The Doom Kickstarter: My Response

Yesterday, Erik Chevalier of the Forking Path announced that he has cancelled the Kickstarter to produce The Doom That Came To Atlantic City, a board game designed by Lee Moyer and Keith Baker, which is to say, me. When Lee and I first heard this news from Erik, it came as a shock. We’ve been working on this game for over a decade. In 2011 we had it ready to go to the printer with Z-Man Games, until a change in ownership dropped it from production. Based on the information we’d been receiving from the Forking Path we believed that the game was in production. It’s a personal and financial blow to both of us, but what concerns Lee and I is that people who believed in our work and put their faith in this Kickstarter have been let down.

First of all, I would like to make one thing crystal clear. Lee Moyer and Keith Baker are not part of the Forking Path. Neither one of us received any of the funds raised by the Kickstarter or presales. I haven’t received any form of payment for this game. Lee and I were not involved in the decisions that brought about the end of this project, and we were misinformed about its progress and the state of the game.

As a designer, I want the ideas I come up with to bring people joy—not frustration, disappointment and anger.  Once I sign a contract granting a company the rights to produce one of my games, I am putting my faith in that company and trusting that it will carry out production and delivery in a professional and ethical manner. I’ve worked with Atlas Games, Wizards of the Coast, Steve Jackson Games, Goodman Games, Green Ronin, Pelgrane Press, and many more, and I’ve never been let down until now. Lee and I don’t know exactly how the money was spent, why the backers were misled, what challenges were faced or what drove the decisions that led to the cancellation of the game. Not only did we not make any money from the game, we have actually lost money; as soon as we learned the true state of affairs, we engaged a lawyer to compel The Forking Path to come forward to the backers and to honor its pledge to issue refunds.

With that said, all that really matters to Lee and I is that our idea has led to frustration and anger instead of bringing happiness. We can’t change the past. We can’t produce the game as presented in the Kickstarter on our own. But under the terms of the contract the rights to the art and design are back in our hands, and we can at least share those. Lee and I will be producing a print-and-play version of the game as quickly as possible, and getting that to backers at no cost. You’ll have to use your own cardstock and paper, and we can’t produce the amazing miniatures sculpted by Paul Komoda. But we can share our ideas and our work, and we hope that you will enjoy it.

This is not the end of the road we thought we were on. Neither Lee nor I know how things reached this point, and when I look at the images from the manufacturer that show so clearly that the game could have been made, it breaks my heart. Lee and I will do our best to get you the game in print-and-play form as soon as possible. It’s not what we expected or planned on, but we at least hope that you will finally be able to get some enjoyment from the game we’ve worked on for all these years.

Sincerely,

Keith Baker

 

98 thoughts on “The Doom Kickstarter: My Response

  1. Hi Keith,

    It must be terribly disheartening to have this happen. I’m out a (fair) bit of money, at least until that gets fixed (if it does). You’ve had something you’ve worked on for a long time stomped on.

    I don’t hold you responsible for what happened here, and I appreciate your effort to do what you can to make it right as you can for the backers of the Kickstarter.

    Be well.

    Keith

    • Thanks to all of you for supporting the idea. Honestly, I don’t know if Lee and I will try to take the game to full production after this; this is the second time we’ve tried, and this is a far worse outcome than the first time. We want to make sure people get the print-and-play so you have a chance to finally play it, and to see all the amazing art Lee has developed over the years; but honestly, I don’t know what’s going to happen after that.

      • It’s a sad thing, but I’d understand if you gave this one up.

        As implied in my previous message, I’m a backer. I’d love to take a shot a the Print & Play. I won’t have the figures (sadly; what I saw looked phenomenal), but the description of the play sounded like a lot of fun. My email address is associated with these comments.

        K

    • Thanks for the information Keith. As a backer it saddens me that this happened; but I appreciate the transparency into the process you’re providing.

  2. Hi Keith,

    I’m a Doom KS backer. Please let me know if Doom restarts somehow. In the meantime, I’m really interested in a P&P copy, esp. if it can be used with an existing monopoly board.

    Sorry it all turned out this way. I hope you get your game published somehow.

    Thanks,
    Tony

  3. Hey there Keith – first off – good on you for being the first out of the gate. Right now there is a LOT of ‘Loud Internet’ happening, and through all of the rabblerousing on the comment section and speculation as to what happened to all of that money – I think most people just wanted to see the game given how nice those miniatures and concept sounded.

    Don’t know if it means anything, but I was a backer on the $50 tier and would love to see what the game might have been like.

    Good luck
    James H

  4. That’s a grand thing to do, Keith. I was a backer and assumed that you guys (at least) would have been paid first in this mess.

  5. Thanks for being open and clear about this, Keith!

    I was one of the backers and hope something good can come out of this in the end!

  6. Hello- perhaps you can use the KS site and look at the backer list, and email each of them? Long drawn out process I realize.

    Best of luck in all aspects of this, to everyone involved.

  7. This is really good of you all to do. I’d never heard of this kickstarter until today, but I’d be interested if you ever do get the game up and running. (While tempting, won’t lie and claim I was a backer.)

    Good on you all for helping the others scammed.

  8. As a backer of TDTCTAC, I was disappointed, but not surprised the project imploded. Very little communication with backers and a lack of cogent details left only frustration and speculation. I’m glad you’re getting the game to those who funded it on Kickstarter. At least it won’t be a total loss, and I’m looking forward to finally playing the game.

  9. As I said in my response to Robin Laws’ post on G+, I can’t imagine the level of dismay you and Lee are experiencing, which puts my own disappointment in perspective. I backed the Kickstarter and would be glad to see a PnP version when it’s available. While I understand it’s often difficult or impossible to comment about ongoing litigation, any updates you can provide later about your interactions with The Forking Path would be appreciated.

    Best to you and Lee; please let him know I’m looking forward to getting the chance to see his work for 13th Age soon.

    • Thanks, Paul. It’s my hope we can get the PnP version out quickly, and I’m looking forward to 13th Age as well.

  10. I too was a Kickstarter backer, and am sorry that you’re having to sort your way out through this mess on your end.

  11. I was a backer as well and this has, as I’m sure for all of you, been a horrible learning experience. I only hope that Erik Chevalier has some decency and holds true to his words on refunding us the money we used to back this game. It amazes me that the other parties involved never saw a dime of the hundred thousands of dollars he raked up. Clearly we were all mislead and betrayed. I’m sorry your names were attached to such an act. Let’s just hope people stay true to what they say, cause as far as I’m concerned, that’s all you guys have left…your word. Let’s hope its not squandered and without dignity.

  12. I was of course a backer after playing it with you and Ken Hite at a ConQuest some years ago. If you’re going to GenCon, we can chat then too, but basically yes, we know it’s not your fault at all. Glad you’ve been able to shed more light on the issues too.

    Print & Play version? Hell yes!

    Take care and be well. We know you’ll keep us all updated so no worries here.

  13. Thanks for all this additional information, Keith. It seems that, even in his apology, Erik wasn’t that forthright. As a backer, I’m still very interested in what you’ve designed, and I’ll be happy to show off your PnP product to any and all who want to play it with me.

  14. Hey, I want to say that while I didn’t participate in the Kickstarter (I never have any money for those things, I’m sad to say), I’ve just kinda been reeling about this today. I was expecting to see the game up and running any time now, maybe something I could take a look at at Gen-Con, that kind of thing. It’s awful what’s happened to you and Lee and all your backers.

    While I didn’t have any stakes in this game (beyond the hope of playing it some day), this just seems like an awful day for the gaming community in general. Take care, and I hope this has a happy ending.

  15. Hi Keith (and Lee, by extension),

    Thanks for laying everything out there. It’s unfortunate that it looks like the assumptions many of us had about what happened with the KS were accurate and I’m definitely sorry to know that both of you have to be gutted by the end result. I’ll join with the other voices who’re saying that we still believe in your idea and would be willing to buy a version of it at market if you decide, after recharging, to take another stab at getting it there, even if you release a PnP in the meantime.

    Wish y’all the best.

    • Thanks, Miguel. Right now my focus is entirely on getting the PnP together; we’ll figure out what happens next after that’s done.

  16. I’m not a backer of this Kickstarter, but do back others. After getting a heads up about this from a backer, I found your response (Posting a P&P version for backers) to be an awesome one.

    For what it’s worth, you have a guaranteed sale in me, should the game ever be offered for retail sale. (I’m sure one of the big guys is saying “We’d produce it, but only if we can be sure of at least one sale!)

  17. Like John Little above, I wasn’t a backer of the initial Kickstarter campaign, though I likely would have been had I discovered it when it was running. That being said, I wanted to offer my condolences and sympathies about the horrendous management of this whole situation. I can’t possibly imagine what this might be like for you and your loved ones; my thoughts go to you and yours.

    I’m interested to see what Erik has to say, at least in terms of this “post-mortem” he has promised, though I’m not sure if I’ll even have access to see it. Regardless, this is a huge loss for everyone involved and, frankly, provides a very poor example of how Kickstarter operates. Most of the folks on there are just independent developers trying to make their dreams come true and the mismanagement here overshadows the little people and will give people the impression that Kickstarter is a place for scam artists.

    In any event, I hope that you and Lee can recoup at least some of your losses during this time. If you ever have the desire to get things going with this again in the future, know that you will have the support of a much larger group than you did before.

  18. Hi Keith,

    I was a backer and would appreciate any further info/updates as things progress.

    Thanks,
    Carl Killough

  19. Keith,

    I am not a backer of this only because I didn’t know of the kickstarter project. I enjoyed the playtest game I was able to watch between you and some others at KublaCon and I am sorry you weren’t able to get this child of yours out into the world the way you wanted to. Best of luck on future endeavors

  20. I was super disappointed to receive the KS update email last night. Then I was even more disappointed to hear that you guys didn’t even know what was going on. I was super looking forward to the pewter miniatures, but given that you guys were super looking forward to seeing your dream realized, well.. I guess I can put my own feelings behind yours. Don’t give up on your dream, no matter what happens.

  21. Keith,
    Thanks for the quick response to Forking Path’s abandonment of this kickstarter. I pledged at the $75 level as one of my first kickstarters because of the early review on GeekDad. I’d love to eventually see this game in print, but until then, I’d love to see the PnP version, and maybe find a cheap version of Monopoly to cannibalize for Cthulhu. Thanks for the opportunity to recoup some of the joy I felt when this game first launched.

    • It’s possible. Per the terms of the contract, the miniatures are due to be returned to Paul Komoda; it will be up to him to decide how he’d like to proceed with them once they are back in his hands.

  22. Once you get that released, please announce it — I’m sure you will make some decent digital sales of this print and play game even if it’s through a fulfillment company like DriveThruRPG. There are people like me who didn’t back, but are still interested in the product. Cheers.

  23. That’s pretty good of you. I was a Kickstarter backer, I’m not upset about the failure like some are. Kickstarter is like venture capital investing, you win some, you lose some, and on Kickstarter you win most of them Though It’s sad for you & Lee that your dream of publishing the game has not happened. I’ve already had contact with Lee & his partner thru another successful Kickstarter (Geek Love), and I knew they were good people already. I’m not even going to feel animosity toward Erik, unless I see clear evidence of intent to defraud, as I know people make mistakes and miscalculations. Will be keen to see the print & play though.

  24. Perhaps Paul Komoda can work with someone that is doing resin to get the miniatures published. I know that Reaper does a lot of work for other sculptors, such as the Bombshell Babes series they did for Patrick Keith, and the Hell on Earth series they did for Pinnacle Entertainment Group.

    There are others out there that could probably handle the casting as well, such as TrollForged (trollforged.com) and Eastern Front (easternfront-studios.net).

    Personally, I don’t think you should give up on getting it published. I think you should look to someone like Minion Games (www.miniongames.com). TDTCTAC would fit well with their up and coming catalog.

  25. Hello Lee & Keith,

    I’m so sorry you guys got dragged in the mud and are in any way being associated with this. I feel bad also for the people i recommended get involved with this project as I tend to promote things very hard. But what can you do, right? Anyhow, I’m a backer at the $100 level. I’m interested in any print or play stuff you come out with. As well, if I am given any kind of refund I’d like it to go to all the artists/creators involved. Cheers, Nikki

  26. Thank you for being thoughtful. I have little or no hope of seeing my money returned, but I would like a playable version of the game, even if it’s just printed on a sheet of paper: one of my jobs is mounting and cutting prints so I could make a very nice board myself. I can steal the houses from a Monopoly game.

    as to the much touted pewter figures, I don’t care.

  27. I’m a backer ($105.00 level). You are one of the reasons I backed the project, not Forking Path. So I hope you and the other creatives get paid! (And I hope we get our refunds).

    What a sorry mess.

    • So I hope you and the other creatives get paid!

      I don’t think that’s in the cards, Fred. But I’ll be content if YOU get repaid, and if we can get you the game in some form.

  28. It is extraordinarily frustrating.

    I am obviously not happy that the money I spent on my pledge will never show up, but to be honest, I am angrier at the runaround we were all given, and the dishonesty which The Forking Path handled everything.

    I also have to admit, it makes me VERY angry I will not have this game in it’s final form.

    I will be glad to have the Print to Play version, but it bothers me that after so much work you and Moyer put into it, you get shafted this way.

    Let’s see what develops.

  29. Who owns the rights to the figurines? I would think that if you had the rights, and could get the sculpts, that we could get someone to make them. A very small Kicktstarter for the cards and figures anyone?

    • The rights to the figures have reverted to sculptor Paul Komoda, though he still has to get them back from the manufacturer. I don’t know what Paul wants to do, but I do hope we’ll get to see those miniatures in days to come.

  30. Wow. This sure seems to have imploded and I have to wonder if Chevalier is a fraud or incompetent and trying to cover up. Not being a backer, I have no stake in this but curiosity. Was there ever any truth to potential legal action from the owners of Monopoly?

    • The Forking Path did get a cease and desist letter from Hasbro. Lee redesigned all the visual elements that were issues, so that shouldn’t have prevented it from moving forward, though.

      • If that was the whole of it, then Erik really has no excuse on delivering. He mentioned there were lawyer battles so is he overblowing that? Was it just a few letters back and forth and a visual redesign (not gameplay)?

        with $100k that should not of derailed it unless there really wasn’t a final design that was ‘blessed’ by Hasbro

  31. Hi,

    I am sorry to hear about this :/. My only question is (as a RL project manager) that how on earth can you be part of an project and not know where it stands, schedule, budget or completion wise?

    Did you not have any meetings, progression reporting? etc

    • Hi Mika –

      It’s a valid question. Lee and I weren’t “part of a project” the way you’re thinking of it. We weren’t part of Erik’s company. His company licensed the rights to produce our game, in exchange for which we were to be paid a royalty. We were provided with progress reports, and thus thought we DID know where it stood and the schedule, just like the backers – but those progress reports turned out to be misleading. As of July 1st, Lee and I were puzzled as to why The Forking Path seemed to be having so much trouble with the printers, but we believed – as we had been told – that the game was in the production queue at the printers, and that it was issues with these manufacturers that were responsible for the delays.

      From a project management standpoint, don’t think of us as members of the team; think of us as people you licensed a piece of software from. You’re using our tool to conduct your business, but we’re not involve in the day-to-day affairs of your company.

      • But Keith, the Kickstarter pitch video was not about starting a company. Erik was not the face of the Kickstarter. Perhaps this was made clear on later updates, but when there are extra pledge goals made everyone would imagine that the creators are still part of that and still ‘in the mix’.
        The dirt of the ‘ego battles’ needs to come to light one way or another.

        • I’ve always tried to avoid any sort of ego conflict. Anyone who gets into game design because they expect to be rich or famous is in the wrong field, and I’ve been far luckier than most. It was up to Erik who to put in front of the cameras (note that I’m not in the pitch video, either) and whose names to highlight, and the path he took is pretty common in the industry. Take a look at Gloom. It says “By Keith Baker” on the front; if you want to find “Produced by John Nephew” you have to look inside. That’s not because I demanded that Atlas put my name on the cover and no others; it’s a choice that they made, presumably because they think my name might be a draw to people who have played other games I’ve designed, and they don’t think that there’s a lot of people who buy games based on the editor or printer.

          Lee and I *were* actively involved in the Kickstarter. We developed new art and design elements as part of the Kickstarter. Lee made new pieces for updates and agreed to do additional art for high-level backers, and I designed an expansion for the game based on some previous ideas. This was beyond the terms of our contract, and something we did because we believed in the game and wanted it to succeed. Remember, my agreement was a royalty agreement; the more successful the game was, the more profitable it would be for me (at least in theory). So I was happy to work on extra elements for the Kickstarter campaign. Likewise, when there were concerns from Hasbro, Erik contacted us and discussed them, and Lee redesigned the board and sought no compensation for that time; it was simply something that had to be done in order for the project to move forward.

          Neither Lee nor I were involved in the day to day affairs of The Forking Path. We didn’t receive any of the Kickstarter funds (or any other payment) and we don’t know how that money was spent. We worked with Erik when we were needed and when he requested it – to support the Kickstarter and to resolve the conflict with Hasbro – but for the most part, we were just sitting around waiting for the game to come out and wondering why things were taking so long with the printers.

      • Keith,

        I posted a rather long winded note on the TDTCTAC KS page, and made this very point.

        The pitch was made by Lee – and he used your name. Erik was nowhere to be seen. Further, this was a project that had been in existence for more than a decade (your words), and had failed publishing once already. How, as the creators, could you license your property and then walk away after selling the concept based on your reputations? And how can you claim that you bear no responsibility for the result?

        As a substantial backer of the KS, it looks to me like you and Lee have essentially pulled a ‘bait and switch’, pitching the project as your own, and then handing it off to a minion and failing to follow through.

        A fuller explanation from the both of you is really necessary and would be much appreciated.

        Unfortunately Lee Moyer has only re-posted your words in response to questions.

        • Well said Brad. I believe that Eric is the main cause of the problems, but Lee and Keith seem to be getting a pass from everyone. They need to be held a little more accountable.

          • Can you be more specific on how they should be accountable? They were on the creative side of this. All of us backers will be getting a print-and-play copy that will allow us to see (I expect) that they did everything they committed to do for this project. They did not control the money.

            If your point is that they should have done more due diligence on the guy who licensed their game and leveraged their good names, and his business plan,…well, yeah. And as a backer, I too should have done more due diligence before putting money behind it. But I am only out $75, not all the royalties never paid, the legal fees they’ve now spent on this mess, and the reputational damage to them and their game.

  32. I didn’t hear about the kickstarter in time, but I’m just as angry at how you and the backers have been treated. Count me in as a backer for the P2P and hopefully a future printed version!

  33. In his most recent update, Erik stated that he had provided you with contact information for all backers. Is this correct?

    • This is true: yesterday, the Forking Path provided me with the list of backers. Today, Lee and I are reviewing the assets and figuring out what it’s going to take to convert it into a user-friendly PNP format; as soon as I have a solid sense of that, we’ll be sending a message out to the full backer list.

      • Thanks, Keith. That’s a good thing to hear. You guys are doing a great job of handling a sticky situation that you didn’t cause. Stand-up work. :-)

  34. I’m not a backer of this Kickstarter, but I am a friend of Ken Hite’s. I’m not a game designer either, but I am a visual artist / illustrator.

    I’m sorry for this whole mess. It’s heartbreaking when something you’ve put so much into comes apart through no fault of your own.

    I hope you can get the game you worked on for so long out in some form, and that there is some satisfaction for the people who supported the Kickstarter.

    • Thanks, Alessandra. I’m sure we can get it to people as print-and-play… and I certainly hope Kickstarter holds Erik to his pledge to repay the backers.

  35. I was a Kickstarter backer for this project, and I’m very sad that it’s ended the way that it has. I’ll understand if this has left a bad enough taste in your mouth that you’re ready to give up on the game, but please note that there were 1,246 people who were willing to spend a total of $122,874 on this game without ever having played it, and without ever having even seen a complete production copy. Though I’m not counting on getting my money back, I would absolutely be willing to spend it again if you do decide to take another swing at getting this game published, either through crowdfunding or traditional methods. If you should decide to put together a mailing list of backers who are still interested in the game, please put me on it. I just want to play your game they way you’ve envisioned it, whether that means printing it myself or buying a proper copy from you.

  36. I was not lucky enough to get in on the Kickstarter project. Big sad face here even though it didn’t work out. I was just wondering if there was any chance I could talk you into allowing me access to the P&P version. I hesitate to even ask. I know it doesn’t seem fair to those who have temporarily lost money on this, but this game sounds so incredible. I don’t want to miss out either. Thank you for all the work you have put into this project.

    • Our primary focus right now is getting the P&P version to the backers – as soon as that’s done, we’ll figure out what happens with it next. Frankly, we’d just like people to be able to enjoy the game.

      • That is better than anyone could ever ask of you. I’m crossing my fingers for the figures to be produced and for some way to support your role in all of this. Thanks for your concern and good luck with everything. I’m so sorry to see the project fall apart.

        • The rights to the figures are back in the hands of Paul Komoda, and assuming the figures themselves follow suit, I certainly hope they see the light of day. It’s fantastic work, and I know *I* want a set of them.

  37. That brings up an interesting point. I would like to support you. Is there any plan to make the print and play version available through a Pay Pal donate button, DriveThru RPG, or other online service/site after the backers have been contacted? It might not be the dream you were after, but why not make some beer money from the (unfortunate) visibility that you have gained?

    TAZ

    • Hi Todd –

      At the moment, Lee and I are just trying to make sure the backers get the game; making money isn’t our goal. however, once it exists in PnP form and has been delivered to the backers, it’s certainly logical to make it available to others in some way; it’s simply a question of what that will be.

  38. Thank you so much for working to put together a P&P version of the game. My husband and I played a demo of the game with you at Houston’s Comicpalooza last year. The game was fantastic and as soon as we got home I jumped on the Kickstarter page and signed up.

    I’d also like to second what others have said, if you decide to take another stab at getting it published I’d be more than willing to spend the money again. The demo of the game was that good.

    Cheers!

  39. I am not a backer, but I love me some PnP gaming, and I admire your response to what happened. I’d be happy to pay a fair price for the PnP version. If you decide to sell that PnP version, I’ll buy it.

  40. Lousy outcome to a lot of hard work!! I was not able to back the project at the time but would be very interested in the print-and-play version!!

  41. Hello Keith,

    I am glad to hear that you are going to get a PnP version out to everyone who back(which I am one of them.) but just curious my friend backed at the store level and with the PnP would she be allowed to sell/give it out to people since that was her hope with backing this game in the first place?

    I noticed reading that you said you were planning on an expansion stuff, would that be going out also with the PnP, or is that probably not going to happen anymore?

    With the list of backers that you were given does it also show you who backed at each level?

    • Lee is currently working on getting the Print & Play game together. We need to assemble all the various assets and figure out what needs to be reformatted, how to fit it all together with a minimum of wasted space, etc, and it’s going to take a little time; we also need to figure out our method of delivery and such. As soon as we have a concrete timeline, I’ll let everyone know. At that point we also need to answer the sort of questions you pose here.

      My friend backed at the store level and with the PnP would she be allowed to sell/give it out to people since that was her hope with backing this game in the first place?
      My personal feeling is that if she wants to give it away, that’s fine. We aren’t doing this to make money and weren’t planning on any sort of watermarks or DRM or anything like that. At this point we’d just like you to have the game.

      I noticed reading that you said you were planning on an expansion stuff, would that be going out also with the PnP, or is that probably not going to happen anymore?
      Our goal is to give the backers everything that’s in our power to give. Unless there’s some concrete reason we can’t add the expansion to the PnP, I’d like to add it.

  42. Your name, as well as Lee Moyer’s, where used to promote what appears to be fraud. And it’s very nice that you have a cadre of Pollyannas to declare you a bunch of “neato” fellows, but your professional reputations have been damaged. After this debacle, I wouldn’t back a project with your names on it on a dare. <— perhaps you should show that last statement to a judge.

    Nothing personal, boys, but if I take you at your word on this, you've been swindled, and you took your supporters along for the ride. What's to say that this won't happen again? Further, it damages future Kickstarter efforts by any board game developer – your game was hyper-funded, and now everyone wants to know where the money went. Excuse me, where THEIR money went. Their was huge enthusiasm expressed towards this project, your names where used to sell the product, and when the day is done, it is your names that will bear the weight of infamy.

    All of this needs to be answered in a court of law, to salvage your professional reputations. Lawyer up and play to win.

    • Keith inspires loyalty in his supporters because, in all of his contacts with them, he is courteous, respectful, and most of all, available when he doesn’t have to be, and where there is no conceivable angle he could be working. Moreover, when discussing his interactions with people and companies in the industry (notably Hasbro, Wizards, and their execs) he is always diplomatic, even charitable.

      All of this leaves an impression of a high degree of integrity, an impression which, in my view, has been preserved by his response to this regrettable situation. I doubt there will be any long term damage to his professional reputation. Most gamers who would give a Keith Baker game a look before will continue to give Keith Baker games a look. And as long as that is true, I doubt any of this is going to matter to industry professionals when they are deciding whether to buy or license a game from Keith in the future.

      As for taking all of this to court in order to provide answers, I wouldn’t hold your breath. I have been a litigator for 17 years and I can tell you, providing answers is not what litigation is about. Litigation is about resolving disputes – slowly, inefficiently, expensively, and unpredictably. Most litigation never results in a pronouncement from the court regarding the facts, and even where it does, in a case like this it would likely come long after this incident had been forgotten.

      Keith, chalk me up as a supporter.

      • Most likely dragging Erik in court will get his finances for the past year exposed which is what most everybody wants to know about and to find out if anything can be liquidated for refunds… since he is just renting that place in OR that he moved to, it seems he probably knows what swindling is all about and doesn’t keep anything of value in his name.

        But, I would throw bad money after sad money just to make his life more hell

        • I’m not sure if such information could be released to non-parties, but I can’t say because I practice in a different jurisdiction.

          As for throwing bad money after sad money, the question is, how much are you prepared to spend for your satisfaction? I’m not saying you couldn’t get it, I’m merely suggesting that with the high cost of litigation it may not be worth it. And that you should not be surprised, nor draw any negative inference, if Keith, Lee, and/or Kickstarter choose not to pursue this matter in the courts.

          • As a backer, I would be one of the ‘parties’

            I’d throw a $1000 in the legal fund if enough others were ready to pursue as I am. I could even go more depending on what type of traction this gets. And no, litigation isn’t always some insane barrier. I actually know some good lawyers back here in PA and have won cases that returned 10x what I paid in lawyer fees, but I would want someone in Portland to run with this of course. Local usually is more efficient.

            If I wanted to fight fire with fire it wouldn’t be a stretch, with the publicity this has gotten, to crowd source legal fees and get $5 out of 10,000 people pretty easily to pursue this.

            Exposing scammers like Erik is one thing Americans agree on.

      • Keith might be the greatest guy on Earth, but there are more than few million of us who have never met the guy, so standing on that is a little precarious.

        Now, about this guy Erik – did he really get to swindle the supporters out of over $100,000 and then walk away scott free? No law was broken? No fraud was perpetrated?

        It seems, based on some of the “oh, ha, you can keep the money” comments at the kickstarter page, he’s directly benefiting from the goodwill generated by Keith’s name. He took the money to found another company, and let the backers to hold the bag – How ugly is that?

        I’m not advocating pitch forks and torches, but… no, wait, yes I am.

        And for the record, the website for the theforkingpath.com is still up, and still has TDTCTAC listed as it’s product. That’s got to come down, dontcha think?

        P.S. I’m glad to see the game got picked up by another publisher (but this in now way let’s Mr. Chevalier off of any hook.)

          • and here’s some advice on nipple piercing and also staring at women’s pics while the game was still ‘on track’ Jun18

            “=etchevalierJun 18, 2013 Professional General Artist

            @digigato All piercings hurt the moment you get them but the pain fades as the initial site heals. After healing it only hurts if it gets pulled on, snagged or twisted too hard, which isn’t always a bad thing. Also nipples are basically sponge-like with several holes for milk to come out of anyway, so a piercing just adds to that, in no way making nursing a problem.

            And @missykimmy, from what I can see of your friend there she has a fantastic figure. Hope she makes good use of the new metal.”

          • and of course no reason to be a sad victim.. back in his groove now!

            “=etchevalierAug 1, 2007 Professional General Artist

            you do indeed know me. i’ve finally updated my profile on here for the first time in about 2 years… hah!”

  43. Hi Keith,
    I am familiar with your work (my family really enjoys Gloom) but I was not a backer of the Kickstarter. Even still, I just wanted to give you a message of support. It sounds like you were deceived by The Forking Path. I was intrigued to read your comment that you spent your money to hire a lawyer to compel The Forking Path to come clean about the status of the project. Are you implying that they had canceled this game and knew that it was never going to happen long before coming clean about it, and they weren’t going to come clean until your lawyers made them do so? If that’s the case, it certainly sounds like a case of fraud from The Forking Path. And thank you for doing what you had to do to make it clear to everyone else what was really going on with the project. Good luck in your future endeavors, and to all the people who backed the project, I hope you get your refunds someday!

  44. Regarding release of a print-n-play version, if you can get the rights to the 3D models of the miniatures it could be good to release the 3D models of them. With the rise in popularity/presence and decrease in cost of 3D printers, more people might be able to or desire to print their own versions to play with?

  45. After coming uncomfortably close myself to the situation you now find yourself in, I’m glad you’re in a position to protect yourself and your reputation and do something for your backers. If you do decide to use Kickstarter or publish Doom again, I hope you have better luck, this has been heartbreaking.

  46. This looks like a mess, good on you for essentially volunteering your work to help out the pledgers. Reading through it I was curious if the miniatures could be released in a printable digital format since the basic 3D extruder/printers are a bit more available to folks these days.

    • Chris and Adam – It’s a good question. I don’t own the rights to the minis, and they aren’t in my possession; they belong to Paul Komoda, and it remains to be seen if they will be returned to him as promised. Once they are back in Paul’s possession, it may be possible. But they’re his intellectual property, so it’s going to be up to him to decide what to do with them. All I know is that I want a set.

  47. Greetings to Keith and Lee ,

    While I am (was?) a ($75 tier) backer of the Kickstarter and I am currently disappointed on getting the news of the cancellation, I do not not personally hold any blame to you both; Keith and Lee. I’ve enjoyed your other games (like Gloom) in the past and was looking forward in getting another promising game idea from a genre I enjoy so much reading about.

    This much I will tell you though…when I do get refunded, whenever that is, I will be more than be willing (and happy) to donate that refund to you both. Just because the Forking Path (and Erik) dropped the ball on this so badly should not mean the creative team should be compensated in some fashion, even if there is an PnP version in the future or not.

    Also I want thank you both for taking the time and effort in trying to make things right to the backers even though you both have no obligation to do so. Your hearts are in the right place in my book. In any case, I looking forward in how things settle after this, hopefully for the better.

    Lorenzo Rangel
    KS Backer – Prof_Mordarm

    • Thank you, Lorenzo. For me, the worst part of this is the fact that people have been taken advantage of because they put their faith and their money into a product because they liked my other games. I’m just now figuring out how to get a message to everyone on the Backer’s List – it turns out you can’t just slap 1200 email addresses into a gmail message – but we should have the print & play version of the game up for everyone by Friday. And while your offer of a donation is very kind, at this point I’d just be happy to hear that the money is back in your hands.

  48. wow now your Nr 1 on the hotness at BGG :)

    and the link on BGG of your name still leads to bosscow not to here maybe you should fix that

    Tom

  49. I am really sorry to hear this for you. I know that I consider Kickstarters to be a bit of a venture capitalist thing, and so the possibility of failure is there. Not everyone does. I wonder how many backers might be happy to simply have their pledges diverted to the game creators instead of being refunded. Then maybe something could yet come of it.

  50. You know, this is the first project that canceled on me after it hit it’s funding. I’m bummed, as I was really looking forward to getting a cool game with great art, but that being said, I’m not sure why all the vitriol about this. Seriously, only use money you can stand to lose and you’ll end up ok.

    And besides, it looks like you and Lee are trying hard to honor your side of the arrangement (rules and art) and really that’s all anyone can ask for. Good luck with future projects!

  51. Hey Keith,

    I’m sorry to hear about your heartbreak, just as I’m sorry that the game won’t be completed as described in the Kickstarter. I love the idea and I hope you find much better success in the future. Keep coming up with kick ass ideas.

    Brian

  52. My partner and I are long-time friends of Lee, and were happy to support this project. Despite the bouts of cynicism and 20/20 hindsight that are cropping up, we don’t expect you and Lee to be omniscient, nor did we ever expect the two of you to be skilled project managers.

    Even still, should you find the opportunity to give TDTCTAC a third try… We’d be happy to chip in all over again! Best of luck.

  53. Please add me to the list for a PNP copy of the game. Sorry to hear you got dragged into the mess and hope justice will be served to Erik. Thanks!

  54. I was a backer in the Kickstarter, mostly to get two sets of the pewter version of the miniatures along with the game + plastic figures.

    I had wondered what happens if a fully funded Kickstarter project crashes and burns after the money is collected, and how the money would be refunded. I had naively assumed that Kickstarter and/or Amazon had insurance for such eventualities. Guess I know now. I suppose Kickstarter and Amazon always come out as winners as long as a project is declared successfully funded; they take their fees and won’t have to give them back.

    While I hope I will eventually geet my money back (including interest), I had a sense of foreboding from the moment the project was delayed again and again or when I now had to read that the funds were used to found a company to produce the game in the first place, so I don’t have high hopes. I invested money into a project that crashed. It won’t bankrupt me, but I feel back thinking that it might bankrupt people connected to the project.

    Good luck.

  55. I just heard about this project today. Since this is exactly the kind of thing I would have contributed to, I guess that’s a good thing. I would love to see this as print-and-play, and if Mr. Komoda could be enticed to produce a line of his figures I would buy that as well — together or separately, in fact. We are fortunate to live in an age where good ideas and great talent can commonly be found on the Internet.

    What is not common at all is class, and that, Mr. Baker, you have. In spades.

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