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Old 07-20-2014, 01:51 PM   #1
Emabulator
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Failed Kickstarted Yogcast Game Wasted $35k on One Artist's Two Weeks of Work


GameSpot has the story.

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Earlier this week, we learned that Yogventures, a game from the popular YouTube channel Yogscast, has been canceled after raising $567,000 on Kickstarter.

Yogscast co-founder Lewis Brindley said that the project was ultimately “too ambitious and difficult” for the six-man developer it partnered with, Winterkewl Games.

On Friday, Winterkewl lead developer Kris Vale explained to backers via a Kickstarter update some of the issues it faced during development, including one major incident that cost it $35,000. In short, Winterkewl paid an artist in advance, who then went to work at LucasArts without finishing his commitments to the project.

“This is a very good example of how my inexperience caused some problems in the development,” Vale said. “Because we had worked out a contract that guaranteed each of the principal artists a $35,000 lump sum payment, and we didn't make any clear clause on how and why someone could legally stop working on the project, the artist in question got paid, worked for about 2 weeks and then stopped working on the project. We had no way to force that person to pay back any of the funds and it was a bitter lesson to learn. Always get every possible scenario in writing or you will have no legal recourse.”
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:51 PM   #2
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https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...es/yogventures
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:03 PM   #3
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:28 PM   #4
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Yesh, I wouldn't give a job to someone who just defrauded another dev for $35k.
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Old 07-20-2014, 03:20 PM   #5
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How do you see that as the artist defrauding anyone? They paid the guy upfront, for an unstated amount of work. They did it, apparently, as a guarantee to lock in these artists. The only reason to have such an agreement (lump sum guarantee) is to entice people in with the promise that, no matter what happens, they'll get at least 35K. Well, something happened-- the artist got another job.

This is an example of a studio being idiots. "Here's 35K upfront, no matter what happens." There's no fraud here.
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Old 07-20-2014, 03:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by greenapple View Post
How do you see that as the artist defrauding anyone? They paid the guy upfront, for an unstated amount of work. They did it, apparently, as a guarantee to lock in these artists. The only reason to have such an agreement (lump sum guarantee) is to entice people in with the promise that, no matter what happens, they'll get at least 35K. Well, something happened-- the artist got another job.

This is an example of a studio being idiots. "Here's 35K upfront, no matter what happens." There's no fraud here.
No fraud; but, that is a taint to one's resume. As a reasonable person, I would think twice about hiring someone if I found out they had done something like this.

Fool someone else once.
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Old 07-20-2014, 04:11 PM   #7
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No fraud; but, that is a taint to one's resume. As a reasonable person, I would think twice about hiring someone if I found out they had done something like this.

Fool someone else once.
Sure. We all make decisions in life and have to live with the consequences.

Beyond that, it's clear that this story is just an example-- this single artist didn't sink this project, at 35K. People who make mistakes like this one don't stop at just one.

It is ironic that they got off the ground using money with few strings attached, and then promptly proceeded to hand out money with no strings attached.
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Old 07-20-2014, 04:27 PM   #8
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This was solely the fault of management of Winterkewl, of their lack thereof. Of course the artist should not have been a douche and returned some of it to them, but I am sure this person got their just rewards by taking that job at Lucasarts.

Kickstarter is turning into a disaster as everyone thought it was going to and people are now starting to get ripped off as more projects starting announcing their failure.

The next big crash? Early access is going to fuck things up for everyone again, the argument on why even bother to finish the game when it's already done it's majority of sales and will likely not sell that much when it is finally released.
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:14 PM   #9
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Maybe the problem wasn't the $35k one guy got paid for art, it was the idiot they hired for the:
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$3500.00 Legal Fees Contracts
who obviously was too much of a dumbfuck to write a worthwhile contract that would guarantee the work would get done. Then again it was probably Lewis Brindley's nephew, brother, or deadbeat uncle, who once worked a week for a sorta, kinda, good law firm and was totally sure he could write them some really awesome contracts on the cheap.
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:34 PM   #10
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How do you see that as the artist defrauding anyone? They paid the guy upfront, for an unstated amount of work. They did it, apparently, as a guarantee to lock in these artists. The only reason to have such an agreement (lump sum guarantee) is to entice people in with the promise that, no matter what happens, they'll get at least 35K. Well, something happened-- the artist got another job.

This is an example of a studio being idiots. "Here's 35K upfront, no matter what happens." There's no fraud here.
There's no fraud legally but there's no integrity either. If that were me, I'd either give some of the cash back for the work I didn't yet do or do my best to complete the work I promised to do in my off time from Lucas if possible. Say "yes" when you mean yes and "no" when you mean no.
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:58 PM   #11
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that's one side of the story and considering it's from an exec, it's all smoke and mirrors.
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:12 PM   #12
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There's no fraud legally but there's no integrity either. If that were me, I'd either give some of the cash back for the work I didn't yet do or do my best to complete the work I promised to do in my off time from Lucas if possible. Say "yes" when you mean yes and "no" when you mean no.
Just look at the numbers: randomly assigning and paying 35K upfront for every artist, despite the fact that they're doing different tasks and presumably have very different levels of experience, is idiotic.

Who the hell does that? Give them an hourly wage, monthly salary, or something. But just randomly picking a number out of your butt and then deciding that you'll hand it all out of front is crazy.

Again, this single thing with the artist is clearly not the only reason that this project sank. It's a sign, not a cause. The artist's decisions are his own, and frankly aren't all that relevant.
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:19 PM   #13
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Lucas apparently required him to stop doing work for anyone else, there was nothing binding that would keep him working on the project so he left. Should he have paid some of the money back? Sure, but it doesn't sound from their last update that it would've made much difference.

Quote:
Unfortunately, right off the bat we had one major incident that happened that we could not fix. Our good friend and matte painter really terrific artist that created most of the concept art with environments on the Kickstarter page, he left PDI to work at LucasArts. LucasArts wouldn't give him a carve out in his contract to work on Yogventures so he couldn't work on the project any longer.
Winterkewl in so many words admits they screwed up, mismanaged the money, couldn't hire a lead programmer, simply were not competent enough to take on the project. So all of this finger pointing is no more than them trying to lessen the hate and make people feel sorry for them.

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When Lewis found out about the artist incident he was rightly confused and upset, as a result he lost faith right away in my ability to run the company from a business standpoint and basically required that all the rest of the Kickstarter money that hadn't been spent be transferred to them right away. In the end we negotiated that to $150,000 would be transferred to the Yogscast with the understanding that they would use that money exclusively to create and ship all the physical rewards, AND they would help hire the main programmer that we still didn't have on the project.

The whole fiasco left a bad taste in all parties mouth and we could immediately feel tensions beginning to take the place of what was once just excitement and joy to be making such a cool game. In hindsight I wish I would have let Lewis manage all of the funds from the very beginning and essentially just taken a profit share contract from them so that there wasn't any of the confusion that happened later.

Time went on we began developing in earnest but without our main programmer and no funds to hire one it became clear that more of that role was going to be filled by me than I ever intended. Not to be daunted though I worked tirelessly for the next 18 months as did all of the people listed above. We never had another person drop out of the project and all of those artists produced a huge number of assets and for prices that by their normal work a day rates were really really low.

Unfortunately, too many design changes and my in-experience as a project lead and programmer were what's to blame for our company never really making what it was we set out to make. I am extremely proud of everyone that worked on this though, and even though the game wasn't finished what we were able to accomplish is a creative and artistic vision of a voxel world that hasn't been done that many times before. The character work and the props and textures all the concept art it was really lovely work and those guys should feel proud of what they did.
If anything it sounds like Jogcast should be the one refunding at least some of the money after reading this gem.

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Since the money was all spent either directly on development of the game or paid to the Yogscast to handle physical rewards and "licensing fees" I'm afraid Winterkewl Games has a negative balance at this point. We don't have any of the money left and as such can't really offer refunds.
Licensing for a game that will never see the light of day and physical rewards that will never be produced..yeah...
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:32 PM   #14
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Guy probably already spent the money. Could have been a deposit on a house or apartment or car or something. Kind of hard to pull out of that if that's the case.

Fault's entirely on Winterkewl.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:24 PM   #15
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PREDICTION!

A few options for the continuation of this story:

1. The artist steps forward to reveal his or her side of the story. It will likely include a note that the contract was filled in full and, oddly, was for a much lower sum than reported on these guys' books. Where did the balance funds go?

2. The artist doesn't exist, which will be revealed when Lucasarts comments on the--

...

Guys, Lucasarts doesn't exist as a video game company anymore.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:30 PM   #16
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PREDICTION!

A few options for the continuation of this story:

1. The artist steps forward to reveal his or her side of the story. It will likely include a note that the contract was filled in full and, oddly, was for a much lower sum than reported on these guys' books. Where did the balance funds go?

2. The artist doesn't exist, which will be revealed when Lucasarts comments on the--

...

Guys, Lucasarts doesn't exist as a video game company anymore.
3. Spent the money on hookers and crack!
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:37 PM   #17
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I actually care less about the artist would like more said about this:

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In the end we negotiated that to $150,000 would be transferred to the Yogscast with the understanding that they would use that money exclusively to create and ship all the physical rewards, AND they would help hire the main programmer that we still didn't have on the project
Since he then goes on to say:

Quote:
Time went on we began developing in earnest but without our main programmer and no funds to hire one it became clear that more of that role was going to be filled by me than I ever intended.
So why was one never hired? Why did Jogcast take the cash and then not deliver on any of its end of the deal and then just walk away with the leftover cash. Whatever happens the whole thing sounds like bullshit.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:28 PM   #18
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Wow, that artist was an asshole.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:30 PM   #19
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Guys guys Guys GUYS!

There is no Lucasarts gaming company! Either this guy abandoned the game industry to work in the film division, licensing division or Mr. Brindley forgot that and made the whole story up.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:37 PM   #20
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Guys guys Guys GUYS!

There is no Lucasarts gaming company! Either this guy abandoned the game industry to work in the film division, licensing division or Mr. Brindley forgot that and made the whole story up.
The project was funded over two years ago.
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