Funding Canceled Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on December 10.

Update #13

Kicktrolling.

16 comments
3 likes

You might have noticed that our campaign's funding amount has yo-yo'd very noticeably over the past few days. 

That's because we were "Kicktrolled." 

Yeah, I just made that word up. I'm not sure what they're calling these days, but it seems to be a major problem that's on the rise.

We had a backer using the (presumably) fake name of "Lee McAllister" back us for around $500. That's not a red flag per se, as we had a few other backers pledge at that level, too.

But over the holiday weekend, he suddenly raised his bid to $1,000. "Well, okay," we thought, "maybe he reeeeaallly wanted to see the project get funded."

And then we woke up to suddenly find ourselves at 65% of goal, up from around 25%. Why?

Well, "Lee" suddenly increased his pledge to $10,000. And bragged about it in the comments.

TEN GRAND. The price of a used car. Nearly half or our funding goal.

Obviously, the spider sense was tingling. So I wrote him to ask him if he had added a zero too many to his amount, to which he said "No, I think that's right."

And then he immediately proceeded to cut his funding by $5,000.

And there we sat, about 50% funded over the Thanksgiving holiday. Not feeling particularly thankful, but nervous

What if this guy "helped" us get funded by the skin of our teeth only to skip out on the bill? We'd still be short a few grand, have to deliver the project to the paying backers and be liable for Kickstarter and Amazon fees. 

Or what if we were, say, 105% funded, and he pulled his $5K out a minute or two before the campaign closed? Talk about a roller coaster ride of emotion!

So here we are, not much further ahead than we were before Thanksgiving and with a dark cloud hanging over this campaign. I mean, would you back a project that suddenly lost nearly half of its funding in a few short days?

There's an awful lot of red on Kicktraq now. Thanks, "Lee."
There's an awful lot of red on Kicktraq now. Thanks, "Lee."

So at this point, folks, it's not looking too good for The True North. While we knew we had an uphill battle ahead of us going into it, this is likely the nail in the casket.

We're not throwing in the towel just yet, but it's very disheartening after starting out strong as a Kickstarter Project of the Day and getting several high-profile shoutouts more recently, including io9

But that's crowdfunding for you. When it works, it works wonderfully. But it seems like the more attention the platform gets the more likely it is that people will abuse it. For other project creators out there, examine each and every pledge and if anything seems "off," you're well within your rights to question it.

10 days to go, and we still need 70% of our funding goal. Those aren't good odds, but we'll keep all of our awesome backers informed of what our plans are should this campaign not meet its funding goal.

(UPDATE: Checking "Lee's" profile this morning, I see that his funding has been pulled on the other campaigns he was backing. So it's possible that Kickstarter intervened.)

Thom Pratt, Adam Walker Studio, and 1 more person like this update.

Comments

    1. Tumblr_mcrhl3c0dq1rf67slo1_r1_1280.small

      Creator Jakob Ginzburg on December 5

      I have seen your story on golem.de and supported you with 25$

    2. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Thom Pratt on December 4

      Thanks again, folks! This thing sort of exploded overnight. I can honestly say I never expected it to go past a few comics blogs that have been covering this sort of thing.

      Even if we don't hit goal, we want to THANK YOU for taking a chance on us and showing us that the internet isn't just full of trolls.

    3. Mmlolz_bigger.small

      Creator Diana Hughes on December 3

      Saw your post about this on Reddit. I'm so grossed out I could die. And this is such a great project, too! It isn't much, but you have my pledge.

    4. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Thom Pratt on December 3

      @Stacey - We didn't make a big deal about being so far along in our funding because we were waiting for the other shoe to drop. And, of course, it did.

    5. Missing_small

      Creator Stacey on December 3

      Well dang it! I was excited to see you doing so well!

    6. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Pixel Patch on December 3

      Hey Man,
      Sorry to hear about this, honestly it's so sad to see this kind of thing actually happen, best of luck in pulling through, if not dont be afraid to re=plan and relaunch! We'll be waiting for you.

    7. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Thom Pratt on December 3

      Thanks for the support everyone! I'm not sure we'll actually make it, but it's definitely appreciated.

    8. Missing_small

      Creator Jacie R. on December 3

      I was really excited when you guys seemed to be doing so well, I hope everything works out in the end. I've upped my donation a bit, perhaps if everyone does we can make up what's been lost. This is the first Kickstarter campaign I really care about, rather then just a passing interest. Best of luck the next few days!

    9. 084.small

      Creator Casey Moeller on December 3

      I am 100% behind you. I love Shadowbinders and actually discovered it through that KS project. I am really wanting this to make it because I want so badly to see this story come to life. If the money situation were any different I'd be throwing much more your way to make this become a reality. I'll be here for Plan B whatever it is.

    10. Stiro.small

      Creator Akimotos on December 2

      Thanks for the update. I was indeed surprised to see the steep rise and was also not surprised when it suddenly dropped down again. Its internet. it happens. Kickstarter intervenes or not. it's all part of the deal. Just like kickstarters that are so crappy that it hurts to look at the advert-movie if any. As long as you guys keep communicating (informing us) i keep faith. if this kickstarter doesn't make it i'll wait for the next one. I'l keep checking the shadowbinders website for future activities. So it wasn't totally for nothing if the funding isn't going to make it, yet strange things can happen and perhaps it will work out.

    11. Patch.small

      Creator Shari Bromley on December 2

      I'm heartbroken for you! I'mm not the most attentive funder in the crowd, but I remember being really thrilled for you when I saw how much the campaign had grown around Thanksgiving. I had no idea such scammers even existed on the funding side (on the project side, unfortunately yes). I don't even understand the motivation. I fund a project because it's something that appeals to me and I want to support it. Mind, I've had to drop out of a couple because of financial woes; but I always try to make sure that if I have to, that my leaving won't break the project. What happened here is simply OUTRAGEOUS!

    12. Crottn.small

      Creator Marlena Harris on December 2

      I was wondering what the deal, was, too. It never occured to me that it was your doing, but I did wonder if someone was playing with you. Sorry to see that this appears to be the case. Hopefully we will still get all the funding you need.

    13. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Thom Pratt on December 2

      Thanks guys! We didn't want people to think *we* were trying to scam by seeding our own campaign or anything. It was pretty weird, and hard to tell if this guy was really on the level or not. Of course, as the saying goes "If it's too good to be true..."

    14. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Ellen Fleischer on December 2

      That's really a shame. Hoping you can still get this off the ground. Although I can't do much to help the current funding campaign, if you're looking to publicize the book when you've got it printed, or if you decide to relaunch the campaign, I'm a writer and editor for Self Publisher! Magazine (details in my bio). The magazine is run entirely by volunteers, and as such, although we put out a quality publication each month, the release date can vary widely. For that reason, I'm not sure that we're the best venue for increasing backing for Kickstarter projects (by the time the issue comes out, the funding period is usually over), but if you're looking to drum up publicity/awareness when your funding is secured and you're about to release, maybe we can help! Again, hope you do make goal in the time remaining.

    15. Mathmanglitchavatar.small

      Creator Greg Stoll on December 2

      Yikes, I wondered what was going on. Thanks for the update - hopefully enough real backers will come in to help you pull through!

    16. Biosteampunkphotocomix.small

      Creator Madeleine Holly-Rosing on December 2

      I'm so sorry that happened to you. I'm hoping the io9 article will give you a boost!

      Madeleine

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