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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. Missing avatar

      clayffo on

      Where are the promised February updates per update 47?

    2. Missing avatar

      Lance Watson on

      I think one of the key elements from this point in history was the interaction between people and pets. I am hoping we get an update soon on how people/pets will interact in the game and the deep modeling behind this feature. For example, having a pet cat makes your people better at fishing and having a pet parakeet helps you sing better, so your people stay happier and more content. A pet snake would make you a better at deceit. You get the idea.

      Or perhaps some movement on the original premise.

      I'd take either.

    3. James Sunderland on

      It's cute that Jon thinks anyone would buy his bullshit at this point.

    4. Missing avatar

      Lance Watson on

      Don't expect excitement for these "updates." That bridge burned, crumpled and fell into the gorge a long time ago.
      Five years. New idea. New timeline. Same old, same old story - No finish line in sight.

    5. James Sunderland on

      Great story, but that wasn't mentioned anywhere in the ptich for the kickstarter project. I want a finished product or a formal apology and admission that money was taken in bad faith.

    6. Paul Pflugradt on

      As someone who also tried some self employment in development, I can fully relate to Jon.

      Imagine building a house, but your vision is only 1m and you can't walk until you finished your current task.
      You need to fully concentrate on your task, but you can't do that when in fear, because of vague
      future. So you need a solid financing, and to be honest this kickstarter campaign is none.

      You can solve this problem by just delivering garbage, like so many other kickstarters do.
      Consider this as a easy way out, lifetime is to valuable for clinging to mistakes.

    7. James Sunderland on

      I'm sure this time things will be different, until something shiny comes along to distract from this project. What a waste of a promising idea.

    8. Missing avatar

      Dtolman on

      If you can just update us once a month, and post new builds I'd be happy. Even if those posts are "I have no idea what to do with the end game, any suggestions?". Or "I'm totally burned out, and I hate this game. I blame all of you personally for backing this. Why did you egg me on". Or - evevn "here is an instagram feed of the freeze-dried food I've been eating, while I avoid coding this. Did I mention I started over and I'm now coding this in Ada?"

    9. Missing avatar

      quagmire on

      Thanks for the e-mail update. You have my sympathy for the stress you must have had. Feel better and I hope things go smooth from now on :)

    10. Missing avatar

      clayffo on

      Either creative differences or he sat on his ass doing nothing for 6 months like he has being doing with atg for the last 2 years

      Thank you paradox. Now I can lift my ban on your products

    11. Missing avatar

      Nile Bernard on

      News are in: Jon Shafer moves on from Paradox Interactive. Just received via Paradox press release.

    12. Endo_Roboto on

      Backed this game years ago. The good thing is when you attach a name to a game I know now to look out for it in the future to either get without question or avoid completely. Guess which one Jon Shafer will relate to?

    13. Missing avatar

      clayffo on

      I have personally complained to paradox as a regular customer of theirs. I and others have posted complaints on their forum. They don't care

      Bottom line is that paradox has a business plan that requires Jon to do their bidding. Atg is not in their development cycle. Management is not going to encourage an employee to wear themselves out on a side job at the expense of their projects

    14. Missing avatar

      Martin Hinves on

      Hey Jon, The last update was May 8th, way after you joined Paradox.
      Your lack of communication is, well "not civilised" to the best of my knowledge.
      I mean if "At the Gates" is being released through Paradox and you cannot discuss it , that is one thing - but if not then maybe you should look at finishing the program quickly as it is way overdue.
      I think I should start a campaign to boycott Paradox or let Paradox know how John's reputation is going to hurt them.... what do the rest of the paying funders think ?

    15. Matt Davis on

      Whatcha doing with my money?

    16. 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!

    17. 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.


    18. Missing avatar

      Irenaeus on

      What happened to this game?

    19. Missing avatar

      clayffo on

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

    20. 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

    21. Missing avatar

      Javiso on

      Can I get a refund please?

    22. 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

    23. axisandallies on

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

    24. 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.

    25. 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

    26. 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.

    27. 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...

    28. 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.

    29. 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:

    30. Missing avatar

      Dtolman on

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

    31. 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

    32. 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....

    33. 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(?).

    34. 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"

    35. Missing avatar

      Javiso on

      How can I get a refund? Please advise.

    36. JoelofDeath on

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

    37. 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.

    38. 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!

    39. Missing avatar

      Martijn van Iersel on

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

    40. 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

    41. 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.

    42. 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.

    43. Daryl Putman on

      Public update, please.

    44. 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.

    45. 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...)

    46. 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 :(

    47. 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.

    48. 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.

    49. Missing avatar

      clayffo on

      He should get to you within 6 months

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