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Haunts: The Manse Macabre is a turn-based, horror game where you can play as the haunts or the intruders. PC/Mac/Linux and Ipad plans.
1,214 backers pledged $28,739 to help bring this project to life.

State of the Manse

Posted by Rick Dakan (Creator)

September is one third gone already, and obviously we have not released the beta into the hands of our beta testers, although we've been playing a lot internally.

There are two reasons for this. One, the last big system, online play, isn't done yet, so internally we've been playing pass and play either in the same room or using a screen-sharing service like or Go To My PC. These work just well enough for us to use, but the experience is pretty terrible from a lag point of view - those screen sharing things are not meant for video games, even turn-based ones. So we want to wait until we have at least the basic online gateway up so people can actually play versus one another (which is the real way to play this game).

The second reason is also experience-related. The game's systems are all in place and we're having fun playing it, but it is in dire need of a user-interface polish. We know all the key-bindings and abilities by heart and can play the game with ease, but putting the current version in front of a new player has a pretty steep learning curve. From friends and family playtesting, we know most of the feedback we'll get will be to confirm a list of changes and features that we're already going to do, and which would get in the way of people's experience. 

That said, time is running out, so what I'm thinking about doing is making up a detailed manual/illustrated guide for testers telling you both how to play and all the things we're already planning on changing. So, depending on how quickly the multiplayer gateway comes online in the next two weeks, we hope to get things going with the Beta then.

An important note, something I mentioned last time but want to reiterate, is that from testing and playing the game we've found the fun and it is in the versus play and not any single-player story stuff. The single-player story was not fun and is now effectively gone, supplanted by very different-playing levels designed around versus play and which are fun to play over and over again. There will be versus the AI for these maps, but as with any kind of competitive game, they will be best played against a human. The online gateway will support multiple games at once, not unlike Words With Friends or any other asynchronous online game. 

Finally, the t-shirts are back from the second print run, this time with the image in the right place and the red on all of them. Almost all of them are going out in the mail today and tomorrow. The only exceptions are for those high-end supporters who also get a pen and ink caricature from Austin - he's still working on those and we want to mail the shirt and drawing together in a single package.

And that's where we're at. Working hard and coming uncomfortably close to the wire. Thanks again everyone for your patience and support.



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    1. Missing avatar

      Alex Earp on

      Allow me to step in with these three gentlemen and just say that I also am interested, almost solely, in single player.

    2. Missing avatar

      Jeremy Reaban on

      Ugh, I have no interest at all in multiplayer.

    3. Gabriel Pesek on

      Please don't give up on a single-player story mode; personally speaking, that's worlds more interesting than Haunts being just another multi-player game.

    4. John Billings on

      Sorry, not interested in MP at all. I'll be needing a refund please.

    5. alcaray on

      I dislike pvp. I'm sad.

    6. Ziffy "zifnabbe"

      Well... as most commenters, this is an update I didn't expected to see... I'm also not mp minded... One of the reasons I pledged was because of sp... I didn't knew about the async mp either (but that's my mistake not taken too much attention to the mp part... because I was glad there was a sp)... I already promised some of my friends the game, but I'm not sure I will now... I'll give it a try myself, but i'm afraid it won't be something for me... I dindn't pledge 5, so it hurts more, but i'm not asking for a refund. Reading all the comments I think you better rethink about your decision to cancel the sp. I,don't care about the release date, i do care about a game that i wan't to play

    7. Robert Reidburn on

      I would agree, I only planned on playing single player as well.

    8. Avarchillion on

      well, i did support the game mainly because of the single player point of play. why? because i really do not like playing multiplayer games. maybe in coop, but i hate to play against other players.

      I actually feel a bit cheated, as i backed a game that was sold as having a single player campaign. if I had known that the game doesn´t have a single player campaign now, I would not have backed it.

      this really sucks.....

    9. Missing avatar

      John Au Coin on

      When it comes to haunted mansions it's all about atmosphere and story not action, so this is disappointing. I'd suggest pushing back the release date, put more time in to develop the single player, and I'm sure you'll get support from your backers. In my opinion a well wrought game is worth a longer wait.

    10. Missing avatar

      AKM on

      Single play is why I supported this game, of course its a risk one takes with kickstarter and I won't ask for a refund. Why not simply put the single player in, you put all the work into it so let us decide if its fun or not ?

    11. Devon Rampe on

      I'm a little disappointed about the single player being gone... Though I only pledged $5 for this, so I'm not going to complain. I will mostly just play against a computer controlled opponent I guess.
      Don't push too hard to make a certain deadline... We are very understanding people, and if you need to push back your release date so you can make sure the game is 100%, that's fine. I honestly don't really look at the release dates for Kickstarter games. What's important to me is that the project creators are active with communicating with the community of backers as to what's going on, etc. I've pledged with some projects, who haven't really posted any updates since the project ended, and that sucks.
      Hope the game will be awesome in MP.

    12. Jonathan Cliffen on

      Put me down as dissappointed with the lack of Single-player.

      I love stories in my games!!
      I will oftern overlook mediocre gameplay for compellingn story lines.

      I will have 4 freinds to play with due to my pledge, but I committed based on the decades-spanning single player story that was outlined in the original KS description.

      Best of luck with the October launch,

    13. Eric Shofe on

      Hey Rick. I would also like to just say... I do not enjoy multiplayer. I must say I had not even realized that MP was a part of the game (my bad for just not paying attention probably) That being said, in the spirit of kickstarter I'm proud I was able to help with some cash for you and your team, and even though this SEEMS to be turning into something that I probably wont play, simply because of the MP, I'm happy to say I was able to help out.

      My question would be to ask yourselves If mp is where the fun is at, what makes asynchronous multiplayer fun, and how can you capture that and incorporate it into a single player story.
      Seems to me as the multiplayer is asynchronous, from the player's perspective, they other player could just as easily be AI.

      Regardless, I will definitely give the game a chance, and hope for the best ;)

      Still, for me, kickstarter is still a lot about helping someone and not JUST preordering a product.

    14. Irfon-Kim Ahmad on

      I've seen the later update, and I have to admit that I'm along with the people who are disappointed at the lack of single-player. Truth be told, I just don't play multiplayer games very often, and with the limited time I want to donate to them, I've got enough on the go that I'm happy with what I have. (Also, what multiplayer games I do play, I play exclusively on the iPad, not on my desktop.) The fact that the server will support multiple games is kind of neither here nor there, since I'm unlikely to know anybody else who owns the game other than the people I give my copies to.

      Having not played the beta, it's hard for me to say, but from my *impression* of what kind of game you're targeting I think that the best chance for success in a multiplayer-only scenario is: 1) get the game on Facebook so you can play vs. your Facebook friends; b) figure out a business model that can accomodate people playing the (base) game for free on Facebook; c) make clients (that can connect to Facebook) for all of the mobile platforms; d) for future, try to get multiplayer happening through Apple Game Center, Steam, MSN for XBox, Playstation Network for PS3, etc. But I dunno; Maybe it's the kind of game that people will buy standalone to play asynchronous MP. Who knows? The only place I can see a lot of asynchronous MP happening out there today is Facebook.

      That said, I suppose Kickstarter backing always poses some risk, and I'm not asking for a refund, per se. I think maybe it just needs to be clarified that there are a lot of people for whom "single player vs. multiplayer" might as well be a totally different game, rather than just aspects of playing a given game. There are many people who just don't play or enjoy MP, and many people who just don't play or enjoy single-player campaigns, at all.

      Anyway, all of that aside, I'm more than willing to give it a go. However, I would say regarding deadlines and so on that I'd rather see you pushing the date back and getting something out that you can feel good about us playing rather than pushing something out in a rush just to make a deadline, unless you think there's a hugely overarching need to get it out the door by a certain date. I know having the game for Hallowe'en would be cool, but I don't know if I feel like it's enough of a deal to rush the product, even at a beta stage.

    15. Rick Dakan 2-time creator on

      Yeah, multplayer is turn-based and asynchronous, so players don't need to be logged in at the same time and you can play multiple games versus different opponents at once.

    16. Missing avatar

      Rob Sharp on

      Just to confirm, the multi-player is turn-based, yes? As in, both players do not have to be logged on at the same time to play a turn, or to play a game through to completion?

    17. Rick Dakan 2-time creator on

      Just posted another update with more details - I hear you guys, I do, and if you feel cheated, I'll personally refund your pledge.

    18. Missing avatar

      Lion on

      That's borderline fraud.

      We were promised single player when we pledged.

      You can't just say you are no longer going to do what you said you would after you already have the money.

      I too would not have pledged if I had known single player wasn't going to be an option.

    19. Missing avatar


      I'd enjoy MP, but wouldn't have backed it if SP wasn't an option. :/

    20. ScaniX - Silent / Friendly / Axe owner on

      I think those messages are a clear signal, showing where the game development should head to.
      Would you consider yourself lucky as an adventure fan who helpen funding a point and click adventure just to hear that they decided to make a jump and run instead after they've already taken your money?
      Ok, that might be a bit exaggerated, but I guess you get the point. ;)

    21. Anders H. Pedersen

      I too feel cheated!
      Single player was what I pledged for. I have no interest in the multiplayer part!
      Never going to support a game from this company again :(

    22. Fuzzy Puffin on

      The SP story also is what also drove me to the project. So now the game effectively has no story? That's disappointing.

      I hope you don't give up on it just yet and try to make it fun, even if that happens post-ship. What exactly made it not any fun?

    23. Missing avatar

      kibertoad on

      To be honest, I feel cheated. It's not the game I helped to fund, it's a game I have absolutely zero interest to play. I do understand that single-player portion of the game requires way more writing and design than multiplayer counterpart; however, if we were not to expect proper singleplayer within the budget asked, we shouldn't be promised one. And no, "Versus with AI" is not singleplayer, saying that is like saying Counterstrike is a perfectly singleplayer game - with bots.

    24. Vasilis Foukarakis on

      I was really interested in the SP game. I'm not a MP gamer. Not really happy right now...

    25. Jussi Myllyluoma

      That is a great shame -- it was the SP story concept that drew me into the project in the first place. For my own part, I've never found those asynchronous online games to be much fun, so if that to all practical intents and purposes is all that is left of the game, I doubt I'll actually bother installing it.

    26. Michele Mazza on

      I have to say that removing the SP from a game after funding is very unpleasant.
      I'm surprised there was no way to make it interesting.

    27. ScaniX - Silent / Friendly / Axe owner on

      That's too bad, I was only going to play the single player story campaign. :(

    28. Veav on

      I can't say I'm happy about SP being gone, since that was a huge part of the draw for me... but you guys do what you need to do. :|

    29. Michael Ramsey

      Looking forward to it!