[dropcap size=big]I[/dropcap]t’s always hard to see a crowdfunded project be forced to make compromises due to unforeseen circumstances. It’s even harder to learn about it after the decisions have been made. While I have been excited to see Jason the Greek become a reality the latest update doesn’t exactly fill one with unbridled optimism. At the same time, I’ve been around the block enough times to know that sacrifices sometimes need to be made in order to see the dream become a reality. I just wish backers were informed before this decision was made. Still, at the same time I’m glad to know that it hasn’t been canceled either.
The decision that I’m talking about, and you can read more about it in the update, is yet another change to the art style of Jason the Greek. Instead of the first two iterations, which were cartoonishly cute, the latest version unveiled to backers is in the more traditional pixelated art style of yesteryear. I’m most certainly not against having a retro style game, but it is a huge departure from what was originally promised during the Kickstarter. But, as developer Kristian Fosh pointed out there was good reason for going this route.
The biggest problem is that Jason the Greek has run out of money for development, and the publisher that he had lined up had to pull out due to the continuous delays. As such, he had to make an executive decision. The first thing was that he put the game on a more “spare time” moment as he supplemented his income with another job to help pay the bills. The other was to go with a more simplified art direction. The game’s logic and script were for the most part done, but there was still a good deal of work to do on the graphical and audio side. Which meant having to try to change course midstream.
Now, this news isn’t all doom and gloom as some people might think. There is a silver lining here in that Kris still plans on eventually finishing off the original “HD” version, hoping that sales of the pixelated “retro” version will help fund the remaining development. The upshot here is that all backers owed a copy of the game will get both versions should he be able to finish the assets already started. Which, after reading through all the comments, most of those who voiced their opinions and concerns are okay with the change. Yours truly among them. The biggest issue is that we weren’t informed until now that this was decided upon. Especially with a three month silence between this update and the last.
Here’s the thing. I know that delays happen. I know that circumstances beyond anyone’s control can happen. I know that developers are afraid to mention anything negative about their project. But, there does come a time when they need to be more transparent and let backers in on these events when they happen and not go silent for months on end. That said, I’ve gotten to know Kris Fosh, as I have several adventure game developers, both during the campaign and long after development starts and I have faith that he’ll deliver on his promises one way or another. I’d just like more frequent updates.