Dysfunctional Systems cancelled! Wait, what?

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Rinima
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Re: Dysfunctional Systems cancelled! Wait, what?

#16 Post by Rinima » Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:15 am

I'll be honest, this has scared me out of running my own KS having seen all the things that have gone wrong here :\
What hope do the rest of us have if this project died? They guys are suppose to be one of the best groups around :s

Anyway: this is really disappointing news, since I'm a big fan of Dischan (they were the ones that got me into the dev community), and it's even worse that we won't get a full refund :(
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Re: Dysfunctional Systems cancelled! Wait, what?

#17 Post by SundownKid » Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:46 pm

Rinima wrote:I'll be honest, this has scared me out of running my own KS having seen all the things that have gone wrong here :\
What hope do the rest of us have if this project died? They guys are suppose to be one of the best groups around :s

Anyway: this is really disappointing news, since I'm a big fan of Dischan (they were the ones that got me into the dev community), and it's even worse that we won't get a full refund :(
Not to give any insult to Dischan or anything, but just because it looks professional doesn't necessarily mean that it was handled well. I wouldn't discount doing a Kickstarter simply because of one team failing. As long as you don't repeat the same mistakes. Though obviously you are taking on a risk when you do a Kickstarter, regardless.

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Re: Dysfunctional Systems cancelled! Wait, what?

#18 Post by netravelr » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:38 pm

SundownKid wrote:
Rinima wrote:I'll be honest, this has scared me out of running my own KS having seen all the things that have gone wrong here :\
What hope do the rest of us have if this project died? They guys are suppose to be one of the best groups around :s

Anyway: this is really disappointing news, since I'm a big fan of Dischan (they were the ones that got me into the dev community), and it's even worse that we won't get a full refund :(
Not to give any insult to Dischan or anything, but just because it looks professional doesn't necessarily mean that it was handled well. I wouldn't discount doing a Kickstarter simply because of one team failing. As long as you don't repeat the same mistakes. Though obviously you are taking on a risk when you do a Kickstarter, regardless.
This. As you can see here on this chart, there are many different things that can happen to Kickstarted projects, but of those successful it seems only Dischan's is actually cancelled (I may be wrong though) so don't be terribly discouraged. That being said, I probably wouldn't Kickstart until I had a finished product first to show you can complete something.
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Re: Dysfunctional Systems cancelled! Wait, what?

#19 Post by SundownKid » Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:49 pm

While this was the only one cancelled outright, there were a few more that might have quietly drifted into development hell. Still, there were some successes too.

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Re: Dysfunctional Systems cancelled! Wait, what?

#20 Post by PyroOgre » Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:02 pm

netravelr wrote:
This. As you can see here on this chart, there are many different things that can happen to Kickstarted projects, but of those successful it seems only Dischan's is actually cancelled (I may be wrong though) so don't be terribly discouraged. That being said, I probably wouldn't Kickstart until I had a finished product first to show you can complete something.
I'm surprised there have been that many VNs on KS. It looks like a good number have had steady progress at least, so it's nice to see that it's not a waste of money making the leap to fund them.

On Dischan's end, it's one of the English VNs that seems to be among the most known, so I do think that this would be a hit in that regard. I would hope that few would paint a broad brush like that, but we know there will be those kind of people.

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Re: Dysfunctional Systems cancelled! Wait, what?

#21 Post by Applegate » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:46 am

Rinima wrote:I'll be honest, this has scared me out of running my own KS having seen all the things that have gone wrong here :\
What hope do the rest of us have if this project died? They guys are suppose to be one of the best groups around :s
I'd hazard they're not one of the best groups, actually. They only delivered two VNs: one was Juniper's Knot, the other is episode 1. "Cradle Song" had a demo which was met with mixed feelings, and that one fell through due to loss of passion as well. Sakevisual, Winter Wolves, Hanako Games, Christine Love... those're what I think of when you mention big names; they consistently put out quality work. Dischan had a pretty big hit, but haven't been able to deliver on a longer Visual Novel just yet.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think Dischan's a bad group. I just think you shouldn't get worried just yet, as they aren't a group like aforementioned who've released multiple times with quality works. One hit does not put you among the best, it just makes you better than average. I'd be more worried over backer reluctance for Kickstarter.

Of course, I don't think Kickstarter is the best platform to launch your Visual Novels on. They're heavily subject to artistic motivation, until you manage to iron down the process to an industry.

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Re: Dysfunctional Systems cancelled! Wait, what?

#22 Post by sake-bento » Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:19 pm

A dev friend of mine once said that every game you make will take twice as much money and time as you think it will, and that's if you know what you're doing. Backstage Pass has been mentioned as having a huge budget. Totally true. But what you don't see is the stuff we had to cut from our initial plans in order to stay within said huge budget. All that money still wasn't enough to encompass our bigger dreams. The Kickstarter trap is listing all the big dreams up front, then being stuck having to deliver, even when the funds run out.

Should this scare anyone away from running a Kickstarter? I don't think so. Despite my reluctance to use it myself, I see how it could be a useful tool for others, as long as you plan carefully.

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Re: Dysfunctional Systems cancelled! Wait, what?

#23 Post by ktalkimist » Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:07 am

I thought it could be a clever ruse considering Jeremy went off the grid after the official updates, but it looks like they're answering people on Twitter now.

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Re: Dysfunctional Systems cancelled! Wait, what?

#24 Post by mineraloid » Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:03 pm

I think it's a shame that the prevailing message I'm seeing from people is "don't use Kickstarter," and not "this is a cautionary tale to plan ahead and get your business end together before you even start." I don't think it's fair to say that this poisons the well for VNs on Kickstarter. I come from an indie comics background rather than an indie games background, and I've seen this story play out time and time again with book projects. Despite that, comics are still large enough on KS to be their own category.

Indie creators, regardless of background, can get easily overwhelmed when an influx of unexpected money comes in, and it sounds like that's what happened here. Rather than shy away from crowdfunding as a whole, it's best to make sure your plan is as iron-clad as you can possibly make it before you even start the project, and then make contingency plans for your contingency plans.

Something I haven't seen mentioned here that's fairly common in comics kickstarters are fulfillment services. There are people like Breadpig and Backerkit, or this cool sounding software that will help manage the post-crowdfunding phases, but it all comes down to having a plan in the first place. It sounds like Dischan wouldn't have been prepared to even reach the stages for this, but it is possible that combining a fulfillment service with a good accountant could have saved them.

It's a shame when an idea ends up choking on red tape, but I don't think that means that the platform itself isn't viable.

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Re: Dysfunctional Systems cancelled! Wait, what?

#25 Post by ktalkimist » Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:25 am

Going by their official Twitter, it seems that aside from logistical mistakes, a big factor in their decision is the complete lack of motivation to continue. No intention to talk more about what went wrong, no attempts to resume the project when Dischan is in a better financial position (like what happened to some Kickstarters such as Last Class Heroes; Dischan is saying Dysfunctional Systems is probably dead)... For a creator to be disheartened in his work during the process, especially a very long one, is normal. It's how you cope that matters.

Even great artists (literary or otherwise) have their phases. In indie game dev communities, it is common wisdom to focus on shorter iterations when you're just starting out, in order to learn the important, often underrated skill of completing a project. Personally, people sometimes ask me for advice on how to keep your team motivated, precisely because losing motivation is such a common problem. It's especially hard when nothing seems to be going your way. The key, and I hate to sound like a self-help book that rarely actually helps, is to not give up.

Losing motivation? Don't give up. REALLY losing motivation? Try to find things that will light a fire, be it remembering why you do what you do, achievable goals that you can reach if you accomplish what's in front of you at the very moment, the implications of dropping the ball now, etc.

Someone giving up shouldn't affect your decision to pursue what you're passionate about. Rather, take it as a lesson and think long and hard and figure out whether you have it in you to engage in a long-term endeavour.

Before I chose to gamble on a commercial project, there was a very long period of research. I read about everything I felt I needed to know (really thankful to Winter Wolves, Moacube, and other long-time indie VN studios for opening the doors to other aspiring VN creators), including all the things that could go wrong in indie game development. It's certainly not something to take lightly.

So, don't be afraid, just be as prepared as you can. Some say you can never be prepared enough in game development, but you can definitely try.

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Re: Dysfunctional Systems cancelled! Wait, what?

#26 Post by wifom » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:10 pm

I think this is a really eye-opening scene for me. But I don't think that's to say that we should take Dischan as the epitome of . I think the backlash of their failure is due to their popularity; everyone's expectations made the onslaught so much harsher than it could have been.

Personally, it is discouraging to see a supposedly promising team fall off based on some amateur setbacks. But big companies do it too, which makes it all the more reason to understand that their mistakes, although basic, can and will happen to anyone regardless of experience.

It's been said on this thread a few times, but I think the most important things to take away from this (whether or not it relates to VNG development) is to keep the big picture goal in mind and being organized.

I think these are some good articles to read through for anyone venturing on the idea of Kickstarter campaigns (including the possibilities of failure) and in general:
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Re: Dysfunctional Systems cancelled! Wait, what?

#27 Post by trooper6 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:38 pm

If people are thinking twice about starting their own Kickstarters--I think that is good. I don't think people just starting out their VN career should be Kickstarting, anyway. (My opinion only)

A Kickstarter is a serious thing. You are not getting free money, you are taking the money of other people who are risking it on you, putting their faith in you. That is a trust to be taken seriously. I think if a person hasn't done a couple VNs and hasn't really worked out their workflow and really understand their motivation process...they shouldn't Kickstart.
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Re: Dysfunctional Systems cancelled! Wait, what?

#28 Post by FrontierGai » Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:05 pm

Very insightful and I'm glad they came out and told their story. Failure in many cases scares people into desperation and sometimes refusing to accept reality, which can lead to even more trouble. If anything, I read this and my sympathy goes out to them and hope everyone has learned a lesson from it.

I'm just starting out in the development scene so I can't say I won't stumble, but its stories like these that help prepare myself and others for potential obstacles we'll have to face.

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