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El_Sig

Leisure Suit Larry unexpectedly switch developers...fans do not seem happy.

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Yep, they can certainly learn a thing or two from DF, there are several people here who know how to disarm an uneasy situation (and having a sense of humor helps!).

Alienating your audience is not a PR mistake, it's plain stupid.

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It is sad to me that Paul Trowe gives the impression of a really immature person, and seems incapable of handling the project’s PR. He already set up too many unnecessary fires he should remove himself or be removed from that position.

Still, he is the main drive behind the revival of Larry in general, for our sake I hope his antics do not reflect his skill as a producer and manager, though early signs including the lack of foresight in choosing Adventure Mob as a developer to begin with are not very promising.

The change in developer is fine, though unfortunate since it lowers the confidence Backers have in the Project, but better early on, when hardly any work has been done than down the line, when it would inevitably have hurt the project more (look at Grey Matter).

All in all I hope Larry doesn’t turn out to be ‘that’ high profile Kickstarter project that ended up in a failure and it ends up turning people off from Crowdfunding in general.

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Yeah, Paul Trowe should back down, or tone down, from public communication. At this moment he is doing more harm to Replay and Larry. I'm not regretting backing the project thought.

Oh, and it won't be Larry that turns people to Kickstarter. I'd wager it will be Ouya or Pebble, after all both those were far more profilic and have much higher change of really disappointing people because of expectations some people have.

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Hey Frogacuda, it seems that Paul mentioned you in one of his latest tweets:

http://www.adventuregamers.com/forums/viewthread/463/P45/#6567

Classy as ever, Paul seems to have confused "positive" and "passive aggressive."

My comments on the Replay forums were really mostly saying that he didn't know how to present himself publicly and that it might be damaging to the company to wallow in drama all the time. His lack of irony in responding to that is pretty stunning.

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I think if this case got more mainstream attention and some people were not already invested in the project and had great respect for both Al and Josh this may have escalated to a Christoforo like brouhaha pretty quick.

Here’s a tip: If you selling something you can’t afford to be an asshole on the internet, even if the person on the other side deserves your response.

I personally had an argument, with the developer of Takedown on the Kotaku commenting boards, when he had a rather adverse reaction to one of my final lines on one of my long posts.

I thought he misunderstood me and tried to clarify my self, he responded by calling me names and acting immature, fortunately he had the decency to see my side and calm down at the end, so we ended the discussion amicably. And I haven’t heard of that particular person having any other outbursts so it may have being a contained thing.

The point I’m making with that personal story, is that with Kickstarter we are going to see a lot of people that are generally not well equipped to deal or be able to control themselves, when they see things said about their person or their project that they don’t like. Not everybody is trained in PR, not everybody is a calm mature individual and not everybody can get themselves out of the ‘internet mentality’ and act as if they are one of the mob.

When you selling something you got something to lose, the customer is always right and all that, if you don’t have something positive to say to criticism or things you don’t like don’t say anything at all.

Hopefully these mishaps will teach other potential people that lack the necessary self-control to either learn better self-control or put others in charge of PR.

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When you selling something you got something to lose

Although the "problem" with Kickstarter is, once your project is funded, you don't really have anything to lose, right? The money's yours.

And looking at it from our end of the game: We can't do anything about it! Or did I miss some bit in the terms & conditions of Kickstarter about requesting a refund of your pledge?

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Laserschwert: What they've got to lose is their reputation and good faith from the many potential buyers that didn't kickstart the project but are still contemplating buying the game. And while the Kickstarter funding is going to fund most of the game, you almost always run into problems that potentially extends development time, so suddenly you're spending more than the initial budget allowed and you need to make that money back by regular sales after release. And if everybody thinks your company sucks and the leader of it is an asshole, chances are they might not buy your game. So they do have something to lose by all this bad PR.

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From a discussion I had with another backer here that had legal background, it looks like our legal rights in case of a Kickstarter going bad are simply… Unknown.

Crowdfunding like the one in Kickstarter is simply too new, and until a case like that actually shows up in court we don’t really know at what extend of the law we are protected (and we’re only talking about US law).

The’ are certain safeguards in place. Like for example, if Tim had decided to grab our money and run we could easily sue for fraud, there’s also a distinct paper trail to prove it.

But Kickstarter is an intermediate, like Pontius Pilate they wash their hands of any squabble between creator and backer; they’re only willing to cooperate if any legal authorities get involved in providing data etc.

As far as what they got to lose, as Kasper said, creating bad PR for a project will inevitably hurt its final success. We have to keep in mind here than any money a creator makes through Kickstarter is supposed to go in providing the rewards and making the project, at the end of the day they must sell the final product to non-backers to actually start profiting.

If any established developer starts a Kickstarter project and does not deliver, it pretty much translates to career suicide. A turbulent but successful development can have a myriad of results, from the game turning out to be a bust with minimal sales, to damaging the longevity of the IP in question.

Unfortunately Paul Trowe has already managed to do too much damage too soon, and for little reason. The wise thing to do right now since the damage is already done is to stay out of sight until the development of the game is completed.

I think I read at the last update that Josh will handle communication with the fans from now on, so hopefully the ills associated with his name will be alleviated and Larry will really get another chance and not get sabotaged by the same guy who sought to bring him back.

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You really do have to wonder about Paul Trowe. I have no idea if he is a good guy or not

He's the hero adventure gaming deserves, but not the one it needs right now (sorry, just saw and loved the new Batman film).

On a side note. Larry is kickstarted, Spaceventure is kickstarted, I've heard rumours of a Quest for Glory Kickstarter, Kings Quest is in Telltales hands. It's a great time to be a Sierra fan! (Sorry for the terrible grammar in the previous sentence, but I'm writing quickly and can't be bothered editing).

I wonder if there is any Police Quest fans floating about?

waves

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I've heard that Telltale lost the KQ license.

That might explain why they've been awfully quiet about the development of their KQ game... :-/

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I've heard that Telltale lost the KQ license.

I remember reading that same thing, but I think it might have been just wishful thinking from some fan, who would have preferred AGDInteractive to do an official sequal to the game in in old school style graphics included. Which would be a mistake IMO.

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Im sure telltale has a time frame with which to do somthing with KQ or they could lose the license. As of right now, they still have those rights.

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Im sure telltale has a time frame with which to do somthing with KQ or they could lose the license. As of right now, they still have those rights.

This is precisely the circumstance, but as I understand it, the license reverted back to Activision sometimes between DFA and the launch of SpaceVenture.

That said, I'd reckon they could still score the rights again for the same deal, but they have to wait until they're actually able to work on it.

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My main issue with the LSL kickstarter were the terrible reward levels. Now, to clarify, I don't pledge money to Kickstarters for the rewards, but I do consider it part of my return on investment. And the LSL reward levels were not set up in a way to encourage people to pledge the higher tiers.

I pledged at the $40 reward tier because that seemed to be the one to give me the most return on my investment. The $40 reward tier has digital copies of the game and the soundtrack plus a t-shirt. And I assume we get the $5 reward tier as well which are the wallpapers as usually it's set up to get all previous reward tiers. We'll see what happens on that one.

But I digress.

The next reward tier after that is a PDF of the artbook. That's just not enough incentive to go up $10. There needed to be something more. If the $40 and $50 tiers were reversed however, my brain would see "t-shirt" at $50 level and ignore the fact that the PDF is an extra $15 over the $25 pledge. The keys to effective tier structuring is you put the major reward upgrades at the $50, $100, $200, etc. levels. That's just how people's brains work. *shrug*

To continue:

$75 tier - just adds Alpha/Beta testing. Useless as I had no intention of wanting to alpha/beta test the product. I want to play the full game the first time. Not to mention, look at DFA, the $15 tier included access to the beta. No way is it worth $25 to get access to a beta.

$100 tier - this is the collector's edition. This is what I wanted to pledge as I like game boxes. But again, I just couldn't justify what I was actually getting in the lower tiers to get here. Especially since that beta was a separate tier. Plus, the condom is a cute idea, but there needs to be more in the box than just a game, soundtrack and one novelty item.

So yeah, they really didn't think their tiers too carefully. And I think that's why they struggled a bit to meet their goal. Not sure if that's Paul Trowe's fault or not, but they really should've thought them through a bit more.

My two cents.

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$100 tier - this is the collector's edition. This is what I wanted to pledge as I like game boxes. But again, I just couldn't justify what I was actually getting in the lower tiers to get here. Especially since that beta was a separate tier. Plus, the condom is a cute idea, but there needs to be more in the box than just a game, soundtrack and one novelty item.

With DFA, $100 gets you a box with the game, the documentary, a T-Shirt, a poster.

With Larry, $100 gets you a box with the game, the soundtrack on CD, a T-Shirt, a softcover version of the artbook, a condom.

I don't see much of a difference in value...

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With DFA, $100 gets you a box with the game, the documentary, a T-Shirt, a poster.

With Larry, $100 gets you a box with the game, the soundtrack on CD, a T-Shirt, a softcover version of the artbook, a condom.

I don't see much of a difference in value...

there's a big difference between a documentary in HD on Blu-Ray and a soundtrack. Not to mention the condom can only be used once but you can display the poster many times in many places. :P

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Au contraire, you can display the condom if you want to but you can't really 'use' the poster in an 'emergency'!

Also... I wouldn't actually use that condom.

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Well I will only see the documentary once (and I'm not even sure, since it will probably be the same footage as the monthly updates we have here), but I will listen to the soundtrack many times. And I'm not sure that I'll display the poster, but the condom will probably go (unused) in my goodies display case. So it's really a matter of personnal taste.

I'm pretty sure they DID think their tiers rather carefully, but it is hard to please everybody.

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I think Larry had okay tiers. A couple of odd ones, which I was amazed someone pledged, but okay in a general level. A project that had problematic tiers was SpaceVenture. They had to make a lot of extra tweaking to make them right.

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Also... I wouldn't actually use that condom.

Where's your sense of adventure?!? :P

I think Larry had okay tiers. A couple of odd ones, which I was amazed someone pledged, but okay in a general level. A project that had problematic tiers was SpaceVenture. They had to make a lot of extra tweaking to make them right.

Yeah, SpaceVenture definitely had wonky tiers. I just pledged $15 on that one. Would've like the box but it was too confusing as to what I was actually getting. Plus I think it included a GOG credit and I didn't need that as I already own like 3 or more copies of all the Space Quest games. Not sure I really needed to own SQ1+2+3 again, digital or no. :P

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Yeah, SpaceVenture definitely had wonky tiers. I just pledged $15 on that one. Would've like the box but it was too confusing as to what I was actually getting. Plus I think it included a GOG credit and I didn't need that as I already own like 3 or more copies of all the Space Quest games. Not sure I really needed to own SQ1+2+3 again, digital or no. :P

If they had kept the original award chart format with $ and reward axes, showing what you got for how much, I think it wouldn't have been that bad. When they changed it to that goofy icon reward chart it got wayyy more confusing. I pledged way more that $15 anyways, though, since that's my favourite series.

As far as the LSL thing, I don't think there's anything to really be upset about, but they really need to hire a PR person to handle communications and let Paul go and run the company. He seems to put his foot in his mouth way too often but otherwise seems like a perfectly nice dude. :P

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Also... I wouldn't actually use that condom.

Where's your sense of adventure?!? :P

Woman's world:

- Mommy, who's my dad?

- His name is Larry, Larry Laffer, he was a big thing back in the late 80s and early 90s

Let's switch to the man's world and see what going on there:

"I don't get it doc, it worked in LSL1!"

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Paul Trowe has been pretty quiet lately. It's been Josh Mandel, who's been doing the communication about the game itself while Trowe has been tweeting mainly his playlist.

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When you selling something you got something to lose

Although the "problem" with Kickstarter is, once your project is funded, you don't really have anything to lose, right? The money's yours.

This is a point which has yet to be legally tested.

I've studied UK contract law, and though US contract law is the same the same general principles apply (thank you, shared imperial past). Under UK law, there most definitely exists a legal contract between Kickstarter backers and project owners, and I think it is almost certainly the case that one exists in US law: you, the project owner, have said that if you receive X amount of money you will accomplish Y project, and you will provide the backers with rewards according to the advertised tiers; that fulfils the classic three-pronged requirements of an offer from the project owner ("I'm gonna make this game and offer these rewards"), acceptance of that offer from backers ("Cool, here is our money") and a consideration on the part of both parties (backers provide the money, project owners provide the goods).

It doesn't matter that there is no legally-witnessed piece of paper with "CONTRACT" written on the top: a contract comes into existence when those three things are involved, and in the case of Kickstarter the offer, acceptance, and promised consideration is all a matter of public record so it would be trivial to prove in a court of law that a contract exists. There is nothing in Kickstarter's terms of use to suggest that this wouldn't be the case; the use of the term "pledge" with regards to monies paid into a project might provide wriggle-room, but the Kickstarter terms of use specifically describe rewards as things offered by project owners in return for pledges (and those things almost always include at least some tiers where you get the final product of the project), so I think most courts would rule that there is clearly a contract situation here.

Therefore, you could argue that failure to deliver the rewards would constitute a breach of contract between the backers and the project owners. Of course, this only matters if a backer or backers sue the project owners for breach of contract. Would someone who chipped in $15 to a project do so? Maybe, if they were rich enough and angry enough, but then again $15 is of a scale where many will just suck it up as money down the drain and just be more cautious about backing in future. Would someone who pitched in $10,000 do so? Much more likely - they clearly have the disposable income, but again it would hinge on them being angry enough to actually take the project leaders to court, and if you've paid $10K and have nothing to show for it then you're going to seriously want a refund.

To be honest I don't think the switch of studio is going to bug people to such an extent that it would cause them to sue over breach of contract (particularly since there may be wriggle-room involved here: I don't think a commitment to use this studio was written into the actual descriptions of the reward tiers, for instance, and the project owners could credibly argue that they needed to make this minor change to the deal in order to avoid a much more major breach of the contract - failure to deliver). But the first time a major Kickstarter fails to deliver - particularly one which attracted high-paying donors who can afford to hire a lawyer (or who are lawyers themselves) - watch out. Either the whole "once they have your money that's it, nothing you can do about it" myth will be busted, or there will suddenly be very good reasons to be much more selective about who you back.

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