This is a good opportunity to clear things with everyone. Especially to those who actually pledged and donated, you have been of great help and support to us, also by playing the game and providing very useful feedback! Thank you for that.
Alex, thank you for bringing to our attention section 4 of the Kickstarter terms. What is in that specific section is exactly how we understood our agreement with the pledgers.
Throughout the process, creators owe their backers a high standard of effort, honest communication, and a dedication to bringing the project to life.
We believe the current terms and conditions already communicate this. But we agree so much with what is said in section 4 of the Kickstarter terms that we have decided to update our own terms and conditions for the pledgers to be more explicit. Note that many other crowdfunding schemes do not even offer such explicit terms and conditions.
Of course the exact Kickstarter terms are not relevant for our pledge system, so we'll update our own terms and conditions to reflect this as soon as we can. This to avoid misunderstanding and confusion. Here is the relevant section from Kickstarter:
Throughout the process, creators owe their backers a high standard of effort, honest communication, and a dedication to bringing the project to life. At the same time, backers must understand that when they back a project, they’re helping to create something new — not ordering something that already exists. There may be changes or delays, and there’s a chance something could happen that prevents the creator from being able to finish the project as promised.
If a creator is unable to complete their project and fulfill rewards, they’ve failed to live up to the basic obligations of this agreement. To right this, they must make every reasonable effort to find another way of bringing the project to the best possible conclusion for backers. A creator in this position has only remedied the situation and met their obligations to backers if:
- they post an update that explains what work has been done, how funds were used, and what prevents them from finishing the project as planned;
- they work diligently and in good faith to bring the project to the best possible conclusion in a timeframe that’s communicated to backers;
- they’re able to demonstrate that they’ve used funds appropriately and made every reasonable effort to complete the project as promised;
- they’ve been honest, and have made no material misrepresentations in their communication to backers; and
- they offer to return any remaining funds to backers who have not received their reward (in proportion to the amounts pledged), or else explain how those funds will be used to complete the project in some alternate form.
These obligations will be ours to meet if we are unable to complete our project. Fortunately it isn't the case at this point. We have already fulfilled a lot of the promises made in the Kickstarter project in spite of not getting the funds. The game is still under very active development. The fact that we release game and blog updates every other week is proof of our diligent and consistant work. We. Are. Dedicated. And I am a somehow disappointed that we haven't manage to make this perfectly clear before.
Making a multiplayer game like this is an incredible amount of work and (as you know) delays are difficult to avoid with the small team we have. Therefore, when we set up the pledging system 9 months ago, we implicitly went for a "when it's done" basis which is a standard in the video game industry. And it is for the best as we are those that prefer to have a good game with delays than a crappy one on some arbitrary release date. This is the reason for which we made no promise on a specific date when we set up the pledging system 9 months ago, therefore there is no breach whatsoever in the current ToS. In spite of this, we have already delivered a playable game, and made continuous improvements since then.
Make no mistake about it. We are absolutely committed to not only bringing this game to a successful launch, we want it to succeed in the long term. We want to build an even stronger community around it. We have every intention to provide a high-quality game to the pledgers and make sure they get great value for their money.