The campaign for Reincarnation: The Root of All Evil began nearly four years ago, with creator Christopher Gianelloni hoping to transform the Web-based series of games into a more fully fleshed out product.
The first month of 2016 is nearly at a close, and backers still haven't received their game. A game that was originally scheduled to ship in August 2013.
It's been a long an arduous road for the point-and-click adventure, and the latest update for backers still doesn't have any news on when they can expect The Root of All Evil to emerge. "I know how long it's taking. I know how much it sucks that it's not done. Sometimes things aren't in my hand," Gianelloni wrote.
"It doesn't mean the project isn't getting done. It just means it's taking longer than I thought or could have imagined." It's not just his imagination though: at more than three and a half years, The Root of All Evil is now one of the longest Kickstarter projects to have never delivered, not counting projects that were abandoned post-funding.
I reached out to Gianelloni for further clarification, and he explained that he's begun offering refunds now because backers shouldn't "feel like they have to stick around because they gave me money". "I don't want anyone feeling like I'm trying to pull a fast one on them," he said.
The developer added that the delays have been especially stressful for him. "I remember every single [delay]. They weight on a developer. Most of the original delays were due to coders backing out left and right," he wrote. "We went through about 5 coders before we finally landed on the guy (Casper Smith) I wanted from the beginning."
"I would get into the project with a programmer and then they would leave after a month or so. Most left with warning saying that the project was just too much to tackle, but others left with no warning."
Backers displeased with the glacial rate of progress can request a refund via a Kickstarter message, which will be processed through Paypal. Those who want to stick it out — and if you've waited this long, you're probably inclined to wait a little more — are welcome to do so.
But if you do wait, know that the release date is still up in the air. "Every time I set a date I think is possible, it blows up in my face," the developer said. "However, if everything goes smoothly, it'll be this year."
It's a good lesson for backers: if you're going to pledge for something, you should thoroughly believe in a project, its creators and their track record before pledging.
And there's plenty of lessons for developers too. When asked if he had any advice for others about crowdfunding, Gianelloni simply said "don't do it". "I can't tell you how many times I've had to tell some fellow game enthusiast that."
"It's not that I'm not grateful to my backers, but I should of never tried to create a project all on my own and hope other people would see my passion and feel the same way."