Clang on back burner until investors chip in

By Brenna Hillier, Friday, 20 September 2013 02:49 GMT

Development of crowdfunded sword fighting sim Clang has gone on hold as the project has burned through available funding.

In a Kickstarter update, the development team explained that it has to stop work on the game and turn its attention to raising more cash.

“We’ve hit the pause button on further Clang development while we get the financing situation sorted out. We stretched the Kickstarter money farther than we had expected to, but securing the next round, along with constructing improvised shelters and hoarding beans, has to be our top priority for now,” Subutai Corporation wrote.

The update went on to explain that the current industry climate is risk-averse, and a game tied to a new kind of controller is an unappealing prospect for investors, especially major publishers.

In the meantime, Subutai has encouraged users to check out Stem, another crowdfunded project focusing on accurate motion controls; if it succeeds, Stem may help the overall climate for innovation and motion controls.

The advent of new hardware may help inspire interest in the project, Subutai said, and as such it’s going to keep shopping the game to investors – but more selectively.

“Our only efficient choice is to keep doing what we’re doing and wait for the right investor to come along. The right investor for Clang is one who has some pre-existing interest in what we are doing. Finding people like that takes time, which is one reason we ran out of it,” hte update continued.

“What can people do to help? Probably not that much, unless they happen to be qualified investors or superstar game programmers looking for an adventure. If you are one of our Kickstarter donors, then probably the most helpful thing you can do, as far as the CLANG team is concerned, is to be patient.”

Subutai apologised to backers for not being more communicative on the matter, saying that sending out emails about courting investors isn’t very interesting, and that it maintained this stance for a very long time, beginning right back when it had loads of funding left from the successful Clang Kickstarter.

The project isn’t dead, it added.

“In our opinion, the project doesn’t die simply because it runs out of money. Projects run out of money all the time. As a matter of fact, game industry veterans we have talked to take a blithe attitude toward running out of money, and seem to consider it an almost obligatory rite of passage,” Subutai said.

“The project isn’t dead in dead-parrot sense until the core team has given up on it and moved decisively on to other projects. Other events such as declarations of bankruptcy can also serve as pretty reliable markers of a project’s being dead. In the case of Clang, none of this has happened yet.”

When it became obvious in May that the project could no longer afford to employ ket staff full time, some team members chose to take on temporary work in the same area – rather than choosing money and career goals in accepting permanent jobs elsewhere.

“We are working on CLANG as an ‘evenings and weekends’ project until such time as we get funding for a more commercial-style reboot. Paradoxically, we feel better about the future of CLANG now than we did when the clock was ticking down,” Subutai said.

“Then, we were feeling under pressure to make decisions that might not have been in the project’s best long-term interests. Now that the pressure is relieved, however, we can operate more calmly and look for ways to set this thing up in a sustainable way. Meanwhile, the publishing side of Subutai continues to fulfil its obligations and transact business normally.”

Interestingly, Subutai said one of its mistakes during the project was relying on Neal Stephenson fans; while they’re more likely to welcome an initial meeting on the project, when they’re not interested they politely vanish rather than giving useful feedback, out of respect for Stephenson.

The Kickstarter appealed directly to those fans, but also locked Subutai into a strategy, when it might otherwise have changed course, too

Thanks, Polygon.

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