Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 6, 2012.

Update #28

Clarifications

This is not the post-mortem but a clarification for the last update. Its wordy, yes, but there is a lot of clarifying to do as many have already stated.

I've read every comment but they are too many to address individually. I've attempted to respond to every email and have gotten through most of them but will continue to reply. This morning, after reading the comments about reporting me to the Oregon Department of Justice, I contacted them and explained the situation in great detail. While they gave no promises their agent didn't feel that I'd committed any fraud. I am going to provide them with more information and work with them to see what I need to do to make this right in their eyes. I will also be contacting any other agencies who receive reports in order to provide them with a transparent view of the scenario from all angles. This project has been a year of frustration on every level. There are things you don't know and I can't talk about yet without first seeking legal advice, but hopefully in time everything will be made clear. I don't expect everyone to accept my apologies, there is nothing I can say that will make every single backer forgive me.

By canceling the game I returned all rights to the title, art and sculptures to their creators. This prevents me from producing any products, free or sold, related to the property. This means that I cannot distribute any type of print and play editions or related merchandise such as miniatures. Keith has commented that a print and play version is in the works but I am not a part of that. Since the last update Keith has been provided with all of your contact information so that he can update you as these become available.

The miniature statue originals were copied once for safety as they were very fragile. Those copies are still in China at the moment. They're going to be shipped back soon and returned to Paul Komoda. No pewter figures were created as they were to be done after the plastic sets were produced due to the original sculptures' fragility, as stated in previous updates.

I see Kickstarter backers, myself included, as pre-order customers and not investors in a corporation. Its against the Kickstarter ToS to sell shares of a company as a reward tier. As a project creator here I owe, per my contractual obligations with Kickstarter's ToS, the listed rewards or a full refund, nothing more or less. The estimated delivery dates are just that though, estimates. Once people have backed at that level those values are locked and unchangeable in this system, but still remain as only estimates which do not take into account any issues a project creator may run into. When I originally launched the project the terms were different then they are now but I'm sticking to the current version which promises "rewards or refunds" with no other options.

Any references to my past business and involvement with the defunct Joystick Labs is irrelevant to this topic. From a surface level it may seem similar but that was a very different situation. Every company at Joystick was provided with the same amount of funds and not a single team delivered their qualifying projects within that budget or schedule. Expectations were set too high and the daily realities of independent video game development were drastically underestimated by all parties involved. The two games that did eventually reach the market were funded separately from the main program by outside investors or publishers, and neither found commercial success. The Joystick Lab owners were experienced venture capitalists and well aware of the risks involved with investing in start-ups. While explaining that entire situation could fill a large book it is really not relevant here.

In regards to comments about backers never expecting to ever see a refund you should all know that I've already started the process and several individuals have already received refunds via the online store where I took post-campaign pre-orders. There is an issue with the PayPal API through Shopify that is preventing direct refunds in some cases but I've emailed those affected and am working it out directly with them. The reason I chose to refund the post-campaign purchases first is because they were offered a solid delivery date, unlike the estimated delivery date here, and never had the benefit of even my sparsest project updates. It is also the simplest amount to refund due to the system in use there, despite Paypal API issues. I am still working out the system by which I will refund everyone else as Kickstarter's Amazon payment system only allows direct refunds within the first 30 days.

Even if this project had folded on day one, before I'd spent a single cent of the funding, I would NOT have been able to immediately refund everyone due to the 10% fees that Kickstarter and Amazon took off the top. This is true for all Kickstarter projects. The few that have provided full refunds had to come up with those funds from other sources.

The company I started was meant to provide a framework for supporting The Doom that Came to Atlantic City with how-to-play videos, supplementary add-ons, and general customer support. The software licensed was needed to process art for press and do layout of elements such as the rulebook. The laptop used to edit the original pitch video could barely handle the high resolution files from the game's creator, so I upgraded to a desktop computer that could deal with it. The move back to Portland from California was multi-pronged, but mainly in order to work in a less expensive and more supportive community that I felt would benefit the company, and by extension its customers, in time.

Whether or not you think every cent should have gone to the printer and creators, and none to the publisher, it takes money just to get a project like this ready and build the framework that will keep it going after release. My hope was to one day use that framework to support additional games and allow the company to grow, just like any other business venture, but "The Doom" was first and central to the idea of the company. Without it The Forking Path ceases to exist. I put every effort into making this work and am more frustrated than anyone with its failure.

Lastly I'd like to talk about the legal threats I've received in the last 24 hours. I know that any trust in what I say is gone for the great majority of you and I get it. There is nothing I can say at this point to repair that, I just have to hope that I'm not digging the hole deeper with every keystroke. I've publicly promised to repay EVERY backer because that is my obligation per the Kickstarter Terms of Service. I am contractually bound to do that much and I absolutely intend to. If I were to immediately pay back as many of you as I could right this moment a sizeable percentage would go unrefunded which would only cause more problems. If I'm dragged into court then everything will vanish into legal fees and I'll never be able to refund anyone else. If a little more patience is dredged up from the depths and I'm given time to work and refill the coffers I can eventually, with some hard work and dedication, refund everyone.

I know this sucks. I'd rather work with everyone to find ways for it to not suck so much instead of dragging it out even more painfully. I appreciate everyone who's emailed or commented with kind messages. I don't want to create any more deadlines that might be broken so I won't give an exact date for the post-mortem but it is in the works. Again, I really am sorry.

- Erik

erik@theforkingpath.com

Comments

    1. 310781_10150356858831618_656891617_8546574_1546334822_n.small

      Creator Gregory Frank on September 24, 2013

      Has anyone actually gotten a refund? I know I haven't.

    2. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Ed Hurtley on July 30, 2013

      Kickstarter has said generically (not referencing any individual projects) that refunds are between the project creator and the backers.

      The KS TOS at the time of this project *DO* specify that a refund must be given, it's just phrased "backward". It says "no refund UNLESS unable or unwilling to fulfill the reward." Which even means that even if the project were a 100% success in creating what it meant to create, but an individual reward couldn't be created (the pewter figurines, for example,) then the backers of the failed individual reward could ask for a refund.

      The article does specify that it is Erik that makes the assertion.

    3. Missing_small

      Creator John on July 30, 2013

      @Keith Baker: Regarding the KOIN article, you refer to a signed agreement. What is the scope of the agreement Mr. Chevalier signed?

      From Mr. Chevalier's interpretation of the KS ToS quoted below, it is clear he believes that there is no obligation to return funds to any KS backer. KS must reply to this statement. See: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/12987694#12987694 for the ToS at the time the project was funded.

      The excerpt below can be found here: http://www.koin.com/2013/07/29/kickstarter-funds-failed-portland-board-game/

      "Forking Path project leader Erik Chevalier turned to Kickstarter to raise money for the game. The public put in more than $122,000 — well above the $35,000 requested.

      Now, months after the money was raised, Forking Path has posted on Kickstarter that “The project is over, the game is canceled.” It’s citing inexperience in launching board games.

      Now game backers want to know what happened to the $122,000.

      “I don’t know anything about the finances of the Forking Path,” Baker said. “I don’t know his plan for repaying them. I know he has signed an agreement that he will repay them.”

      Chevalier declined to speak on camera to KOIN 6 News. He is seeking legal counsel and said the “Kickstarter Terms of Service that were in place when I launched the project do not require that I repay backers if the project fails. But I have offered to do that as I am able.”

      Kickstarter officials declined comment but said, according to their policy, this is between the backers and the person who started the project."

    4. Missing_small

      Creator Jeff Kagel on July 30, 2013

      Reading through all of this, page after page... I really don't care about the money that is gone at this point, nor the game. I pledged $75 to get the figures, which I'm sure ill never see. Now I just want to see this guy put in prison. I am more than willing to give my support to that end. And Keith, as a creator, you just don't turn a blin eye to one of your babies. As diplomatic as you are, I'm not drinking the kool-aid here. There's quite a bit you aren't telling us, reading between the lines. I hope there's a good reason for that, like nailing this guy to the wall in court.

    5. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Jessica Wolf on July 29, 2013

      @longbeach: "not sure why he needed to scam anyone, he should of had a full ticket to hollywood from these"

      are you sure it's even his work, at this point? Guy seems content to do literally nothing himself...

    6. Mayor.small

      Creator longbeach on July 29, 2013

      and here's to making sure that the 'Clients' field always stays empty with Erik's future ventures

      https://sites.google.com/site/objectifier/the-team

    7. Mayor.small

      Creator longbeach on July 29, 2013

      Ignite - Objectifier

      from Erik Chevalier1 year ago / via iMovienot yet rated

      This is my presentation at Ignite Portland 8 in 2010, announcing an idea that still has yet to take off due to very little post talk interest from the community. Still, it sits in the back of my head, waiting to pounce.

    8. Mayor.small

      Creator longbeach on July 29, 2013

      Chokepoint:Tangier Solo Playtest

      from Erik Chevalier1 year ago / via iMovie / Creative Commons License:byncndnot yet rated

      For the last couple months I've been working out an idea for a card game with the theme of running a spy network in Tangier.

      Will be soliciting for playtesters in the not too distant future.

      Song is "Fresh Bitches" by Timbral, available for download from 8BitPeoples.com

    9. Mayor.small

      Creator longbeach on July 29, 2013

      One Day As A Lion - Ocean View (Unofficial)

      from Erik Chevalier1 year agonot yet rated

      Just listened to their EP for the first time last night and by this morning I wanted to make a video. Decided I'd just go ahead and do it on my own. If you work for ANTI- and want this taken down just send me a message. Same goes if you're from ANTI- and want me to make official videos for you. That would work too.

      Footage: ANTI- Records, RussiaToday, WikiLeaks
      Music: One Day As A Lion, "Ocean View" from the self-titled EP. Apparently they are at work on a LP currently.

    10. Mayor.small

      Creator longbeach on July 29, 2013

      An Uncertain World - Salton Sea v.01

      from Erik Chevalier1 year ago / via iMovie / Creative Commons License:byncsanot yet rated

      One of my long time dreams is to do a documentary where I tour the abandoned cities of the 20th century, all around the world. Since I'm typically broke I've had to stick to those nearby, like The Salton Sea, in the Southern Californian desert.

      Originally a irrigation mistake, opportunistic land developers turned this strange oasis into a thriving community until the high heat of our brutal summers combined with local farming run off created massive die-outs of the fish in the sea. The rotting stench drove out the settlers and turned the area into a sparsely populated virtual ghost town.

    11. Mayor.small

      Creator longbeach on July 29, 2013

      be sure to click the top videos too

    12. Mayor.small

      Creator longbeach on July 29, 2013

      from that googled cached page
      "
      Independent Cinematography
      “No Future” a short cyberpunk video directed by Erik Chevalier - 2013"

      even though on his 'Reel 2011' he had clips of it in here:
      http://vimeo.com/27893593

      enjoy these while they are still up... not sure why he needed to scam anyone, he should of had a full ticket to hollywood from these

    13. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Ed Hurtley on July 29, 2013

      For those that are interested, Portland-local channel 2 KATU did a story: http://www.katu.com/news/local/What-happens-when-a-Kickstarter-project-goes-south-217199911.html

      And local channel 6 KOIN tried to ambush me at work. Hey, guys, I'm not hard to get a hold of - if you'd actually contacted me first, I wouldn't have reacted badly. Could have arranged a time I was actually available. But getting a call from our front desk "there's someone from channel 6 here for you" with no notice just doesn't set well.

    14. Missing_small

      Creator Steve Powell on July 29, 2013

      I haven't added my thoughts - and there are probably a lot of other silent lurker backers like me who are just reading all of the comments, unsure what to do.

      I'm an overseas backer (based in the UK) - and I gave $100. I would like this refunded in a timely manner. I certainly feel scammed by Mr Chevalier, as it now seems clear that he is very lacking in any ability to deliver this project to completion. Had I been able to see his resume and skills, I would not have invested in this project at all.

      Perhaps other - so far - silent backers might like to step forward and help Mr Chevalier to realise that he isn't the talented vigilante lynchpin that he woefully promotes himself as.

    15. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Keith Baker on July 29, 2013

      @trevor - This is a question that's come up a lot over the last week, and I just addressed it on my website (keith-baker.com). The short answer: print on demand something we've been thinking about since early last week. We're keeping our focus on the PnP right now; once that's up, we'll be looking more closely at PoD and other options.

    16. Missing_small

      Creator Professor Z on July 28, 2013

      Excerpted from The Oregon Revised Statutes for purposes of clarification:

      164.057 Aggravated theft in the first degree
      (1) A person commits the crime of aggravated theft in the first degree, if:
      (b) The value of the property in a single or aggregate transaction is $10,000 or more.
      (2) Aggravated theft in the first degree is a Class B felony.

      164.085 Theft by deception
      (1) A person, who obtains property of another thereby, commits theft by deception when, with intent to defraud, the person:
      (a) Creates or confirms anothers false impression of law, value, intention or other state of mind that the actor does not believe to be true;
      (b) Fails to correct a false impression that the person previously created or confirmed;
      (c) Prevents another from acquiring information pertinent to the disposition of the property involved;
      (e) Promises performance that the person does not intend to perform or knows will not be performed.

      The key point here is the definition of “Aggravated theft in the first degree”. Any individual backer may have only lost a fairly insignificant amount of money in the eyes of the law. However, the law stipulates that it is the “aggregate” total of the transaction that is relevant and, according to Oregon State Law, Mr. Chevalier could, potentially, be charged with a Class B felony if the State’s Attorney felt “Theft by deception” had been committed according to the definition cited above.

    17. Eye.small

      Creator Steven Zeck on July 28, 2013

      Haven't seen it mentioned, but the BGG folks found a slightly different resume for Erik. He claims to be a Producer, Writer and Director for a film company called Intrinsic Gray. See resume:

      http://bit.ly/17HyKZO [Link to Google Cache, will probably expire soon]

      In his summary of what he claims he intended for Forking Path, he states that he felt the need to create a company that could support the game. "Including creating How-To Videos". Do you know a lot of games with how-to videos? That bit could be considered to be the excuse he used to justify supporting his "other" company, where he gets to be a cool hipster indie film producer. In a video from April, he refers to the "New Filming Rig" he's just bought.

      He also created a new film company.. in April. "Suicide Pact LLC".

      http://www.bizapedia.com/or/THE-SUICIDE-PACT-LLC.html

      The video he produced has the title "We All Take", which probably tested better with focus groups than "I take from a lot of suckers".

      I've tried really hard to give this guy the benefit of the doubt. KS projects fail all the time due to honest effort and overambition, and there's always people out for blood no matter how hard the project creator tried. However, all the available evidence is saying;

      - this guy did almost NOTHING on the project

      - after he got a huge windfall, it looks like he used it to live his dream life instead

      - the funds are likely all gone, though perhaps the film equipment he bought with stolen money can be resold to reimburse people somewhat if the police can stop him from hiding it

      - Erik lacks the ability to successfully manage a project, and likely cannot even be a good enough employee for someone to make a good salary in the future

      - Refunds are unlikely

      - Erik has committed fraud (dishonestly saying a project is on track when it is not, in order to avoid having to give refunds is Fraud by False Representation).

      - Justice demands that Erik give an accounting of himself to a judge and jury. The people who paid over $500 should file a complaint and ask the DA politely to open an investigation. With amounts over $500, they may be able to create a Felony Fraud case. That might be simpler for the DA than trying to figure out how to prosecute 1200 minor cases (I don't think there's a "Crowdfunding Fraud" crime yet).

    18. C5047b90deeb5662353fe62d81f33133_large.small

      Creator Kevin Blacksheep Thompson on July 28, 2013

      Reminder: for those of you that want to file a fraud complaint against Erik (for Domestic backers), go to https://justice.oregon.gov/forms/consumer_complaint.asp and click the "file a complaint online" button (orange bar on right side of screen). Additionally you can call them directly, if you need. The toll-free number to their Consumer Fraud Hotline is 877-877-9392. Based on how many of us report this issue will determine the extent of how they respond. Also, thanks to @Christopher Bates for providing the necessary company/contact information you will need to complete the complaint form - http://bit.ly/13etGYm
      Please share this information with other backers who may wish to formally file a complaint. (The online form only takes a few minutes).

    19. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Trevor Stamper on July 28, 2013

      Keith and Lee,

      Would it ge possible to deposit the print and play version of Doom with acompany like The Game Crafter so we could buy a professional game package ourselves?

      https://www.thegamecrafter.com/publish/pricing

      It looks like this could lead to a resonable board set for the backers...

      OR, failing that, could you provide us with files we could use to print a single copy of the game with this company?

    20. Mayor.small

      Creator longbeach on July 28, 2013

      The portraits seem like they should of been made but I thnk you guys got mad at Erik pretty early.. I backed the Haunts failed project but all the other things besides the game were done pretty early (tshirts, portraits) and sent out.
      It seems like those things should of went out early too. It must of been a blow up. I really should of paid more attention, but my work has been a time killer the past year

    21. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Keith Baker on July 27, 2013

      I think the theory was that all the rewards would be fulfilled at once when the game was done, Longbeach. Needless to say, I'm still happy to have that game night with the backer, and I'm sure Lee is as well; it's the least we can do.

    22. Mayor.small

      Creator longbeach on July 27, 2013

      One thing that doesn't add up are the high end tiers. Dinner & gaming night, portrait cards.. this is beyond money for the creators royalites so why wasn't this money send to Lee & Keith right after the funding? Or there was not going to be any extra money sent from the funding for these thngs? The portraits surely would of been done in a year right? When was the dinner and gaming night going to be set?

    23. Dscn9800.small

      Creator Felipe Rivero de Aguilar González on July 27, 2013

      After read, write and think about it, I filed the complain at IC3 (https://complaint.ic3.gov/default.aspx). My 175$ are lost, I really don't mind, but more than 120,000$ lost... this couldn't be, and it's a clear theft.

      I'm from Spain, so go ahead international backers.

    24. Mayor.small

      Creator longbeach on July 27, 2013

      thanks spacetoast. I sent an email to the folks that run Ignite about his misdeeds.
      I expect he will change his name soon if not already

    25. Zombie_icon.small

      Creator spacetoast on July 27, 2013

      This may be what "Presented technology proposal to standing room only audience at Ignite Portland 8, in 2010. " refers to.

      http://igniteshow.com/videos/fabber-every-household

    26. Zombie_icon.small

      Creator spacetoast on July 27, 2013

      Here is the resume I found online. It appears he left a job in retail wit Barnes and Noble to come to Portland.

      http://www.indeed.com/me/etchevalier

      Erik Chevalier
      Operations Manager, Publisher, Storyteller

      Portland, OR

      Over the last fifteen years I've created websites and interactive projects for international clients, worked in a variety of positions on short and feature films, and developed video games both at major and independent companies. The ideal position for me at this point would be a technical and artistic challenge with an experienced team of professionals.
      Work Experience

      Publisher
      The Forking Path
      -
      Portland, OR

      May 2012 to Present

      Niche board game publishing house that I launched with a successful Kickstarter project which raised 350% its initial goal. Over 1000 backers funded this project.

      Bookseller
      Barnes & Noble
      -
      Palm Desert, CA

      August 2011 to August 2012

      Founder & Lead Designer
      Inari, Inc
      -
      Portland, OR

      March 2010 to May 2011

      Project Manager & Designer - Durham, North Carolina & Portland, Oregon
      Accepted into the inaugural session of the game company incubator Joystick Labs. Prototyped various concepts and continue to develop new properties.

      Literary Curator
      Burst Fiction
      -
      Portland, OR

      March 2008 to November 2009

      Created an online literature magazine readable on computers & mobile devices.
      Featured on Businessweek's Blogspotting column as a groundbreaking site.

      Director Of Photography
      Tinstar Media
      -
      Portland, OR

      2008 to November 2009

      Develop a distinctive look while working with director and actors on a feature film.

      Site Designer
      Kevin Lennox
      -
      Portland, OR

      March 2009 to July 2009

      Redesigned logo & site in addition to designing a matching WordPress theme.

      Project Manager & Designer
      MyWorldOfSports
      -
      Ventura, CA

      June 2007 to August 2007

      Brought their site's core features into an interactive Second Life location.
      Built an advertising solution that tracked visitors' line of sight to dynamically provided content.

      Project Manager & Designer
      Capricci Films
      -
      Ventura, CA

      May 2007 to May 2007

      Designed and built a Second Life venue for showing documentaries and hosting live interviews.
      "Erik takes time to listen to the wishes of his clients and he knows how to suggest the best solutions.
      He's very professional and honest." - Camilla Gaiaschi, Client

      CSQA Tester
      Activision
      -
      Santa Monica, CA

      July 2006 to December 2006

      Tested several Triple A game titles for one of the top two global video game publishers.

      Varied Production Assistant
      Guerrilla Productions
      -
      Portland, OR

      March 2003 to February 2006

      There's no describing the horrific logistical nightmares that can happen on set, in the blink of an eye, and when Erik's there, I know whatever does come up will get solved."
      - Edward Martin, Director.

      Production Assistant
      Guerrilla Productions
      -
      Portland, OR

      March 2003 to May 2003

      Prepped locations for shoots, assisted in stunt safety procedures, managed extras.
      Education
      Portland Community College

      2009
      Art Institute of Los Angeles -
      Los Angeles, CA

      2006
      Links

      http://www.behance.net/etchevalier/frame

      http://www.etchevalier.com
      Additional Information

      QUALIFICATIONS
      ● Experience working with diverse teams, both remote and on-site for international clients.
      ● Presented technology proposal to standing room only audience at Ignite Portland 8, in 2010.
      ● Open source fanatic with a deep knowledge of licenses and available alternative technologies.

    27. Zombie_icon.small

      Creator spacetoast on July 27, 2013

      What I would like to see is an accounting of where the funds went. A business license is $100 in Oregon. He apparently intermingled all these funds with his own. The artists got nothing. Comments are Keith Bakers blog at http://keith-baker.com/the-doom-kickstarter-my-response/#comments seem to indicate that the big legal kerfluffle was really more like a minor inconvienince, So where did it all go? Part of it probably went here: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3524-SE-Madison-St-Portland-OR-97214/53964139_zpid/. Evidently the address listed on his business license rents for $2395/mo.

    28. Doom.small

      Creator M.E.Wohlfahrt on July 27, 2013

      So, "licensee" and "movie director" online references are disappearing?
      He should have started by "updating" his 'ExpertFile' profile:
      http://www.expertfile.com/experts/erik.chevalier
      quote - "Sample Talks (1) - Successful Crowdfunding
      A fun and enlightening conversation about the trials and errors that resulted in a successful Kickstarter crowd funding campaign that made 350% of its goals and has since been featured on Wired.com & Forbes.com. From the man behind the curtain, Erik Chevalier explains his team's strategy, mistakes, joys and ultimate outcome of this month long fundraising marathon." - end quote.
      Can we maybe book you for a speaking engagement, Mr Chevalier? We would like to hear about that "ultimate outcome"...

    29. Sketch.lc.headshot.small

      Creator Lawrence "Saker" Collins on July 27, 2013

      @Rick

      If what you say about the deletion of online evidence, then it's time to contact law enforcement. That's the behavior of a fraudster.

    30. Missing_small

      Creator Professor Z on July 26, 2013

      The "Doom is Doomed" thread on BGG is particularly interesting. It runs down a list of things interesting bits about Mr. Chevalier that can be found with a relatively simple Google search. Or *could* be found, at any rate as, mysteriously, over the last few days they all have started being removed.

      Some of the highlights include a photo gallery provided by the listing agent for the address where his businesses are registered (a very nice historic home that rents for about $2,500 a month), lists games he has claimed to have bought licensees for, clips of various film projects he has been working on over the last few months, and a samples of his 'art' photos (my personal favorite being a gallery featuring an attractive young woman posing topless in an atmospheric graveyard). If you have even rudimentary internet searching skills you can turn up all sorts of other fascinating things he has been up to other than producing "The Doom...". And considering that he acknowledges having quit his job some time ago, I don't think it is too much of a stretch to conclude that at least some Kickstarter funds were misappropriated to subsidize these activities.

      Personally, the bio Mr. Chevalier has posted about himself in a half-dozen places or so pretty much sums him up for me: "Birthed in 1981, Erik has become a lynchpin to all Earthbound societies, whether they wish to admit it or not. Incredibly humble and obscenely talented, this dark horse rides on, trekking deep into feral territories too treacherous for lesser men."

      In the absence of any exculpatory evidence from Mr. Chevalier, the only reasonable conclusion is that he scammed everyone. He scammed Keith, Lee and Paul with his sham production company. He scammed Kickstarter by actively violating the ToS. And he scammed the backers out of over $120 thousand dollars. By his own admission, he has done it before with Inari and there is no reason to believe that he won't do it again unless he is stopped.

      To my mind, this is a matter best referred to the proper authorities for criminal prosecution. I would encourage anyone who agrees with this to pressure Kickstarter to revise it's ToS and become more active in seeking criminal charges in cases where there is reasonable evidence that the failure of a funded Kickstarter project is a result of malfeasance and that the Kickstarter ToS have been violated.

    31. Missing_small

      Creator John on July 26, 2013

      Another discussion thread here with some interesting insights...

      http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1010868/doom-is-doomed/page/1

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      Creator Rick on July 26, 2013

      @longbeach: I think we both agree, the issue at fact is not that Eric tried to start a company. And I think that was Brad's point. The heart of the matter is the decisions surrounding the use of the money that was given in trust for production of Keith Baker and Lee Moyer's game.

      Some expenditures related to formation of a company could be completely reasonable. Others could be problematic. For example, if indeed money from Doom was diverted to acquire licenses for Reiner Knizia's “Arte Moderna” and “Magistrat” then that is a problem. Unfortunately, none of that has been disclosed, even though I think it should have been by now.

      As for Kickstarters based on licensing someone else's stuff, I think that's par for the course. Pandasaurus has run a number of successful Kickstarters by acquiring licenses to popular but out-of-print games such as Tammany Hall, Great Fire of London, and Lost Valley. Tammany Hall was late, but the quality was outstanding.

      I think there are a number of other titles out there that would be immensely popular if someone tracked down and had a license agreement in place for a Kickstarter. The first one that comes to mind is Tresham's Civilization, but I have a feeling acquiring the necessary licenses would be nearly impossible.

    33. Mayor.small

      Creator longbeach on July 26, 2013

      @Rick - It is not just the act of registering a company entity that is the issue, it is the idea that Erik quit his job to be a CEO of said company and boast in the Oct 12 update of the 'other projects in the works that he just knows we all will love' kind of company BS that had no place in this kickstarter.
      The concept is that the KS funds are placed in good faith into an escrow like situation towards the project.. of course it can't be full escrow, but the money is suppose to just go towards producing the product. If creating a company entity, etc and fees helps that, then fine, but no way him living on a salary and probably hoping to ponzi in some post KS sales of Doom and other games into a lavish lifestyle full of excess cash that will easily leave room to print a few games out since, you know, he is like racking in cash as top dawg of his new company until he's not
      If I knew that you can make a kickstarter by just licensing someone else stuff and just project manager some stuff to printers I would be doing 10 a month.. I have a lot of room in my garage and home and do all this stuff on my spare time...

      sheeez

    34. Missing_small

      Creator Sleet on July 26, 2013

      Rick is completely right, there's not much to do besides speculate on what happened.
      I'm a little disappointed, though, that the speculations leapt to accusations so quickly. Maybe Erik did have the time of his life this past year on our dime, but maybe he's been largely living off of his own savings. Maybe the vast majority of the money is gone, or maybe he still has most of it but just can't find a way to complete the project with it.
      Maybe we would have already gotten that post mortem if the threats of lawsuits and the like hadn't driven Erik to screen his every public response through legal advice.

    35. Pooka_logo_black_512.small

      Creator Rick on July 26, 2013

      I agree with Brad. The act of forming a company isn't a problem. That's a very generic statement. A company could be as simple as a DBA, or could be a LLC, LLP, or corporation. Depending on the locality, setting up a DBA may cost nothing or well under $25.

      None of us (that I'm aware of) have an accounting of what expenditures (if any) went into it. But, at this point I think that is the crux of the problem, the lack of information. I think the backers, at a minimum, are owed a proper accounting of the expenditures.

      I also think the accounting should have been provided with the "Terminus" update, but it wasn't. I think it's natural for most people to speculate in the absence of information, and the longer the situation goes without information the speculation will only grow.

    36. Mayor.small

      Creator longbeach on July 26, 2013

      Yep we should crowd fund a legal warchest called 'The Doom coming to Erik'
      I think I will start a company first though and mishandle all funds

    37. 7098397965_895fbc9f8f_b.small

      Creator Laurence on July 26, 2013

      @Brad

      You're right that it doesn't help to imagine conspiracies or make unfounded accusations however what we can be sure of is that lies were told, weird company structures happened, money disappeared, contracts were broken and answers are not forthcoming.

      With the above circumstances in mind and absent of a full account of what happened I can't think of any fairer or more sensible solution than requesting that an independent third party with investigatory powers that outstrip our own look into the matter on our behalf.

    38. Sketch.lc.headshot.small

      Creator Lawrence "Saker" Collins on July 26, 2013

      @Brad

      Are you willing to make accusations absent a game and $122,874.00?

    39. Greybear%20.small

      Creator Brad Davis on July 26, 2013

      @ Kevin - I don't know the answers to your questions. Given the situation I can't fault you for being suspicious, but I'm not willing to make accusations absent facts. We all need to know what the heck happened, but it really doesn't help to imagine conspiracies when we don't have any evidence to base them upon. I assure you however, that I share your concerns and you are raising very valid concerns.

      @longbeach - You make a good point, and I don't disagree with it. However looking back over all of the material put out into the public by Forking Path following the launch, there is evidence that Erik's intent was to create a commercial product, not just 1248 games for the backers. Whether that was proper or prudent is not for me to decide, at least not until I know the details. Again however, assuming Erik's intent is what he says it was, I don't see a problem with his forming a company to achieve it. Maybe he did a really poor job of it, however the act itself doesn't seem to me to be fraud at this point.

      Do not mistake me here. I am NOT defending anyone involved. I still believe that ALL the prinicipals need to make their involvement clear, and a complete timeline of events and actions needs to be forthcoming.

    40. C5047b90deeb5662353fe62d81f33133_large.small

      Creator Kevin Blacksheep Thompson on July 26, 2013

      Again, for those of you that want to file a fraud complaint (US Domestic), go to https://justice.oregon.gov/forms/consumer_complaint.asp and click the "file a complaint online" button (orange bar on right side of screen). Additionally you can call them directly, if you need. The toll-free number to their Consumer Fraud Hotline is 877-877-9392. Based on how many of us report this issue will determine the extent of how they respond. Also, thanks to @Christopher Bates for providing the necessary company/contact information you will need to complete the complaint form - http://bit.ly/13etGYm
      Please share this information with other backers who may wish to formally file a complaint. (The online form only takes a few minutes).

    41. Missing_small

      Creator John on July 26, 2013

      Again, For both INTERNATIONAL and US bakers, it may be useful to file a complaint here:

      The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).

      https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

    42. Mayor.small

      Creator longbeach on July 26, 2013

      Brad you lost me on that one... This is Kickstarter not business 101. KS exists to barebones the process as much as possible. This is only 1200 units. Any other sales past that after KS is his own problem and not to be factored in as a whole concern. Product is primary...growing a business is secondary.

      None of our money was pledged for life expenses... Anything left over after all obligations are met is his to do as he pleases... Not the other way around

    43. C5047b90deeb5662353fe62d81f33133_large.small

      Creator Kevin Blacksheep Thompson on July 26, 2013

      @Brad - I'm curious why Erik, who already had a company call The Forking Path, applied for a new business license (in April 2013) for ANOTHER company called Suicide Pact LLC? What was the purpose of this second company? What money did Erik use to seed that new company (perhaps this KS pledge money?)? Not only did Erik has one "corporate structure", he now has TWO, and still managed to fail at delivering this product.

    44. Greybear%20.small

      Creator Brad Davis on July 26, 2013

      @Atarun - While you are correct that KS projects have certainly been completed without company formation, my point was that it's not realistic to think that an individual can be successful at creating a *commercial* product without the backing of a corporate structure. There's certainly a valid argument about whether Erik was forthright about his intentions, but I can't fault him for creating a company to make the game if he did indeed intend it to be a commercial entity rather than a short run, backer only, product. The fact that he had a web store taking orders for months, and had no backlash from the backers seems to reinforce this particular argument.

      It pains me that you think I am patronizing anyone, that is certainly not my intention. I, like all the other backers posting here, am just trying to understand how this project came to such an inglorious end. Perhaps you are reading something into my posts that isn't there? Nowhere have I implied or stated that my donation is more important than anyone else's, nor that it should make me 'the boss' of anyone. I am not misrepresenting anyone's opinion, I'm merely making an argument that some of those opinions may be in error. That is my opinion, and you may assign to it whatever value you like.

      Also, don't call me sir, I work for a living... =D

    45. Missing_small

      Creator Jason Uresti on July 26, 2013

      Another kickstarter I backed ended raising funds around the same amount as this. They managed to print t-shirts, fund a small computer game, print post cards, posters, and art print, build a new website, and rent out a small office to record their podcast. None had any real experience in doing any of the above. With the same amount of money, Erik apparently did nothing but move across the country, buy a home, car, and live for free for a year. For shame. I expect a refund very soon, or a detailed account of how you managed to reach the level of incompetence necessary to piss 100K+ dollars and have nothing to show for it.

    46. The_dragon3.small

      Creator Jussi Myllyluoma on July 26, 2013

      The Kickstarter TOS are clear:
      - We allow creative projects.
      - Everything on Kickstarter must be a project.
      - A project has a clear end goal.
      - A project will eventually be completed.
      - Something will be produced by it.
      - Kickstarter does NOT allow charity, cause, or "fund my life" projects.
      - Kickstarter can NOT be used to fund e-commerce, business, and social networking websites or apps.
      .
      A bit of a conundrum there: should that last point be interpreted as "Kickstarter can NOT be used to fund websites or apps for e-commerce, business, or social networking", or as "Kickstarter can NOT be used to fund e-commerce ventures, businesses, and social networking websites or apps"? I don't know ... but on the other hand, I'm not sure it really matters, since to me, all the other points don't really leave all that much leeway.
      .
      To me it is clear from the above points, the last one notwithstanding, that a Kickstarter cannot be ~about~ starting a company.
      Erik Chevalier's explanation implies that the primary purpose of the Kickstarter campaign was all along to launch the company -- Doom was merely going to be the first product to come out of that company. The way I see it, this would have been a very hard sell to Kickstarter's staff, and to us backers, had it been presented that way when the project was launched.
      .
      Going about it the other way around is of course commonplace: establishing some kind of a corporate structure in order to get your product produced and distributed, and if you're lucky, marketed, sold and followed up by new products.
      But then, starting the company as part of a Kickstarter project is merely a means to an end, the end still being to get your product "out there". By the TOS, it can't be the end itself.
      .
      Case in point: many projects here launch "Pledge Manager" websites, presumably funded with money raised in the Kickstarter, to administrate backers' pledge options and add-ons, but also PayPal backers, post-Kickstarter stragglers, pre-orders ... to all practical intents and purposes, e-commerce websites. But again: launching the website is not the goal of the project; it's only a means towards the end of getting the product that the project actually was about out.
      Creating a Kickstarter project IN ORDER TO launch that website is not allowed -- again, different thing: means to an end, or the end itself.
      .
      In the end: money raised in a Kickstarter will go towards many things that do not directly have to do with physically manufacturing or distributing the rewards. Launching a company may or may not be one such thing.
      But when it turns out that (a) launching the company, not manufacturing and distributing the advertised product, was actually the primary goal of the campaign and nobody was told, and/or (b) launching the company, and all that this entailed, swallowed so much of the Kickstarted funds that there was not enough left to manufacture and distribute the rewards ... then something is amiss.
      And when this happens with a project that has raised over $120k towards a required goal of $35k ... then I, for one, get very curious to know what has been going on in certain quarters.

    47. Avatar200200.small

      Creator Atarun on July 26, 2013

      @Keith Baker: I thank you for facing the crowd and being so honest and patient with us. If the product sounds cool, I would back your KS project (if you ever make one) in a heartbeat. :)

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    The game, Paul Komoda's figurines in pewter, and a pack of signed Lovecraftian art prints by Lee Moyer. A "Thanks To..." credit in the printed rulebook. (For international shipping add $35.)

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    13 backers

    BY BACKER REQUEST: A copy of the game, with Paul Komoda figures in pewter and t-shirt with your choice of Old One concept art in Inkodye. No two shirts will be exactly the same. One Beauty & The Tentacle shirt. THIS TIER AND HIGHER ALSO GET: The sticker pack from our 3rd stretch goal plus a signed and numbered limited edition print of The Call of Cthulhu called 'Cthulhu Rising'. (For international shipping add $25.)

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    A copy of the game with pewter figurines by Paul Komoda. A piece of original game card art from Lee Moyer, signed and mounted on thick card stock. A "Thanks To..." credit in the printed rulebook. (For international shipping add $35.)

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    For brick-and-mortar retail stores only! You get 6 games with pewter sets. Each game will come with a personalized card overlay for one street of your choice on the board. This street card can be personalized with the name of your store or the street your store is located on, with an logo or image of your store, to be used in place of one of the street names on the board. Plus 6 Beauty & The Tentacle shirts and 1 large Inkodye canvas for you to hang in your store. We will be verifying the existence of an actual store. If we can not verify this you will only get 4 copies of the game with pewter pieces, at full retail price.

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    You'll get a copy of the game with the pewter Old One pieces, signed Lovecraftian art prints by Lee Moyer, a Beauty and the Tentacle t-shirt and your choice of Old One concept art printed in Inkodye on a hangable canvas. A "Special Thanks To..." credit in the printed rulebook. (International shipping included in this and higher tiers.)

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    3 backers Limited (17 left of 20)

    Custom art for a Great Old One role card from game artist Lee Moyer and YOU. This card can be based on your likeness or on any real or fictional character of your choice. Lee says: "I'll create the portait you want and match it with any existing Old One Power!" Plus the game, the figures in pewter, the Beauty & The Tentacle shirt and "A Special Thanks to..." credit in the rulebook.

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    Game designers Keith Baker and Lee Moyer will host an afternoon of gaming for you and your BFF and then will take you both to dinner at a fancy restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Lee will design a custom, playable Great Old One role card for you both. You will get the game with pewter figures, an additional game for your friend with pewter figures, t-shirts for you both and "A VERY Special Thanks to..." credit in the rulebook. (Travel and other room and board not provided.)

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