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Toejam and Earl is finally back!  We're goin' indie, and old skool like GAME ONE, with a fun retro-comics style, and plenty of funk!
Toejam and Earl is finally back!  We're goin' indie, and old skool like GAME ONE, with a fun retro-comics style, and plenty of funk!
Toejam and Earl is finally back! We're goin' indie, and old skool like GAME ONE, with a fun retro-comics style, and plenty of funk!
8,873 backers pledged $508,637 to help bring this project to life.

Quickie Update!

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Hi Gang,  

Greg here with a quickie update to keep you all posted. First, my apologies - I know it's been a while since we've given an update to all you backers. Thank you all for your patience and understanding. I know you want to know, "when do we get the game!?"

We tried super hard to get ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove out in 2017. Game development is an inexact science and it's our priority to deliver the best, most solid game we can. To get the game across the finish line we need to push into 2018, but rest assured we are working our butts off and you guys are going to get an awesome game.

Thanks for the continued support and keeping the faith! We're working so hard over here and will have additional updates over the coming weeks and months.

-Greg and team

xwvp13, Matthew Holmes, and 66 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Nils Lanthemann 6 days ago

      As long as I can see the creator actually working on it, I'm fine with delays :) I really hope I can play it next year though, I'm so excited :)

    2. bomb 7 days ago

      Full faith Greg!

    3. Evan Summers on November 13

      Don't worry about the delay it is understandable. Really excited to see more people get to enjoy TJ&E on more platforms than originally planned. You have been open, and considerate with us backers. Please take the time you need to do what you need to do. If I didn't say this before; Awesome Adult Swim was able to come into the mix. Because, as a fan of their network, all the making for an anticipated release.

    4. Missing avatar

      Benjamin Teske on November 12

      I agree with that as I consider the delay positively. I would like to have the best, most bug free game possible and it is really cool from Adult Swim that they give Greg the time and possibility to get the game out when he thinks it is ready.

      Delays happen, especially with indie games. I worked at a game company recently and I now that the bug fixing phase of game development can be a very long one. The delay does not suprise me with this game because you have a lot of possible bugs that can appear due to all the situations that can happen in the game and the online mode, so it is really normal that it takes time and you also have to consider that all versions come out at once, which is pretty good for the future of the TJ&E franchise in general, I think.

      I also think that Greg and his team have been very open, kind and transparent to the backers through the whole process. Sure, the updates do not happen that often anymore, but I think this is a natural thing if you progress to the bugfixing and porting phase of a game´s development, simply because there is not much you can tell in general about it.

      To Greg and his team: Thank you very much for all the work you have put in this project so far. Keep up the good work and please, only release the game when it is really ready.

    5. Camren Cheline on November 9

      I was actually cautious the game would only be developed from 2015-2017. I don't want a 2 year old developed TJ&E game. If it was 5 years, but the best one yet, I'd be ok. So pushing to 2018, as anxious as I am to play this on my Switch, I see as a really positive thing. Greg, I hope some of the more upset comments don't discourage you or weigh you down. We know you're only wanting to deliver the best and once a delayed game comes out, no one says, I wish I would have gotten this sooner. Zelda on Switch was delayed, as many Nintendo games are, but I'm pretty sure no one is complaining now. Can't wait to see the polished game when the time is right. :)

    6. Humanature Studios Creator on November 8

      You guys have my email address (below). If you don't see answers here feel free to contact me. I'll do my best to respond.

    7. MShow on November 8

      Keep it going Greg and Co! Squash them bugs dead!

      Couple Switch questions for you Greg:
      1. What games have you been enjoying on the new Nintendo platform?
      2. What is the likelihood of a physical Switch version?

      And for those of backers who have trouble keeping positive: https://imgur.com/zAIBqgC. ;). Smile and relax everyone!

    8. Missing avatar

      Matthew on November 8

      "A delayed game is eventually good. A bad game is bad forever." --Miyamoto

      Keep up the good work, my funky friends <3

    9. Missing avatar

      Chris Nevlin on November 8

      So all I'm hearing is that the delays are due to adding console support, but even though it's delaying the game far past the initial target, we can't have console versions even though we all asked for them during the campaign and decided to support the project anyways. Also, you can't make announcements without going through adult swim... We all signed up for the pc game. Even though most of us wanted console versions, we signed on with the understanding that it was a small project for pc and that the project had a certain scope. Had you said "You guys can't have console versions, but we might take money from another company later to develop console versions, and that will extend development time considerably." I certainly would not have backed the project, and I imagine many backers would just wait to buy whichever version is most convenient for them. Time has value. The reality is that some people have less time for games as time passes. And regardless of each backers personal situation or preference for whether the game is late, you guys changed the scope of this project after the fact, and that would have changed people's minds. It's a pathetic excuse to say "you don't know the business. This is normal..." if you know the business so well, why weren't you more forthcoming during the campaign? I work for a software company. I know the development life cycle. I also know our customers would not be OK with severely changing the scope of a project and extending the timeline so severely, especially without their Ok and especially when the extended development time does not benefit them. Honestly... More time might mean a better game, or better options for people who didn't overpay years in advance, but what good is a great game when you can't even play it?

    10. Missing avatar

      Eduardo Baldi on November 8

      I hope the game can be a very well polished, enjoyable and memorable game!!

      Take your time to delivery an amazing game, Greg... Just make sure to do a work where everyone can play the game with the same feeling and love of when we play the first game.

    11. Missing avatar

      Adam Platenkamp on November 8

      Game development is a nightmare for scheduling. Good thing you guys have the luxury to have delays to make the best product you can. Keep up the good work.

    12. Rottenwood on November 7

      @Greg Johnson Your description seems to be the norm after the initial video game Kickstarter gold rush. For a little while, just being a 'name' was enough to get seven figures. But after crowd-funding fatigue and a lot of imploding projects and burnt backers, funding goals have had to get more down-to-earth. Often to the point where developers have to ask for less money than they'll realistically need just to get off the ground.

      The average gamer doesn't really understand the expense side of game development., but they'll certainly let you know if the game's production doesn't meet their standards. It's so hard to find that fine line. Cheap enough to keep the budget in hand, but deep and polished enough to win people over.

      Crowd-funding isn't an exact science and I think we're all still in the learning phase. Which is cold comfort to people who have lost donations, of course, but there it is. A lot of very talented people are trying to make games in a new and exciting way. But as great as it is for those people to be free of the corporate leash, that leash often had a reliable pipeline of cash attached. A leash held by people who understood that end of the business and didn't have a fan's emotional stakes in the project.

      I like crowd-funding. Any avenue around the increasingly corporate, games-as-service microtransaction gouge-a-thon AAA mindset is worth nurturing. But we're all gonna take some bruises on the way.

    13. Missing avatar

      Zach Starr on November 7

      Take your time Greg. I just want the best game you can make. I'm looking forward to playing when it's ready, thanks for the update!

    14. Humanature Studios Creator on November 7

      Greg here again... I just wanna say thanks again for the patience and all the courtesy you guys are showing. For what little it's worth I do read all of the comments, and it matters. If you guys have a question that doesn't get answered here feel free to email me. I'll do my best to answer (if I can) and if you don't hear back - email again. (greg@humanaturestudios.com) Otherwise just hang in there and wait - it's definitely coming. @Cody - as per answer to Justin below - albums are shipping out this week. @James - a clip yes... I'll check in with AS about that, its kinda in their camp. But there is a fair bit of footage out there already if you search. @Rottenwood - good points - and if this is of interest, our original scope was simply very ambitious and overly optimistic. We could have cut a lot from that - as it was we did cut some but not too much - instead we just took the time to get everything in that I wanted in. It's always a tough call as you seem to know, but I figure this game will be out there for decades to come so we want to make it great. And scope isn't always just more content - sometimes it's things like having a satisfying ending, or secret levels, or a kid-mode, or hard mode or whatever. Things that aren't necessary per se but sometimes they are the things that really make the game shine, or add replay value.

    15. Missing avatar

      Andrew Morrissey-Rech on November 7

      No sweat. A delay or two I can overlook. The finished product polished and well done, is something I can appreciate forever!!! Cheers for keeping us in the loop, and not making us doubt you. And keep up the good work! Stay funky ya'll!!

    16. Cody Welch on November 7

      I'm happy either way. I want a quality game. So that way the toe jam and earl franchise has a revival. I'm already hoping for a sequel. Lol. How long till vinyl album. And digital album releases.

    17. Rottenwood on November 7

      The pesky delays are likely the result of the project changing scope and budget. There's definitely a debate to be had regarding whether or not a Kickstarted project should be able to secure outside funding and/or publishing that alters the arrangement, but honestly, the initial amount they asked for was pretty modest and may not have resulted in a game people were happy with.

      As it often happens on here, it comes down to a debate between those who want an old favorite to come back as strong as possible, with time and polish, and those who want the bloody product already and are tired of years of vague, rah-rah updates..

      Frustration is understandable. I backed the Quest For Glory reboot, which had an estimated ship date of 2013. Money, and a project, long forgotten.

      But that's the risk. The agony and the ecstasy. As many often say, a Kickstarter pledge isn't a super-early pre-order. It's a bet on a dream. Sometimes you get Darkest Dungeon, and sometimes, you get nothing at all.

    18. Zeb L. West on November 7

      Can't wait for this game! It's worth the wait! Game dev is a slippery fish to schedule, so I feel for you on the delays - and on keeping game dev, like all things, in perspective :D

    19. James Pierce
      Superbacker
      on November 7

      Quality over quickness. I have no issue with waiting. But, if it's not to much trouble, could we get a look at how game play is looking? The longer the better, but just a minute or two long clip would be nice. Keep up the good work guys.

    20. Catrina Thomas on November 7

      Getting tired of waiting. But what choice do we have?! LOL Hurrrry uppppppp! :P

    21. Humanature Studios Creator on November 7

      @Justin... I just saw your question about the vinyls. I will be sending out an official update about that very soon, but the short answer is they start shipping out this week so it won't be long now until you have a nice funky surprise in your mailbox! ;)

    22. Humanature Studios Creator on November 7

      @Mike I can't make any promises or announcements until AS clears it but we are talking about that with them. @Martin... thanks Martin. It's clear you've been around this block. Game development isn't the easiest job out there. I've seen so many people drop out of it over the years from the stress. Having backers like you (and others) understanding what's involved and keeping the faith is energizing for us to keep plugging away. Surviving in this unpredictable business as a little indie is a challenge.

      @Funkybuds we're actually super excited about the Switch. I have a Switch at home and play with my son on it all the time. It's an awesome platform. ...but its true that every platform has it's own challenges, and each one adds more time.

    23. Humanature Studios Creator on November 7

      HI again. Chris, I'm in a better position, as the developer to answer your concerns than JR is (though his insight is surprising and I suspect he is a game developer too). Chris, you may be a game engineer with mad skills who has shipped multiple games on schedule - if so power to you and mucho respect. If not, there is really no reason why you should know how this all works, and I totally get why it feels like that. And I don't blame anyone for feeling frustrated or even perhaps suspicious. I think our biggest mistake was underestimating what a networked game takes - that and how much work optimization requires when you haven't maybe started out with optimized code. We didn't originally plan on doing the consoles - that came later after Adult Swim jumped in (Thanks again Adult Swim!!) so we didn't start out optimizing. Anyway - each game is a learning experience. Live and learn right? As a rule of thumb - when it comes to development time there are certain factors that greatly increase dev time and decrease predictability - these are things like: random worlds with many modes, multiple players, networking, multiple platforms, optimization requirements, small team size, etc... These sorts of things make your dev time much less predictable. No two games are the same. 2-3 years isn't really unusual for a game of this scope. Anyway - yes, we've had our basic game running for quite awhile now and it "looks" almost done - but no one wants to play a game with bugs or that glitches or slows down...so that's done when it's done. And in regards to transparency - well being an small indie dev on your own is different that working with a publisher... the publisher has more at stake and relationships with the press and platform holders (like Nintendo and Sony etc.) that need to be carefully managed. I like to be very open but I need to find a balance and be respectful of our publishing partner so they can do their job. There are no bad guys and no one evil here. Just people working hard within constraints trying to get a game built. ...And selling merchandise? That just happens to have quicker pipeline. Easier to get to you sooner. We could wait on that but... why make you wait even more when it's not necessary?

    24. Missing avatar

      Mike Estes on November 7

      How about an alpha/beta version for us backers? If it's going to release "soon" it should be in a polished enough state to at least play it as an alpha/beta.

    25. Missing avatar

      Chris Nevlin on November 7

      Man takes half a million dollars from backers for video game, does not deliver after two and a half years, then tells backers "Life is too short to stress about video games."

    26. Martin Crownover on November 7

      @Chris - Saying that the delay is unnecessary or that they could have released the game by now - without being part of the development team, and privy to the inner workings of the project - is just disingenuous.

      I get that you're upset, but I've worked in game development, and these things happen. There are TONS of other games out right now, and waiting a little bit longer for this one, if it means the final product is good, and complete, isn't a bad trade.

      When you back a project on KS, this is what you sign up for - we're not "getting screwed" just because it's taking a little bit longer. Relax!

    27. Missing avatar

      Funkybuds on November 7

      Well said by JR. Hey maybe you guys can have your game sooner if they drop support for your precious Switch.

    28. Missing avatar

      Chris Nevlin on November 7

      @JR My point is that these delays seem unnecessary (I say seem because we are being kept in the dark) and only benefit adult swim and the development team. ToeJam and earl isn't a technically demanding game. It's not like it really needs a long development cycle. Unless they want to come out with some details that show reasons other than console support are causing delays, it seems backers are getting screwed in order to create features that won't benefit us. They could have released it by now. The demos they had around the time of the campaign even looked like they were getting it in decent shape. I never imagined 2 and a half years later we'd still be getting stall updates, especially with no details. The transparency difference between now and then is night and day... And of course they have plenty of time to come up with new merch to try to sell us. I think there's good reason to be upset if you backed this project just to see accountability transfer to adult swim and not backers when they decided they wanted to increase their market.

    29. Humanature Studios Creator on November 7

      Hi again. Greg here. First off thanks for all the understanding so many of you are expressing. As JR said I've been doing this indie development for about 35 or 36 years (not 40 JR! I'm old but not that old!:) And yeah it kinda sucks. From this end too. Porting and debugging isn't the funnest part of game development, and when you add in multiple platforms and network debugging, and required frame rate and optimization (which breaks things that worked before...more testing and debugging) and all of the randomness of this crazy game... well it becomes very unpredictable. Also the reason you haven't heard much from me is because this stuff doesn't really turn into very exciting or interesting updates - yup still debugging - yup still working on getting that frame rate consistent. See what I mean? Well... truth is it takes as long as it takes. We're lucky that we have a publisher who will allow us to keep working until it's done. At the end of the day what matters is that we work hard, do our best, and get you the funnest, smoothest, most bug-free game we can. That's what we're doing. And you have my promise that we'll get it to you as soon as we can. That's our goal. And Chris, I agree, I wish we could save all you backers the bucks of having to buy console versions. As individuals who had faith in us from the start, you deserve that... in total though it becomes a lot when it's all added up and this is still a business where AS needs to be able to recoup their considerable development costs. Adult Swim and I discussed that a lot and they tried to make it work... in the end it just wasn't viable. So hopefully it helps to know people are thinking about that and doing their best. I am a backer of many KS games myself, and believe it or not so are many of the people at A.S. My awesome publisher CJ has backed over a dozen games on KS so they really get it. OK well I'll get back to work with the team. Thanks again for being patient, and JR you are spot on on all counts. (Read what he said guys!) Myles, I hope we get this game out before you die too. ;) Like Dori the fish says "Keep on swimmin, keep on swimmin". And stay positive guys. Life is too short to stress about video games.

    30. Missing avatar

      JR on November 7

      @Chris, I am not saying you should be happy about delays. Or did I?

      Personally I never met anyone in my life who loves delays. I'm sure you don't .. I'm sure Greg doesn't .. but as said .. that's one of the risks.

    31. Johnny Vila on November 7

      No problem....I have full confidence in Greg and his team, and I know they are doing their best to make the best game possible!

    32. Missing avatar

      Chris Nevlin on November 7

      @JR I think a lot of us would be more understanding about all the trouble that came from multiple platform development if they would allow us backers to choose our platform. Instead they have consistently said that we have to take the pc version. Some of us threw hundreds of dollars at this project only to have multiple platforms announced later. Then we're told that we have to take the PC version even though we're being forced to wait while they work out the platform issues and keep us in the dark about what's going on just because the company paying for platform support insists on keeping backers in the dark? I feel to see how we should be happy about all this.

    33. Missing avatar

      JR on November 7

      Really guys ...stop the bashing and cynical attacks. Greg has been in this business for nearly 40 years and he has deserved a ton of credit for always being the nicest honest and most humble guy.

      A lot of people misunderstand the concept of KS .. you don't buy a product with a hard fixed deadline. You invest your money .. because you expect a 'return on investment' later on .. or because you just love the concept and want to see it happen. If you are not the kind of person who can accept the risks that comes with investing, if it makes you feel let down or angry or nervous .. then you would be better of waiting for the product to be a finished product and just buy it. Both is fine .. but please don't release your anger on here because you didn't understand the risks before.

      As for the lack updates, true not that many updates here on KS .. but more updates were posted on www.hyperfunk.club. The link to the Hyperfunk Forum has been shared with all backers in several earlier KS updates.

      As for the delay and reasons behind it.. as clearly explained before ( maybe not today .. but it has been communicated) is that
      1) developing on multiple platforms + optimizing for + bughunting several platforms .. turned out much more challenging than anticipated.
      2) making + shipping all the collector items, turned out to be much more pricey for the team than anticipated as well.
      3) still they came very far building the game but looked like they had to cut a few corners because of budget drying up.
      4) Adult Swim stepped some time ago and sponsored it .. which enabled Greg and the team to finish a proper game .. not having to give up on some things and even build more new things that were not promised at all when we all backed the game
      5) .. but Adult Swim also took control of what info gets shared prior to the release. That in itself is perhaps a bit of a pity for the KS backers .. but still .. these things can happen .. and just means we get less info before the release.

      That is life guys .. it is one of the risks that you should be aware of before investing in KS .. you enter a journey .. and chances are very high that there will be some unexpected turns and bumbs in the road. Greg has already apologized that early access was sadly a promise that could not be kept. But other than that .. from what we have all seen .. the game looks to be shaping up nicely ..

      From what I get is that they are all working their *sses off to finish this game. And are transparent in communicating they wont meet 2017. Would you prefer them to drag it till late december and then bring the news? I think this is as transparent as you can expect in that regard.

      Stay a bit zen .. and trust that Greg (+team) are doing all they can.

      Show some love and trust .. they have deserved their credits over decades.

      @Greg and team .. thanks for all the hard work for such a long time. Don't let it wear you out .. work hard and relax a bit too.
      Keep your head up and know that I will love to play the game when it's finished .. don't mind waiting a bit longer.

      Stay funky all :)

    34. Shawn Warren on November 7

      I invested in two copies if pc version and you (developer) moved the goal post to multiple systems. Why shouldn't we (backers) be able to choose one of the new platforms? We (backers) are now waiting longer because of the added burden of testing on multiple platforms.

    35. Phaze on November 7

      The longer it takes, the better it will be! I mean, that's how it works, right? At least that's what I tell myself every day so I don't curl up into the fetal position and cry myself to sleep every night.

      Eh, I have a metric [bleep]ton of games in my Steam backlog that I could be playing to pass the time so this delay doesn't really bother me too much assuming the game will be all the better for it in the end.

      See ya in 2018!

    36. Justin Burkard on November 7

      @Martin it's not that we don't want the game. I just couldn't have foreseen my friends and I owning a Switch two years ago. I wouldn't have bought/backed two copies of the PC version.

    37. Killian Goetowski on November 7

      lol, the card I used to pay for my pledge will have expired before the game comes out. But yeah, just a few more updates in between updates, plz.

    38. Missing avatar

      Chris Nevlin on November 7

      It's hard to stay enthusiastic about this project after two and a half years and diminished transparency following the adult swim investment. Any interest I had in this game had been eclipsed by frustration and disappointment in the handling of the communication to backers. I'm probably just going to sell my copies and rewards when this game comes out, if it ever does, and try to forget it as the last time I trusted a project on kickstarter.

    39. Martin Crownover on November 7

      Take your time guys. I (and other fans/supporters, I think) would rather have the game be late and awesome for it.

    40. Missing avatar

      Justin Bost on November 7

      Yeah, not to pile on here but I'm considering the $15 gone forever at this point and any hype I had for this game as been effectively squashed at this point. Being this far past your expected delivery date, sparse updates, and announcements about random merchandise makes me feel like you guys screwed up.

    41. Missing avatar

      Myles Handley on November 7

      Not sure I'm going to be alive when (if?) this game ever releases. I'm already 30 years old and this game is going to be in production for another 50 years.

    42. Justin Sturdevant on November 7

      By the way, for those of you that think waiting for this to come out is long, check out Asylum. Been waiting for that game for years. Another asshat developer that doesn’t update until it’s a “things are going well but need more time.” Blah blah. I’m not going to pretend I know the ins and outs of the video game devoting business, but I do know about integrity and setting goals. Just so annoyed right now and I know it falls on deaf ears, but you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If they put a piece of shit game out then they blame Tim he time frame, if you just agree to wait they take fucking forever. Hell, I think people in general would be more willing to hear about a delay IF they were getting constant updates. For all we know you guys have been doing nothing or taking vacations with the cash and just got back and now need more time. Transparency does do wonders.

    43. Justin on November 7

      Cool thanks for the update!
      Any update on when we might see those Vinyl albums to get to our places? And how can I get it signed by those involved! Still want that!

      @Justin Sturdevant, I haven't seen any game kick starter that's ever come out on time.. It's kind of par for the course. We see it with big developers all the time where games get pushed back for (insert reason here). I don't expect any more or less for indie titles. I'd just go ahead and stop supporting games on kickstarter if delays bother you. Hell just funding a game on kickstarter you're gambling on the game even getting completed or being a good game, or any other number factors would come up. At least thus far they haven't taken our money and run like some game campaigns.

    44. Justin Sturdevant on November 7

      Christ. Yet ANOTHER thing I backed that fucked Up the timeline and promised shit they can’t back up. Every single game I have backed on Kickstarter has all been pushed back because of (Insert BS Reason Here). What I would like to see is developers that can’t be honest and do things like this be punished. For example, for every month that goes over, you get bumped up to the next tier or funding for the game gets refunded 5% back to the backers. It’s just old at this point. I’m guessing 2018 will either be late 2018 or even 2019. This was the last one I backed because of the other push backs and now for sure I won’t back here anymore. For the developers. When promising things, realize time lines and problems occur and factor that in before you promise time lines. People in general are happy when things get done early, not so much when it gets pushed out.

    45. Greg Door on November 7

      Do what ya'll need to do. The original date was pretty aggressive and a very scoped-down experience. Something in the 3 year (plus or minus) timeframe is pretty close to what I expected. :)

    46. Missing avatar

      fs127 on November 7

      Take however much time is needed.
      I'd rather a solid game than a mess.

    47. Aaron Caldwell on November 7

      @chris Exactly.

    48. Missing avatar

      Chris Nevlin on November 7

      I bet adult swim gets much more detailed updates. It's the lack of respect that hurts the most.

    49. Aaron Caldwell on November 7

      @Evan as pissed as I am at this, I will continue to be hyped as possible for this game. I talk it up to everyone I come across. However, This has definitely killed some of that enthusiasm. They haven't done really one thing they said they were going to do to my recollection. They promised early access. They have claimed several releases and or updates that came and went without a word. It is horribly unprofessional and asking people who gave money to the process to be patient and considerate while they are not being considerate at all is horrible. I apologize as I am now ranting at you. I am just super frustrated.

    50. Corey Lambert on November 7

      This has got to be the longest kickstarter I have ever waited for... I an't even mad any more... I just hope if you ever do deliver we get to change our pick of versions.. I have done changed computers like 4 times since 2015. Mac, Linux, Windows.. I have had them all. Hell you should give us all the PC version for waiting so long.