It looks like the people at GriN Multimedia bit off more than they could chew with Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries. Earlier today, founder Wim Wouters made a heartfelt blog post explaining the reasons behind the shutdown. Put simply, “Once the sales numbers began rolling in, the consequences of our beautiful adventure started to become painfully clear.”
Check out the full post if you want the details, but it all boils down to unrealistic expectations. With only $72k of Kickstarter gold, the devs made the call to bring the game into the third dimension. Mixing 2D combat and platforming with 3D sections is a cool concept that has been done well a few times before, but re-programming a 2D game to have 3D segments brings a whole slew of problems. Things like AI, collision detection, combat animations, etc., all have to be reworked to function along a Z-axis.
An ambitious step, but ultimately foolish. The package came out buggy and short, clocking in at just under 2 hours for the first episode. It took numerous patches to get the game in working order, but by then the damage was done. While the game the game looks very pretty and definitely scores some brownie points for creativity, players just weren’t willing to drop the $10 for such a short and flawed product. Without that stream of new income, prospects of future development dwindled.
As sad as it is for a studio to fold and dreams to shatter, it is long past due for us to ask if Kickstarter makes sense. I can’t help but feel for all of the backers, who will never receive their promised rewards or a functioning final product. With so many failed products and downright scams, we need to realize that the concerns over crowdfunding inexperienced developers are real. It’s a shitty situation all around, and eerily echoed in the game’s tagline: