Linux Gaming News

When Kickstarter Isn't Enough – The Case of 'Haunts: The Manse Macabre

Kickstarter is the “in thing” for game funding right now. Have a game idea? See if it resonates with gamers and ask for money to make it happen. With so many games funded, it has been a waiting game to see when the first controversies occur. Enter Haunts: The Manse Macabre.”

Forbes reported earlier today that Haunts cannot continue development because all programmers have left the project. In addition, developer of the project – Mob Rules – had pursued their Kickstarter under the direction of extreme transparency. Their Kickstarter states,

“Mob Rules Games believes that radical transparency is the best way for us to do business – that if we are as open and straightforward as possible with our customers and the world, we’ll both earn their trust and be able to operate in an open and honest manner. We post our budget, schedule, progress, investors, and corporate policies on our web site.”

While a lack of transparency is not new, the controversial removal of a single player version of the game in addition to this lack of transparency that comes on the heels of funding and staffing problems have created quite a growing controversy.

To Mob Rules Games’ credit, they have been forthcoming with details about the mistakes they made. In the Forbes article, Rick Dakan, CEO of Mob Rules says,

Ultimately I think the biggest mistake was rushing in and hiring a programmer instead of taking our time and finding a true start-up oriented founder who was a programmer. That was a mistake (there were others!), and I won’t make that again.

With a variety of Kickstarted games inching closer to publication deadlines, the fate and various reactions about the failure of Mob Rules Games to deliver on their promise will certainly shape the reaction people have to other games.

Haunts: The Manse Macabre is a turn-based game for PC/Mac/Linux that allows players to take control of either the haunting denizens that have earned this infamous home its dire reputation or as the intrepid intruders determined to pry loose the Tyree Manse’s dread secrets. It can be played versus another player or versus the AI, online or all alone. A lengthy single-player campaign tells the house’s horrifying history and unlocks new denizens and intruders to use in the game. Scores of maps combined with variable goals, customizable rosters, and a variety of opponents offer endlessly unique and re-playable games.

More information and development on this story can be found on the Haunts Kickstarter Page and the Forbes piece that broke the story, and the developer’s blog entry about these events.
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