Use this space to cheer the creator along, and talk to your fellow backers.
Have a question?
@L. Scott Johnson: Its because Will already has our money. He's gotta make sure those Patreon supporters stay happy though.
@PiHabe, he still posts regularly on his Patreon
I've contact the Illinois Attorney General. I couldn't fill in the online complaints form as it didn't give an option for non-US address and I have no idea what Will's address is, but I've used the online contact page and outlined my case.
I just wrote him to release *anything at all* to provide some form of closure.
His profile tells me:
"" Letzte Anmeldung 30. Apr 2018 "" (last logged in: April 30, 2018)
I’m going to make one more attempt, in the next couple days. Barring a response to my satisfaction, I’m going to file a complaint.
@Steve Brown: I'm not an American citizen either. The AG still addressed my issue even through they're limited in what they can do besides reminding Will of his obligations.
And like Jim said, the more complaints they receive the more likely they are to look into it further.
I'd like to offer my thanks to those of you willing to log issues with the Illinois AG's office.
As an overseas (UK) backer I don't believe I have the facility to do this, but correct me if I'm wrong.
If anyone does know of a way for overseas backers to take international legal action (without it costing an arm and a leg), please do let me know.
Will has had enough goodwill on my part, having never once had the good grace or professionalism to respond to any of my communications to him via Kickstarter, Twitter, or email.
Just to follow up on what Jim said, when I filed my complaint with the Illinois AG's office they accepted everything I was able to send them. I sent them screen captures of my communications with Will (he never replied, obviously) and captures of Update #51 where Will first says he will provide refunds.
Where they needed information on Will I was able to find names, addresses and numbers in the Chicago white pages. I'm not going to post that info here though.
It ultimately wasnt much but the complaint was registered and they sent Will a letter.
One of the things that pisses me off the most is he can play dumb by saying he didn’t read emails or look at comments, which sounds weak, but you’d be surprised what lawyers accept because no one can prove otherwise.
I haven’t taken this step yet. I have some thoughts but I think I’m going to wait until August. It coincides with some due dates.
If people find a way to contact with a means of confirming receipt, I recommend doing so before you file a complaint. (And I may not wait till August for this) When you do file any complaint, provide documentation that you’ve contacted him directly in an attempt to resolve the problem. It really underscores the problem and “ups the stakes” when an AG’s office reviews the complaint. They’ll ask / want you to take the direct approach first. Take care of it ahead of time.
Some folks might say, “But Jim, how the hell do we do that? We have no information and Kickstarter itself is useless. Yeah, you’ll just have to get smart. You can figure it out.
An article on the subject with facts, links, and suggestions. https://www.hmckinneylaw.com/heather-mckinney-law-blog/2017/11/30/take-the-money-and-run-the-dangerous-game-of-unfulfilled-kickstarter-campaigns
@Seth T. Blevins: Will lied about issuing refunds so there is currently no way to receive one.
I would suggest filing a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General's office and the American FTC
So how do we go about getting a refund?
We used to get monthly updates with excuses and vague promises. Now it seems we've even lost that. I have no idea what the point of this whole thing is.
Hey, Will. You could learn from R.Talsorian Games. They just refunded the backers of their 5 year overdue game.
No, I’m going to say a little bit more, because this obviously been on my mind.
Sometimes this reminds me of a weird kidnapping situation, where it’s unclear who exactly is in control. Normally the kidnapper calls and makes demands, and ergo they’re in control. “Do what we say or you’ll never see your loved one again.” Will has our books but Will never makes the call to us. In fact, he already has the ransom. Instead we call him, or try to, we beg, plead, and threaten and he ignores us.
I’m not a Mel Gibson fan, but I’m reminded of his Ransom movie. Very basic premise: The son gets kidnapped. The kidnappers call and make demands. Dad freaks out when the process is dragged out and he tells the kidnappers “F-You! You’re going to kill him anyway. I’m putting a million dollar bounty on your head!” Then he hangs up on them and the kidnappers have lost total control of the situation. Not a perfect analogy, but I don’t feel like I have any agency in this situation.
It’s a neat trick, not responding to anybody anywhere. He protects himself but now we have no power. No voice. Not much recourse. Everything is limbo until he decides to stick his head out the door before disappearing again.
@Alex: I really don’t know. I’m giving you a short reply because I want you to know that I saw your comment. It doesn’t bother me. In fact, it seems like a fair question to me, if I was in your position. I started to reply and found myself writing a multiple page editorial column.
I’m disgusted, hurt, and somewhat outraged. There’s a lot of discussion about “fan entitlement” right now, but I don’t think it’s relevant to this situation. George R.R. Martin doesn’t owe anybody a book and neither does Patrick Rothfuss, but ironically Will Hindmarch does. He absolutely does. He’s under contract and he got paid in advance.
It’s not the money. Truth be told, I’d still like my books. It’s the contempt I feel from him. I’ve been told that he’s a nice mellow guy, who is quiet and apologetic. He doesn’t understand that I can only interpret his silence as contempt.
That’s all I got to say today.
So, Jim, I'm curious what your associates say when they defend Will. I saw your tweet to him, which was very professional and respectful, getting ignored like everything else and I really cant wrap my head around how anyone defends Will's behavior.
Do you think its a case of "Always defend our industry"?
If someone is at a Origins, he’s there. I asked him on Twitter to please make an announcement.
@Peer: Pretty good. I give it a solid 8/10. Needs more "continuing to work on layout" though.
Hey,I'm ready for another update! Still excited about this one.
Its dark somewhere so here is an update:
I know you are all disappointed with me. Its justr all my fault. But Ive found some help! There is a publisher who will help me with everything. We are nearly there. I just need to write another chapter about cards. And Ive seen art on the internet.
@Alex: I guess you were right. A month and no contact.
Has anyone else had contact from Will as promised in the last update?
I've messaged him again.
@Steve: Will isnt going to get a hold of anyone. If he was going to do the right thing he would have done it years ago.
For anyone wondering if a Kickstarter is a soft and fluffy arrangement with a friend to help them fulfill a dream with no obligations OR a business arrangement to provide goods promised and paid for, please watch this video about the Robotech Kickstarter:
I'm not a lawyer, I don't know if he's right, but it's the best qualified argument I've seen about the nature of Kickstarters.
Will has obligations here and he needs to live up to them, but don't expect Kickstarter to do anything about it, they've cleverly constructed their terms and conditions to protect themselves. As an overseas backer I have very little action I can take without more effort than really warranted, but domestic backers hold all the cards.
I'm giving Will (or his partners) a month from his #62 Update to get in touch with me following all my non-answered communications to him. I'm hopeful, but not optimistic given his history,
*Ron Howard's voice*
It didn't happen
In update #62: "When I’m back at my desk, I aim to tackle some of your mail, messages, and direct requests, too"
Lets see if this actually happens
Still waiting for that promised refund
Oh wow. A vague update with no real news. What a surprise.
This is the second short, content-less update in a row. This is the second time hes started with the unnamed Publisher shtick. Who does he think hes fooling?
It'd be nice if he released a g*damned _book_.
I swear, the layout in this thing had better jump off the page and give me a world-class bl*wjob for all the time Will has wasted messing around with it.
More excuses, more "I just need to adjust the layout", more screwing around with the art direction, more *lies*.
Release the unlaid-out text to the backers in its entirety, Will. Period. Anything less and you're insulting us again.
It'd be nice if you released what you have so far.
I'm going to run Project: Dark at Fear the Con because the beta stuff is enough to do a single session of the game. Even something that's fairly rough and still being worked on would do a lot to show a good faith effort.
Hi Will - please release the books in their current state as PDFs so we can at least see what's available. I've been curious about this game for years (literally now), and I would love to even have the demo experience you've already provided at this point, and then you can keep working on the final form (or just cancel the project), but at least your backers have SOMETHING to show for their support and patience.
We DO want to see progress, unless the next update is that it's actually done and being shipped.
@Stefan - After looking at your chart I realized we haven't even had a piece of art since Nov 4, 2016 (Update 56) which was 513 days ago.
Jason - feel free to pick one:
I'm ready for another update!
Will is just going to ignore us until we go away. There are no repercussions for this behavior and he knows it.
Until a lawsuit gets fired into his mailbox he will be content to just update his Patreon and whatever he actually feels like doing.
Maybe this is an option?
Section on Fundraising and Commerce:
Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill.
Project Creators may cancel or refund a Backer’s pledge at any time and for any reason, and if they do so, are not required to fulfill the reward.
I want a refund. Will is just stringing everyone along and has no ability to complete this project. I'm sure he wants to and sometimes believes he can, but he isn't going to.
I do feel sorry for Will if his depression is real, but reports of him attending Cons and working on other projects makes it a difficult excuse to swallow.
I think I've been patient enough and if he has an ounce of decency he should refund people that ask for one.
We all know he doesn't reply to anything posted on or through Kickstarter and he stopped using Twitter because he couldn't ignore direct messages to him. Does anyone have any ideas how we contact him or make our requests and feelings more public?
In a twisted way, Will needs to be applauded for achieving a stunning feat:
Right after funding, he entered some strange kind of monologue with himself, setting up deadlines and milestones, launching side projects like communities and web sites, while all the time refusing to be measured by anybody but himself, refusing even the most basic dialogue with the people he got 75k from by making false promises.
And 4 years later, doing round after round, all the time just by himself, he made this whole project slowly, but surely, fade away...
First people cared, were upset, were taking sides, pro and contra. But over the years, he wore us down... people started not to care anymore, writing this one off as experience, as lesson, as tragedy, or as travesty.
But Will - without delivering anything - silences it all, backer by backer, month by month, just by ignoring everybody.
No fight, no yelling, in the end just... pure ignorance.
Kickstarter has seen it all - the fights, the love, the misunderstandings, the betrayals, the surprises...
But this one is unique - it just slowly disappears. There simply is no one to yell at, there is just nothing.
Kickstarter is not a store with finished products, it is about enabling - that or similar arguments were often used in discussions here and I fully agree.
But in this very special case I felt cheated, not only by the (IMO) incorrect details on the status quo of the project, but also by all the broken (and never commented on) promises made along the way.
After all, without wanting to get into a discussion about creative processes and / or depression, we sometimes need to remember what we are talking about:
A writer's job, not rocket science.
There is no sculpting/programming/shipping involved - all these nasty little details that made kickstarters fail.
It's "just" writing.
Even if sometimes we are not as gifted by creativity as we hoped for, we still promised to deliver.
If his struggle is between delivering something outstanding, which will take additional years because of creative challenges that he did not knew of in his original pitch, or to deliver something "ok" to satisfy backers - fine!
Just tell your backers, ask them.
If they decide to wait - here you go!
If they rather prefer the unpolished draft - so sad, but hey - they earned it.
The very least should be honest communication with the people that you owe, in an open and constructive way.
After 4 years, Will got things so messed up, that he can't really do anything anymore but to ignore and hope that somehow he will get out of this train wreck, preferably unnoticed and unharmed.
Looking forward to see the next steps of "Project: Fade".
@Noah Doyle: Haha, yeah, he gave himself a pay raise for the Dark books alright.
I just hope that Rachel Kahn got paid for her card art since shes the only one who's done any work on this project.
"This campaign, if successful, allows me to take time off to finish writing and laying out the text while commissioning the art for the book."
"Somewhere between $12,000 and $14,000, I got to give myself a pay raise for the Dark books and take some additional time off from freelance work to devote just to them."
" I have carefully crafted this campaign to minimize risks and obstacles, learning from my experiences in previous campaigns. Still, any machine with moving pieces sometimes needs troubleshooting. As a veteran of the tabletop-games publishing business, I have the experience necessary to coordinate fixes, troubleshoot errors, and overcome the hurdles between this project and its final completion. If funded, this project pays me for the time necessary to manage and shepherd the project to success, with minimal distractions. It is my sincere aim to have this game available for sale at Gen Con 2014 and this funding makes it possible for me to devote time and resources to that goal."
Four years, and $75,000 later...
At this point I would settle for an unfinished PDF-Download.
I need to follow DeathStar backed projects for his witty updates ! Worth every penny
It's amazing how long I can be away from this thing and have it be almost unchanged when I return. Personally I am starting to think that Project Dark and Blades in the Dark met in an alley in Will's mind. There was a brief scuffle, some sobbing, and then Blades in the Dark Walked out unscathed. RIP Project Dark. See you in another 18 months.
@Planet Deathstar - I don't even care that the game is late or that Will is having issues. I do care that he keeps using mental health as his goto excuse. He could make a monthly post saying, "Sorry, I blew the money on cocaine and hookers, but I'm trying to find the time to get the game done in-between jobs to keep the lights on so it doesn't go Dark," and I'd be way less upset.
I'm also bothered there has been no transparency of any kind. No peeks of things he's working on. No revised text.... Speaking as someone with anxiety, I'd be way more afraid to wait until it was finished to show it to people than to show things as they're in development.
I dunno...I mean, I'm sure the guy is struggling and embarrassed, but this albatross is going to keep hanging around his neck until he puts something out.
@Jim Groves - I understand where you're coming from. For me, dealing with stuff like this tends toward making light of the situation. I’d rather bring some levity to the comment section than be out-and-out negative. While that can definitely be seen as sarcasm, it’s not really what I’m going for. I think it leans more to being a little absurd and silly than it is “trolling for lelz.”
I’m not interested in ripping people down, but I do think that sometimes a mostly toothless critique is necessary for growth and introspection, and I try to frame what I post in a way that invites the person I’m critiquing to rise above whatever I’ve written. That’s actually the whole point, really.
@Jesse (I suppose?) – I didn’t see your comment, but I’m not a hater. There are a couple of reasons for this:
1) I really want Will to succeed. I write absurd nonsense to engender a sense of urgency, and hopefully to point out that while the game is late, this isn’t really all that bad. I do actually feel that he could complete it *if he put the time in* but I’m not 10,000% convinced that he is actually putting the time in…
2) I’m a scamp, and therefore harmless.
@Kenny – Thanks! Depression is awful and I think it’s the laziest possible excuse to use it as a scapegoat here. Your point about Will making others who deal with similar conditions look like con artists feels especially true – “Oh, that person can’t be trusted, they have a form of ANXIETY and/or vague and ill-explained DEPRESSIVE TENDENCIES. GASP.” Ugh. Horrible. He should (and likely does) know better.
See y’all in a month!
@Planet Deathstar - Your posts are incredible. They're worth every penny I've paid for this non-existent game.
Will makes everyone who struggles with depression and anxiety look like con men. I have extreme cases of both and I still get my job done on time.
So, we all meet back here in a month and talk about the new vague update?
I'm out guys. It's too much. I hope he finishes. If I get a book someday, hooray.
@Planet Deathstar - I appreciate the humor. I can't laugh though. I also don't want to be too sarcastic. A lot of people I respect and would like to work with someday seemingly adore Hindmarch. I don't want to be so sarcastic that I become the bad guy here. These 'nice' people in the Backer Update? I don't even think they realize they're, for all intents and purposes, egging me on.
You know unconditional love is a beautiful thing. I say that with no sarcasm whatsoever, but when did self-respect and honoring your word come to mean so little? When did we blatantly start using our disabilities to take advantage of people that we made a commitment to?
Some dork named Jesse called us "haters." I only just started complaining. I was frustrated in the summer, but in August he made us all a promise to have something in November.
I don't understand. I don't want my money back (I recognize that some of you do, and my declaration is not intended to detract from that) I guess I want people to be loving but I also want them to be fair. I want them to insist on an honest and detailed accounting of what is going on.