Furfunding Highlights 1.10.16
This week’s illustration is from the art-print project, Octopedestrians, now on Kickstarter
I usually call these entries “Furfunding Highlights,” but I think this is going to be the “lowlights” episode. Where do I start…
The Beast’s Fury Mess
Haven’t really been keeping up with Beast’s Fury, it was a big bucket of excitement back when it first launched, a 2D fighting game with a lot of snexy characters. That was back in 2012, pretty close to when I started reviewing kickstarter projects. And I was impressed with their 2014 campaign that brought in over $40,000. The third campaign…that one set off some alarm bells. Now, apparently, the campaign’s folded, “gone dark.” There’s a lot of negativity that’s looking for a place to ground on this project. And I don’t think there’s only one side to this one. In part, it boils down to “making a legitimate video game is a high-budget proposition, you’ll need at least $150,000. Probably more.” That, and “crowdfunding isn’t a business model.”
For two very different perspectives on Beast’s Fury, I’d suggest reading over the author’s explanation first, and then one of the YouTube breakdowns of the situation. The truth is probably somewhere between them. It looks like the Beast Fury team made some serious errors in attacking this project without a strong budget plan (total amount needed, how to get it), and then the day-to-day realities of an ongoing financial meltdown changed the situation from bad to crowdfunding horror story.
Personally, having spent years in a failing business with no better option than to go down with the ship, the dev team has my sympathies. There is nothing good here, but it’s got to be nightmarish on the inside. On the other paw, they do point out “look, you got what you paid for. A demo.” And that brings up a point that’s going to sour people on crowdfunding other large projects: the unsuccessful success story of a partially funded big-budget project. I’m looking at you in particular, SWAT-KATS, where $141K went to fund a 2-minute teaser and the dev team called it a success—or worse, the Don Bluth “Dragon’s Lair” kickstarter, where at $350,000 they’re looking at the stretch goal of “we’ll get the script written.” Let the buyer beware: it’s very difficult to crowdfund these large-budget productions, even with a name as big as Don Bluth.
Brand Without a Product
I’d like to take a few moments out to look at two projects…if you can call them that…fail in the opposite direction, starting a campaign without a product. There are two out there in furrycrowdfundingland at the moment, and they’re both, honestly, pretty terrible. I want to share them with you so I don’t have to rant about them to my mate, he’s started wearing earplugs.
Kick-a-GoGo has thrown some mysteries at me in the past. Fake Horse/Slaughter Horse (both NSFW), that was a weird one. Or Mulmino. These aren’t that strange, I can see where the creator’s coming from, but there just doesn’t seem to be any kind of plan.
Carrot Cake: Stacey, we need to talk about your rabbit.
The video for Carrot Cake is about four minutes of kids dejectedly swiveling around to the song, “Do Da Carrot Cake.” Carrot Cake is “A new character dedicated to kids to help them imagine, vision, and live their dream.” That’s really all I know about her. Your $250,000 (did you get that?) will help the creator get pictures made of the character. Challenges: Kids may not like Carrot Cake. That doesn’t matter, though. Carrot Cake will continue, with or without the children.
You can’t stop Carrot Cake.
Carrot Cake: At the rare intersection of “business model” and “comedy farce.” I’m not entirely sure this isn’t a scam page set up by one of Stacey’s many business rivals.
I don’t care very much for Carrot Cake. But I really hate Techibears.
Techibears: Half as appealing as the weird-ass mascots of the 2012 Summer Olympics, Techibears are two weird little lumps of mint chewing gum that exist to be covered with brands. A webcomic series: “Two super-toys of the future drift, alone, through space, existing only to entertain.”
Summarized from the video: “Don’t you wish you’d had your logo slapped across Mickey Mouse from day one? Wouldn’t that be awesome?”
No, not really. Also, Mickey is kind of cute. He doesn’t look like mint-flavored chewing gum that wants to sell me something, but won’t, because I’m terrified of slack-jawed monsters. Check the “Concept” link at their website. Never sleep again.
This one just doesn’t hold together well: SOLON is the story of a scientist who learns how to extract transcosmic levels of energy from a calcium-eating virus (?), borrows Glinda’s Bubble, and goes to fight dragons.
I’ve written this and rewritten this, and I don’t want to be too snarky about something that’s a heartfelt project with some real work behind it. Unfortunately, the plot sounds kind of incoherent (no more so than the origin story of any superhero, but when you emphasize “science” several times in your marketing copy…), and the illustrations just seem like bad photoshop work. Some of the illustrations in the background of the video are really really good. But they just don’t make it into the final product, and the overall feel is of a product that’s completely disconnected from the comic industry as a whole.
Oh, Another One Of Those
I have very little to say about Project Ovary. It really is just your basic oviphilia/scat/bukakke/Preg/Fox-Fairy Metroidvania 2-D platformer.
Lord knows, we’ve seen enough of those.
“I’ve heard of you: the ready-made connecting with the ever-ready, yeah.
The never-was, talking about still-trying. I got it:
Forever bitter, gossiping about never-say-die
May I inquire what you’ve been doing, mister?
William Shatner, “Has-Been.”
Remember, above all else: art is very hard. Hard to get right, hard to put into the world. I salute you, creators, and your work, high art, low art, and artless. But not you, Techibears.
Reviews this week—write-up and mild hero envy of furry card deck “Untamed” and its creator.
For a “complete” list of furry/fur-friendly crowdfunding projects, check out the Project Page!
Lineart Project (Ends: 1/19/2016)
An experiment in blank free-to-use character ref templates. Art by Frindle.
Octopodestrians (Ends: 1/21/2016)
A poster project of busy urban octopi bustling around town.
Sinful: A Seven Deadly Sins Coloring Book (Ends: 1/31/2016)
Quirky animals in an Art Nouveau style fill this 21-image coloring book.
This looks more like grayscale art than coloring book. Is that going to work? I’m not familiar with the adult coloring book genre.
Animal Pun Stickers (Ends: 2/1/2016)
Silly animal sticker project by Birdfox Bri.
Just past goal!
RoboCatz vs ThunderDogs (Ends: 2/3/2016)
Amusing graphic novel project with cats and dogs in mecha suits. Some fun, if rough, art.
Carbon Wolf: Stainless Steel, Brass, Carbon Fiber Cards (Ends: 1/22/2016)
Shiny metal cards with a bit of a “Game of Thrones” look to them.
It’s not very furry, but would make a sweet gift for a classy sort of wolf, griffin, or dragon.
Cats (Ends: 1/22/2016)
A cat-eat-bird predatory game with a quirky sense of humor.
The company says they’ve made two other games, but I’m concerned about a $1000 budget. I hope they have other funds.
Gametasia (Ends: 2/1/2016)
Complex playing cards with a chess/poker element and fantasy illustrations.
Just barely furry enough to count. That $16K goal is seems really high for a deck of cards, though.
Untamed (Ends: 2/5/2016)
A rough-and-ready furry poker card set with historical characters, art by Fek.
Fek’s also done a series of erotic video game widgets, you can read about them on his FA account. He’s also done very well on Patreon.
CHiP: The Robot Dog (Ends: 2/6/2016)
The latest robot dog, this time out of canada. Cute stuff.
I wish this wasn’t Flexible Funding, that never looks good. Almost at its $100K goal though.
Leonard Saves the City (Ends: 2/8/2015)
A sandbox video game with a perky non-anthro dog hero and lots of anthropathic characters.
Project Ovary (Ends: 2/6/2016)
Hmm. A 2-D platformer with elements of bukakke, ovaphilia (eggplay, I had to google for that one), scat, birth/pregnancy. Oh, and fox-girl fairies. I believe that just about covers it.
Carrot Cake (Ends: 1/31/2016): I’ll make a not-terribly-interesting character with no context, you’ll fund it. What could be the problem?
Techibears (Ends: 2/1/2016): What is this horrid thing. For $3500 you can put your logo on a bear character that nobody cares about. This has been a good week for pointless, whorish projects. I try to stay positive, but dang, this is bottom of the barrel.
SOLON (Ends: 2/7/2016): A remarkably rough photoshopped dragons and modern scientists graphic novel. I kind of want to back this one ironically.