Red Queen of Fail: The Brian Wiegele Story

On March 13th, Double Fine Adventure ended its Kickstarter campaign with $3.3 million – out of their $400,000 ask. On March 30th, Brian Wiegele put up his first Kickstarter for $280,000.

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You may be thinking at this point, so what? Lots of Kickstarter projects were being put up at this time. It doesn’t mean that Mr. Wiggle was just jumping on a bandwagon. And to that, I would say, it’s pronounced why-gull, jerk.  But let me enlighten you a bit as to why I think you’re wrong about the second part.

First of all, $280,000 is a big ask even now, but back before Double Fine’s Kickstarter, it’s was crazy pants. Projects in general weren’t asking for that kind of cash, much less video game projects. Oh, that and the fact that B-Wigs has made five Kickstarter projects since March. That’s five projects in less than a year, starting just after the huge success of Double Fine. Our friend Brian wasn’t just jumping on the bandwagon; he’s front and center, holding on for dear life, failure after failure.

You may have noticed that only one of Brian’s five Kickstarter projects was funded. So let’s go over this sordid history.

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As I’ve mentioned, Brian started out with a video game Kickstarter for $280,000.  He got barely over $4,000 of that – meaning, fortunately, that he got nothing at all. After this colossal failure, he presumably had himself a nice long cry before coming back on August 16th with a comic book project for $7,000. Inching the bar up a bit, got to $4,405 by its closing day on September 15th. Barely giving himself the time to shed a tear, put up his third project on September 17th for only $2,750. And what happened? It was a wild success, getting just over $18,000.

The problem? Wiggle’s third project was for the same fucking thing as his second. Here’s a quote from the second project:

“We will run a second campaign after release of the first two issues to finish the last two.  If we’re fortunate enough to raise more than $14,000 on this campaign, we will automatically complete issues 3 and 4 and also provide them to all of our backers at the same level.”

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Okay, so Brian needed $7,000 for the first two issues of his comic, and another $7,000 for the next two. At least his math makes sense. But look what he posted a mere two days after this project’s failure:

“We will run a second campaign after release of the first two issues to finish the last two. If we’re fortunate enough to raise more than $5,000 on this campaign, we will automatically complete issues 3 and 4 and also provide them to all of our backers at the same level.”

Suddenly, Brian only needs $2,750 for the first two issues, and $2,250 for the next two. What the fuck happened? Did he scope the project way down? Well, let’s take a look at that second project again:

“”The Red Queen of Oz” issues 1 and 2 will be completed at 22 pages each, full color and is meant for an audience of everyone.”

Wow, how can you scale it down from that? Let’s find out:

“”The Red Queen of Oz” issues 1 and 2 will be completed at 22 pages each, full color and is meant for an audience of everyone.”

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I see. Apart from the updates following the third project’s success and the lower dollar amounts, there’s not a single difference between the two projects. Wiggle is basically just pulling the Kickstarter version of the “how much you got?” con. But it turns out that when you ask for a little, you get a lot. So did B-Wigs learn anything from this experience?

Apparently not. A mere 15 days after he finally gets a project funded, Wiggles puts his hand right back in the Kickstarter cookie jar, this time for $45,000 on another video game project. The project only made it a little over $4,000. Are we noticing a fucking pattern here? Every time he asks for a lot of money, he gets a little over 4 grand. The one time he asks for a small amount, he gets way more than he asked for.

Which brings me to Brian’s most recent failure, The Red Queen of Oz video game, which he posted while his other failure was still in progress. Presumably trying to capitalize on his only successful Kickstarter, he went for making the video game of that comic. So did he learn from his mistakes finally, and ask for a very small amount again?

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Nope. At least this time, he got to $8,000 before failing miserably. At this rate, maybe B-Wigs will be able to make a video game by 2021. I actually did the math there; that’s gaining $4,000 every year, and keeping his goal at $40,000.

I doubt we’ve seen the last of Captain Wiggles, and if that is the case, he’ll certainly be making another appearance on this blog. As you can tell by the resume on his fancy and professional-looking website, he’s had a long history of making games. And as you can tell by his Kickstarter career, he is unfazed by repeated failures, and doesn’t learn from his mistakes.

So long for now, Brian.

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One thought on “Red Queen of Fail: The Brian Wiegele Story

  1. I actually engaged the author of this project in conversation when he launched his most recent project. I felt the issue was too muddy for me to go after at the time (my concern was that he was trying to exploit his comic backers by sucking them in to his video game project.) I’m glad to see you pursued it further. I expect to see many more launches from this creator.

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