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Friday, March 15, 2013

Wayward Kickstarters - The Dimming of Dwimmermount and Little Further on Far West


Two of my most overdue Kickstarters that I've supported and at significant levels (over $100 each) had updates this week.

Neither were all that promising.

Lets start with Far West, (which my wife affectionately refers to now as "Far NONE!") the Western/Wuxia Mashup adventure game.
"I wish I had more progress to report this week, as we'd had a few really good ones in a row and got a LOT done, but I was nailed by the flu from Sunday through Wednesday, which (as you might imagine) slowed us down considerably."
Let's look at how those previous 4 weeks:

Feb. 22, 2013
Back at the office after working the convention in L.A.
Now that we're so near, to make it clearer how close we are to done, I'm only listing the material that still requires work. If an item is at 100%, it's no longer on the list. Here we go:
Chapter 6: Pilgrims on the Dust Road: 90% (Editing)
Chapter 7: Swords and Sixguns: 95% (Editing)
Chapter 8: Cog Science -90% (Editing)
Chapter 9: Furious Action - 90% (Editing)
Chapter 10: A Fistful of Bastards - 85%
Layout: Unchanged. Page template is designed, as is cover. Still need to drop in finished text and place art, as well as design character sheet, and do index once pagination is complete.
Art: Portraits: 95% (75 done, 4 to go). Incidental Art: ~60% (need to do another 20 or so, as needed, during layout)



Mar. 01, 2013 
Howdy folks! Neither 20 inches of snow, nor illness (both myself and my wife coming down with colds) shall stay your tireless designers from their appointed tasks!
Here's this week's progress:
Chapter 6: Pilgrims on the Dust Road: 95% (Editing)
Chapter 8: Cog Science -95% (Editing)
Chapter 9: Furious Action - 90% (Editing)
Chapter 10: A Fistful of Bastards - 90% (Editing)
Layout: Character sheet design has begun! In fact, I've got a couple of design ideas -- what I'm thinking of doing is putting them together and asking you fine folks which you prefer. I'll be in touch about that in the coming week or so.
Art: Portraits: 95% (75 done, 4 to go). Incidental Art: ~60% (need to do another 20 or so, as needed, during layout)


Mar. 08, 2013   
Here's this week's progress:
Chapter 8: Cog Science -95% (Editing)
Chapter 9: Furious Action - 95% (Editing)
Chapter 10: A Fistful of Bastards - 95% (Editing)
Layout: Work proceeds on the character sheet -- I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped to, so we're not ready to show you designs to choose from quite yet. As per a comment on the forums, however: The design that's chosen will appear in the book, but the alternative designs will be available as downloads on the site as well.
Art: Portraits: 95% (75 done, 4 to go). Incidental Art: ~60% (need to do another 20 or so, as needed, during layout)

Mar. 15, 2013 
I wish I had more progress to report this week, as we'd had a few really good ones in a row and got a LOT done, but I was nailed by the flu from Sunday through Wednesday, which (as you might imagine) slowed us down considerably.
Chapter 8: Cog Science -95% (Editing)
Chapter 9: Furious Action - 95% (Editing)
Chapter 10: A Fistful of Bastards - 95% (Editing)
Layout: Continued development of character sheet ideas yesterday. Trying to find a good balance between cool design (but not at the expense of readability) and ease of use (but without falling into the decades-old character sheet cliches -- stats arranged vertically on upper left quadrant, etc.).
Art: Portraits: 96% (76 done, 3 to go). Incidental Art: ~70% (did a few more of these.)
So, after 4 weeks of updates we've knocked off:

10% of Chapter 6's editing
5% of Chapter 7's editing
5% of Chapter 8's editing
5% of Chapter 9's editing
5% of Chapter 10's editing
10% of incidental art
1 portrait (1% progress)
2 colds
1 flu
1 con
20" of snow

Just think, at this rate it has an outside chance of releasing nearly 2 years late:
The Limited Edition hardcover of the Adventure Game, as well as the Ebook, Kindle and PDF, will be available in December 2011. Electronic versions will be sent to donors at the same time the book is sent to the printer. (I'd be impressed with a Summer 2013 release)
Then we have Dwimmermount, for which I previously posted the latest update here. Whereas Far west is 15 months late and still moving at a snails pace uphill in a blizzard, Dwimmermount is a mere 9 months late, with the additional bonus that it's creator is MIA and not even communicating with his supposed business partners, nor has he paid some of his artists that submitted work before he closed himself off from the world.

Tavis is trying to work miracles, but the reality is this project is probably done unless James signs it over to those that have the will and ability to complete the project.

A month of no communication while having to deal with a family illness / death in the family (unclear) is extreme and would not be acceptable in a real world work environment. We are nearing three months without a change in the situation.

I don't need to know about James' personal life. That is his business, and he can share of it what he wants or not share at all. The $49k that was raised for this project is of interest to over a thousand backers. If James can no longer commit to the project, he should pass the responsibility (and the funds needed to pay for art, layout, printing and other backer costs) over to someone that can.

There is no shame in admitting your heart and will is no longer in something, but having accepted payment for it, James needs to do what he can to make things right by those that put their faith and funds in his hands. Time to pass that torch, James.

As for Tavis - keep your coupons. They will do Autarch more harm as a company than they could ever do right by me. This project should be a lesson plan on "How not to fund a Kickstarter for a creator not covered by Kickstarter's residency rules".

In hindsight, I think Barrowmaze would have been the better Canadian megadungeon to have backed, as it released on time (well, I did back it on Indiegogo, but imagine how much better the funding would have been if it had been on Kickstarter).


9 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I'm waiting on my "Dead Tree" copy ;)

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    2. its kinda parody kinda homage but a bizarre twist on whole story - that and dwimmermount creator having a whole hate site devoted to everything he has ever done - i just got over 4 month sickness/death grief so i kinda get it but i chose gaming as my escape - i dont wont to be in gamming business enough that it is no longer just fun and feels like obligation rather than fun and a way to meet other nerds

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  2. Wow, that really puts it in clear perspective.

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    Replies
    1. the devil is in the details, as they say ;)

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  3. Never have the words "Measure Twice and Kickstarter Once" been clearer than with the Dwimmermount project. And never sell your online rep for the promised results of a bunch of magic beans. It just seems freaking obvious to have all your manuscript work and basic cartography done before raising the money for all the professional things like editing, artwork and good maps, as well as the actual printing and distribution. I say this as I wait for my Reaper minis and OGRE game(which game I've found available for $60 pre-order online). Hopefully the Dwimmermount saga is a lesson learned to everyone in out niche hobby.

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    Replies
    1. It wouldn't have been so bad if the Dwimmermount Kickstarter had actually indicated "clearly" how little had been done at the time of the initial seeking of cash. From James' blog and from the Kickstarter promo materials I had, what obviously is now mistaken, idea that the material needed some polishing up, a bunch of art, and some layout and it was good to go. That explained the quick turnaround from the end of the Kickstarter to the date the materials were supposed to be in hand.

      Right now, I have stopped looking at the drafts of Dwimmermount because they were just depressing at how little bang for the buck I was going to get, especially if that is all I am ever going to get. Spears of the Dawn seemed to be the first Kickstarter that did what it said it was going to do, and delivered not only on time, but also in spades.

      I have had a few more Kickstarter's that have delivered relatively on time, but they have all been much farther along then Dwimmermount ever was.

      Note: I am too waiting for my Reaper minis (and they only have two weeks to make their March deadline) and OGRE which should be out this summer if they can ever fix the box issue.

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    2. Also waiting for my Reaper minis - but I've pencilled in late May for hoped-for arrival, assuming 6 weeks to get through UK customs - my last order from Reaper back in January never made it at all, and I'm unsure if the replacement will get through either.

      Reaper say 'March' means they hope to start shipping in March; ie most of the shipping will be in April. Hopefully most US backers will get their stuff in April, but for overseas + another 4-6 weeks looks more likely.

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  4. BTW, I don't think all the rest of what was promised for Far West is ever going to really see the light of day.

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