conexpresslogoLast week a Kickstarter campaign was launched for a game called Knuckle Club; a side scrolling brawler featuring some impressive pixel graphics.  Normally Knuckle Club would be a high point in a week filled with people begging for money to start a YouTube channel, but that wasn’t the case.  As soon as the campaign launched there were screams of scam from backers.  Why?  Because Knuckle Club appears to be a new game from the developers of Confederate Express; a great looking action strategy game that was funded late last year.  The problem is that Confederate Express isn’t complete, and there hasn’t exactly been a constant stream of updates from the developer.

To help get the situation cleared up a bit we recently spoke with Maksym Pashanin, the man behind Confederate Express.


Cliqist : The Knuckle Club campaign is off to a rough start.  What are your thoughts on the controversy? Did you see it coming?

Maksym Pashanin : We were actually very impressed with the outcome – there were almost no negative feedback regarding the actual game, Knuckle Club; just mostly about Kilobite’s inner-company politics, which is the last thing I care about. As long as our games are considered good, everything is great. I mean, people pledge money just to leave us a comment, how cool is that?!



Knuckle Club

Cliqist : Can you see where the detractors are coming from?

Maksym Pashanin : I don’t keep track of the hate train comments; I probably should hire a statistician or something haha. However I completely understand that with modern internet culture people are prone to leave poor comments even when they don’t necessarily mean so.

Cliqist : If you could change anything about the whole situation, what would it be?

Maksym Pashanin : I would have definitely scaled Confederate Express budget back down to its original $10,000 goal, so far it’s over $70,000.


Cliqist : There’s a strange mix of both association and distance between Confederate Express and Knuckle Club.  On one hand you advertised Knuckle Club to your Confederate Express backers, but the Knuckle Club campaign makes no mention of Confederate Express.  Why is that?

Maksym Pashanin : I have no control over Kilobite’s business decisions, and the part of the stretch goals financing deal was a non-compete clause (same engines and visual styles), but it is only for the duration of Knuckle Club campaign, afterwards I will work on a dedicated page for Confederate Express. Lots of gifs, I promise :)!


Confederate Express

Confederate Express

Cliqist : Are Confederate Express and Knuckle Club being created by the same team?

Maksym Pashanin : I have founded Kilobite in 2013, and simply was outsourcing most of the work needed on a contract-basis. With investors stepping in, I am now working at Kilobite as my day-time job, which helps me obtain funds necessary for planned ConEx stretch goals, as well as provide me with necessary resources and talent. I am working on Confederate Express during my free time and yes you are correct, some of the Kilobite employees are helping in creating ConEx, but they are all employed by me on a contract-basis using my personal finances.


Cliqist : What’s the status of Confederate Express?

Maksym Pashanin : Confederate Express is soon headed to Early Access on Steam (late 2014), in which we will showcase new engine and vastly improved combat mechanics; with exciting addition of things like animation-frame-based movement, pattern-based AI, 2D volumetric sprites and so on. We are extremely excited to showcase all the work done and hopefully it will help regain trust of some of our backers!


Confederate Express

Confederate Express

Cliqist : What would you say to someone asking for a refund due to the lack of apparent progress on Confederate Express?

Maksym Pashanin : I am working on Confederate Express every single day, and absolutely able to fulfill the project promises. Unfortunately I’m not as business-savvy (engineering background) and have made some bad decisions, but I am still learning so all I’m asking is to have some patience. A good game is good eventually, and a bad game is bad forever.


Cliqist : What impact does Knuckles Club have on the development of Confederate Express?

Maksym Pashanin : Knuckle Club success will determine whether Confederate Express will have multiplayer or not (update #7


Cliqist : Can you explain in as much detail as allowable the financials of Confederate Express‘ and Knuckle Clubs development and how they’re related?

Maksym Pashanin : Knuckle Club is being developed by Kilobite contract employees. Confederate Express is being developed by myself (Maksym Pashanin) personally. The only link between two projects is that I am employed by Kilobite.



Knuckle Club

Cliqist : What stage of development is Knuckle Club in?  The delivery date lists November of this year, is that an expected release date?

Maksym Pashanin : Yes, Knuckle Club is nearing completion, and we will see a playable version this November on Steam.


Cliqist : If Knuckle Club fails in its funding goals, what then?

Maksym Pashanin : Knuckle Club is completely funded by Kilobite, we are using Kickstarter strictly for market research and publicity purposes. If campaign funding fails, the game will be released regardless. We consider Kickstarter as a great way to follow the game early on at a reduced price, and it will definitely not affect whether the game is going to be released or not.


Cliqist : Any final words?

Maksym Pashanin : First of all, I wanted to personally thank many of our fans who chimed in for support with personal uplifting messages and defending us in comments section. I sincerely appreciate your support and understanding, you have been a tremendous moral support for me during these uneasy times. You are the sole reason I am still motivated.

And as always, please check out our games once they come out!


Thanks to Maksym for taking the time to help clarify some of the questions regarding the Confederate Express and Knuckle Club Kickstarter campaigns.  Did we miss anything?  Add your comments below!


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About the Author

Greg Micek

Greg Micek has been writing on and off about games since the late nineties, always with a focus on indie games. He started in 2000, which was one of the earliest gaming sites to focus exclusively on indie games.

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