Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Want to reach a consensus? There's no better way than a poll!

Is it fair to open pre-orders in exchange for offering backer refunds to those who want out?

Yes, allowing backers who've lost confidence in the project to pull out is worth breaking the principle of "no more funding."
24
27%
No, sticking to the principle of "no more funding" is important, just gently remind backers that they're not entitled to a refund unless the project is dead / ultimately does not deliver on promises.
65
73%
 
Total votes : 89

Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby Scytale » Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:48 am

Cornflakes_91 wrote:
jeisler wrote: Of course, if a revised combat prototype made its way to me .... (nudge nudge wink wink say no more)



He could work on getting the whole game done or making an updated prototype.

Choose wisely :P


qft
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby Victor Tombs » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:13 pm

:shifty: I suppose I should reiterate my views on the gorgeous rewards that Josh has promised me for my support. :angel:

I'm a collector, I want them. :angel:

I know Josh will provide a memorable and highly tangible completion to this part of the LT story. I want to pass them on to my nieces when I change my cosmic address. They will be a reminder to others of what can be achieved when you have the right combination of talent and dedication.... and of course a true vision of how you will apply them. :D

If I sound like I'm materialistic, I can assure you I'm not. There are those here who would vouch for me on that.

Landmarks in gaming don't appear that often and I want a permanent tangible reminder of this particular landmark. :D


I've probably disrupted the flow of this thread but I wanted to say the above.
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby Vartul » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:24 pm

Well, we've had a lot of good points from people who aren't lawyers.
So let me say, I am a lawyer 8-) , and Josh appears to be pretty safe on the legal front. Project delays, and feature problems have cropped up with the most experienced devs ( for ex, larian had to delay Original Sin and cut out day/night cycles, but they were honest about it, and the backers understood), so this is nothing extraordinary for your first game. Relax, this will all work out. :)
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby Flatfingers » Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:20 pm

Poet1960 wrote:in my opinion, for any legal action that might be brought against a dev, they would have to prove the dev has failed to continue working on the project. What judge would condemn a man for taking a hiatus, because of health issues created by his commitment, dedication and drive in creating the actual product?
...
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, but I think my logic is correct. :P

I also am not a lawyer, but I think I can offer an important clarification here.

Winning in court is not the correct goal. If you get pulled into court, you have already lost.

In the U.S., each party to a suit has to pay court costs. Furthermore, time spent on discovery -- copying every relevant email and receipt -- is time spent not working (which in Josh's case would mean not coding and testing Limit Theory).

Basically, if you get sued, even if you win, you lose.

So the real solution is not to win in court -- it is to take every reasonable action needed to dissuade anyone from filing a legal complaint in the first place.

So, what are "reasonable actions" for a Kickstarter project? I'd suggest they include:

1. Communicate with backers regularly and no less than once per month (preferably more often, although every day for two years straight is superhuman).
2. Show some tangible progress every few months (preferably more often).
3. Don't be Duke Nukem Forever or Half-Life 3. Four years is probably the outer limit of patience for a KS project.

As always, these are just my opinions.
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby AbhChallenger » Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:38 pm

I am in the very solid YES vote.

If and I mean IF there is a large amount of demand for refunds. Then it is simply logical to open up preorders to keep the project financially intact.

I said I won't purchase in support of your decisions (Ive made my opinions on that) However, I do want to preorder and get that out of the way. Annnd I suspect that preorders > those that want out.

You are years late. Continue to offer refunds for those that want out. For the maybe 2-3 that would actually care at this point.
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby Silverware » Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:52 pm

Scytale wrote:
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
jeisler wrote: Of course, if a revised combat prototype made its way to me .... (nudge nudge wink wink say no more)



He could work on getting the whole game done or making an updated prototype.

Choose wisely :P


qft


Or he could drop a development build as it currently stands, and provide zero support for it.
:V

But Knowing what Josh is like he wouldn't really want to give us something unfinished.
Something tells me that the "Beta" will be more like a full release than more games are after 6 months of solid patching post-release.
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby Poet1960 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:03 pm

Flatfingers wrote:
Poet1960 wrote:in my opinion, for any legal action that might be brought against a dev, they would have to prove the dev has failed to continue working on the project. What judge would condemn a man for taking a hiatus, because of health issues created by his commitment, dedication and drive in creating the actual product?
...
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, but I think my logic is correct. :P

I also am not a lawyer, but I think I can offer an important clarification here.

Winning in court is not the correct goal. If you get pulled into court, you have already lost.

In the U.S., each party to a suit has to pay court costs. Furthermore, time spent on discovery -- copying every relevant email and receipt -- is time spent not working (which in Josh's case would mean not coding and testing Limit Theory).

Basically, if you get sued, even if you win, you lose.

So the real solution is not to win in court -- it is to take every reasonable action needed to dissuade anyone from filing a legal complaint in the first place.

So, what are "reasonable actions" for a Kickstarter project? I'd suggest they include:

1. Communicate with backers regularly and no less than once per month (preferably more often, although every day for two years straight is superhuman).
2. Show some tangible progress every few months (preferably more often).
3. Don't be Duke Nukem Forever or Half-Life 3. Four years is probably the outer limit of patience for a KS project.

As always, these are just my opinions.



I don't think any clarification is needed. Your solution seems to imply that the person in question, should try to satisfy each and every person to the utmost degree, in order to dissuade anyone from filling a complaint, which completely ignores those people who just like to be jerks and are never satisfied no matter what happens.

No one said the goal is to "win" a court battle, the goal is to get what was promised. Anyone can file a lawsuit justified or not. I'm pretty sure the courts are not interested in your personal opinion, nor mine, on how the word "reasonable" should be defined. The rules that apply, at least as far as LT goes, are the rules as they stood the day people sent in their money.

The facts are, that KS has it's definition for what a dev has to do in order to stay in compliance, and if a dev is in compliance as defined, then all the lawsuits in the world won't change that, regardless of anyones personal feelings.

You may have your own personal ideas of what should constitute compliance, but it is irrelevant unless or until it becomes part of a new agreement, which is maybe I guess what you are trying to get at, I dunno.

I think that probably the simplest and most honest way of doing it, would be to just make it completely clear upfront, that any monies donated are of your own free will and will NOT be returned and that it is a risk. That way maybe people will be a bit more careful with their money or perhaps only give what they won't miss. I think that many people have exaggerated expectations of what they think they are doing when they donate to KS.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby AbhChallenger » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:26 pm

The facts are, that KS has it's definition for what a dev has to do in order to stay in compliance, and if a dev is in compliance as defined, then all the lawsuits in the world won't change that, regardless of anyones personal feelings.


Kickstarter rules do not come before laws of the state nor the nation. Its the same thing that an EULA does not allow a company to do anything unlawful.

And Kickstarter would perish if it was changed to "Donations but you MIGHT get something later on" LT would have never made its funding and only the big companies would stand even the slightest chance of getting funded.

The suggestions Flatfingers made are good suggestions merely to reduce the chance of a nuisance suit. As it still costs a great deal of money to file a lawsuit and virtually no AG is stupid enough to waste the court's time if it is clearly shown that the project is still in development.
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby GoatChops » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:29 pm

I voted Yes - I voted after reading the OP, but before reading anyone else's responses.

My reasoning being that if Josh decides he wants to offer people the ability to back out at this late stage then it would be a shame to risk the project based on sticking to his guns re: no more pre-orders.

However I do believe that Josh should "keep on keeping on" as he currently is and not offer refunds at all. If that means pre-orders will be accepted then so be it. I will however attempt to be first online the moment LT becomes available for the general public.
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby AbhChallenger » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:37 pm

You know there actually is a third option here. If someone wants a refund. Allow one of us to purchase the pledge. Yes it will take some work to transfer it. But I really doubt even ten people will ask for refunds even if the project takes another year.

It means refunds are guaranteed to be allowed and allows those that missed the kickstarter to buy the fancy beta access.
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby Poet1960 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:39 pm

Taken from the KS page.


"5. Creative works were funded this way for centuries.

Mozart, Beethoven, Whitman, Twain, and other artists funded works in similar ways — not just with help from large patrons, but by soliciting money from smaller patrons, often called subscribers. In return for their support, these subscribers might have received an early copy or special edition of the work. Kickstarter is an extension of this model, turbocharged by the web."

You are NOT buying anything. You are SUPPORTING a project that may or may not pan out.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby AbhChallenger » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:40 pm

The courts do not agree with you.
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby Poet1960 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:42 pm

AbhChallenger wrote:The courts do not agree with you.



Funny, I recall that there are 50 states, but you point to one and say, "courts?"
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby AbhChallenger » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:44 pm

Poet1960 wrote:
AbhChallenger wrote:The courts do not agree with you.



Funny, I recall that there are 50 states, but you point to one and say, "courts?"


Yep I messed up there. Should have said Washington state. However, I really doubt other states would rule differently. It is a precedent. And I figure if asked. 80+ percent of Americans would agree with the ruling.
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby TGS » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:46 pm

AbhChallenger wrote:
The facts are, that KS has it's definition for what a dev has to do in order to stay in compliance, and if a dev is in compliance as defined, then all the lawsuits in the world won't change that, regardless of anyones personal feelings.


Kickstarter rules do not come before laws of the state nor the nation. Its the same thing that an EULA does not allow a company to do anything unlawful.

And Kickstarter would perish if it was changed to "Donations but you MIGHT get something later on" LT would have never made its funding and only the big companies would stand even the slightest chance of getting funded.

The suggestions Flatfingers made are good suggestions merely to reduce the chance of a nuisance suit. As it still costs a great deal of money to file a lawsuit and virtually no AG is stupid enough to waste the court's time if it is clearly shown that the project is still in development.

That all being said, EULAs tend to be upheld in court even though many of the generic ones actually infringe upon peoples rights in an unlawful manner simply because it is classified as a contract that the person knowingly signed. Not that it excuses the rhetoric at all, I disagree with that logic immensely. However due to the fact that a great majority of the companies putting out these agreements are fairly large, save for government intervention or large (and I mean large) class action there is very little any person or small groups of persons can actually do about it. The problem as I see it is that the legal system has become very much a plaything of the wealthy. Companies by mere mechanics are almost always more wealthy than individuals and thus can hire much better lawyers and push a lot more money into fighting their case. Now barring all the previous discussion that has been had, Kickstarter is now a very large company. They are not on legal shaky ground due to that fact. But they have setup a very shaky liability pretense for their contract agreements. In such a way that it can be abused. Josh is not one of the abusers, so trying to make him out to be is in very poor taste. Yes, he's late. We all know it him included. Yes he hasn't lived up to his promises. No one is going to say otherwise. Even if this were not a crowd funding project and was a real business investment the fact that he's still working would make it unlikely that one could make a successful legal case against him unless his time estimates were the focal point of the original contract.

Investment/Business ventures can fail. They can be delayed. They can be put on very long term hold. It happens. Kickstarter projects aren't even investments. They're ideas. Ideas that people put money forward to have realized. Many have failed. Josh hasn't even failed yet. He simply hasn't made his target. He's still working hard. All the signs point to the game still coming out at some point in the not too distant future. Allowing refunds would be a very messy process. You backed an idea. No more. No less. You didn't back a product. You backed a project. It's still coming. (Not you to any specific person btw) so just let it happen. If you want to go all "This is an investment and he's failed to meet my expectations" then look at it this way. Investments can fail and usually those who invested lose their money. Unless deceptive practices were used intentionally there is no legal recourse for those people. It's just "You backed a bad horse" so to speak. So let it go imo. (And I bet at least half of you will have the Frozen song stuck in your heads now muwhahaha :twisted:)
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