Jon Shafer's At The Gates


#629

IIRC, Jon luuuuuurrrrrves Spelunky, so I’m not surprised to see it get mentioned.


#630

I disagree. If you take money, you had better be delivering a product.

I don’t know why people have this belief that because it is “Kickstarter” there are no legal ramifications for failure to deliver. The internet bought into this falsehood a while ago I noticed, and it is very difficult to dispel.

(Please note that the actual ability to collect from a given person for breach of contract is different from whether there is a breach of contract, unfair trade practice, etc. claim.)


#631

Could a failed Kickstarter could just dump whatever aborted prototype they had completed up to that point and check off the box to say they delivered the game (even if it wasn’t very good)?

Legality aside, I’m just being realistic when I back games on Kickstarter. I mostly back games that the mainstream game industry can’t or won’t make anymore. Making software is hard, and unforeseen issues can arise that derail a project. A design might sound great on paper (to both the designer and myself) but it never gels into anything fun.

My personal point of view I take when backing these projects is even if it fails, I want to see someone try to make the kinds of games I want to play. If it ends up failing and that $20 I contributed 3 years ago comes to naught, I’m not going to get worked up about it. Now, if the person was shady and took the money and ran or something like that, I’d never back them again and I’d cheer if there was some sort of legal action, but that’s hasn’t ever been the case for any of the projects I’ve backed.


#632

You just described why I don’t back games above a certain amount. While I would remember that Jon didn’t deliver, I’m only out $35 or so. I’ve had bigger turkeys, such as Civ VI, and that actually released.


#633

It would be a facts and circumstances question. This is the type of thing that gets argued about and litigated all the time (is the quality of a product sufficient to meet warranties, including implied warranties, etc.).

Again, as I mentioned earlier as well, you are correct that in the end, a lot of it comes down to a question of what your actual remedy is going to be, and being realistic. Don’t Kickstart money you can’t afford to lose, I agree.

I was just making the point, because it bugs me when people just blithely assert that you can run a Kickstarter, take in a bunch of money, and deliver nothing and have there be no possible legal recourse. People state it like it’s a legal certainty (I often see something stupid, like “Kickstarter is a donation”), when it isn’t.


#634

For me it was that the latest message to backers included a graphic that describes the current state of the game as “Pre-Alpha.” That was the first update for his backers in a very long time. A week later he tells interviewers the game is 80% done. Backers who haven’t stumbled upon those interviewers still haven’t heard this.

Yes, I would imagine Paradox wants him doing those interviews. Nothing wrong with that. But take five minutes and give the same update to backers. I doubt Paradox would have minded.

He really botched the communications part of this.


#635

But at least with Civ6 you got an actual game to play, regardless of whether or not it was any good. You paid for something and got a product in exchange. And since it’s Firaxis, you could probably have guessed what the support would have been like, too, especially as far as patching the AI is concerned. ;-)

In short: something is better than nothing?


#636

With Civ VI that’s pretty debatable. I was willing to give them one last chance, and they blew it.

Also AtG isn’t vaporware yet.


#637

Despite all the flak he is and will be getting, I am really sympathetic to Jon, because having to deal with depress… oops, sorry, I meant, the corporate-appropriate “burnout”. Anyway, having to deal with a burnout is an issue so personal and colossal, that I am sincerely glad he seems to still be around. Not only that, but he is going back: that’s some feat, and I hope he can keep on that way.


#638

The fact that he is talking about the game in interviews, at least shows he has good intentions and will continue to work on it.

I am kind of curious if the game just isn’t fun, and he doesn’t know how to fix it.


#639

Add lots and lots of graphs mission accomplished in the fun department LOL. And you think I’m kidding? Nope. 4x without graphs and charts is like a steak dinner minus the juices that run off the steak.


#640

So I wonder how this will affect ATG.


#641

That’s too bad, I was curious to see what he was working on.


#642

I saw that this morning. I’m guessing that without Paradox money, AtG is essentially dead.


#643

Wasn’t he working on AtG for years before Paradox came along? Was he needing Paradox to finish it?


#644

He was, but it’s way past due. Plus I remember him posting that given his health issues he didn’t have the resources he needed.


#645

Sigh, why do this, was it so hard to stay on with one of the best strategy game devs? This isn’t exactly a career move if you ask me :(


#646

Jon, if you’re reading this, what is most important is your mental health. Do you hear me? YOUR HEALTH IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.


#647

YOUR HEALTH, JON! YOUR HEALTH!


#648

Yup, I’m afraid Jon has used up any goodwill I felt for the young man due to his enthusiasm, I had seen in interviews and such.

Even if Civ V was an amazing game, I’d be frustrated with his actions post Firaxis.