Project cancelled - An update open for all to read
Did I read this right?! :-(
Yes, I'm afraid you did. We have contacted our US collaborator to cancel the project.
After an 8-hour long discussion here at Shieldwolf HQ, and after each member debated their own, we took a decision and it was unanimous;
"If such a great part of potential backers thinks the deal has not been good enough to jump right on, then we really don't know what else is going to entice them and it's not really worth the trouble keeping the campaign running. Cancel it, fix it, and re-launch."
This is *not* a rage-quitting decision, quite the opposite! A very painful one I'd dare say.
Please try to immagine how much work we ahve put into this, how much time, thinking dedicated, and how happy we were when we got funded! People over here were high-fiving each other shouting "Real quality army gaming isn't dead! Real quality army gaming isn't dead!", and not only did we have a great deal from the start, for every plastic kit we funded we would throw even more, therefore it was only going to get better! Alas, it was not.
Campaign stalled (even backslided a bit) on the 7th day?! On a 30-day project? NO! No, no, no we've been through that on our KS-1, and we had said ever since "never again". It is painful and not easy to describe if you haven't lived through it. It's definitely *not* like someone wrote on a forum "when you go out there and beg for money", heck, we are not begging for anything, we are offering a great honest deal here! Watching this get stuck at the 40K mark, backslide, people tossing away Early Birds... no, we are not willing to go through another one of these, we have done so once, and it's really to much to bear it a second time...
Yeah, but what if things picked up? Or if you tossed some add-ons?
Things should have never stopped in the first place, the reason for this happening is beyond us. And even if we open the "allow-access-to-some-of-our-webstore-items" door, it's only going to help maybe reach the 2nd plastic kit. If backers don't see the initial value, they would see it then?! Nah, highly doubt that. But for arguments sake, even if so, then what? We also have stretch goals of 25-30K gaps, what would be done there?
Effectively...Nothing! Even with a few add-ons to spare, what would 9-15$ add-ons help at? Add 1-2Ks of funding? Everything seems black...
What were the mistakes?
We still don't know all of them, it is fair to disclose that we have been private talking with a number of you and it comes to a combination of factors.
- We hadn't communicated the real value; some people came in thinking the best mammoth currently available worldwide was a... 50$ add-on?! I'm sorry to say this but 50$ doesn't even cover the production expenses, let alone fees and packaging materials.
Or people thinking a 2,5K stretch goal could possibly ever be for a unit of bears w/riders? :-(
That would be three different sculpts, on 75x50mm bases + 3 different riders + alternative bits... yeah, more like a 10K SG I'd say...
- We didn't allow enough flexibility in the initial pledges not because we didn't want to go the extra mile, but because we sincerely couldn't!
Many many people messaged us saying "I would love to back for a campaign army, but I don't want the Dragon. What else do I get?" When we explained that we didn't have the manpower to handle switches while securing same costs, all these people (and there have been plenty that asked us this question both here, on email and FB page!) were never heard from again :-(
We were thinking to ourselves "well if you don't want the dragon, then sell it or gift it or throw it away or whatever, the rest is still great value!" but that was us, not them. Therefore the mistake is (again) charged on our tab...
- No knowledge from professionals on crowdfunding platforms; while in our honest and humble opinion we commissioned great artwork, great sculptors, great graphics and great painters, we never hired an expert on crowdfunding lay-out. Apparently we should have done that too...
But couldn't you just keep on going with the current backers and see where this lead instead of cancelling the project?
No. Instead of doing what we wanted to in our KS-1 (where we opted for 5 armies at a single campaign), we decided to take it one step at a time, funding two full/complete armies in every KS and launching a single project every 12-14 months, so after a few years we could have a complete game!
If in this KS-2 we sufficed in only a couple of kits (when the competition funds 5-6 times over using the same platform), then it's a contest we are hopelessly entering to lose. We feel like we asked for support and we are very grateful to those of you that gave it to us, more than you can imagine maybe, but we feel like we are holding a knife, and the opponent gets to choose which type of assault rifle he's getting... :-(
- So trying to put things into place...
- we would be putting so much more of our own funds into this,
- we would have to work for an entire year labor-free to keep costs low,
- we would have to keep on monitoring all forums, threads etc to keep contact
- we would have to keep communication levels the same as KS-1, thus having to constantly check on a daily basis and take up the responsibility and risk the name and reputation of Shieldwolf
- we would make sure all backers received a great deal for their involvement, faith and patience, trying to make this a really great experience
and we would be honestly willing to do all this but we would still not get at least a couple of full kitted armies....?
Yeah, that doesn't sound right... :-(
It means a lot to us and we are willing to wait for years but with this pace it would take decades, so as hard as it is for us, it's best cancelling it and relaunching. This has been a very very difficult decision for us to take. But we are doing something wrong, and we have to fix it...
Finally, a big last THANK YOU
Thank you for the trust and enthusiasm you shared with us not only during the days this project was live, but also prior to it, since many of you were on our KS-1 and it was a great honor seeing you back with us.
We know some (probably most) of you might not like this update, maybe feeling we threw in the towel too early and stuff like that, but please try standing in our shoes and seeing it from our perspective.
Hopefully you will like what we try to do in the future and support it again, just like you supported us on this endevour. If you like, please do not cancel your pledges so you may keep receiving any news we might be posting via updates (we never spam!).
We too are gamers and hope in the spirit of this genre of gaming that things will work out to everyone's benefit :-)
The Shieldwolf Team.