John Smedley’s Hero’s Song Kickstarter project is cancelled

John Smedley has just announced that the Hero’s Song Kickstarter has been cancelled:

He went on to stress that the game’s development is ongoing, but it was obvious that the game would not meet its funding goals. The game’s funding was only just over $130,000 of its targeted $800,000 goal with three weeks to go. No word yet on whether or not additional crowdfunding will be sought.

Source: Twitter, Kickstarter. Thank you to everyone who sent this in!
Update: Here’s the message sent to Kickstarter backers.

After looking at our funding levels and the reality that we aren’t going to reach our funding goals, we’ve decided that the best thing to do is to end the Kickstarter. We sincerely appreciate all of the support we got from the backers and the Kickstarter community. This was our first Kickstarter and we made mistakes along the way. I want to acknowledge that right up front. We put a lot of time and effort into the Kickstarter, but it’s obvious missing things like physical goods hampered our efforts. It’s also fair to say because we’re early that we didn’t have enough gameplay to show the game off enough to get people over the hump.

So where do we go from here? Well the good news is that our Investors are backing us all the way and we’re going to get Hero’s Song done exactly when we said we would. I’m also happy to say that we’ve been able to do this without having to take money from publishers, something that was of key importance to us so that we could remain in creative control.
We’ll be updating you all along the way.. holding development streams (on Cohhcarnage’s stream on Twitch) and being completely transparent with our development process. You’ll be hearing from us all the time and we’ll be updating our website and all of you on a constant basis as we have cool stuff to show.

Thanks again for all the support you’ve shown, and thanks for the constructive criticism as well. We took that to heart and we’ve learned a lot from it.

Kickstarter remains an incredible source of both goodwill and community support, and we’ll never forget the kindness our backers showed us.

Thanks and we’ll see you soon!

Smed and the Pixelmage Games Team.

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233 Comments on "John Smedley’s Hero’s Song Kickstarter project is cancelled"

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ohforfs
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ohforfs

breetoplay TJFrenchJr Wow that sounds like it’s from the heart Bree lol ;) Nothing like personal experience!

Walpurgisnacht
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Walpurgisnacht

devin007 So he didn’t have to pay his employs out of the money he stole from SOE and Everquest Next’s development budget.

Walpurgisnacht
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Walpurgisnacht

jeremy2020 daicon Also, the graphics are GBA level. I’ve played games on BYOND that looked better. They should have gone with something like Indivisible or Guacamelee. The game sounded very cool though.

Walpurgisnacht
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Walpurgisnacht

AnthonyPassmore Typical Smedley – sells SOE, jumps off his ivory tower with a golden parachute, conveniently has a job and team lined up and asks people for money on Kickstarter to pay him. What a joke of a man.

TehAcidBaron
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TehAcidBaron

AnthonyPassmore

Because you need personal capital and assets also.

ohforfs
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ohforfs

ManastuUtakata breetoplay Grimfargo He *did* piss in my cornflakes though. Several times over the years.

libertylion7
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libertylion7

Crap looking game anyways.  Good riddance.

kgptzac
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kgptzac

AnthonyPassmore I thought there would be kickstarter fanboys coming out and say backing a project is not investing but donating.  I guess I’m wrong.

Grimmtooth
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Grimmtooth

breetoplay Grimfargo Bree, maybe you could hire yourself out as a consultant on how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Ironweakness
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Ironweakness

After some of the comments I’ve read here and in the article on Eternal Crusade, I don’t think I would want us as a target audience were I a developer.
That aside, I’m kind of interested in this game now. Honestly I think he just needed to let the news sink in and spread by word of mouth a bit before starting the Kickstarter. I saw the first article written here last week but didn’t get a chance to read it until today. Crowfall did an excellent job of building momentum before opening the floodgates. Had Smedley done something similar I think his KS campaign would have been more successful.
I’ll still be watching for when this title becomes available though. I’m intrigued.

carsont
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carsont

I think so companies use this as a means to gauge consumer interest. If that’s the case here, well… I guess they have their answer.

FacelessSavior
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FacelessSavior

It really is just a tacked on feature to broaden mass appeal in the majority of decent MMO offerings. That’s the other side to the, “We made a pvp game, so at it really has is pvp” coin.

jeremy2020
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jeremy2020

FacelessSavior As someone who didn’t enjoy PvP in early MMOs (Mostly Everquest and UO) to someone who salivated over it when DAOC came along the yearned for it in WoW. I can say most of my problems with PvP is that the PvP in most games is done poorly.

I hope something focused around it like Camelot Unchained will work out.

jeremy2020
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jeremy2020

Baemir No.

jeremy2020
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jeremy2020

KiwiRed breetoplay Grimfargo Now you can help us market our game by paying money! Be a part of the design process!

jeremy2020
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jeremy2020

daicon I think a bigger problem is the short time frame. People just heard about the game recently.

jeremy2020
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jeremy2020

Well, that failed quickly.

Warking
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Warking

Bannex19 Why not research the game and find out that you can host your own PVE server instead of jumping to conclusions with baseless assumptions?

Defector1980
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Defector1980

Doesn’t change much for me. I’m excited for the game. I like the sandbox nature of it. Bring me more Ultima Online.

AnthonyPassmore
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AnthonyPassmore

This irks me to the core. If the game is already fully vested in my in corporate investors, then what the hell are they doing going to Kickstarter to try and get more money.
Where the hell is the money going, smed?
Kickstarter was designed for those who had a dream so they could self publish their own product without having to worry about investors. The backers became the investors. Or to see a project through to completion and have a marketable product.
What kind of crap is this.
Smeds Lack of integrity pisses me off.
Probably had to sell his yacht, and wanted to buy a new one.

Jack Pipsam
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Jack Pipsam

Oh Smedly…

Serrenity
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Serrenity

daicon I was actually planning on backing, it just hadn’t come up on my to-do list yet — oops

Serrenity
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Serrenity

breetoplay But Bree, how can we be indignant and scornful if developers keep being reasonable.  What is the world coming to?!

daicon
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daicon

Kickstarter is really peculiar and competitive.. Maybe 800k is pretty optimistic. I think the rewards were also too kind. No exclusive in-game stuff is very noble of Smed, but I bet it sapped alot of the motivation to back too.

ausj3w3l
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ausj3w3l

KiwiRed breetoplay Grimfargo it definitely seems that way now – shenmue 3 i think was the biggest that pulled it off

MinionDave
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MinionDave

You have to give it to the old smed he works soooo hard at monetizing things its a pity he wouldn’t know a good game if it bit him .

wjowski
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wjowski

Ironwu 
“Pay-For-Client”
Oh my God!  PAYING MONEY for a video game!?  OUTRAGEOUS!

devin007
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devin007

Why did he need $800,000 for a Sega Genesis looking game anyway?

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

breetoplay Grimfargo 
It’s pretty clear from the comments that some view this a /schadenfreude for Smed. As he managed to personally drive to their residents, break down their door and pee in their box of cornflakes on morning sometime in their distant past. Or else I can’t really think what he done to them to deserve such vitriol. But the failure of /kickstarter seems to be a good reason to kick him while he’s down. And slap a big fat /fail on his forehead…
…so saying this game is still going only upsets their perceptions of this, imagined or otherwise. You know, haters gonna hate. /sigh

Jacobin
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Jacobin

So the guy who ran SOE into the ground couldn’t even run a small indie kickstarter campaign without major problems from day 1?? Color me shocked.

breetoplay
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breetoplay

SallyBowls1 breetoplay agemyth Sorenthaz I wasn’t disputing that at all. But saying the market has spoken is hardly true; the market didn’t even know there was a vote.

breetoplay
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breetoplay

TJFrenchJr Yeah, I bet they just open a preorder/founder package system on their website. If you’re gonna use KS for preorders the way he was doing, you may as well spare yourself Kickstarter’s immense fee and the extreme soul-crushing expense of running a Kickstarter for a month.

TJFrenchJr
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TJFrenchJr

But Bree, now the extra copy is so much smoke. It is all cancelled. Unless they carry these over to purchasing, they can even raise the single copy price (time will tell). It wasn’t well thought out, but the goodwill they gained by adding a copy to my ks just went up in that same smoke.
He should have just let it run out and fail or succeed. This was not good for the game or the company to cancel imho.

Rozyn
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Rozyn

Ironwu Roguelikes blow it up on Steam though, they’re quite popular.

Rozyn
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Rozyn

On the one hand I have a limited amount of sympathy for less-than-perfect Kickstarter campaigns because there are SO many examples of how to do one really well. Tier design and gameplay information aren’t exactly top secrets. On the other hand, at least they just pulled the plug on it instead of having it drag on I guess.

Rozyn
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Rozyn

KiwiRed breetoplay Grimfargo Pretty much. It’s a word-of-mouth tool more than anything at this point.

MadMadChuck
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MadMadChuck

SallyBowls1 breetoplay agemyth Sorenthaz I didn’t even know about this game until now. I knew smed started a new company but I hadn’t heard of the game or KS until today. This game appeals to me and I would have totally backed it. So much gaming news happens each day that some stuff is going to be missed if it isn’t pushed often with a good campaign. This was one of those for me.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

breetoplay agemyth Sorenthaz  I did not make the point explicitly.  Frequently, as agemyst said, a KS campaign about looking for investors. Oculus is the $2B example.

No investor is going to feel better about this game or this company after seeing this KS.

deekay_zero
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deekay_zero

FacelessSavior yes there willl be ent style stuff and battle bard (featuring nuclear powered electric guitar)… just haven’t gotten that far in teh docs yet. want to do archeage style or lotro style music system as well.

caravans and farming vehicles will be lootable – that’s where the “not all or nothing” looting comes in. everytime gankers successfully kill the farmers/traders they only get a portion of theloot inside. and should we ever get to the point where we’re tuning this stuff, the idea would be to tune it so the farmer/trader always gets to where they’re going with a profitable sum of their stuff to themselves, while the gankers still come off with profit as well.

otherwise no corpse loot.

levels wise, is where the eve inspiration comes from, and maybe some nods to l2 as well (from way back in the day). 

something like 5 teirs of power verticality that is relatively flat. level 1 player will have some degree of chance against teir5 maxed player, but will probably be still outgunned. 

for pve power goes something like level 1 – trivial trash for newbs and mindless grinding. teir 2–3 soloable by higher progressed players. tier 4-5 more group oriented.

SallyBowls1
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SallyBowls1

breetoplay SallyBowls1 agemyth Sorenthaz  The KS success prediction was 0%. It was almost certainly going to fail. KS funding is quite front-loaded and this campaign did not deliver.

As Tuck said: “The people have spoken, the bastards.”

But yeah the apathy was from, the KS funding, super aware people. Due to this campaign, the broader market was unaware.

breetoplay
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breetoplay

SallyBowls1 breetoplay Archebius Ironwu Talking about PC/console games here. This isn’t a mobile game, Steam doesn’t deal in mobile games, etc.

Chinatsu
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Chinatsu

People who fund Kickstarter campaigns are the same people who would buy swampland in Florida.

Zariarn
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Zariarn

Elikal Ialborcales I was thinking of the meme before I even clicked the article.

FacelessSavior
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FacelessSavior

Also, I’d go a step passed dedicated crafting classes and also add, non-essential RP skills/classes. (Ie: the entertainer and barber classes of SWG, and other similar ones.)
What’s you progression style? Level based, Skill based, Hybrid? Hard cap or Soft cap?
I’d like to see a game take a cue from Shadowbane or Age of Conan if it is level based, and cap the level at which you still gain Hit Points. I feel that in particular is an area that creates a tremendous gap between the player still leveling and the one at Max level/End game. Those are the only 2 modern MMO’s I can recall where you still had a chance against someone more than a handful of levels above you.

KiwiRed
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KiwiRed

breetoplay Grimfargo This is happening so often (“We’re on Kickstarter! But we’re also already totally funded by investors!”) that it’s kind of ridiculous. Is Kickstarter the new Beta-but-not-really-hey-thanks-for-the-Marketing-push?

Phubarrh
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Phubarrh

Tandor Shadewalker agemyth melissaheather So much this!  I’ve just played through the entire Dragon Age series, and I’ve been fully captivated by it in a way that even surpasses the Elder Scrolls games.  But a VERY large part of that, I think, was the feeling of being there in (or just outside) the character’s own skin, being able to pan the camera around to take in sky and surroundings, being able to look the modelled characters in the eye as they speak and emote.  I keep trying to get into that deep emotional experience that everyone talks about with Baldur’s Gate and Pillars of Eternity and Divinity – Original Sin…and it still hasn’t happened.  With EQ2 still ranking as my all-time favorite MMO, I would be all over another game in that style from Smed…but this one, it just doesn’t look like it would hold me for any time at all.

Elikal Ialborcales
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Elikal Ialborcales
FacelessSavior
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FacelessSavior

Oddly enough, I could get behind pretty much all of that, except the Warcraft/GW2 hybrid combat. I’m having trouble with the “non all or nothing pvp lootable farm and trade caravan vehicles.” Not sure exactly what you’re trying to convey there.
SWG Crafting is the pinnacle of crafting systems. So, no brainer there. While I agree with the Eve style, more risk, more reward, bit about high risk PVP zones and Low Risk PVE zones for solo’ers, history has shown the PVE’ers will rise up in arms over design choices such as that.
What sort of loot style? No looting, looting of resources only, can only take things that aren’t equipped? Is this an open world game or some instancing? More sandbox based or themepark? Which label would you prefer?

ShadowVasTerra
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ShadowVasTerra

Baemir You still can.  You just need an idea and a scope that people want to invest in, combined with a Kickstarter that doesn’t make folks want to run away screaming.

It also helps to not have a history of abandoning or otherwise running projects into the ground.

breetoplay
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breetoplay

Grimfargo It’s not “suddenly.” Smed told us on day one, in the Kickstarter and in interviews, that he had outside funding and that the game would be made with or without Kickstarter.

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