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A cinematic fairy tale platformer for PC, full of drama and dark twists. Step into the boots of a vengeful Red Riding Hood.
A cinematic fairy tale platformer for PC, full of drama and dark twists. Step into the boots of a vengeful Red Riding Hood.
2,378 backers pledged $72,139 to help bring this project to life.

GAME OVER

34 likes
It’s done, there is no way back. We tried, we failed. 

The team is now dismantled and we have requested bankruptcy unable to pay outstanding bills. 

I guess our public silence the last few months already said a lot. It is not out of disrespect that our communication dropped to almost zero… it is out of shame. It is truly devastating to read the negative comments we received by some press and players. With Woolfe being the most passion driven thing we have ever created, it feels horrible to live with the feeling we let you down. 

Once the sales numbers began rolling in, the consequences of our beautiful adventure started to become painfully clear. 

This is not just the end of Woolfe, but the end of the studio that I founded and nurtured through ups and downs the past 13 years. In 2002, when I founded GRIN with 2 partners, it was our goal to develop independant games. At the time we were focussed on browser based 3D games. Not an easy market to make a living from at the time. Less than 2 years after we started my 2 partners stepped out; there just wasn’t enough work to go round. 

While not losing my passion and still spending every minute of spare time, I generated my basic income doing work-for-hire jobs. Every year the company grew a little stronger, a little better, a little more stable. Until 2 years ago, GRIN had 5 full-time employees exclusively making games for clients, we even made enough money to save a little cash on the side. We would use these savings to create the game of our dreams. Little did we know this would be the beginning of the end… 

The optimist in me led me to believe we could actually pull off making a “bigger” indie game. I really wanted to prove an indie game did not have to be rendered in pixels or stylized as a solution to cut development costs. I wanted to believe that a team of 6 to 10 people could make a game that looked and felt AAA. Boy was I wrong! 

At first we could not believe that our “baby” was not more successful, in our emotions we started looking for explanations not related to the game. Maybe gamers are just spoilt brats, bashing on everything, maybe there is an oversaturation of indie market, maybe all the free-to-play games by big studios are giving players a false sense of value. How could less than $10 be to expensive for a beautiful game like Woolfe? How could this be our fault? 

Of course none of the emotional excuses above are the reason of our mixed steam rating. We can only blame ourselves… 

Our lack of experience just could not be compensated with passion alone. 

Why on earth would we want to increase the scope of our game without increasing the budget. Ok, it is understandable that you get inspired to try new things in gameplay, you have to experiment to come up with creative ideas and solutions. I’m not saying the ideas we came up with were impossible. But changing gameplay from 2D to 3D had a major impact on overall development cost (we found out a little too late). Collision detection for instance (and you can’t even really see that) became such a big issue so fast. Instead of having a simple 2D track where you would not be able to collide with small environment props like crates, piles of stones or skulls. Now every little element had to collide, every crooked stone on the floor had to trigger correct foot placement. 

The same goes for the fences that seem to cause so much frustration with some players. Although is was a conscious game-design decision, I believe the feeling of freedom the 3D movement opened up, gave players the sense that Woolfe was no longer a platformer, but an open-world type game (more than once compared to Assassin’s Creed, which is an honor, but also a curse as we would never be able to compete). 

Although our rules for fences and borders were used very consequently throughout the game, we just couldn’t get players to see them as an environmental gameplay challenge. 

Not to mention the combat… OMG! How much more work it turned out to be having enemies follow and engage with the player in the semi-open environments we had grown to love. 

Like a “smart” drug dealer might say: Don’t get high on your own supply… 

What about our Kickstarter backers? 

The people that believed in us from the beginning? People we made promises too. People we have let down. Even worse… people we will not be able to give the full rewards they invested in. 

The crazy thing is, that we have most of the rewards ready for postage. All the backer stickers and letters of enlistment just need a stamp. All the poster sets printed, signed and ready. The artbook is ready to be printed, the soundtrack is ready for distribution, the DVD case is ready for production. But we have literally no money whatsoever to pay for stamps, let alone print the artbooks and dvd-cases. 

What about Volume 2? 

I think it is quite obvious now that we will not be able to finalise production of Woolfe Volume 2. With the low rating of Volume 1, all interested publishers have backed off and we no longer have the financial means to self publish… But we still have loads of assets and we think it would be a shame to let them all go to waste… maybe there are other developers out there that would like to take a shot at making new volumes of Woolfe. Maybe they can achieve what we were unable to accomplish. If our visual style is our strongest element we should make this available for others who are stronger at making gameplay. We would want nothing more than that the legacy of Woolfe would live on forever, or at least longer than a few months. 

So with a heavy heart I have to communicate that as of now the IP of Woolfe, all of the assets and source code is now for sale via the appointed trustee Cathérine Lannoy. (c.lannoy@etrevia.be) 

I would like to end this post with a very big thank you to my wife for standing by my side in this turbulent period, I hope she forgives me for pulling her into this dangerous adventure. I want to thank my parents and family who have supported me all the way, even financially when things got really rough these last few months. My friends for putting up with my limited conversation topics and recent period of isolation. My former employees that have become some of my best friends. The people who invested in GRIN. The amazing fans that helped us push the limits of what we could achieve. But I would also like to add word of thanks and support for my colleagues and fellow game developers here in Belgium and the rest of the world. YOU ROCK!!! Never stop doing what you’re doing, you have the power to make your dreams come true, but beware of the pitfalls. Beware what you risk, you do not want to be in my position now. You do not want to lose everything you worked so hard for. 

As for me, I going to take it easy the next couple of weeks/months, but I have learnt so much about game development the past few years and I don’t plan on letting that knowledge go to waste. And as always, if there is anything I can do for you or help you out with, don’t hesitate to contact me (but give me a little time to get my shit together first please…). 

If you want to know more about what game developers go through, I suggest reading this very interesting post of a former game developer on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/3cg2hc/repost_as_a_former_developer_theres_a_lot_of/ 

Thank you, 

Wim Wouters

Comments

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    1. Alex Podgoredsky on September 17, 2015

      I think 1 month is enough to communicate with your backers? Even if you can not make full release, it would be nice to just speak with us.

    2. Sebastian Chastity on September 15, 2015

      Please understand I come at this with a consumer perspective.

      I don't care what happened or how it happened. It happened because reasons and now we move on.

      However, I want my soundtrack. If I have to send you a few more dollars to get it, I will be more than happy to do it. The only reason I put in the money I did was to get the soundtrack. I collect Video Game soundtracks and am livid by the notion of not getting it when everything was done properly in order for me to get it.

      If you have a paypal, give it to me so I can send you a few bucks to get it. IF, as you claim, you have all this shit ready to be sent out, then why not have us pay for shipping so we can get what is ours if we want to. because personally, I don't care about shirts or ringtones or posters or whatever else I was going to get. I just want my soundtrack.

    3. Kraken on August 19, 2015

      So, what about our digital rewards?

    4. Revek
      Superbacker
      on August 16, 2015

      Tough times never last, tough people do.

      Sorry to hear the news, best of luck in the future and I also enjoyed the game!

      Good luck with your next steps.

    5. Иван Корыстин on August 14, 2015

      Shit happens, it's a life.
      But it would be good to have a steam key for the Volume 1 at least. Some of us still don't have it.

    6. Ben Hockley on August 13, 2015

      These things happen. Have a good break, and let us all know when you're ready to start on another project.

      For the rewards you've already had produced, I'd suggest trying to get them out at a future date, even if you have to do it slowly. And get the digital files to people for rewards you're no longer able to produce.

      Good luck in future endeavours.

    7. Missing avatar

      Kevin Julien on August 13, 2015

      Hey guys. Lick your wounds. Take your time to digest the thing. And when you're ready, start a new project. We'll be there to support you again!

      After the shitstorm, the sunshine (or something like that)!

    8. Peter Lutz
      Superbacker
      on August 13, 2015

      Can you do me a favour and upload somewhere a pic of the Collectors edition or it´s concept?

      I would love to share it with a friend how awesome it would have been.

    9. Clancy Cunningham on August 12, 2015

      Chin up, mate!

      Take it as the learning experience that it is and move on to better things.

    10. Missing avatar

      Klaus Jonke on August 12, 2015

      @bruno: that's me as well - just checked again. No steam key, no nothing.

    11. Missing avatar

      bruno dejesus on August 11, 2015

      I paid for this game here on kickstarter and never received it!

    12. Mihail Kochanov on August 11, 2015

      Woolfe was the best jump & run game I have played in years. There is nothing to be ashamed of. You delivered. I would gladly pay that $15 I paid even if I knew you would go bankrupt and I would not get part 2. I would gladly pay $15 more to get part 2. You also made a quality thing not that pixel art bullshit every indie dev is trying to sell these days.

    13. Missing avatar

      Fredrik Waage on August 11, 2015

      Please honor your backers who believed in your game by releasing the DRM-free version like you promised so linux backers (hopefully via WINE) and ppl who don't like steam can enjoy your game.

    14. Missing avatar

      Martin_75 on August 11, 2015

      Hey Wim, it is a pity to hear the news about Woolfe. Just wanted to let you know that it is nothing to feel ashamed of - though I did not play the game by now (I wanted to wait for the PS4 version), I loved the idea behind it, and I loved what I have seen. So many projects get cancelled in the AAA area, you should not feel too bad. You will come back.
      All the best to you and your team!

    15. Brian Smith on August 11, 2015

      You guys did a great job with Woolfe, and I'm sorry to hear that it didn't take off as well as you hoped. Good luck to all of you with future endeavors.

    16. Simon Kranz
      Superbacker
      on August 11, 2015

      Hey Wim and all of GRIN,

      I'm a very sad to hear about this. This sucks immensly. Please know that i enjoyed the game and i thought it looked and felt very lovely. I was actually positively discombobulated by what you achieved with the budget you had. I also enjoyed your appearances at the various game expositions. You stuck out as a passionated and creative bunch.

      I hope all of you can keep making good games in one form or another.

      Cheers!

    17. HoodyC17 on August 11, 2015

      While it will be crass, us sending money to pay for the postage of our backer items is an option.

    18. silverdarkphoenix on August 11, 2015

      Sorry to hear the bad news but could you send me the
      PDF of the art book and the posters.

    19. Laudrac on August 11, 2015

      Really sad to hear as i loved the game and the Artwork. Is it possible to give us the posters and Artwork via PDF i don't think this add any additional cost but would make your fans happy who paid for it. Secondly as previously mentioned i don't mind to join a second kickstarter to support the Volume 2.

    20. Bastien Gorissen on August 11, 2015

      Wim, and the rest of the team at GRiN studios,

      As a fellow Belgian game dev, as a gamer, and as a person in general, I am incredibly sad to read that Woolfe, instead of being the dream come true it should have been, ends in such a sad way :( Hopefully you manage to bounce back from this setback. Your studio was one of the ones I looked up to and saw as a promise of what you could achieve with a strong vision and a motivated team. Wish you all the best in these though times. Thanks for what you have brought to the gaming world already!

    21. Missing avatar

      archer hawke on August 11, 2015

      Sad to read this. You didn't had the experience to give Woolfe a great gameplay, but you made an original universe with beautiful graphics. Playing the game, i know it would have been hard to you, but i hoped you could find funds to make a great volume 2.

      Good luck to all the members of GRIN.

    22. RocK_M on August 11, 2015

      I knew one of the projects I would back would go bust eventually being a numbers game and all.. but I'm just a bit let down it had to be an original project like this! =(

      Good luck on your future endeavors

    23. Aysir on August 11, 2015

      Commiserations. Woolfe had promise - it didn't quite hit all the nails, but it had lots of good elements and a really good aesthetic.

    24. Adonai on August 11, 2015

      I am incredibly sorry, Wim. I played the beta and final release and don't regret a minute spent playing. I hope to see what you come up with next - if it has the same imaginative feel as Woolfe, I'll be there!

    25. Missing avatar

      Garry on August 11, 2015

      Wish you all the best. Good times, bad times, life. Keep your head up.

    26. Alex Podgoredsky on August 11, 2015

      Sad news. Really want that artbook. Hope you can send it digital version to us. So we can print it.

    27. Matthias De Ridder on August 11, 2015

      Hi Wim,

      I also want to thank you for your game and the effort you and your team put in it. It is sad to see another Belgian developer go. We don't have many at all.

      Although there were things Woolfe could have done better, I really enjoyed playing the game. I liked the setting, the atmosphere and overall gameplay. I was looking forward to Volume 2. Although it will be a small comfort, I liked Woolfe and I'm sorry you have to let it go.

    28. Missing avatar

      Wu Khai Sean
      Superbacker
      on August 11, 2015

      Actually I dont mind you set another Kickstarter to get more funds for the second part of the game.
      Just want to play the full game. Please, get up.

    29. iqSoup on August 11, 2015

      Thank you for all your efforts and for truly doing everything you could to make this an incredible game. Take care and good luck--I am certain you will yet accomplish great things in the gaming world.

    30. Trong on August 11, 2015

      I literally just redeemed my copy of the game yesterday and haven't played it yet. In the mean time, props for having the game out almost by the original Kickstarter date. From the reviews I looked at just now, it seems like the game shows a lot of potential despite missing a few aspects. I hope you continue building games, and I wish you the best.

    31. Reece Avis
      Superbacker
      on August 11, 2015

      I guess now I understand the silence for the last few months. A shame, and I'm sad to hear how it all turned out. Obviously we will be unable to receive our physical rewards but is there anyway to make the digital ones available to us? That way I can still read the artbook and even print the game case if I so desire.

    32. Peter Lutz
      Superbacker
      on August 11, 2015

      Too bad that the project is done. You had the most beautiful collectors edition of the disc I´ve ever seen!

      One last thank you for letting us know at least!

      Best regards and wishes to the future.

    33. Saodhar
      Superbacker
      on August 11, 2015

      Damn, that's sad. I had much fun playing the game and wanted to see the story's next chapters. I wasn't reading reviews and ratings, though, so I never suspected such a development.

    34. MalykaOfHearts on August 10, 2015

      I'm sorry you lost your company, and your game. You'll make something epic in the future, I just know it.

    35. Plumpbiscuit on August 10, 2015

      So I'm not getting my DVD copy that I paid for...

    36. Max Tuncar
      Superbacker
      on August 10, 2015

      We were not pre-ordering games but kickstarting dreams,and its sad to see this dream end when it still had much more to offer. Thank you for your honest statement and i hope someday ill get see the end of this dream.

    37. Orien Vandenbergh on August 10, 2015

      Wim, my thanks to you and your team. It's always been clear to me how much of yourselves you all invested in this game. I love the idea behind this game, and I wish that there was more that we could do to help the game along. Sadly, I know that I myself am all to familiar with what you are going through, and I wish you all the best in this trying time.

      Thank you for sharing your vision with us.

      To some of my fellow contributors asking for refunds: The company which has agreed to send you a copy of a game (or trinkets, whatever) in return for your contribution, has filed for bankruptcy. If you are so inclined, I'm sure you can contact the bankruptcy court, in the country which they are located to attempt to request your portion of what you feel you are owed. I am almost certain however, that your returns from this will, in all but the most extreme cases, result in you losing money for your efforts. Over 96% of us contributed less than $100, it's up to you whether you think you'll come out ahead in the courts.

      Kickstarter is not a store, it's a method to help provide funds to a group of people who need funds to implement their dreams. From the outside looking in, it seems to me as if GRiN honestly tried to produce what they promised. It just didn't work out.

    38. James Moss
      Superbacker
      on August 10, 2015

      I never did receive the keys to the game. I guess that I never will

    39. Chris Angelico on August 10, 2015

      Awww :( I hope what already did get created can survive. As I'm not on Windows, I still haven't played the game at all, and am hoping eventually to get a chance to. Will you release DRM-free copies of the game to all backers? I might be able to get that to run under Wine.

    40. Missing avatar

      KoenT on August 10, 2015

      Hey Wim (and also the rest of the team that worked on the game): the $20 I spent on this adventure was some of the best I've spent last year! Why? Because I loved the time playing Woolfe together with my daughter: it made us laugh our socks off, it had us brainstorming together how to solve the next steps, it gave me that gloomy feeling when she would hand me back the keyboard at the more difficult spots and say: "hey dad, I'll let you do this part, OK?", and I personally also very much enjoyed the graphics. It was great entertainment, and it came out of your creative minds and hands. Thanks for that!

      So, although I know it doesn't help at all right now: there is nothing to be ashamed of, really. You wanted to make this game, gathered a team, sought funding to support the plan, did all the promotions one should do, went for it and got out of it as much as you could (and if you feel you didn't: well, at least now you know a bit more for next time). It must be devastating to see it all get frozen and taken over by an appointed trustee. Hopefully, something still comes out of that, so that there is still a way to give something to the backers that didn't receive anything yet...
      In any case: take the time to give this thing a place in your heart and I hope the financial repercussions on you personally are not too big and that you find a new interesting project soon.

      Only for the backers who are complaining: it's a pity it didn't work out as expected, but investing in crowdfunding campaigns always bears a risk, that's inherent to the game (no pun intended). Look at it this way: you lost a small bet, Wim lost his past 13 years of hard efforts.

    41. Jonathan on August 10, 2015

      Perhaps you could try Patreon? I suggested that to another company doing a game I want to see finished eventually. I don't know if they did it on my suggestion alone but they do seem to be having more luck with a small but steady income instead of going for it all up front.

    42. Missing avatar

      Phillip Cheang on August 10, 2015

      I am sorry to hear about your studio and what you have gone through these last few months. I was wondering what was going on with the studio when I sent you guys a message a while back and got no reply. I was wondering if you have the opportunity to reply now. I haven't received a playable copy of the game yet.

    43. Mr.Monttu
      Superbacker
      on August 10, 2015

      That is sad to hear for sure. :S ...But I am also curious to hear isn't there someway to give us some of those rewards in digital format, like soundtrack,artbook,wallpapers etc?

    44. Jesse Mix on August 10, 2015

      Is there possibilities for folks to pay shipping to get an artbook or reward? I didn't back other than the game myself but if there is material made up I'd be willing to throw a few bucks towards shipping and helping you get your footing back.

    45. Missing avatar

      Barrie Tingle on August 10, 2015

      Backing on Kickstarter is always a risk and risking an investment on Woolfe was definitely worth it.

      It is a shame you couldn't see the project through to completion but what you delivered was enjoyable to play on Steam. I personally do not care for the rewards in the tier I backed, they were always just a small plus, the real goal of my backing was to give indie teams a like yours a little boost to try and make it.

      I hope you find your feet quickly and no need to feel ashamed, while Woolfe may not have appealed to everyone (no game does), you tried and that is what we all chose to back.

    46. Koen Vingerhoets
      Superbacker
      on August 10, 2015

      Damn Wim that's really a sad way to end this story :( I feel sorry to realise you gambled... and lost :s At least you tried, but it doesn't help you that much at the moment, does it?

      Some tips:
      - telenet hosts space for startups, they're also seed funding
      - StartIt@KBC hosts room for startups (as I told you before), be it without funding. There is however a wide ecosystem growing around StartIt... gamification is hot at the moment, maybe you can get something out of that.

      Luckily Kickstarter is not something you buy, BUT AN IDEA YOU SUPPORT (I hope some people read this twice until they get it). I'm happy I decided to support you in your dreams.

    47. Missing avatar

      Dominik Hahn on August 10, 2015

      Was quite strange to press the like button for this update as I absolutely didn't like the information per se but I appreciate Your honest statement. I feel very sorry for You and Your team and not least for Woolfe and the future of this promising franchise. I wish You all the best and I will honor Your efforts and passion by playing once again the game "mit einer Träne im Knopfloch" as we say in Germany...

    48. Sean
      Superbacker
      on August 10, 2015

      I'm bummed, but I'm not going to get angry over it. Kickstarter is just investing and sometimes they don't pull through, it a danger of the system.

      I hope what you learn for this will help give you a brighter future.

      Good luck and chin up, it can only get better from here.

    49. Anthony Panecasio on August 10, 2015

      Sad to hear, I wish you all the best in the future. :(