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Old 04-07-2012, 06:55 AM   #1
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Default what happened to heather logas?

Hi all,

In 2010 Heather Logas (well-known from Telltale games) started her own Kickstarter campaign for "Before You Close Your Eyes: A Game about Personality and Consequences". This project was advertised here at AG, and actually introduced me to the whole kickstarter platform.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hlogas/ill-make-the-world-you-shape-the-story-lets-b/comments

I was a proud backer, but we haven't had an update since June 27, 2011. I posted a comment on the KS page, and also other backers posted their concerns. Anyone (fov/emily??) has any idea what's happening?

thanks,

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Old 04-07-2012, 08:21 AM   #2
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She went to grad school. Last I heard the game was figuring into her thesis in some way. I'll check in with her.
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:52 PM   #3
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I'll tell you where Heather Logas with her 37 updates and nothing to show for it is. She's having a beer with her buddies Matt Clark and Andrew Plotkin and countless others, laughing their heads off at the naive gamers they've been stringing along.

Do I sound bitter? The reason must be that I am. Kickstarter... El Dorado for people who just want to take the money and run.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:29 PM   #4
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No offence, but that Kickstarter has "sucker" written all over it. The money that was pledged appears to be for her living expenses rather than anything related to completing or releasing the game.

I'm going to stick with backing veterans on Kickstarter.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:15 PM   #5
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Default Hey all

Hi guys,

Emily let me know this post was here.

I have been meaning to post an update for awhile. I'm thankful for jaap for asking after me and thus getting my head together to do the update.

If you were a backer, you'll get that soon. But in the meantime I will tell you what happened. I am still working on the game. The money I received from Kickstarter allowed me to focus on just working on the game for almost three beautiful months. But I had to go back to freelancing, which took a lot of time and then when that wasn't panning out financially I decided to go back to school. I'm currently finishing my MFA and working on getting a teaching job. I also recently had a baby. Before You Close Your Eyes is on my mind constantly, but carving out the time to work on it in the last several months has been nigh impossible.

I find the position hurtful that I would "take the money and run", but I can't say I don't understand where that's coming from. FYI though, I don't have time to hang out in bars and have beers. Making games is hard. Making independent games while trying to have a family and finding a way to support them is brutal.

The game is about 80% content complete, and it will get done. I'm just not in a position right now to say when.

Thanks for believing in me and please don't give up yet!
Heather
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heather View Post
I find the position hurtful that I would "take the money and run", but I can't say I don't understand where that's coming from.
Oh you do, do you...

Thanks for a great post, Heather. I already learned my lesson the hard way, but may your post be a warning to everybody who feels like pledgeing money at Kickstarter.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:21 AM   #7
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I believe an important part about the whole kickstarter game funding thing is that both sides (artists and funding crowd alike) have to deal with it in a serious, responsible and respectful manner -- even (and especially) when problems arise.

Game development is inherently a high-risk business. It's not at all unlikely that a project will fail, fall behind schedule, run out of budget, not turn out as envisioned, or get abandoned altogether. It happens with publisher-managed projects -- and there's no reason why anything should be different with crowd-funded projects.

There's always a chance that important team members leave the project, get sick, get pregnant, loose faith, burn out. And it's always possible that underestimated creative problems, technical issues, financial trouble, bad scheduling, or plain and simple lack of experience break the project.

Kickstarter is essentially a venture capital platform. You're not pre-odering a game. You're putting money at risk, there's no built-in insurance. The outcome may be the loss of the ventured money, with no refund. It's entirely possible within this framework that somebody sets up a fraudulent campaign and then runs with the money. But I doubt many people who want to seriously work in games will do this. The loss of reputation and trust is too immense to afford, for any artist.

So, yeah. Put your money into the projects of those who you trust. But don't be too harsh on them if things don't work out. Stuff not working out is something that has happend to all of us, I guess -- and I think that's something to remember when it happens to others.

Last edited by Martin Gantefoehr; 04-08-2012 at 04:27 AM. Reason: interesting grammar.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:43 AM   #8
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I think you should post a update on yourkickstarter page, don't leave people in the dark
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirlygirl View Post
I think you should post a update on yourkickstarter page, don't leave people in the dark
She has done that already.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirlygirl View Post
I think you should post a update on yourkickstarter page
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exore View Post
She has done that already.
And it was about time:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaap View Post
we haven't had an update since June 27, 2011.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:39 AM   #11
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The dog ate her homework.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:57 AM   #12
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2 years is nothing compared to The Fool and His Money, a sequel to The Fool's Errand by the wonderful Cliff Johnson. It is almost 10 years "in production" now, with pre-orders and all, and once in awhile Cliff comes up with a release date, but then something weird happens, leading to another delay Yet he keeps updating his page and even released a short demo.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Gantefoehr View Post
I believe an important part about the whole kickstarter game funding thing is that both sides (artists and funding crowd alike) have to deal with it in a serious, responsible and respectful manner -- even (and especially) when problems arise.
When the second Kickstarter project I supported failed to deliver, I decided to ďresearchĒ other funded projects, to see how well they had performed. I was shocked at how many didnít succeed for one reason or another. In virtually all cases in my (probably highly unrepresentative) sample, the backers were at first patient and understanding when things didnít work out. It was the other party who didnít post updates, didnít reply to questions in public/private.

Quote:
Game development is inherently a high-risk business. It's not at all unlikely that a project will fail, fall behind schedule, run out of budget, not turn out as envisioned, or get abandoned altogether. It happens with publisher-managed projects -- and there's no reason why anything should be different with crowd-funded projects.

There's always a chance that important team members leave the project, get sick, get pregnant, loose faith, burn out. And it's always possible that underestimated creative problems, technical issues, financial trouble, bad scheduling, or plain and simple lack of experience break the project.
All true. Add to that lack of transparency of projects, from the backer's perspective. If I'd known beforehand that a couple of totally inexperienced twenty-year olds were going to have their goods (not games) manufactured in some obscure factory in China, I'd have canceled my pledge immediately.

Quote:
Kickstarter is essentially a venture capital platform.
No, I don't agree. It is crowd funding, a category of its own, with the same high risks but without the potentially high financial returns of venture capital. And without the means to research the viability of a project. (No venture capitalist would invest money on the basis of trust!) For many, if not most backers the ďreturnĒ of their investment is of an emotional nature. Iíd even go so far as saying that is an essential element of crowd funding. They are happy to contribute to someoneís success, be part of it, etcetera. Iím sure I donít need to explain all that. Big, big difference with venture capital.

Quote:
So, yeah. Put your money into the projects of those who you trust.
I did just that. And felt betrayed. I've posted about it before, no need to go into it again. (Heather Logan apparently worked for TellTale, designing games. I can see how that would inspire trust!)

Quote:
But don't be too harsh on them if things don't work out.
I am harsh when I feel they deserve it. For me, Heather Logan symbolizes all the people who received money, but fail to deliver and choose silence as the easy way out instead of being accountable.

My message remains unchanged: I have been stupid and perhaps gullible. More than once. Do not do as I did. And Big Names donít mean a bloody thing.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fien View Post
And Big Names donít mean a bloody thing.
They do now that Double Fine has made Kickstarter a big issue.
If Tim Schafer doesn't deliver, he's going to feel it. Same goes for Wasteland 2, Jane Jensen and Al Lowe.
Mass media coverage has changed the rules of the game, imo.
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fien
No, I don't agree. It is crowd funding, a category of its own, with the same high risks but without the potentially high financial returns of venture capital.
For most backers, the risk on a kickstarter project is a couple of dollars. If they get an awesome game for that -- a game that otherwise wouldn't be possible at all -- that's a quite high return of investment.

But I actually don't want to discuss semantics, or even argue with you. (Please don't get me wrong there). All I am saying is: kickstarter game projects are game development projects. Some will turn out awesome, many will see a release but turn out mediocre, and some will fail entirely or be abandoned. It's the usual spread.

I find it unfair to insinuate that all poeple behind failed, postponed or otherwise troubled projects are scammers. I can understand your anger. But the way kickstarter works, a certain percentage of disappointments will be just inevitable.

Last edited by Martin Gantefoehr; 04-08-2012 at 10:51 AM. Reason: Where's my English today?
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:22 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Gantefoehr View Post
I find it unfrair to insinuate that all poeple behind failed, postponed or otherwise troubled projects are scammers. I can understand your anger. But the way kickstarter works, a certain percentage of disappointments will be just inevitable.
I dont think its the disappointments that matter, its the way its handled.

You expect the developers to be transparent with the backers. When someone has parted with their hard earned money so developers can do their dream project, it is irresponsible to vanish into thin air.

It is only fair that if the developer is running out of money or time, they should communicate it to their backers some months in advance, and discuss options. Maybe they can release a smaller version, or do something else.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:35 AM   #17
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Her project sounds way too big for 10k funding. Just imagine all the coding that would go in such a game.

This is why you should only back proven developers on kickstarters, and even in that case I can see things going wrong(delays, miscalculations of necessary funding, etc). We can only cross our fingers and hope that funded projects go through, otherwise I can really see the kickstarter idea dying an early death.

That AND the fact that the developer that gets the funding and fails to deliver will lose all respect they had in the eyes of the fans of supporters. They will be out of the market.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:41 AM   #18
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I agree that lack of transparency is a real issue, and I apologize for that. As I said in the Kickstarter update I posted last night, the reason for the long delay in updates was that I kept hoping I would miraculously have time to get a bunch of it done before the next update. I really should have just updated as soon as it seemed probable that the game was going to be going through a paused period. Probably as soon as I got pregnant.

Mea Culpa. One of my characteristics (arguably a fault) is my never ending optimism. Another characteristic, which is definitely a fault, is my belief that it is possible to do everything, all the time. Eventually I hit a wall where there is just no more time in a day and I'm a frazzled mess and I have to slow down.

I'm so sorry if anyone feels betrayed. That saddens me, especially because I am disappointed myself and it just deepens that disappointment. All I can do at this point is follow through on making the game -- which will happen -- and hope all the backers like the end product.

But I think monthly updates are an excellent idea, whether or not there is much to update. Thanks for sparking that.

Heather
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:50 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siddhi
I dont think its the disappointments that matter, its the way its handled.
I fully agree that handling a kickstarter game project poses new challenges for developers. Progress (and/or lack thereof) must be comunicated to a crowd...

The whole thing is still very new and anarchic, but some kind of "best practice for kickstarted games" will have to (and will, I believe) emerge at some point.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:53 AM   #20
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Heather, if you are still working on the game and plan to finish it, there is no need to apologize. Just make sure that it gets done or that the people that supported you get their money back. Not just because it is fair, but because the whole kickstarter idea depends on good will. All it takes is a few disappointments and people would lose faith in it.
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