Sunday, August 3, 2014

Wayward Kickstarter - More Infinite Dungeon - Mike Follows Up on D3 Kicking it to the Curb - Time to Put it All on "00"

Some people can handle running a Kickstarter. Some people see it as free money when it comes in, then get caught with their pants down when it comes time to fulfill the project, but they spent the money on hookers and blow funding a company and hiring staff when there is no cash flow coming in.

The Nystulian fiasco is a trifecta - or a hat trick, depending on the sport you follow.

I'm going to avoid commenting further, as Mike pretty much tells it as it is (although how he can afford to consult with an accountant and a lawyer when he has no money to fulfill the projects at hand is beyond me)

Update #66 - For backers only Aug 3 2014

D3 Bows Out / Next Steps

D3 Adventures is no longer going to be publishing this project.

I have to decide what to do now.

Where we stand: I will have an ashcan that I can work to complete. D3 had decided that pretty much all the art I originally commissioned (and paid for) wasn't up to their standards so I'd have to either fit what I had back in or find some more somehow. The development of that ashcan also represents a large portion of the investment of the monies I raised.

I have a box of resin minis. They are very nice but were waiting to be shipped until I had the rest of the physical stuff coming to you. Shipping is very expensive.

Some of you have mentioned refunds. At this point, I would be open to the idea but I am in no position to issue any. Between the failure of my Kickstarters, the company I started  (that also failed) and various medical expenses (nothing to do with the KS but party of what I'm up against). I am deep underwater and am barely covering my living expenses. None of the bills that aren't directly involved in keeping a roof over my head are being paid. Because of this I have been exploring bankruptcy but really don't want to take that step unless I have no other choice.

What I want to do is make good. I have been trying. That's what the D3 deal was about, that's why i have been plugging away at bits of this and why my recent efforts were a push to finally get this done.

The plan until D3 backed out was to get you everything but the game itself - they were covering that bit. It was going to be rough but i just might have pulled it off. That ship has sailed.

Option One: Admit defeat. Send the ashcan as close to done as i can get it quickly, send the minis, and gather refund requests and consult an accountant and a lawyer. I hate giving up but it may be the right move.

Option Two: Soldier on. I'd still send the ashcan but I would continue to send more material. The idea would be to get you enough stuff to make you feel like you got your money's worth or at least a hell of a lot closer than you are now.

I have several board and card game designs - some done and with art all ready to go. I have considered trying to sell one or more to cover things I need to do for this project. The tricky bit is my rep is (rightfully) in the shitter and there is no way I will ever use Kickstarter again (my fault but it is what it is) so I'm not sure how to go about it. If i figure something out I will let you know.

I got into this to get a fun idea into the hands of fellow gamers. I screwed up and chewed through the budget before I got it done. I failed and I'm sorry. I will continue to try to make good as long as you want me to.

I am soliciting feedback but keep it civil please. Anything nasty you have to say I have already heard and I may even agree with you. Point taken. Venom won't help us move forward.

To those of you who have remained supportive thank you. It means a lot to me.

EDIT: I need to make a comment after rereading this - at no point did Mike address failing to pay one of the writers on the project

From D3's earlier post:
The property has, from the beginning, incurred one unexpected roadblock after another. The most recent of these concerned a lack of payment for a completed chapter. I was not made aware of this issue when D3 Adventures picked up the IP, and as of this date, the writer has not received the promised payment.


  1. Time to pick out your favorite quotes:

    "Some of you have mentioned refunds. At this point, I would be open to the idea but I am in no position to issue any"
    But he's open to the idea. But you're not getting any.

    "The plan until D3 backed out was to get you everything but the game itself"
    Everything except what you paid for? Sounds like a winner!

  2. A drop-goal, Erik. It's a drop-goal.

  3. You know, I've been suspect of kickstarter since I heard about it. Even moreso once it came to my attention that people were buying vaporware elf games from other people.

    But now I see the true value of kickstarter: shaedenfreude.

    1. Scott, don't bundle crap like this alongside the Kickstarters that are run responsibly and actually deliver (some on time!).

      Kickstarter has been good for small press OSR publishers, like myself, allowing us to release books of a higher standard.

    2. Its not Kickstarters fault. There have been some great KS's out there... I just got Barakus a month early, frex.

      Some people are just horrible businessmen. He's made one mistake after another, with no effort to fix the issues.

    3. The key to kickstarter appears to be only backing things by people with established histories of completing their work and delivering products, or people with completed products who are using kick starter to fund actual production. I kick started the Elmore art book when that came around and despite being about 6 months behind schedule in the end, was kept relatively up to date and the final product was exactly what was expected. No buyers remorse there. Of course there's always a risk of something falling through, but someone like Elmore already knows how to produce and deliver a product. Similarly, when you have someone who already has a finished product and is trying to fund mass production, the risks are less.

      Unfortunately too many backers (and project starters) seem to view kick starter as a "social signalling" venture. A place to say "wouldn't it be cool if" and have everyone say "why yes it would be cool, please take my money and make this thing happen even though there's no real information on how much money it will actually take to make this happen". Kick starts happen on perception of how awesome the kickstarter will be if it's completed rather than actual expectation of completion.

      Like all investments, invest wisely and you'll have less disappointment.

    4. I agree somewhat, but Zach (Whisper and Venom) had no proven track record and managed to put his KS out on time, and it was an incredible product. There are many others that fall under the same heading (Greg Gillespie, Jeff Talanian) while sometimes people with established histories like Rick Loomis (his KS was over a year late) cannot be relied on. There are several warning signs of a bad kickstarter, if you know what to look for.

  4. Hey, he could start a Kickstarter to refund the people burned on his prior Kickstarter. Call it "Kickrefunder" or something. "Pledge twice whatever you paid in the prior Kickstarter and I promise to refund it" and then he can throw in some product that insures he has an excuse as to why none of it happens.

  5. "None of the bills that aren't directly involved in keeping a roof over my head are being paid" covers not paying a writer - the writer's roof isn't of concern after all.

  6. Is there a *bump* option here?

    SoulJar just released Nystul's Cairn RPG. I haven't read the whole thing, but it looks beautiful. You might want to look it over for a review...


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