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Yogventures! is an open world sandbox adventure game featuring characters developed by Simon and Lewis of The Yogscast!
13,647 backers pledged $567,665 to help bring this project to life.

One last update from Winterkewl.

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Hi Everyone,

Sorry I didn't respond earlier to the news the Yogscast announced earlier this week. I was traveling for work and didn't really have time to get online and make a proper response. Like I said, our partnership was dissolved so of course they didn't (and didn't have to) tell me anything about it so it came as much as a surprise to me as anyone.  

I do think the TUG team have a lot of similar goals, and if that's the developer that the Yogscast have chosen to continue Yogventures with then I hope that NerdKingdom will do their best to reach the goals the Yogscast have for Yogventures and if they do then hopefully everyone will win and get the Yogventures we all wanted to see happen.  

I will provide a detailed breakdown of all the funds we received from the Kickstarter and how we at Winterkewl Games used every cent towards making the game. I need to consult with my accountant to make sure I don't miss anything and that it's all formatted correctly etc, but here some rough numbers to hopefully shed some light on what the funds were used for.  

After all the backers had a chance to fulfill their payments, and all the funds were collected out of the $567,665 that was pledged, roughly $415,000 of that was actually transferred after the Kickstarter fees and Amazon fees had been collected. We met with the Yogscast when the kickstarter ended and everyone agreed that the entire net should be used to create the game as much as humanly possible. So we made a plan as such.  

  • $35,000.00 Concept Art / Sky boxes / Environment Textures (Senior matte painter / concept artist from PDI Dreamworks)
  • $35,000.00 Concept Art / Character Designs / UI Design (Senior Character Designer Treyarch)
  • $35,000.00 Modeling (Senior Modeler from Dreamworks)
  • $35,000.00 Textures / Surfacing / Shader development (Senior Surface Artist from Dreamworks)
  • $35,000.00 Animation (Senior Animator from Dreamworks)
  • $35,000.00 Programming / Unity Development (Myself Unity Developer)
  • $15,000.00 Unity Developer part time / intern
  • $100,000.00 Programming / Application Architecture / Back-end Server Code / Voxel Engine (TBD, we were courting several programmers with lots of game experience over the course of the Kickstarter)   
  • $3500.00 Legal Fees Contracts  
  • $1500.00 Accountant Fees
  • $15000.00 Hardware (PC computers)
  • $5000.00 Software Licenses 
  • $15,000.00 Escrow for expenses related to development like buying Unity Assets etc. 
  • $50,000.00 Physical Rewards creation and Shipping 

Unfortunately, right off the bat we had one major incident that happened that we could not fix. Our good friend and matte painter really terrific artist that created most of the concept art with environments on the Kickstarter page, he left PDI to work at LucasArts. LucasArts wouldn't give him a carve out in his contract to work on Yogventures so he couldn't work on the project any longer. 

This is a very good example of how my inexperience caused some problems in the development. Because we had worked out a contract that guaranteed each of the principal artists a $35,000 lump sum payment, and we didn't make any clear clause on how and why someone could legally stop working on the project, The artist in question got paid, worked for about 2 weeks and then stopped working on the project. We had no way to force that person to pay back any of the funds and it was a bitter lesson to learn. Always get every possible scenario in writing or you will have no legal recourse. 

When Lewis found out about the artist incident he was rightly confused and upset, as a result he lost faith right away in my ability to run the company from a business standpoint and basically required that all the rest of the Kickstarter money that hadn't been spent be transferred to them right away. In the end we negotiated that to $150,000 would be transferred to the Yogscast with the understanding that they would use that money exclusively to create and ship all the physical rewards, AND they would help hire the main programmer that we still didn't have on the project. 

 The whole fiasco left a bad taste in all parties mouth and we could immediately feel tensions beginning to take the place of what was once just excitement and joy to be making such a cool game. In hindsight I wish I would have let Lewis manage all of the funds from the very beginning and essentially just taken a profit share contract from them so that there wasn't any of the confusion that happened later. 

 Time went on we began developing in earnest but without our main programmer and no funds to hire one it became clear that more of that role was going to be filled by me than I ever intended. Not to be daunted though I worked tirelessly for the next 18 months as did all of the people listed above. We never had another person drop out of the project and all of those artists produced a huge number of assets and for prices that by their normal work a day rates were really really low. 

Unfortunately, too many design changes and my in-experience as a project lead and programmer were what's to blame for our company never really making what it was we set out to make. I am extremely proud of everyone that worked on this though, and even though the game wasn't finished what we were able to accomplish is a creative and artistic vision of a voxel world that hasn't been done that many times before. The character work and the props and textures all the concept art it was really lovely work and those guys should feel proud of what they did. 

Anyway, I'm not sure why the Yogscast felt "shackled" to us, but I still feel honored to have worked so hard on this project for all of the backers and fans. Our business model may have been naive but it's still one of the best things I've ever made from scratch and for that I'll always be grateful to all the backers. 

Since the money was all spent either directly on development of the game or paid to the Yogscast to handle physical rewards and "licensing fees" I'm afraid Winterkewl Games has a negative balance at this point. We don't have any of the money left and as such can't really offer refunds. 

I understand the frustration of that, but we put in I would say much more than a "Good Faith Effort" we literally gave it everything we had and then some to make this game happen. So, like I said all of those numbers are not completely vetted, once I get all the data formatted I'll come back and post again. I do hope that sheds some light on where everything went though, nothing was scammed, no one and I mean NO ONE has gotten rich from this effort or is even better off then when we started, except for all the memories and the great feeling it was to see your support and try and make a great product from it. 

Thanks again for everything, and again my deepest apologies that we weren't able to finish the game ourselves. I really hope the Yogscast's plan with TUG works out and all the backers get a great game they deserve. ~Kris

Comments

    1. Creator Tadeusz on December 27

      can i ask you all to write here who didn't get TUG key yet? Or who didn't get TUG key but he get it later (after reporting this issue to yogscast) how long were you waiting?

    2. Creator Renmiri on November 7

      "of course without the code, no one can really hack into it, or mod it"
      lol
      Tell that to the people hacking and moding games written in Japanese, or hacking Unreal's gamefiles without unreal tools :p

    3. Creator Renmiri on November 7

      I always liked you guys at Winterkewl and still do. I don't regret funding you, I was aware of the risks and think it was worth it. You guys learned more about making games and we got a nice beta to play with. Hope your next project is sucessful.

    4. Creator Gyzmok on September 24, 2014

      i never got any "landmark" key.

    5. Creator Robert on September 5, 2014

      While I appreciate the effort of the replacement gifts, TUG and Landmark, it would be nice if at least one of them were Mac compatible. Any chance of getting an option of a Mac supported game?

    6. Creator Matthew on September 2, 2014

      I wonder if anyone has got their TUG key yet...

      Seen the email and Reddit post talking about it (and how we should have got them) but nothings come through for me (and I even checked the spam folder)

    7. Creator Kris Bright on August 11, 2014

      I never got my TUG key either.

    8. Creator Dolan man on August 6, 2014

      I never got My tug key

    9. Creator Nicholas DaRocha on July 29, 2014

      Ya I also never got a TUG code...was it sent by email? Cause although I got the email saying "You should have it" I don't...I feel like it would be easier to send them through Kickstarter honestly.

    10. Creator Christopher Henzler on July 25, 2014

      the problem now is, the yogscast has all the assets, and the source code, from what nerdkingdom says, they turned down making the game, which means the yogscast is sitting on a $200,000 dollar investment of a game, that they might not even give out the source code to.

      you have to think now, at least half of the backers now have the program files to yogventures, of course without the code, no one can really hack into it, or mod it, but at the same time I want to put it into someone's head, that there still may be a way to look into the yogventures files, at the very least would give us an idea of what winterkewl was working on, I mean at this point there is no harm into hacking into the files, since The Yogscast has made it clear that the game is being shelved

      I guess at the end of the day, it would of been nice to at least to been able to get the game The yogscast had played at e3 and on there channel, even if it was a prototype, even if it was a tech demo, but thus with the yogscast having it all, this bit of history may never be seen by the public eye again

    11. Creator shayne.oneill on July 24, 2014

      Ah well. Having captained a sinking ship before , both as a small business owner and software engineer on a death march project, I can relate to every word here. I've been screwed by contracts, screwed by the horror that is shifting design goals , payments that don't show up and projects taking far longer than expected.

      Thanks for being honest man. Take it as a big , painful, lesson and hopefully your next adventure will be successful. Good luck.

    12. Creator Sollie Smidt on July 24, 2014

      Where do we find this TUG code?

    13. Creator Connor Wadey on July 24, 2014

      As the guy below, what code for TUG? i don't have any idea where to look for it or what's happened to it, but i'm pretty sure i didn't get one.

    14. Creator Justin van der Merwe on July 23, 2014

      I think I might be missing something, I've never received a code for TUG...

    15. Creator Matthew Mather on July 22, 2014

      And this is why I love Kickstarter.

      Before any of you flip out at me, calm down and hear me out. I know you're probably disappointed, and success is always more desirable than failure. But while failure is not desirable, it is valuable.

      Most failed games are never even referenced in public. I've heard that Blizzard actually do start a lot of projects, many of which are new IP, but unfortunately most get cancelled before we even hear about them. Gamasutra postmortems are useful, but they're public articles that (if the developer is sane) are often sanitized and likely omit the worst and therefore most valuable mistakes. The Mythical Man-Month and books and blogs like it are even better, but they tend to focus on general principles. If any specific examples are mentioned, they tend to only be partial examples.

      Dreaming in Code is the best book I've read on the subject of a specific failed project. At the book's conclusion they weren't certain whether it would be a failure or not, so it's not a specific theme. However, I've never heard of the product actually being released and it's now seven years later.

      Reading up on failed software projects is the most important way to realize when you're making mistakes and possibly avoiding failure yourself. I know this is all just anger-inducing to those who have no interest in software development of any kind, but it's super valuable to me.

      Thank you for everything, Winterkewl. I would have preferred the full release of Yogventures, but I consider this information (and TUG) to be a decent consolation prize.

    16. Creator Winterkewl Games LLC on July 21, 2014

      Hi everyone, unfortunately we can not "open source" the project because we were contractually obligated to supply all the work to the Yogscast so they may do with it what they can.

      I would suggest waiting for more news from them, or contact them at yogventures@yogscast.com with your ideas. Sorry / Thanks!

    17. Creator Cenitoria on July 21, 2014

      Thank you for following up with us. I'm so sorry that things went this way, but I do want to thank you for all of the hard work you put into the game, and I hope for all the best for you in the future.

    18. Creator Randy Jimenez on July 20, 2014

      Disappointed in both Yogcast and Winterkewl. The transparency is a little late but a gesture that is needed. Would like to see this level of transparency from Yogcast and an explanation on where the $150k handed over to them went.

      More is needed in the absence of refunds or the eventual delivery of the game for which we pledged. I'll echo the sentiments of others here and ask that backers received access to all assets that have been created including source code. It's a start in making up for this mess.

    19. Creator Chris Holt on July 20, 2014

      If you want to provide "something" to backers, the. Release the source code and all art assets to the backer community or the public at large. Let the community finish the game.

    20. Creator thrasher08 on July 20, 2014

      Thank you for informing all of the backers. I can understand that you are a very small development team and as such, projects like these don't always pan out.

      Thank you for your best efforts and dedication, I wish you the best of luck in all future endeavors.

    21. Creator Sparkie3222 on July 20, 2014

      Thank you for letting us know about all of this Kris. I can understand what it's like to be part of a small team working on big things.

      In regards to some of the spiteful comments below, The Yogscast/Winterkewl Games don't owe anyone anything. Read the terms: "Kickstarter does not offer refunds. A Project Creator is not required to grant a Backer’s request for a refund unless the Project Creator is unable or unwilling to fulfill the reward".

      I could see that the game had potential, but at least now we all know a good reason not to bite off more than you can chew, and make sure everything is in place if something does go wrong.

      I wish you all the best for the future.

    22. Creator Tiny Turtle on July 20, 2014

      Please consider releasing what you've got, including the source code. We paid a lot of money for this and, since this project failed, I feel like the community should be given a chance to do what it wants with it.

    23. Creator Timmo Warner on July 19, 2014

      Thanks for the update. Sorry the project didn't turn out.

      Also, I'm very glad the Yogscast is going to do their best to make things right for backers.

    24. Creator Philip on July 19, 2014

      Thanks, Kris, for being so honest and upfront with us about the project. I am very sorry things did not pan out, most especially because of the devastation it caused in your life. Thanks for all the work you put into the effort as well. You surely seemed to give it your all. I wish you the best wherever life takes you next.
      Again, thank for your honesty and hard work, and I'm sorry it ended up being so hard on you.

    25. Creator KnightOfNi on July 19, 2014

      I have the feeling everything the yogscast are saying is going though a lawyer so we aren't getting the full picture from them.
      Thanks for giving your side of the story.

    26. Creator Charity on July 19, 2014

      I'm really glad you posted. It makes me feel a little better to know some of the things that went on during development. I only wish there had been more of this before now. Part of what I like about kickstarter is feeling like I'm part of a process to create some thing. I'm sure lots of the anger here comes from the fact that communication just stopped leaving us to believe the worst, that you took the money and ran like so many other people. I have no ill will towards any parties (except that artist who left). I hope you and your team all the best in future endeavors. And I appreciate the yogs trying to make things right.

    27. Creator Mt on July 19, 2014

      Thanks for this Kris it really gives us a great perspective as to what happened. It's sad that that guy essentially stole $35,000. Any info on what happened to that $100,000. It seems that without a main programmer the project was doomed to fail, and that the Yogscast would know this. I don't blame you for failing, as we all do sometimes in life and wish you all the best for the future as well as everyone that worked on this project =)

    28. Creator Patrick Williams on July 19, 2014

      Just wanted to give my two cents. Winterkewl, thank you for doing the best job you could have done, and I'm sorry that your artist up and abandoned you like that. I'm sorry there was tension between you and the Yogscast; I'm sure you both had the same goal of satisfying your backers as much as possible and you both had valid reason to be stressed/upset. But things happen and often we just can't control that. Also, everyone wondering what happened to the rest of the money that the Yogscast took from Winterkewl, it's very possible that they rolled some or most of this money over to Nerd Kingdom. I mean I don't feel that any game developer would just give out thousands of keys to their game on good faith alone, let alone develop specific bonus assets. It's much more likely that the Yogscast paid them a large sum of money for those codes.
      I do wish that the Yogscast would have been more communicative of these issues earlier on as I'm sure there are at least a few backers with some of the skill sets required that probably would have loved to help out on this project. Instead, one thing went awry and the Yogscast reacted with a knee jerk reaction.
      It's a shame this project won't be seen to completion, but this is Kickstarter and more often than not, these things happen. Winterkewl, I'd like to wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, and even though this may be a failed project, I'm sure the many lessons you've learned will be invaluable on your future game creation journey.

    29. Creator ShotgunEmmet on July 19, 2014

      Hi Kris,

      As a game developer myself I understand this was an overly ambitious project for your team, I must say I personally believed the minimum of $250k you set (knowing taxes and fees) was a fraction of what would be needed to complete this project.
      I assumed once money ran out we'd end up with a far cut down version that probably wouldn't be very optimized, I've also been guilty of underestimating the scale of projects.

      Being part of canceled projects I know that they don't get completed by different developers ever, without exception.
      I think the best thing to do would be to contact Lewis and see if he'd consider putting the existing source code & project files on an SVN repository like GitHub (excluding purchased plugins or textures of course) so any willing modders or developers out there could work on it, I know a few projects in the past have done this (e.g. infiniminer).

      You could leave the project link along with a link to download the last working build of yogventures you have, that way people at least have something to play with and can appreciate all the work you guys put into it.

      Just remember we learn a lot from our mistakes and Good luck in the future =]

    30. Creator Sparrowskit on July 19, 2014

      I really appreciate how much the whole situation sucks and how hard it had to have been to write this last update for us. Thank you for the transparency and honesty. I've been on the bad end of contracts that weren't thorough enough myself, but as they say "them's the breaks." TUG may not be Yogventures, but in the end, great games are still made, right?

      I wouldn't hold it against the Yogscast, either. No one in this project had attempted anything on this scale before. But that's what Kickstarters are for -- to give people the chance to try. I don't regret supporting that, and I'd gladly back both parties again. It's not about what I get out of the deal, it's about keeping indie games alive, successful or not.

    31. Creator James Dooney on July 19, 2014

      I accidentally deleted my email containing my tug code, what should I do to get it

    32. Creator David Khono Hackland on July 19, 2014

      Dude, it happens. Really sorry for the crap you went through and how some parties took big cuts from the budget while contributing little. It's really sad, the cynicism with which some people operate.

      Any parts of the project you and your team could release as open source would be greatly appreciated. Best of luck with your future projects. Don't let this keep you and the rest of your team down!

    33. Creator MAG on July 19, 2014

      Just the thought of Lewis taking an extra 100.000 from this project is disgusting. To be honest... I had already forgot about this game, but It's good to see someone stepping up and taking the responsibility. But after i read through all this, "the yogscast" have given me a bad taste in my mouth.

    34. Creator Tobi Báez on July 19, 2014

      Kris, all I wanted to say is that I appreciate the hard work and passion you and your team putted in this. Also I honestly hope you get your life sorted out, better times will come and cherish always all those good memories you created during this project :)

    35. Creator Konvay on July 19, 2014

      Thank you, Kris. I wish you the best of luck in your current situation and greatly appreciate you taking the time to inform us all of this. You deserve much better.

    36. Creator Jim on July 19, 2014

      I bought TUG before finding out I was getting a key for that game instead of a working version of Yogventures... so now what?

      I can't install it with the code given (steam won't let me), so I doubt I will ever be able to get the "in-game exclusives" they are hyping for backers of Yogventures.

    37. Creator Cassandra S on July 19, 2014

      I'm exclusively a Mac gamer. TUG looks like it's Windows-only. Is TUG going to support the Mac platform?

    38. Creator Carson Lynne on July 19, 2014

      Kris, No hard feelings here at all. Thanks for the update. I hope that the experience sees your next project a real winner :)

    39. Creator usedforbattle on July 19, 2014

      My only gripe is at the time the Yogscast didn't inform us backers of these kind of developments sooner. There was a long period of time were I thought Yogventures had been and gone. Anyway, this new games and exclusive content deal from the Yogscast seems fantastic, as a backer I can't really complain about that. I do hope Winterkewl Games goes on to bigger and better things x

    40. Creator Tristan Hale on July 19, 2014

      to be honest, I actually feel more sorry for Kris than the yogscast or the backers because I know that he suffered personally and the tension and responsibility of this project affected his life at home. thank you very much for trying and carrying on and I kind of find it a huge let down that Lewis and Simon didn't even so videos on ore alphas or anything, it's like they weren't really that commited

    41. Creator Benjamin Chirlin on July 19, 2014

      Wow. This story just keeps getting more and more interesting. I knew the team was extremely experienced but that sounds like a particularly rough project. Considering the ambition of the project however, I'd be surprised to see even an experienced studio complete such a work without at least two to four times that budget, all snafus aside.

    42. Creator NJDFisher on July 19, 2014

      Oh, I get it. These developers need all that money to delegate practically everything to top end professionals. They're not making a game, they're fumbling around with inconsistent plans. You shouldn't have been chosen for this, I thought you were trained developers even if you weren't experienced. That being said, I am sorry that everything crashed around you, but don't be stupid for the sake of being flattered by big parties. And make a game for yourselves, by yourselves.

    43. Creator Alexko on July 19, 2014

      Well, shit happens. Thanks for being honest about it.

      Have you considered making the game open source, now that you're unlikely to finish it anyway?

      Someone might be interested in picking up the project.

    44. Creator toxiclum on July 19, 2014

      So $50,000 on physical rewards and they got $150,000 - you're telling us that they literally just pocketed that money right?

    45. Creator jonathan on July 19, 2014

      Before anyone goes on a rampage being all like: why didn't you make what I paid for ya da ya da ya da, this is the potential problem with kickstarters, still thanks for trying so far :)

      Reminder to anyone ever backing a kickstarter, consider the money lost, and that you will never get anything for them, if you then get something, great, if it's some of the best out there, awesome, but there is also the very real chance that you won't.

      Anyway again thanks for trying so far, as a developer I hope this has been a good lesson for you, and that should you ever make another game, not to repeat the same mistakes. The mark of a capable mind is learning from mistakes, and not repeating them over and over.
      Good luck henceforth.

    46. Creator Chris Cardus on July 19, 2014

      I think its incredibly big of you to stand up and be counted. Of course some things were your fault and some things weren't, but the fact that you can admit that in such a public forum and be so open, honest and clear about exactly what happened, why it happened and what would be done differently makes me gain trust in you, rather than lose it. I personally back projects on Kickstarter to see really cool things come to life that might not happen otherwise. The fact that some of these projects simply don't come to fruition is simply a harsh reality of the Kickstarter process and people really shouldn't be willing to lay down their own money if they don't think either the physical rewards will be enough or that they are willing to lose the money they put in. Its a shame that Yogventures will never happen, but honesty is all too rare in this industry. Well done for all the great work up until this point and good luck with whatever you decide to do in the future. :-)

    47. Creator Winterkewl Games LLC on July 19, 2014

      @JamesT no we didn't that's partially what I'm trying to explain, just openly and honestly, we were a Indie Studio of Artists without any business experience at all. We at Winterkewl were as close to a pure profit sharing partnership as you could be, which in hindsight was potentially a mistake but it meant that we stretched the budget further than we could have had we been under some other format. For example if everyone would have gotten paid a fixed hourly rate, then the burn rate for our budget would most likely had been depleted in the first six months of development, even if everyone was working for $10 / hour. As it was because we all had some sense of ownership and profit sharing, we managed to keep the doors open at least 12 months longer than we would have been able to otherwise.

    48. Creator Chris McLatchie on July 19, 2014

      This really leaves me wondering what actually happened to that $100k that was supposed to be used to hire a lead programmer....

    49. Creator James T on July 19, 2014

      "we had worked out a contract that guaranteed each of the principal artists a $35,000 lump sum payment...The artist in question got paid, worked for about 2 weeks and then stopped working on the project"
      That's an astonishing admission. I can't say I have ever heard of any artists working on a commercial project under those...interesting terms. Did you have anyone managing finances, anyone with any experience? Well, you must have done to be able to pay them $35,000 within two weeks of the work starting.

      "Anyway, I'm not sure why the Yogscast felt "shackled" to us"
      Might have something to do with having some sense of responsibility, having taken half a million dollars of people's money.

    50. Creator Eladd on July 19, 2014

      Originally backed for my 10 year old son as he followed yogcast. I myself was not fussed on the game but son was excited to bak. I guess this is part of backing a project things happen. At least you were able to provide Tug which in many ways look better. Good luck for future projects.