Game Falls $28 Short Of $50,000 Kickstarter Goal

This has got to be agonizing. DreamQuest games wasn't looking for an insane amount of money when they put their planned game, Alpha Colony up on Kickstarter. All they wanted was $US50,000 to develop the exploration, building and trading simulation for PCs and mobile devices. The detailed explanation, with screenshots, and a playable browser-based demo suggested that if it wasn't a good game, it was at least a serious project undertaken by people with industry experience.

And it came in $US28 short of the goal.

"Kickstarter is very strict about their terms and our project will not be funded," said a statement, which appears to have been written by lead programmer Christopher Williamson, on the game's Facebook page. "Obviously, we are very disappointed. We have invested 10 months and over $US60,000 of our own money into this project. It is so frustrating to come so close, but clearly there simply isn't that much interest in building the kind of game I envisioned.

"I have already invested everything I have getting my dream this far (twice!) and now I must feed my family and focus on projects that will pay the bills," he added. "I have been trying to build this game for almost 14 years so I doubt this is the end for Alpha Colony, but I do have to be responsible business owner and father and accept the reality of where we are at the moment and what the world wants."

Some jerk then left a really nasty comment. "Obviously it's not that important to you if 14 years of your life isn't worth a lousy $US28," he said. Someone else said something along the same lines but had the courtesy to delete it later.

Still, Williamson addressed why he or someone else didn't just PayPal a quick $US28 to secure the funding. "We did put quite a bit of our own money into the project as well as the Kickstarter campaign," he wrote. "We just had some bad luck on the timing of things. All I can say is the Universe is trying to tell us something here. ... We could very well have lost even MORE money building this game and delivering the rewards. $US50,000 is still an absurdly small amount of money to develop a modern 3D game on 3 platforms."

Alpha Colony [Kickstarter]

Alpha Colony [Official Site]


    While it is sad for a indie studio to fail at something, there is a reason publishers only push games that they know will succeed. Through no fault of anyone except for themselves, they are now going to have to have to deal with all of that money wasted.

    In the end, the safe games exist for a reason - because they know they will sell. Its dangerous to make "Unsafe" games - like this - because of this exact reason - sometimes, no one wants it, and you end up with $100000 down the drain.

    They very well could already have put in a big chunk of personal change into the Kickstarter, and extrapolating from the tepid interest, realised it wouldn't even be worth it if they were successfully funded.

    My guess is that when people put up a kickstarter for a game, they are hoping for more than they asked for, hence the reason for stretch goals and the like. Combined with the fact that game development often costs far more and takes far longer than anticipated, ("$US50,000 is still an absurdly small amount of money to develop a modern 3D game on 3 platforms.” is an understatement) it may actually be in their best interest that it just fell short, rather than just scraping over the line and then having the responsibility to deliver the game on a tiny budget.

      its against KS rules to self fund

        Ah I didn't realise that, though it totally makes sense.

        I can't imagine it's too hard to get around those rules though, by getting a "friend" to help fund it instead.

    By some jerks leaving nasty comments, I assume they mean all the Kotaku posters on the US site.

    hahaha.... haha.... oh wow.

    Guess I shouldn't of pulled my 50 bucks from this project. Then again. Hahaha.

    Why didn't the creators just call a friend to just put $100 in the last few mins?

      I wouldn't be surprised if a vast majority of this project was funded by the creators, otherwise they'd get someone to push them over the line. They probably already sunk 10k into it to make the project look active only to realise they were going to come up way short.

    Why didnt we know about this before? I would have gladly donated $28 if it meant this game could be made. It sucks we only hear about these things AFTER they have failed.

      Yeah this is the first I am hearing of the project. Perhaps Kotaku (hint hint) should do more of a Kickstarter weekly round up similar to RPS. Maybe some people visit kickstarter weekly and check on new projects but I rely on places like Kotaku for that.

        I've often thought this actually.. much like they do daily app deals.. they could do a weekly one for KS projects. I mean I do this myself anyway.. go through the popular and staff picks, I saw this project and looked at it already without any prompting.. however tit is clear, from the responses here, that had even one or two people more known about it, this project may have been funded.

    I looked at this game just 3 days ago (Friday).. but I didn't like what I saw and didn't back it. I am currently backing around 12 projects and they're certainly not all AAA titles, nor are all of them even video games. The fact is that it didn't reach its goal.. whether it had been $28 short or $2,800 short.. it's the same result.

    I think people are now at saturation point with Kickstarters.
    Wasn't there a Kickstarter for a guy to fund another Kickstarter recently???
    I am all for community funding, but let people have some breathing room before pumping this sort of stuff out.

      Yeh.. they basically said the timing was wrong with this.. there's been a mass influx of space sim games lately and one that is trending unexpectedly well right now is "Limit Theory", despite there being a plethora of other similar games already on KS, such as Elite: Dangerous and the already funded Star Citizen. With so many there, it's surprising that a small developer has captured the imagination of so many with Limit Theory.. the developer who started the KS was expecting a low turn out after he realised that there was so much competition...

      Limit Theory:

      Elite: Dangerous:

      Both are going to be great in their own way... I am backing them both.

      Last edited 03/12/12 3:59 pm

    Why not just donate $28 of their own money. Seems like a pretty simple solution to be honest.I'm sure they could have had a friend chip in at the last minute.

    If your so close to the brink that you can't afford to get that extra $28 in yourself it's probably best it wasn't funded. If you can afford that $28 yourself and didn't do it because you were doing something else when the time came, it's also probably best your projects wasn't funded, you clearly don't have any sense of what's important.

      It's against the terms and conditions to self pledge. If it was that easy, people would do it all the time as well as use Paypal (and other funding sources) to push up the KS total.

        Getting your partner or friend to pledge $28 shouldn't be a stretch.

          I thought the same thing, Even asking a friend or someone in the family.

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