First of all, I’d like to thank the press boom following the announcement of the finale to the protracted failure that was Yogventures for getting this blog some extra views. And for the chuckle that it was being found under the search term “yogscast game fail”. That’s all I’ve ever wanted: for someone to Google a failure, and have it lead them here.
Anyway, remember that time I wrote about this game? I really wish I had been writing this blog when I first saw it. The rage it filled me with was like no other. Not Bad Dudes 2: The Dudening. Not Million Dollar Zombie Simulator. Not even Project Blow-Us (Lodus – okay, that was a bit of a stretch) and their seemingly self-funded development. Because all of those people have one thing in common: they are game developers.
They may be shitty ones, they may have asked for money for things they couldn’t promise, they may have even committed fraud to get that money, but they (at least kind of) have the ability to make video games. The Yogscast, on the other hand, are popular for being bad at playing video games, so they can fucking forget about making them. It’s not even clear whether or not they’re aware that a Minecraft mod could have done everything they wanted to do with their game. Not only that, but rather than pump their own money into their Kickstarter to make it successful, they legitimately stole over half a million dollars from real people to hire someone else (who, shockingly, also didn’t know what the fuck he was doing) to make a game for them.
Do you see how much worse that is? So much more money from so many more people went into this complete and utter failure. Fortunately for Simon and Lewis, all of those backers are Yogscast fans, and therefore unfathomably stupid. I have far from seen every backer’s reaction, but the only comments from backers I see are ones of support, who feel they “got their money’s worth”.
So what did that money buy them? First up on the article list is Eurogamer.
“As you may have heard, Winterkewl Games have stopped work on Yogventures – but this is actually a good thing,” Yogscast co-founder Lewis Brindley wrote in an email to the game’s 13,647 backers. “The project was proving too ambitious and difficult for them to complete with their six-man team.”
Fuck you. Nothing about this project, from the moment of its ill-conceived premise, has been a good thing. And no shit it was too ambitious – if you actually knew any fucking thing about game development, that would have been really obvious. If Winterkewl knew anything, it would have been obvious to them as well. But in the crowdfunding generation, we teach kids that all of your dreams come true if someone gives you enough money to make them happen. (Foreshadowing next post ohhh shiiiiiiiiit)
“While this was Winterkewl’s project, we put a lot of time, energy and effort into trying to help them realise their dream.”
Yes, please tell me just how useful you have been to a struggling team of game developers. I say “struggling” not to make you feel sorry for them (you shouldn’t, those fucks), but to stress the insignificance of Simon and Lewis when it comes to game development. Winterkewl was able to at least get basic game mechanics working in Unity. If there’s something they can’t do, then Simon and Lewis are even more fucking useless at it.
“Although we’re under no obligation to do anything, instead we’re going to do our best to make this right, and make you really glad you backed the project!”
OH REALLY? NO OBLIGATION, EH?
Then this article comes out about how Winterkewl paid an artist $35,000 and got nothing in return. I couldn’t even make this shit up.
“The deal Winterkewl offered to its contracted artists guaranteed payment, but contained no clause relating to valid reasons to stop working on the game.”
This is the exact kind of stupid shit that the Kickstarter mentality for game development leads to. When you get $500,000 up front, the people you hire naturally expect to also get paid up front. And you don’t really have a good excuse not to do it – you got paid before doing anything worthwhile, why shouldn’t they?
Weeeeeeeeell, because of shit like this. This is why you don’t pay people before you get something. It’s why you shouldn’t preorder games, and it’s sure as fuck why you shouldn’t Kickstart them. Even experienced developers suck at making games, so when you see that a company is Kickstarting their first game, run like fucking hell.
The budget breakdown is hilarious. They basically just paid everyone a flat fee right away and had them start working. I don’t care if this is your first game or not, who the fuck thinks that the world works like that? Here’s the trimmed list, showing only direct contributions to the game itself:
- $35,000.00 Concept Art / Sky boxes / Environment Textures (Senior matte painter / concept artist from PDI Dreamworks)
- $35,000.00 Concept Art / Character Designs / UI Design (Senior Character Designer Treyarch)
- $35,000.00 Modeling (Senior Modeler from Dreamworks)
- $35,000.00 Textures / Surfacing / Shader development (Senior Surface Artist from Dreamworks)
- $35,000.00 Animation (Senior Animator from Dreamworks)
- $35,000.00 Programming / Unity Development (Myself Unity Developer)
- $15,000.00 Unity Developer part time / intern
- $100,000.00 Programming / Application Architecture / Back-end Server Code / Voxel Engine (TBD)
One thing to note is how many game developers there are on this game development team. For those keeping track, it’s three – and that includes the fucking intern.
WHO GOT PAID $15,000.
TO BE AN INTERN.
Let’s also just take a minute to ponder the $100,000 listed for someone they didn’t even hire. So I guess you still have that money then, right? Yeah, I’m sure it’ll be on the next shipment of backer refunds. These people are fucking criminals.
And is it just because I’m an audio engineer, or did anyone else notice the complete lack of anyone doing anything related to sound? No sound design, no music, nothing? This game, as you have envisioned it, is silent?
- $15,000.00 Escrow for expenses related to development like buying Unity Assets etc.
You hired those artists and then just bought assets from the store? You could have made your whole fucking game that way for less than you paid a single artist. Actually, wait, FIFTEEN FUCKING THOUSAND FUCKING DOLLARS ON THE ASSET STORE? I hope that was all audio.
And finally, this article poses the question we should all be asking the Yogscast: what the fuck happened to the $150,000 they took from Winterkewl? Shortly after the artist fiasco,
Lewis Brindley of Yogscast demanded—and ultimately received—$150,000 of the Kickstarter funds.
Aaaaand shoved it up his ass, I guess.
Vale said the money was transferred to Yogscast shortly after the Kickstarter concluded, and that he was of the understanding “that some of that $150,000 would be spent on physical rewards, and some would be for Yogscast to get re-compensated for their efforts at E3 and during the Kickstarter, but the bulk would be used to hire a programmer to work on the actual game.”
Which didn’t happen. The final word on those funds from Winterkewl:
“The Yogscast maintain that the remaining funds they received were used to pay for the things they did for marketing of the game. They did pay for the E3 booth, (although we paid for all the decorations and rentals of all the equipment, etc.) and they did spend time and effort making and publishing the Kickstarter videos,” he said. “But honestly, we’re just as confused as everyone else where the rest of the funds went.”
So yeah, basically, Yogscast pocketed it. It’s really no surprise, as a sidenote, from a group of people who take percentages of revenue from the sales of the games they play, assuming that any sales made after their video were only because the Yogscast guys played it.
And there you have it: Yogscast are criminals, Winterkewl is dumb as fuck, and together they took half a million dollars from people even more fucking unbearably stupid than themselves to build a stage for their failure.
And the world watched in awe, that anyone should be so utterly witless, so hopelessly naive, so arrogant as to presume to make a clone of a game that is a clone of Infiniminer.