[Disclaimer] I am not a VN backer, but I am just an long-time reader who started reading MegaTokyo
while the page count was still in the two digits, Caston was aboard, and the layout was still the squared 4-cases one. To be honest I've pretty much lost interest in the comics with the collapse of the publishing schedule but I still catch-up once in a while, only to discover that there's only 5 or 6 pages to read, and then forget about it for a few month again. I am also a 1$-tier patreon supporter, because Megatokyo
used to mean something for me, because I can afford it, and because I think Fred would use this money better than me. But I'd be a fool to give more. [/Disclaimer]
So this afternoon , while doing my catching-up I thought about the VN, went on Kickstarter to read comments about the current situation and they got me here for more details, where I read this :
paarfi wrote: ↑
Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:57 am
When Fred did the kickstarter he had no idea [...] that the vn work itself would prove to be so much more difficult and time-consuming than he had thought.
Anybody with a tiny bit on common sense knew it was coming right as the crowdfunding campaign was launched. Fred was, is and will always be a slow artist, this will never change. Remember when he left his job to become an entrepreneur and work full time on the comics in order to be more productive, while he was still able to consistently publish three pages per week, and be able to do some work on Warmth
and other projects? Well, this is it. And then, 10 years later, as he had the hardest time trying to adhere to a regular schedule, he raises money for a visual novel for which he would not only be the only artist but also the main writer? The writing was already on the wall, if someone didn't saw it its only because they did not want to.
That's exactly why I didn't back it up, preferring instead to wait for it to be released.
Then, instead of promising something doable in a reasonable time and try to overdeliver on it, he instead overpromised things that weren't realistic. I mean, a full character route for $5000, before the KS cut and taxes? How long can you have someone working for you with $5000? Two month if you're paying him a decent wage, three at most if you're cutting corners... The whole thing was getting out of hands, more characters, the length of the game was doubled and then tripled... He even teased his fans for more money with the promise of erotic content, a chance they didn't followed him there.
And once the euphoria of the campaign was over and he had to work on the game, he forgot his medication against feature creep and choose to reinvent the wheel. When he announced this "slow animation" thing, it was the time the trainwreck was officially under way. There's a reason full fledged visual novels studios with dedicated writers and teams of artists working full time on assets don't do it, but Mr. Frederick M. Gallagher III was going to prove them wrong, while also writing the game, working on getting his comics out and raising a child. All at once. Of course it could not go well, of course it would fail miserably... How else could it have turned out?
And then family stuff happened, work stalled and then stopped ans Fred went in full Piro-mode, half-hoping that by eventually working on it someday, it will work itself out, and half-hoping that people will forget about it.
I'm not going to add much to Fred's plate, having a take care of someone who have dementia is a nightmare. I have a relative who have Alzheimer's and I wouldn't wish it to my worst enemy. But he's making a mistake if he's thinking that those issues will resolves themselves if he manage to cope them long enough. We all knows that's its only downhill from here and that there's only one issues to those things :/ And, god forbids, who knows what will happen if Sarah's health problems come back... Let's be frank here, he may manage to get back to a weekly schedule, but anything beyond this seems improbable. You say yourself that he will most likely not work on the VN in the foreseeable future.
Thousands of people gave money to support this game, hundreds gave $100 or more, more than the price of a brand new game in shop, this is not petty money. Fred has obligations toward them, both morales and legals. And while he is still not in position to fulfil the later, he should do what he can about the former. The fact that there's no official announcement about the status of the game on the Kickstarter's updates is downright a huge communication problem, especial when most of those information are not kept as a secret but openly talked here. People shouldn't have to come to the forums to know about it. For once in his life Fred should break out his bloody Piro shell, act like a mature adult and take responsibilities for his actions. He should do write an announcement (or have someone help write it if its too much for him) admitting that he massively screwed up, do an overview of the situation, what has been done, how much money is left, and then explain what he plans to do about it. Because the whole "we're trying to release the book 1 Piro route" isn't fooling anyone, it may be enough to have Fred safe from lawsuit as a proof he did his best to fulfil his promised and that he did delivered something, but this isn't even a third of half of what was initial promised. It will content no one.
This is only my opinion, but I think that he should revise the scope of the game to something manageable, like the initial goal, and try to get it done in a reasonable time with what resources ha has left. And then maybe expand upon it. Because he dug his own grave when he sets up on doing this game without having fully realised what it meant as a venture. And from what I'm understanding, instead of trying to find a way of getting out, he's digging deeper and deeper, hopping that maybe if he dig deep enough he will surface in Africa or in Australia (or better, in Japan) where no one knows him.
I realise that I may be speaking out of place, as I didn't backed this game and in fact never believed in it and, paarfi, I know your role is to shield Fred from the negativity this situation create, and I'm kinda sorry to add mine, but please realise that each time you're answering for him, telling people that he will eventually come to work on if everything gets right, that he understand the situation intellectually
but can't bring himself to do anything about it, even posting an explanation, you're enforcing the idea that he's just running away from it
OK, this rants ended up being waaaayyyyyy longer than what I planed to write. But understand that as someone who saw this coming, the whole "Fred didn't realised what he was getting in" thing seems downright insulting. And seeing how hard Fred tries not to deal with the consequences of his attempt to get into the Kickstarter hype to fulfil his fantasy of a MegaTokyo
visual novel seems insulting for the backers. They trusted him with their money, he owns them at least some explanations for this wreck.