Failed Kickstarted Yogcast Game Wasted $35,000 on One Artist’s Two Weeks of Work

Developer Winterkewl explains where the backers’ $567,000 went.

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Earlier this week, we learned that Yogventures, a game from the popular YouTube channel Yogscast, has been canceled after raising $567,000 on Kickstarter.

Yogscast co-founder Lewis Brindley said that the project was ultimately “too ambitious and difficult” for the six-man developer it partnered with, Winterkewl Games.

On Friday, Winterkewl lead developer Kris Vale explained to backers via a Kickstarter update some of the issues it faced during development, including one major incident that cost it $35,000. In short, Winterkewl paid an artist in advance, who then went to work at LucasArts without finishing his commitments to the project.

“This is a very good example of how my inexperience caused some problems in the development,” Vale said. “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.”

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Vale said that after this incident, Yogscast’s Brindley lost faith in Vale’s ability to manage the budget, and required that the money that hadn’t been spent already be transferred to Yogcast.

“In the end we negotiated that $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,” Vale said.

“Winterkewl's statement omits much and I would disagree with a number of points, but there's no value in going into detail,” Brindley said in a post to the Yogscast subreddit earlier today. “Our only goal right now is to ensure that we provide the best possible experience for the backers that we can. I can honestly say this has been our goal throughout.”

Brindley also reiterated that Yogscast is working hard to reimburse the backers with other rewards and a code for a different game, TUG.

Vale said that he needs to consult with his accountant to make sure the information is accurate, but offered a detailed breakdown of how Winterkewl planned to spend the roughly $415,000 it had to work with after Amazon and Kickstarter collected their fees from the total $567,665 raised. You can find that breakdown in the last Kickstarter update.

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