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A light hearted Lovecraftian game of urban destruction, for two to four players. By Lee Moyer, Keith Baker and Paul Komoda.
A light hearted Lovecraftian game of urban destruction, for two to four players. By Lee Moyer, Keith Baker and Paul Komoda.
1,246 backers pledged $122,874 to help bring this project to life.

Refund Update

As of this evening I've begun refunding backers along the terms I initially outlined in the Terminus update. I've refunded the top backer, James Bauer, his full $2500 and contacted everyone in the next tier down to confirm payment methods.  

Much that is being reported here, and elsewhere, is either not relevant or completely false. Inari was dissolved entirely well before this collaboration was even started and Joystick Labs never received any of the funds raised here. I have not spoken with anyone directly involved with Joystick Labs since early 2011 and the incubator quietly closed its doors in October of 2012.  

Before this project I was working a full time job and invested my own money into launching this campaign. With my own funds and some loaned by family, but later paid back out of my own pocket, I flew to Portland to shoot the campaign video with Lee. Several close personal friends and family members who knew about my earlier ventures in great detail, and even those who'd been at Joystick Labs with me, backed this project. They too will receive their refunds in time, just like everyone else, without any preferential treatment.

Every step I've taken in the last year was in service to this game. Projects of this scope are sometimes far more complex than they seem to anyone on the outside. They take more than anyone could have guessed, the creators included.

I'll post again when I've issued refunds to the next tier.

- Erik Chevalier

John Rap likes this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Hickory on February 27

      As I commented elsewhere, "Finally got around to opening this game. It has sat on my shelf since showing up on my doorstep. At least the plastic figures are nice. Going to harvest the game for parts that can be used elsewhere and putting the rest on the street for the vultures. Did anyone get pewter figures?"

    2. Evil Jim on May 16, 2017

      Five years ago this month, this infamous Kickstarter began. You STILL owe me $250, Erik. And $122,000 to the other backers. This will not be forgotten.

    3. Ed Hurtley on November 19, 2016

      Here is the actual judgment that was reached:

      Long story short: He owes the US Federal Trade Commission about $111,000; and the FTC would distribute this money to the backers.

      But he is broke, so the judge basically said "as long as you're broke, you don't have to pay." However he must report in every year for 18 years, and the FTC can garnish his wages.

      I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for a refund...

    4. Evil Jim on May 23, 2016

      The BBC article is nearly a year old but since updates in the comments end two years ago, I thought it would be good to link for any who follow this fiasco's history here.

    5. lehmann on May 8, 2014

      Any backers from Washington state want to file a complaint? That state leads the way against KS scammers

    6. lehmann on April 15, 2014

      Best article I've read on this debacle, on how Cryptozoic saved the day. And in which Erik Chevalier is revealed for what he is, a crook and a scammer:

    7. Missing avatar

      Steve Powell on April 14, 2014

      I too have received my copy of the game, played it, love it. It's incredibly cool that Cryptozoic have stepped in and rescued the project and been so generous to the backers.

      But let's be clear - this has nothing to do with Kickstarter. This is not how Kickstarter should work, and it is not the fruit of the project creator's work.

      We will almost certainly never hear from Erik again. Actually I just feel a sort of pity for him now. Charitably I doubt he set out to take the money and run, but pragmatically that's what he did, and his actions after the fact have been the real source of offence. The blustering posturing and the silence - if he hadn't wanted to make himself the villain, he should have behaved better than he has done.

      But really it's Kickstarter, for me, who are the real villains here. They are not the lovely, fluffy world-changing platform they once appeared to be. The model here is "skim off the takings, expose ourselves to none of the risk, back off when things go wrong".

      After this project collapse, I certainly won't be backing another project, unless serious changes are made to the risk balancing and refund structure of their platform.

    8. Missing avatar

      Bill Richman on April 13, 2014

      I, for one, recently received my copy of the game, and while we have yet to play it, it looks great. The artwork is good, the miniatures are good. Not sure what the status of the pewter figures is; my game came with plastic ones, but that's cool. It's Kickstarter, folks. If you want immediate, certain gratification, go buy some other game off the shelf.

    9. Phillip M.
      on March 21, 2014

      Very sad. I have written off the money because he will never ever be able to get my money back.

      Charitably - He is too scared to tell the absolute truth of the situation and too embarrassed to deal with all the people harmed.


    10. Stuart Holttum
      on February 5, 2014

      "I'll post again when I've issued refunds to the next tier.
      - Erik Chevalier"
      Liar. You have no intention of refunding anyone. You will never post again because you are a liar and a thief. An honest man would continue to engage with the community and post updates - and give a post-mortem to the 1,200 people who believed in you as to where exactly all their money went.
      You have no honour, no integrity.

    11. Mark Bisignano on January 18, 2014

      Cryptozoic just sent out emails to backers an hour ago. They have the game proofs in hand and are giving them a final check.

      From the email, "It's Alive!
      Dear Kickstarter Backer,
      Great news! This week we received our "packout check" samples. This means the factory has printed the first few copies of the game and we get one last chance to look everything over and make sure it's perfect. It's essential just a physical proof. "

      Cryptozoic is awesome for doing this!!

    12. Missing avatar

      Chance Stad on January 8, 2014

      Still waiting for my refund of $235. I'm now broke, on disability, and could really use the money.

    13. James Bauer on January 8, 2014

      I still find it hard that no one else has gotten their money back, personally I think people should band together and get a lawyer and sue him till he pays back everyone for the game. And after you guys win make him pay for the fees that got incurred for having to hire the lawyer.
      I hate to say it but that is probably the only reason he made sure to pay me back right away. Since I would be one of the only ones willing to go after him for the amount he would have stolen from me.

    14. Stuart Holttum
      on December 31, 2013

      Eric Chevaliers is a thief. Pure and simple.

    15. Stuart Holttum
      on December 17, 2013

      You know what? I'm going to go on record and say that Eric Chevaliers took our money, spent it on himself, and has no intention of refunding anyone else.

      Don't like that Eric? Take me to court. I'd be delighted to present my evidence - and hear YOUR evidence that proves my words to be false.

      With no word for months - and the ability to work on your Vimeo channel - I can only conclude that Eric Chevaliers is a crook.

    16. John Bua
      on December 14, 2013

      Still waiting for my 100 bucks back.

    17. ozymandias (ZionEyez,CGC Scam victim)
      on November 19, 2013

      I'm not surprised he disabled comments on his vimeo stuff....

    18. Missing avatar

      Steve Powell on November 19, 2013

      Four months later, still no breakdown of costs. I'm not surprised given Mr Chevalier's attitude towards the project since he terminated his involvement and kept the money.

      It seems he is starting to dip his toe back online however - a lovely new showreel has been produced for his Vimeo channel. Erik - how is it that you have time to make a showreel, but no time to show some respect to the people who believed in you?

    19. ozymandias (ZionEyez,CGC Scam victim)
      on November 18, 2013

      Erik Chevalier -- where is the money you promised to refund? Or the detailed break down on how you spent the money we gave you when we pre-ordered?

    20. lehmann on November 8, 2013

      Does anyone actually believe that the lack of info or refunds is due to the fact that despite gallant Erik Chevaliers's pleas, three selfish backers refuse to send him details for a refund? I mean: how dumb does this thieving incompetent bastard think we actually are?

    21. Abigail Morton on October 31, 2013

      I have yet to be refunded as well and I gave you $75 dollars which may not be a LOT OF MONEY but it is the same as my electric bill. I did two extra graphic jobs cheap to make it work I was so excited for this. I still feel totally ripped off. As for those who are ignoring Eric? OK so they are being ignored, MOVE ON and start refunding the rest of us? Honestly over 600 of us gave $75 bucks. I would think if someone doesn't want their $1000 back then MOVE ON, they can wait OBVIOUSLY. I can wait, since I am being forced too, but this is unreal. How does Kickstarter feel about this anyway?

    22. Phillip M.
      on October 23, 2013

      Still waiting for me as well.

    23. Stuart Holttum
      on October 23, 2013

      I find it quite amazing that it has taken almost three months to contact 3 backers and refund their money. I wish I had $1000 that I could basically ignore for a quarter of the year.

      If any of those three are reading this, can you let us know why you are ignoring Eric's desperate pleas to refund your money? You are holding things up for the rest of us by your failure to just confirm to him how you want your refund.

      I calls it very selfish. Don't you guys realise how much stress you are causing poor Eric by not answering his emails?

    24. Skeeter Green on October 17, 2013

      Sooo, 2 1/2 months and no additional news?

      No more refunds? No Job for Erik? No game? No end in sight?

    25. ozymandias (ZionEyez,CGC Scam victim)
      on September 30, 2013

      He also promised a post mortem -- and used the excuse 'Projects of this scope are sometimes far more complex than they seem to anyone on the outside' - but he seems to not want to put any effort into sharing details about that....

    26. Stuart Holttum
      on September 27, 2013

      "I'll post again when I've issued refunds to the next tier." said Eric, on 31st July.

      Who would have thought that giving 3 refunds would take nearly two months! I can only assume that the three people involved are delaying giving Eric the details of how they want their $1000 refunded. I can see that - I wouldn't be hurrying if someone was asking ME how I wanted them to repay the thousand bucks they owed me.....

    27. Stuart Holttum
      on September 1, 2013

      One month further on, and Eric hasn't refunded anyone else. Seems his promises to give refunds were as solid as everything else he ever said.....

    28. lehmann on August 25, 2013

      One backer refunded ( hopefully..............) 1245 of us still to go. If we were a zombie horde, I wouldn't bet a dollar on Erik Chevalier's survival

    29. BORISS LARIUSHIN on August 23, 2013

      I need refund as soon as possible or I shall contact my bank to issue chargeback investigation...

    30. longbeach on August 14, 2013

      So did everyone wake up to this crook yet? Seems there was a lot of people still defending this fraudster... the guy got 4 times the money and didn't even send out stickers.. and some backers where like 'awww shucks, you'll get it right next time'

    31. olothmeryl on August 13, 2013

      @Fred Kiesche
      Unfortunately I think most of us will have to wait a lot before it happens.

      @Erik Chevalier

      it's been almost 2 weeks now since this update and there is still nothing to reassure your backers. If you really did nothing wrong then there shouldn't be any problem publishing what really happened. Many of 'us' are waiting for your post-mortem and your silence sounds quite insulting to me: do you really that care that little about the people who helped you fund this project?
      It may not have been a scam as you've pretended so far, but the more it goes the more it looks like it is: I demand that you provide the post-mortem by the end of the week. Otherwise I'll seriously start to think filing an official complaint since it's possible even for non-American citizens...

    32. Fred Kiesche on August 12, 2013

      Anybody (besides the highest level--and that only by second hand statement from a source that has shown itself to be less than trustworthy) get a refund yet?

    33. Andrew Migliore on August 7, 2013

      Erik Chevalier didn't produce anything except broken promises.

      Nothing: no T-Shirts, no stickers, and obviously no game.

      What would it have taken to produce 185, 7 color image, on black Gildan 100% cotton t-shirts for the backers?
      -- Silkscreen 185 shirts @ $5.58 - $1032
      -- Shipping $4 / package - $740
      -- How long to manufacture? - 3-6 weeks

      How about producing 500 stickers (3 different kinds) for the backers?
      -- $75 for 500 stickers X 3 images - $225
      -- Shipping (jusr add to t-shirt packages) - $0
      -- How long to manufacture? - 3 business days

      What about shipping the original artwork or art prints?
      -- Shipping 37 packages @ $10 - $370

      What about the 66 Custom Inkodye T-Shirts that Erik claimed he was going to make custom in his garage?
      -- Blank 100% cotton Gildan t-shirts $1.47@ - $97
      -- Shipping $4 / package - $264

      Approximate Grand Total rounding up to nearest 1000: $3,000
      Approximate Manufacturing Time: 1.5 to 2 months


      I can appreciate the complexities of getting a print job done in China with the potentials of miscommunication, missing deadlines, slow shipping, and the potential of damaging the product in transit. However, Erik could have sought out help and been transparent in communication. People would have been supportive if progress was actually made.

      Risk mitigation would have called for manufacturing the game with only cardboard standups and have the plastic or pewter figures manufactured and shipped at a later time.

      BUT t-shirts and stickers and shipping artwork requires no extended Herculean effort especially since the artwork was already provided and ready to go. It is literally picking up the phone or submitting an order request on a website.

      This alone negates anything Erik claims about the complexity of this project as he didn't even produce the simplest of rewards. The only thing he has accomplished is refunding 1 backer at the top most tier.

      It is clear that Erik simply lived off the proceeds of the project until the money was gone.

    34. Brad Davis on August 6, 2013

      If you're interested in pieces for the PnP version of the game, please check the main comments section (the link is just below the KS title up top). I've posted information on how to get files to 3D print game pieces.

    35. Laurence on August 6, 2013


      I'm painfully aware that I'm stating the obvious here but it's been nearly a week since we last heard from you and you have yet to answer our simple but pressing questions. Unless you are still 'seeking legal advice' I would be interested to know the reason for the long silences and the reasons that you have failed to answer even the most basic of questions or provide an accounting of your actions and financial decisions over the last year.

      Of course if you are still seeking legal advice I would be interested to know how that is being paid for since I'm pretty sure the cost of retaining a lawyer for a solid week runs into thousands of dollars.

      I can only repeat my earlier assertions that if, as you claim, you can demonstrate that you acted in good faith throughout that your rest assured that you will not be hung out to dry by a vindictive mob (although I can't say you are likely to be 'Mr Popular' at this point - I suspect you have thrown away your last chance to save face on this one). I would also like to advise you that your continued silence is becoming beyond the (possibly) reasonable period of of slack which you claimed you required in order to give us a full 'post-mortem' as you termed it.

      I [am still] await [ing] your reply with interest

    36. Andrew Migliore on August 3, 2013

      Regarding funds, expenses, and taxes.

      I assume Erik has either filed taxes for 2012 and paid taxes out of these funds or has filed for an extension due in October of this year for personal taxes (or September if actually a business).

      The Forking Path Co. is not a corporation (e.g. C-Corp, S-Corp, or an LLC) as far as I can tell. It is a DBA (Doing Business As) under Erik's name registered in one county of Oregon. The Public record (only filed in August 20th, 2012 which is a problem in and of itself as it was registered after the fact and is not a DBA of Inari) shows this:

      The self-employment tax rate for 2012 is 12.3% for the first $106,800 and then 2.9% above that.

      Self-employment taxes are reported on Schedule SE, which a sole proprietor submits each year along with a 1040 income tax return and Schedule C. See:

      Expenses have to be enumerated. So the worse case would be a $14,574.85 tax bill assuming my assumptions and math are correct. The tax bill would be dependent on legitimate expenses claimed.

      So regardless, Erik will soon have to account for his expenses when filing or already has done so.

      From the start, the publishing side of this enterprise e.g. The Forking Path does not look like it was run as a business. I could not find any business registration records for Inari, Inc. in Oregon, Washington, California, North and South Carolina, or Delaware, however Inagi's Amazon merchant account was used to receive payments from Kickstarter. The common denominator is Erik.

      Again the failure to separate personal and business concerns and the failure to give transparent information during the project and his curious external activities (registering a new business in April is the most concrete of the list... other things like the hiring of models and acquiring expensive camera equipment may be indicators), makes it look very amateur. If he truly did not insulate himself wrt to incorporating his business, Erik's personal assets are at risk.

      Erik can you reconcile your statement "Inari was dissolved entirely well before this collaboration was even started..." when you used an Amazon Merchant account under the name of Inari, Inc. to receive funds for The Forking Path your DBA?

      Thank you.

    37. Skipper Harris on August 2, 2013

      The email we got from Keith says we'll all get however many copies we pledged for. All other rewards will be evaluated by Cryptozoic. Given the expense, I would suspect we will all get whichever figure material they decide to use in the retail copies they sell later on rather than make a special set just for those who sprang for the pewter here. So if they decide to use pewter figures in all the games, that's what we'll all get. Otherwise, expect plastic I imagine. As for prints, t shirts, etc., who knows? We are supposed to be getting email with more details from Cryptozoic sometime soonish so that should settle the matter when it arrives.

    38. Trevor Stamper
      on August 2, 2013

      Hi Eric,

      I am glad you have finally refunded one backer--but there are a lot of us who still want answers for your manifest failure. This has dragged on long enough... provide detailed expenditures of what you did with our money. If there were expenses that are "far more complex than they seem to anyone on the outside" then it is your obligation to the backers to provide clarity to an otherwise murky situation.

      I sincerely doubt they do take more than anyone could have guessed "creators included" because I have seen many other kickstarted board game projects through to completion without so much as a slight hiccup... nearly on time, with everyone pleased with the final result.

      Own up to your failure. Account for your expenditures. Do this voluntarily now... because the next step will not be to your liking. E-discovery will reveal everything if you don't simply come forward. I expect there is enough animus here to put together a class action suit against you... is that really where you want to go?

    39. Rick on August 1, 2013

      @AGB1964: In February 2011 TDTCTAC was scheduled by Z-Man Games to go to print in the summer of 2011. For those that don't know, Z-Man was a fairly large publisher, and their titles included Pandemic and Agricola.

      According to Keith Baker, the game design, artwork and sculptures were prepared in 2011 for Z-Man Games.

      In June 2011, to the surprise of many, Z-Man Games was sold to the French publisher Filosofia Games. When this happened, Filosofia kept the games in the Z-Man lineup that fit with their lineup, and returned the rest (such as Doom) to their creators.

      Again, according to Keith Baker, the elements that were still incomplete were the graphical layout of the rules (which is different from writing the rules) and Keith Baker's development of "The Shadow Over Boardwalk" expansion that was a stretch goal of this Kickstarter. And, of course, the artwork changes Lee Moyer made due to the Hasbro issue.

    40. Rick on August 1, 2013

      @Jonathan: If I had to guess, I would say that the pieces will be plastic for general distribution. As I understand it, Cryptozoic isn't trying to fulfill the Kickstarter backer levels. They're not taking over, or anything.

      As a gesture, they're going to produce the game and provide the backers of this Kickstarter a copy of the game as they've produced it, paying for it out of their own pocket.

    41. Ed Hurtley on August 1, 2013

      @Jonathan, There has been no statement made on that regard. The picture on the Crypto website: certainly *LOOKS* like pewter, but plastic could be made to look like that, too.

      You might want to ask on the Crypo forums. (Linked at the above page.)

    42. Missing avatar

      Jonathan Grant on August 1, 2013

      Anyone know if the Crypto version of the game will include the pewter minis for those @ the $75 and above level? I assume NOT, but am a little unclear.

    43. longbeach on August 1, 2013

      Jesus people it's not hard, he's a scammer. Have you all never met people like him before? Sorry you had to be exposed to it but there are people who are sociopaths and have no guilt or empathy and he clearly shows those traits. Even now as the victim card he played... What about the creators? The backers? Who just got to burn through $100k? Who is a victim here?

    44. AGN1964 on August 1, 2013

      I might be changing my mind. I looked back at the early updates and the home page. A lot of art can be seen there and the sculpts are shown early on. With the exception of the Hasbro changes, perhaps the game was far more ready at the start than I thought. Credit to Baker, Moyer and Komoda for all the prep work.

    45. AGN1964 on August 1, 2013

      @Atarun - What makes you say that the PnP artwork was not created as part of this project? Clearly the PnP art is the re-designed, post Hasbro problems, art. Therefore at least that part of it was not ready before the project started. I am no expert, but if I was designing a game on my own nickle, I would work on game play concepts with rough art, and only pay artists for high quality renderings once the game play proved interesting/fun enough to produce.

      Where is it stated that this (great) art was complete before the start of the project? Ditto, the sculpts?

      I also doubt that the artists got paid, but read my post. I didn't say Erik paid for stuff, I said the project had some achievements. Of course, if it is stated somewhere that the art and the sculpts were complete before the KS started, I withdraw my statements. Except saying the PnP art is great!

    46. Stuart Holttum
      on August 1, 2013

      Let's look at the facts that Eric himself has provided. Firstly, what has he spent money on:

      "form(ing) the company, for the miniature statues, moving back to Portland, getting software licenses and hiring artists"
      "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."

      Forming a company costs a couple hundred, at best. It seems that a lot of the funds have gone on "support" for the game - videos, online tutorials, etc. But surely all of those are subsidiary to getting the actual GAME produced?

      Miniatues have not been produced. Perhaps he paid for original sculpts? Possibly, master moulds have been made, which are expensive to make for plastic - but then dirt cheap to produce. This could be a big expense ($10-20k for moulds), but if they HAVE been made, then the project would be close to being complete.

      Moving to Portland. Why is that an expense for the game? Unless he WAS living on KS funds, is this a legitimate expense for the backers to wear?

      Getting software licences. New PC. Sure - I can wear those as legitimate. But couple thou, tops.

      Most importantly, he said: "We had to print at that point or never. Unfortunately that wasn't in the cards for a variety of reasons." far, the only game related expenses are between (low end) about $10k, and high-end maybe $40k. Which leaves some $60k unaccounted for, and (presumably) available for printing. And as has been said, if the whole game could have been done for the $35k target, that's more than enough - but that's by the by.

      Bottom line: I can see how a significant chunk was legitimately burned through, and still leave no game components produced. But equally, the more was spent, the closer the final version should be to being done - which is what I can't fathom.

      I also am confused by two comments Eric made. The first implies he has nothing, or next to nothing left: "all of the financial burden (is) directly on my shoulders...(but)..I left my job to do this project and must find work again. I'll create a separate bank account to place anything beyond my basic costs of living". 90%+ of the money is gone. But a week later, he has already refunded $2,500, prepared to refund another $3,000, and with the implication that the next tier or two ($3,500 and $3,300) are imminent. That's $5k, maybe $12k still remaining, possibly some more.

      That would tally with "print at (this) point or never" - and, if what was left was less than was needed to print and ship (and where did the international shipping funds go?) then I can see why he would have stopped the project at that point. If you need $40k to print, and you only have $30k left, then you stop - I can grok that, and respect that decision.

      BUT.....what still remains unanswered is where all the money went for him to GET to that "only $30k (or whatever) left". The only expenses he has seen fit to share are moving home, a new PC, software, and figure masters. And I can't see how they legitimately add up to some $70,000ish spent, which is realistically the point at which final printing and shipping stops being viable.

      I've asked before, and I will ask again, Eric. How much is left? And where (rounded to nearest $5k, say) was the money spent on?