Barkley 2 ex-dev discloses horrible management practices, development practically dead - The Promise Is Broken

Bean Cheese

kiwifarms.net
Barkley 2 is a sequel to a cult classic free RPG called Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, a wacky as hell game about a cyberpunk dystopia following the events of Space Jam. In 2012, Barkley 2 was announced via Kickstarter, and it was crowdfunded fairly quickly. The game was set to release in 2013.

It quickly fell into development hell with updates being released sporadically, the latest being in 2017. Official excuses from Tales of Games were that they had run out of money and were only working on it in their free time. Today, however, a former developer of the game by the name of Hiratio responded to a Something Awful thread about the game, giving an update to its progress. It's not pretty.

Twitter compilation of responses

Chef vanished from the project 2 1/2 years ago. I've tried contacting him multiple times and haven't received a response. Bort left around the same time to be a family man.

The Kickstarter was not necessary, especially in hindsight. The majority of work on this game was unpaid. Myself, Bort, and Chef are the original Barkley 1 creators. I did not join the Kickstarter with them because I was aware of the many problems that could (and did) arise.

I was asked to join the project 3 years after the KS when the project had little money and was in shambles. I was committed to trying to finish the game but it was consistently set back by horrible management and I ended up quitting. The person who owns ToG and is running it now had nothing to do with Barkley 1 and has zero game dev experience. He is the ToG PR guy.

When I quit, Lazrool also quit. We were the only two remaining who understood the technical inner workings of this game. Laz worked on this project nearly from the start, pro bono, and was tired of the nonsense as well.

There is no incentive for "ToG" or anyone attached to the KS to talk about this debacle.
Despite him admitting to me directly the game will die without me working on it, when I finally got tired and said I'll quit unless changes happen, he accepted my resignation and as far as I know is trying to keep the project alive by finding new "hires".
An entire book could be written on the problems this game had. To name a choice few:
  • There was a revolving door of workers on the game. Many were lured in with "percentages". You can only promise so many points. One of the reasons I quit is because I could not see this circle being squared.
  • Divide and conquer. The team was split and there were 50 back channels where everyone had their own way of understanding this game.
  • Goldfish attention span. A large amount of work was only done at most half way, then abandoned to work on some other "cool" thing.
  • Unwillingness to cut or simplify anything despite not having the manpower and the game dragging for years on end.
  • Management dictating how work should be done despite not understanding how it actually works. Leading to needlessly complicated systems, obsolete systems, and totally broken systems.
Since then, the official Tales of Games Twitter has responded to these claims in a much less energetic tone than their previous tweets.
Tales of Games.png

TL;DR: All the original developers of Barkley called it quits. The "PR guy" is now desperately trying to finish development of the game himself.

End of an era, I suppose. Would much rather see ToG shut it down than this sad development crawl.
 
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Shabobus

kiwifarms.net
That sucks. I loved the first game. I'd been wondering when new info would finally come out about this, and it looks like it confirms the worst. They could at least post something on the kickstarter about it. They've left their backers in the dark for over a year.
 

Bean Cheese

kiwifarms.net
New update from the producer:
Tales of Games 2.png
TL;DR - All the people who created the original Barkley left, the only ones working on it are the PR guy and a part-time coder. PR guy is desperately trying to damage control when most people really just want him to announce that the game's officially dead.

Also, more dev updates:
Tales of Games 3.png
 
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CIA Nigger

"IT'S NOT A FETISH MOM"
Supervisor
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I had nearly forgotten about that weird era in gaming where everybody and their grandma was making kickstarters. Shit like this is also pretty much why that business model ended up failing. Everyone from e-celebs to internet artists/animators to ex-professional gamedevs going indie thought they could make the next big hit with just a bit of funding, then people forgot about those games because so many of them never ended up ever coming out. Even today I still hear from time to time about kickstarter disasters from products never coming out to products coming out and sucking.

This is why you don’t crowdfund a meme
At least that Shaq Fu sequel did get a release. Of course I forgot it existed until I found a copy at Wal-Mart on clearance.
 

purpleboy

Exceptional the Individualhog
kiwifarms.net
I had nearly forgotten about that weird era in gaming where everybody and their grandma was making kickstarters. Shit like this is also pretty much why that business model ended up failing. Everyone from e-celebs to internet artists/animators to ex-professional gamedevs going indie thought they could make the next big hit with just a bit of funding, then people forgot about those games because so many of them never ended up ever coming out. Even today I still hear from time to time about kickstarter disasters from products never coming out to products coming out and sucking.


At least that Shaq Fu sequel did get a release. Of course I forgot it existed until I found a copy at Wal-Mart on clearance.
Why do I get the feeling Charlie the Unicorn 5 will have a similar fate

 

CIA Nigger

"IT'S NOT A FETISH MOM"
Supervisor
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Why do I get the feeling Charlie the Unicorn 5 will have a similar fate

Regardless on if it gets released or not, the fact that was an idea in the first place makes me wonder if it's for the better if it never is released.
 
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Bassomatic

True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
What a bummer. I really liked how silly it was, and still played decently hard, quite well and felt like an SNES game.

The people who made it had a Wu Tang rouge like that was pretty funny, but not great.
 
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purpleboy

Exceptional the Individualhog
kiwifarms.net
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SteelPlatedHeart

Politics are fucking dumb
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Why do I get the feeling Charlie the Unicorn 5 will have a similar fate

He did fund and release the Detective Heart of America film, so at least he has completed stuff.
 
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SteelPlatedHeart

Politics are fucking dumb
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
True, but CTU 5 was originally slated for 2017
Fair. Though I can see animation taking longer. And I’m typically okay with delays as long as they keep people informed.

Shame about Barkley 2. I never played the game myself, but I watched the SBFP playthrough of it and really enjoyed it.
 

Smaug's Smokey Hole

dragron: the bruges tea soirée
kiwifarms.net
I had nearly forgotten about that weird era in gaming where everybody and their grandma was making kickstarters. Shit like this is also pretty much why that business model ended up failing. Everyone from e-celebs to internet artists/animators to ex-professional gamedevs going indie thought they could make the next big hit with just a bit of funding, then people forgot about those games because so many of them never ended up ever coming out. Even today I still hear from time to time about kickstarter disasters from products never coming out to products coming out and sucking.
So many games got a $100k or more despite being made by unknown randos that only had GIFs of sprite graphics to show for it. Not even an engine, they just had pretty sprites moving around. It reminded me of the old mod/TC craze going from Quake 1 to Half-Life 2 where lots of projects where announced and all they had to show for it was some wicked gun renderings. Untextured of course.
 
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