Far West 11th Anniversary

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TristramEvans

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7 years ago today, Gareth-Michael Skarka's Far West Kickstarter campaign was funded, with 717 backers pledging $49,324 of a $5000 goal.

To celebrate this special anniversary, let's take a look back at the progress ...

First off, let me start by saying that we're going to have to push delivery of the FAR WEST Adventure Game back a month, into January.
—GMS, Kickstarter update #23 Friday 2 December 2011

The wide-release commercial version of the Far West Adventure Game will be out sometime around GenCon. The Limited Edition for our Kickstarter backers will be shipping in March/April.
—GMS, RPG.net forum post, Wednesday 22 February 2012

Given the vagaries of distribution, I'd say September to be on the safe side. It'll be back from the printers in August, though.
—GMS, RPG.net forum post, Thursday 23 February 2012

To answer your question directly: PDF will be going to backers (and the printer!) this month.
—GMS, Kickstarter comment, Friday 2 March 2012

An update on release: We're not going to make the end of March. My fault. I've only got so many hands. April delivery, though —that's still on.
—GMS, intothefarwest.com forum reply, March 2012

If it isn't finished in May, it's because I've keeled over.
—GMS, intothefarwest.com forum reply, April 2012

Delivery will be pushed into June, but it won't be long.
—GMS, intothefarwest.com forum reply, May 2012

We'll be sending out the Core Rulebook this month.
—GMS, Kickstarter comment, Thursday 7 June 2012

You'll be receiving the PDF in September.
—GMS, Kickstarter comment, Thursday 30 August 2012

Re: Any News on Release Dates?
My goal is to get it out in October.
—GMS, intothefarwest.com forum post, September 2012

Re: Any News on Release Dates?
We'll looking to deliver in November.
—GMS, intothefarwest.com forum post, October 2012

Re: Any News on Release Dates?
I'm still pushing, but December is more likely at this point.
—GMS, intothefarwest.com forum post, November 2012

"The FAR WEST Adventure Game core rulebook will be released this Summer, first to backers of the 2011 FAR WEST Kickstarter, and then to distribution world-wide."
—Cubicle 7 press release, Thursday 9 May 2013

"Coming up fast on the end of June, and I'm sorry to say that I'm probably going to go over my own deadline —I had originally set the end of this month for the final, this-is-it art and text deadline, when FAR WEST would move to layout from here on... and I'm a hair behind on the art. Not by more than a handful of days, and I certainly am not one who would want to short-shrift on artwork —the final product is too important to me —but it's still aggravating."
—GMS, Kickstarter update #70, Friday 28 June 2013

We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and thanks to securing the assistance of Cubicle Seven, we'll be delivering the core book to backers at the end of the summer.
—GMS, Kickstarter update #71, Wednesday 24 July 2013

To be clear: The book will go *to press* by 9/21 —and when the book goes to press, the digital version will simultaneously be sent to backers.
—GMS, Kickstarter comment, Thursday 22 August 2013

October is more likely — we're still making changes based on backer feedback to the manuscript pages that went out.
—GMS, Kickstarter comment, Tuesday 17 September 2013

We will be going to press in November, a bit less than a month from now. Delivery of the digital version of FAR WEST will occur to you fine folks at around the same time we send to the printer (to ensure that you all get the latest, most-correct, final proofed version).
—GMS, Kickstarter update #76, Friday 18 October 2013

My plan is to get this out before Christmas.
—GMS, Kickstarter comment, Tuesday 17 December 2013

I have spent time with my family over the holidays, and now I'm back 100% on FAR WEST. I expect to turn it over to you folks within a week or so —and, contrary to the list below, you will have an opportunity to go over it before we go to press.
—GMS, Kickstarter comment, Monday 30 December 2013

At this point, I'm hoping to turn this over to you at some point this weekend, but —given that there are other folks I need to coordinate with on some of this —it may be Monday or Tuesday at the latest.
—GMS, Kickstarter project update #80, Thursday 9 January 2014

I'm looking at digital delivery of FAR WEST to backers by the end of the month!
Once we've done that, I am intending to let you folks go over the PDF and catch oddities, unclear passages, errors, etc. before we go to press. How long the look-over period is will depend on scheduling at the printer, but I expect it to be at least 3-4 weeks.
—GMS, Kickstarter update #86, Thursday 7 August 2014

At worst, I figure I'm no more than a week to 10 days behind schedule.
—GMS, Kickstarter update #87, Tuesday 26 August 2014

OK, so the tl;dr version of this update: You'll have the PDF before Christmas. To unpack that a bit more, for folks who'd like more detail: I expect to be delivering you the finished core rulebook in PDF at some point between now and mid-December. I'm actually shooting for sooner, rather than later (my last day of teaching my class is tomorrow, so I have a solid week during Thanksgiving break which I can devote to work -- and I have no plans for the holiday). In any case, it will be before the Christmas break (my oldest daughter is flying in to visit, so I will be done before then, so that I can actually spend time with her).
—GMS, Kickstarter update #88, Sunday 23 November 2014

I've had a couple of folks ask me how close I think I am to the end.… between finishing the last of the layout, and making sure the page proofing is complete before sending it out to you, I honestly don't expect we're going to be much longer (especially since next week is my school's Spring Break, so I'll have nothing else to divide my attention).
—GMS, Kickstarter update #175, Tuesday 10 March 2015

I’m sending out FAR WEST this month, at which point I will turn my sole attention to BANZAI. I will update you on every step of that, beginning in June.
—GMS, e-mail to backers, May 2015

The backers should have the complete PDF in November. I'm not exactly sure of how long the print delivery will take (especially given the holidays), but pre-order customers will get the PDF soon after the backers.
—GMS, intothefarwest.com forum post, October 2015

This is the current situation: You will have Chapter 9: Furious Action (the full rules system) before Christmas. The other remaining chapters -- Chapter 10: A Fistful Of Bastards (NPCs and Encounters), Chapter 11: The Far West (the setting info) and Chapter 12: Secret Scrolls of Kung Fu (the Narrator's guide), will follow quickly thereafter. Given the possibility of dog-related emergencies, I am expecting to have the whole thing in your in-boxes by the time I return to teaching in the last week of January. So, 6 weeks, give or take.
—GMS, Kickstarter update #223, 15 December 2015

I'm close to where I wanted to be, but I don't think I'll make my deadline of the end of January. Shouldn't be too far beyond that, though.
—GMS, Kickstarter update #224, Friday 29 January 2016

To do: This week, & early next -- finish semester of full-time teaching. Late next: Guest at @Chupacabra_Con! By end of month: FAR WEST!
—GMS, tweet, Thursday 5 May 2016

Last update, I said I expected delivery "somewhere around the end of the month" -- and in the comments, backer Stacy Forsyth asked for clarification, and in my response I mentioned that I'd allowed some wiggle room into early June with the "somewhere around" qualifier. I'm going to take that wiggle room -- it will be early June, rather than by Tuesday. It'll be close, but I didn't want people hitting Tuesday and being dismayed.
—GMS, Kickstarter update #226, Thursday 26 May 2016

I've been contacted by the Kansas AG's Consumer Protection office, and I've been responding to them. This, naturally, takes time that I would prefer to be using to finish this and deliver, but it is what it is.
Regardless -- delivery will be occurring soon.
—GMS, Kickstarter comment, Tuesday 24 January 2017

Expect a major post (with files) before the end of the year.
—GMS, tweet, Monday 20 November 2017

I am planning on giving you a completed manuscript (and we’re talking the whole thing, not just the rules) in July – although possibly earlier. (I’m actually shooting for close to my birthday in mid-June, if I can manage it).
—GMS, Kickstarter update #234, Tuesday 1 May 2018
 

Endless Flight

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Even if he wrote a paragraph a day, he would have been done by now. I haven’t been following this that closely. He seems like a pathological liar in those updates.
 

finarvyn

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Kudos to Tristam for compiling all of those updates. I'm not a backer of the kickstart, and frankly I'd never even heard of FAR WEST until the last few months when some threads on its non-publication hit some of the boards where I lurk, but it was fun to read all of the excuses and whatnot over the years. Clearly, this is a flaw in the "pay me now and I deliver later" model and makes me appreciate companies who write material first and use kickstart to fund artwork and extras (Goodman Games comes to mind) so that you know when you buy it you'll get it. I feel sorry for the folks who did back this project. :sad:
 

TristramEvans

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Kudos to Tristam for compiling all of those updates.

Ah, I have to give the majority of credit to Tenkar's Tavern and Muted Horn there, I just waded through the various angry blogs and updates
 

Endless Flight

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Did Gareth have any history with Kickstarter prior to Far West?
 

TristramEvans

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Did Gareth have any history with Kickstarter prior to Far West?

No, that was his first and only KS. But he did do pre-order sales for Buckeroo Banzai at some point, I'd have to investigate more to see how long that one's been going and if any of those folks managed to get their money back in the intervening years.

GMS though did have some controversies well before that point. Besides some rather classic forum drama (including the GMS Clone Wars), he first came on my radar for art theft associated with his Underworld game.
 

Dumarest

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But he did do pre-order sales for Buckeroo Banzai at some point, I'd have to investigate more to see how long that one's been going and if any of those folks managed to get their money back in the intervening years.
Buckaroo Banzai is also nearly 7 years late:
http://www.adamantentertainment.com/2011/07/18/buckaroo-banzai-is-back/
I preordered sometime in in 2011. I hounded him by e-mail in 2014 after I lost my patience with what I believed to be blatant lies about him waiting on approvals from the licensor and got the runaround for a while, he (I believe) lied and tried to claim he sent me a refund when I first asked and had no idea what happened to his check, but eventually I got my money back. The reason I assume his BB progress and refund statements are lies is because he's an obvious liar about everything else he's "working on."

I have no evidence but my theory about the BB game is that he never had a license in the first place, used a property popular with nerds and geeks to raise money to produce a game he never actually wrote (much like Far West), using this art*
1065233.jpg BB_cover_prev.jpg
from the Moonstone comic book series for a fake RPG cover, and maybe then tried to appeal to the licensor by showing the money he raised to convince them to give him a license and they were not interested or impressed. Just my hunch. Why else would it take so long for the licensor to approve his game? Even George Lucas managed to approve Star Wars and Indiana Jones comics and games pretty fast, and the fact that Moonstone seems to have had no problem with approvals speaks for it self. I doubt the owner of Buckaroo Banzai is harder to please than a billion-dollar IP owner.

Even if I'm way off, he's obviously not working on BB any more than he is on Far West. This bit from the BB comments is priceless, though:

"GMSkarka
January 27, 2014
Nothing new to report — we’re still in approvals limbo. Right now, I’m 100% focused on getting FAR WEST out the door, and once that’s done (soon), I will be turning my attention to seeing what (if anything) can be done to get the wheels moving again."

That's his most recent update as far as I know. The good news is that after watching the movie and reading the novel (which has tons of non-movie background material in it), you can easily run a Buckaroo Banzai game using whatever system you like best with no help from Skarka. I think Ghostbusters (1st edition) works especially well with its Traits and Talents rules.

* for which I bet he never obtained permission from Moonstone or the artist or whoever owns the copyright, given his prior history of "borrowing" art.
 
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TristramEvans

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What really pisses me off is that he' still getting work in the industry. Can't finish the game he's already got money for, but still gets freelance work for Cubicle 7 and publishes through Adamant.
 

Tommy Brownell

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Did Gareth have any history with Kickstarter prior to Far West?

I've seen a few established publishers who understand how publishing works fall on their face after a Kickstarter. Always disappoints me more than someone who had no idea what they were doing getting in over their head.
 

Jetstream

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I've seen a few established publishers who understand how publishing works fall on their face after a Kickstarter. Always disappoints me more than someone who had no idea what they were doing getting in over their head.
Honestly? There’s no way this is just him getting in over his head. He’s clearly just not been doing the work. Maybe he’s got some kind of reason, I don’t care, but anyone who’s been working steadily for seven years could put out one damned book. It’s silly.
 

TristramEvans

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Honestly? There’s no way this is just him getting in over his head. He’s clearly just not been doing the work. Maybe he’s got some kind of reason, I don’t care, but anyone who’s been working steadily for seven years could put out one damned book. It’s silly.

His excuses have ranged from a pet dying to family problems, but ultimately it's just the sort of stuff that happens in the course of life over a period of almost a decade. I've been doing some research into Kickstarter over the last year as it's my intention to run one to fund a small deluxe print run of Phaserip once its completed - but that's the key word, "completed". I wouldn't dream of asking for money until the game is actually written. When I procrastinate, or let myself get distracted, at the very least I'm not sitting on the hard earned money of other people and a mountain of broken promises.
 

Tommy Brownell

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His excuses have ranged from a pet dying to family problems, but ultimately it's just the sort of stuff that happens in the course of life over a period of almost a decade. I've been doing some research into Kickstarter over the last year as it's my intention to run one to fund a small deluxe print run of Phaserip once its completed - but that's the key word, "completed". I wouldn't dream of asking for money until the game is actually written. When I procrastinate, or let myself get distracted, at the very least I'm not sitting on the hard earned money of other people and a mountain of broken promises.

Yeah, at the minimum, I would have the art-free manuscript done before it ever launched. The KS would be for art/layout/printing/etc. I'd considered Kickstarters myself, but am always nervous because I don't want it to die out because of something out of my control (like an artist flaking out on me).
 

Tommy Brownell

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Honestly? There’s no way this is just him getting in over his head. He’s clearly just not been doing the work. Maybe he’s got some kind of reason, I don’t care, but anyone who’s been working steadily for seven years could put out one damned book. It’s silly.

Right. I wasn't equating him with the "in over their head" crowd. To me, that's more of a guy who has never done a book before going "Oh, Kickstarter!" and then sitting on a bunch of money with no idea what he should be doing. Established publishers (like GMS) should know better, because they've done the work. They know what goes into it.
 

Tommy Brownell

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Although, to be fair, he did also screw the pooch on ICONS Team-Up before Far West (I believe it predated Far West, anyway...I remember just shrugging and going "lesson learned" when I never got my print copy, then Kenson took control of ICONS after that).
 

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Did he spend the $49K on hookers and blow?
It’s been 7 years. He spent it on rent and shit I’m sure :tongue:

Hell, literally even. How much toilet paper and stomach medication does the average American consume in a year? :tongue:
 

xanther

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Yeah, at the minimum, I would have the art-free manuscript done before it ever launched. The KS would be for art/layout/printing/etc. I'd considered Kickstarters myself, but am always nervous because I don't want it to die out because of something out of my control (like an artist flaking out on me).
Exactly what I would do/plan to do with my own vanity project. At least you get a complete game in pdf once the KS is funded.
 

xanther

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Tristam, you should send that timeline (I bet preferably with links) to the Kansas AG.
 

Jetstream

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Tristam, you should send that timeline (I bet preferably with links) to the Kansas AG.
Honestly? Why bother?

This isn't big enough for a class action. There's not enough money in it for a real lawsuit. And there's probably not enough money for most people to make it worth going to small claims.

And getting the Attorney General on his ass won't make the book come out faster.
 

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Far West was my first Kickstarter and I got in because T.S. Luikart was one of the main designers. I liked his work in WFRP, Skull & Bones, especially Dragon Age. Luke left at some point, GMS’s life went to shit (all the stuff with his father was real I think) and I just figured if I get it, I get it. I’ve spent way more that that on Dates from Hell.

Now that it shifted to a D6 variant, not sure it will have the mechanical weight to do cover a Wuxia martial arts system, but whatever.

Anyway, the first couple draft sections have been released to backers.
 

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Makes Dwimnermount and Exalted 3rd edition look like success stories.

In the OSR I think only Bob III’s CSIO Kickstarter comes close to being this much of a trainwreck.
 

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Dumarest

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The one and same. Funded 2014. Bob III failed to deliver and after years of excuses a visibly exasperated (judging from the tone of the new updates) Bob II stepped in, with a little help from our own robertsconley robertsconley to try and fulfill.
Only 4 years late? That's practically on time by Kickstarter standards! :devil:
 

Jetstream

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The one and same. Funded 2014. Bob III failed to deliver and after years of excuses a visibly exasperated (judging from the tone of the new updates) Bob II stepped in, with a little help from our own robertsconley robertsconley to try and fulfill.
Bob III and Bob II are weird monikers that don't really mean anything to me... Why do they go by those instead of... like... their names?
 

xanther

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Honestly? Why bother?
To deter others from running kickstarter scams and to not let someone profit, to the tune of almost $50,000, from scamming people.

This isn't big enough for a class action. There's not enough money in it for a real lawsuit. And there's probably not enough money for most people to make it worth going to small claims.
It's not about money but preventing schemes that defraud consumers. That's part of an AG Office's job, usually through the consumer protection branch. In fact, this scenario is the very reason such branches exist because there is insufficient monetary motivation for individuals to take action on there own. It's really basic Chicago school economic theory applied to the law.

I think this case would be a good one for an intern, and exciting as it explores a new area where the law is just beginning to be applied.

And getting the Attorney General on his ass won't make the book come out faster.
You think the book is actually ever coming out?! I suspect the book will never come out and think it more likely than not it was never intended to come out.
 

Jetstream

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You think the book is actually ever coming out?! I suspect the book will never come out and think it more likely than not it was never intended to come out.

See, I disagree with this. I believe he hasn't done the work, but I attribute that to incompetence.

If he was never planning on ever actually making the book, he would've stopped talking about it years ago. There is precedent for "Sorry y'all, I fucked up, it's not happening" in the Kickstarter space.

At the very least he thinks he's gonna put out a book. Otherwise spinning his wheels like this is just insane and does nothing for anyone. Least of all him.
 

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Bob III and Bob II are weird monikers that don't really mean anything to me... Why do they go by those instead of... like... their names?
Aren't their real names Robert, thus Bob?
 

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Only 4 years late? That's practically on time by Kickstarter standards! :devil:
I'm a part of this one, as a backer. To be fair to them they did put out about a dozen amazing maps, both player and GM versions by end of 2016. But yah it has been dragging.
 

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Aren't their real names Robert, thus Bob?
I'm sure they are. Name Number doesn't mean anything.

Bob Smith III and Bob Robertson II would make sense. Bob III and Bob II aren't identifiers.
 

Dumarest

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I'm a part of this one, as a backer. To be fair to them they did put out about a dozen amazing maps, both player and GM versions by end of 2016. But yah it has been dragging.
I actually like the black-and-white maps on that site better than the color ones...but that link doesn't say what has gone awry.
 
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