Normally I don’t have problems with developers returning to Kickstarter with new ideas but they usually deliver on most or all promises before going back to the well. I’ve been more than willing to support multiple campaigns for multiple projects in the past but sometimes there comes a person that abuses the system to the point where I just don’t want to hear from them anymore. And AJ Tilley just happens to be one of them. Despite only having a couple visual novels fully (or partially) released to the public he just keeps going back with one half baked idea after another while there are several that are still being worked on. The worst part is that he usually claims to have several published already.

Highschool Possession

I know that I said that I wouldn’t cover this guy’s work any longer but after hearing him say that he’d no longer be seeking funding through Kickstarter I figured I wouldn’t have to. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for him to break his word and has not one but two projects currently running. One, Club Life, is already nearly finished and has managed to get over double its original funding goal and the other, Highschool Possession, just started and is nearly funded as well. With his track record I find it hard to believe that with each new project he gets funded easily while there are plenty more deserving titles out there that can’t get their base goal at all.

Highschool Possession

AJ Tilley is a prime example of someone who abuses the system and somehow manages to get away with it. If he had more of his successfully funded visual novels released, whether they were good or not, I probably wouldn’t find this so appalling. As it stands he keeps going back for more while so many other projects are still being worked on. Especially after the joke that was My Highschool Crossdressing Romance as a “test” campaign.

Serena Nelson
Serena has been a gamer since an early age and was brought up with the classic adventure games by Sierra On-Line, LucasArts, and Infocom. She's been an active member on Kickstarter since early 2012 and has backed a large number of crowdfunded games, mostly adventures. You can also find her writing for Kickstart Ventures and evn.moe.
Serena Nelson

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Hero of the AGRM, admin/content writer for @KS_Ventures, social media intern for @POStudios, writer for @Cliqist & social media manager for @FableFoundry
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Serena Nelson
Serena Nelson
  • Funny too, he’s back to using that other AJ Tilley Kickstarter profile.

    • You want to take bets on how long before he cancels this one too?

  • Dawnyaaa

    Hm. The thing is there is a real lack of VN (translated). I mean if you want to play a VN there is ton out there but they are either in japanese or chinese..and while there is an audience (just looking at Muv-Luv KS).

    Japanese companies were and are very cautious when it comes to open to the international.
    So, we get an audience that is..hungry for good VN, reluctant companies when it comes to translate them,
    with people like Sekai trying to play the role of the middleman and people like AJ that are taking advantage of the situation by throwing a few pic of nice looking girls..and make this audience..believe they could play those nice VN they so much desire.

    PS: I am still waiting for your article on part 2 & 3 of Beach Bounce (i think that was the name, right?).

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. I love VNs almost as much as I do adventures and I’d gobble them up as soon as I see them. My list of backed games in the genre is most certainly growing. And if it weren’t for the fact that Tilley is doing this one I’d probably have considered backing myself.

      What I hate is that there are so many awesome projects out there that deserve to be funded that struggle to get even close while he keeps going back to the well and somehow every one that he doesn’t cancel gets funded easily. It just makes me sick.

      • Dawnyaaa

        Hm. Yes but since you guys started writing about him the funding goal he is asking has..downsized by a lot! At first he was asking like 10k or 15k for a game..now he ask 3k or 1k.

        All this bad press..plus his unfinished games and bad review has really lowered his sphere of influence.

    • And while the second part of Beach Bounce has just been released I refuse to play it, even for a review.

      • Dawnyaaa

        Awww..i wanted to know if in the end there was a real reason for separating the game in several part..maybe the scenario..or too much CG? I was curious >_<

        • For you, my dear, I might just be willing to make an exception. 😉

    • EmmyG

      There are lots of english VNs, though, and most of them a lot better than his! Just a quick look at things tagged visual novel on Steam will show you dozens of games. Real games, with reviews you can look at to see how they turned out, instead of buying only KS hype and waiting and hoping that they’ll be finished… (There are also games not on steam, but just for starts)

  • Frenden

    This guy is supported and published by Mangagamer, too.

  • Well, I think I struck a nerve with the guy. In both the updates for Beach Bounce and Divine Slice of Life announcing these campaigns I posted this comment:

    “Here’s an idea. How about releasing the games currently being worked on before deciding to start more projects? And whatever happened to you saying that you’re done using Kickstarter?”

    And then he responds with this lengthy reply:

    “@serena Nelsinho:
    Beach bounce has already been released, though in episodic format. Which at the time we thought best. It is being worked on by a third party developer.

    Divine slice of life is being released next week on time, with a tiny bit of content being delayed by a few days due to the artist being ill. But those scenes are the secret epilogue a that have nothing to do with the main story.

    The only other game you have pledged for of mine is echo Tokyo and I have explained the reasons of those delays which all comes down to writing and artwork not coding development, and those writers and artists are dedicated to that project.

    In other words these campaigns have no baring or link on the others despite your ignorant insinuation to the contrary.

    Of all my Kickstarter campaigns and plans I have run, only two have talked about delays… Starlight drifter and echo Tokyo. And the delays are for adding more content and making bigger games. So I personally do not think it is a problem to make and release other games working with other artists while the teams working on these continue to make a better game. This isn’t a one man band. Each game has its own team of writers editors and artists, It is not smart to put all your eggs in one basket and that is what I am doing. I need to make a living from development and strangely enough 1game release a year simply won’t cut it for the artists writers editors coders and all the other people I work with to make a game.

    Finally yes I said I hoped to remain off of Kickstarter however my personal circumstances changed slightly due to a number of factors I have briefly touched on and so have run a couple extra one for a 2016 title and one to add voice acting to a game to make it that bit better. But frankly those personal circumstances are just that personal. I don’t mind you not agreeing but what you do if you don’t like my way of doing things is to not pledge but don’t complain about delays or me releasing other games when the ones you have pledged to are releasing on time and where they aren’t I am transparent about the delays and even involve the backers in the decisions on whether to delay or adjust the game accordingly.

    One last thing I think a single post is enough there is no need to post the same comment across multiple campaigns.”

    Finally, I just added this reply:

    “A bit of a correction here. I backed Echo Tokyo, Beach Bounce, and Divine Slice of Life. And, yes, I stopped backing your other projects because I have issues with you posting more campaigns when you have so many others outstanding. And I know I’m not the only one that thinks this.

    As for posting my concerns in multiple places I have every right to as long as I’m still a backer. There’s nothing against Kickstarter’s policies that says I can’t as long as I’m not attacking anyone. Which I’m not.”

    • Look at this. He’s refunded me my pledge for Echo Tokyo. I wonder how long it’s going to be before he does the same with the rest of my pledges just to shut me up. The best part is that he’s making me out to be the villain here. I feel so honored.

      • Dawnyaaa

        Seriously..his answer is..as awful as the one he did to me when i went at him..
        back then he also made me pass for the villain, to the point i even felt guilty! (don’t do that lol!).

        No but i really thought, it was just with me but seeing how he responded to you..
        The guy is indeed a jackass with everyone. He said you were ignorant lol. He basically told me the same thing.

        He has quite an ego..and he probably think he’s a genius of some sort..
        Sincerely, i am shocked to no bound. Besides, while he says everything has been released.

        Nothing speak for him! Apart for part of Beach Bounce nothing is there! (and sword of Edo but how much did he stretch it?). Apart that, welcome to the club of the people who are so troublesome he’d rather refund them lol. He refunded me on Sword of Edo and..Starlight Drifter! (i stopped backing him after that..)

        You know how i see it, he’s a liar, he obviously want to continue to take advantage of KS, but since a lot of people are on his ass..he’s going for low key amount, he’ll probably wait until everything cool down to come back with a 10K project (in a year or so imo).

        You know there is one side of the story i wish we could hear, that is the side of his collaborators..since he’s a jackass i am pretty sure he wasn’t straight with a lot of them.
        Don’t you think so? (My guess though he’s that those guy are asian that don’t talk english one bit though)

        • I’ve dealt with a guy like him on a more personal level and he pissed off pretty much everyone that worked with him on a paid or volunteer level (myself included). While Tilley is indeed a jackass that’ll do whatever it takes to make sure he’s always right at least he hasn’t threatened anyone yet (to my knowledge). Lied, yes. Silenced, yes. Made people like us out as villains and him as the victim, most assuredly. I didn’t back down from someone who actively treated me like shit and I sure as hell won’t take it from AJ Tilley.

          On a side note, I’d also love to hear from those working with him to see what they thought.

          • Dawnyaaa

            It’d be nice to interview them! I am also really curious about what they have to say!

      • 44KPanda

        he did the EXACT same thing to me, then deleted my comment to bury the truth