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sohmer

Thank You

Jul 21, 2013

I’m sitting at Gate 93, in the international terminal of the San Francisco airport, willing time to move forward, so that I can sooner get on another plane, and get my oh-so-tired ass home.

SDCC, as usual, was an exhausting yet ridiculously rewarding experience, filled with plenty of fan interaction and important meetings, one of which I’ll soon be able to tell you about.

Through the haze of the con though, the end of the LFG & The Fork of Truth kickstarter was very predominant in my mind.

Of course, I’m disappointed that we didn’t hit our goal, but at the same time, it’s hard to dismiss the fact that we did raise $230,000 from thousands of you, in a month’s time. So yes, we’re all disappointed, but more powerful than that is the appreciation we have, I have, for your support.

From all of us at Blind Ferret, and at Paladin Studios, we thank you.

I thank you.

So where does this leave LFG & The Fork of Truth?

I honestly don’t know. Do we trim some of the features and try again? Do we retool the game to make it for iOS & Android tablets exclusively? Do we make it episodic? Do we cut down the multiplayer elements and focus on a single player campaign? Or do we take our toys and go home?

Some projects just don’t work, I can accept that. And yet, I still don’t believe that this game is one of them.

Right now, I don’t know.

But, I’m going to think about it, we’re all going to think about it.

What do you think?

-Because I Can.



  • Neil Hopkins

    Oh if I wasn’t a broke biotch I’d be giving you all my monies…. please find some way to make the game; it looks super neato.

    • Ecthaelion

      I just believe your timing was off, may not have been Blind Ferrets fault as opportunity arises as it does. Personally I say focus a bit on the other projects and make some progress then give this another go if possible. Timing is key and to many things going on at once when they ask for crowd assistance is a no no. I say this as I gave my pledge but understand why it failed. Time of year, other sales (Steam), other projects money was just asked of us. Its a lot at once for the poor folks :-P

  • David Watson

    600k was too much of a goal to aim for, a lot of people I heard from thought it a bit ridiculous and unreachable unless the promotion for it was crazy. I just didn’t see enough promotion for this.

    I definitely like the idea of an episodic version with a much smaller kickstarter goal. It’d allow for growth in the game and give you guys something far more reachable to achieve in both the kickstarter and the game itself. You could go for an iOS/Android release with a PC port later on, but episodic still sounds better than that.

    You could also find ways to better promote it and cut down on stuff in the game that would streamline it a bit more and make the game not cost such a staggering amount. With kickstarter it is much easier to go with a lower amount for the base game and have stretch goals for all that extra stuff. I see a lot of people refuse to fund something unless it’s already passed the base goal.

    Whatever you guys do just don’t give up, I would love to see the game and however you do it I’ll be sure to donate next time.

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

      Thanks man, that’s actually useful feedback. ;)

  • fwiffo

    Start with your fan base. See what they want in the game first and foremost. Tap into the minds of the readers.

    I’ve always liked the art style of LFG. I have enjoyed the way it has progressed. Each character falling into their own stylish stride. I know I would have been much more likely to donate towards the game if it stayed true to the living growing comic.

    Listen to the fans. Take the truth in each statement and figure out what that means to you as the author. (Though take it all with a grain of salt as we all know that trolls are numerous here on the net. Unfortunately they are not like Tim…)

    Adapting one form of Media into another always has it’s hiccups.
    Just make sure you don’t take your comic and adapt it into a video game Uwe Boll style.

  • Fixer40000

    Posted this in the last thread. Ouya has a games fund they’ve set up, they’ll match funding to $250,000 on kickstarter.

    One drawback, has to be an Ouya exclusive for 6 months. It might get the game off the ground though.

    http://www.ouya.tv/freethegamesfund/

    • Skid

      This. From what little I know about the situation, the general consensus seems to be that people have been more receptive to the idea of Fork of Truth being on a mobile platform. Seems like it could be a strong contender in a game market that is currently growing. Plus early Ouya adopters are fanatics for supporting their homebrew console. Might find funding based on principle alone from that crowd, though I don’t necessarily agree with taking advantage of them. xP

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

      We’re looking into it right now! ;)

  • DisGrunt

    Do you deliver on your other kickstarters before begging for money for yet another one? Do you listen to your fanbase instead of responding to them in a manner that reveals you’re actually a arrogant, sarcastic asshole? Do you even grasp the concept of pleasing your fanbase? Do you set a realistic goal at a realistic time?

    Do you believe in life after love? Do you want to date my avatar?

    Yeah, I’m out.

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

      We delivered on each and every one of them. Have you backed a single one?

      • DisGrunt

        Hell no, I didn’t. Mostly because the quality of this comic has gone downhill since I started reading it. And because I have no interest in a LICD animated series, and because I have no kids so I don’t need a kid’s book.

        And this is exactly the attitude I’m talking about; instead of
        acknowledging you haven’t made the smartest moves, you get all defensive
        and tell us a blatant lie: that you’ve delivered on each and every one
        of your kickstarters when, in fact, you haven’t. Am I in the wrong for
        pointing this out even though I have not backed a single one of your
        projects? I doubt it.

        So where’s the LICD show anyway? All you’ve shown us is a 3 minute clip. Where’s the This Is War thing? Where’s Con Season? Oh wait, it was shit, so it didn;t get funded. The only kickstarters you’ve actually delivered on are the Bear books. Showing people snippets of what’s to come is not the same as actually delivering on the project they funded. Is it so hard for you to grasp that your fanbase wants some proof that the money they gave you was actually worth it? Ignore the rest of my post oif you want, but please just understand that. Because that’s the main problem here: you don’t understand your fanbase. And with your attitude all you’re doing is alienating them.

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

          And this is my point, which keeps getting missed. The people who actually did give money to the projects, know where they stand.

          You didn’t contribute, so why would you know? What are you owed?

          What I don’t understand is this, you obviously don’t care much for the comic anymore, so why do you spend time on the site? Please explain that to me.

          • That Guy

            Obviously you have missed my posting on this, but “The people who actually did give money to the projects, know where they stand” is simply NOT true.

            I backed the LICD Pilot. I have NEVER been notified that the pilot was complete. The last update on the kickstarter was Update #57- For backers only·May 14, 2013. In it you showed the 3 min preview. That was the last I heard. Checked with others I know in real life who backed it. They have NO IDEA what the status of the project is.

            So to say the people who backed projects know where they stand is simply untrue.

            I apologize if I come across as rude or disrespectful.

          • DisGrunt

            Hope. You were good once, you can be again. And I’m not the only one who feels this way, reading all these comments. But if this is the way you treat fans who are losing hope, you’re going to lose a lot of them.

            And please, read That Guy’s comment below. The people who did contribute, don’t know, and ARE owed. I didn’t miss your point, it simply doesn’t stand.

            Whether or not I and many other fans contributed or not is besides the point, really: you’ve had several succesful kickstarters and they have not seen anything com of them. Can you honestly blame them for not wanting to back another without some evidence that you can deliver on the previous ones?

            And obviously, timing was also a major issue with this project, what with it being summer and Steam having a massive sale and such.

          • ladypirate

            “You didn’t contribute, so why would you know? What are you owed?”

            asdfghjkl
            *headdesk*

            wqjoioj kfwqehjbgewfle;klefjfdryu867uj54

            Are you seriously saying this right now? What the truck is your problem? You have readers here asking to see your work. People are being polite. Many trying to help you. Yes, you have a lot of awesome supporters. $230k worth, at least! And that is fantastic. But then you have this group; many wanting to believe in you. Each person you are blowing off here is probably a fraction of the number of people sitting at home and nodding their heads in silent agreement to all this discussion. Instead of turning this into a learning experience and growing as a businessman, you’re shitting on everyone. It’s mind-blowing to witness.

            THIS is your chance to gain more supporters. All people want is for you to listen and show them your work. They are trying to help you. Instead of defensively stating that “backers know what’s going on”* release some of that to the general public. People like the users here and me and my husband; all want to believe in you. *(Based on some of the comments here, that statement may not even be true. Which is a whole new level of douchebaggery if that’s the case. But that is a diatribe fr another time.)

            I am a huge fan of your comedic writing. I absolutely love your work. It’s not all been your best lately, but you’ve still got that sharp wit, the chutzpah and (hopefully) the brains to turn this into a positive and excel. Respect your fans, whether you agree with their opinions or not. Flip this around. Don’t be a baby. You are a very smart man, it blows my mind that you have handled this the way you have. It makes me sad, because I know you are capable of so much more.

            aloha.

          • Malakyp

            I understand your point of view here. I really do. Backers paid you, so you give them information (other comments in thread that you might not have done so notwithstanding). Other people didn’t give you money, so screw ‘em, they don’t have any business knowing how those other projects did.

            But you’re wrong.

            Kickstarter doesn’t solicit pre-orders. It solicits investors, and you need investors beyond the pool that has given you money for your prior efforts if you want something big to work. When you Kickstart a project, you are asking me to invest in your company. I’m sure you’ve dealt with investors before. I want to see a portfolio beyond your free-to-view webcomics. I see you Kickstart a lot. I want to see what those investors got, what the return on investment for your company looks like. I want to know how long it takes you to get product out, not just to the backers, but to market.

            I look at your portfolio. I see nothing that interests me. I see some books, but I’ve self-published books without a Kickstarter or any investment, so I’m not thrilled; besides, I’m not considering funding books. I see a TV pilot. Five minutes on Google tells me your backers got a 3 minute excerpt of your 22 minute promised product. Is the rest done? I can’t tell. You say in this thread it is, but … where? What are you doing with it? If you can’t handle distribution on this product, why should I believe you can distribute a game, either? I see years of hype over a movie that, by your own admission, you have absolutely no idea how to fund. And then I see a Kickstarter for this game — a game I strongly considered funding — with an initial goal I’ll generously call “aggressive” and stretch goals with dollar values that make Icarus call you out for your hubris.

            Why would I back that? Why should I have faith in your ability to judge investment goals, when you hyped up a movie you will never have the money to implement? Why should I have faith in your ability to provide product — not just to me, or your backers, but your actual market — when your TV pilot has a visible completion ratio of about 14%? You say the whole thing is done. But your backers can’t see it, and your prospective investors can’t see it; no one but you can see it. When I’m evaluating your portfolio, it might as well not exist. Let’s say Fork had Kicked successfully, and I had backed it. If you sent me 14% of the game as a demo, and then neither I nor the public ever saw the real game, would you tell me you’d delivered on your project?

            I just checked. I’ve Kicked $4300 and change so far this year, to various projects. Last year, I’m pretty sure I Kicked over $15,000. And right now, I wouldn’t kick one penny to your products, even ones I’d really like to have, like an LFG game. Because right now, I think you’re a terrible investment risk. You want my money? Show me why I’m wrong.

          • DisGrunt

            Aaaaaaaaaand you’re not responding anymore. Gee, I wonder why?

      • Sylihra

        So you only care about the people who have backed in the past? Acting like a jerk to the rest of your fans that may not have the means to support something that has obviously gone downhill is no way to gain support. If you want more money/more backers…try acting and responding like a decent business man instead of a self-entitled child.

  • Adam

    It’s over drop the project with good grace and finish your other ones first.

    “some projects just don’t work, I can accept that. And yet, I still don’t believe that this game is one of them.”

    take a bloody hint! go back and read the majority of the comments on all the other posts or check the number of people who donated against reader numbers, betting its a rather low percentage.

    Don’t know why i’m bothering to type this though as you’ll just ignore it or give me abuse for not supporting another doomed project. well that or some delusional fan boy will do it for you.

    -Because i can’t be arsed anymore.

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

      I don’t give your posts much thought because you’re trolling. You don’t like the comic, so stop reading it, and spend your online time on things you can actually apreciate.

      • Adam

        Never said anything about the comic, still slightly hopeful for that, even bought all the books from your store.

        That said not a fan of your kickstart projects, which are nowhere to be seen. Not going to bother trying to give you constructive criticism on that, you ignore it!!!

        Have a good one, hugs and kisses etc.

        Adam.

        -Because i still can’t be arsed anymore (with Kickstarts)

        p.s. Notice the attack on fans has begun. .

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

          If you didn’t back a Kickstarter project, how do you have any idea what was delivered or what was not?

          • Telcarin

            I could be wrong, but don’t you still have to ship the ‘This is War’ video? That’s a month behind now and the last snippets I’ve seen have looked incredibly rough.

            And for suggestions, well, just step back from some projects and tackle one at a time. This isn’t Penny Arcade, and you’re not Gabe and Tycho… You don’t have their reach or readership. Sorry.

            Oh, and get your writing back on track. Lar is doing amazingly but with you writing three comics, books, and a dozen other projects at the same time, it kind of feels like you don’t care about any of your projects. Which leads to Richard and Cale fighting raccoons in a giant garbage can…

            It’s like you tell your drunk friend who keeps pissing on your carpets, “Get your shit together, man.”

          • Adam

            Would have backed the film but for various reasons that was not possible. Actually kind off liked the idea of the game to begin with, then saw the cartoony feel which put me off a bit. that said still thought about donating then i started reading the comments.

            Anyone who had something constructive or slightly negative to say was attacked for lack of dedication/belief (to yourself) and donations (to previous projects) anyone who asked about previous projects status was berated for not donating to it.

            I’m not a business man but cant help but think people who are asking for money should be slightly more forthcoming about previous projects and their status. You know what would have shut everyone up if you posted a link to show how far along you are on them. (please still feel free to do so)

            Waiting with baited breath for your response (and links to completed projects please)

          • Sylihra

            BECAUSE BACKERS HAVE SAID THEY’VE SEEN NOTHING. That’s how. But you seem to have missed that over and over again. Thankfully the readers haven’t missed it.

  • Caffinated

    This attitude makes me think the comic should be renamed to “looking for cash”.. While I believe you should be compensated for your efforts, you have to show us that efforts have been made and that those efforts resulted in producing something people wanted. Finish other kickstarter projects before asking for more money.

    You do yourself more damage than good by ignoring the number of people who made this point. You do yourself even more damage by then making not-so-subtle replies to that point in the comic ( http://www.lfgcomic.com/page/688/ ). I mean seriously “I thought you were due a little gratitude!” “Kids.”. “Petty” and “immature” are two words that come to mind to describe that.

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

      Which Kickstarter did you back that you’re talking about?

  • The Other Timothy

    The word, HUBRIS comes to mind about this whole thing really, seriously, don’t get ahead of the game, don’t post “1.3million unlocks”
    people look at the go, “What unmitigated hubris this guy has” and they
    all get turned off, you can post them later you know, if you get to them, assume your target is all you’re going to get period. Going with iOS and Android are the way to go, you will definitely reach a larger audience, don’t limit payment options, finish the other projects off first. see how it does on there and then port it over to PC/MAC for desktop/laptop gaming, even go OUYA, and I personally think if you make it single player, with the option of multiplayer you’ll do much better. $250k isn’t something to sneer at, build the game with a $250k goal, strip it down, but don’t make it unplayable. offer more rewards like the Richard squishable etc, the rewards you had were kind of bunk over $100. I mean, I was I was happy with doing $100, but there was nothing to entice me to go any higher.

  • Austin Taylor

    Besides the comics and a few older youtube videos, I haven’t seen you guys actually produce and finish anything. Finish the LFG movie, or the LICD pilot, or keep working on Gutters instead of taking a hiatus.

    It seems that you have too many pots on the fire and you’re constantly asking us to fill them so you can make something wonderful. Please, finish something so we can see that all these kickstarters aren’t a waste of time and money for everyone involved.

    Don’t be greedy, you don’t need to do everything all at once, spread your projects out a bit. When the LFG movie comes out, use the interest from that to roll into more promotion for the game and try again then.

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

      I’ve said it before, but I suppose it needs to be said again.

      The LFG movie is in a holding pattern until we can raise the funds for it, we don’t have 7 million lying around to do the movie properly. So day to day, not much to do on the film.

      The LICD Pilot is done, and we haven’t aired it to the public yet, because we’re trying to sell it. Again, Kickstarter backers are fully in the know.

      As for Gutters, we put it on hiatus because it’s a very expensive comic to produce, and we chose to shift that money elsewhere.

      I can’t be any clearer than that.

      • That Guy

        I backed the LICD Pilot. I can assure you I am NOT “fully in the know.” I have never been notified that the pilot was complete. The last update on the kickstarter was Update #57- For backers only·May 14, 2013. In it you showed the 3 min preview. Neither before or after that update have I ever gotten a notification about the pilot being complete.

        I double checked spam and trash folders and the filters. No updates have been sent to me. I even checked with some friends who backed the project and they too have heard nothing about the pilot being complete.

        And as far as I knew, the pilot was to be shown on the LICD site. According to this post: http://www.leasticoulddo.com/a-few-notes/ the site redesign was help facilitate that. “…chief among them the fact that we’re preparing the site for the animated series.” To me that meant the pilot would be shown on the site once it were completed.

        Is there an an ETA for when the completed pilot will be shown to backers and/or the fan base?

      • Rob Quigley

        What about the This is War short? I am a backer of that, and have a feeling that I should just resign myself to not seeing the result. I realize that you aren’t involved in all of the aspects of TiW and as such have time to plan other things, but I still find myself feeling that you are a kindred spirit to me- the planning and thinking about projects is much more fun than completing them.

        The scope of that project is much smaller than the others I see mentioned and delivering that would probably alleviate a lot of concerns about these other projects.

        TIming is also horrible- GoG just recently finished their summer sale, the Steam Summer Sale just finished. I have way more games than I have time to play thanks to that, and I bet many other LFG readers probably do to.

        Also, and this is just me ranting- Chibi characters, multiplayer, possible mobile/tablet only? Eeeeewwwwwww! If I were to back an LFG game, I would want the characters to look…well, like themselves, not overtly manga-ized versions of themselves. I do watch anime, and read some manga, and I was still put off by the look of the artwork. Single player is much more important to me than any multiplayer anything- after years of WoW I have basically sworn off any thing multiplayer. Ditto mobile/tablet games. I use my smartphone for work. It has an SSH client, my work e-mail, etc- no chance in hades that games are going on there.

        Just my two cents. I’m not saying I wouldn’t back an LFG game- but not now, and not that particular game. It was bad timing on top of a product that did not appeal to me.

      • Austin Taylor

        From the comments you’ve made to others, it seems I wasn’t the only one with these issues. You’ve since explained a lot and and seemed to understand our complaints. So even though your response to my original comment seemed a bit snarky, I do appreciate that you’ve since opened up to your fans and explained the situation better.

        As was mentioned by others below, while I didn’t contribute to the kickstarters, would I buy them once they come out to the public? Yes. Would I be more willing in the future to contribute to a kickstarter if I see more of the finished products? Yes.

        You said in another comment that you didn’t want to put up an announcement saying LICD pilot was done because it might upset people who weren’t backers. I can tell you that as a potential investor, I need to see that your past projects are getting finished.

  • Facilius

    Hello, imo you should try to get a bigger fanbase, and that goes with releasing your LFG movie. You already have the comic fans, you have the gaming fans interested, but you would get a lot more exposure with the release of the movie or some newer teasers on Youtube. On a marketing approach, you need stepping stones and a plan. It should be 1) keep releasing comics 2) release the movie that will please a lot of new and actual fans 3) then proceed to game. And I would say Android Ipad is the way to go :) Best of luck!!

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

      Would love to do the movie, but they ain’t cheap.

  • Lachlan Hartley

    I backed the project and I’d back it again, and $230K is nothing to sneeze at, so a lot of people share my sentiment. Hope this game gets made, somehow.

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

      Thank you.

  • DrahcirAloer

    The reason I didn’t support it is that there needed to be some single player element. I have several friends. Most of their schedules don’t match up with mine, a few of them don’t have good enough computers, and a few don’t even have a decent internet connection. And I’m supposed to support a project who’s planning on that amounts to ‘I don’t know, we’ll figure it out’? Plus, when I checked it near the beginning the rewards were weird, as in I could get a bonus for one support level and then not get it in the next level up. I think a video game was a bit ambitious at this time, seeing as you still have a movie in the works. I’d take care of that before embarking on another time and money consuming project.

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

      See above, but the movie is in a holding pattern until we get the financing together.

      • Wesley Foxx

        So rather than starting ambitious new projects, why not work on that whole financing situation? Especially since your answer to why the various projects you’re neglecting are being neglected is “we need more money”.

  • Lauren Williams

    Because you ended your post with “What do you think?” and I do care about LFG… Well, this is kind of long and vent-y… I apologize.

    I do believe you have a good shot at getting some sort of game off the ground, but you’ve got a lot of work before that. From what I can tell,

    It seems a portion of your LFG audience feels very alienated from lack of attention as well as a lack-luster plot. You might want to sit down and consider where the comic itself is going. Is it going to be a weekly commentary on current events as depicted through fantasy inspired characters and world, or what I think a lot of people (such as I) desire, a well-developed fantasy inspired story with a compelling cast and plot that contains the occasional joke and pun (that doesn’t lead to a long series of pages that feel like filler episode from a manga-adapted-anime). (I also use the term “fantasy” loosely, because I understand LFG has many, many, many influences on character/world/lore)

    Everyone is different, but for me, the last time I seriously felt compelled to check pages were on Book 14 (Ending page 396) (Cale gets eaten and Benny freaks out). That was nearly 300 pages ago.

    This may be different for other people, but from my personal account, the game advertisement felt like, “Hey, we want to make an LFG game.” Several weeks later, “HEY REMEMBER US? PLEASE DONATE.” After the plea for help, there was a live stream and… that was it. There were a couple of videos and a Q&A, but I didn’t feel like there was much of an outreach for the audience.

    There’s so much more I wish I could say, but I feel it would get redundant and petty and overall unnecessary, because I know you guys know the fundraiser wasn’t as huge a success as you’d like, and you’re already busy thinking and considering everything, and you don’t need to be told over and over again why. I do think it’s a good idea that y’all are sitting down and thinking things over.

    To end, I would like to confess that when I first saw the Kickstarter, I was rather excited despite my disappointment in the direction of the webcomic. I would like to see you succeed, and if you eventually take a stab at a 2nd fundraiser, I will likely donate again. I believe every dream deserves a chance.

  • Nucifera Mum

    I would like a single player version just fine, if it comes along that you can do that. I play a lot of single player games personally, but I have a hard time getting into mmos and co-ops. Meanwhile, I’m happy reading the comic.

  • Evil

    What do I think? Well, I think you guys overextended yourselves and failed, big time. I’m sorry if that seems a bit strong, but in the end that is what happened.

    What went wrong? From what I could see, you stumbled on a couple of the fundamental points.

    It seems as though you guys are trying to do too many things at once, between three webcomics, a tv pilot, several books and now a game. While it is good to expand a business, there comes a point where going in so many directions at once does more harm than good. Perhaps now is the time to stand back and decide where you want Blind Ferret to go?

    In terms of the game, it felt like you didn’t really ask what fans would have liked to have seen in a game. Older gamers certainly would have liked to have seen a Gauntlet type game, but what would those from a younger generation liked? Gaming tastes change over time and what was fun yesterday won’t necessarily be the same tomorrow. Would the option of a single player game opened up more of a market? Or were you hoping that people would buy the game and they hope they’d find people to play with? Would an RPG have fitted in more with the setting rather than a dungeon brawl?

    As for the Kickstarter itself, perhaps the biggest mistake was setting such a high goal and expecting to hit it. Just to give an example, albeit from a different medium; Mantic Games set up 3 Kickstarters for their product ranges (There was a fourth, but that was them managing it for another company). Kings of War raised over $350,000 on a $5000, Dreadball hit its $20,000 in 30 minutes and went on to $728,985. More recently, Deadzone made $1.2 million and hit its goal of $50,000 in 30 seconds. My point in this? They went for reasonably achievable goals to begin with and raised what was offered as needed and appropriate. They set out to get just what they needed and expanded as time went on. So that is perhaps something to ponder on.

    Perhaps another place that could be looked at would be the companions. Its fine to have a little tip of the hat to other comics, but to have the likes of Zeke, Schlock or the C&H guy running around bashing goblins becomes a little problematic when you already have characters people like and they’re on the sidelines or not even seen. For example, many people would have loved to see Ray’d, Dorel, Captain Tah’vraay and Tim as alternative party members. Instead, it felt like pandering to include those other characters.

    Perhaps the best course of action now is to take a step back, prioritise and then ask and listen to your readers and find out what kind of game they want. You might be making it, but they’ll be the ones buying it.

  • Ted

    Looking at your various projects, you have shown you can average around 200k via kickstarter. It would be in your best interest to look at projects that fit within that budget.

    But Before you start any new projects, you must finish/release the LICD pilot and the LFG short. This would serve several purposes:

    1) show that you finish and deliver on your projects.

    2) give time for people to build up money.

    3) Give time for the past failures to fade a bit.

    4) It affords you time to rebuild trust and refocus on audience engagement.

    I don’t know if I can stress enough how hard you have to work on rebuilding the trust and interest of your fan base. They are the ones who will give you the most support. I know of other media that get more support from fewer followers because they work very, very hard at connecting with their fans and do every thing they can to show how much they appreciate the fans.

    5) you can better craft a marketing plan for your next campaign.

    Examining this particular campaign, there are many places where you went wrong, and most of them have been covered in various threads, so I will not reiterate what has been said in that regard.

    I will point out that your marketing plan surrounding the campaign was very lacking. I think you should have done more to cast a wider net and get more (any) outside coverage of the campaign. I am possibly the target audience or near the target audience for your products. I saw no coverage of this campaign outside this site. My frequenting this site has dropped off for reasons many (myself include) have already reiterated, and thus I didn’t hear about this until late in the campaign.

    As for The Fork of Truth, I belive there is a demand for a LFG game, but not an overly strong demand. I do not believe you should take your toys and go home, but you need to take time to really look over all the feedback you have received about the game and reflect on what people are telling you. I would work with the developers to come up with a strategy that is doable within a 100k, 200k, and 200k+ budget. I would better define how the game should play and what the play experience should be like. That along with consumer demand should guide you in choosing which platform(s) to initially develop and release.

  • Keelie Caitlin Smith

    $600k was a ridiculous goal to set. If that’s what you thought you would get, well, clearly you were wrong, yeah?

    This has looked like a fantastic game for mobile platforms. It’s just too cutesy and graphically uninteresting for a computer setup. A microwave could probably run it. Considering a lot of your fans already play other games, WoW, Elder Scrolls, Rift, whatever other fantasy games there are out there (WoW player here), seems to me that most of us would like something to do while we’re away from our favorite fantasy worlds.

    I think you should finish your other projects, then develop this for mobile. And try not to be such a bitch next time.

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

      I’m okay with failing, it means we tried. Or should we not try new things?

      • Abigail Barbucci

        No. Absolutely stop trying new things and FOCUS on what you currently have now. You were expecting for people to lay down money for several kick start projects at the same time without any of the projects becoming a reality. Stop it, stop it, stop it, I’ll slap your virtual hand if you dare to come up with new ideas just to try and shake some more money out of the pockets of your readers and followers.

        Focus on the comic, bring back the story and the quality (for it has dropped hard since the last two years, story and art wise.). Do what people actually want; finish the movie! Have no finances? Time to start kicking it up for the movie than rather have it all spread out. And then sit down and think. Blind Ferret has tried hard to promote this comic over these years; advertise in other games (tanks), make merchandise (plushies and figurines) and now some kickstarter projects. Why does it feel like to a reader that all that didn’t pay off and that the Blind Ferret studio seems poor as fek? Eventually it sounds fishy and you will come across as greedy as well and nobody wants to support an artist who has such a reputation.

        It is time to deliver to redeem yourself… to put it as such.
        So… my advice and criticism:
        Don’t do anything new, focus on what you current have and what your readers really want and take it one step at a time. I am not even going to mention the game because that one should be put on the back burner for a long time to come just so you can finish the other things first.

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

          Okay, so tell me, where and how should we raise the 7 million needed for the film?

          • Abigail Barbucci

            Why are you asking me that and not yourself, Sohmer? You of all the people made the promise for a movie years ago, not me and neither the rest of your fan base. You can not expect us to shake that amount of money out of our pockets and you can not expect us to sit here and silently go ‘yay’ with all these promises and nothing happening aside from some 3 minute long reel.

            You are the one responsible for this mess, the least you could do is take the support your fan base has to offer… even if it isn’t coin. Don’t turn the questions on them either or have this sharp edges attitude of not being able to take negative criticism. We know it is hard for you and how heavy the pressure is, but I do believe the fan base has already proven by now that we can’t do more than the help and support we already offered and if it isn’t enough for your dreams and goals… welp, you’ll be stuck in that little ditch you have been digging for yourself. Treat your fan base better (treat them as how you would like to be treated) and LISTEN to their criticism and ideas, their wants. You need to gain more support, especially gain the support back you lost.

          • Keelie Caitlin Smith

            Everything that Abigail just said. It’s as if she took the words straight off my own keyboard. Thank you, Abigail.

          • Abigail Barbucci

            You are most welcome. Sorry for hijacking your post there.

          • Keelie Caitlin Smith

            Not a problem at all, you did me a service. I don’t think I could have said it as well as you did. :)

          • martijnhoekstra

            If you still need 7 million, you shouldn’t have told your fanbase “the money is there” a year ago. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTnfhxG4eY0&feature=plcp

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

            It was there, and then the recession hit hard, causing a lot of studios to slash their budgets and projects. We weren’t immune to it, unfortunately.

          • martijnhoekstra

            I somewhat appreciate that, it are hard times on everyone. Why part of your community is possibly rather disgruntled (I am somewhat disgruntled to be honest), is that at some point that happened, and you didn’t tell us “guys, we are working on the movie, and we have bad news. With the crisis and all, much off our budget is slashed. That means even more delays, and we’re not sure how we’re going to bring the money together. We’re sorry, and we’ll keep you posted”.

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

            You’re right there, probably should’ve made a post about it.

          • martijnhoekstra

            You know, you still could. Take a day or two to think about it. I for one would appreciate a post explaining what happened between 2007 and now. It’s probably a lot. What happened initially, how that went wrong, what the new itinerary was, and what got in the way of that, and where we stand now. Whatever you say, you will probably be thumped on again. The situation you’re in can’t be a fun one for anyone, and I can imagine setting yourself up for a new barrage – that can be a dishearting prospect. In the end though, I would appreciate you for it. A lot off people probably will. As long as you’re willing to be open and honest.

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

            I’m all about transparency, and more than happy to share. It’s just a difficult situation to be in, when you;re actively seeking new financing and studio support, to talk about why the last 2 deals wouldn’t work.

            It’s like trying to get a new job, while at the same time talking shite about your old employers.

          • martijnhoekstra

            Well, you don’t have to talk shite about them, even if they were shite. It’s also not so much that we (ohai SohLar’s fanbase, I’m speaking for you) wan’t to know who was responsible when things went pear shaped, or who was being a dick about it, or how unreasonable it might have been, just that they did, and maybe how much that sucked. We empathise. It sucks more for you probably, but look at us hating it as well, right here on this thread.

            The cynic in me also wants to point out that however damaging tipping them off about why another studio or financer wouldn’t back it, it can’t possibly be as damaging as the discussions you find yourself in right now. And besides, let’s be frank (first I’m a whole fanbase, now I’m Frank, will I stop it already?), it’s not like new financiers would not be looking at previous finance attempts. Wouldn’t you rather be able to say to a financier the project failed twice for reasons beyond your control, but look at that fan base over there, they’re begging you to shut up and take their money, or would you prefer to tell them no, really, there were just very minor issues, oh, and by the way, please don’t read the comments on the threads on the website. But that’s the cynic in me. That guy is a dick (sorry Dick!). The non-cynic still says to sleep on it a few days.

          • Malakyp

            Wait, you had a reasonable expectation of 7 million dollars of funding, and then it went away because of “the recession”? It’s entirely possible that you got rolled by your venture capitalist, or whatever, but I think this is way more a sign that you do not understand how funding works, and what it means for the money “to be there”. At a fundamental level.

            Which, well, doesn’t surprise me, given what you think things cost / don’t cost.

  • Nigel Bradley

    My suggestion would be this: start updating your comic more than twice a week. LFG seems like the forgotten child of the other projects out there (Least I Could Do, for example, updates 7 times a week, Gutters was updating 3 times a week, and the latest project Kapshen updates 5 times a week). Right now, you’ve got Gutters on hiatus, and Kapshen doesn’t require any art… why not shave weekends off of LICD and give two more days to LFG? Make people care about the comic again. Honestly, it’s so long between updates that the story line feels very fractured. I can’t even quite remember what the whole enemy invasion thingie is supposed to be about as everyone’s been off on a side quest for so long, real world time.

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

      I would love to do more LFG a week, but it’s just not feasible, even with a colorist on board. LFG is a full page versus a 4 panel LICD, with more characters, more research, just..more.

      So though there’s only 2 LFGs a week Versus 7 LICD, I can tell you, hour to hour, we spend more time on LFG than we do anything else.

      • Nigel Bradley

        I can appreciate that answer–thanks for the reply.

  • JohnnyBoy

    Finish your other projects first. I can’t tell you how long I have waited for the LICD pilot. I’ve been teased with that prospect since college…I just graduated law school.

    LFG needs its story line cleaned up. I don’t remember what they’re doing anymore in any of the main plots. Get people interested in the quest again.

    You probably won’t listen to me on this, but please get a new voice for Richard. I’m not the only one who thinks he’s horribly miscast. It’s really off-putting.

    Let your fan base have faith in your projects that you complete before starting any more.

    My two cents.

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

      Can I ask, did you back the kickstarter for the LICD pilot?

      And please,don’t assume that a dozen negative posters constitutes a fan base.

      • JohnnyBoy

        First off I want to say thank you not only for opening up a forum for thoughts but also for answering the commenters so quickly. I know in the face of a project you felt strongly about not reaching its goal, it must be hard with so many negative responses. In retrospect, my tone came off harsher than I meant it to and for that I apologize.

        Second off, no I am sorry to say I did not back the kickstarter for LICD. Not for lack of interest or desire, but as I said I just graduated law school. All the money I have in my account is student loans that I am currently paying interest on, so I can only really justify necessity and living spending at the moment. Upon employment I can promise you, you will count me among your financial supporters as I do believe in both LICD and LFG. I realize this colors my comments, but there you have it. At least I admit it?

        Third, I do not assume that the negative posters are necessarily emblematic of your fan base. What I meant to say is that allowing a couple of projects, even smaller ones to come to fruition and stand on their own can show the larger fan base that the creative endeavors related to your comics are strong and successful. I believe pointing to previous success is a great way to galvanize your followers.

        I think you have some great groundwork laid out. As you mentioned, the fact that you received thousands of kickstarter backers and over $200k of pledges is a promising, if not uplifting, sign that people are ready and willing to get behind BFE’s work. While I was not a backer for the reasons I mentioned above, I checked on the kickstarter’s progress almost daily because I did want to see it succeed.

        That being said, I still think some tunnel vision as to your current projects is in order. There have been a number of different projects up in the air and I think that can stretch some people’s willingness to contribute. Perhaps it is time to cull the herd a bit.

        I have been a fan of LICD since 2006 and a fan of LFG since it began posting. You have my respect and admiration (for what little that may mean) for the monumental effort you have put into BFE. My readership, and hopefully soon my financial support, is yours. Don’t lose heart.

  • Tristan

    Sorry to hear this. Is there any chance though that we can see the fwoosh lighters in the web store? Really wanted one.

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

      I believe Stone is sourcing those out now. We’ll update when we know more.

  • Wim ten Brink

    Well, as I said before, I like LFG but I’m just not into gaming. And if I do play games, it mostly single-player. I did pledge $150 for the only non-game option but maybe you should consider doing just that: add more non-game goodies like t-shirts and figurines for those who still want to sponsor your project, but who aren’t interested in the game. :-)

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

      You do make a point there.

      • Wim ten Brink

        You could make the printed comics part of the non-gamer packages. :-) Too bad I already have them.

  • http://mariusandra.com/ Marius Andra

    Sohmer, I would love to give you my money, and have given before, but I just can’t anymore.

    ~6 years ago, on the 29th of May 2007 you wrote “I give you Heroes and Jericho as examples. Both series are heavily clad with their own mysteries and shockers, yet reveals are doled out on a regular basis giving the viewer a more complete picture and understanding of what they’re watching. [...] Heroes and Jericho tells the complete story in such a way I find compelling, and in a way that I hope Lar and I are emulating with LFG. But then again, you tell us. [...] – Because I Can.”

    Source: http://web.archive.org/web/20070621204525/http://lfgcomic.com/blog_archive.php (scroll to the bottom)

    LFG was this at first. I waited eagerly for every episode. Now I’m waiting months for one that’s interesting.

    I understand the difficulty with producing quality content every day for years (see e.g. The Oatmeal comic on the topic – http://theoatmeal.com/comics/making_things), but please try. You kicked ass at it in the past. What your fans really care about is quality material for LFG and LICD, not to see your creative talent spread in a million directions.

    Please pull yourself together. As the saying goes, don’t half-ass 8 things, whole ass 2 things.

    - Still a fan

  • Miranda Foxx

    Personally, I had no interest in multi-player anyway, so I would be perfectly happy (actually, more so) with a single player campaign. Doing it in episodes would also be just fine. And I have to say, while I’m excited for both projects, running this kickstarter so soon after the last one might have been a hindrance for people who want to fund, but don’t have a lot of disposable income. Try again in a few months? I’ll certainly back it again then :).

  • Luke M

    1. Make the game single player campaign only. You can always expand later.
    2. Complete This is War to show lfg community that you can follow through with a lfg related project.
    3. Work on your rewards. Most of them only appealed to a small subset of readers. Posters? Plushies? Knick knacks?
    4. Consider crossover rewards if lfg fan base is not large enough. Least I Could Do reward option? Gutters related option?
    5. Revamp large donation awards. They were “neat” instead of “oh-my-god-please-take-my-money-esque.”

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

      Good ideas! Thanks man.

  • Derek Wright

    I backed it, and put the extra for international delivery for one simple reason, To show my love for all the amazing comics you give us for free (I also backed the LICD Pilot) and you know what I would do it again and again and again, Cos i Love LFG and LICD (less so gutters but thats cos i dont really get all the in jokes if I am honest)

    Sohmer can I ask one little thing?, Keep up the good work.

    -Because you rock!

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

      Thanks man ;)

  • Kyle Kozak

    I think you guys have done an amazing job so far! $600,000 is quite a lofty goal, but given the tasks undertaken, it is entirely understandable. As a poor college student, it’s difficult for me to support you guys as much as I would like. So far I’ve only been able to afford a few products, and a measly $25 backing for this project, however I would still love to continue to support you guys as much as I can on the LFG front.

    In my personal opinion, I would say to cut down on the multiplayer aspect and try going for the single player campaign. Doing things in an episodic way would also be a good idea. It would allow for a “beta test” if you will, which will minimize initial cost, as well as get people more interested in the series. By releasing a small bit first, people might realize “hey, this is freaking awesome!” and more people might be willing to offer financial aid to the product in order to see it progress!

    In addition, as much as I would like to see an LFG movie, to be honest, i would have SO much more fun with the game than a movie. A movie can be watched several times, but in the end, it’s still the same thing over and over again. By progressing the game, it keeps the audience captivated over a longer period of time, and gives them chances to play the game several times over, while trying some new strategy, or another character.

    In the end, all I really want is for you guys to continue the amazing work that you’ve released so far!

  • Joran Nox

    I had taken a look at it when it first showed up on the LFG website. As far as I could tell (and I may not have done enough research) it was like Diablo in gameplay but cuter and shorter. Diablo has been a sore spot for many since its release, and doesn’t really feel like it belongs in the RPG classification. What I didn’t like specifically was the graphics, more about the bland textures than the “chibi” character style, no real concept of its plot and the general joke feel of its title, since the title was based off one of Richard’s silly items that has very little apparent plot relevance in the LFG comic. In terms of plot and story telling, is the game meant to be following along the comic’s plot or taking a “side quest” that we can assume the characters did during their travels from point A on the map to point B? There’s an already produced game I own which also labels itself as a four player (action / tower defense hybrid) RPG and though I love it to death and have three friends who own it, it seems impossible to twist all arms into place for any length of game session, no matter how much they also seem to like that game. I don’t believe you have too many irons in the fire, despite other peoples’ comments. Unlike many other web comics, I haven’t seen this or Least I Could Do fail to update at their promised times, and have heard serious, professional advice from youse guyse on how to make your comics seem like they mean serious business, which has been followed in a very practice-what-you-preach way. What I would look for in a game trailer – kickstarted or not, regardless of price point, and of previous familiarity with the developing groups attributed – is first, what it is. When Batman: Arkham Asylum came out, they showed me Batman doing some detective sleuthing and stealthily pouncing on henchmen, informed me that Joker was going to be in there causing trouble, and that I could expect to get in a lot of combat situations with a lot of guys at once. From watching yours, I can guess there will be quests to accept and monsters to kill. Which would be good if this game was in the works around the time of Hexen II, but aside from being somewhere between Diablo, a few of the X-Men games, and the actual comic itself, I don’t really know what it brings to the proverbial table. The second thing I’d like to see in a game’s trailer is something exciting to lure me in. Blizzard is really good at this. Wrath of the Lich King Trailer? Very tense, very cool, very edge-of-the-seat. Starcraft 2′s launch video just showed a guy getting strapped into a bunch of mechanical armor by robotic arms coming out of the walls, and made it look exciting, even though I personally have no affection for robots, mechanical things, or much of the sci-fi genre. I’d advise looking at the Massive Chalice kickstarter video if nothing else – their pitch video was made amusingly, and enticingly. The third thing I want in a game trailer to lure me in – and I promise, this is the last – is an Us vs. Them sort of thing. Batman vs. Joker. Adventurers vs. The Lich King. Jim Raynor vs. The Zerg Queen. I’m drawing on Blizzard stuff a lot, I know, but when I first started reading this comic, I thought it was supposed to be a WoW based comic, with Cale as a blood elf hunter, Benny as an orc priest, Krunch as a tauren warrior, and Richard as an undead warlock, so clearly it was the horde team vs. The Alliance, which turned out to be Aelleoon and his people. Even if you just pull up steam and watch some random game trailers from it, I’m pretty sure you’ll pick up notes on how they make a person’s mind react favorably to the game being sold. I don’t mean it as rude, but the “Hi, I’m so and so and this is how I contribute to the project” approach feels bland and uninteresting. I’m certain that if you can make a better pitch, you will do better with your audience!

    • Tue

      Actually the gameplay was described as being like “Gauntlet” at an early stage of the kickstarter. But this wasn´t mentioned in the clip they showed during the Dickathon, so could have been changed later on.

      • Joran Nox

        I didn’t watch the dickathon. The gameplay I noticed was pretty much exclusively from the video at the top of the page of the kickstarter itself. But if it is “Gauntlet”-like, I’d point at the complaint of racking up arcade points for some nebulous purpose like score… and, believe me, there were a lot of comments I was trying to cram into that first post I did.

    • Sindy

      “I’m drawing on Blizzard stuff a lot, I know, but when I first started
      reading this comic, I thought it was supposed to be a WoW based comic,
      with Cale as a blood elf hunter, Benny as an orc priest, Krunch as a
      tauren warrior, and Richard as an undead warlock, so clearly it was the
      horde team vs. The Alliance, which turned out to be Aelleoon and his
      people.”

      It is 100% WoW-based, they just changed the name around and added some ‘original’ elements as time passed so they could pass it as their own and sell it without Blizzard being able to sue them.
      They refer to Krunch as a Tauren in some places outside the actual comic (Tauren is a name Blizzard came up with), Cale has the BE long eyebrows (again, something Blizzard came up with) and all their designs/’classes’/'mechanics’ are straight from WoW, at least were for the first few hundred pages until they figured they can make a profit with it and turned it into ‘Legarion’ instead of Azeroth to avoid Blizzard going after them as they have all the rights to do – BFE is profiting off an idea that isn’t theirs at all. Even the jokes aren’t theirs anymore, they’re just dumb pop culture references.

      A note, though – Benny is a troll priest, even if she is referred to as ‘orc’ in the comic at one point. The design is available in game, complete with hairstyle/color, and she has the three fingers and two toes that trolls have in WoW. Again, design entirely copied from Warcraft.

      So yes, you nailed it being a WoW comic. You should’ve stuck with that train of thought like all WoW players who have read this comic did, and we all noticed it’s just riding on Blizz’s ideas, as well as ideas from other sources, to make a profit they feel entitled to. Would’ve been more accurate.

      • Joran Nox

        I had a notion of giving them a little more creative credit than none at all. Most of the decent stories and ideas in the world are new combinations of old things, and it’s not like people who start out writing fan fiction just stay in the fan fiction medium forever. What I think would have made a WoW fanfiction comic a little more compelling than has been presented with LFG ties back in with the us vs. them thing I complained about wanting in a game trailer. Aelleoon has been seen a few times, and apparently has a prophecy set against him, but I just couldn’t tell you what he’s fighting for, who he commands (because it’s not an alliance of dwarves, gnomes, night elves, humans, space goats and worgen; the ones that have shown up in comic are against Aelleoon…) or why he’s considered evil. If I’m looking for some creative input that just isn’t there, I guess I get that. But I don’t want to believe in its absence lightly, either.

  • Dan

    I did donate to the project mainly because I enjoy the characters in the story and it seemed, game wise, to be an interesting idea. I do wonder though, if the game and other projects you guys are working on are starting to become a bit much. It does seem as if LFG has become a bit detached as of late. I still read it every time a comic is posted, but I honestly can’t remember anymore what the characters are trying to do and what their goal is. I would like to see the main comic tightened up before I think I’d be willing to back any more projects. I’d rather have a good comic.

  • James Khoury

    I don’t like commenting or posting on these kinds not things but I cannot believe the audacity of some people who have posted.

    I’d vote for you to wait a few months hand try again. Most people cannot comprehend what happens on long term projects like these behind the scenes and people seem to be caught on the fact that other projects haven’t completed yet.

    IMHO I personally would love to see the game in tablet form rather than desktop.

  • Stacey

    I am also disappointed that it did not get enough to be funded, as I was really looking forward to it. I applaud the ambition of this project and I think that there is no other web comic that lends itself to being a video game more then LFG.

    It has been proven that Blind Ferret can raise $230k for this video game. What can be done with that much? Can it be done with a single player story line with multiplayer options as a stretch goal? Could you do it with milestones in place like showing if the group raises X amount Blind Ferret can do one episode of a single player story, if the group raises +X amount Blind Ferret can do one episode with multiplayer function, and so on? I am not very familiar with the constraints that Kickstarter has. If that is a possibility with a graphic at the very top showing progress and what is being funded then people have the sense of what they are getting and how much further they need to go to obtain the goal.

    Ignore the naysayers and the people who keep mentioning other Kickstarter projects. (What about the Bear book naysayers? That was an awesome Kickstarter project!) I know that I would love to see a LFG video game and I would happily back it again when given the chance. Don’t give up!

  • http://www.photo-phantasy.com/ Samantha

    I think it’s just too soon after your last campaign. A lot of donors probably need more time to recoup. I’d say give it four or five more months and try again.

  • Gnoya

    I personally love all that blind ferret does and after meeting a lot of you at comic cons over the years I know you all love it too..

    My thoughts on this project were mixed however While LFG is by far my favorite product you see I have to agree it seems very disjointed. While the story line is a lot more complex,detailed and a mix of serious arc progression PLUS the fun we like to see in the comic, it’s been very hard to keep that interest level up with only the two updates a week as story threads can be left hanging for a month before they look like they are back on track. This can possibly be a reason for some disinterest as well. Losing that fan base that don’t have the attention span to stick with it

    The game it self to me. Would be more than acceptable as a single player campaign style with room for growth. Future improvement for multi on success. Such IPs like torchlight 1 and 2 come to mind.

    Please do not make this a mobile exclusive as for me and I do think others( includes everyone i personally have talked to in my gaming community) hate playing action style games on our devices. They are too clumsy and some of our fingers are just to big!

    Companies need to grow to survive and need to make money as well something that all the free readers of your products need to understand. Also it’s very possible that the target audience needs to be re evaluated and see how such an audience can help support YOU guys and work with you to give everyone what they want and deserve

    Thank you all for your hard work and damnit I am STILL waiting for access to an embroidered collared blunt ferret logo shirt. My only wish hehe

    • Sindy

      Just gonna throw this here: passive aggressiveness won’t get you anywhere.

      “Losing that fan base that don’t have the attention span to stick with it” is neither accurate nor something you can say unironically. This isn’t Lord of the Rings nor Dungeons and Dragons where there is too much information and too many storylines going on at the same time and if you literally do not have the attention span or dedication for it you will quit. No, this is just bad jokes as filler which many people don’t take joy out of. Some do, as is obvious by all their fans, but the rest people who talked here about bad jokes didn’t leave because they’re dumb monkeys who can’t remember what’s the point of this comic. They can all tell you WHAT is the point, but the silly pop culture references aren’t their pot of stew so if a comic is solely that they will leave and some of them will yell their disappointment on their way out. Insulting them because they have different standards than you is NOT going to help anybody, neither you nor Sohmer.

      “Companies need to grow to survive and need to make money as well something that all the free readers of your products need to understand.” Oh, please. Everybody who said negative stuff entirely understands that. We could easily say you guys need to understand we won’t be throwing our money continuously at work that doesn’t rise up to the standard of entertainment that we are willing to pay for. BFE makes more than enough money for the projects they have, you don’t see Sohmer in a ditch typing these messages on a piece of wood. He has money to go to all the comic cons in America and lately, Europe – which is more than many other well-established comic authors or freelancers. He has money to have a portable device to TYPE stuff from when waiting in the airport. He never invested any personal money into any projects from the look of things, he always asked his fans for that money and they always gave it to him. I’d like you to look into the freelancing business because you need to understand BFE is doing really well for a ‘free’ comic while other people struggle more while producing better art and not being so aggressive towards their readers.

      Really, I understand being a fan of something, but insinuating everyone who isn’t a crazy fan that would throw all their life’s savings at Sohmer is a bad person is narrow-sighted. Maybe some of us can’t afford it. Maybe others don’t want to throw money on something we consider not worth our money and time. The reason is never as simple as ‘lol they’re reading it for free and can’t appreciate your hard work, them horrible haters, they’re too stupid for your mastermind anyway.’

  • Dru Bolack

    I backed the game, but I hadn’t backed any of your previous kickstarters, and i was under the impression that they were not all complete.
    so my suggestion: make the general public aware that things are complete, and where things stand. you don’t have to give them access to the content, but a update near the end that is just information would have likely helped.

  • Dubhradh

    I currently have 3 Kickstarter projects that I’m funding- one of those is your Kickstarter project for The Bear Volume 2 (which I haven’t heard any updates on, hopefully that means all is going well) but 3 is the maximum number of projects my household is allowed to support and have open at any time in order to keep ourselves financially responsible. I believe The Bear Volume 2 is finished up in September, after that I’ll be able to see about investing in another project.

  • Fusionater

    To a certain extent I agree with the people saying that you should finish other projects, like the LICD pilot, which as you said, you finished but haven’t aired(I wouldn’t know much about this one since you did the kickstarter before I started reading LICD), or more currently, the this is war short, while I can understand that it takes money to make a full movie(a lot actually, to people wondering), you are a bit behind on the This is War(which I did back), which, of course, you explained to the backers, and I understand you’re reasons for holding off on it, however, I can also understand that it would give people the impression that you can’t manage to keep your promises, and using the updates on the this is war kickstarter to plug your new kickstarter before you even finished this one(which should be finished within only a few weeks based on what you have said, has anything changed?), may have looked like you were abandoning the project to people. In the end you’re guilty of being very bad at juggling your projects, I don’t think some people in the comments are being overly upset over this though.

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

      The LFG Short is running a month late, due to the extra content we’re putting in. It’s expected to be released to Backers by the 2nd week of August.

      You’re right though, maybe we should have held off until the short was released?

      But it needs to be noted, that the short is only going to be released to backers at first.

      • Fusionater

        Yeah, I understand that much, I’d rather see the best short possible, I would also like to see realistic deadlines, don’t tell people you can have it done at a certain time, unless you’re absolutely sure, is all I’m saying.

        Maybe, with the added effect of the short being awesome(for the sake of argument
        I’m going to assume that This is War will be just as if not more awesome than Slaughter Your World), there could be the same initial excitement people had with slaughter your world, which would make it more doable to raise the funds for a more expensive project like the game.

        Out of curiosity, are other things being done to raise the funds for the movie and the game, outside of kickstarter?

  • safyrejet

    I backed the KS, I’m sad to see it fail. First KS project I’ve backed that has failed. I would have loved to see the game you wanted to make come to fruition. I hope you’ll be able to rework things and come up with a new plan. Let me know if/when a new KS gets launched and I’ll be there to back you as much as I can.

    Here’s some suggestions from my perspective: single player focus would boost the fun factor for me a lot. I don’t really have time to play games much myself let alone arrange time to play with others. I couldn’t convince my bro to back the project ’cause he didn’t like the multiplayer focus either. I’d love to be more “social” and sit around playing games with my friends, but my life style just doesn’t work that way. I gotta be a hermit grad student right now, stealing bits of play time where I can by my lonesome self.

    I really hope you don’t go with a iOS/tablet type game only. I know that’s what a lot of people seem to play on now but I haven’t jumped on the smart phone/tablet band wagon. I use my phone for phone calls, texting, maybe making a note or checking a calendar here and there. My computer and game consoles are what I play games on. I know, that probably makes me a technology fossil by now.

    Anyway, don’t lose heart. You still had over 4000 backers, people who believed in the KS project vision you had going. For Pony!!!

  • Taijutsu

    Congratulations on reaching $200k+ in support! That’s nothing to sneeze at :)

    I applaud your decision to ask us what we think about it. It is very brave thing to ask people why something failed that you are very personally invested in.

    This is why I did not back your kickstarter:
    I am all about supporting the arts and fellow artists (I am a musician/dancer myself) but I have very, very little extra money. As such, I have to be a bit careful where I throw it. I have three main criteria.

    1. The artist/s involved have to be reliably producing content.

    2.The pitch has to be concise and focused.

    3. I have to really love the product. I don’t have enough money to support all of the “meh” and “good” things on top of the “Wow!” things.

    Let’s see how these apply.

    1. I have not seen any fruition of your other projects. For example, I have heard literally nothing about the progress of “this is war” since your drive for it ended until reading a few of the comments here. That made me think “Hmm, what have I seen happen since the last time they asked for money (not a bad thing)? Nothing really (bad thing).” Intellectually, I know you’ve probably been working on it and stuff, but I’ve seen no results so intuitively I feel like you’re a bad investment.

    Similarly, the comic has been updating rather infrequently and slowly (I’m also kind of bored with the way the comic’s turned into one-shot gags recently, but hey, it’s your artistic choice and I’m happy to give you the benefit of the doubt). Granted, that’s because you have a bunch of other stuff that you’re doing. Even so, that makes me ask ~~~”If the main project/product has slowed way the heck down because of all of the other stuff, what are the chances that yet ANOTHER thing will work out anytime soon?”

    2. I loved the initial pitch. It was focused, easy to understand, and exciting. My initial response was “Hey, this looks really cool! Let’s see what the initial support is like and how the project develops I’ll back it awesomely!”
    Then it turned into a huge, multi-multi-page pitch with way more stretch goals and reward tiers than I have ever seen on a not-yet-funded Kickstarter. The focus of the message seemed to shift from “We have this cool idea, and here is why it is awesome!” :) to “We have this id—LOOK AT ALL THE STUFF!!! COSMETICS!! DOODADS!!! DLC!!!!!SHINY,SHINY, STUFF!!!”. I love shiny extra stuff as much as the next person, but focusing on all of the extra things before the main thing is even halfway fully funded makes me not want to invest.

    3. I don’t have a lot to say about this criteria. I thought it was cool, but unlikely to happen because of 1 and 2. The awesomeness was there for me, just not the delivery and logistics.

    As you noted earlier, if every one of your readers donated ~$5 you would be super-funded. However, only a small proportion of your readers did. Why is that? I can only speak for myself, but if you want to know more what everybody else wants you have to ask them. The really cool thing about kickstarter and internet followings is that it allows the creators of something to work and communicate directly with their audience and consumers. You don’t have to spend millions of dollars on marketing like big-name corporations to research want we want. You can just ask us :) “Hey, I do this thing and you all really seem to like it! What is something that you will throw money at in order to support this art that I’m sharing with you?” Creator-audience dialogue is awesome and gets stuff done. A great example of this is Howard Tayler’s (of Shlock Mercenary) last Kickstarter. His readers basically said “We love your stuff and will throw money at you if you do this ______!” So he did it. This happened because he engages his readers all the freaking time and has a proven track record.

    TL;DR I haven’t seen that giving you money gets results, and if it does it’s not obvious enough. You’re dealing with the internet. Make your message short, focused on the main product, and easy to digest. Try asking us what we think before and during a kickstarter drive, not just after it.

    Best of luck and wished for the future! :D

  • Phil

    I’m afraid I am inclined to agree with the various others saying this, but finish other projects first.
    Finishing LICD animated or the LFG movie before doing games would be good.

    The idea that people are discouraged from contributing because they remain unfinished does hold water, and responding to those that make that argument by saying “which project have you contributed to?” is unconstructive and frankly makes those reading replies like that think you are unprofessional and unappreciative.

    Feedback from potential customers who decided not to pay is actually more valuable in some ways than from those who did. You need more money, then you need to get those people to contribute. Getting them to contribute means finding out why they didn’t, not replying in manner that says “if you aren’t paying we don’t care”.

    Additionally, I would also point out that an animated series/film is a more natural step on from a comic. Look at Hollywood. DC/Marvel comics, get turned into movies which are successful. Then they make a video game which has it’s popularity increased by the fact it’s target audience is now both comic fans and series/movie fans.

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

      I agree that feedback from potential customers is valuable, which is why I posed the question.

      But not when they give feedback on a product they didn’t purchase.

      If you did not back the games project, I want to know why. I want to know what we could to make the game more interesting to you.

      • Rob Quigley

        I’m going to use the Royal “We” here, and hope that others agree at least a little.

        Our feedback isn’t about the products we did or did not purchase- it is about _you_ (Blind Ferret as a content producer, not you Sohmer personally). *You* have not proved to us that you can complete these things. As the face of Blind Ferret, you are antagonizing the very people you are asking for money from when you dismiss their concerns because they haven’t backed other projects.

        Now, for me personally-
        I don’t read LICD, no interest in the pilot, or a TV series. Just don’t care about it. But the fact that it is a known commodity that people are still waiting on reflects on you. The fact that the This is War short is still out there unfinished also reflects on you.

        I realize that This is War is being worked on, and I get the kickstarter updates- Great! Once it’s done, I would be more inclined to back something else you are working on (not this game, it’s not my thing as I commented elsewhere). In all honesty, there are actually 0 things you could have done to make this more interesting without completely starting over from scratch with it.

        That being said, assuming that you had magically known my desires in advance (and I admit I am really picky about games) there still would have been the chasm to cross- I want to see you complete something first. Even something I don’t personally care about, just so I can see that you _can_ finish something. You already have some of my money, and although my For Pony! bracelet is great it is not really what I put that money out there for.

      • Ryan Terry

        What you saw evidence of here was customers acting as investors. When you go to ANY venture capitalist it really doesn’t matter what your pitch is. They are going to ask: What have you done with the money you’ve already earned? Where has it gone?

        If your answer is “our investors know already, and if you invest we’ll tell you” they are gonna tell you to take a hike. I’m not reviewing content I didn’t purchase, I’m asking to see what you’ve done with the money you’ve been given already before I decide to give you MY money. If you can’t do that, I’m gonna tell you to take a hike just like any rational investor should. The game was interesting to me, your track record wasn’t.

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

          I don’t view our Kickstarter campaigns as investments, they’re pre-orders. People who backed our KS received what was promised.

          • $62522129

            oh so you’re going to make the game even though people didn’t give you enough money in advance?

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

            We’re going to retool it, yes, see if can find another way to make it work. Kickstarter is a fantastic test bed.

          • Rob Quigley

            At the risk of sounding snarky, perhaps that is part of the issue here? Any money I put at a Kickstarter project is money that I feel okay with losing. I don’t expect all kickstarter projects to succeed, and I don’t assume that they’re going to be on schedule if they do. It would be great if that were the case, but history is littered with projects that have failed for one reason or another.

            I definitely cannot assume it is a “pre-order”, because I’m not pre-ordering something. A pre-order implies a completed or almost completed product that needs funding for things like an initial print run or the like.

            I’m helping to provide capital for the project to succeed, and my “return on investment” is a completed product that becomes available for others as well (possibly at a cost- I’m not saying everyone else gets it for free).

            Sorry to say, but if I can’t see results from previous Kickstarters or other similar projects by someone, I’m not likely to back them.

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

            That’s not snarky at all, and I can appreciate it, just as I hope you can appreciate my different view.

            Regardless, I hope you’ll be impressed with how This is War comes out ;)

          • Rob Quigley

            I’m super geeked for it, all told. And I really do appreciate LFG greatly, even the odd sidestories that go on and on. It reminds me of the joy in 8-bit Theatre without the clunkiness of the sprite-comic.

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

            Thanks man ;)

          • Scott

            I think you have a misunderstanding of kickstarter is if you don’t see it as investments. According to the Kickstarter’s own blog “It’s hard to know how many people feel like they’re shopping at a store when they’re backing projects on Kickstarter, but we want to make sure that it’s no one. Today we’re introducing a number of changes to reinforce that Kickstarter isn’t a store — it’s a new way for creators and audiences to work together to make things.”

            http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/kickstarter-is-not-a-store

            With understanding of how kickstarter is supposed to work I agree with Ryan Terry and it is also completely reasonable to for potential investors to ask what you will do with the money. I have supported a few kickstarter campaigns when i was comfortable with what may money was being used for and how what I would get back. I did not feel this way with for of truth,

      • FearTheHero

        Then don’t discount the fact that a lot of us are saying it’s because you have nothing to show for your past works being done.

        Just because I haven’t backed anything doesn’t mean my boyfriend or roommate or brother or whoever didn’t; if they sit there and tell me “Hey, this is fantastic, I love it!!” I’m gonna go well hey they (Sohmer/Lar/Blind Ferret) have gotten stuff done before, so my money being pledged to this new project is going to get somewhere. You don’t buy a car or appliance without looking at existing consumer reviews; you typically won’t buy a house without having a contractor look through it to make sure it is structurally sound first.

        It’s not that the game isn’t interesting to me – quite the opposite in fact – but my money is extremely tight and if I’m going to hand some of it to you, I want to know what it is backing isn’t going to fall through the cracks.

        • FearTheHero

          The feedback hasn’t been ABOUT products we didn’t buy; I didn’t back The Bear books, for example, but I’m not sitting here saying they’re crap. That would be feedback of something I didn’t buy. It’s the disconcerting lack of information, GENERAL INFORMATION, that we’re worried about. If my brother buys a new video game around Christmas release time, I’m gonna ask him if it’s any good before I go out and buy it; if he says it is, consider me sold completely; if he says it’s crap, I might not buy it at all.

  • Ladynero

    Honestly, I think it would be great if this was a single player game where a player could “group” with Richard, Cale, Benny and Krunch who are controlled by the game a la Kingdom Hearts, and perhaps switch through the characters in the party depending on who the want to play at the time. That way, the player isn’t depending on finding others to game with.
    just my two cents worth.

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

      We thought of this approach actually, but I really, really wanted to be able to play as the characters, and not just alongside them.

  • That Guy

    I would suggest using the game engine and animation already created for the game as a basis for doing a future LFG movie. Even just a short. Maybe change the characters from the chibi-esque style to one more akin to the comics, but you don’t have to.

    This may prove to be a faster, cheaper, more flexible way to create LFG animations. It would give your film a particular style that would be paying homage to the fact LFG was based on online games. You would then have a faster and reusable way to create animations.
    Releasing a few shorts in this style (for free) and properly marketing them would be a good stepping stone to making either a game or a feature film. Just an idea on how to use the toys you already got.

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

      Two very different beasts, unfortunately.

      And the animation we’re using for the eventual movie, will be traditional 2D (hand drawn), versus the 3D of the game.

      • That Guy

        The point was that perhaps you should use the 3D – Instead of – the hand drawn. While the original vision may have been for it to be traditional animation, using the game engine instead might actually allow you to complete that or a similar animation sooner.

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

          True, but I feel LFG really thrives in it’s 2D format. I can’t imagine doing the movie in any other way.

          Sure, we could probably bang it out sooner, but I’ve waited this long to make the movie the right way, I’m okay waiting until we can do it right.

          That make sense?

          • That Guy

            I totally understand.

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

            Thanks man ;)

  • David Riley

    I’m really hoping it can be a thing! I just think $600k is VERY optimistic for a Kickstarter (it happens, but not often). I’d say trim features ’til you can launch a $200k Kickstarter (or even $150k to be safe) and keep them around as stretch goals. Episodic also sounds great to me!

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

      That’s what we be working on now ;)

  • Ryan Terry

    Sohmer,

    I am going to make full disclosure right here: I enjoy LFG, and Least I could do. I did not, however, contribute to any of the Kickstarters you have begun thus far. This was due to me not really being interested in seeing a music video featuring Richard or a TV show based on Least I Could Do. The projects didn’t interest me, and so didn’t contribute. I am, however, a gamer so I did consider backing Fork of Truth.

    From this point, as a fan of your work and potential backer of Fork of Truth, I want you to understand my mindset in choosing not to provide funding. I have not seen any results from previous kickstarters. Your response thus far has been “you did not contribute, the people who contributed know the results/status/have received their benefits”. And that’s great! I’m happy you’ve provided feedback to those who are funding the projects. They certainly deserve it more than me, who didn’t contribute and wasn’t interested in the projects to begin with. However, when it comes time for me to contribute to this project I look back over and see successfully funded kickstarters that have not provided visible results. A TV show was funded, but aside from some teasers no TV show exists as far as I can tell. A music video was funded, but no music video is available for me to see. When you do a kickstarter, the goal is to do more than provide content for the backers, it’s to provide some final product to the world and the backers get some additional benefit. I’m not privy to the info only the backers have received so from my perspective as a potential NEW backer my feeling is there is a lot of ideas but no follow through.
    Just my two cents. I hope this game can one day exist.

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

      I can understand where you’re coming from, but you need to understand, that with the Kickstarters, my feeling is that the only people we owe a product to are the backers, as that is what we promised.

      We do plan to release everything to the full public one day, but a date for that has not been set.

      As an analogy, if your friend buys a car, are you upset when a car isn’t delivered to you?

      Of course not, because you didn’t buy it.

      If you wanted the car, you would have purchased it. If you wanted the LFG Video, or Bear Book, you would have purchased it.

      As an aside, an LICD Show was not funded, just a 22-minute pilot episode.

      • Ryan Terry

        Thank you for the response! I appreciate you taking the time to consider what I said. But allow me to provide a rebuttal to both this and your response to my other post. I think what you may be experiencing is some disconnect between your view of kickstarter and the actual purpose of kickstarter.

        You stated that you view the kickstarters as pre-orders. That is, unfortunately, demonstrably not the case. The difference is that a product that is being pre-ordered will exist one way or another. If I pre-order the next expansion to World of Warcraft, it’s going to exist with or without my pre-order. Blizzard is a company financially capable of creating its game with or without my pre-order. Blind Ferret Entertainment is sadly NOT capable of making its game with our without the forward funding the backers provide. That is the difference between and “investment” and a “pre-order”. With an investment, there is no guarantee of success and thus a large measure of faith must exist before somebody will put forward that hard earned cash. There is a VERY REAL chance that I give you $50 and get absolutely nothing at all for my money, this does not exist in a pre-order scenario.

        To you, the service provider, this seems like a distinction without a difference, but I assure you from the perspective of a person holding the money it is definitely not. In order to bridge this gap, I must then look over your previous kickstarter history. I don’t need to see your videos, I didn’t buy them, but as far as I am aware, you never even posted a triumphant “THE PILOT IS COMPLETE!” or “WE FINISHED THIS IS WAR!”. I don’t need to see them, but I would certainly like to KNOW that you got them done. I couldn’t even get that much confirmation. A certain amount of faith is placed in you because I know you make good work, but it only goes so far.

        To continue your analogy, if my friend bought a car I wouldn’t expect to get one too, but I would certainly ask him if he got the car/liked the car he bought before getting one from the same place. If no satisfactory answer to those questions exist.. I’ll probably buy one from Honda instead.

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

          There, we’re in agreement.

          I did consider posting the triumphant news post on both LFG and LICD, but in the end, I decided against. It seemed a shitty thing to do, to everyone who had not backed the project.

          ITS DONE!!!!! ….but you can’t see it.

          That didn’t seem like something I would like to read.

          So, there’s always that balance we’re treading. Hopefully, when we do release This is War to the public, you’ll very much like what you see.

          • MrLightRail

            Then why not offer the product to non-kickstarters with a fair payment via Paypal to watch the completed work? This way, more buzz is generated, and it will shut up those of us who think you are not delivering on your promises. I see that as a win-win!

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

            Definitely something to consider.

          • Ryan Terry

            A fair point, but let me make something 1,000% clear:

            If I knew that both the Pilot and the This Is War short were completed (visible to me or not) you’d have been my $50 closer to funding Fork of Truth. And I probably wouldn’t have been alone. You wanted to know why we didn’t fund it… I think you have at least a partial answer. The good news here though, is that this is NOT a serious issue and it is easily corrected. Finish the projects that are not done already, and make the information that they are done available.

            A parting thought… is it such a bad thing if you make people who didn’t back it envious of those who did? If you post that you completed a kickstarter but only those who backed it get to see it… yeah I may be a little miffed, but I also will think “hmmph… maybe I’ll back the next one then, those guys are seeing something I can’t!” If you build the fence TO high, we can’t tell how green the grass is over there.

            Good luck on future kickstarters, I hope what I’ve said has helped…

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

            Very helpful man, and thank you.

          • Ryan Terry

            You’re more than welcome. For what it’s worth, I also agree with the opinion of my posting cohort MrLightRail above who advised making the Pilot and This is War available for a fee provided you can find some way to make that work. If your kickstarter threshold for viewing the finished product was (for example) $20 make the cost to view them now $25. Milk it! Nobody is asking for a free ride…

            Well… ok… this is the internet, SOME people are asking for a free ride but you don’t need to give it to them. The comic is free, they can pay to see videos if they want them. It’ll also give you money to fund… oh.. I dunno… a LFG game? ;-)

          • FearTheHero

            ^ That. Every single word of THAT.

          • That Guy

            But you didn’t even annouce to the backers that it was complete.

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

            Yeah we did, with a launch date and everything!

          • That Guy

            I never got it. Many others were never notified either. The kickstarter page doesn’t even have it listed in the updates for backers. Last update there was in May.

            My backing level explicitly states: “Behind the scenes access, insight into the process of producing an animated pilot and the series thereafter. Special thank you in the credits.” However I was never notified it was complete or told the launch date.

          • Fusionater

            That’s extremely odd That Guy, thus far I have gotten numerous updates on This is War, if you’re not receiving these updates, I’m willing to bet it’s an issue on Kickstarter’s end, and not Sohmer’s.

            In any case this, right here, is a good example of two people being reasonable in a debate, it’s great to see.

          • That Guy

            I and others I have spoken to were getting updates fairly reguarly up until a fewe months ago, then nothing.

            I’m not sure what’s going on, and my attempts to find out thus far have been met with “Yeah we did.” However, clearly I and other backers are unaware. So there has been some kind of break down here that seems to be glossed over.

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

            Responded to you in another thread That Guy, but if you can give me your KS info, I’ll get to the bottom of it.

          • Fusionater

            Hm, hopefully this can get solved, as the last update I have gotten was on the 10th of this month. Best of luck. :(

          • That Guy

            It was the LICD pilot I was not getting updates for. Sohmer and crew are getting it fixed.

          • Fusionater

            Hm, still, I hope it can get fixed.

          • Guest

            If you aren’t getting email updates. and The TiW page doesn’t show any updates for you. Check that you have a banner under the title that says you’re a backer. If you are a backer and don’t see that banner. Make sure that you’re logged into Kickstarter. I myself was in the “I’m not getting notification emails” boat. But I was able to see the updates after I realized I wasn’t logged in. (A facepalming moment for me).

      • Caffinated

        That’s such bullshit. You’re asking for money – it is reasonable and logical for potential investors to look at the history of the person asking for money. It’s not about whether other people who didn’t back the project are getting something – it’s about them seeing you make promises you can’t keep.

        Your past performance is going to heavily impact future funding whether you like it or not.

  • Sindy

    I noticed you’re answering these, so I’ll put out some personal thoughts. Don’t get angry and skim through, please take the time to read them because I am not writing them as a troll or as mockery, although laughing at the expense of people on the internet is common I will not do that (this time around at least).

    I myself am a freelancer and I know it’s hard to detach yourself from your work, but please do for a moment and try to understand why the fanbase, yes, your fanbase, is disgruntled. Do not dismiss ‘these few negative posters’, that is a HUGE mistake. Listen to them, it will help you in the long run, I promise.

    They all are right: You made a lot of kickstarters lately, promised a lot of things (including the LFG movie from 4 years ago), delivered none. Yes, the LICD 3 minute pilot was on Youtube and it honestly looked like something a kid would make in his spare time in Flash, it was not as professional as your older animations, and those were done for free. It’s clear you either have some very bad interns who can’t emulate your old style but ask way too much money or whoever did all the animations for BFE is losing interest. Art shouldn’t degrade over time, it doesn’t just happen. There has to be a reason, find the reasons and work from there, begging for money won’t get you anywhere.

    Now, The Bear was a wonderful project, but it still was overpriced for what it delivered and a lot of people didn’t back up the second one because the first wasn’t as high quality as promised. Stop trying to overachieve, you will just keep alienating your fanbase.

    LICD pilot was bad, too. The animation was like I said, stiff, but at least you delivered that one. Though the amount you raised for a 3 minute short was too much in my opinion, ESPECIALLY for the quality of the product you delivered. Again, find out why the quality decayed and work from there. If it’s interns that’s great, nobody is born with skill, but I’m afraid you paid them way too much for what they gave you. If it’s Lar, see what is wrong with him, the quality of his art HAS decayed over time after reaching a pinnacle two or so years ago, and I understand he is swamped in many many projects, which is why you now have a colorist on your team, too, but if it is something that has happened to him which is getting in the way of his creation process encourage him to take time off. Really, we won’t mind. Put the comics on hiatus if you must, we will understand. If you want to keep the comic ongoing, replace him for a while with somebody else, we will understand that too. Hell, there’s probably plenty of talented fans who can take his place and either emulate his style or do something different until he has sorted out whatever it is that is causing this decline of quality. Even ‘haters’ and ‘negative fans’ understand that real life WILL get in the way of the creative process. I know you think yourselves better than the average webcomic artist who does take those breaks off whenever they can no longer handle their workload, but you should follow their example, else the quality will only decline. Hell, put all the comics on hiatus for a few months, both of you take a vacation, you REALLY need to start investing the same enthusiasm you had years ago. It’s visible for everybody that it’s gone.

    Now, the This is War short, it took TOO. LONG. for five minutes of animated musical, most likely in flash too. It’s not even completed yet, and you raised a lot of money. You also took 33k for it, for whole five minutes. Are you aware that there have been fully animated movies of varying quality, sometimes really great, that had a much smaller budget? If, once again, you’re giving it to some interns paid to emulate Lar’s style, you are being ripped off. If you’re giving them to Lar, in which case it’s fine to ask for as much as you like, once again, check in with him more. There might be something that’s bothering him or stopping him from working as well as he once could. Even if he doesn’t tell you, be a friend for him, because WE, the bystanders, notice the decline.

    Lastly, if you will do the LFG game still, please, I beg of you, remove Cale’s eyebrows and referring to Krunch and his race as Tauren. Use their tribe name, call them minotaurs, I do not care. But do not use designs or names, ESPECIALLY names since they can be copyrighted, that Blizzard can sue you for. They’re nice guys usually but I doubt they will stand by and watch the occasion in which they can sue a big company over copyright infringement, you’re not just simple kids on the internet making $5 Tauren commissions anymore, you’re actual professionals, you SHOULD be aware copyright lawsuits are many and painful and costly and time-consuming. Really, we know you’re parodying WoW (I use the term loosely, I don’t consider it a parody but this is a different talk for a different time, it falls under parody in some countries) and general fantasy, but trust me when I say the designs suggest the right things well enough without you going into copyright infringement territory. Yes, you cannot copyright long eyebrows, but trust me, Blizzard CAN get you over both that and the use of Tauren and all other similarities if so they desire. They haven’t yet but if you make a successful game they might see you as more of a threat than the average kid who does fanart. You cannot profit off fanart. Sadly, Tauren is a term they came up with, so basically LFG:FoT was going to be a WoW fanart/copy, and that’s a whole can of worms you should avoid opening, and it’s really really easy – the classes/looks can be attributed to generic fantasy (let’s presume, I don’t agree with that, I see them clearly as Warcraft designs, but legally they’re generic), but the term Tauren and a blond elf archer with long eyebrows will NOT be considered generic anymore, they are exact copies of an idea Blizzard originally came up with and possibly copyrighted. If you will go through with the remake of the game, REMOVE those elements. Feel free to keep them in the comic, you were fine for years and you seemed to not be bothered by it morally, but the game is an entirely different talk.
    Anne Rice, JK Rowling, Disney and other big companies have sued for MUCH, MUCH less, like a boy with glasses being a wizard, or a redhead mermaid. Blizzard is extremely likely to sue if you were to put their copyrighted race name into your game. Really, the world is no longer Azeroth in name, so make the Tauren not Tauren in name, too.

    Lastly, drop the sarcasm in responses. All the and ‘you have no idea’ and ‘you’re lying about backing up because else you’d know’ and everything else. It. Is. Not. Helping. It is making things WORSE. Your fanbase keeps reading these comments and for the past three newsposts, in case you didn’t read through them, more and more people went ‘I backed up the Kickstarter and was a huge fan but seeing his attitude I have retired my money.”
    STOP thinking that ‘oh there’s these kids online who say bad things but I have 4000 more backers!’ because IT. WILL. NOT. HELP. Yes, you make profit as long as you have one person throwing their money at you, but wouldn’t it be nicer if you had more? Every little bit helps. What if all the people saying the quality degraded would have been satisfied and donated, too? What if instead of 4300 backers you would’ve had more than 5000? Because for every one of us that comes here to nag you to STOP with this attitude and all these kickstarters, there are plenty who are too lazy and can no longer be bothered. Trust me, you have alienated many, many fans since you started LFG with all your stunts about the movie, with all the random plot derails, with the degradation in art, with EVERYTHING. The comic is going downhill, and as long as that happens and you keep making kickstarter after kickstarter without delivering the finished product for one before starting the next, you will keep. losing. fans.

    Trust me on that one. I’m both a fan and a creator of my own stuff. I can see it from both sides. And fanbases are the thing that keeps giving you money, stop alienating them one by one. Even if you have a high amount of hits on the website (which could be fans, could be haters, could be random people, could be web spiders, could be anybody) and even if you have 4000 people giving you money, and let’s presume they’re entirely different (they aren’t) from the 7200 that backed LFG and from the other whatever thousands I can’t remember that backed LICD pilot. I will guarantee you, they are THE SAME people. It should tell you SOMETHING that they got fewer and fewer over time.

    You’re a businessman, Sohmer. You were an awesome businessman in the past few years even if I never liked your shameless exploitation of sexism and copyrighted material in your comics, you were a damn fine businessman and always managed to stay afloat with your freelanced comic business. But look into what made you get worse, the decline started about 1.5-2 years ago. See if there’s a health issue, a personal issue, a loss of interest, whatever it is that’s stopping you from keeping at least a constant level of quality instead of declining. Take a break if needed or give Lar a break. We will all understand, your loyal fans, your alienated fans, your haters, everybody.

    • Joran Nox

      I don’t think he’s going to answer us. We said the “B” word…

      • Sindy

        … Bob?

        Anyway, yeah, of COURSE he hasn’t answered us. We neither said YOU SUCK nor praised the everliving hell out of him.

    • Dru

      Actually, you can’t copywrite a name. You can copywrite a character, but not a name. I can go write a story about a boy wizard named Harry Potter and as long as he doesn’t have a lightning bolt scar and glasses, and didn’t lose his parents to some uber powerful dark lord, I’m safe. Fans would yell “rip off,” and I probably wouldn’t get far, but legally there’s nothing that can be done.
      All the other stuff you said is correct, though. He can still get in trouble for using them as he hasn’t really remotely changed them, and the elf ‘brows are a trademark (assuming Blizz has gone through to register them as such…. I’d be surprised if they haven’t).
      However, I believe I saw a WoW book in the bookstore once that had the LFG cast on it. I don’t know if it was Blizzard-authorized, but I can’t imagine that they would have something like that out if the company didn’t OK it….. So…. It’s possible they have permission. I don’t know why they wouldn’t have made an announcement about having Blizzard’s blessing, but then who knows what they’ll announce any more.

      • Sindy

        Depends on place.

        In Europe all the names of Harry Potter are actually copyrighted, so no, you couldn’t write about Harry Potter or Hermione Granger or Ronald Weasley. Also the house names are copyrighted. I suppose Tauren would fall under the same thing – it’s not a general name, it’s a name Blizz created. Though yes, it seems in US the laws are much more lax.

        Are you sure the Blizzard book had the LFG cast on it? Because I have not seen such a book. It was either LFG marketed with a WoW logo by someone, possibly unofficially and without permission from either Blizz nor BFE, or it was simply another WoW story because trust me when I say the LFG chars are as basic WoW as you can get. Depends on the art style it was in I guess. Either way, if I were you I wouldn’t buy it, sounds like somebody scammed at least Blizz off if not BFE too.

        I’m pretty sure they don’t have permission. Blizzard loves to put announcements all over the place with their fanartists/fanprojects and even hire fanartists or fanwriters for their actual dev team. They’re probably turning a blind eye to LFG because they can neither sue over what BFE does in US nor can they sell it as derivative work because it isn’t.

        • Dru

          US laws are ridiculously lax. Didn’t think about it varying by place to place… That begs the question of what would happen if someone in America wrote about a dude named Harry Potter? Because in this country it wouldn’t be illegal, but in Europe it would…. Things that should be universal.

          It was a year or so ago, but yes, I’m sure… I was out with a friend of mine, who’s played WoW since it launched, and he pointed it out to me. It was one of those how to play the game books, not a novel or anything. We didn’t buy it, and I can’t remember what it was called. I tried to find it online, but no luck, so maybe BFE or Blizzard stepped forward and was like “Um,no, stop it.”
          And I’m aware that the LFG characters are ripped from WoW… I wasn’t saying that it wasn’t, I was pointing out that copywrite laws aren’t necessarily that strict. Although, as you pointed out, it depends on where you are.

  • Sindy

    “There are plenty of valid points to put this on the back burner, but
    when you’re being the stereotypical internet douchebag, maybe you should
    take a step back and realize that you probably haven’t paid a dime for
    anything on this site. And it if bothers you so greatly they split their
    focus, then go elsewhere. You don’t have a right to anything on here so
    if you’re going to be an ass, just leave and spare us your rants.”

    Stop right there with that attitude. It’s not helping anybody. Not everyone who disagrees with what you like is automatically a stereotypical internet douchebag. If you would’ve read the comments you would’ve seen many long-time fans who backed other projects but didn’t back this one and stated they’re unhappy with how Sohmer is handling things. If you are, it doesn’t mean everybody else should, because heaven knows many of us have seen people who don’t pretend to be professionals act more like professionals than he does.

    Really, take this tip. Not everybody who disagrees with something is dumb/a douchebag/whatever. They have a right to disagree and they have a right to share their opinion. It will help you along in your travels on the internet if you understand this as well as the fact that opinions differ and are personal.

    • Mitharan

      I didn’t say everyone who disagreed with me is. In fact the second paragraph said I agreed to back burner this and to not attempt it again anytime soon. I said it simply for the people that filled their posts with rage and hate rather than constructive criticism. More than a few posts here were written not with why they don’t want to support it, why it failed, etc, but instead will just flat out rude and insulting.

  • MrLightRail

    It might be wise to complete previous Kickstarter projects before looking for more cash. How long has it been since the LFG movie was announced? And you are STILL looking for capitol? I can see why folks are being turned off. Finish what you started. That theme is repeated over and over here. Listen to the fans, or you will be sorry.

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

      It should be noted that the LFG movie was never a Kickstarter project. All the money that’s gone into the movie is our own.

      Would love to get the movie done, but we don’t have the capital right now to get it done properly. So we keep plugging away, and work on other projects to find more coin to put into the movie.

  • Professor Harmless

    …and it helps if you actually confirm your email before posting. whoops. o_0

  • http://www.the-gutters.com sohmer

    Folks-

    I’m headed home for the day, so I many not respond to comments until tonight or tomorrow morning. Been away for a week, so figured I should spend a little time with my kids.

    I’ll keep responding to comments when I’m back to a computer.

    And thanks to everyone for the feedback!

    -s

  • TP

    Sohmer, let me say first: I am sorry that you have to learn this way that plans sometimes not go as expected.
    With that out of the box, let me please ask you to consider changing your attitude towards the people posting here.
    You are constantly denouncing people that have not backed one of your projects as if they were second-class citicenzs, yet some of them raise extremely important points. Important to them, important to John Doe out there who hears about your projects, but maybe is not sure if she/he should back them with their money.

    Information is everything. On the one hand you said that it would sound kinda unfair if you told people that didn’t back your previous projects that they were done, but they weren’t eligible to see the results (yet). But that way you are scaring away a lot of potential backers who think that you are not able to deliver on your promises.
    Even then, you are still scaring them away if they are not able to see what you have produced so far because they canno judge for themselves if you delivered the content and quality that you promised.

    I know this sounds negative, but please read through it and think about what I’ve written before posting a comment. You have to be a salesman before anything else if you want to pitch stuff.
    If you are reading through the comments here there are a lot coming from longtime readers who question the quality and turns the comic has taken lately, and also apply that to anything that you might produce in the future. To win over these people who are as of now just returning in hope that things might get “better” again (because they LOVE the comic!) you might have to instill faith in them first!

    If this base has been set, then you might be able to build on it again. Baby steps, start small, then go from there.

    I know, you probably hate to be compared to other webcomic authors, but look at Megatokyo. Fred is know for not delivering anything on time, missing comic deadlines by days, sometimes weeks, and it has gotten constantly worse. Yet he somehow avoided alienating a huge part of the fanbase. The result: when he started his modest kickstarter for a visual novel he ran out of stretch goals.
    It might have to do with the game following the style of the comic and promising to be an addition to it, rather that something that exists in parallel.
    A roleplaying game based on LFG might have been a better choice, with graphics closely following the comic, instead of that superdeformed-stuff that has been done to death (the last game I remember that got away with a style like that and was successful was Dungeon Defenders).

    But thats now something for the fans to decide. Listen to them. Ask them what they want. Ask the people what they actually expect from this series.

    Then you can decide if it goes against everything you have planned for the comic and its storyline (I hope that you have a storyline planned in advance for atleast 1-2 printed volumes? That’s what I would expect), of if you might be able to tweak it without going against everything you have planned for the characters.

    I do not ask you to radically question everything that has been brought to you, I just ask you to listen to the people who are genuinely concerned about LFG and the way it is headed in general.

    My mother always said: As long as she keeps scolding me for stuff I do wrong she still keeps up hope that I might learn. The moment she would fall silent would be the moment she would give up on me.

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

      I do listen, and I reach each and every comment.

      I just ask that you keep in mind that the posts here, are a very small fraction of the feedback I get on a daily basis.

      At the end of the day, who do I listen to? When 2 fans share polar opposite views? Who do I risk offending? Whose opinion should hold more sway?

      And I don’t treat anyone as a second class citizen, but when someone is misinformed, or speaking about something there’s no way they could have information on, I’m going to call them on it, lest that misinformation be spread further.

      • That Guy

        But you are spreading misinformation. You are saying that
        backers were informed of the progress of the LICD pilot being complete, and
        there are backers here telling you they were never informed.

        I am not saying you directly are at fault, but it is untruthful to indicate that those who backed the project are fully in the know when that is clearly not the case. Technical glitches, mistakes, and oversights happen. That I understand. That I can forgive. What I don’t understand is the poor handling of the situation when it occurs.

        Instead of addressing this issue or looking into it, you are dismissing it/ignoring it.

        You could and should have first apologized that we did not receive the information. Then gone on to get that information to all the backers (via a kickstarter updated or even emailing them one by one if need be) and then find out why we were not informed in the first place to ensure this kind of thing does not happen again.

        Your poor handling of this has seriously hurt your credibility.

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

          Can you tell me what your Kickstarter name is, so I can see why you didn’t get an update? I can login and resend the last one to you if need be!

          • That Guy

            Awesome. Thank you. I have sent you an email with my Kickstarter ID.

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

            And received!

  • Traveldog

    I was really excited about the idea of a multiplayer co-op online and LAN PC game in the style of Gauntlet. Hope the project can be kickstarted at a different time. I think the big game sales were competing.

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

      Yeah, I was wondering about that too.

      • Traveldog

        If you do kickstart again for the multiplayer co-op pc game, please include a 2 games deal contribution level (for gamer couples). It might encourage more people to spend for more than one copy of the game (buy the rest to give as gifts), if the multiple copies of the game in a package had some slight discount on the one game price.

      • Traveldog

        Maybe Pre Christmas season? If you offer printable gift cards for those getting digital download game versions, they’d be great stocking stuffers / presents. Please think about setting up donation levels for multiple copies of the game at a slight discount versus the single copy. I would really want the Fork of Truth couples version (two copies). I know you had an option for 4, however it was the same amount to buy them singly, it didn’t encourage spending more. With a slight savings on multiple copies why not get that extra copy for when your cousin stops by.

  • YellowRoach

    Hi, i’m sorry for the game, I was a backer and I was happy to help you.

    The game seems interessant, if you change something, it’s probably a bad thing for me but i can understand. I prefere a solo game than no games at all.

    Just for information, Paladin Studio are using Unity3d, this software is the must for create game on Windows, Mac, iOS and android. So may be an android version (iOS sucks :p) will be a great idea.

    I can understand that make a solo game can reduced the price but i like to play with friends. May be an another kickstarer in the futur to implement this function ?
    Or create a kickstarer with a lesser goals with the minimum and add if we add $.

    For other project, i didn’t know they existed, so i didn’t backer them. I understand that only backer can see them, i hope you can found a system to share them with the other like me.
    With all comments on the fact that there are not release, may be few screenshots to prove can help you. it’s can help you for other projects and create a new post for that can be a good idea too.
    In the next kickstarer a link to this post can help too.

    So good luck and may be the next time i can really help you.

    YellowRoach.

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

      Thanks man!

  • Peter S

    What do I think?

    Firstly, I’d say I’m disappointed that you were unable to get sufficient backing for this project, I backed it and was quite looking forward to playing the game, it’s easy to criticise graphics “too cartoony” or voiceovers “not appropriate”, but for me I just wanted to romp around in the
    madness of Richard’s head.

    I feel that the lack of a single player, or perception of a lack of single player, put people off, even when I was backing I was struggling to back what I wanted to play – so I’d suggest more discrete rewards when you revisit this.

    I also echo something someone else said, you need a mechanism to allow people to donate that just want to support you and not necessarily buy the game; I think this would help.

    Personally if you came out with tablets/phones first, I doubt I’d pledge the amount I pledged to play on the PC, I play a lot of games and I always feel that the tablet/phone games are missing something, what I don’t know, but definitely something.

    You did raise a lot of money, nomatter how you look at it, you have a great deal of loyal fans and whilst I think you’re smarting from not meeting your target I do believe you should take heart from what you were able to raise, that is a lot of money.

    So, can you make the game in smaller chunks? What could you do with $200K? Can you break it down in some other way that allows development to take place and then from the funds of selling the game build other “levels”, “towns” and what have you. Is there a place for micro-transactions? (I hate them, but it works as a
    business model).

    I wish you luck, I’m sure you’ll succeed 2nd time around.

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

      Thanks man, that’s helpful! Appreciate it.

  • Daniel Clancy

    As much as I would love to see an LFG game I didn’t support the kickstart because I haven’t seen any results from your previous projects funded through kickstart. And after seeing your piss poor attitude to your fans on this thread you aren’t going to get any money from me for anything, ever.

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

      My question remains, if you didn’t back a project, what results would you be expecting to see?

      • Daniel Clancy

        1st, that right there is the attitude I’m talking about. 2nd you are clearly missing the point I’m making, you have had several of these campains in the last 2 years or so and I haven’t seen any results from them. That being the case why should I give you money for a new project?

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

          No attitude, just a question.

          What results are you expecting? If you didn’t buy a product, why should you be entitled to anything?

          I’m just trying to understand that.

          You haven’t seen results, but you didn’t buy any finished finished product.

          • Daniel Clancy

            I’m not saying I should be entitled to your products without paying for them, I’m saying that there has been no sign of a product ever accually being produced. And yes it is a piss poor attitude, you have asked for critisisim and then disregarded that critisism on the basis that the people making it haven’t already given you money.

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

            I’m not disregarding anything, I’m just trying to understand your point of view.

            We update the backers, the ones who have purchased the products, why would we update everyone else on something they didn’t purchase?

          • Daniel Clancy

            Given the number of those backers commenting on this thread to say they haven’t been kept up to date I’m going to call bullshit on your claim that they are being updated. And I’m not saying you should update everyone on everything, I’m saying that there has been no general news about the products from your previous kickstarters, so why should we give you money for a new project?

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

            Out of 3,000 backers, you’ve heard a few negative commenters, with no proof that they’re even backers.

            I don’t make claims, I speak the truth, one that’s very easy to prove.

            Even without being a backer, you can see that we’ve made 26 updates on the This is War Kickstarter since February, the last big one on July 10th.

          • Daniel Clancy

            This may be true, and if so I apologise. But you are ignoring my point, that point being that (at least as yet) no products have been made available from your previous kickstarters, why would we fund this one? Its not hard to understand and I’m not the only person saying it, but to try this another way – if you finish the stuff people are already waiting on you might get more support for new projects.

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

            Hopefully, when I can show ‘This is War’ to everyone, past backers, you’ll be more inclined to throw in support!

          • Daniel Clancy

            I would be, yes. But simply announcing that it is finished and being shown to backers would have much the same effect, more so if you also told the rest of us when we would be able to access it.

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

            Backers are getting it the 2nd week of August. Not sure yet about when it’ll go public.

            This has been announced before though.

          • Daniel Clancy

            Where? I visit LICD every day and I hadn’t heard anything about it?

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

            Oh, we’re talking about LICD now? Thought we were still on This is War.

            The LICD pilot is being premiered August 15th, and won’t be out to the public for quite a while!

          • Daniel Clancy

            No we are talking about your announcements, you say you have made them and I asked where. I only mentioned LICD because it is the site of yours i visit most often, but I also check LFG every 2 or 3 days.

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

            LFG State of the Union was made – 2013/05/28
            Need to chase down the LICD one!

          • Daniel Clancy

            LFG state of the union was all about how much money you raised and what you were going to do with it, this is not the same as telling people about what has been done, or when it will be available to people (backers or everyone else). I couldn’t find one for LICD

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

            I think you’re reading the wrong post.

          • Daniel Clancy

            I was, yes. But I have now checked the right post and it still gives sweet FA info

          • Ryan Terry

            Sohmer,

            It appears his point of view is very similar to mine. I don’t need to see the finished product but I’d love to know there was a track record of products being finished on time before I paid for one. A blow by blow detailing of the creative process, with comprehensive updates on the ins and outs of production? Nah, save it for the backers who paid for it.

            An announcement that you completed the pilot, that it’s being screened to backers, and you are sending it around to hopefully be picked up? Your general fanbase would love to know that, and it shows follow through that builds good will for the next project. That good will can translate to future capital.

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

            And I do agree with you on that, but it’s something I started to do recently, when I did a state of the union post last month.

          • Atomsk

            “We update the backers, the ones who have purchased the products, why would we update everyone else on something they didn’t purchase?”

            Well, maybe, and just MAYBE because showing that you can get things done usally attracts more investors?

  • Dru

    So… I’m sure you’re sick and tired of hearing about the movie… but….
    You claim that it’s going to take 7million to make it. Rather than launching a kickstarter for a game that, from what I’ve seen, no one has said anything about before the KS started… Why not launch a KS for the movie? I know several people that would have backed that, since we’ve been waiting for it for years, but didn’t back this because it’s just another big project that—going by past experience—won’t happen for years, if at all.
    I’m not saying hop on KS and set up a thing for 7mil. That’s way too high, and I seriously doubt you’d make that…. But, break it up. It’s a musical, do a fund for each song, like you did with TiW. Or at least SOMETHING that shows you’re actually working on the huge project you promised forever ago, rather than “Yeah, that’s on the back burner because we need money. Hey, guys, give us money for this other really huge project!”

    As for your “If you didn’t back us, we don’t owe you anything.”
    I didn’t back This is War because I didn’t have the money. If I could have afforded to, I very much would have donated. I didn’t donate to the game because see above.

    HOWEVER, I do have every one of your books, signed, sitting on my bookshelf alongside a Richard plushie. There’s one of your posters over the TV in my gaming room, I have several of your t-shirts, not to mention all of the stuff I’ve bought as gifts.

    Did I back a kickstarter? No. Do I think I need to know every little production update? No, I didn’t back it.
    Do I think I deserve better than the “you didn’t back us so f* off” attitude you’ve been using in this forum? Yeah. I didn’t donate because it fell into bad timing. But I have spent a crapton of my money on your store, and without the people that have done that, I highly doubt you’d be where you are today. We deserve respect, too.

    Honestly? After reading your responses to your fans (it’s not only the trolls that you’re getting snarky to), I’m not sure if I’m going to direct my money your way in the future.

    In short, no, you don’t owe us anything. But, bear in mind, WE don’t owe you anything, either. We donate and buy because we like you, but keep disrespecting people and I doubt that will last much longer.

    • regularjoe

      He got all kinds of grief and accusations of running a scam to raise 600K for a game, what kind of acusations do you think the haters would spout off if he started a kickstarter for 7million

      • Dru

        I suggested breaking it up(last I checked, it was supposed to be a musical. Do it by song.). It’d take longer, sure, but at least it would show that it was getting worked on.

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

      I would love to do a KS for the movie, but 7,000,000? I got flipped out on when we tried for 600k.

      In terms of me being disrespectful, I reread what I wrote, and don’t agree. I do get aggravated when people are upset that they haven’t received something they didn’t pay for, though. I think that’s fair.

      • Dru

        That’s why I said break it up.
        It’s still going to be a musical, right? People seemed alright with the This is War kickstarter, I think the same would hold if you did it for other songs. It might be a bit more of a pain, but at least people wouldn’t be able to say you don’t focus on old projects.

        I do understand the aggravation. I’m not saying give someone something they didn’t pay for, unless you just choose to do that. I’m saying the “You didn’t back us so we owe you absolutely nothing” is a poor attitude to take, when most of the people on the forums have (more than likely) supported you via your store for years.

        If you don’t want to tell us what’s going on, but you claim that you’re a professional. Yes, dealing with people’s whining is tiresome, but part of the glory of the internet is that you don’t have to respond right that minute. You can take some time to calm down and think about how you’re going to approach something.
        Instead of “Did you back us? No? Well we owe you nothing.” Stick with the “Backers know what’s going on. In the future, if you want to know the progress we’re making, donate.”

        I, personally, don’t care what progress you’re making on the kickstarters that succeeded. As you say, I don’t have a right to know.

        I’m only posting this to maybe help open your eyes to what you say, or HOW you say it, does matter. I’m sure you’ve read through the comments about people yanking their donations because of how you’ve responded to negative criticism.

  • X Z

    I have a suggestion that may bear looking into.

    1) First off, pick a single platform. PC would be nice, but whatever. Then split the game into several parts, by character. Focus on one character, (preferably Richard), get the game and story line lined out and working as a single player first. I’m talkin’ full-on releasable ready. Then, slowly release new characters for play, single player, allowing your backers free access to the new characters (out of the original 4) as they release, and charging a SMALL fee to people who bought the game post-kickstarter. Then, after you’ve got everybody’s animations and coding and pathing and other video game voodoo in a row, add a multi-player option and start working on migrating it to other platforms.

    This should a) lower the initial budget and production time required by quite abit b) reduce the programming complexity c) be easier to acquire funding for d) be more profitable long-run e) not leave us poor anti-social bums out in the rain and f) allow for more playable characters to be released later on, like Pella, Sooba, and Benny’s mother, for example.

    2) release a playable short section. Like a single town or something. On the web. Let us all take a whack at it to see if it’s actually worth the money we’re putting into it. You know — the classic “offer a sample, get them addicted, then take all their money” scheme. Just not with ALL the money. I’mma need that at some point…

    3) Not sure what you all are using now to develop with, but I’d recomend using something platform-portable, like Unity3d. That way the whole “great migration” thing mentioned in #1 is relatively easy. I realize that porting what you’ve currently got may be a bit of a challenge, but there should be a fairly easy-ish way to batch-process a lot of it.

    ————————————————

    As a side note, the LFG movie: yes, I do think it should be finished before shooting for the Fork of Truth. However, I’m not just the kind of person that demands that someone magically pull a solution out of their… hat. So I propose an actual game plan:

    Bear in mind that this is coming from someone who does animation work on the side. Instead of shelling out the 7mil you mentioned earlier, go do your work in-house with Synfig Studio. It’s an open source 2D animation program. That means no investment costs, no licencing fees, no percentage-of-profit payments, no restrictions on commercial use, no nothin’. The animator in it is really easy to use, and it doesn’t even make you go frame-by-frame. If you can draw well enough to turn out the actual LFG comic pages, you can run this thing. Look up a YouTube tutorial on it… it’s crazy easy.

    Combo that with some more open source programs, like GIMP for more image editing, Audacity for sound recording, your choice of any of the multitude of open source video editors, and all you’re short is like $120 for a THX certified computer microphone. I’d like to think that $120 shouldn’t be that hard to come by. I realize that it’s not a fancy-pants animation studio grinding their faces off to get it done, but, it can easily be the same quality as the “Slaughter Your World” clips you all posted.

    Short version is this: the right set of open source software, a small investment in a good microphone, a lot of elbow grease and some interpretive disco dance later, you’ve got yourself an LFG movie, providing the “WE CAN DO IT” proof that everyone else here keeps demanding. Oh, and, you wind up with $6,999,880 left over.

    I believe in you all; you CAN do it.

    – BTW, bonus points for an animation of Richard doing interpretive disco dance.

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

      Fantastic feedback, thank you!

      • X Z

        Thanks. I’m currently looking in to a good open source video editor to recommend (aside from the one that’s integrated into Blender), but research time it few and far between what with workin’ multiple jobs to put myself through school. Anyhow, that being said, I’ll let you know what I find out. Let me know if you need for me to turn up recommendations on anything else.

  • McGrewer

    I am mad as all hell that this game didn’t make it. But I am glad so many people supported it.

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

      Back at you. ;)

  • drakesky

    Hi Ryan. It’s the first time that I comment even though I’ve been reading the comic since a long time. I’ve backed the project because it looked good and I’m sorry to see that it didn’t succeed. Maybe the goal was indeed too high and if you try again with a smaller project I think that I will back it again. That said, let me express a little criticism over the comic: it’s been months since I actually enjoyed reading LFG. I liked the pace that it had in the beginning (i.e. the first two-three books), where the main story was clear and the jokes and side stories where occasional, but now it feels like I have to go through 10 pages of fillers just to read 1 page of story (seriously, how many pages did you spend on the -IMHO- useless side story of Cale inside the belly of the worm with the cannibal tribe? or on this raccoon side story?). I keep coming back because I love the story and I want to see how it goes on, but it is frustrating. I’d rather have less frequent updates and less fillers. I hope that you will think about my comment, even if you don’t agree with it. Best of luck on all your projects!

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

      You’ve trusted me to tell a story for the last 700 pages, I hope you’ll keep trusting me to tell the story I always wanted to tell. ;)

  • Charles B

    I am a backer of Sohmer’s KS projects. I have no complaint about the updates and response times on any of the projects that I have funded:

    Bear 1 – delivered on time, and exceeded expectations.

    Bear 2 – expected a Sept pub date when I backed it, so it is proceeding as scheduled

    War Short – perks were delivered promptly and have already been received. production was delayed 7 weeks, and we were notified of this promptly. we have gotten a few teaser goodies while we wait.

    Fork of Truth – honestly? from the beginning I though the goal was unrealistically high for this project. Most people pledged $20 for the game. To reach the $600k goal, you’d need to get 30,000 backers at that level. I’ve not seen any kickstarters with that many people. The War short had 2,700 backers, less than 1/10th of that. Either you hoped you had 10x more fans than you saw just before, or that goal was unreachable. I offered my pledge anyway, in case I was mistaken.

    Communication could be better, though. I’d like to see weekly updates, even if they are little more than “we’re still on schedule, we haven’t forgotten about you.” As an example: another KS project I’m backing hit legal trouble and missed deadline. He kept his backers up to date every week. Most of those posts were “the lawyers are still talking and we can’t tell you about it.” They finally reached an agreement, gave us the few details that were allowed in the settlement and went to print. That game should be arriving next month, 9 months late but at least we knew why and it was still in process.

    That’s probably something people need to remember about kickstarters: you are not buying a product from the shelf of your local Best Buy. You are giving money in the hope that they will be able to use that money to produce the product. There’s always a risk. Hopefully it will only be the risk of delay and not total failure. But both are options.

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

      Good feedback, man, thank you.

      We did start doing more frequent updates (weekly), but then people were complaining about too much e-mail. Trying to find a balance.

  • Evert-Jan Goeree

    You asked why this game did not make it, here is my answer:

    There is no cruel fun in the game, on incorrect slaying of orphanages, no kidney hats, no pony’s to lure into a meat grinder, no rabbit coats, no stick head figures, no throne of bunny skulls.

    Dude where is Richard? F*ck gameplay lets kill things and make organ hats.

    I really miss a game that can rival “dungeon keeper 1″ for sadistic humor (not gameplay).

    And yes I backed and will do so again.

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

      What I want to know is what you want to see in the game.

      In terms of all the cruel fun? It’s in there. Everywhere. We only produced a small slice of the game.

      • Evert-Jan Goeree

        Sorry, I was too snarly.

        What I meant was: you did not (IMHO) exploit your Unique Selling Points. Explain the LFG universe, LFG protagonists and what you will be able to do and accomplish.

        It missed slogans like:
        Be evil with Richard, perform random acts or evil to increase his power.
        Be righteous with Cale, judge fairly to increase his power.
        Be loving like Benny and increase her power.
        Be wise like Krunch and increase his power.
        (You can do all 4 with/to an orphanage and keep your team happy, not just Richard.)

        The brilliant “fund this game or the pig goes free” image should have been the second image on the kick-starter.(IMHO)

        But it is your game, ill just take it as it comes, when it comes.

  • quix

    I considered backing the kickstarter, but I didn’t really see a selling point for the game that grabbed me. The preview vid and description showed a dodge&shoot arcade game with a different art style I liked less than the more realistic comics. It didn’t seem like it was necessarily a bad game, but I didn’t go digging for features and the only one promoted was that it featured LFG characters. Without something cool about the game itself (rather than the universe it exists in) staring me in the face as a hook, I didn’t back.

  • sved

    Regarding the kickstarter itself, 600K is steep. It may have been easier to ask for 150K to create the core engine then add 100K stretch goals to add-in features, like co-op multiplayer, pets, addtional realms, sidequests and so on…

    But for me the main issue was the target, I felt you wanted to attract the gamers within your comic fanbase. Within these gamers a fraction are playing on PC, and within them a few are RPG players. Then choices like the aesthetic, or the gameplay may cut some of them out as well.

    In the Kickstarter description, references to the comic are very brief as the characters or backstory are assumed to be known.The only reference to the original content is a link to the comic archives, which is basically asking people to go do their homework before coming back to give you their money…

    It would have been more attractive (even for long time followers) to introduce shortly the universe, the characters and their goals so people would care about them and get a feel of the tone, then focus on the game itself and its features, type of play, interface, leveling tree possibilities, gameplay hours, and so on… It’s good to see the demo and the team, but when backing a project, we want to see what’s coming next, promises that gamers look for in any game, whatever the story behind is.

  • Guest

    600K is steep. It may have been easier to ask for 150K to create the core engine then add 100K stretch goals to add-in features, like co-op multiplayer, pets, addtional realms, sidequests and so on…

    But for me the main issue was the target, I felt you wanted to attract the gamers within your comic fanbase. Within these gamers a fraction are playing on PC, and within them a few are RPG players. Then choices like the aesthetic, or the gameplay may cut some of them out as well.

    In the Kickstarter description, references to the comic are very brief as the characters or backstory are assumed to be known.The only reference to the original content is a link to the comic archives, which is basically asking people to go away and do their homework before coming back to give you their money…

    It would have been more attractive (even for long time followers) to introduce shortly the universe, the characters and their goals so people would care about them and get a feel of the tone, then focus on the game itself and its features, type of play, interface, leveling tree possibilities, gameplay hours, and so on… It’s good to see the demo and team, but when backing a project, we want to see what’s coming next, promises that gamers look for in any game, whatever the story behind is.

  • Yacindra

    Hi,
    I didn’t support the game financially, because I think you cannot expect people to pay for something of which it is not even sure yet that it will be made. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t interested in the game at all. I think it’s a good idea to build the game you were planning, but you have to invest in it yourself. Also, a lot of people have been paying for this game allready. You owe it to them (not to me, I’m aware of that) to make the game.
    By the way: I really love lfg the comic and I’m always looking forward to see the next page. So keep up the good work there :).
    Greetings,
    Yacindra

  • AngelofBalance

    Well, since I can’t seem to post through my usename, I’ll just post anonymously. I backed your This is War video and I have an idea. Forgive me in advance if I sound ignorant as far as Kickstarter goes, I’ve never ran one but I have backed a few. As far as why I couldn’t back this particular one, I have been having financial hardships of late. Also, it seemed like the timeline for this was a bit shorter than other Kickstarters I’ve seen. So my idea is this: why not wait a little while and then try it again? I know in a couple months I will be able to help.

  • FearTheHero

    1) “How do you suggest we raise the $7,000,000 to fund the LFG movie?”

    Like this:

    –Take a deep breath and regroup.

    –Get LFG back on track with the quality we all know and love. Even if it
    means I only get one comic a week instead of 2, I’d rather read one page
    and love it than 2 pages and be completely lost. If you can pull that
    off, interest will renew in the comic and your fan-base will have life
    in it again. I was considering getting a temporary second job just to
    have the money to toss at you guys for the video-game project; then,
    like so many others here, I stopped and thought it through and did my
    homework on the track record for finished goods. And after seeing the
    blow-ups in the comments here I’m GLAD I didn’t invest money in this
    venture. [[I am relatively new to the series and really only enjoy LFG
    to begin with, but I was not around when the rest of the fundraising was
    going on so whether I would have contributed I can't say for sure (more
    than likely would have just to see you guys have more success and more
    fun)]]….however, in order for me to want to give you money, I want to
    be sure that I will see results. I’m all for taking a blind leap of
    faith once or twice when it comes to investments, but according to your
    long-time and die-hard fans this isn’t a once in a great while thing for
    you. Give people like me (newer fans) and the die-hards something we
    can really get behind with faith.

    –Continue selling your
    merchandise. T-shirts, plushies, posters, books, everything in your
    giftshop. For the past 3 years my significant other has gone to this
    site in hopes of ordering me the Richard plushie or the “This is the
    plane of SUCK” t-shirt, only to find they are out of stock or gone
    entirely. SAVE THE PROFITS FROM THE SALES OF THESE ITEMS FOR YOUR MOVIE
    BUDGET. If you’re not clearing enough sales to make the cost of
    production worth it, bump the prices up by $1-2; I don’t think anyone
    will scream if the Omnibus is $41.95 instead of $39.95. Use extra money
    brought in from sales of The Bear books or LICD merchandise to fund it
    as well if necessary. I feel like you guys are spreading yourselves too
    thin or are trying to expand too quickly as a company. Make a list of
    what you feel you should do first, second, third, etc; think about it –
    any book that gets published and gains a crap-ton of fame gets the
    investors foaming at the mouth for a movie or game (Harry Potter, Mass
    Effect, Resident Evil to name a few). Start small, then go big.
    Thousands before you have followed that pattern and made billions. Slow
    down and you can too! Focus on your comics and making them a huge hit
    again [again, quality]. Use the proceeds from the sale of the comic
    books & merchandise to fund the bigger stuff like the movie. Then
    once the movie explodes, make the video game.

    –Listen to the
    criticisms with an open mind and take them with 3 grains of salt instead
    of one. If you get a huge number of “I didn’t fund because of…” and
    it is something to do with the game itself (game-play, single vs.
    multiplayer, etc), please at least consider tweaking whatever it is that
    your bread and butter deems as wrong. FAN BASE, REMEMBER THEY CAN’T
    PLEASE EVERYONE, so for those whining about the art style please keep
    that in mind if they keep it the same (and those that like it, if Lar
    and Sohmer choose to change it, don’t spam hatefulness on them!!) [[On a
    personal note, I thought the art style was adorable. But I play
    Borderlands and Borderlands 2 a lot, so I'm used to a cartoony vibe.]]

    –Ask for volunteers for other small stuff or even big stuff you need help with. I mean, hell, if I saw a post here that said “We need a voice actress for (insert character here); this is your script record it and send it to us” you’d have it in a heartbeat FOR FREE to use as you saw fit. If there was ever a comic con close to my home that you gents would be attending, I would gladly show up early to help set up/unpack/move stuff/fetch you refreshments. If I was any good at making video-game related stuff, I’d offer my services there in terms of coding for the game. There are a LOT of talented young people out there programming and making things for free every day and I’m sure more than a few are your fans. Ask them for help creating the videogame. Check out the Steam Workshops sometime and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Instead of asking for money, try asking for time. You’d be surprised how many of us have that to give instead.

    __________________________________________________
    2) “Did YOU back any of our other projects?!”

    No. I did not. Why? Because I only discovered LFG right around the time The
    Bear came out (and I had sadly missed the funding for that, or missed
    how I could still fund). You mentioned the recession; it hit all of us,
    not just you. I was working 76 hrs/week until recently to make ends
    meet after it hit. I do not appreciate the crappy attitude towards
    people that didn’t back. Maybe, like me, they are too new to have been
    on the bandwagon or they couldn’t afford to even if they really wanted
    to without doing something extreme (like taking a second job just to
    have the disposable income to toss your way!) Improve your public
    relations a bit, because I will be blatantly honest: until I see
    improvements in the product or in your attitude, I will NOT be willing
    to fund any future projects of Blind Ferret. I see lots of disappointed customers here and it seems like the discussions are only adding to that number (including myself as a potential customer)… that is the final nail in the coffin as far as my money to BFE is concerned.

    ____________________________________________________

    3) I dunno about the rest of you, but I can’t come up with even $5 at the drop of a hat anymore. Give your fans time to get you money. A month for $600k? You would have had to have an average total pledge of $19,354 PER DAY. That’s a little outrageous…
    _____________________________________________________
    Everything else, simply look at what Ted wrote 7 days ago. He pretty much sums up the rest of my thoughts…

    • FearTheHero

      Also, play the lottery. That could help, too! ;)

    • FearTheHero

      Again on the volunteer note: I know of several people that have graphic arts and computer design degrees (you know, the stuff you have to know to make a video game. They’ve even made small indie games of their own)…. most of them are unemployed. This is a wonderful opportunity for both parties: you get your video game made, and they get something incredible to put in their portfolios and on their resumes to make them stand out from the crowd. Lots of these students have made basic, simple games as part of their education and homework while obtaining these degrees, but being new to the field and getting on the production of something this complex could be the catalyst they need to get going on their dream jobs!

  • Kevin Fauver

    I would like to start by saying I did not back any of your Kickstarters. I just graduated college and struggling at the moment anyway. However, I have seen teasers and whatnot that you have posted and I have to admit your Kickstarters looked awesome. Now im not going to go into what other posters have. I do agree with finishing projects that are feasible to finish. $7M is probably not going to happen, but im sure there are a few projects in which would do well. So I give you props for what accomplishments you have completed thus far.

    As far as the game goes, as it looks as though you are looking for game specific ideas. When considering doing a game, make some levels of production based on how much is donated. I noticed that there was levels of production after the cutoff mark, but not before. So next time perhaps think of that.

    Now you did make over $200k, put it to good use! Find something which can be pushed out to your backers that is inside this range (as you mentioned perhaps an iOS/Android tablet single player only), and have it for sale to those who did not back it but would like it. Use the money made on that to create your multiplayer idea and push it out to all those who have bought the game. Once that is out (and a proven success), start another kickstarter which continues the work but for PC and/or other major platforms. OR flip that around and start with the PC/Platforms and do tablet 2nd. I believe that with your fan base you’ll have a great backing once you produce SOMETHING along the lines of this game.

    Hopefully this helps give some ideas, even in the slightest. I do not have a tablet, but if this came out on PC, I would purchase it!

  • MissTriss

    I may be in the minority but I’d actually be more likely to back the game if it was planned to be a single player RPG with a controllable team setup like Baldurs Gate/Dungeon Siege, or one where you switch characters to use different skills like The Lost Vikings (now that’s really admitting my age). Multiplayer is part of what put me off. I’m a single mum of a 11 month old so I barely have time to play single players these days much less coordinate with friends to play a multi (much as I miss WoW). I love the LFG comic and I’d love to play an LFG game. I do have to be very choosy where my money goes at the moment, so for a game I wasn’t likely to be able to play, I just couldn’t justify it. I was very, very tempted though.

  • krayziehustler

    Develop it for Windows 8…The code base between Windows 8/Xbox/Windows Phone 8 is so similar you can deploy to the others with very little work maximizing the budget and effort.

  • JackthePlaid

    Focus on your comic, fuckstick.