous but I'd rather err on the side of stringent consumer protection rather than insist that everybody clearly, clearly knows how the internet ought to work.
This very much fits into "pitches that were rejected elsewhere", or similar. Even if somebody is really looking to make it on their own, it's probably best to start with investors who are widely known in the area before looking to kickstarter. I guess the issue is that control for creatives is a big deal, and those with capital aren't exactly willing to have the most open mind (for better or for worse, because even the best creators can come up with a real mess).
I do understand that there might also be a high risk in showing your project to your current bosses or showing it to anybody whilst still employed by them. Carter Bryant showing his idea for Bratz to MGA before Mattel whilst still working at Mattel was grounds for Mattel to sue MGA for pursuing the concept, which I don't think is okay, but is definitely a concern creators should still have.
And this is exactly what I'm saying! Even though they showed interest in getting one episode made, no studio was willing to make the rest because doing so is probably still not financially viable! Original projects are rare as they are, and studios have lots and lots in the pipeline that somebody at said studio believes could actually work.
Now, if you come in with your pilot episode and try to shake that up, you'd better have what is essentially the next Eva or Madoka on your hands, especially if you're trying to sell something that was popular on a majority English site like Kickstarter.
I mean even in terms of Anime Mirai, which is a competition based on the works of actual studios budding teams, I can only think of two series that made it past the pilot episode; Little Witch Academia and Death Billiards.
Trying to get your original anime made outside of the normal studio pipeline, especially by producing a pilot of some sort and releasing it to the consumer side of things, is basically impossile.
To be fair, this is like the basic research bit in terms of viability, so it's not like we're anywhere near really getting into it. As I said earlier, I'm just illustrating my position as somebody who errs on the side of consumer protection.