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Swim around as a Microbe, trying to survive in an evolving world in this science inspired video game. For PC, Linux, and Mac.
Swim around as a Microbe, trying to survive in an evolving world in this science inspired video game. For PC, Linux, and Mac.
304 backers pledged $4,329 to help bring this project to life.

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    1. Antreges on February 10, 2016

      Hope he's alive and well. It'd be swell if he dumped the archived source code and art. I agree with Miles, it would have been nice if John had said goodbye.

    2. Miles on October 25, 2014

      The issue is that John Halter vanished with no explanation. He said there was going to be, and yet nothing. Very disappointed. Being a biology major I was very excited for something like this to actually be a real thing, but alas my hopes were crushed. I would be fine with the project not being finished if John just said something and responded to everyone who is frustrated. It's been 2 years!

    3. Roto2esdios on October 2, 2014

      Very dissapointed. Though this is a cheap project I think the expectations aren't achieved. Even my reward's question is still unaswered today. I think this guy can respond to 304 or less people who backed his project as a sing of respect.

      I reported this but as every project in Kickstarter they can do nothing about it. This a issue unresolved. I think the backers we should get more guaranties on our money. We carry with the risk of losing our money always and if the company is succesful we keep our risk without benefit. I see projects cheaper on steam years later. And Oculus... well better not speak of it.

    4. Miles on September 27, 2014

      I remember that time that this was a thing........

    5. Cassandra S on July 4, 2013

      (nevermind about the poetry, I confused John with someone else.)

    6. Cassandra S on July 4, 2013

      John Halter seems to be alive and doing well on facebook (the link to his profile is in the 'Project by' blue box, to the right). He posted some poetry yesterday, apparently.
      His email is also on his website: . If anyone wants to ask him for an update on Bacillus, those seem like the best channels.

    7. Randy Jimenez on June 2, 2013

      @ B Galliart: I'm with you on this one.

      At the very least, I'd like an explanation from John Halter. If something has occurred in his life, it's understandable but he should let us know.

    8. Missing avatar

      B Galliart on May 24, 2013

      Taking into consideration that 3 months has not been long enough for John Halter to even produce an update, I am now issuing a public request for a refund.

      Accord to Kickstarter Terms of Use:
      "Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill."

      It seems clear that John Halter will not or cannot fulfill the reward as it was described here. Also, it appears he will not fulfill my minimal expectation of providing a release of anything which shows effort had been made.

    9. Missing avatar

      Crossbourne on April 28, 2013

      @ B Galliart

      You're right, I apologize. I didn't realize there was an update about the release, I was expecting a message when it would be. I checked the updates and saw that the game was there.

      The reason I said that the project has died was because a year is more than enough for someone to produce a completed polished game of such a size and budget. My criteria for success of a project is to obtain something that was proposed, and, to be honest, seeing the year-long update now, John provided something that works for me, as well as the T-shirt, so I'd like to retract my previous statement and say that this project is a "success".

      On the other hand, I still consider that this pledge has gone to waste, because I'm by no means happy about the product he delivered. This is not the first project that I was not happy with, and I doubt it will be the last. During the time of that post, I was posting comments on all the projects that provided no solid product to me as a backer, and that was why I used "one more pledge gone to waste" there. It doesn't mean that I consider all of my pledges have gone to waste. FTL, for example, since you said it, is one of the projects that I was happy to have backed, and I will continue to back projects that I deem interesting.

      I wouldn't consider my attitude here as not a defeatist but a realist. Even you have lost hope for this project at this point. I believe John thinks that he has done enough, and has moved on. I don't see any point in beating a dead horse.

      I'm aware that not all investments may pan out, but that doesn't revoke my right to complain about it. If I'm not happy with the outcome, I will complain about it. In the meantime, I will back projects, pre-order games, and continue to do what I always do.

    10. Randy Jimenez on April 15, 2013

      I've gone ahead and reported as well. At this point, I'd be happy with a source code release of the game as-is. At the very least an explanation is owed.

    11. Missing avatar

      Uli on April 8, 2013

      I have also decided to report this project.

      All I was hoping for was a release of the code (whatever its state) and a final post. I dont think that is to much to ask, and we have been more than patient...

    12. Missing avatar

      B Galliart on March 25, 2013

      I believe J.H. has been provided enough time to collect his thoughts and has decided not to provide any update to the backers of the project. My patience for him has reached it's end. He has made such statements as "the Linux version is working just fine running smoothly" back on August 7th but still has yet to actually deliver anything at all for either Mac or Linux. What has been provided for Windows is far from the Beta promised as it crashes at start-up. As far as J.H. actually punching in the clock to make a good faith effort on working on this project, all he can provide is a blog of pictures and empty claims. I feel that simply adding "Return to Game" to the corner of a picture is not enough to prove work has been done on a game.

      At this point I have decided to openly report this kickstarter. On the "Home" tab and then scroll down to the very bottom is the button to "Report this project to Kickstarter." I feel the report item that fits the best is "This is not a project" since it is in my opinion at this point that no plan or goal was followed. If he was doing more than just throwing out empty claims of progress, it shouldn't take him over a month to collect his thoughts on what went wrong with providing anything to demonstrate his work.

      After selecting the reason of "This is not a project" to report to Kickstarter, there is the option write a clarification. I explained the promised Beta has not appeared for Windows, Mac or Linux. All that has been provided is an alpha quality Windows game which crashes on start-up. The updated beta version have never appeared and the written claims of updates of also come to a halt for months.

      It is my hope that if enough people report this kickstarter campaign to kickstarter that they will take notice. J.H. should not be allowed to start another campaign on kickstarter while he can't even address the most simple of obligations of just keeping the backers updated to the status.

    13. Missing avatar

      B Galliart on March 12, 2013

      I think it harsh to say the project died. In the sense that it will produce a completed polished game then it probably has died. So, if that is your criteria for success then I doubt you will have much constructive to say in the comments for the project. You might want to consider that as a kickstarter funder you have become an investor and not all investments pan out. But you haven't become Curt Schilling who dropped $50 million into 38 Studios only to have nothing to play or sell. The statement "one more pledge gone to waste" rings false for me because your kickstarted projects include such things a Faster Than Light which is a game that was not only completed but couldn't have existed by being produced through normal channels.

      People here might be able to recommend completed games that you might like if your interested in Bacillus. If you are simply going to take a defeatist attitude then you might want to stick to buying completed games. I would also recommend avoiding pre-ordering such games as EA SimCity (which has become the latest mega-failed launch of the video game industry). However, such games as SimAnt, fl0w and Spore may each share some concepts similar to what Bacillus should provide. At the same time, none of them are completely the ambitious new concept that Bacillus should be.

      So, for the sake of trying to stick with being constructive instead of defeatist, I recommend we provide a new and more achievable definition of success. What I would consider success is something that brings the concept as close to reality as possible--or at least closer. From the original kickstarter description, the updates and the blog entries, I am still confused what a play-through of the game should look like and what the rules/goals are. If there was an youtube video that went through the game even if the frames of the video where just mock-up pictures, it would help a great deal with getting the concept across. Also, over the last several months, there should have been some sort of code produced. Can we get access to any of that so others can continue the project.? If J.H. where to say that $4,300 was not nearly enough money to justify bringing a second programmer on to help him complete the game then I would believe him. But if he could give us a chance to work with the code ourselves, there might be the potential to get a community following behind this and possibly have something more to show for this kickstarter next year.

      The one thing that does discourage me is the lack of updated information. I tried to lay out in my previous post the length I went to for trying to find updates and where each trail ended. J.H. was nice enough to acknowledge my post and requested time to collect his thoughts--that is a fair request. But Uli's request for an ETA on an update two weeks later was also a fair request. It still isn't clear if or when enough thoughts will be collected to provide us an update. At this point, my expectation is that is should not take more than 1 month to have some sort of updated information. So, it is my hope that by March 23, 2013, both 1 month after the February 22nd comment and 1 year after the project was marked as funded, that some sort of update will be provided.

    14. Missing avatar

      Crossbourne on March 6, 2013

      I guess this project died too. Oh well, one more pledge gone to waste.

    15. Missing avatar

      Uli on March 5, 2013

      Good to hear from you!
      Any ETA on the update? I can imagine its probaly not easy to write, but it has been two weeks...

    16. John Halter Creator on February 22, 2013

      @Uli and B Galliart - you guys are right and I will be doing a write up explaining the situation, I just need some time to collect my thoughts.

    17. Missing avatar

      Uli on February 22, 2013

      @ B Galliart:

      I agree completly with what you wrote. I also dont expect the project to be finished by John. Honestly I am not mad at all about that, he probably vastly underestimated the amount of work and time required.
      Kickstarter is always risky, and 4.329$ is not much of a budget for a game.

      I do however expect more transparency, I dont think other people will be mad as long has he makes an honest post describing the situation (just look at the comunity reaction towards the failure of "Haunts: The Manse Macabre").

      I also strongly agree that a release of the source code under an apropiate licence (GPL or MIT) would be the best option now. (It would actually be a really cool if Kickstarter required this of "failed" software projects)

    18. Missing avatar

      B Galliart on February 21, 2013

      I doubt this will ever become a playable game. I understand Kickstarter's request to be respectful and considerate, but when a kickstarter project makes over twice it's goal, there should be some obligation to provider the backers with updates. It is my feeling that there has been a lack of respect shown for the backers at this point. I will try to explain in detail in three parts of what I felt we where promised, what the public status is and what I believe is realistic going forward.

      First, I felt this kickstarter showed a lot of promise. There was a May 18th build provided on Mediafire along with the promise of regular updates through Desura. This build crash often and was overly complex but that is to be expected an initial build. It even several times will crash just on start-up of the game which I feel fits the definition of an alpha quality build. It was my hope there would eventually be a stable build of the game which doesn't often crash and there will be provided a tutorial or at least a video which introduces the concepts playing the game.

      Here is the status as I see it to date:

      (1) Kickstarter's own "Updates" journal ends in May of 2012 claiming there will be another update regarding the Linux and Mac version. The additional update directly on Kickstarter has not appeared in over 8 months.

      (2) The blog which claims to go over several topics "every week" has not been updated since August of 2012. The last update there seems to be a mock up of a additional concept of a Cladogram which might someday appear in a future build if there are ever going to be future builds provided. There is also an earlier post that claims there is a Linux version that is "running smoothly" which would be a huge improvement over the crash-happy May 18th Windows build. But again there is no information on how to get hold of that updated build. This also clearly wasn't enough progress on the Linux build to provide an update on Kickstarter directly.

      (3) The twitter says something in September of 2012 about "going back to square 1." Then the last tweet which is in October about North Korea.

      (4) The Mediafire link still is to a file named May 18th and doesn't seem to provide an updated build.

      (5) Desura gives a status of "NOT available on Desura" which renders the Desura key completely useless

      (6) The blog states: "It is planned on being released January on PC, Mac and Linux" where January is underlined and in bold. I get that deadlines get missed and I don't blame anyone for missing a deadline when working on a multi-OS game, but to not even have an updated ETA by the deadline is kind of a low blow.

      So what to expect moving forward...

      (A) I think it is clear that John Halter is in way over his head in being able to deliver this game

      (B) Outside of the buggy crashing May 18th build, he hasn't really shown any real solid progress on the game other than snap shots which could have more easily been done in photoshop.

      (C) The promised rolling updates via Desura never happen even by the self-imposed deadline of January of 2013. From the prospective of Desura, he only has a game title and description and nothing else.

      (D) At this point, I think the best we can hope for is that he releases the source code of Bacillus to give others a chance to work on the project. Based on the public status updates I listed above, I am considering this kickstarter project as being abandoned making Bacillus itself incomplete abandon-ware.

      (E) I believe John Halter initially intended to deliver on everything he was trying to push Bacillus as being. However, at this point it seems he got discouraged or no longer has resources to work on it. Regardless of the reason, it seems like the on-going updates via Desura will never actually happen and for that reason I feel like having my name associated with this kickstarter is almost like a public shaming of having successfully been scammed--and I don't use this word lightly. Again, it is regardless of the author's initial intentions. It is my feeling that the last 8 months was enough to show something via Desura. Maybe not something bug free and stable but at least some sort of progress on one of the platforms that is supposed to be supported. I have access to machines running Windows, Linux and Mac OS X but that does me no good without access to updated builds. The Desura key gets me nothing at all! After over 8 months!! Is there even an offer on the table for a refund?? Or is the (alpha quality) May 18th build all that my pledge ends up actually deserving?

    19. Missing avatar

      Markus on January 15, 2013

      Are you still alive? Is this thing still being developed?

    20. Miles on December 31, 2012

      Any updates at all?...... It's been too long.......

    21. Randy Jimenez on November 26, 2012

      Is there any way to still get a Desura Key?

    22. Cassandra S on October 30, 2012

      Though it's been 2 months, it's good to see from that update that progress is still being made on this. I'm looking forward to the Mac version, personally.

    23. John Halter Creator on August 27, 2012

      Sorry I missed your first comment Cale. But I'm still working hard on it. The mac and linux ports were much tougher than expected and is taking much longer than I promised, and I'm sorry for that. The linux is so close to done, and I'm still chipping away at bugs in the mac version.

    24. Missing avatar

      Cale Corbett on August 25, 2012

      I suppose this is $$ I can write off.. A shame too.

    25. Missing avatar

      Cale Corbett on July 7, 2012

      Anxiously awaiting release.. I can see myself devoting large amounts of time to this game...

    26. John Halter Creator on June 21, 2012

      @Cris - working away at multiplayer and mac/linux compatibility, but hitting more snags along the way than expected. but I'm slowly creeping along.

    27. cris on June 21, 2012

      Any news, since the last update?

    28. John Halter Creator on April 11, 2012

      Antreges - THAT IS AMAZING!!!! I'm definitely going to read that whole article. I love game theory, artificial intelligence, and simulated evolution. All 3 things in that paper and also in Bacillus.

    29. DrZ on March 29, 2012

      Good to see regular updates, but don't provide these at the expense of working on the game :P
      Here's hoping the extra funding makes it all that you want it to be!

    30. John Halter Creator on March 28, 2012

      - I posted a quick update to my blog for anyone interested - I'll try to write an update on the game every couple of days so you all know how good the game is (hopefully) getting.

    31. John Halter Creator on March 27, 2012

      @Galliart - Good question - The answer you filled out on the survey does not lock you into a particular operating system. In fact if you have two operating systems and want it for both, you can have the game for both. The question is more for me so I can tell how many people want it on each system, and therefore try to debug it on each system according to the demand.

    32. Missing avatar

      B Galliart on March 27, 2012

      I got a survey requesting my operating system. My preferred operating system is Linux 64-bit intel but I also have Windows 7 64-bit. In some cases a game is listed as available for Linux but it turned out later that a key feature must be disabled to play it (such as SpaceChem). In other cases, the video card in my Linux machine becomes a problem so I need to fall back to running it on Windows (such as Oil Rush). Fortunately for me in the past, the multi-platform games I have purchased have made the binaries for all of the platforms for a single purchase so I can switch between platforms without having to repurchase.

      For the survey, the OS choices have ratio buttons instead of check boxes, so it seems I can't pick both of the operating systems I have (also, I assume "PC" means Win32 binary and does not mean the game is it's own kernel which runs directly on the BIOS or EFI). It is unclear if the survey question for ratio buttons is just for developer statistics or will lock me into receiving the game for only a single OS. Also, is what I select now then locks me into that OS for both the beta and the final product or does this only apply to the beta?


    33. Antreges on March 23, 2012

      German would be awesome. I had not dared to hope.

    34. John Halter Creator on March 23, 2012

      @Davide at the start - around 30. And there are about 70 genes in the game. The average genome size is 2,300 nucleotides, and each gene is about 50 nucleotides long. I'll post a detailed description of how the model works when the game comes out, some things are still being worked out.

      @Cris - A German translation would be awesome, I know a bit of German. I'm going to wait a bit more before translating the game though.

    35. davide cerri on March 23, 2012

      With how many genes will the bacterium have at the start of the game? I am curios to know how the evolution code is modeled in the game.

    36. cris on March 23, 2012

      Happy birthday ;-) what do you think about a translation to German? I would like to try to help!

    37. John Halter Creator on March 23, 2012

      Thank all of you!!

      Fun Fact : This Kickstarter campaign started February 29th, lasted 23 days, and ended March 23rd, my 23rd Birthday.

    38. Missing avatar

      Cade Sbrocco on March 23, 2012

      yay it was funded

    39. Joe McCormack on March 23, 2012

      I may only be a physicist, but I too have been waiting for a game like this for a long time (kickstarter seems to be a good place for that sort of thing). Well done with going so far over your goal!

    40. Darrin Grandmason on March 23, 2012

      Congrats on getting funded!

    41. Missing avatar

      Cade Sbrocco on March 22, 2012

      thankyou ( lets just say im in middle school and read a chollege text book before i go to bed)

    42. John Halter Creator on March 22, 2012

      And the winner for best comment goes to C. symbiosum.

    43. Missing avatar

      Cade Sbrocco on March 22, 2012

      im trying to get my doctorate in microbiology (even though im too young to go too college for a while), and when i came across this game i almost fainted cause it looked so awesome

    44. DrZ on March 22, 2012

      heh, now THAT I like the sound of :)

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