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 AbhChallenger » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:54 pm

I've never seen Frozen so I am safe from that particular ear worm.

Let me ask you. Do you believe the amount of people who would request a refund > Those who want to buy the game right now? Make sure you include multiple copies as the other poll show people want to buy quite a few. (I want to buy just one)

I don't think it would be messy. Especially if he allowed members to purchase the pledges. Matter of fact I think the requests will be few and far between.

Now had he announced refunds 2 months ago. That would have been a different story.
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby TGS » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:22 pm

AbhChallenger wrote:Let me ask you. Do you believe the amount of people who would request a refund > Those who want to buy the game right now? Make sure you include multiple copies as the other poll show people want to buy quite a few. (I want to buy just one)

I don't know. But I do know refunds can be messy. Just from a processing standpoint. I don't know how the backend kickstarter/payment system works but processing a handful of refunds is easy. Processing more than that becomes complicated just by the nature of it. Unless the Amazon payments or whatever it is kickstarter uses has an easy system by which to do it, which generally they do but it is only applicable for a certain amount of time after the purchase has occured. Meaning there would be no easy way to do it after this amount of time has passed.

As far as the offset by pre-orders I don't think that is an issue particularly. I can imagine that the money he'd get from pre-orders would far outweigh the amount of money he'd have to refund, but that's not the point as I described above. Just the processing fact of trying to handle the refunds would be messy. One or two, even 5 maybe wouldn't be an issue. 10-20? 50? 100? We don't know how many people are truly so dissatisfied they'd want refunds and I can tell you that Josh, nor the project nor anyone but those seeking refunds would benefit from it. Then there would be the issue of how long would you keep the refunds open? A month? two? six? So everytime someone decided they weren't happy and wanted a refund, Josh would have to stop what he was doing to organize the refund? What would that do to his newly acquired stable mental state?

This is what I mean by messy. There are a lot of things to consider that simply aren't being considered and probably should be before that decision is made. Luckily though the community wishes are pretty obvious based off the poll so this isn't really an issue anymore. It will become a dead horse that doesn't need further beating.
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby Flatfingers » Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:59 pm

Poet1960 wrote: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.

Flatfingers wrote:"reasonable"
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby Poet1960 » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:26 am

Flatfingers wrote:
Poet1960 wrote: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.

Flatfingers wrote:"reasonable"


Okay, but by WHO'S definition of "reasonable?"
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby Flatfingers » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:59 am

Poet1960 wrote:
Flatfingers wrote:
Poet1960 wrote: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.

Flatfingers wrote:"reasonable"


Okay, but by WHO'S definition of "reasonable?"

My point is that I never said someone needs to "try to satisfy each and every person to the utmost degree"; that's clearly not a reasonable expectation. If the time required to establish a perfect preemptive defense prevents people from actually completing a product for sale, there's no point in anyone making anything. (There's a larger real-world point to be made there, but I'm not pursuing that here.)

A visibly good-faith effort to deliver that which is promised won't stop every litigious nut. But it will reduce the odds of such complaints happening in the first place, which -- as I said -- is a serious expense that goes far beyond just winning in court after a complaint is lodged.
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby Toshi » Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:05 am

I think the question most of us want to ask is, are we getting close to a beta?

Because if there is no significant public progress on the horizon, concerns about Kickstarter refunds is akin to re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

I loved the updates but those have stopped. My only reason to keep stopping by daily is the irrational hope that a game is still coming.
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby Poet1960 » Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:09 am

I agree that there should be some sort of safety mechanism to prevent outright fraud, but if you ask 10 people what "reasonable" means, you will get 10 different answers. There needs to be some give and take from either end. You can't just make one size fits all type of determinations. It needs to be on a case by case basis. How you could do that I dunno, but shit happens sometimes and you need to make allowances for that.

The problem is that most often, when a law is made, the letter of the law gets enforced, and the INTENT of the law is tossed out the window.
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby Scytale » Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:35 am

For the record, Kickstarter pledges are unlikely to be considered donations, legally.

But they are also not preorders, as we all pretty much agree on.

Also, 'reasonable' has a definition in the courts. Although we agree there is probably some variation in what 'reasonable' means, there's no need for a false dichotomy pretending that if there isn't universal agreement, then there's no agreement.
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby Empirical » Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:14 am

I realise I'm a bit late and you already have your answer but just wanted to say your first priority in any decision has to be your health as without that there can be no LT and of course its more important than LT anyway. You should always consider first how any decision is going to increase or decrease pressure on you. You should always work with whatever if going to be less pressure. Personally I think your hours(8-7) are still a bit too long but it is excellent you have a structure with days off each week now, as well as a place of work.

I cannot see how a court would rule against you when you can demonstrate that the project is in progress and not abandoned which would be easy to show the fact you took sick time off (and no doubt have documents regarding this) does not show in any way that you intend to defraud anyone. There are plenty of examples where even the big studios with large resources have delivered with a delay counted in months or even years so I cant see why a court would not understand why such delays are reasonable.

Some people are impatient and do not understand how hard it is to predict timescales for software development - best to ignore them. Preorders and release dates would just be pressure you dont need. The time for these things is when you have a full product and are close to starting the finial polishing stage and beta.

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

Postby titan1978 » Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:49 am

Am a KS backer.
Saw the rise and fall and the rise again of LT

I think in all these years - there was maybe ONE post from a dude in the forums who had made some noise about legal issues during the Dark Days. But that too seemed half hearted

Long story short- I think this is a mature community - hardly any Whiners and DEFINITELY NO DEREK SMARTS!

Be at peace fella - and get us to Beta!
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby CSE » Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:34 pm

I would differentiate my answer.

As a kickstarter founder I feel that you are still trying to fulfill your obligations to your best. Moreover, even if you would stop today, the level of work you put into the project for years is actually already sufficient to cancel any claim that you didn't try in good faith.
Conclusion: nobody should get a refund - it is not justified!

However if allowing pre-orders helps you in any way, for example to cover your costs for the longer-than-planned development, be my guest. As long as it is not for the beta (which was promised to be "exclusive" to kickstarter) there is nothing stoping you from pre orders.

Finally, I think allowing the few people having lost all faith and really needing their 30$ Or 70$ (which they did not need the last 2 years, so probably would survive without) to sell their pledges to active supporters who missed the kickstarter is a good practice entailing no risks for you and making everybody happy. And NO, i am absolutely not selling my pledge!

Keep the good work, and tip of the hat for having proposed to pay back the "heavy" investors - and double tips to those who refused!

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

Postby Vartul » Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:19 pm

I think the hassle involved in refunds and preorders would just distract Josh from his work, and add more pressure. We also need to remember that many people who have voted for opening pre orders are not backers, but people who missed the kickstarter and want a second chance. Josh seems to have achieved a good balance and rhythm, and something like this will only spoil that. Not saying that others are wrong, but I believe the pre order option would've been more viable if this wasn't a one man dev team.
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby AbhChallenger » Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:28 pm

Vartul wrote:I think the hassle involved in refunds and preorders would just distract Josh from his work, and add more pressure. We also need to remember that many people who have voted for opening pre orders are not backers, but people who missed the kickstarter and want a second chance. Josh seems to have achieved a good balance and rhythm, and something like this will only spoil that. Not saying that others are wrong, but I believe the pre order option would've been more viable if this wasn't a one man dev team.


You know I can turn that around you know. Backers voted no because they wanted to protect their status. Both are silly and untrue.

I did not vote YES because I wanted a chance to play the beta (I actually hate playing closed or semi-closed betas and the only reason I would bother to load such a beta is to discuss balance) or to save the tiny amount of time to buy it on Steam. I voted yes because I feel that after years of delay. Offering refunds is natural and basically guarantees that any lawsuit attempt will be laughed out of court. That was BEFORE I remembered that quite a few people here would be happy to purchase kickstarter pledges and I still believe that those that want to buy > people that want a refund. So my vote for yes is even moreso now.

There has been a grand total of one suggesting legal action against Josh. Maybe three that I have actively seen to request a refund on this forum. There simply isn't that many to handle so I think Josh should have no problems taking requests seriously.
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby Victor Tombs » Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:44 pm

AbhChallenger wrote:Backers voted no because they wanted to protect their status.


Ouch! That smarts a little, Abh, but only because, in my case, it's close to the truth. I'm just amazed that Cornflakes hasn't gleefully teased the hell out of those who unfortunately missed out. :)

He's so warm and understanding nowadays. *chuckle*
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Re: Backer Refunds & Pre-Orders -- Your Thoughts?

Postby BFett » Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:09 pm

I voted no because I don't want Josh doing extra work if he doesn't have the time to do it. I am however for a backer giving their pledge to another person if they absolutely don't want it. This does give Josh more work for changing target email addresses or whatever goes on in the back end but at least it doesn't allow Josh to lose any funding he already has.
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