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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Kickstarters » That Which Sleeps - Another Failure

Default That Which Sleeps - Another Failure

June 12th, 2018, 17:25
Anyone remember the interview I shared a few years back about a turn-based strategy game God Game called That Which Sleeps? Well if you don't here is a refresher.

Link - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects…t-which-sleeps
That Which Sleeps is a turn-based strategy game where the player assumes the role of an ancient being who was sealed away in ages past but has now returned to reclaim dominion over the world. However, when you waken you are weak and must lurk in the shadows to avoid a return to your demonic slumber.

This is where That Which Sleeps deviates from the typical turn based strategy formula. Rather than directly affecting the world by building or training troops, you use your power to indirectly influence the world utilizing uniquely designed Agents who can infiltrate the nations of the world, terrorize outlying farms, and perform esoteric rituals to create the perfect situation for your return.

The player must balance an aggressive approach utilizing his considerable power and eager hordes with the need to remain unknown to the Champions and Heroes of the world. This allows for multiple play styles and various meaningful decision paths - all made more unique and re-playable due to the large cast of available agents and awakened demons aka "Ancient Evils". In addition, the world is customized at the beginning of the game as you explicitly lay out how you were sealed away, and what methods you used to manipulate the world in your slumber.
It was successfully funded and earned $85,593, and what followed was a troubled development, and a game redesign months after it was funded.

Now fast forward a few years the developer has not updated or responded on kickstarter or his official website since 2017. It looks like another dead project.

So any opinions about this trend of no updates, and disappearing developers that seem so common among funded kickstarter games lately?

Also are you still excited about crowdfunding, or have you like me become jaded to it?

Edit: We also had news about this topic before.

Link - https://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32661
Eye spotted this, somewhat older, article in which Matthew Hopkins talks about That Which Sleeps, its continuing delays, how he got a refund of what he spent on the Kickstarter campaign and even hints that this might not be realized at all.
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Last edited by Couchpotato; June 12th, 2018 at 19:31.
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June 12th, 2018, 18:46
I can't say I've ever been excited about crowdfunding, but I think it's a good idea. I've supported a couple of games, and will do it again. The fact that some projects don't materialise (or transform into something different - SotA, I'm looking at you) doesn't affect that.

I know what I'm doing, I know there are risks, and I don't pledge more than I can afford (to loose). So if I see a project I'd like to support, I will support it. As far as I'm concerned, nothing has changed, really.

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PS. Since I mentioned SotA. I'm not happy about the direction that game took, but I don't regret backing it. I based my backing on what I saw and some wishful thinking, and I accepted the risk. But I wouldn't have backed it if I knew what I know now. DS.
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June 12th, 2018, 19:31
I don't feel jaded at all. If anything, I think there was perhaps initial over-enthusiasm which got tempered by a bracing dose of reality.

But do I think there is a certain jadedness in the market because of that experience. IMO, it would have been better if people had been more hard-headed and discriminating during the initial wave of projects, and we should continue to be so. I think the backlash from all the failures and bad behavior (just ceasing to communicate is inexcusable) is now making it harder for good projects to succeed.
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June 12th, 2018, 19:36
Yep guilty as charged as I backed a lot of games back in 2009-2015. Fast forward a few years, and the only ones that have delivered are Obsidian, Larian, and Inxile,

They all promised the world some did, others didn't, some even released something different, and others just went silent after taking all the cash.

No wonder Obsidian and Inxile opened Figs for future games.

Edit - A link from gamesindustry.biz from 2017 about games not being funded.

Link - https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articl…tarter-in-2017
Video games on the platform have stagnated; of the 50 most funded games on the platform, 21 are video games, only five of which have been funded in the last two years. Meanwhile tabletop games accounted for 24% of all money raised on successful Kickstarter projects for the first half of 2017.

Overwhelmingly, the most successful campaigns since 2015 are tabletop games. Projects like Exploding Kittens ($8.7 million), The 7th Continent ($7 million), and Zombicide ($5 million) dominate the world of Kickstarter.

Looking at video games in particular there is a trend towards nostalgia among the most successful campaigns. Titles like Shenmue 3 ($6.3 million), Torment: Tides of Numenera ($4.1 million), Pillars of Eternity ($3.9 million), and Mighty No. 9 ($3.8 million) all lean heavily in that direction and reaped the rewards as a result.
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June 12th, 2018, 21:07
I also am more careful about what I back, but I am still happy about the games I have supported that turned out well. I always try to ask myself if its worth it for me to support a game, which otherwise not be made. That's why, for example, I didn't back the new Spiderweb game, because its going to be made anyways and I see no benefits to backing it, even though I think Jeff Vogel makes good games. I've been happy with many of my crowdfunded games, and not just from Obsidian, InXile Hairbraned Schemes and Larian. Lords of Xulima and Star Crawlers come to mind. I'm really glad those games got made. There are others I supported like Darkest Dungeon, Armello, The Dwarves, Eisenwald:BON, and Monster's Den:Godfall, which I got a lot of enjoyment out of even though they won't go down in memory as games which I would have been very sad if they hadn't been made. I did back That Which Sleeps, After Reset, and Project Resurgence, the latter is officially dead, the others probably as well. I have a few others that are way overdue but still chugging along with semi-regular updates.
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June 12th, 2018, 21:25
I knew this would happen and I work too hard for my money to just give it away on spec.

I certainly would never back a Triple A game because the purpose of crowdfunding is for starving artists.

As we have all noticed, most of these projects require a lot more funding than they can raise. The "incentives" ie. added value, raise more money but obligate the developers to create features that can't be funded for because the final total can't cover the base game.

Still, in some cases it has worked, and in other cases people got a first hand look at the problems of app develop - how most software ends up on the cutting room floor.

@Couchpotato, I think this might be a good place to review what works and what doesn't.

When crowdfunding first became popular this is the first thing I thought of

loading…


Think of merchant banker as the Triple A developer
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June 12th, 2018, 21:59
That video was hilarious thanks for sharing it. One lesson is the developers should ask for what they really need, but that gets negative reviews for the amount asked.

So if you need 1.5 million ask for it not 500,000 and explain why its needed.
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Last edited by Couchpotato; June 12th, 2018 at 22:14.
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June 12th, 2018, 22:20
I've supported just under three hundred projects, some were games, novels, movies, or art attempts/revisions. I still kick start projects to this day, but I will say that in the last three years I've started taking a harder look at the scope of the endeavour, much more than I did the prior two to three years.
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June 13th, 2018, 01:36
300? Whoa…
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June 13th, 2018, 02:10
Here's some of the things that I think make one succeed and when they don't

Timing
  • the hype train that was the early popular days of crowdsourcing has left the station and it won't be back. sorry. catch the next wave.
  • keep an eye out for products that catch the public's imagination though. sorry, but its doubtful that its going to be yours
  • shroud of avatar, occulus rift, and no man's sky fall in this category. they caught the hype train early and were highly successful and even delivered products. The consumer is the ultimate jury though and all three have questionable sales. Facebook is out a bundle.
  • Keep an eye out for the next fad though and try to catch it early. This sort of thing happens all the time in technology, whether it be FPS, JRPG's, mobile apps, casual games, facebook games, cloud gaming, battle royale, augmented reality, VR, etc. Crowdsourcing was another one of these fads.

Having a name behind a product. Celebrity developers or established studios can bring high visibility. (Whoopi Goldberg got $75k for a cartoon she voiced once - like she couldn't throw her cash in, right?) You probably aren't that. Sell your humility instead. That's what crowdfunding is all about.

Having an well thought out product. John Romero and David Crane (Activision, Pitfall) put out vague crowdsourcing pitches that were vague about what kind of product they wanted to do. They were letting the customers decide democratically and that just confused them. This tainted their crowdfunding brand and Romero failed when he did decide what he wanted to do.

Have a product that's almost finished. I've seen this before and it seems to work. By showing assets in a near finished state the customer can see that its going to come market and will trust.
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June 13th, 2018, 03:04
I remember That Which Sleeps. Didn't back it, but it seemed like an interesting idea. Didn't one of the developers (the programmer perhaps) deliberately misrepresent how far along the development was? IIRC, there was something about one of the developers claiming he had a build he wouldn't share & then eventually it was revealed he had been faking videos to make it look like things were working that just weren't. It's been awhile so I could be remembering wrong.

It's a real shame that failures / deceptions like this have made it harder for other indie developers to succeed.
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June 13th, 2018, 03:20
Yes these failures have made many backers reluctant to support games on kickstarter.

Lets take a look at two recent projects I backed for various reasons.

Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness

Link - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects…rs-of-darkness

Now as noted on other threads I backed this game just because I love playing RTwP Infinity engine games, but it has many red flags it might not get finished.

So its a High Risk Backer Gamble. We may get a game in the future or not.

Final Equinox: The Arrival

Link - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects…ox-the-arrival

Well unlike the game above this project had a demo, asked for a small amount, but it launched at bad time, and has gotten very little media coverage.

It could be considered Low Risk Backer Gamble,but it's not getting funded.
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Last edited by Couchpotato; June 13th, 2018 at 04:14.
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June 13th, 2018, 09:19
I understand that people got jaded but at the same time I think most people threw money at projects.

I must have only backed 10 projects or so and most of them have materialised.

The reasons for backing so few projects are:
Not backing projects just because they sound cool and promise the world.
Not backing projects by unknown artists unless they show they have done quite a bit already
Backing projects which I would actually want to play and have time to play too


I also did not back games which sounded they would be made anyway. They turned into wait and buy to me.

So in the end I have expeditions, banner saga, legends of Eisenwald that wouldn't have happened without kickstarter.

Also there are many games that were successful thanks to kickstarter I didn't back but now enjoy too such as shadowrun and battletech.

All in all I think it's still a great platform but people should just be a bit picker.

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September 7th, 2018, 21:57
It looks like a video was posted in March:
https://youtu.be/oP6RailZ2cY
per:
https://www.reddit.com/r/thatwhichsleeps/
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September 7th, 2018, 22:01
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
It looks like a video was posted in March:
https://youtu.be/oP6RailZ2cY
per:
https://www.reddit.com/r/thatwhichsleeps/
This comment on the video says it all.
You need to do a better job of keeping up with the community (assuming you're still working on this.)
Poor commutation from the developer as usual.
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September 14th, 2018, 11:47
Yeah, it seems pretty dead. I backed it too, because I loved the concept.

Looking at the video rjshae linked to, it seems very complex. So many numbers, reminds me a bit of the Europa Universalis series, but with even more layers to it.
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