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I can't believe this guy got away with 170 grand!!!
To people who say "you're just pledging" and all that, that's fine if you want the whole model implode, which perhaps has already happened, but do people think you'll still see those $800 pledges? For some reason most people that feel it's no strings attached money seem to be the under $100 dollar backers for some reason. I can't quite explain that odd coincidence.
What are people paying kickstarter that ridiculous 30% or whatever it is if they have no responsibility to do anything? They will lose a lot of money if people stop trusting them. I don't understand why they can't have simple progress tiers or something before they get ALL the money. Then maybe people wouldn't lose their whole pledges. Especially the $500+ "donations".
Well this KS campaign was my introduction to KS - thankfully, everything else I've funded has actually come to fruition. One day, this may actually happen... but I'm not holding out much hope
It is the only way for him to save what is left of his reputation, OR actually finish some form of Code Hero... but from the cone of silence he's erected, none of those seem likely.
I'm guessing the code is probably too embarrassing to open source it.
At this point waiting so long, it would be best to just open up the project and put it on github.
wow 3 years already!
He still openly shows off Code Hero on profiles as if its an accomplishment and not something he hides from regularly. He's also "the new Steve Jobs" according to his friends. :)
I blame the Open Alternative School that he attended. It created within him the idea that there are no rules or deadlines, a very dangerous idea when working under constraints such as time and money.
Happy 3 year anniversary of the funding of this project, everyone.
The Ruby book found in the recent humble bundle is actually very much like a game while you learn.
Would make for a good setting to actually start a game on learning how to code :)
Just putting that out there. Also the last volunteer also stated it'd be best to just remake it.
So food for thought.
I don't think we will ever hear anything from him because he knows he cannot finish it. So even though he did not set out to spend all the money and screw everyone, if he came out and said it was over I bet more people would seek to sue him or something like that. Either way I look at it as a minor investment for me and it did not pan out. Wish it had and I do feel bad for the people who invested serious money. Still going to keep checking the page every few months though lol.
How to raise 170k USD and do absolutely nothing with it. Not even a fucking T-shirt. I understand that sometimes stuff doesn't go as planned, and that's why many people aren't angry about the 2 year+ delay. However cutting off all contact, pocketing the money and ignoring everybody just makes you look far more like a thief than a developer. How do you even sleep at night...
A few clarifications re: my comment below.
That the game will never emerge is speculation based on the state of the game and the team the last time I worked on it. The goal at that time was to clean up the code.
That was actually only about 6 months ago, not a year. Had a kid around then so my sense of time is off. Possible Alex didn't contact me because he knew this.
For all I know Alex has a team of people bringing the game to market in two weeks. I have no idea.
A few things everyone should know:
1. This game will never release. Last I saw the code, maybe a year ago, which is also probably close to the last time the code was touched, there was mostly infrastructure, almost no gameplay to speak of. I was the last volunteer to stop working. Alex works a regular job, or did at the time. This game would need at least a couple full time coders working another 6 months to a year to finish it, not to mention level designers, artists, etc.
2. You will almost certainly never get a refund. Sure you could sue, but unless you can turn blood into gold, there's probably nothing to take.
3. Some of you are asking that the project be open sourced. I agree, but to be honest, you would be better off starting from scratch, than to use the existing code. It's an absolute mess.
4. Alex didn't take the money and run. Alex had every intention of finishing this project. It was just too big, with several technology constraints (obsession with Unity 3D). The reboot with several industry coders was probably what killed the budget (there probably wasn't an actual budget.) The project wasn't mismanaged, it was essentially unmanaged. I know it works for Valve, but Valve has money to pay employees, so work gets done. HL3.
I haven't heard from Alex since the last update went out on here so I'm not sure of his current location or status.
I might have the beta somewhere, if so I'll upload and link, or you can message me, if you care to play what exists.
If anyone is interested in trying to recreate the original alpha release syle code hero, with a simple code gun, pre Kickstarter style, I've got an original script and storyboards for some portions; ideas Alex had rejected. Happy to be involved.
@jon not sure how current either of these are, but I found a couple of download links on the wayback machine:
You guys should at least have the decency to lie to us like some of these other Kickstarter campaings! Like the guys at Hey Joe Coffee, that go silent for weeks and then give us a vague update with no pictures or videos or anything that shows transparency!
How about we now call this project Code Zeroes!
It fascinates me that he still logs in and backs projects.
Alright, I know there have been a lot of issues with the law , and accusations about taking the money and running, but. If anyone is still out there. I don't care what happened to the money, I just want the game back, at whatever stage. I don't care if its an alpha of the game, I really liked it, and paid for it. I got a new computer and when I tried to go to the site to re-download the game, site was gone and I am seeing nothing but lawsuit pages on Google.
Please, can those of us who just want the game have it back?
I suggest we celebrate by collectively raising our middle fingers.
How should we celebrate the upcoming 3 year anniversary of the project's launch date?
well over 7k, and great games today are LUCKY to get 1 k.... it is projects like this that drove many away from Kickstarter. At the very least do short updates saying you're doing SOME work. Lie to us, if you're not.
Hey look at that... Primerlabs site seems to be down again. This just is a gift that doesn't keep on giving.
Code Hero did not teach me how to make games, like you promised Alex, but it taught me to be more prudent about pledging on Kickstarter. I'll give you that, Alex.
Happy 6 month anniversary of the time Alex posted that the next update would come later in the month.
I joined Kickstarter solely to back your project so I could use it as a tool to interest my kids in coding. The path this project has taken is very disappointing and actually frustrated my kids further about programming because something they became excited about has been a bust.
I agree with the posts below that asks you to open source the code so that others can take it forward. This is a moral obligation you have to the 7459 backers who gave you money, and to the coding community in general whose kickstarter campaigns have to overcome the stigma of this project.
Stop sitting on the project and let it become useful.
Be a man Alex and give us a postmortem at least. That's the least bit of effort you can do after spengin our money.
Alex Peake - Last login Oct 6 2014
I'm so glad i only donated a dollar.
I just came to see if anything was different. It wasn't.
And so where exactly did the 170K go?
"Because real artists ship" - Alex Peake
Famous last words...
This is rather depressing. The least he could do is open the source for the code that we paid for. It's a shame that shy of a lawsuit we're probably not going to get access to what we paid to develop.
It's cool that Alex continues to login and back other projects but won't update his own.
@ William ~bows his head in a silent moment of reflection~
@ Tomimt, exactly the same for me. Today, this would never get the kind of attention it had. Likely would have made 20k and been forgotten.
Code Hero Obituary:
Our beloved Code Hero has finally passed away. The date on which Code Hero officially passed is in question, as he suffered a terribly long illness and there were brief times he showed signs of recovery. It is clear now that he is gone, even though there remains a handful of devoted online friends and family who gather by his side, even at this late date.
He was born on February 24th, 2012, with a misdiagnosed case of Fund Mismanagement which unknowingly grew, along with a severe bout of Fatherly Neglect which developed later. One illness would've been enough to end even the healthiest Kickstarter project, but suffering both, it quickly proved to be terminal and he soon slipped away from us all.
Ripe for potential, he stormed into the world, a bright and fantastic game which taught you to program. A first person shooter using a gun to copy and paste code, he was the internet's darling with articles aplenty pointing those interested to his Kickstarter page. Looking to raise $100,000, he managed to gain $170, 954, nearly $80,000 more than was thought to be needed to fulfill the game. Unfortunately, even the large sum of cash that was raised was not enough for him to ever truly recover. His backers followed diligently for years, hoping to someday see progress, but none was ever made. His bright light shone all too briefly.
He was preceded in death by Hope that it will get finished, and Faith that it will get finished. He is survived by Dustin Deckard, Jonathan Jou, Tomimt, Jack, PegasusOrgans, and 7,454 others who backed him. He is also survived by his father, Alex Peake, whose whereabouts are currently unknown.
His remains are likely tucked away nicely on a flash drive somewhere that eventually got kicked under the couch and forgotten about and is now covered in dust with a half-chewed piece of gum stuck to it. Friends and family would like a postmortem of his remains.
In lieu of flowers, family would encourage those wishing to, to make a generous donation to …no, never mind. Enough has been spent on him already.
The only reason this unfortunate project made 170k is that they had the luck to be in the first KS graze that Double Fine caused. This even was the second project I backed, DF being the first one.
If this same project would be proposed now it wouldn't receive the money. At least I know I wouldn't back it, as I have become more choosy with the things I back. I haven't actually backed a thing in over a half year now.
It saddens me that many very worthwhile games have trouble reaching 30k while this made 170k! Saddens me terribly.
I think I got at least $13 worth of laughs out of that last update from the "Project Coordinator", so I now consider this project a success. I'm looking forward to the next post from Alex about how he needs to improve his communication before he disappears again for months. Good to see that he is still backing other projects too, even if he's abandoned his own.
As I've said a couple of times, the best thing Alex could do now is to just release the done stuff as opensource for the community to prod around and to see if there is anything to salvage there.
A postmortem would be nice as well, but doing that would require Alex to actually admit, that he has failed as a project lead, so I think it could be embarassing read of bad excuses,
But anyhow, Yogventures failure might be a blessing for Code Hero as well. If they get that sorted out, perhaps it will encourage Alex to do the right thing as well, instead of being holed up somewhere, lips sealed.
There's an interesting conversation to be had around the many pitfalls of kickstarter software projects at this point, which seem to be an especially tricky situation. Stretch goals that extend the scope beyond the bounds of the team's experience, budgets which are naive at best that are disregarded as the project progresses, and most importantly the ethics of what happens when a project fails.
It does seem very odd that people pay for someone to work on a project, and when the project has by all promised metrics become a failure there's no way to recover any of the work done. Alex could just as easily have burned the hard drives with the code on them and his contractual obligations to us are still not an issue. But from a moral standpoint, is the right thing to do to release the code under a public license and just hope someone else can finish what he started?
I'd certainly be interested in reading about other examples and what they did right or wrong. Yogventures! certainly looks like a good example of trying to make things right.
Also - it's interesting to note that the Yogventures! game that failed now has its backers demanding the source code and/or assets created for the game. The backers did pay for those, after all, and in the complete absence of a finished game and no possibility for a finished game, it seems absolutely reasonable to demand that the assets (which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars) be returned to the community rather than used on some other project at a later date.
Yeah, I think Thomas has the right idea. Sure, we'd all love more information (and rightly feel like we're "owed" it) but if Alex actually did write a postmortem, it would just be an exercise in embarrassment. The failed Yogscast game that's been making the rounds this last week just put up their own postmortem, detailing how they wasted/lost nearly $600k. Obviously people are pretty furious about that (again, rightly so) and there are still tons of unanswered questions, but when you fail on that level (or on Alex's level) it's typically because someone made terrible choices. Plus, all it would do at this point is rile us all up, assuming he was honest about it. The emails I got from his friends and roommates, though (back when this all blew up), claim some of his first purchases were new computer(s), extravagant dinners and plane tickets (for himself and companions), among other BS. Not to mention the squandered opportunity to use IGN office space. An honest postmortem would almost certainly just make him look even worse.
Jonathan, I'd like to know. But, I think the only reasonable explanation here is just gross incompetence with regard to project management.
Does anyone else here feel like it would be worthwhile to write a postmortem of this game, even if only from the limited information we have as backers? I'd be very interested if we could assemble all the data and look for meaningful takeaways regarding common pitfalls for kickstarter games and important red flags for prospective backers. I've been going over what google has to offer about Alex and his interviews tell a very discouraging, if not frightening tale. Reading about how Alex explains that he used (our) $150k to pay 10 people at $5k a month, but then also discusses how startups often have to pay employees less than they were promised makes me wonder how he managed his money at all. Going from the notion that this was a relatively simplistic game (as a $170k budget would warrant) in feauture-complete beta to the sudden promises of alphas and mind-bogglingly ambitious feature sets continues to confuse any sympathetic narrative I could use to explain what's happened. And, of course, most worrying to me is the fact that Alex has somehow managed to hire two separate community managers to try and keep us in the loop, only to have both of them politely quit without ever being able to answer any of the hard questions.
Does anyone have any idea what's going on? I'm somewhere between deep concern and morbid fascination.
My first and only Kickstarter... too bad for me :-(
@Dustin Deckard, too true. And despite getting no funding still get much more done!! Games made by developers of actual games(people with experience) end up with failed Kickstarters. Very discouraging.
@Alex Peake Where is the update "later this month"? It's july!!!
It really freakin bums me out that amazing game projects struggle to hit the $50k mark these days. People like Alex degraded the crowdfunding experience for the entire industry. :(
Anyways, putting a shameless plug in here for SUNSET, the new Tale of Tales game. They make odd "art" games, but have a solid reputation, have won many awards, and can be trusted with your money. It's also a first-person war game with NO GUNS, which is really special. Check it out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/taleoftales/sunset-a-first-person-videogame-thriller