Development on the successfully Kickstarted Haunts: The Manse Macabre has stopped, as programmers on the project have quit. Developer Mob Rules Games head Rick Dakan posted an update to the game's project page to reveal both programmers have left the studio, taking up jobs at Google and elsewhere. Neither developer is able to work on the game in their spare time.
The Kickstarter campaign for Haunts surpassed its $25,000 target, and closed at $28,739 over the summer. This money has been spent, Dakan said, "but I will personally refund out of my own pocket anyone who wants to withdraw their support, no questions asked." Those seeking refunds can email Dakan directly through his email address listed on the Kickstarter website.
"We’re going to make this game, and if you can hang on for what looks to be a long road ahead, we will get it finished," he said. "But that’s not what I asked you to sign up for and it’s not what you gave us money for. email me directly through Kickstarter if you would like your pledge refunded."
Kickstarter has previously stated that it will not get involved with refunds.
"This has been an emotionally rough couple of months for me, as I’ve invested almost all of my time for the past year or more in Haunts, along with my own money and reputation," Dakan continued. "It’s been terrible to watch it fail despite best efforts, but the failure is mine. There are scores of decisions I’d make differently if I had to do them over, and there were bets I made knowing the risks that haven’t paid off like we needed them to."
Dakan added that the game is nearing completion, but it contains many bugs. And without much programming experience, neither Dakan nor the game's artist, are able to clear these issues out without the help of more knowledgeable individuals.
"With no one left on the project who is capable of implementing those changes and debugging them during testing, the game is in a very patchwork state," Dakan said. "In some cases, levels that once worked fine now have serious issues. Fixing those issues would require fixes both to the level programming and the core system programming, working in tandem."
Despite the troubles, Dakan said he remains invested in bringing Haunts to market, and is currently talking to Blue Mammoth Games about a deal. However, even if this deal does go through, there is no promise that Haunts will be finished.
"These new potential partners won't be able to make the decision for a few weeks at least and then after that it would be months before anything came out. Still, I think it's out best shot at this point," he said.
Below is a video of Haunts in its current form.