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Thread: Paprium: The Official Thread Mk 2

  1. #11131
    Toejam is a wiener. Master of Shinobi SEGA-Jorge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stifu View Post
    Fair enough, but I think the main point was about the people who declare they will take legal action, but are nowhere to be seen when it comes to it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Moham View Post
    No SEGA-Jorge, my comment wasn't about people who don't want to go through the legal system. My comment was about people who claim they'll do something, only to back down when they're given the opportunity to take action. I've seen the same scenario play out on every forum I've been a part of. Everyone has a big mouth until they have to actually put some time or effort into something. You may be in the 1 in 20 people who would take action, but that doesn't change the other 19 people, or make my point any less valid.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sik View Post
    Another issue in this particular case is that, realistically, Fonzie probably doesn't have the money to pay and no amount of prosecution is going to make the money magically show up. So that 1 in 20 people being willing to do anything is more like 1 in 20 in 20. Not to mention that customers are spread everywhere across the world so you'd need to coordinate multiple lawyers internationally. Have fun with that.

    This does bring up a different issue, however: what do we do in case somebody else does shit like this again? OK, the Paprium case stands out in how much of a clusterfuck it turned into, but what about homebrew stores that don't ship the games? Or ship cartridges that don't work and refuse to replace or refund? Because shit like that is way more likely to happen, and we do have cases of stores taking many more months than promised to ship. There also seems to be an underreporting of faulty cartridges, and sellers really need to be held accountable for that stuff.
    This was the point of my post. This serves as a list of things to look out for. As a community, we will have to go into these sorts of projects knowing that this is a possibility, and making sure we do whatever we can as a group to mitigate the potential for risk. That means looking at the status of a project prior to funding, knowing the team, individuals, scope of the project, timelines, whether long-time community members are sounding alarms (Barone and myself were calling BS on Paprium, from a design perspective, from the get to, while other members with knowledge of the hardware were calling shenanigans on aspects of the game that seemed to be too advanced for the architecture, while even others were commenting on the way WM made PCB's. There was tons of warnings early on, that as a community we kinda chose to ignore because of Pier Solar, which itself was marred in craziness at times as well.) etc. And demanding a transparent development process that share progress, demos, news, and meets milestones, and show the game playing on actual hardware, emulators, and alternative hardware. Any and all projects should be this way moving forward, and there are existing, and completed projects that have successfully implemented and delivered using this method. We simply don't fund project that look to skip or omit, wholesale, elements of the indi-development process that increase the risk of the project not reaching completion. I think for starters, only accepting project that are started/crowdfunded in a way that protects the investors, and making sure that potential devs go into the projects knowing that the Sega community doesn't BS around about this sort of thing. We pay up, but we expect transparency and results.

    I don't really blame our community for this debacle though. We went in on good faith, and with confidence, seeing as WM had delivered product before. The fact that it fell apart was unfortunately a result of mismanagement and shenanigans on Fonzie's part, (or so it seems) but subsequent funding, the sticks, etc. All that was the community maybe putting too much faith in a group that was terribly comfortable with antiquated, and downright questionable practices. The community should have demanded a more financially safe (I know all investments are risky) alternative to WM's gems system. And that should have only met it's goal if the assurances that transparency and scope were reasonable.

    Since this project, all other projects have withstood way, way more scrutiny. Kickstarters for Genesis games need to meet a lot more criteria, and it seems like much of that was established both by the positive experiences by teams like Bitmap Bureau and BigEvil, along with publishers like MegaCat, but also by the abysmal experiences and lessons we collectively learned with WM.
    Last edited by SEGA-Jorge; 09-30-2020 at 07:50 PM.

  2. #11132
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    The way to prevent it is to not pay everything up front. Maybe your pre-order is for half the amount, then you pay the other half when it's done. You could put half the money in an escrow if that helps. If a company wants investors, make it like Wall St where they know they are taking a risk but will be rewarded if the game sells well. I know this is not the common way to fund indie games but it could work.

    For what it's worth I'm not in the game industry but my company has had to deal with some similar issues, we have one project finally coming to fruition where people wanted to place pre-orders for the last year and a half, I politely declined each time because I knew it would complicate the process (even though I could have made a lot of money in the meantime). The only time I like to take pre-orders is when I know all of the design, manufacturing and QC details are done and barring a supplier going out of business there is no chance of anything derailing the deal.

    It is unfortunate though because I've already seen the Paprium effect on other Genesis games, people see a Kickstarter and ask "how do we know this isn't another Paprium?"

  3. #11133
    WCPO Agent Mad Moham's Avatar
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    Its impossible to completely prevent scams. But it would help a lot if we made sure developers had a demo running on real hardware before they ask people for money. It made me suspicious that WM never had a demo for Projecty before they collected money from everyone, and I've always found it impossible to help anyone who isn't willing to help themselves. So an obvious answer is that if a developer wants help with funding, then they have to prove that they've helped themselves by producing a demo.

    And I mean an actual demo, not a bunch of mockup screenshots and some concept art. So if someone comes along asking for money, they should be bombarded with people asking: "OK, but where's your demo?" before anyone hands over any money.

    And another good question to ask is: "How much of your own money have you put into this so far?"
    I understand that crowdfunding campaigns are done as much for promotion as they are for money, but I don't see why I should part with my money if the developer has nothing to lose. I've mentioned this before, but I preferred it when banks were the main source of funding for any business. A bank will usually perform better checks to ensure your business makes sense, and if you fail then the bank is probably coming to collect everything you have.

  4. #11134
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    I've already mentioned this a few times before but personally if I could have afforded it with Arkagis Revolution I'd have gone straight to orders (not preorders), it's just that I started with basically no money left to pay for the manufacturing costs… I recall TerraOnion saying something similar regarding the Mega SD, they did preorders only to fund the manufacturing or otherwise they'd have skipped straight to orders as well. And honestly we're starting to reach to the point where even preorders won't cut it anymore.

    You're all too busy focusing on crowdfunding though, yet I remember when the most common complaint in this forum was somebody ordering a game and then it going for months without any news (and being unable to get a reply back from the sellers). What do we do about that kind of stuff?

    Also a demo should be mandatory at this point. And I don't mean a video showing the game, I mean a downloadable ROM that anybody can try in an emulator or a flashcart. And this isn't just for crowdfunding, this goes even for stuff you can order right now as well, because it's very easy to make a game look good and hide the problems (remember what happened with Kung Fu UFO? looked great in videos but the controls turned out to be trash, at least that one was halted before anybody was parted away with their money).

  5. #11135
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    Accountability enforcement is still the easiest and cheapest way to solve these issues as we move forward.

    Part of this community and pretty much the entirety of WM's refused to hold Fonzie, Luis and others accountable for their actions.

    People who offered a free pass to Fonzie and Luis in exchange of interviews for their websites are part of the problem.
    And I told this back then. People were giving them props for no good reason.

    We gotta have enough rationality to sort our priorities correctly.
    Some Richie Rich types/collectors seem to want to enforce the idea that money loss is not an issue as long as more games get released at some point. This is a receipt for disaster.

    WM should be blacklisted and banned from this and other forums.
    People like Luis should be denied the space to hype vaporware projects and/or projects related to blacklisted companies.

    The community should establish their own rules and thresholds for blacklisting developers and publishers.
    Companies which don't refund you upon faulty hardware delivery and lack of service should be blacklisted.
    Companies which have a track record of not paying their employees and contributors should be blacklisted.
    ...

    At the end of the day, a big part of problem is people willing to do and accept anything for more gamezzzzzzzzzz.
    The fact that after all that was reported by st1ka's documentary on WM there are still morons willing to promote and advocate the promotion of their products pretty much shows you that having these idiots unchecked as part of a community is also an issue.

    As long as we keep allowing people with no character, no sense of responsibility to go unchecked and keep hurting other people (be them one of us or not), these kinds of fuck ups will keep happening.
    Last edited by Barone; 10-01-2020 at 01:54 PM.

  6. #11136
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingOutrunner Stifu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    People like Luis should be denied the space to hype vaporware projects and/or projects related to blacklisted companies.
    Yep. The more time passes, the worse Luis looks. He brought that upon himself.

  7. #11137
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    Companies which don't refund you upon faulty hardware delivery and lack of service should be blacklisted.
    Difficulty level: there are people who don't report back malfunctioning cartridges "to support the devs". Yeah, I had that happen and ended up yelling at the guy to report it after I found out.

    Also honestly that in itself should be considered a strike against me because merely the fact that a faulty copy got shipped at all implies I didn't make sure there were procedures to ensure faulty copies didn't make it out in the first place… (don't tell me that's being too hard on me, the moment money is involved service needs to be 100% perfect no exceptions) That's another thing the community needs to work on, by the way, to reduce the amount of incidents down to zero. But people yell at me for "telling others what to do" if I ever try to bring that up.

  8. #11138
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One Centrale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    WM should be blacklisted and banned from this and other forums.
    People like Luis should be denied the space to hype vaporware projects and/or projects related to blacklisted companies.
    I've been reading along, mostly out of annoyance because this non-existent game dominates this sub-forum even as incredible, real games have been announced, developed and released without a tenth of the attention on here. But if any of you who lost money actually intend to act to hold anyone accountable, this individual Luis is the one to focus on as he actually has something at stake in the legitimate game industry.

  9. #11139
    Social Justice Ninja Master of Shinobi IrishNinja's Avatar
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    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Barone again.

    okay but can we make an exception cause that should be the last post in this thread


  10. #11140
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher nihilblack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tokay View Post
    Something may happen in October.
    Uhm... Here's October, so let's see if something (besides the usual whole lot of nothing) happens.

  11. #11141
    Hero of Algol
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    Autumn usually happens in October in the Northern hemisphere.

  12. #11142
    Master of Shinobi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Moham View Post
    Its impossible to completely prevent scams. But it would help a lot if we made sure developers had a demo running on real hardware before they ask people for money. It made me suspicious that WM never had a demo for Projecty before they collected money from everyone, and I've always found it impossible to help anyone who isn't willing to help themselves. So an obvious answer is that if a developer wants help with funding, then they have to prove that they've helped themselves by producing a demo.

    And I mean an actual demo, not a bunch of mockup screenshots and some concept art. So if someone comes along asking for money, they should be bombarded with people asking: "OK, but where's your demo?" before anyone hands over any money.

    And another good question to ask is: "How much of your own money have you put into this so far?"
    I understand that crowdfunding campaigns are done as much for promotion as they are for money, but I don't see why I should part with my money if the developer has nothing to lose. I've mentioned this before, but I preferred it when banks were the main source of funding for any business. A bank will usually perform better checks to ensure your business makes sense, and if you fail then the bank is probably coming to collect everything you have.
    Both excellent points. The developer needs to have some skin in the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sik View Post
    I've already mentioned this a few times before but personally if I could have afforded it with Arkagis Revolution I'd have gone straight to orders (not preorders), it's just that I started with basically no money left to pay for the manufacturing costs… I recall TerraOnion saying something similar regarding the Mega SD, they did preorders only to fund the manufacturing or otherwise they'd have skipped straight to orders as well. And honestly we're starting to reach to the point where even preorders won't cut it anymore.
    Yeah, but in your case the game was already finished. Giving Fonzie/WM a huge sum of money for a game that existed as a concept only "yeah SoR2 was pretty cool, we should do a beat 'em up" was nuts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stifu View Post
    Yep. The more time passes, the worse Luis looks. He brought that upon himself.
    Indeed he did, although the reasons why are still unclear.

  13. #11143
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingNameless One Centrale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    Indeed he did, although the reasons why are still unclear.
    He got paid to, I would think! Someone mentioned he works for Ubisoft... that's a company that has a lot of bad press right now, I'm sure they don't want more. In case anyone is looking for a pressure point.

  14. #11144
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingOutrunner
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    Geez, let's not bring cancel culture here too.

  15. #11145
    WCPO Agent Mad Moham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Centrale View Post
    He got paid to, I would think! Someone mentioned he works for Ubisoft... that's a company that has a lot of bad press right now, I'm sure they don't want more. In case anyone is looking for a pressure point.

    I hope we don't go down that road. Luis made a mistake and he may be an asshole for his part in this mess, but its wrong to attack his career outside of Paprium.

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