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Lead a barbarian kingdom to glory during the final days of the Roman Empire. An empire builder by Jon Shafer, designer of Civ 5.
Lead a barbarian kingdom to glory during the final days of the Roman Empire. An empire builder by Jon Shafer, designer of Civ 5.
3,009 backers pledged $106,283 to help bring this project to life.

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    1. Chris ORegan

      I left a comment about this game 8 months ago and during that time nothing much has happened. Well I say 'nothing' apparently Jon Shafer has gained employment with Paradox. Great, now we're never going to see At the Gates be completed. This is the second Kickstarter campaign I have seen flounder, but this is small fry compared to the other one. Oh boy...what a mess that was!

    2. Missing avatar

      Dtolman on

      looks like he's on radio silence until the game is complete, or he has to do publicity for the release of his paradox project. My cynical bet is that a month before he has to do publicity for the paradox project,he'll go "oh shit" and crunch through a bunch of milestones to have something to show for progress on it.


    3. Missing avatar

      Irenaeus on

      What happened to this game?

    4. Missing avatar

      clayffo on

      Ok so has the alpha been completed? Due date was sept 30th

    5. Missing avatar

      Pesticide on

      wow john put on a ton of weight. wtf happened man... its not to late, get ur life together , spend 30 mins everyday on your body, eat less and healthy and also spend 15 mins a day on at the gates. do not give in to temptation, u are better then this, own up to your mistakes, and communicate with clean goals, people can change and so can u

    6. Missing avatar

      Javiso on

      Can I get a refund please?

    7. Missing avatar

      clayffo on

      I reached out to paradox and voiced my displeasure with them hiring someone of such low ethical standards. I stated that I would not purchase from them so long as I did not get satisfaction on this matter.

      Their response was my mr shafer is a valued employee and that they would hope I would reconsider my intentions

    8. axisandallies on

      I've requested a refund three times over the past year. Nothing. I, too, will start looking into class action.

    9. Jonathan Walters

      I've reached out to a couple firms that specialize in consumer class-action litigation. I'll post anything I find out here for those that are interested in participating if something comes of it.

    10. Missing avatar

      clayffo on

      I don't think Jon suckered anyone. The simple fact is that he's incompetent. Now when I look at projects I make sure there is a dedicated project manager who is separate from the lead designer. Someone who understands the business

    11. Angry Bunny on

      There is an article on bleeding cool about this.
      Here is the link -

      Seems more and more developers are being like Jon - put out a great idea, sucker folks into funding it, lose their way, make excuses, and then disappear. There really needs to be accountability from KS, but then, they made their cut, so they are happy at the funders expense. I agree, it is dead. Chalk it up to experience to triple check out a person first before giving them my hard earned money.

    12. Missing avatar

      Wafalumps on

      Disappointed, though not surprised, that Jon has once again gone silent on this. Seems like the project is dead since Jon isn't answering emails as per below comments. At this point the least he could do is release the most recent playable build so we at least get something for our support and wait. I won't hold my breath...

    13. Missing avatar

      clayffo on

      Kickstarter was a good idea but what I've discovered is that most independent devs are like Jon. Great creativity but must have the structure of a large company to function.

    14. Jonathan Walters

      I think we can all safely consider this project dead at this point, and a fair course of action would be to refund backers but I certainly don't see this happening. It seems the legal precedent does exist though if enough interest is here among backers to collectively initiate a class-action lawsuit:

    15. Missing avatar

      Dtolman on

      So... did you hit the pre-alpha milestones?

    16. Missing avatar

      clayffo on

      As the sun sets on another milestone, id like to congratulate Jon for maintaining your impeccable record of failure and your sheer disregard for the 3,000 ppl who financed you. Bravo sir

    17. Groopy on

      I've already sent 3 emails, but they don't even respond. This project is DEAD. There should be a button next to "got it" to mark it so I don't have to bother looking this up again....

    18. Hipparchia on

      Well... seems like the game is dead.
      It was my fist KS, founded and i will never see it working.
      I guess as a huge fan of Paradox games i should be happy though(?).

    19. Missing avatar

      clayffo on

      As we pass three weeks since the last update, Jon again and predictable failed to meet even the most basic task - to post an update. May 7th " I'll also be posting an update for AtG every few weeks to keep everyone up to date"

    20. Missing avatar

      Javiso on

      How can I get a refund? Please advise.

    21. JoelofDeath on

      Yeah, agree with Jon. I was happy for this to be a slow burner, but a little concerned about the Paradox announcement.

    22. Jonathan Walters

      I really want to be more excited for the Paradox announcement, but I can't when this game is several years behind schedule already, and now it has to share precious little time with a major studio project. I'm hoping for the best all around, but I'm sure you can appreciate my pessimism and incredulity at the prospects of AtG actually getting finished.

    23. Rik Eberhardt on

      Thanks for the May 7 update! Excited to see the new work on this, but also excited to see what you'll be working on next!

    24. Missing avatar

      Martijn van Iersel on

      Best of luck! There is no denying gamedev is hard.

    25. Missing avatar

      clayffo on

      JadeL congratulations, you only took a month to respond to my jab. you are light years ahead of Jon, pathetic as that may be

      Jon set up the KS, he created the schedule, he sold himself as an expert in this field, used civ 5 as a credential, and he committed to doing the job, which is why we gave him $100,000.00. I care about the agreement that he made to all 3,000 backers, which is to give us "at the gates." After 4 years, i think that he has received plenty of leeway to do it his way.

      If he cannot or will not produce the game "as advertised," i expect him to give me the best he can do and write an apology letter to the backers.

      I run a department and am responsible for a lot of people. .I have to meet with management and commit to achieving certain goals. If i don't , i will get fired. I have to work weekends, holidays,when i'm sick; I even worked with a cast on my arm for 6 weeks because that's what it takes.

      I don't care one bit about Jon's personal problems. I expect him to do his job and i expect him to tell me the truth. Since he cannot seem to do either one, I will call him out on it.

      Finally, since when did KS projects become a charity for a developer? Since when is it ok to take $100,000 of other people's money and disappear? In this day and age there is no excuse why this man or his associates cannot log into his computer and communicate

    26. JadeL on

      @clayffo To be honest, at this point, I don't care as much about getting the game, compared to knowing someone utterly ruined themselves trying to do a project their way... Whereas you only care about what you want. So kindly, quit your bothersome tripe.

    27. Jennifer Skahen on

      Any chance of backers being able to get early access keys? I don't want a refund, but it would be nice to have the version that is available.

    28. Daryl Putman on

      Public update, please.

    29. Missing avatar

      clayffo on

      @JadeL what universe did you just drop in from? There is no finished game nor is there any plan to have it done this decade.

    30. JadeL on

      Almost the end of the Q1 2017 goal set by the November 2015 timeline... It's coming down to the wire.

      I hadn't read through the really big update explaining the situation until now. Holy crap... I don't have words to describe the idea of selling everything you own, to complete a project you set out to do. I can understand working while trying not to be concerned about finances, but... I guess the candidness of his personal situation explains a lot. He didn't need to go into that much detail, but after reading it, I wouldn't press him.

      From Jon Shafer's Civilization V (it says Sid Meier's in the title, but it's really far moreso Jon's work) to this... Hopefully he feels like it was worth it in the end, to create something entirely the way he wanted, even if only once. (Hopefully it will be only once, though, seeing how taxing it is...)

    31. Chris ORegan

      Well this didn't turn out as I had hoped. I do so hate backing vapourware, but this is where we apparently are. Terrible shame really and refunds are not possible in situations like this I believe :(

    32. Pieter-Jan Busschaert on

      Actually I am glad to have found this comment thread. I thought there had been complete silence since the last update in august 2016, but I see an update from October 2016 here, so good news.

      Anyway, I think at this point, Jon, you shouldn't be concerned at all about spamming people with updates. It seems almost everyone would appreciate any updates. Even if it was just an update to tell us that we should look in the comments for more regular/small updates :-)

      I'm still following this game and will play it once it's released, but please try to be realistic about the choice between continuing and abandoning the game. I'd love to see it completely finished, but it seems you're hurting yourself financially (and probably also your health) by continuing. From the updates, it seems you are the one who wants to finish this more than any of us.

      Please keep in mind that stopping the development, announcing this openly and putting up the latest alpha as the "final" release, is a real option. The only / main reason to continue at this point seems to be if you are convinced you can recuperate all the money you still spend on this by sales of the finished product. The problem is, nobody is good at predicting how much money you will still spend and how much you would gain in sales.

    33. Jonathan Walters

      I have to admit, I'm extremely disappointed at the lack of updates and/or information to give backers some kind of indication of forward progress, especially given how long this project has dragged on in alpha. I've pretty much written AtG off at this point and if we do get a finished game in the end, I'll seriously be surprised. And that's unfortunate because the alpha feedback seems to generally be quite positive.

    34. Missing avatar

      clayffo on

      He should get to you within 6 months

    35. axisandallies on

      I have submitted the requests but am being ignored. Big surprise.

    36. Missing avatar

      clayffo on

      Read back to jons October 28th post below for a refund .

    37. axisandallies on

      How do we get refunds for this? I backed at the 80 dollar level, and have lost all confidence.

    38. Christian Weisskopf on

      Happy 2017. Do we have to wait until August to get the next update?

    39. Missing avatar

      clayffo on

      It appears he's out of money and likely working another job to pay the bills.

      I can't see how a real investor would be interested as he's mismanaged our funds and his own. He's also missed the target release by almost 4 years now . A complete lack of transparency is also a red flag

    40. Nekator

      So this is dead or not?

    41. Missing avatar

      clayffo on


      When are your parents,I mean investors, going to give you the money?

      Bye you've still failed to appoint a community manager.

    42. Missing avatar

      clayffo on

      @Michael, you shouldn't encourage bad behavior. Jon has done nothing but lie and ignore his supporters for over a year. read back to mine and other comments. Go to the game forum No concerns or criticisms ever get directly and appropriately answered. It's always an excuse for almost 4 years now.

    43. Missing avatar

      Michael Johnsen

      very nice of you to offer a refund - however I pledged to this to support you in getting the game made - not as a glorified pre-order :) - so keep the money and stay healthy too btw - we'll get the game in the end and im sure it'll be awesome

    44. Missing avatar

      clayffo on


      I'm not interested in a refund. $30 means nothing to me. I'm interested in you actually doing what you say.

      You promised a moderator 2 months ago . Did it take 2 months to come up with another phony excuse? What Exactly have you done to further the game? I'm fascinated to know

    45. Jon Shafer Creator on

      Thanks Jonathan. I do truly understand how much patience and faith it's taken to stick with this project. As such, anyone who wants a refund will still retain their access (via both Steam and Humble) to the game, as I'm truly confident AtG will in fact be a great once finished.

      Thanks again, everyone.

      - Jon

    46. Jonathan Walters

      Admittedly, this game has far exceeded reasonable release expectations. But that's the nature of Kickstarter, and I'm fine with waiting longer, assuming the result is a polished, complete, and high quality game. Hopefully the funding arrangement works out and we're able to see results sooner than later. Until then, I'll keep my fingers crossed and sincerely wish you the best of luck in seeing this through to release.

    47. Jon Shafer Creator on

      Oh, and if you are interested in a refund you can do so by sending me either a PM here on Kickstarter or via email at

      - Jon

    48. Jon Shafer Creator on

      Hey all,

      Just wanted to update you on the latest goings-ons. AtG has obviously taken a fair bit longer than expected but we're still dedicated to finishing the game. The reason for the recent radio silence is that I've been in discussions with a partner to provide financial assistance to finally bite the bullet and hire full-time staff (in addition to just myself) to help get it out the door once. Once the deal is done and I'm contractually allowed to talk about it we'll fill you in on the details.

      For anyone who's no longer interested in waiting I have no problem offering a refund of your contribution via PayPal. (As an aside, if I were a charlatan then I'm obviously not a very good one, having cashed out my retirement to pay for development!)

      - Jon

    49. Missing avatar

      clayffo on

      Jon, i think you're more cut out for politics than game development. You do 3 things really well.
      1. Solicit money under false promises
      2. Get nothing done
      3. Lie to and then ignore your supporters

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