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sohmer

HEEEEEEEeeeeeeeelp?

Jul 10, 2013

It’s crunch time, folks, and I need your help.

I can’t stress enough just how much we want to make this game. We’ve been working on LFG & The Fork of Truth for many months now, and we all want nothing more than to keep working on it for you, for the next 14.

To date, we’re 27% funded and we’ve only got 8 days to go. 8 days to raise almost $440,000.

A lot of money, not a lot of time, but I believe that we can do it. I honestly do. 

If just 5% of LFG’s audience would pick-up the game, we’d be there. That’s it, just 5% and the game gets made.

So with that, I make a humble please. If you enjoy LFG, been enjoying it for the past 6-odd years, then please, consider backing this project. We will make it worth your while.

And if my constant shilling doesn’t work, let’s try another approach:

FoT_8days_blogpost

Thank you folks, let’s make this happen.

FoT_8days_blogpost

-Because I Can.



  • Aahz

    Dude, the goal was ridiculous to begin with. And nobody should be giving you any money until you’ve shown you can deliver on one of your many other projects. You know, like that movie you will never deliver on. Or the Least I Can Do Pilot, the PILOT, that you kickstarted two years ago.

    I’m not even sure the pilot would even be relevant anymore considering it’s probably filled with pop culture jokes older than Shrek’s got.

    • Aahz

      So I’m just going to point out here that I was the first to comment and I did not get a response from Sohmer like the rest. What was I right about?

      • Sindy

        Too much.

        He also couldn’t argue about anything ‘subjective’ like funds required for an indie game, or the best platform for that indie game, so..

        But he answered everyone else on “you didn’t deliver the pilot / LFG movie yet”. It’s a mystery.

        Maybe your avatar scares him!

        • Aahz

          No, it’s not a mystery. The LICD pilot aged while sitting on the shelf and he knows it. If you look at the original kickstarter page there are a bunch of charicatures from shows like Lost, House, The Office. Pop culture jokes need an outlet with a fast turn-around. That’s good for webcomics, (although somehow he thinks Gangnam Style jokes are still cool?), less so for a 2-year old cartoon.

          As far as my avatar… it’s the nose isn’t it. Always the nose.

    • Guest

      I agree 100%. While the idea is nice and i honestly want to see this game. How can i trust someone who has kick started so many things and to my knowledge not delivered a single one?

    • Wesley Foxx

      As I pointed out downthread, the goal wasn’t really absurd for a game’s production cost. The absurdity is mostly due to the very poor sense of timing and attempting to milk an increasingly disgruntled fandom.

      Fandoms can do amazing things to support their games (as I mentioned, Homestuck and Skullgirls both crushed their goals magnificently) but it requires the creators to be producing a product that the fandom is actually satisfied with at the time.

      • Aahz

        I agree about the production cost. Double Fine wanted $400,000 for their first kickstarter, ended up with over $3 million, and that still wasn’t enough to completely fund Broken Age. And this is an experienced game company with the resources to back up their project.

        I think it’s ridiculous because Sohmer clearly overestimated just how popular his comics were and misjudged how forgiving his fanbase was.

  • JZSquared

    A couple of things. One, I think you meant plea, not please. And two, where are you getting your numbers for that supposed five percent? I’d really like to know, because if it’s traffic, I think those numbers might not be reliable. Oh and three, you’re asking for a lot of money during an economic downturn. More importantly, the people have no guarantee that you’ll even be able to produce said product, or where their money goes if it fails. And don’t say it goes to another project that again may or may not be made. Plus you’re trying to take on too much all at once. You may want to pace yourself a bit on Kickstarter there. What with The Bear, this game, the pilot, a movie and that failed Con Season one. And now with Gutters getting the back seat treatment, it just seems like you’re trying to do too much, and it’s catching up to you.

    • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

      Actually, The Bear is done. The LICD pilot is done. The LFG Movie is in a holding pattern until we can raise more capital for it.

      As for Con Season? We tried something new, it didn’t work. That happens from time to time. That’s how you grow.

      And Gutters was operating at a loss, which is why it got backburned in favour of more profitable endeavours.

      Anything that we have ever taken money for, in the last 10 years, has been completed. The game is no different.

      • TP

        The LICD pilot, or at least the clip shown out of it, was not really what I would call a success though. The comments here were mostly negative, and I am sad that I have to say that I agree with them.

        Also, I actually work in a game development company. Trust me when I say that the budget for the Fork of Truth is on one side a low estimate, and on the other side to high for what you have shown so far and what the company can offer a a track record.

        The game competes with a veritable juggernaut on a graphical level: Torchlight.

        And that game is, apart from anything else, FUN. I cannot honestly see how TFOT might compare to that, not even with multiplayer options. The gameplay itself looks like chaos, unpolished, and overdone in so many ways (like the LICD pilot clip, unpolished where it counts, overdone where it hurts).

        To be more constructive in my criticism: Overdone way of displaying damage onscreen, taking up too much space, characters frequently obscured by surroundings/damage animations/smoke/whatever, looking frantic in combat but slow in movement, art style not here nor there (not comicky enough, yet not enough detail for something more serious, and that superdeformed cutie-Stuff has been out of style for years), and it honestly doesn’t look that engaging.

        You want a fun, over-the-top multiplayer game? It already exists, it is called Magicka. You want a fun Dungeon brawler? Torchlight. If you could manage to combine the fun of those two, then you’d have something epic on your hands but sadly, from what we have been shown so far the magic essence is missing.

        Sometimes it is better to let a beloved project die. I know it hurts. But sometimes it is really better to pull the plug early and minimize the losses. The storyline of LFG has been going all over the place for quite some time now and I get the impression that this happens because you put your attention to too many side projects.

        And when it comes to finishing projects: You promised that the LFG short with Richard (Slaughter the world) was a teaser for a movie in that style. If a whole movie had been done in that exact graphical style, and with that kind of humour (and the quality of the storyline until shortly after Krunch died) you’d have a real hit on your hands.

        But that didn’t work out for some reason and now we get sub-par animation (LICD series teaser) and a game that looks… like a 99cent iOS store game.

        By the way, the original LFG game already exists, and has existed for several years. It is called “World of Warcraft”.

        • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

          Just to address the LICD part of your post, you say it wasn’t a success based on feedback that you’ve read.

          I disagree there, as your metric for success isn’t ours.

          If 50,000 people viewed the clip, and 100 people said they don’t like it, is it a failure?

          Of course not.

          Someone who hates something is far more likely to post negative feedback, then someone who loves something is to post positive. That’s internet law.

          Look at this thread for example. Call it 10 negative posts, yet since I made this post, we’ve gotten almost 300 new backers.

          So does that make it a failure?

          Of course not.

          At the end of the day, if people want something, they’ll support it. If not, they don’t.

          That’s the metric we base success on.

          Everything else, is just an incorrect assumption.

          • TP

            If I remember correctly you disabled comments on Youtube. So the majority who stumbled upon the clip wasn’t able to comment (or not willing to create an account to do so).

            Also viewing does not equal liking.

            The 300 backers are nice, but probably not enough to turn around this whole thing. I stand by my technical criticism though, from a gameplay standpoint you will have to do major adjustments to the game, and I don’t know if the budget is enough for that. Remember that most people nowadays play on full-HD resolution or higher, and have huge screens (24 inch or more, since they cost next to nothing).

            The way the stuff is displayed in the game still reminds me of a mobile game where a lot of screen estate is obscured by your fingers and where you cannot see the how low-detailed the objects are because the screen is so small.

            The title just doesn’t emit any vibe for me that would make me pick it up and play. And I got the same reaction from all of my friends: Cute, yeah, but not that interesting and too chaotic.

            Please do not only do QA testing on the technical side but also a lot of gameplay testing, also with people who do not know LFG at all. I’ve seen a few games go down the drain because this wasn’t done early on in the design process (as soon as the game was playable). If it is fun, it will be so without any flashy graphics, the gameplay will speak for itself.

            I also still stand by my criticism regarding the LFG movie and the LFG storyline going down the drain (which you ignored both).
            Honestly, please answer at least why the animation quality of the old shorts was so much better than what you have released now. Slaughter your world looks tons better than the LICD pilot snippet, but I don’t suppose it was more expensive to make?!?

          • Paladin Studios

            Hi TP,

            Thanks for your comments. I just wanted to add that I totally agree that we should do a *lot* of playtesting before we even get close to finalizing the core mechanics. The demo you see in the Kickstarter campaign was literally one big crunch-time prototype, a vertical slice of the game which we built to test our initial ideas and have something to show instead of just concept art (that was probably a mistake for the KS campaign).

            It is merely the first step in a looong process of many, many iterations. We have a *lot* of work to do on the balancing, user interface, even the general game design (let alone the combat system and other specific elements of the game). Then there’s the multiplayer networking system, general visuals, all kinds of stuff that we need to take care of.

            Can we do it? I think so, but of course I’m biased :-) I understand that you have your question marks, and I speak for the whole Paladin team when I say that we appreciate the honest feedback, and we take all of it to heart. We just want to make great games and put a smile on your faces – we won’t settle for anything less, so we’re going to do all we can to make that work.

          • TP

            Hi Paladin Guys,

            thanks for the response. Honestly, from someone working in the same industry I wish you the best of luck for your endeavours, because I’ve seen a fair share of guys being given the boot when they honestly thought they were delivering good stuff. Sometimes it was due to stuff out of their control (i.e. the platform developing on gets abandoned from the creator mid-development), but mostly it was due to setting too optimistic goals and not being able to admit that something was going in the wrong direction, then going over time, over budget or – in most cases – both.

            If you create something you are ofcourse always against scrapping any of your work, because it is something you created. Thats natural but sadly it can’t be always avoided. That doesn’t mean that you should randomly throw away stuff, but be prepared to think: is this necessary?
            Also, for something like a kickstarter teaser video, maybe a target render would be more appropriate instead of an actual ingame engine video, especially when a lot is not set in stone yet.
            Normally I’m agains that flashy stuff that doesn’t hold up to later ingame graphics (I’m looking at you, EA!), but in this case it might have been a better marketing decision. People might want to see what they can expect, not what you currently have.

          • Paladin Studios

            Thanks TP. I agree, we took a sizable risk by adding the prototype to the video – we might have been better off with creating a couple of stills, and leaving the rest to imagination ;-)

            I can also relate to your statement on killing your darlings – constant building, experimentation, but most of all throwing away things, is part of our daily routine. Complicated designs stand in the way of a great experience. So it’s complexity we’re after, not complicated tangles of “stuff”.

            Bottom line, I do believe a prototype was the right thing to do, because it forced us to build something actually working in a really short timeframe. We have a much better feel for the hurdles we face (both in terms of design and technology). Even though it lacks polish, it’s a great start and it allowed us to experience first-hand whether the game would be fun or not. I can honestly say that playing it is a blast – albeit rough around the edges.

            Should we have shown it? Perhaps so, perhaps not ;-)

            Cheers!
            Derk

          • Sindy

            Oh, do you mean LFG being a Warcraft rip off is an incorrect assumption, too, or did you just ignore that part?

            Least you could’ve done was ditch Cale’s signature Blizzard elf eyebrows if you still hope people are to believe you’re doing a generic fantasy setting, at least for the game.

            Personally, I used to be a huge fan ages ago, got bitter over time. Too many empty promises (no, don’t reply again with ‘what empty promises we delivered everything?!’, I’ve read it a few times in the comments here), the art style and storytelling improved in the first years but then took a nosedive, the story has been dragging on pointlessly for literally years, whenever a fan gives negative feedback you are quick to diss them (could’ve dug up examples from the forums, but eh, they’re long dead, fortunately for some parties involved).

            When it was obvious interest in the story was lost, I at least held some respect for you being a good businessman, that’s an important part of being self employed. But you lost that touch too. And arguing with people who are giving negative feedback, still? Nah. That’s not what professionals do, professionals which you so often mock for being under your perceived professionalism.

            The comic was great when you admitted it’s a parody of WoW. Really. Everyone was talking about it on WoW back in the day, every friend of mine that played the game read the comic on every update, and it hooked people who had no clue of game mechanics either simply because it was charming. But for the past 4 or so years? Once you decided there isn’t possibly a single way in which you claiming your story/setting/designs/ideas are originally and totally not ripped off from WoW would cause a backlash? While simultaneously promising many side projects related or not related to LFG which you never delivered on? Yeah, that’s when quite a lot of your fans decided they’ve had enough.

            And from what I’ve seen, it only got worse over time. More and more people started posting on the forums that the comic is no longer even remotely decent, they’re just following it hoping that one day you’d return to being the professionals you were for a short period of time. More and more people started saying you’re no longer a good writer, Lar is no longer interested in delivering high quality art, they started spotting simple mistakes in the art style, which you two so ‘kindly’ dismissed if you even bothered to respond to. Then the forums mysteriously got hacked into or whatever the backup story was, after two of your mods called you out and left because they had enough.

            It’s going downhill for you, boys. Take a little break. Invest enthusiasm into your projects again. You’ll get your fanbase back. Well, some of the fanbase at least. Arguing with them in these comments and milking them of their money while delivering a sub par product (really, go check all the animation/game/comic kickstarters, they ask far less for far higher quality) isn’t helping your cause. Really, stop while you’re ahead, take a few steps back, take a deep breath, and give some time for this to settle down.

            You might not realize it, but the people who liked the comic the most are the ones most vocal now. They liked LFG. They liked LICD. They are disappointed in sub par work or work not delivered on time which they paid for and hoped for. They hate the fact that they come to LFG and LICD pages and they see the same old jokes and the art degrading and the stories going nowhere at all. This flow of kickstarters for various things which as far as they’re concerned were not delivered on time/at all aren’t helping your cause.

            Feel free to ignore this or retort with some ‘witty’ answer. The truth still stands. LFG started as a parody of a giant, putting on the mask of that giant, yelling funny words that make sense to people who know the giant, amusing those people. You lost most WoW fans when you decided to keep the mask and no longer yell “I am the giant!” but “I am unique and special and in no way the giant!”, because if there is one thing people on the internet can’t stand, it’s plagiarism and not admitting you were inspired by x work, or keeping designs from said work if you decide you have to contradict everyone that says “dude. Those character designs. They yell Blizzard.”
            So yes. Take this failure, or almost failure if you will somehow manage to succeed with the funding, and reassess your business plan. You’re not artists, if you were you’d have respect for other artists’ works, which you obviously don’t. You’re businessmen. A businessman knows when it’s a good time to make investments and when it isn’t. It won’t be for a while. Deliver what people invested in, and you’ll have your overpriced kickstarters funded once more soon enough, by those “5% of readers”. Though at this point I suspect most of your hits are people who come back just to check the newest update to mock it and feel a little better about themselves. God knows all my friends and I do. And every now and then we feel a little sad remembering that some time ago we were all huge fans of your work.

          • Sam Sharpe

            Shomer, Lar… I know its hard to get these kinds of messages but honestly. These guys aren’t wrong. A few strips back you had a real constant flow of zingers on LICD, and I was really hopeful it was a sign of great things to come. But it seems it was merely a momentary drop of muse in an otherwise dull comic. I love your work, I enjoyed Gutters for a while, I’ve read LICD since the 100th strip, if not before, and I have followed both nearly daily. And I’m disappointing.

            I love everything you’ve guys have put out, for a time. But the gods honest truth is, I only keep coming back here because you keep baiting Richards past, but never deliver, and that interest is fading quickly. The Pilot was awful for LICD, compared to your other animation work Slaughter the World. I don’t mean to bash, but I know you guys have potential. I still go back and binge read the first 300 strips of LFG in a day every couple of months. LFG is dieing, has been for quite a long time, and I feel like LICD is going to die as well if you can’t drum up some muse for it. You guys were artists, now you are businessmen. Please… Take a step back and turn back into artists with some passion. I love your work and it saddens me to see this continuing decline in quality, I want to be a true fan of yours again, not one jaded and venting out in the comment section.

          • MuchachoNL

            Warcraft rip off, or parody?
            Choose your words carefully.

          • Sindy

            Rip off.

            While legally it doesn’t fall under either parody or copyright infringement (sadly), let’s see how it goes. Gonna extend more than necessary in case somebody who lurks around here was actually wondering these things for themselves, because heaven knows it took me quite a while to figure how copyright works. Anyway. The law requires concrete copyrighted terms be named for a work to qualify as either parody or derivative work – if LFG would be set in Azeroth or any of the location/proper names in WoW would be used, it would’ve been considered a parody, derivative work or fanart, as follows:

            > A parody would use the same settings/story, but make fun of it. It would be a satire. It could have a serious story at the middle, but people who do parodies of existing works usually do them for pure mockery. Legally, depending on country or state, there is a certain balance between mockery, reusing elements and originality that settle a thing as a parody. Certain works are easily deemed parodies by the law while others are deemed copyright infringements. In some places in EU it’s required that even for a parody you ask permission of the original creator, which is why a WoW legit parody webcomic (Shakes and Fidget) made by EU creators was faced with cease and desist letters from Blizzard – they did exactly what the law in US permits and considers fair use (mocked the works, added a copyright notice, etc), however, under European law, they were doing something illegal, so the EU Blizzard offices could sue them.

            A parody could also create its own alternate universe that is really similar to one, or more, already created, but mock them all. Think of all those [something] Movies that keep coming out. Think of Parry Hotter. They’re parodies, they’re set in a different place, at a different time, reuse similar designs and are comedies.

            However, you may be inclined to say LFG is the latter. It isn’t. They do not mock Blizzard’s work, and haven’t done in a long time. I’d go as far as to say they never mocked Blizzard’s work explicitly, but I might be wrong, it has been quite some time since I read the earliest chapters. There are a few general gaming jokes, but they are general gaming. They never go “Geee, Dalaran’s purple makes my eyes go blind” or “Boy, does the server lag when we try to trade or what?”. Think of any and all WoW comics out there right now. They all are parodies of WoW. LFG isn’t. The only moment in which they clearly parodied WoW was that one loading screen when they were crossing a zone. This is an episodic joke which is legal even in non-derivative works, so it can’t count for “LFG parodies WoW”.

            > A derivative work would use the same settings/story and have permission from the original creators to distribute these works. The Warcraft novels are derivative works, as are the comics. The entire Dungeons and Dragons series is a bunch of derivative works in different iterations of the same universe. Movies are derivative works. Et cetera.

            > Fanart uses similar designs/names/settings/etc. as the work it’s based on. Fanart is legal as long as neither party involved (the creator of the fanart and the copyright holder of the original work) gain any benefit out of it. Now, this is where it’s all a grey territory and it depends a lot on the creator you’re dealing with. Blizzard are extremely tolerant to fanworks, and by extremely tolerant I mean they go as far as to encourage them – there’s shows of fanworks at every Blizzcon, they have their own fanworks gallery on their websites, they recently published a fanart book, they took in fanon and made it canon with due credit to the fans, there are NPCs named after people who are active in the fan community (making fansites, guides, resource pages, etc), they even went as far as to hire some of their fanartists for temporary or permanent positions. They only sent one cease and desist letter that I’m aware of, to the aforementioned Shakes and Fidget comic, because it fell under copyright infringement in Germany, where it was hosted. Blizzard is a very, very tolerant company.

            You do not see that with other companies or creators often. I know J K Rowling is really close to her fans, too, but even she sent cease and desist letters to several fansites for posting copyrighted content or attempting to profit from fanart/fanfiction. And let’s not get into the whole Disney and Anne Rice talk, who go after fanartists and fanwriters extremely often to a degree in which it’s easier just to stop making fanworks for their settings altogether.

            Remember that fanart is illegal as long as any profit is made from it, and a lot of lawyers win cases easily by simply proving there is a non-material profit to be made, like fame or a skill gain or ideas you might reuse later. If somebody wants to shake off all their fans, they bloody well can from a legal standpoint. They rarely do because what’s the gain of suing and covering all legal costs just to get a kid to stop drawing Ariel in BDSM outfit or whatever. Usually fanworks end in instance only when there is huge profit to be made by the fan or if the creator is really, really bitchy (like Anne Rice who sent tons of fanwriters cease and desist letters).

            From a legal standpoint, LFG doesn’t fall under any of these. It miiiiight fall under parody but doubt it. No, it’s its own standalone universe, legally.

            But legally stealing a stereo is worse than killing a person while drunk or raping somebody, and when people are out murdering or kidnapping each other judges and governors tend not to give a damn about some dudes drawing sandworms and aliens like some other dudes.

            No, this talk isn’t from a legal standpoint, it’s from a moral one. Morally, I’m inclined to say you wouldn’t rate “dude stole a $500 stereo from shop” higher than “dude got drunk and crashed his car into this small kid crossing the street with his granny”.

            Legally, elements like “long eyebrows”, “blue cat people”, “sandworms”, “green monster people”, “cow people”, “midgets with hairy feet”, “seven headed snake”, “winged horse”, “seven stories tall gorilla”, “sparkling vampires”, “lion with man head and wings”, “Canadian dude with retractable claws”, “schoolkid with glasses and a wicked lightning scar” cannot be copyrighted or used in a copyright infringement lawsuit. And only some of them are copyrighted in name – you’d get sued for using Na’vi, you’d get sued for using Wolverine only if relating to the Canadian dude, and you’d never get sued for using Pegasus. Legally, some peoples’ ideas are better than other peoples’ ideas, and all your ideas become obsolete after you’ve spent a century dead.

            Morally, however, most people will easily go “Pfff you totally ripped off [work], you lack originality”.

            Morally, every Canadian dude with retractable claws is Wolverine, even if legally he is Bob Stevens. Morally, every lion with man head and wings is a Sphinx, even if legally it’d be a Lionello or whatever. Morally, a winged horse is Pegasus (or a pegasus as of recent fantasy), even if legally it can be a Thestral, a Hillhorse, an Air Pony or whatever.

            Legally, Marvel couldn’t sue the guy who writes and sells merchandise based on Bob Stevens, drunk Canadian dude with retractable bone claws based on a mutation. Morally, all Wolverine fans would be really, really ticked off.

            You see, it’s worse when one thing starts as fanart acknowledged even by the creator and ends up claiming it’s NOT. Let’s say I’m writing about Wolverine, and I want to put him in space, right? It’s an awesome fanfic and Marvel didn’t think of putting him there! (Actually they might’ve, but moving on)

            My Wolverine story is starting to get really popular. But I’ve never truly called him Wolverine so far in the story, and the setting isn’t the same as Marvel’s and I’m totally awesome at this and look at all the fans I got and meh there’s some guys posting links to my fanfic on X-Men wiki under Wolverine but who cares? Wolverine is now Bob Stevens! Boy, I’ll get rich, I tell you. Rich!

            So I start writing more about Bob Stevens. He’s in space, he finds a wormhole that takes him to 11th century where he meets the winged pony Negasus, and together they team up to beat Lydra the seven-headed snake and Ha’vi, some blue cat people who have long eybrows, and then a seven story tall gorilla named Queen Blong comes along and beats everyone up. And this story is TOTALLY mine, folks! And totally awesome! Now give me your money!

            Legally I could damn well write and sell that (at this point as parody, but if I had only written about Bob Stevens doing my own original story, it would’ve been my own original story). Morally?

            Yeah, I dare you to find me a single forum where they wouldn’t rip me a new one for being completely unoriginal and ripping off every work in the history of ever.

            The reason I keep mentioning that Lar and Sohmer aren’t artists is simple – artists have love for their craft and are positively inspired by other works. An artist would be positively inspired by Wolverine and create a character that has a little bit of Wolverine, but nothing trademark to him. Instead of retractable hand claws, he’d have claws on his fingers. And because the Wolverine example is too tight and new, let me put it into perspective:

            Nothing in this world is original. Nada. People claim all fantasy started with Tolkien but I beg to differ – Tolkien copied ancient mythology and added his own touch to it – he turned leprechauns to hobbits, he made Ork (an animalistic greenish giant from Spain if I recall correctly) into a race, he gave the elves backs and his Horsemen of the Apocalypse bore a different name. Tolkien loved ancient mythology and recreated it with his own spins and elements to it.
            Then people read LotR and got inspired by it. And many, many fantasy settings were created. Some still took inspiration from original mythology and added more myths to their settings – Native American, Asian, African, not just European. Others created their own iterations of the races Tolkien (or others) used. Here, let’s take elves because that’s what I brought up – Drows, Night Elves, High Elves, Dark Elves, many other names that I can’t recall – have been made and remade in the last century since LotR was published. None of them have the long eyebrows that Blizzard added to their version. To return to our Bob, mutants have been a huge theme in the past 30 or so years, none of them have the retractable claws between their finger joints that Wolverine has.

            Legally, these elements are not copyrighted, or we’d all have to give fat bucks to whoever designed the ancient hollow-backed elves of Scandinavian mythology or whoever invented the name Bob.
            But morally, if we see one thing in only one work, and especially if we are fans of said work, we are conditioned to notice moral-standpoint rip offs. Fans of Wolverine immediately would recognize my Bob. Fans of LotR hate absolutely every fantasy written after LotR. Fans of Blizzard look at the long eyebrows and go “Yep. Blood Elf.”
            It’s an element that is so trademark to a specific work in our minds and so easily modified by a simple choice (WHY the long eyebrows? They make no physical or evolutionary sense, so why keep them other than because WoW elves have them and we’re unoriginal?) that it brings a bitter taste to our mouths. It’s same with the “class”/”race” designs. WHY does Benny look oddly like a troll female with even a particular WoW-available hairstyle and color? WHY does [old] Richard look and act like any Forsaken Warlock everyone roleplayed ever? WHY does Cale start off the story by wondering why his race is supposed to be evil when he isn’t? [By the way, whether Blood Elves are good or evil WAS a pretty big theme at the time LFG came out, maybe it doesn't ring a bell for people who didn't play WoW and read LFG as it came out, but it sure does for us] WHY is Krunch a peaceful, wise cow-man? WHY this particular choice of fantasy races, of all available? [Orc, Troll, Forsaken, Tauren, Blood Elf was the layout of Horde back then] WHY this particular choice of ‘classes’? [Blood Elf hunters had bows, dual wielding and pets back then, and panthers are a possible choice in WoW. Forsaken Warlocks were playable. Troll Priests - later Druids (around the time Benny started using roots and other parts of flora) - were playable. Tauren Warriors were playable.] WHY is Azeroth not mentioned at all by name at any point despite this clearly being Azeroth and despite LFG clearly being a WoW fancomic for a long time? [This question was viable before Legara was mentioned and Sohmer and Lar no longer listed LFG as a WoW webcomic - possibly coinciding with the time they realized they could avoid the law and cash in on merchandise no probs]

            So this is what goes through my mind every time I look at LFG and I can safely say “Rip off” and be at peace with this decision.

            Edit: Oh god this wall of text, forgive me :(

          • MuchachoNL

            I’ve finally made it through your wall of text, and I have to say I’m impressed by the level of research you’ve done on the legal part.
            For me as a plebian without any legal knowledge whatsoever, my versions are quite simple: Rip off = doing something quite similar as the ‘original’ creator, but just one little difference to try and make it legal.
            A parody for me can be as wide as going from doing slapsticks with characters who are merely based on a game/movie/whatever, to a mockery of the complete set-up of a movie/game. Like your example of those (mostly) awful movies like Superhero Movie and Scary Movie…

            LFG fits in the first parody category for me.
            Richard doing a Rickroll on the temple sisters, for example.

          • Sindy

            Yeah, sorry for throwing that at you, got carried away.

            As to my ‘legal knowledge’ – it’s just my own struggles trying to find what’s legally doable with fanart and what isn’t. And the law about what’s original and what’s a copy is shady at best. For example, after hitting that wall of text I decided to peek around a little more and in some states a parody doesn’t even have to be a satire, but on the other hand it has to have only the minimum elements necessary to suggest in the mind of the reader/viewer that it’s about the original work. By these laws, LFG would qualify as parody, but it’s once more back to everyone’s moral and personal definition of what’s what, I guess.

            Laws are complicated, they should be universal.

            Anyway, I’m aware that a lot of people do qualify LFG as a parody, but to my definition of parody it would mean mocking the original work, not just slapping in memes and Rickrolls and Gangam Styles to try and achieve comedy. LFG truly started as a parody even by my definitions, a parody of WoW and general fantasy settings, but then it started taking itself seriously, failing at that, and ended as if it were Fantasy Movie – using every trope ever without truly using any of them to their maximum comedic/satirical effect. Let’s take the latest pages, we all know what Cale’s red shoes are a joke about, except they’re not really a joke beyond “Cale has Dorothy’s red shoes.” A few years ago it would’ve probably been continued satirically, but now it seems Sohmer lost interest beyond throwing in whatever pop culture reference passes through his head.

            Anyway, have an e-cookie for sticking through two falls of text and some extra.

          • MuchachoNL

            I do wonder when we’re actually having a steady month of plot advancement again, yes :)

            Thanks for the e-cookie… glass of e-milk? :)

  • Steve

    As much as I hate to say it I have to agree with the other two comments to some degree. I backed the This is War Kickstarter, and can’t wait for it to be done, but my contribution to that wasn’t exactly small. If you want people to back the project to their own satisfaction you’ve got to allow some time for the funds to replenish.

    • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

      I do agree there, but TiW had only 2700 backers, there was a huge portion of the audience that we hadn’t tapped.

      • Cerridwen

        Wait, there are some fans who didn’t contribute financially? How hard it is to support something you love? They should stop being selfish imo, even the smallest amount could help the kickstarter.

        • Sindy

          Yeah, those fans would rather pay game companies like Blizzard and Ubisoft and such.. Those companies who make so much money for so bad work. I’m never paying big names again ever, they’re overpriced anyway.

          • Cerridwen

            Yeah, I played WoW once and it bored me. The mechanics and general gameplay were something I’ve seen again and again in countless MMOs. Some of which were even newer, with better graphics.

          • Sindy

            Yeah, and that Kung Fu Panda ripoff they did 12 years ago, man. I swear, I envy Blizzard for their time machine. Good thing they use it so much everyone knows about it by now. Like pff, who would believe they created the biggest MMO? And that their designs are unique? I mean, I bet they ripped off the designs in LFG for their races and classes.

          • Cerridwen

            No need to troll, the designs for pandaren 12 years ago were half assed and could’ve gone either way. Now that they’re fleshed out in the latest expansion, they’re truly a ripoff. I mean, seriously? Pandas and martial arts? It’s just a lazy way to put 2 and 2 together. Doesn’t take very much imagination to associate two well known elements of Asian culture, anyone could do it.

          • Sindy

            Yeah, and they ride Chinese dragons. I loved the part in the movie when Po and Tigress were riding a Chinese dragon. I choked on my popcorn then out of excitement, then I realized Blizzard ripped it off and boy, was I ever pissed off!

            And what planet has undiscovered, uncharted islands in hostile waters? That’s so dumb!

          • Cerridwen

            Dunno, if they kept the Asian/Chinese look and changed the names, I reckon I would’ve liked it more. Seems like a cheap rip-off this way if you ask me.

          • Sam Sharpe

            They made it……. WAY BEFORE KUNG FU PANDA! Thats like saying Warhammer ripped of Gears of War or some bullshit like that.

          • Cerridwen

            Your sarcasm detector is in dire need of fixing D:

          • Jeebus

            Yeah and I loved the part of Warcraft 3 where they had the drunken kung-fu-wielding panda wandering about.. You know, 5 years before Kung-Fu Panda came along.

            And by the way, I think the island was hidden in some kind of magic mist.. It’s kinda in the title of the expansion.

          • Sindy

            (Earth had uncharted islands all the way into 1800s and I’m sure it still does, as they still form and sink and move around, And I also know Samwise came up with Pandaren in 1998, but I spent too much time on the hater forums to know nobody believes either of those. I was trolling with this is all, sarcasm ahoy towards the other guy.)

          • Ceci Pipe

            “Unique”. Warhammer Fantasy came out before Warcraft, Warhammer 40K came out before Starcraft. That Blizzard made them a video game doesn’t make them unique, just savvy.

            ‘Course, Wizards ripped off Lord of the Rings, Lord of the Rings sends a cooee to Beowulf, Star Wars nods toward Dune while completely ignoring it’s existence, etc. Originality is hard. The only good thing about WoW was that the two sides were different which made it interesting and the mechanics were well done. Fast forward to today and we have Tauren Paladins (Holy Cow was taken so fast ;_;) and there’s plenty of smoother games around. Started well, but eh.

          • Sindy

            Not this Warcraft/Warhammer and everything/LotR thing again…

            Reusing races is not what makes fantasy unique. It’s how they spin their designs and use them. Warhammer orcs and Blizzard orcs are nothing alike, design-wise or mechanic-wise, other than “big green men with huge jaw”, but Hulk could be put into the same category, as can every orc ever. 100% originality does not exist in this date and time, as we consciously or unconsciously draw ideas from any work that makes us enjoy it. A lot of successful artists/writers give everyone the same tip to create something: Think of what you like, now fix its flaws. It’s how the creation process works, apparently.

            However, each setting has easily identifiable designs, and Blizzard’s don’t fall short. I don’t care that people keep saying if you put Warcraft and Starcraft together it’s Warhammer, because while close enough, it’s pointless. If you put Lord of the Rings and Dungeons and Dragons together, it’s European fantasy.

            It’s what they did with the reused elements that makes a work unique. And yeah, Blizz’s designs are unique. Any person who has ever played both Warhammer and WoW can easily tell what design belongs to who. One has fungi orcs, one has mammal orcs, simple as that. Orcs as they may be, both are unique in their own right.

            For example, elves aren’t original, Tolkien got them from Scandinavian mythology, put his own spin on them thus made his own original elves. Fast forward to today, and I’m sure everyone can tell which elves are exactly drawn from Tolkien elves and which are those that got a little originality thrown in the mix. Blizzard is in the latter.

            So yeah, while their races and class designs and whatnot may be used in hundreds other games, it’s certain aspects and details that does make them as truly original as possible today.

            (Cataclysm was awful, a lot of decisions had no lore base or good continuity, I guess trying to expand the class/race choices was a good idea at its core but too many people were attached to the make-believe rules of the lore. Pandaria is a little bit better, but still not as good as the earlier expansions. Though I personally love what they did with the Asian mythology in it – take this as an example of bringing originality into an already overused idea if you want.)

            What is it with me and walls of text? It’s like I need a hobby.

          • Ceci Pipe

            Funny that, I say the settings aren’t original. You disagree with me, say that Blizzard is unique, but that originality is impossible, but that Blizzard is amazing, but that Lord of the Rings ripped off Elves, but that Blizzard didn’t.

            Relax more. :P I did specify Warhammer Fantasy btw, the setting is almost identical to Warcraft. Starcraft is Warhammer 40K, from nids to marines. The fungus update for orcses is new’ish. I didn’t claim Lord of the Rings to be the vanilla form of high fantasy, I noted the borrowing’s that Tolkien did. If you’re going to play strawman though then I’m happy to oblige, Tolkien is more original than Blizzard ever have been.

          • Sindy

            No, you see, not all parallels or examples are strawman fallacies. It’s a fair ‘nobody is original, here, have an example of a person who everyone believes to be original and who in fact isn’t.’

            Originality is in the eye of the beholder, which in cases of art/books/whatever is usually the critic. We all are inclined to claim the works we like are the best ever and everything else is a cheap copy. Haters are even more inclined to disagree for the sake of disagreeing, just check all that ongoing ‘Blizzard ripped off Kung Fu Panda” thing. It’s impossible due to flow of time but it ain’t stopping anybody.

            Anyway, you’d be closer if you said ‘Blizzard took Warhammer 40k and split it into Warcraft and Starcraft to avoid copyright infringement’ because yeah, that truly is most likely it. I’m certain someone at Blizzard liked Warhammer 40k and got inspired by it. However, they did not, as far as I’m familiar with Warhammer lore and mechanics, take everything in its exact form and call it a day. They also added a lot of their own elements to the setting, so while at base it could be called Warhammer it’s as plausible and just as pointless as pointing out that every fantasy ever was based on LotR and/or ancient mythology.

            The creative process works that way – you get inspired by something and use elements of it and make it their own. A lot of tips on how to write a good novel are “take your favorite novels and think what you’d change about them”.

            Which is why I brought up that true originality does not exist. Everything is based on something that came before it. And all of them are based on some caveman eating a funny looking mushroom.

            Also, I didn’t say that LotR ripped off elves and Blizzard didn’t, read that paragraph again. I said Tolkien used elves from Scandinavian mythology and added his own spin to it, thus making a copy an original. After him came tons of fantasy authors who either rolled around with his take on elves or created new ones – for example drows are someone’s “what if I mixed elves with darkness and spiders and this little British story of little evil dark fae folk I heard once?” and Blizzard’s elves are “what if elves had long eyebrows to match their long ears?” They’re little changes that deem the designs original. Tolkien’s design is just as original as drows or Blizzard elves – you know where they originated and got their inspiration from, but you also know who they belong to.
            And this is an example, because things as creative arts cannot be measured in strict scales (but how blond is the hair of Dragonlance elves? Is it just as blond as Tolkien? Or is it blonder? By what measure, a 0.1% blondness?), ’cause if they were, the entire copyright thing would be as easy as measuring how much extra blondness does this elf have.

            Blizzard is original in the same way Tolkien is original, in the same way Shakespeare is original, or in the same way the Bible is original, you either accept that all are original in the sense that they made a preexisting item their own original interpretation, or you accept that all are copies of existing works because they have a similar setting or similar green people.

            Sadly for everyone, originality is only measured in a very vague legal term of ‘hey, look at this picture of a hairy tall humanoid wielding a gun, does it look more like Chewbacca or Yeti to you?’

          • Ceci Pipe

            It’s a strawman because I said “Lord of the Rings sends a cooee to Beowulf” and your response was “Not this Warcraft/Warhammer and everything/LotR again” and “Tolkien got them from Scandinavian mythology”. I know this, I said this, I said originality is hard. You’re now moving the goalposts and claiming originality is in the eye of the beholder. Another fallacy. :P For an easy introduction to common fallacies, I recommend yourlogicalfallacyis.com. So far you’ve got Strawman and Special Pleading.

            I’d be lying too if I said “Blizzard took Warhammer 40K and split it into Warcraft and Starcraft to avoid copyright infringement”, I mentioned Warhammer Fantasy for a reason. Warhammer 40K is space marines, plasma guns, tyranids, chainswords, and flamerthrowers, with hulking mecha units in the background. Warhammer Fantasy is knights on horseback, orcs, elves with bows, your typical high fantasy setting. I said Warcraft ripped off Warhammer Fantasy because it did. The settings are so similar it’s ridiculous, down to Chaos/Scourge amd undead armies.

            I didn’t mention Kung Fu Panda because animal martial artists have been around for a very long time, longer than I’ve cared to look back anyway. And panda’s being distinctly Asian, it’s an inevitable mix. I think panda’s even got a mention in one of the Kara-Tur DnD sourcebooks. I don’t have to say that Tolkien is as original as Blizzard either, I can say that Tolkien invented several working languages, and gave a lot of unique touches to his work. I can point to Blizzard and note how ridiculously similar they are to a few other settings, notably Warhammer Fantasy. You’re right that true originality is impossible (Like I believe I mentioned first comment :P) so in that extreme sense Tolkien is as original as Blizzard. But levels of originality exist, some people take something and run with it, others simply package it better. Tolkien did the first, Blizzard did the latter.

            I don’t hate Blizzard games, I’ve purchased most of them at least once, some multiple times. I do think that the way their games are played… Well Warcraft wasn’t original, too much like C&C. Warcraft 3 was at least the most popular skirmish style RTS which gave games like CoH and DoW2 the kick they needed to take that concept and improve it. However, story wise no. Blizzard is not as original as Tolkien.

          • Sindy

            First off, how am I moving the goalposts by stating that it’s pointless to argue about originality as a. it doesn’t exist and b. it’s subjective, anyway? It has been my point from the first argument.

            Also, no, me saying things can be original but really aren’t because originality is impossible is nowhere near a strawman. If you want to be technical, it’s a [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum"]Reductio ad absurdum[/url], which at least I’ve learned in maths class years ago. It’s a viable way to prove something. I’ve proved true originality is impossible, and thus either nobody is original or everybody who adds their own elements to their stories is original. So while I did prove what I sent out to prove, I did not notice you added Tolkien before I added the whole thing, so I ran with it as ‘let’s compare as if they didn’t add exactly that’. I also used a parallel example that was not Warcraft to Warhammer but similar.

            And while I do agree that Warcraft drew inspiration from Warhammer, so you repeating it is pointless, I do need to point out one thing – Chaos and Scourge aren’t the same. There were far, far better examples you could’ve given than that, just saying. But all in all, yes, Warcraft and Warhammer are both settings closely based on 1970s era Dungeons and Dragons. Fantasy is all the same if you reduce it to the bare bones of races / alliances between different races of good and evil / plot. It’s what people do with elements that deems whether something is an exact copy of something else or simply draws inspiration from another work. It is no secret Blizzard were huge fans of Warhammer series, as both their games show, but once again, call it strawman if you wish, I’ll call it a parallel example, all fantasy is based on LotR and LotR is based on old mythology. Everything is based on everything in today’s world and the majority of people seem to judge a work simply: Is it something else I read? And then it becomes subjective, you either go ‘yeah, orcs fighting elves is something I totally read before’ or ‘I didn’t see these exact characters doing these exact same things with these exact same outcomes before.’

            Anyway, back to our LotR vs Warcraft in terms of originality: both LotR and Warcraft are in non-original settings. LotR is Norway and Britain with their respective mythology, Warcraft is Warhammer. Story-wise, they both have an original story which is not seen in its exact form anywhere else. Tolkien was a linguistic professor for Oxford, so his speciality was understanding how a language works and what makes a language viable, and thus he was able to create his languages and write in a very specific and intellectual style. Blizzard does computer games, they specialize in computer game programming, they created games for their stories. Let’s take these two elements out, as this is what they specialize in. We’re left with two copied settings using copied races that are modified to their creator’s tastes and which were used to tell an original story.

            Did I make myself any clearer? Probably not.

          • http://stardustreview.webnode.it/ Alessandro B.

            Just out of curiosity, do you know what’s the legal status of comic remix/strip slaying?

          • Sindy

            I’m not entirely sure, but it seems to vary from place to place. In most US states it appears to be considered parody. They are entirely legal everywhere if you have permission from the original creator.

            Generally I’d say the rules of fanart and/or parody apply – create it for no profit, distribute it by crediting original works, do not repost the entire work as is with just a few words modified.
            If you refer to remixes of comics of established companies like Marvel they seem to fall under parody in US but it’s best to credit Marvel with the issue number/name of artist and/or writer, and not use it for profit.
            If it’s for webcomics the same rules apply with an important note – while some webcomic creators actually do remixes themselves or host remixes on their own forums and consider them a fun activity, there have been a couple of webomic creators who removed remixes of their strips from all websites they could with as big show as possible. For example it’s extremely easy to get them removed from social sites like Facebook, Tumblr or Livejournal as these follow a stricter set of general copyright rules – there have been cases of fanart, fanfiction or even sporkings/mock strips being removed if the author contacted the website administration. If you host them on your own website it depends a lot on how easily the host is contacted and what rules they adhere to.

            Generally, though, you should be fine as long as you don’t seek profit out of it or claim it as your own (after all, the art IS still being copied despite the word content or the panel order or minor details being altered), and crediting the original website does placate most creators as they still get people checking their stuff out. You might even get some thanks, some webcomic creators actually encourage their fanbase to repost funny edits/mocks anywhere they want as long as you credit the original. If you’re unsure about how a particular creator responds, check around. LFG and LICD have some posted on their own forums so they aren’t hostile against them, but if you’re asking about somebody else my best guess is either check around if others have done them and what was the creator’s attitude towards them or just contact the creator if you want to be 100% safe.

      • Steve

        TiW had 2700 backers. You could look at that and say there is a huge untapped portion, but you could also look at that and say if there was such a large group that didn’t back it, why? Just from a business standpoint is it feasible that if the majority of your fan base did not back the first project, that they would back a larger and more ambitious one?

        All I’m trying to say is that if your core (say the 2700) is tapped out, they can’t make the contribution they want. If they can’t make the contribution they want, they’re liable not to make a contribution at all. If your core doesn’t make their contributions, the amount stays low and those who were thinking of backing it shy away because the money meter isn’t going up as fast as it could. I hope the game gets made, I really do, but it seems to me that the hardest thing about comedy is also the hardest thing about Kickstarter. Timing.

  • ZomBie

    Also, Without any paypal option or IDeal, you shut out at least half your european fans.
    Most don’t have creditcards.

    • Jochen

      That’s nonsense. Really don’t talk about things you have no clue of! Most of the european people have credit cards! Really, do you also thing most of us do not have electricity?

      • ZomBie

        Ok, let me put it this way.
        -> I <- know a lot of people that don't have credit cards.
        And when star citizen was being funded, I saw that at least t 1/4 of the funding came through paypal.
        So without a paypal or IDeal option, you still shut out people that could pledge.

        • Ceci Pipe

          Just a note to say that relying on experiential evidence is fallacious, you could be an anomaly on the bell curve of life and everyone else could well have a completely different experience.

          EDIT: Although locking out Paypal is indeed annoying.

      • Niels

        It was wrong to say that most Europeans don’t have credit cards, but in some countries that really is true. I know of one country (and seeing as ZomBie is talking about iDeal, it’s probably his, since iDeal really only is a thing in 1 country but they seem to think the rest of the world uses it too) where people just don’t like credit cards (because they’re a bit stingy, and they think credit cards would turn them into spend-crazy shopping monkeys :P). Anyway, the residents of that country seem to think the rest of the world should just use iDeal (but we don’t!), although I have to admit since the developers of the game (Palladin that is) are from the same country, maybe they should have the option to get some support from the home front.. Oh and no flaming was intended to my friendly neighbours, I just don’t get your iDeal-obsession :). And I have to agree that PayPal would attract more backers, I don’t have a steady income (I’m a student for still a few more months) so I can’t have a credit card and this restriction is forcing me to ask my mum or dad for their credit card, which I’m not doing just to fund a game.

      • TimeShift

        >i< am the ONLY one of ALL my friends and of my family to have credit cards – and I ONLY got them because I used to go on vacation in the US – and you're looked at quite oddly if you try to pay with cash-only everywhere (IF it is possible at all). So I have to agree – locking PayPal out means a lockout for MANY european countries (or, at least, the majority of the people living there)

        • Jochen

          Well, i definitly argree, locking out PayPal wasn’t the best idea. But generalizing isn’t the best idea too. Maybe it depends on the region of europe if many people have credit cards or not, so maybe in your region use of credit cards isn’t that normal. In my case it was the exact opposite than in yours. For a long time i was the only one in my family and all of my friends to NOT have a credit card. Today you can pay nearly everywhere with credit card. Even in the supermarket. Maybe not in small shops or bars but thats it. Everyone i know has one.

          • Guest

            The problem with PayPal and other third party payment methods is that the donated money won’t be added to the Kickstarter funding progress. So Blind Ferret would have to use the ‘PayPal-money’ and pledge it themselves to actually make a difference.

          • Juri

            Let us assume the size of your family is 100, you have 200 friends, 200 coworkers, 750 acquaintances. There are approximately 740 million Europeans. Thus you still know a lot less people than 1% of the European population, but you consider yourself and the people in your social vicinity representative enough to argue that most Europeans have credit cards and you call other posters clueless? Please stop assuming that you are the center of the world and that you have a better grasp of reality than your international peers.

          • Jochen

            I guess you think of yourself as one of these “international peers”. Who knows everything about everything? Seems to me as some egocentric view of the world too…

            Also seems to me that you are one of these people, who only hear, what they want to hear and, in this case, only read what they want to read. And please stop assuming that it is good behavior trolling discussions with your pyseudo wisdom.

          • brian_t_g

            this is the most boring argument anyone has ever had.

      • Juri

        Most of the European people have credits cards and other people have no clue?!

        How about opening your window shutters and taking a look at reality? How about leaving Oz for a while and checking out that world outside your small horizon? Did you know that Italy, Spain, Poland, the Czech Rep, Slovakia, and Hungary belong to the European Union?

        You might have electricity, but oh boy, your light bulb still does not even faintly glow!

        • Jochen

          Well, well well.Maybe i was exaggerating a little. Maybe because i have no clue of geography, and i thought Sweden or Germany or the Netherlands, countries, where a lot of people have credit cars, do belong to the EU. Maybe because my light bulb does not glow enough and i am too dumb to realize, credit cards are only used in the US. Or maybe to prove a point and show that the statement “most do not have” is a generalization without knowing all facts? Nobody will ever know! But for sure, after your statement, everyone will know, that we Europians are rude people without manners who like to insult each other!

          You might have proven a point either, but oh boy, your mother didn’t even faintly taught you how to behave!

        • Sindy

          You can use credit cards in all of the countries you mentioned. And a lot, if not most, of the people who live in the cities have credit cards. In the rural areas, which happen to be a large part of said countries, not so much.
          But it’s not like they live in the stone age. Sure, a random berry growing peasant won’t have a credit card, or internet access, or cable, but the random businessman from the city that buys his berries will.

          Or is my brother from Spain, my friend’s grandma from Poland, my uncle from Italy and my friends from Russia, Slovakia and Hungary all using credit cards online redundant and pointless? I bet both me and Jochen struck gold in the luck department getting the only few Europeans with credit cards in our friends/family circle. We should play the lottery more.

    • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

      That’s Kickstarter. I wish they had more options, but they don’t unfortunately.

    • Dexx

      Where the hell do you live? I’m ready to admit my country is not representative of the rest of the continent as our economy pretty much revolved around banks for a long while (yeah, I’m Swiss), but I know for sure it’s also bullshit for most of Western Europe… At least…

      • Sindy

        I’m inclined to say the two guys heroically yelling Europeans don’t have credit cards are either exaggerating or just in a pretty messed up place. I’m from Western Europe. Boy, do we love our credit cards, everyone I know has at least one, usually they have 2-3 from different banks with different credit plans and benefits. And our economy is down in the drain.

        I’m pretty sure at this point anyone with internet access has a credit card, too. Or at least one in the family if they’re underage.

    • Metus

      Heh, reminds me of some older Kickstarters I tried to respond to, but since it’s nearly impossible to get a credit card here, I never could back anything. I finally gotten a credit card after pushing the bank almost ten times since I really need one as I plan to go to the US for the first time. And I finally gotten successfully a credit card after having tried getting one for almost six years, but always getting declined.

      I wish getting a credit card was easier…

  • Arvamas

    i totally agree with the other comments here. You guys have promised so many things, and we’ve only seen a fraction of them come to fruition. This just seems like another empty promise, and for that much money? I think it’d be better spent on the movie.

    Also, I would like to inform you that Dragon*Con has moved the dealers’ rooms to a different building, and maybe you guys would like to give us another shot?

    • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

      Aside from the movie, that we’ve discussed so many times, what haven’t we delivered?

      • KINGVISE

        Regardless if you feel you haven’t done too many kick starters or if you feel that you haven’t lacked results with projects, the fact remains the majority of people feel you have and perception is everything. the facts are irrelevant if you cant see them. you started two kickstarters..one to finish a little animated video with a song that already looked half done years ago… and one that’s a huge movie that’s expected to take awhile. the main thing is that you haven’t even given everyone that war video and it has been ages, and again it LOOKS like there wasn’t much left to do on the video , and it hasn’t come out. I understand your probably upset about your fans not backing you but you have to think about taping your fan base for a push more like a MMO spell…it has a cool down….and it needs to be replenished with mana (results)

        • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

          Allowing people to keep misconceptions is small minded thinking. If something is stated, why wouldn’t I reply with an actual fact? To try and correct that misconception?

          We only started work on the War video 3 months.

          As for it looking done? It wasn’t even close. It was in the rough stages, not cleaned or colored. TiW weighs in at around 4 minutes. 4 minutes is 240 seconds. At 30 frames per second, that’s 7,200 frames.

          So, 7,200 individual drawings that need to be cleaned and colored. In some of those drawings, there’s up to 120 unique characters.

          So 4 months to do that? Is fantastic timing.

          • Sindy

            Yeah, I envy people like the studio that created http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0417299/?ref_=sr_1 and the usual cartoons that air weekly. I mean, how do they manage to make 15-20 episodes of 25 minutes in less than a year?

            And all those animation majors who have six months to create a 10+ minute fully cleaned and colored final on their own, in a basement?

            Black magic, man.

          • Sam Sharpe

            In Shomer’s defense though. BFE is a small group. Not sure on the actual numbers but you guys have like.. Less then ten guys I think? If you’re making it in house while your lead artist is working on LICD and LFG, it kinda makes sense that given their work load, and also overseeing things with the movie that it goes a bit slower then a huge animation studio like Nickelodeon where they have dozens of people working 8 hours on a single project.

          • Sindy

            The talk is about the 5 minute This is War short, actually. We didn’t bring up the movie, as movies take a long time to make even by studios like Disney who have hundreds if not thousands of people working on a single video.

            Which is why I brought up animation finals. At least in the art schools where I have friends the animation department requires you make a 3-5 minute fully rendered/colored/polished animation for your junior year assignment and a 10-12 minute for your senior/degree. The deadline is usually 6 months, and you still have every other school project to deal with and school itself, it’s not like they’re allowed to take 6 months off school/other assignments and work only on the animation. It’s doable if you have dedication and love for your craft.

            They also asked for an immense amount of funding for a 5 minute musical video, claiming it goes to the staff. So it can’t be Lar alone working on it. Which brings me back to how does it happen that some art school students / kids on Youtube or Deviantart have the dedication to do a 10-15 minute video for free in their spare time but these guys don’t.

            It points me to a single thing, and I’ll repeat it: they’re not artists. They’re businessmen. And lately, they started to fail at that, too, and are leaning more towards mooches.

          • Malakyp

            This.

            I didn’t kickstart Fork, and I feel a little bad for that, because I am afraid the Paladin folks are gonna take it in the shorts from this project failing, and they seem like good people. Despite many here, I even like the art style for what it is, although what it is isn’t what I think an LFG game should be. Paladin people: stick around, please. There’s a place for you in indie game development.

            BF … well, I look at animations that single artists put out for free because art (search up Tirrel’s Katan, in particular). And then I see your “progress” here. I don’t think you know how to set a timeline for development. I don’t think you know how much development costs, and so you either aim crazy high or crazy low.

            And no matter what you feel you’ve done, I don’t think you should have as many open Kickstarter projects as you do and still expect more cashola. Sorry, guys.

          • Sam Sharpe

            A fair point.

          • KINGVISE

            im not saying to let them keep them…but correcting one here and another there in a comment section wont help. a vast amount of people feel this way not just those commenting, with that said you either need to A put out a mass announcement about how everyone is wrong..either with videos or behind the scenes stuff to show people you arnt a liar. or B do what people are saying repeatedly and STOP KICKSTARTING!! until a project is DONE!!! not “well along”

  • Wim ten Brink

    I’ll be honest… I love LFG, but I just don’t like the game. I’m sorry, but I’m not much into gaming anyways. Which is why I’ll pledge just $5. But if you’d added a “I-hate-the-game-but-want-a-figurine” pledge level for $50, I’d pledge to that! ;-)

    • Paladin Studios

      Thanks for your support man! :-)

    • safyrejet

      Not sure if you’ve noticed but there is now a level with only the physical swag. It’s called the non-gamer level.

      • Wim ten Brink

        Done! :-) Only 499 to go for this level. :-)

  • Niels

    Without being too pessimistic (you’re still getting a lot of backers IMO) my 2 cents as to why you’re running short on reaching your goal at the moment:

    1. The game should have been a mobile game. The dev has previously only made a browser game and mobile games, this looks like a mobile game and it’ll probably play like a mobile game. Maybe it’s a bit shallow of me to judge a game by it’s graphics, and the graphics don’t need to be that good if the styling and atmosphere is nice, but this just looks like it was made in 2001 without being retro. How awesome this game may be, I can say for sure that I’ll be having more awesome games to play when I’m on my pc. On my tablet, not so much. The 1.4mil stretch goal to get it to Android tablets is also waaaay out there.

    2. Your Kickstarter habits are getting out of control. It’s a shame that this game is finally getting the backlash of that, because probably most of the work will be done by Palladin so the workload on your end won’t be that high, but still people think it’s too early to start a new Kickstarter without finishing the This Is War short. The game probably won’t hinder the short, but it’s just bad timing. Give us something sweet for the money we gave you, then tempt us with something new.

    I can go on, but those are my main complaints about the way things are being handled. Also, if you want to maximize the amount of backers, offer some different payment options.

    • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

      1. I didn’t want to make a mobile only game, it was too limiting for what we wanted to do.

      2. If you backed This is War, you’d know exactly where it’s at. This game is only the 2nd Kickstarter we’ve done for LFG. We launched the FoT KS now, because it has a huge lead time to complete.

      3. Keep doing your research. It’s the ‘names’ that are overreaching. Look at Doublefine for an example. I believe in Paladdin.

      4. If you know next to nothing about game development, how are you judging a budget? This is the budget to develop the game, with no margins in it for anyone. I wasn’t going to include every single line item in the budget on the Kickstarter page, it’s a 30-page spreadsheet.

      • Fry

        Believe me, Sohmer, you have a great fan in me. I check every week, but
        you cannot honestly compare Doublfine to Paladin. Their track record is
        not even remotely comparable. The reason Doublefine was able to generate
        close to $3.5 million was because of, so far, their high quality games
        as well as their track record with Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert (Monkey
        Island, Grim Fandango, etc…). These men are paragons amongst the 80′s
        gamers, and their games just tap into the nostalgia dollar. That’s why
        games like Psychonauts, The Cave, and, to a lesser extent, Brutal Legend
        have become critical successes.

        What does Paladin have? One
        game, two if you count Momonga, which hasn’t even been finished yet.
        People just do NOT trust them enough to drop more than half a million
        into a project handled by a game company that hasn’t done anything
        remotely warranting that kind of investment.

        Also, I’m not going
        to bring up your other Kickstarters, because I am a patient man and am
        pleasantly awaiting them =). That being said, you just can’t saturate
        your fan base this much in only a year. Please don’t construe my
        comments as hateful; I’m a kind Irishman, and I enjoy your work.
        Just…try to slow down a little.

        • Paladin Studios

          Sorry to hear that Fry – but it’s understandable. I know we don’t have a lot of epic game titles on our names, and there’s not much we can do to change that, and even though I regret it, I understand your concerns. Double Fine is an excellent pedigree studio, headcount 65, we are a relatively new indie studio of 10-ish.

          The only real reference I can offer is Momonga – a game we built on a shoestring budget (a.k.a. we completely self-funded it out of pocket) in our spare time. I know it’s an iOS game, but we have given it our best effort to provide as much of a “real” gaming experience as possible on that platform. Give it a shot, if you want I can give you a promo code so you won’t have to spend the $3 (I’d rather let you pledge it on the KS!).

          PS – your name is the same as one of the characters in Momonga! :-)

          PPS – I almost forgot to mention that we have been around since 2005, and done a lot of work-for-hire projects. So there might be some credibility in that too depending on if you count that as legit gamedev experience or not.

          • Sindy

            Hey Paladin guys, just wanted to add this:

            It’s sad that you’re getting the short end of the stick with this one. Nobody hates you personally, and I’m sure if you started your own kickstarter people would pledge – there’s plenty of indie studios with kickstarters that are getting funded. The problem, which you might have noticed if you peeked around the comment section here more, is with Blind Ferret. They were notorious outside their fanbase (and more recently even inside it) for asking too much and delivering too little, having overall bad attitudes towards their fanbase and anybody giving them negative feedback, not delivering products at time if at all, so on and so forth.

            Recently, they’ve been on a Kickstarter spree to get way too many projects funded and delivered way too little before launching in the next Kickstarter. There are a lot of “the game looks bad / not 600k worthy” comments in here, but trust me when I say they’re not directed at your company. You seem like genuinely awesome guys who do something they enjoy and have fun doing it. No, the negative comments are, from what I gather, directed at BFE – their bad fund planning, their bad track record of getting their fans hyped about something and not creating said thing, and their previous projects being marketed as awesome and being on the opposite end of the scale when they were released. They disabled comments on their Youtube videos that were created via Kickstarter, because I suspect they received too much backlash from people who gave them their money and didn’t get what they expected in return, but something of inferior quality.

            Honestly, I understand their frustration. They’re buyers. Buyers expect to get the product they pay for, not something far shorter, far worse, and many months too late (if at all). I, as many other fans, looked at this Kickstarter and I’m sure our train of thought wasn’t “those Paladin guys sure seem awful” but “oh, one more project BFE is gonna slack with, taking too much money from fans, delivering too little to the party that’s actually doing the hard work, not overseeing the production and/or not giving a damn about the overall quality of it, having no interest in delivering something good to the fans once the fans gave them their money, and taking all the credit instead of the party that did the entire work bulk.”

            Seriously, if this Kickstarter fails, don’t take it as your company’s failure, because it isn’t. I’m sure the next game project you will develop will be amazing, because you seem to genuinely care about player experience, fun, and making a good product.
            Best of luck.

          • Paladin Studios

            Hey Sindy,

            First of all thanks for your support – I appreciate you taking the time to explain how you feel about the situation.

            Even though I cannot speak for the community, and I don’t know the situation well enough to form an opinion on it, I do want to add that the guys at BF have been extremely helpful and generous with us. They are genuinely interested in making this game, covered the costs for building the prototype, and basically agreed to use all the KS funds to actually build this thing. Any profits (if at all) come when the game is 100% done and actually out there.

            Just my 2 cents :-)

            Cheers!
            Derk

      • tj

        no offense to pally but doublefine is a bit higher on the scale when they have made several AAA games arcade games and cult classic games.

        they have a record for making good innovative games that come out while the track record with your company. is well…lets be honest i been here for many years since the first announcement of LFG movie …not much has been brought out after it was released.

  • The Other Timothy

    Have to say, if this was an iOS “and” Android game, you’d probably have gotten the 600k you were looking for way early on, and seriously, a pc/mac only game is sadly a bit of a waste of time, some may argue differently, but it’s not particularly forward thinking esp with PC sales amongst all manufacturers (Dell, Apple, Hp etc) going down by just shy double digit percentages for several consecutive quarters. And the whole 1.4mil unlocks “xyz”? thats just asking for people to think you’re overreaching when you hadn’t even reached your goal in the first place, and you’ve had a poor track record when it comes to other projects you’ve had in the works.

    • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

      What poor track record exactly?

      • The Other Timothy

        that you respond only to the very last part of response which is of the least importance only shows your skewed priorities. there are several other replies here which address the failings, of the movie, the failed con vid series, etc. On top of that, you are taking minor criticism a bit too personally. I’ve pledged $100, I’m think its a great looking game, am I disappointed it’s not on iOS or Android first before PC? Sure, but I think you need to take a hard look at how you’re going about the whole KS thing and cut the sarcasm down, which many people feel (here, on KS, elsewhere) have derailed your positive narrative to an overall one of, bluntly, leaving a taste of ash in some peoples mouths. You and the rest of your team need to go back to the drawing board, take a realistic look at what people want and what on KS gets funded (ie, Android and iOS games), the price of the game itself (which if it were a 6.99, 9.99 game would be picked up like crazy imho, there’s hundreds of games similar to the one you’re attempting), people just aren’t buying PC’s in the same numbers as they used to, tablet sales are going through the roof, which borders on quite high for almost a niche product (i’m talking about the LFG story in specific), and its not particularly special, you’re not breaking new ground, and it’s not a unique story . Anyways, personally, I would have liked to see it go through, I’m saddened it won’t, but i hope for a hail mary and will pray for some rally call to get it to succeed.

  • Lauren Williams

    This might come off as kind of a petty reason for not caring to donate more than a few dollars, but along side the lack-luster dedication to previous projects… the comic itself has become increasingly less interesting to me personally. It’s incredibly punny and full of parody-esque commentary and doesn’t include enough actual plot and story development to interest me anymore.

    For nearly the past year (if not longer) I’ve lost that excited spark of checking up on Mondays and Thursdays. My friend who followed the comic with me recently confessed she had not looked at the comic in nearly three months, I gave her a synopsis of what had been going on with Cale and Co. Her response, “So, basically, I didn’t miss anything?”

    I’m extremely hesitant to donate anymore to something that I no longer find joy in.

    • TheAlien

      OMG this is the best thing I’ve read all day. It is all my feelings
      wrapped up into a nice long message. Fully agree with you. I also no
      longer feel anything when I read this comic, starting about 3 months back or so before I really noticed it. I still check it, but there is just no plot. Just the stupid parody commentary. I’m actually only checking this comic once a week now, not waiting with baited breath for Mon and Thurs anymore like I used to.

      • Lauren Williams

        Oh-ho. I waited nearly a week to check your reply because I was terrified I had been slaughtered by hateful, bitter replies–instead I find a 50+ upvote O_o Well… I’m glad I’m not alone in feeling upset over the plot.

  • Washington Irving

    I’d pledge if it weren’t for the cutesy cartoon art style.

    Also, I’d prefer a non-action RPG.

  • Chad Sparkes

    Personally, I’m in varying degrees of agreement with several of the points made here, but I would hazard to guess that the only one of real consequence to the current project is about timing. I like KINGVICE’s analogy. I know that only a small portion of your audience backed the last project, but you’ve got to ask yourself: how does that percentage compare with the portion of the audience that A: has the budget for this type of spending, and B: is fan enough to spend it backing a project that won’t be finished for, what, months? I mean, I have bought LFG merch before, and probably will again, but there are comics I read regularly that I really don’t care to go beyond the daily strip.

    That said, I do plan to share the above blog entry on facebook and the like, as I do hope this project is successful, if only to encourage more in the future.

    • Paladin Studios

      Thanks for the support Chad Sparkes, it’s greatly appreciated.

  • WayOfBob

    Ok you say none of the other kickstarters have been wasted and if you’d contributed to ‘This is war’ kickstart you’d know how far along we are, great for them what about the rest of us? Once again you’ve had lots of money and shown nothing!!!!!!! Its all well and good saying again and again your not wasting the money so prove it post (with receipts) a list of all the money from other kickstarts and what it has been spent on. Till you do cant help but think your full of crap and just wanting a bit of an extra payday for yourself.

    • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

      Uhhh, I did exactly that 2 weeks, when I broke down the This is War kickstarter…

  • mtcoder

    Problem is there is zero reason the game should cost 600k to produce. You are either getting screwed by the developers, there is some unjust cost, or you haven’t provided enough details to warrant that type of game expense. I think that is the problem. Games like this get cranked out by indie developers almost daily for little costs. The artwork is simple so no real complex animations or details needed, all characters remain in same appearance so no dynamic parts, it’s not multiplayer, beyond a simple lan style co-op. The art assests are simple and not high detail so are quick and easy to produce. If you guys were looking to make a game this simple should of did some shopping around. Heck if you spent a few thousand you can just about buy everything to make this game in Unity via drag and drop. I love LFG, I love the idea of LFG the game. When I heard it I got goose bumps, then…. I saw screen shots and learned about the game, and realized it was just a low end game with some LFG super glued onto it, which really was a disappointment. But I thought ok still maybe worth some money, then I saw 600k, and just shook my head. Not to mention should of went with detailed characters over super cartoony ones. I know it’s a comic strip based game, but having Richard in high detail, with a real looking fireball, scorching a village would of been much more in line with the game, than hello kitty meets LFG humor.

    • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

      Oh, so you’ve seen the design document and know exactly what everything costs, and what we have planned?

      ;)

      Everything you just said is completely incorrect.

      • mtcoder

        But the catch with everything is the truth is in the details, and there aren’t enough details to warrant 600k in development. Ohh you got a skill tree and a 4 characters 12 levels, and loot to horde. Single and co-op play. Good for you, now let me go play a game just like it on a dozen sites, all of which didn’t need nearly 1 million to start up. Also being a MMO developer with tight budgets and being part of a group of similar developers all on small budgets turning out actual full on RPG MMO’s all killing for what you have raised by name alone so far. Thinking you could pull off 600k was way to ambitious. I give you praise, and if the game has so many features why not list them. Instead of saying it has a skill tree. Say Richard alone has 40 different ways to freeze, blow up, torch, and mame his enemies. At least I know hmm so each character has well over 40 different abilities. Oh and a screen shot or two of different equipment would go a long way. I don’t care I just picked up the fork weapon if Richard doesn’t hold it in his hand, I don’t really care. Even if the combat log reads that I forked Benny for 10 damage. It’s a RPG loot hunter game and you leave out the details of the loot beyond just that there will be things from the comics and other unique ways to kill things with. Yet no real explanation. I can level my character but what does that mean? Can I customize how my player role plays? Can cale become a tank with lots of hp, or can he focus on duel wielding swords for high damage? If you have all of these wonderful design documents, then share them. Prove the game is complex to warrant that kind of money, and you might have a shot. If it wasn’t you guys doing this, the kickstarter in its current state stand alone wouldn’t pull more than 40k at best with some good hyping.

        Concepts work for art projects, movies, books, etc. Details are a forced requirement for games, as people want to know why they should play your game, and why it’s going to be fun. If all you provide is a cookie cutter demo of games that’s been done a billion times, tossing parody in which has an MMORPG game released that does this exact thing and feels like Bards tale LFG style, then people have little desire to play your game. And not talking about giving away all the details of the game to the tee. I don’t care if I have fireball, iceball, etc. I just want to know you guys plan for 60 levels per character, customizeable play styles (not character persona breaking, just tweakable) and each character has 30 or such skills to develop into.

        • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

          Going to assume you’ve never personally run a Kickstarter.

          To put in the details you’re asking for, would make the KS page completely massive and unreadable, and we’d lose people before they even read a quarter of it.

          And what we put up on KS is not a concept piece, we developed an actual slice of the game.

          600k for a game of this size is nothing. This is a real game, not something that’s coded in someone’s spare time in their basement.

          Sounds like you’re not into FoT and that’s fine, all I ask is that you don’t make assumptions based on imaginary information.

          • mtcoder

            and i’ll assume you won’t have another successful one for a long time, this is just a greedy reach on something that will never happen in this form. Which actually makes me really really super super sad, cause I really want a LFG game. Heck I would love to make the LFG game, lots of quality lore, storyline, and characters to work with, but it wouldn’t be sunday morning 4 year old anime. I mean you guys have amazing artists, and took the artwork and dumbed it down to cartoony and cheap feeling. Then tried to throw a huge price tag on it. 100k+ for that type of artwork, is way to much even at fully outsourced. 90k to make up 12 areas to explore? 40k for stories and quests, when the story should cost nothing to develop as it should just be feed from you guys to the devs. But I guess that is the real kick to this whole deal, you guys can’t do any of that, so you have to fully outsource the entire project, and need us to front the bill if we want it. Well as it’s clear we don’t have over a half million bucks to dump to game that doesn’t provide details about how the game will play. You got what 5 interviews on game sites and spent each one talking about the LFG comic, with no mention of game play except the RPG elements are based on your selected character persona. Want to prove me wrong about details. Answer this when you equip a new weapon does it change or show up on the character model? Simple question, will determine a bunch about the game. That question alone could shift who would play the game or not, and thus who would back it or not.

          • Paladin Studios

            Hi mtcoder,

            Thanks for the feedback. I understand you don’t have much faith in the concept, because there are a lot of questionmarks open. I see you have experience with creating RPGs so I will give it a shot to answer the questions you have. Feel free to jump in to ask more nitty gritty details, I’d be happy to discuss them. Here we go -

            Q- When you equip a new weapon does it change or show up on the character model?

            A- Yes, that’s the plan. You can see the gang wielding some weapons in the video. In the prototype, each character has one primary attack (using the weapon in hand) and several “secondary” abilities (the four slots at the bottom of the screen).

            Q- Why aren’t there more details in the Kickstarter?

            A- In addition to Sohmer’s remark about readability, I want to add that even though there are many design ideas in the design doc, I feel that it is premature to make it public. Even now, we are promising a lot of things, and as you probably know from development yourself, you have to iterate on the ideas and perfect them by going through the design-build-test loop several times.

            Q- How does leveling work? Can I customize my character to specific roles?

            A- The leveling system is not finalized yet, but the current design is pretty similar to other RPGs: You gather XP and level up your character. Leveling up also allows you to make decisions in the skill tree. This allows you to specialize your character, mainly by unlocking and upgrading specific abilities. As to how levels there are, we have not decided this yet.

            Please keep in mind that we have just finished the first prototype. There are plenty of design decisions left to make, and nothing you see is final yet. We will work with the backers and playtesters to refine the designs and test the game.

          • mtcoder

            and you are proving my point, over a half million dollar kickstarter for a very loose, concept alone with a short mini prototype doesn’t fly. Not unless you are richard garret. All the kickstarter promises is a run of the mill RPG with LFG humor. Which in the long run is going to feel just like playing Bard’s tale, or several other MMO RPGs that do the same thing. Now if you were asking 150k, yeah, gotcha. Or you came to the table with a completed design document that showed how your game was going be worth our investment of 600k then you might have something, knowing that things will be tweaked and changed, but your core needs locked in before you ask investors. Try walking into an investment company and saying, we have this really vague and rough concept, We want you to invest 600k in, for which we hope to have zero investment in on our part, with your company fronting all the costs. So what do you say got 600k laying around for us to play with, oh by the way we made like 2 minutes worth of concept art to play around with, so you don’t think we are crazy enough to call security.

            Now don’t get me wrong, I like the concept, I like the fact you guys are putting it together. It’s not that I dislike the project, and am just trying to bash it. I dislike when high profile names, try to shove junk down kickstater, cause they can. Why do I dislike it cause it cheapens kickstarter, and makes people jaded to it, and there are a bunch of honest hard working developers, that have solid concepts have spent 4 years dumping every cent they can, and they get shafted cause people are broke after trying their best to raise 600k for a game that doesn’t deserve it. That is the problem, i have. I know it’s often how things happen on kickstarter, and it’s the idea that. Hey I have an idea and I want to make it happen. Give me money, which i get. However when you ask for over a half million dollars, you bring the scrutiny onto yourself, to prove at that point the real reason, behind the high costs, and beyond. Games are expensive to make, doesn’t cut it anymore, with millions of dirt poor indies building games just like this one, day in and day out, for a 5th of what you are asking. So that is where the complaint comes from.

      • TheContradiktion

        You know, I have to be honest, I had been a backer for $100 until I started reading this. I have felt many of the things some of the folks here have said in the past, but I still read your comic on each update and was pretty excited about the idea for Fork of Truth However, seeing the way you choose to handle your interactions with people trying to give you honest feedback is bordering on surreal. I cancelled my contribution because I refuse to endorse someone who thinks wooing customers can be done with sarcasm and dismissal as you have evidenced here, and after Sindy spent a very serious investment in his time giving you a lot of incredibly valuable feedback several times that you might be well advised to listen to, you just ignore him and opt to give snarky little comebacks to everyone else. It isn’t good business, and frankly, it isn’t the way decent people treat one another, even if this is the internet. I’m not saying any of this because I think you care (you very clearly don’t) or to make jabs at you, but I feel that it is important you truly understand how your own actions impact you. Your petty attitude has just cost you $100 of funding, and from what I can tell, you can’t even be bothered to realize that your own hubris and dismissive attitude towards people is setting your projects up for failure.

        • Sivitri

          I’ve been lurking and watching his attitude towards people here, and I have to agree with you. Your post sums up my feelings exactly. I read Sindy’s entire post (And most of his/her other posts, which bring up some very good points), and I have to agree with them as well. I like the OLD LFG. The story has lost it’s charm now. And the game…Paladin’s other game looks cute, Momonga, but that cutesy art style doesn’t work for me for an LFG game, so I was debating on funding for the past two weeks or so.

          Yeah I won’t be funding this now, after seeing how he’s dealing with his fanbase and their concerns.

        • Aahz

          I hope out of all the comments here, that Sohmer at least listens to you. You are his target audience after all. I can be dismissed as a jerk who’s just here to shit all over his parade, but you are the guy with all the dollars.

  • safyrejet

    No no, Richard. You’re threatening us right. I mean most LFG fans would want to see you fry the piggy so letting him go free would disappoint. ;P

  • Flandarz

    Hey guys. You got my twenty bucks. It’s not much, I know, but I wanna support you guys in what you’re trying to do. I’ve gotten too much enjoyment from LFG to not do so.

    • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

      Thanks pal, really do appreciate it.

    • Paladin Studios

      Cheers Flandarz! :-)

  • regularjoe

    upped my pledge to get all the companions.. Now how about a Little Lar companion ???

    • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

      HA!

      I wonder if folks would want that actually.

      • safyrejet

        If Lar is game, I would be. (pun intended)

  • Tartara

    As soon as I get paid next week, I plan on adding to the kickstarter. I don’t even think it’s going to make it’s goal, but I’m going to anyway. Because while I believe the story has slacked off to mere puns and cheap humor, I still love this comic. Since the movie is so late, I don’t have high hopes for the game. But whether or not it makes it, I want to show my support. Fans at football games who reject the team at a loss aren’t true fans. They are fair weather fans. It’s same for LFG.

    So win or lose this game, I’m still a fan. And I’ll still pay to show my support.

  • Naitdei

    Sohmer would you happen to know if amazon gift cards work for kickstarter? If it does that could help get some more funding from people.

    • Paladin Studios

      Unfortunately not – Kickstater does use the Amazon Payments system, but it’s a separate company and Amazon gift cards only work in the Amazon store.

  • TheAlien

    I am not interested in backing this project until after I’ve seen the movie. Simple as that, and it seems like tons of others agree with me. I am not willing to give my money for a game until after I’ve seen if the movie is entertaining enough to make me want to play the game.

    • regularjoe

      THe movie is a few years away still,

      • TheAlien

        Yep, exactly. Even though it is still a few years away. Gotta follow through with one project before you start another.

  • Terrancechain

    Just my 2 cents but I think an android/tablet (maybe even browser integration so we can still play on the pc) app LFG game would be way more popular. Most people who own a pc most likely already have an android and/or tablet. Furthermore, you can reach a wider, more casual audience with the ease of access to the game. People love playing games on their handhelds where they can play it anywhere and with their friends. While it may not fit your vision of the LFG game, it would greatly enjoy much more success on the android/tablet market as it would be cheaper to pick up and buy.

  • MuchachoNL

    As soon as my credit card charge is corrected, I’ll back this game up.
    I’d love to play it.

  • IDPounder

    I had a pal named Somer once.

    He told really funny stories, and we hung out together a lot. A free spirit, but me’n the boys always supported his projects, bought his stuff, clicked his links, whatever. He was a friend, and you looked out for him. And things kept getting better for a long time. He brought in a new pal named Lar, who we all liked too. Things were looking good, everyone was happy.

    Then things started changing. Sohmer just started drifting in and out of town, sometimes gone for weeks or months at a time. His stories…well, they just didn’t have the same heart any more, it was obvious that he wasn’t focusing on them like he used to. They were just, I don’t know, like placeholders while he chased something more important. Then came the abuse, particularly to my friends who respect and enjoy their rights to bear arms. Sohmer would come in on a bender, insult me and my friends, and try to pick fights with us. Seemed to think it was funny later, but we weren’t laughing. I don’t hang out with him there at the LICD house any more, and neither do my other friends. But Sohmer thought that was ok, he had lots of better friends now.

    I just saw Sohmer again the other day. First time in months. He looked bad, y’know? Haggard. Came up to me in the street and asked for money, something about needing to make a new bunch of friends. I had to tell him, buddy, you know I love ya and want you to succeed, but I can’t in good conscience give you any more money to feed these bad habits. Cool off. Refocus on the important stuff. Apologize to all these friends like me you’ve alienated.

    Until that happens, I’m afraid you’re cut off. It’s for your own good.

  • Sven Johnsen

    Does the drop in quality of LFG combine with the stopping of Red Bull in Sohmers Diet?

  • Wesley Foxx

    I for one am not at all surprised by how much you’re asking for for the game. The Homestuck Adventure Game was asking for $700k. It raised 2.5 /million/, however, because Hussie hasn’t let down his fandom yet. I loved LFG. I read it from almost the very beginning. But the comic has just gone off the rails completely. What little sense of narrative flow and plot and any kind of serious tone it had at one point in time has been completely lost by this point, between the throwaway joke pages and throwaway sidetrack plots.

    If you treat your fandom right, they will pull through for you, even in crunch time. Look no further than the Skullgirls kickstarter blitzing their way through how many tens of thousands of dollars in the last couple hours to reach their stretch goals.

    But right now, you are letting us down on multiple fronts, as has already been mentioned several times over by other commenters. Please don’t take this as a sign of us not caring. Take this as a sign that we want you to focus on completing your current projects before starting new ones.

  • Sean Tiede

    TL;DR 1. No, 2. No, 3. No

    Normal version:

    1. Poor game development. Lets be honest, the graphics in the trailer suck, the gameplay looks way to simple, and it looks like nothing but a glorified reason to smash things into small pathetic looking meatbricks. The company that you hired doesn’t have many games under its belt, and most look very poor. I’m sorry, but I could do more in “a couple months” with blender 3d, the ut3 sdk, and my computer than you guys have done, and you have a full dev team, I only have myself. (Ut3 engine and sdk are free technically, until the game you create sells over $10,000, at which point EpicGames gets a cut, seems like a better way to go than Paladin Studios)

    2. Way to much money, if its taking this much money to create a game with such sucky graphics and poor gameplay, your getting screwed, as are any backers.

    3. No offense, but until proven otherwise, this kickstarter idea screams SCAM! Want a good scam to read up on? Google “jedi academy kotf mod scam” Knights of the force was a huge JK/JA scam for a long time, and people bought into it, sad really. If you want to avoid looking like a scam, show some more proof that the game is in creation, improve the game as it looks as if it behaves poorly, and ask for less up front. Also, one final thought, don’t beg for money, if the game looked good enough and you guys had enough fans, the money would be there. Clearly you are asking for something that people are not willing to give for whatever reason, so until you can deliver what people want in a timely manner, you won’t get funding.
    Need proof? Smartphones cost $700 or more dollars, google has provided a nexus 4 at close to manufactured cost, so samsung, apple, and other companies make huge profits on their smartphone sales, and yet they still sell because people want their iphones and android phones.

  • Sven Johnsen

    Hi Sohmer. The easy answer to why people are not pledging can be found on this page.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1412277313/this-is-war-an-lfg-musical-short?ref=users

    Six months and still nothing eventhough you collected 10 times the amount.

    • The Other Timothy

      to be fair, it’s 5 months, and while it is one of the reasons, its not the biggest reason.

  • Atros

    Figure I should voice my agreement, I used to back everything you did, but as time has gone on… LICD has gotten stale, LFG has lost direction, the movie is going to be the next duke nukem forever at this rate, the pilot was as stale as the LICD comic is now, and the This is War short isnt’ even out. I just… you aren’t doing cool enough things to make me want to give you money to do cool things, anymore. Sorry.

  • Ceci Pipe

    The thing about Kickstarter is, it demands everything up front. The thing about exclusives on Kickstarter is, the trickle I get to fritter away ends up having no where to go.

    tl;dr I’d back you if I weren’t currently broke. But if you put that Richard blanket back in the store or introduce the lighter then I’ll get those on payday (which hilariously enough is an hour or so after the Kickstarter ends).

  • Caffinated

    I appreciate the work done on LFG, but I’m forced to agree with the others. Finish your plate before asking for another helping.

  • regularjoe

    If a girl scout came to your door selling cookies and you did not want any what would you tell her? WOuld you..

    1) Tell her NO, and then berate her for waking you up from your nap?

    2) proceed to lecture her on how you can not support an organization that resorts to child labor to gain their funds?

    3) Chastise her on how she and her entire organization is contributing to the already epidemic obesity problem of the nation?

    4) begin to criticize her and everyone else who buys said cookies?

    5) Accuse her of not being honest in her cookie sales and imply that she is just pocketing the money herself?

    I think not, most would just say No Thanks.

    But, now we have the internet, where people who choose not to support something are overcome with a desperate need to do one or more of the above, while hiding behind their monitors and keyboards. WOW.

    • brian_t_g

      yeah but what if she came back every day with new reasons why you should buy the cookies

    • Sindy

      Except it wouldn’t be the girl scouts selling girl scout cookies, it’d be the head of the company. And if you’d say ‘no, thanks, because I don’t like your cookies’ he would start talking back about how his cookies are better than your mom’s cookies and besides, what do you know about cookies, you’re not a baker and you wouldn’t know a good cookie if it slapped you in the face.

      Then your sister would step out and go “I hate cookies, too” and he’d just ignore her.

  • Sindy

    “Hi, Sindy!”

    “Hey, mate!”

    “What have you been up to?”

    “Oh, you know,
    > Learned how to use Kickstarter and what’s a good reward to payment ratio.
    > Learned to first deliver products that were promised, especially if paid for, before asking for more funding.
    > Learned what’s the average production costs for games, depending on how much time you’re investing in them yourself or if you prefer hiring a team.
    > Learned that if I ever embark on a project with somebody else there is a chance their fans will backlash at me in the process.
    > Learned what sort of games go on what sort of gaming platforms and what sort of gaming platforms are most common nowadays.
    > Learned about credit cards in Europe.
    > Learned not to generalize about subjects like said credit cards in Europe or any other subjects that vary from area to area, or to generalize at all as I might be part of a statistically abnormal social group.
    > Learned about copyright laws and how subjective and flexible they are. Also learned that generally the justice system seems to be a tad badly planned.
    > Learned what’s legal to profit off if based on a different work and that it’s possible it’d be illegal in other countries or states.
    > Talked about influence vs satire vs rip off and how the line is grey and different for each individual.
    > Talked about games.
    > Talked about books.
    > Confirmed sarcasm on internet doesn’t really come through as intended.
    > Learned that a dedicated fanbase would stick with you through almost anything, but that most fans still have a threshold of ‘this is just bad’.
    > Learned that you shouldn’t talk back to your fans or claim their critique is hostile and has no basis.
    > Learned that even if you do talk back to your fans, at least talk back to all, the ones who haven’t been talked back to feel a little disappointed, they wanted to get in on the fun, too.
    > Learned that if you’re a creator you should respect your fanbase and not treat them as cashcows to be tapped in for most delicious cashmilk.
    > Learned that Sohmer will soon make another pointless and unfunded Kickstarter while patting himself on the back for the 5000 backers he has and the potential millions of backers he might have, without realizing he first has to deliver a product they are satisfied with, or any product at all.
    > Learned that people on the internet will argue with each other over any subjective things because that’s more awesome than arguing over whether sky is blue.
    > Learned that while any regular Joe can snap back at any other regular Joe, it’s considered common sense and good business if people who claim to be professionals, like comic writers, don’t do the same thing.
    > Learned that if I ever make it big in an art industry, I shouldn’t just go “Oh, I’m not doing this in my mom’s basement, like every kid who does it for free or cheaper, lolol.”
    > Learned that while quality is subjective and no matter what I put out at least somebody is willing to give me their money, I should at least listen to the honest feedback my readers are giving without insulting them or dismissing their feedback as mean, this isn’t kindergarten. Once listened, I could also follow their suggestions if applicable because it is they who are reading my work and sponsoring my living.”

    “Awesome, how many websites have you been on?”

    “One.”