Saturday, October 20, 2012

Another Cancelled Kickstarter - Old School RPG, uhr - I Mean SHAKER

How can you pretty much guarantee to fail at Kickstarter?

Have a placeholder for for your project's name: this not only guarantees confusion among potential backers ("wasn't this called something else just yesterday?") but it also shows your concept wasn't even ready.

Say a whole lot about nothing: I got caught up in the hype of an honest to goodness Old School RPG like Wizardry or Bard's Tale, but the reality is that the initial Kickstarter page just made general yet nicely fluffed statements about Old School Computer RPGs - it could have been using Might & Magic, Ultima or any of the many games from the past as it's inspirations, but it never really said "what" it was.

Show a fantasy piece of art as your main image, but decide to make the game (some point after putting the Kickstarter up) a Sci-Fi with fantasy trappings maybe game: Seriously, what the fuck?

Here's the update on SHAKER / Old School RPG which was cancelled with 16 days to go (and just short of 25% to it's 1 million dollar goal). But in reality, it isn't cancelled, it's still live as I post this - 24 hours after they announced cancellation. But they say it's cancelled. So in reality, they have no idea what the fuck they are doing - still:

Update #10 · Oct. 19, 2012 · 93 comments
Uncharted Isles, Mineshaft, Contraption...

In the industry, games are pitched every day. Some make it to the next stage, but many don't, like those named above. We regret to announce that we're adding Shaker: An Old-School RPG (it's SHAKER and Shaker depending on where i read it. Not that it matters anymore, but which one is it) to the latter list.

We are profoundly grateful to our fans. You were as excited about this game as we were, and from the very beginning, you encouraged us to post more details about it (because there were NO details about it initially!) and even sent in fan art! We have received backing from over 7,000 of you and raised a quarter million dollars in just a few days (!). That's humbling and wonderful.

We are profoundly grateful to the press. You covered our Kickstarter's launch and story update and gave it as much attention as you possibly could (with the limited information we could provide). It was through your efforts that many heard about our game.

We are grateful to our friends in the game industry who gave us suggestions, support and critique (probably along the lines of: uhm, what is this game actually about? do you have any idea where its going?). We are a wonderfully tight-knit community, and we owe you for all your feedback and friendship.

Ultimately, our pitch just wasn't strong enough to get the traction we felt it needed to thrive (there was no real pitch - just some marketing mumbo jumbo and an attempt to fund a game before the game was even conceived). Sure, it may have made it (not at this rate of funding). We could have fought our way to a possibly successful end (about the only wise thing they have done is pull the plug). In reading your feedback and talking it over internally, however, we decided that it made more sense to kill it and come back with something stronger (maybe even come back with a concept before asking for your money - now that's a fucking concept!).

In game design, mercy killing is the law.

So, please accept our thanks and apologies in equal order. Expect something more soon.

'Nuff said!


  1. Apparently they've tried to cancel it, but it won't.

    "Why's the project still live?

    We are and have been attempting to cancel it since we made the decision yesterday. However, there's a problem with Kickstarter. We've contacted them.

    "We apologize, but it looks like something's gone wrong. We've been notified about this issue, and we're currently looking into it. Thanks for your patience, and sorry for the inconvenience. Please try again later.""

  2. Anyway, apparently they are considering releasing it in pen & paper RPG form. However, when I suggested on their forums they might find greater acceptance if it used rules being based on D&D, they got a little huffy

    ""Most of the management at Loot Drop have been playing and creating role-playing games and wargames since Chainmail and the white box. This isn't something you have to take on faith, it is verifiable fact.

    As someone who has done this for a very long time I can assure you that, sometimes it's not about recording Miles Davis in the style of the Beatles, or about maximizing the number of players, it's about making the game that you want to make, because you want to, because it makes you feel good, because it's a creative expression, and because, what the people who play your games actually like is you, and your style, and how it isn't the same as what's most popular or cheapest or mass-produced.

    This is an aesthetic that I personally embrace, and because of it, I'm confident that the non-digital version of SHAKER will actually be SHAKER, and not, something else. That makes me happy."

  3. Wow... IMHO, their underlying message isn't unreasonable, but their tone is what I'd expect from someone that is both inexperienced and self-centered. Clearly unprofessional.

    Lots of people have been playing and making systems since Chainmail. Doesn't really mean anything at all...

    Respect is earned, not demanded, especially on the cusp of such a disorganized failure.


  4. I can't believe they raised a quarter of a million dollars!

    Are the people behind this actually NAMES in the RPG community? Their credits seem to be for video games.


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition