We all know Kickstarter is a way to help people try to create something. Whenever you back a project you are told in plain English that you are not guaranteed to get the product at the end of it. Dr McNinja was one of those projects that completely disappeared from the radar. The project had been fully funded and under development. The developers delivered all material rewards except the actual game, but after an update in September 2013 they completely disappeared. In December 2015, Kotaku included the game in a scathing list of Kickstarters that had not delivered. This provoked a response from the developers and they updated their Kickstarter page and told backers exactly what had happened.
Essentially, the developers had been forced to file for bankruptcy and had been made homeless. The responses on that update were rather warm and actually made me feel good about humanity. but the responses on the latest update has killed that feeling. The developers decided to try again at making a game since they have found it hard to find an employer willing to take them on. They updated their Kickstarter page to tell their previous backers that they had managed to get lodging with a friend and that they were working on a new project called Breakfast Quest. In the video they posted, Alisa said that she felt that this would help them mentally since they had been struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. When I read the update I was glad to hear they were still alive, since the last update had me worried for their safety. I don’t know why, but I expected people to share that feeling of “hey, they’re going to get back on that horse and keep trying”, especially since Alisa broke down crying in the video, but no, it turns out my inner misanthrope was on the money on this one.
The comment section is a vitriolic mess that left me thoroughly disgusted. I’m not saying that backers are wrong to be angry, but they’re acting like this update is the first they’ve heard of Dr McNinja being cancelled. Backers seem to find the fact that they’re trying a new project to be a slap in the face. I was particularly disgusted by a comment from Chris Hastings, the writer and artist of the Dr McNinja comic who essentially kicks the developers while they are down by asking them to remove the update.
Chris seems to have lost nothing in this transaction, in fact, he got 15% of the Kickstarter funds, that’s nearly $7k! I wasn’t all that enthralled with Dr McNinja to begin with, but after that, ha! I wouldn’t so much as give him a view. If you look at the update you’ll be able to see how ridiculous Chris’ claim is since Dr McNinja is not even mentioned. The developers said that whether they get funding or not they will be working on the game, it is more for them at this point. They have also mentioned in their video update that they are looking for any work and commissions they can get.
What do you think? Are Chris and the other vocal backers right to be so abrasive? Do you believe developers who fail to create their projects shouldn’t be allowed to make another?