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 Alpha Colony  Kickstarter misses funding goal by $28

Alpha Colony Kickstarter misses funding goal by $28

December 3, 2012 | By Mike Rose

There was heartbreak for the team at DreamQuest Games over the weekend, as its Alpha Colony Kickstarter missed its $50,000 pledge target by a mere $28, highlighting the all-or-nothing nature of Kickstarter as a funding platform.

As a result, the studio will not receive any of the cash despite coming so close, as the Kickstarter rules clearly state that if a project fails to reach its target within the specified timeframe, it cannot claim the money.

It's notable that this is the second time the game has failed to hit its Kickstarter target -- the first time around, the studio was looking for $500,000, and only managed to gather $101,472 before DreamQuest pulled the plug on it.

Alpha Colony was due to be a family-friendly exploration, building and trading sim for a variety of platforms, with a release next summer. However, DreamQuest founder Christopher Williamson posted on the studio's Facebook page yesterday, stating that he will now have to "focus on projects that will pay the bills."

"Obviously, we are very disappointed," he admitted. "We have invested 10 months and over $60,000 of our own money into this project. It is so frustrating to come so close, but clearly there simply isn't that much interest in building the kind of game I envisioned."

The message suggests that the team may put the project back on Kickstarter in the future, but that other more immediate needs must be dealt with first.

"I doubt this is the end for Alpha Colony," he added, "but I do have to be responsible business owner and father and accept the reality of where we are at the moment and what the world wants."

"The kindest thing the universe could have done for us"

However, talking to Gamasutra, Williamson provided his thoughts on how the Kickstarter ended, noting that his team is actually relieved that it failed.

"Although many consider this a failure and unfair, in the end, it is perhaps the kindest thing the universe could have done for us," he said. "To be committed to deliver my dream game underfunded, understaffed, and sub-par, and to lose even more time and money would have been even more heartbreaking."

He noted that if it had been successful, he would have ended up losing far more money as a result of the low funding target. "[$50,000] may seem like a lot of money to many," he added, "but by the time I pay 3D artists, animators, designers, and programmers, issue figurines, prints, T-shirts, shipping, etc. there will be nothing left for me and my team and we would end up with a game far short of what I had envisioned building."

"That is why I put the original game up for $500k -- because that was what I felt it would take to do it right and not lose money. We scaled it way back and added stretch goals to $300k on the second Kickstarter in the hopes that we could at least achieve the same $100k level we got before."

He also noted, "Despite all the snarky posts by others, I had already contributed an extensive amount of my own money to the Kickstarter and called in many favors and would need to do so again to succeed." He added, "I have already invested 10 months and $60,000 of my 401k into this game and simply have no more savings to live off to try again."

Kickstarter has been a huge talking point for video game developers over the course of the last year. Last week, Gamasutra's Leigh Alexander outlined the six most important lessons we can learn from the business model.

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