Lobodestroyo – which I must admit I have taken a keen interest in – has returned to Kickstarter. After a lengthy absence, a CAT episode here at Cliqist, and an interview with project lead James Guy, Lobodestroyo is finally back with an update on Kickstarter.
Anyone who’s read the interview knows the project never really went anywhere, but the lack of updates was getting troubling. Those concerns can be put to rest now with this new Kickstarter update. Just like in his interview with me, Guy was very upfront about the delays and the lack of communication.
“Firstly I apologize for the lengthy pause in updates and backer reports,” the update begins. “Going silent (less a few tweets here and there) is not something we wanted to do […] I didn’t want to send updates that just stated all our struggles. I elected to keep the problems behind the curtain in the hopes that I’d have some good news later. That is not fair to our backers, and too much time elapsed. The phrase ‘no news is good news doesn’t apply here’, and I do apologize for not getting an explanation out sooner.”
The update also further elaborates on what Guy told me, in that the team at Lefthanded Games has expanded. Among the new slate of hires is a programmer, and a project manager named Scott Malo. Guy and company needed someone to guide the young, inexperienced team through making a game, and Malo is that person. With a long history of running his own animation studio and working with EA, Guy is confident Malo is the one to guide this team through any more troubled waters.
There’s a new website that will host regular features, blog posts, and interviews with the team as well as updates on the game. Malo is given a more detailed introduction where you can find more info about him.
Most importantly though, Cliqist gets a shout-out for our interview, as well as myself for all the “attention and effort” I put into it and the CAT. If you don’t mind recommending me to the Pulitzer Prize Board I’d be most grateful. Here’s the form, entries open again in December. Just saying.
The Kickstarter update more or less ends there, sticking to more “housekeeping side of things,” as Guy describes it. However, on LeftHanded’s website, you’ll find information about a new character in the game, Shawshank. There’s also a little info about his role as well.
“Each mission or objective in a world nets you a Toll Token, which are the primary collectible in the game. […] In World 3 the main objective is to gain access to Frankenfalp’s laboratory to take down the villain. The downside is that the prison yard has security measures in place to keep the inmates on lockdown (as prisons tend to). Shawshank has a not-so-simple three step plan that will send players off on three independent objectives ranging from destroying security cameras ands [sic] taking out searchlights, to overpowering fuses in the electric chair chamber.”
Usually information like this getting posted exclusively on a website for a Kickstarted game can be a sticking point. But something like a character reveal is fine in my eyes. It would only be a problem if something as big as this recent update were posted exclusively there, for example.
The update closes in the best way possible, with a thank you to backers and fans.
“[…] I apologize for the lack of communication the past few months. The community kindness and optimism for this game is still as strong as ever and on behalf of the team I’d like to restate how much that means to us. Our backers are the best in the world and we couldn’t ask for a better group of friends, family and fans.”
There’s no update on the game itself, nor is there any word on a release date. You might think some backers would be at least a bit peeved at this, and the lack of communication. However, the opposite is true here. Every single backer comment is positive, thanking the team for the update and wishing them luck moving forward. It really speaks to how well Lefthanded has treated the community throughout this process, and how engaged the game’s community is in Lobodestroyo.
Lobodestroyo is a great contrast to a similar Kickstarter game, Yooka-Laylee. Yooka is being made by a team of professionals who have a history of making these kinds of games, and they have all the support in the world. Lobo meanwhile is a small team of relative newbies, the underdog, no pun intended. They’re growing right before our eyes, and ups-and-downs like this are part of that experience we rarely get to see. Yooka-Laylee is just another Kickstarter campaign by industry vets; you’re not going to see this kind of struggle or growth with them.
Maybe that’s why I find Lobodestroyo so much more endearing. I can honestly say I’m looking forward to Lobodestroyo more than Yooka-Laylee. Hopefully with the team re-arranged and re-energized we’ll be seeing more from this promising title very soon.