“I never really know what to say when stuff like this happens, but I feel an obligation to be completely transparent with our backers.”
Eight times out of ten, a Kickstarter update that begins with such a quote usually ends up with the developers thanking the backers, and promising that their failed Kickstarter was a learning experience for the whole family, or something. One of those ten times it’ll be something nice, like “We want to be transparent with our backers, so I’ll let you know that last week the team got ice cream!”
That last time, however, is something that’s present in every American (and likely beyond) high school: drama.
The team leader for Elysian Shadows, Falco Girgis, perhaps the greatest name of all time, posted an update outlining what happened. Girgis claims that not long after the team’s last update, way back on July 21st, lead gameplay engineer Tyler Rogers quit the team without much warning. That may sound standard;
I’ve quit plenty of jobs without giving a two week notice, it happens all the time. But here’s where things get interesting.
“He ripped his server out from under us,” Girgis says in the update, “took Patrick’s bed, took monitors, and took routers, without even so much as a minute’s heads up to commit code we were currently working on.”
Girgis doesn’t make it entirely clear if Rogers stole this equipment or if it was his all along, but it would seem the latter is true. Girgis also goes on to say that Rogers had done very little work, and that he would “disappear for 2-3 days at a time for every day or two he worked.”
Nothing was said about the release date of the game, but it’s safe to assume the initial goal of December 2015 isn’t happening. The studio did have to completely throw away all of Tyler’s code and start anew, after all. No word yet as to how dearly the lack of a bed for Patrick is hurting the team.
This is one of those rare times in which perhaps full transparency isn’t totally necessary. Maybe this Tyler Rogers fellow didn’t work as well as he should have. Maybe he did take his ball and go home, leaving you high and dry. But to tell us what he did, to name names, feels wrong. You could have simply left it at: “a former team-member wasn’t working out here, he took his equipment and left, and we had to start over.”
Grigis makes great pains at the beginning of the update to say he doesn’t care if he sounds unprofessional or not, which is clear throughout the post. Someone was thrown under the bus, whether he deserves it or not, in an attempt to garner sympathy for a lack of updates and a lack of progress. We have no idea what Tyler’s side of the story is, but no matter what he says, the truth will likely lie somewhere between the two.
None of it matters in the long run, because Elysian Shadows isn’t out yet, and the only five updates this year aren’t making any of the backers feel comfortable. Best of luck to them though.