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Scavenge. Build. Fight. Survive. Introducing ROAM, an online co-op action game set in a procedurally generated world.
Scavenge. Build. Fight. Survive. Introducing ROAM, an online co-op action game set in a procedurally generated world.
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3,526 backers pledged $102,518 to help bring this project to life.

"Legal things" and ROAM

Posted by ROAM (Creator)

Greetings, fellow zombie-slayers! 

There has been much speculation on the official forum (, on our Kickstarter page (, as well as in private messages and e-mails regarding the future of ROAM, game development, and the aforementioned "legal reasons" mentioned in the previous update. 

If I invested my own money – money that I could have easily used for something I needed or wanted – into a project that I believed in, and if I perceived the project to be in peril, I would be more than distraught about my investment. In fact, I would say my reaction holds as much validity as modus ponens! ROAM would not have been anywhere or anything if it were not for Kickstarter backers: 100% of funding occurred in this manner. Each and every individual who financed the project will be receiving the game. It will certainly not be one of those "put this product out for the sake of putting a product out."

Unfortunately, the situation of "legal things" is such that it cannot be revealed at the moment. Depending on the outcome of the aforementioned, we shall or shall not be able to disclose what has transpired. Whether full disclosure occurs or does not occur, the progress of game development has not been hindered, and will not be hindered. The lack of game development dialogue in updates indicates that it is hindered, as any logical individual would and should surmise. However, it is the "legal things" that are preventing us from providing game development dialogue. Please be rest assured that development is still occurring, albeit unable to be displayed to backers for now.


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    1. Missing avatar


      I thought this was a superbly written and suitably proffessional update. I hope the developers don't take the handful of impatient comments below to represent the thousands of backers who are likely content with this explanation and with the game's progress.

      To the impatient folks: please try to relax and practice seeing things from a point-of-view beyond your immediate gratification. I understand it's natural for Kickstarter to give you an inflated sense of self-importance (I've been guilty of it myself) and if you already live life by the "squeaky wheel gets the grease" theory, then that just makes it worse. Venting your frustration in the form of righteous entitlement, though, won't accomplish anything positive and just drags down everyone's morale.

      For all we know, this could be as simple as Microsoft wanting them to change things due to similarities to their recent zombie-survival game. Being Microsoft, though, that would likely come with an excessive amount of legal hammers. If you had a behemoth like that breathing down your neck, you would likely be very cautious with your phrasing, too.

      That was all pure speculation, I know, but it was meant more as an example of the virtue of giving people the benefit of the doubt.

    2. KuroSaru on

      @ROAM, thank for trying to explain why dev seams slow. do use all a favour keep on working on the game and give is a epic update when you can. until then hope the legal issues ends soon.

    3. Blake on

      Wow. I'm blown away by all the butthurt here. It sucks that they can't give us more info, but at least we were told that there are issues. Far better than silence.

    4. Missing avatar

      Kaeroku on


      Don't be discouraged by the responses here. This is the internet. People like to complain. People REALLY like to complain on the internet.

      As long as I get the expected return on my investment, within a reasonable time (near the proposed deadline for release,) I'm happy.

      As for the rest... blah. People get hung up on things they're excited about, and when money is tied into something and information is not 100% transparent, they get antsy. Not everyone is very good at resolving their frustration maturely. Because, after all, this is the internet.

      So don't be too discouraged by the reactions. I appreciate the update, and I am hopeful that there will be no impact to the development or release of the game, as you indicated.

    5. Missing avatar

      Godewijn on

      Appreciate the update, thanks.

    6. Missing avatar


      I think this request from steelwraith is really reasonable:

      "I think part of what's getting everyone's nethers in a lather is that you keep saying legal 'things'. Things implies a lot of stuff and is pretty damn nebulous.

      If you're under and NDA say so - no one (except the NSA or other federal agency under FISMA) can stop you from saying you are under one. If you're in negotiations for something (name, voice-over talent, etc) you can at least say you're in negotiations for resources."

      At least tell your backers what the consequences would be if you gave more information. Like Mads Glahder said, "Is the NDA under an NDA?"

      Is there any legal situation where you can not only not say what the problem entails and when you will be able to, if ever, talk about it, but can't say what consequences would be for giving more information? You're not being asked to break any agreements. You're being asked what kind of legal thing it is. Gag order? NDA? This will help soothe concerns.

    7. Missing avatar

      steelwraith on

      @ddbelya - no I don't expect $250 an hour PR guys to lie to us. But I do expect a straight answer.. legal 'things' is what you tell your four year old, not the people that invested in you.

    8. Jalister on

      At least there have been a lot of supportive comments also.

    9. Missing avatar

      ddbelyea on

      I try to stay out of kickstater comment boards because they are generally just full of angry people who likely have never been part of any sort of large project and have no idea what they are talking about. But c'mon guys. This is an indie game, and presumably you are a fan of indie games. If you want the developers to act like PR guys then go play something made by activision/bethesda/EA/etc. Where you talk to someone who is paid entirely based on their ability to deal with angry internet trolls. This is a very small budget project, so it is likely the person talking to us here has other stuff to do, and doesn't specialize in dealing with stupid overly critical trolls.

    10. Larry Barriere on

      Sounds about right. Glad to hear that the legal issues aren't hindering the game's continued development.

    11. Missing avatar

      Michael Rushing on

      Good luck Guys. I hope it ends in your favor. To those complaining Life sucks get a helmet.

    12. Chris M on

      I thought the update was perfectly reasonable, and in no way disrespectful to the backers. Keep your heads up ROAM, ignore the temper tantrums, and dodge the toys flying out of prams.

    13. euansmith

      All the best, Roamers, and I hope you can resolve your "legal things". I also hope that you are still enjoying the development process and that it isn't going to turn into joyless drudgery for you. I know what it can be like trying to remain positive about a project or company when you are under a stressful cloud. Chin up and keep smiling.

    14. Jalister on

      @ROAM - I'll admit that is sucks you are having legal problems AND that you can't really tell us anything. However, I am not reprimanding you for this update. I would rather know why there has been so much silence, even if you can't really divulge why yet. I'll trust that the game is still on track, January 2014 is still far off.

      I do have some concerns though.

      Is the game still being developed as pitched, or will it go through a major change in design? Forsaken Fortress has done that too us, and it's way off from what was pitched.

      Is there a risk of money running out and the game not being released? There have been at least two projects now that have run out of money and will not deliver, and at least one that is only delivering half a product for now.

    15. Missing avatar

      Digby5000 on

      Yes, this is certainly quite odd Isn't it. Its not you that's at a loss over this - we are.

      Are you legally prevented from apologizing for this self-made mess? Are you legally obligated to whine about people trying you hold you accountable too?

      You sound annoyed at all the 'disdain'. You know what else is annoying? Your complete lack of professionalism and your inability to accept blame for how badly you continue to handle this. Admit you're in over your head, apologize and offer refunds to people who don't want to stick around to see how bad this gets. That would be the responsible thing to do. You do know what responsible means right? I bet you're learning it from a legal perspective. Unfortunately its at our expense.

    16. Missing avatar

      Jerry Gray on

      They're legally obligated by the contract they signed with Kickstarter to either provide the product, even if delayed, or provide a refund. If they cannot do that, you can sue them.

    17. Silver on

      It's good to know that development is still going on, even if there are unrelated complications.

      However, would you be willing to consider consulting a legal advisor about writing you guys a short summary about your situation, within the letter of the law? Even if you yourselves aren't sure about what can and can't be said, a lawyer or any qualified legal advisor could instruct you there for a nominal fee.

      Thanks for the update, but please, do consider my comment. This issue could severely hurt your relationship with your backer base otherwise, and that's definitely bad for any future business.

    18. Missing avatar

      ddbelyea on

      "development is still occurring" is the only thing that matters.

      Also, @Malcolm McMartin: Kickstater is only a gamble if the reason you are backing something is entirely for the reward. I think most of us back projects because we want to see them succeed, not because we think we are getting a great deal on something that doesn't even exist yet. I did back for more than $25, and if this, or any other, kickstater fails, then I will feel bad for the people who are working on it, not for me losing a bit of spending cash.

      Also, if you are so strapped for cash that kickstater is a gamble, then you shouldn't be giving money for kickstaters.

    19. Malcolm McMartin on

      Let's face it; kickstarter is more gambling than investing. I feel bad for people who gamble more than $25 a kickstarter. Any time you choose to gamble sometimes you will lose.

      At any rate, I think we need to give some credit to offering some sort of an update no matter how obscure.

    20. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    21. Missing avatar

      steelwraith on

      I think part of what's getting everyone's nethers in a lather is that you keep saying legal 'things'. Things implies a lot of stuff and is pretty damn nebulous.

      If you're under and NDA say so - no one (except the NSA or other federal agency under FISMA) can stop you from saying you are under one. If you're in negotiations for something (name, voice-over talent, etc) you can at least say you're in negotiations for resources.

      Otherwise the default choice is to assume that 'things' means 'problems', i.e. lawyers get paid. Even then you can say you're under a gag order. But the less info we have the more bonkers people are going to get.

      Personally at least you're doing better communicating than the idiots in the Dark Energy kickstarter... with them it's like watching a four year old try to lie their way out of breaking the cookie jar.

    22. Lars H on

      Thanks for the update. It is good to know that you keep on working on ROAM. Nevertheless please tell us why there are any legal things or at least why you are not allowed to inform about them. Would be glad to hear about it.

      That being said, I think there is no way to please everyones wishes about updates. Listen to all, reflect, and do what you think is right. :)

    23. ROAM Creator on

      It is certainly quite odd when months upon months backers have asked for information we cannot give, disdaining our silence - asking for information via e-mails, private messages, and every outlet that exists. People do have a right to know, but if there is nothing to be said due to matters out of our hands, what is there to do? Then, when we do say what we can, we are reprimanded and told to have kept silence until there is actual information. I am at a loss...

    24. Rutger Storm on

      This update was kinda useless. All the things stated in this update fall on us taking your word on it without having any proof at all. Why the hell can't you say on what part you are having legal problems? And if you really can't just keep it silence till you know for sure you can't talk about it or when you can talk about it. This kind of update is usually one preceding the one where you stay silent forever or announce that you abandon the project.

    25. Sebastian on

      Unless you have been rightfully ordered by a judge to do so or signed a contract, your decision to remain siltent anything is just preemptive obedience. There is no law that prevents you from giving your backers an update. This is not North Korea.

    26. Zyggy on

      How much cash is being spent on resolving these legal issues? Lawyers are not cheap and if the legal issues are so significant as to cause a few months of hubbub I do fear that funds may be appropriated from elsewhere. Such as the game.

    27. McMarius11 on

      Whats the FUCK???? Guys seriously??? you cant say anything because of legal things, what game are you making a DRUG SIMULATOR that is not legal to show, you are the FIRST KICKSTARTER PROJECT THAT HASENT UPDATED ANYTHING ON PROGRESS ;)
      legal things yeah only 100.000$ Guys keep it up!

    28. Missing avatar

      Digby5000 on

      Seriously? Is this a joke? Your update reads like a snide, rambling inside joke being told by a grade school kid. Backing this was money well spent!

      Here's some advice: treat you backers with more respect than you gave the law before you started this train wreck of a project. Write a real 'update' with a sincere apology to your backers for the lack of transparency, and for the legal issues you most certainly brought on yourselves, and provide some timeline of when you expect them resolved.

      I have a feeling the only reward I'm going to see for my pledge will be to watch you trapeze from one disaster to the next because releasing a playable game is beyond you. Prove me wrong.

    29. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    30. Egamruf on

      Just retain every single backer to give you advice, and then our respective opinions can be covered by legal professional privilege, and you can claim your update (and advice to us) was necessary to protect your legal interests.*

      * I am not your legal advisor, and it is not my legal recommendation that you act as I just proposed. My initial statement, and this statement explaining that statement, are provided for satire purposes only.

    31. Jordan York on

      I'm just going to wait until you can actually tell us something before I start speculating or worrying about what might be happening. Best of luck with the game development stage. I'll be back when there's more to hear in that regard :)

    32. Peter Jacob on

      Looking forward to seeing who is suing you for what and whether they have a leg to stand on.

    33. ROAM Creator on

      @ Atarun: The previous update on July 25, 2013

    34. Atarun

      Huh? In which prior updates were those "legal things" mentioned again?

    35. Jalister on

      Argh! Curiosity! More about seeing progress of the game than about the legal issues. I do hope that the legal issues can be worked out soon though.

      If you can answer one question though. Is the game still being development as it was pitched to us? I'm asking because of some recent disappointments with some other projects.