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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.

All The Way Open

Posted by Rick Dakan (Creator)

We have a plan! 

We’re going to finish developing Haunts: The Manse Macabre as an Open Source project. The source code has been open from the beginning, but now we’re going to fully embrace open development model and making the game entirely open source. We’ve had about thirty programmers from a variety of backgrounds, including many proficient in Go, who have stepped forward and offered to help finish the game. We’re still in the process of setting up the infrastructure for issue tracking, source control, documentation wikis, and other tools necessary before we can begin in earnest, but we hope to have that all up and running within the next week or two.

Today I sent out a survey to all the interested programmers who’ve contacted me to get a better idea of what people are interested in working on and how much time they’ll have. We’ll be appointing some interim release managers in the short run and then working together to elect those positions. If you’re interested in being included in the survey now, contact me through Kickstarter. But anyone will be able to help out once we get started, we'll need programmers with a variety of skills and interests, testers and more.

If you'd like to join the crew, just fill this survey out:

Blue Mammoth is still interested in the project, but their involvement will come once the game is much closer to finished, and will be to facilitate the retail release, get copies out to our backers, and help promote and distribute the final game. Someone from Blue Mammoth will probably have a finger in helping out on the development side, but getting this game finished will be up to the community of volunteers.

There are still a ton of details to be figured out about the licensing (we may end up adopting a slightly different open license if it needs to be more open), credit, business model, etc. Plus setting up the issues list, organize the priorities for what needs to get done, establishing a public knowledge base, and more. This is just the beginning, but I’m excited about where it’s going and enthusiastic as hell about the support we’re getting.


Austin is finishing up the inking on the caricatures and those should be out to backers this week.

Additionally, based on backer S.D.'s excellent suggestion, he's working up some cool Haunts themed wallpaper images for both desktops and mobile devices, which will be out for Halloween.

In The News

We've gotten a lot of press coverage, most of it in the general vein of, "Look, see, Kickstarter projects can go bad, so be careful!" I think that's a fair and useful point to make. But we're committed to being the follow-up story. You know, the underdog who comes back from the brink of collapse and proves a resounding success! 

Here's one nice piece I wanted to share with you.

I've also done a few interviews, including one for a radio show that podcasts their episodes. That should run next week, and I'll share the link with you when I get it.


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    1. S.D. on

      Austin is a brilliant artist, by my measure, and Rick's new enthusiasm and transparency are inspirational. I'm honored that the team liked my idea enough to implement it! I hope other backers will join me in proudly displaying a nifty wallpaper on their device of choice when it is delivered on Halloween... actually, just the fact that they are committing to delivering *something* awesome on their original release date shows how committed the team is to securing the best possible outcome for us. Thank you, Mob Rules :-)

    2. Rick Dakan 2-time creator on


      What I meant by "fully open source" (which looking may be an idiosyncratic use) is that not only the code is open, but the development is too - open to lots of people contributing and voting on decisions rather than open source code developed behind closed doors.

      We will still release a retail product, all packaged up to download and install - someone with the know how would still be able to go and compile the code on their own if they wanted, but I don't think that most people can do that. I'm not sure I could do that. So the backers will get download codes for those retail versions of the game. Does that make sense?

      And yes, I think this means we'll have more time to expand on the single-player elements.


    3. Seumas Froemke on

      Can you elaborate on "going completely open source"? Presumably, the project was originally open-source in a way that you could still monetize the game's distribution beyond just selling a copy of the game that has already been compiled -- so what is the difference between that point and where we are now? If it's going "fully open source", then what have backer's actually paid for (besides back-pay of guys who left the project)? Or are you applying an open source license that will facilitate this as a deliverable product with cash-value while still maintaining open-source principals?

      I'm not looking for my $25 back and as I've mentioned in a few places, I suspect the project will ultimately be delivered even if it's far delayed (something that is understandable and not of much concern to me, anyway). I would have backed it as "this is a totally open source project, but we need some financial help", anyway. I'm essentially just posing the same kind of Devil's Advocate question you're sure to be asked by anyone writing an article in the future that covers the furthering developments of this project.
      PS: I hope you would consider using these newly contributed resources and the additional time that the community will surely be willing to handle to re-focus on the single player aspect again, too!

    4. Avarchillion on

      You see? All is not lost.

      Humanity has to help each other.

    5. Missing avatar

      PinkPiggy on

      I'm glad you've got something rolling! Well done!

    6. Barac Baker Wiley

      Well, I do think it's important that people realize that they are not putting their money down on a complete or almost completed game most of the time. Haunts, alas, stands as example that sometimes, despite good faith and best efforts, game development can hit major, often irrecoverable setbacks. Hopefully it will be an example of one that ends up surmounting those setbacks and coming out to popular and critical acclaim, but if not...well, these things happen. Game development is littered with the bones of cancelled projects. The difference is that usually gamers haven't had a chance to put their own money into the process and don't hear details of what went wrong. Not infrequently, there's not even an announcement that the project has been cancelled.

    7. mike on

      Although I've only invested $10 in the game I still have faith in it being completed. Keep up the good work, ignore the naysayers and stay positive!

    8. Stavros Tsiakalos on

      Will be great to see this turned around. Hope the media will cover that as well and not just jump eagerly on the prospect of kickstarter "failing" .

    9. Missing avatar

      John Au Coin on

      I don't consider this a project gone bad, you simply had the integrity to turn out a better game than meet the deadline. More talent means more creative options, ultimately refining the final product. Are t-shirts still available? Christmas is coming up ;-)