Haunts: The Manse Macabre Kickstarter project postponed due to financial issues, lack of programmers

Friday, 19th October 2012 22:51 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Haunts: The Manse Macabre, and Kickstarter project in the works at Mob Rules Games, has ceased work on the game after programmers quit, and funding was overspent.

According to an update on the game’s Kickstarter page, via BBC, the haunted house-themed horror game exceeded its $25,000 goal with $28,739 pledged from backers.

Studio founder Rick Dakan said the game was close to being finished, but will need extensive bug testing, and he’s having trouble finding new programmers who are familiar with Google’s Go programming language.

“The principal cause for our dire condition is that there are no longer any programmers working on the game, wrote Dakan. “Our lead programmer, Jonathan, was always going to move on to something else after a year or so. We had hoped that he would be able to work on the game in his spare time, but now that he’s going back at Google, he has told us that his spare time will be very minimal and not enough to make progress on the game.

“Our second programmer, Josh, has quit the project entirely to take another job. He does not want to work on the game in his spare time.

The game as it stands has all the systems in place, but there are a lot of bugs. Knowing Jonathan would be leaving, the plan had been to get online play working and release the Beta, with Josh working to make the levels run in online play and scripting the AI for the single player versions of those levels.

“Unfortunately, getting online play working took three times longer than estimated. It also required making adjustments to programming for all the levels, even when they’re not being played online. 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. 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.”

Dakan said he is not giving up on the project, and he is in talks with Blue Mammoth Games which has expressed interest in “taking on Haunts,” and has offered to refund any Kickstarter pledges out of pocket to those who request it,

“I will turn over my share of any future revenue from the game to whoever manages to get it finished, fun, and out to you,” he said. “We have spent all the money we raised, but I will personally refund out of my own pocket anyone who wants to withdraw their support, no questions asked.

“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, 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.”

For those unfamiliar with Haunts: The Manse Macabre, a video featuring various screencaps from the game is below. The turn-based, horror game where you can play as the haunts or the intruders, was slated for a PC, Mac, Linux and iPad release.

Via: Polygon.



  1. BULArmy

    So the dark side of Kickstarter is staring to show? This is one of the reasons I still am very reserved with giving money via Kickstarter and have put money only in projects of companies that I have trust they have big chance to deliver the end product(Wasteland 2 and Project Eternity). And even with those I pledged the minimum even though I was tempted to give them more money.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. viralshag

    This is the the sort of thing I have always worried about when it comes to KS. I have a bad feeling a lot of companies/indies/studios will go the way of 38 Studios. Maybe not as extensively downhill as them, but KS projects are essentially devs trying to make a business out of their funding. And while they may be great at making games, they may not be the best business minded people.

    I won’t be surprised if a lot of the projects go bust before they finish.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. TMRNetShark

    As long as Wasteland 2, Planetary Annihilation, and Project Eternity don’t go down this path…

    But one of them might. :(

    #3 2 years ago
  4. The_Red

    While this could be seen as a general problem with Kickstarter model (And to some degree, it might be), the problems facing this project are NOT unique to that model and can happen to any game with any funding and business model, from 50 million dollar AAA projects to self funding $5,000 indie works. NOTHING is predictable when it comes to making a game and as the studio head said, something like the online play took THREE times more than projected time.

    That is NOT just because of inexperience. Anything can always go wrong in any project in terms of timing and that is why big publishers keep cutting unique features left and right from their games. They know overspending is inevitable. The question is: Do you prefer to have a dumbed down publisher title that has cut its loses and release a super tame final game or would you risk the KS model so that there can be games like FTL that make it with most of crazy features and games like this don’t make it like this?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. monkeygourmet

    I have a big problem with a lot of Kickstarter projects, and this kind of outlines it for me.

    Too much room for fraud and mis-information. People blame big dev’s for a lack of freedom but they do serve a purpose by keeping things on track.

    For studios who didn’t like that environment, Indie, Android, PC, IOS; there are a lot of options out there.

    Kickstarter doesn’t always = creativity and freedom, there’s a whole new set of problems that can happen.

    I don’t actually think that Kickstarter is ideally suited to video games;

    There’s an extremly high expectation from the people funding, you may find your pitch was un-realistic compared to what you can achieve and the pressure on your team is prob about the same as if you was working with a big dev anyway.

    It seems like some studio’s are seeing it as a new ‘get rich quick’ scheme, not all studio’s obviously but there’s a definate ‘Dragons Den’ vibe running through most pitches.

    We’ve seen a lot of games get resurected and updated on IOS without kickstarter and, generally, if their fairly priced they should turn profit.

    The best kickstarter i saw was for a graphic novel. The more you pledged, the more artwork, t – shirts and hard back copies of the final novel you would recieve.

    It was nice as the end goal was very defined and tangible, you don’t often see that.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. freedoms_stain

    The game isn’t cancelled (yet) so we can hold of on the doomsaying for a bit.

    #6 2 years ago

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