Horrorcow Zoe Quinn / Chelsea Van Valkenburg / Locke Valentine / @UnburntWitch / @Primeape / CrashOverride / Hat Box / Old Uncle Anime - Con Artist, Abuser, Sexual Harasser, Drove Alec Holowka to Suicide.

Weed_Prostitute

kiwifarms.net
The project foolishly offered a ton of physical rewards, even at relatively low dollar tiers. Since Chelsea was never going to send out anything, the project wisely choose to outsource rewards to a 3rd party firm. That ate up tens of thousands of dollars due to the incompetence in reward tier costing, and all evidence suggests the 3rd party did fulfill the physical rewards properly, though expensively. It was a huge mistake and it likely sunk the project, presuming there was genuine effort to develop it.

For the record, I think Chelsea actually tried to do the project. She sent out the rewards, basked in the publicity from all her sucked dicks at game blogs, and hammed it up for the video shoots. Then, early in development, she realized she had far less than she needed to finish the project due to rewards/inefficiency/graft. At that point, she pocketed whatever was left and ghosted it.
Honestly nothing of value was lost and the world just moved on.
 

Least Concern

Pretend I have a waifu avatar like everyone else
kiwifarms.net
Honestly nothing of value was lost and the world just moved on.
Well, I mean, the backers' money was lost… save for those physical rewards (which I had forgotten about), they paid for a product that they will never receive. And I don't think it's fair to just say they all got what they deserved for throwing money at a grifter; I assume many of them were fans of Tingle who had never heard of Zoe and her prior shenanigans.
 

Judge Dredd

Senior Layout Artist
kiwifarms.net
I know I'm :late: here but $85k should be plenty to get something like this done. Digital video production is a lot cheaper to do nowadays compared to the late '90s.

Let's do some back-of-the-envelope math and see if we can make it happen for $85k. First we'll assume that all these things about having free YouTube studio space and volunteer actors aren't true, since that's all just hearsay as far as I can tell. We'll even assume that Zoe doesn't have any equipment of her own or any skills to do any work, so we'll hire out everything.

A video studio, equipment, and staff to operate cameras and booms, set up lighting, etc. can be had for $1500-2000 a day. If the game were to have two hours of total video in it, which is actually generous for an old-school FMV game (remember those things usually had to fit on a single CD-ROM and they didn't have as efficient video codecs in the late '90s as we have now), we can probably get all the recording done in one day, but let's say we're lazy and it takes us two. So that's $4000. We'll get five actors from local talent agencies and college theater classes; they don't have to be top talent as it'll be more authentic if they aren't and anything with Chuck Tingle's brand on it is expected to be kinda corny anyway, so we'll generously pay them $2000 each for their two days of work; that's $10,000. We'll hire an editor to edit down and export the footage and do titling and simple special effects; that will maybe take 30 hours of their time at $200 an hour (of course you can find cheaper ones but we've got $85k so let's find a good one) for $6000. Let's hire a professional freelance game developer at a generous $200 an hour again and say it takes him a generous 40 hours to make a "choose your own adventure"-type menu-based game out of the footage; that's $8,000. Let's pay a web developer $100 an hour for 30 hours to make a promotional site; $3000. We now have our game pretty effectively created and marketed for $31,000. Let's give Kickstarter $4,000 in fees, Chuck Tingle $20,000 for writing the script and use of his "brand," and Chelsea Van Valkenburg $10,000 for new tits, and we're still only at $65,000. Am I missing something?

So I'm really curious what went wrong here. Some possibilities off the top of my head:

  1. Chelsea didn't have the brains or the discipline to keep the project money separate from her personal stash; she spent a significant chunk of the project money on personal things, perhaps with the intention of "paying back" the project at a later date from her own personal income. But she just never was able to do so. She fully intended to raise enough money to continue the project at some point, but by then she was just too far over her head.
  2. As sometimes happens with crowdfunded projects, someone along the line got ahold of a vital part of the project and then refused to give it back or continue their job until they got more money. In the example above, suppose we got all of our video recording done, but then we gave the only copies of the video files to the editor, and now he's refusing to edit them and won't give them back unless we give him $50,000. This can be avoided by having good contracts beforehand (so we pay a lawyer $5000 to ensure all of our contracts are ironclad), being smart and making sure nobody has the sole copy of anything important, and/or naming and shaming the offending party and trying to ruin their career, but maybe Chelsea doesn't want to do that for some reason.
  3. For whatever reason, Chelsea just got demotivated from wanting to continue the project. Maybe a falling-out happened with Tingle behind-the-scenes, but she doesn't want to throw him under the bus. Maybe it's just Spoony-like, Twitter-fueled burnout. Besides, she already has her cut of the money and other money keeps coming in from various grifts, so what does it matter if she actually finishes the project or not? It's not like anyone listens to her haters anyway since they're all evil racist gurmbergirders.
  4. The whole thing was a sham from Zoe and/or Chuck from the start.

Or, of course, some combination of them. My vote's on some of 1 and some of 3, but who really knows? I'd love to get some straight answers some day.

I just wish Chuck would open up more about what happened here, since it's apparent we're not going to get any answers from Zoe and they wouldn't be trustworthy even if we did, and his continued silence is a bad look. Maybe it's too much to expect integrity from a guy who writes questionably parodic e-books about buttfucking dinosaurs, but I'm guessing either he's in fear of being cancelled if he spills tea on Chelsea's botching of this project, or he never really cared that much about it in the first place.

EDIT: In case it hasn't been mentioned in this thread before, let's not forget that for all of Sargon's failings, he at least made a reasonable effort to give a refund to anyone who wanted one when his game project went bad. And that was after a significant chunk of the money had been spent. A fat British bigbrain YouTuber behaved more credibly in the field of game development than this celebrated indie game developer.
I disagree with some of your specific numbers, but agree with your overall analysis. eg. Filming the whole game in one day seems like a stretch unless she's extremely efficient, I'd say a week is more reasonable, but I think she saved money by casting her friends.

Personally, I think she did some of 3 and 4. If someone had ran off with the project, you can guarantee that she would've kicked up a fuss on social media to ruin them. She's damned people for far less.

On some level this was a scam. I think Rabel Jam and Camp's Not Dead were a thing before this, so at very least she has a history of raising money and running off with it.


But let's assume the best of intentions for the sake of argument. Zoe gets the licence and wants to make a game. Either to strike while the meme is popular as a business idea, or she's a genuine fan of Chuck Tingle's work. Doesn't matter which.

She gets her friends and some actors to run around almost naked and make fools of themselves. I doubt there was a script. She paid her friends a fee for their work. Jim Sterling claims he was paid, so if that's true we can assume the rest were as well.

Given her lack of skill and computer knowledge, I think she had a programmer doing the heavy lifting for her who eventually left at Zoe's request. I say at Zoe's request because if it was his decision to leave with her holding the bag, I think she would have burned him on social media and tried to ruin his life. The other option is that it's someone powerful enough that Zoe is afraid of him, but I struggle to think who that could be.

Somewhere along the way she wastes the money on frivolities. Boob job, exotic pets, and an expensive trip to Japan were all things I've seen speculated. Being unable to hire anyone to finish the work, she just dumped the project and hoped people would never mention it again.

And that's the best possible reading of it that makes sense imo.
 
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Least Concern

Pretend I have a waifu avatar like everyone else
kiwifarms.net
She gets her friends and some actors to run around almost naked and make fools of themselves. I doubt there was a script.
I can't imagine making a game like this without a script. You'd need to plan out where the decision points are and which branches lead to which new decision points and so on. If they really did just goof off in front of a camera and then have a glob of footage you'd have to make a coherent FMV-style game out of… well, there's the end of your project right there. If they really did make it to the video recording stage and Jim Sterling did some work on it, perhaps he could have some insight on what might have gone wrong early. I doubt he'd be willing to speak out about it, though.
 

break these cuffs

W A O
kiwifarms.net
I can't imagine making a game like this without a script. You'd need to plan out where the decision points are and which branches lead to which new decision points and so on. If they really did just goof off in front of a camera and then have a glob of footage you'd have to make a coherent FMV-style game out of… well, there's the end of your project right there. If they really did make it to the video recording stage and Jim Sterling did some work on it, perhaps he could have some insight on what might have gone wrong early. I doubt he'd be willing to speak out about it, though.
I will to bet that this is exactly how it was sunk. A bunch of people who don't know what they were doing thought they could do it. It may have even been treated as a fling on someone else's dime. Chelsea wanted to play game maker again and this time she was going to be a movie director too! She and some friends got together, with or without a script, and their lack of knowledge made it an unfun clusterfuck so they half assed it and got drunk until the money ran out. She also took $10k for her tits.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: Judge Dredd

Judge Dredd

Senior Layout Artist
kiwifarms.net
I can't imagine making a game like this without a script.
I can. The answer is really badly.

If she had a script, I imagine it wouldn't be more than a rough outline of what she wanted. Even films like GhostBusters 2016 assumed that shoving comedians in front of the camera and telling them to "act funny" is enough to make a comedy. Given Zoe's chronic laziness and general personality, and the fact she could barely write a comic book, I doubt she spent hours sitting in front of a word document writing scenes, jokes, and branching paths.
 

AprilRains

Drowning Pumpkin
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I can. The answer is really badly.

If she had a script, I imagine it wouldn't be more than a rough outline of what she wanted. Even films like GhostBusters 2016 assumed that shoving comedians in front of the camera and telling them to "act funny" is enough to make a comedy. Given Zoe's chronic laziness and general personality, and the fact she could barely write a comic book, I doubt she spent hours sitting in front of a word document writing scenes, jokes, and branching paths.
On the other hand, why should she put in more effort than Chuck Tingle himself?
 

Water-T

My pussy tastes like Pepsi-cola.
True & Honest Fan
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I can. The answer is really badly.

If she had a script, I imagine it wouldn't be more than a rough outline of what she wanted. Even films like GhostBusters 2016 assumed that shoving comedians in front of the camera and telling them to "act funny" is enough to make a comedy. Given Zoe's chronic laziness and general personality, and the fact she could barely write a comic book, I doubt she spent hours sitting in front of a word document writing scenes, jokes, and branching paths.
If Chelsea did write a script, it was probably the same MadLibs mish-mash that Chunk Tingle barfs out:

an [animal] in an [item of clothing] meets a ghost [wacky profession] [piece of furniture] at a [location]. They fuck. The End.
 
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KillThemCrackasBabies

kiwifarms.net
Tingle is shit, his books are garbage, and a clusterfuck of disappointment is exactly what his legacy should be tied to.

I know I'm :late: here but $85k should be plenty to get something like this done. Digital video production is a lot cheaper to do nowadays compared to the late '90s.

Let's do some back-of-the-envelope math and see if we can make it happen for $85k. First we'll assume that all these things about having free YouTube studio space and volunteer actors aren't true, since that's all just hearsay as far as I can tell. We'll even assume that Zoe doesn't have any equipment of her own or any skills to do any work, so we'll hire out everything.

A video studio, equipment, and staff to operate cameras and booms, set up lighting, etc. can be had for $1500-2000 a day. If the game were to have two hours of total video in it, which is actually generous for an old-school FMV game (remember those things usually had to fit on a single CD-ROM and they didn't have as efficient video codecs in the late '90s as we have now), we can probably get all the recording done in one day, but let's say we're lazy and it takes us two. So that's $4000. We'll get five actors from local talent agencies and college theater classes; they don't have to be top talent as it'll be more authentic if they aren't and anything with Chuck Tingle's brand on it is expected to be kinda corny anyway, so we'll generously pay them $2000 each for their two days of work; that's $10,000. We'll hire an editor to edit down and export the footage and do titling and simple special effects; that will maybe take 30 hours of their time at $200 an hour (of course you can find cheaper ones but we've got $85k so let's find a good one) for $6000. Let's hire a professional freelance game developer at a generous $200 an hour again and say it takes him a generous 40 hours to make a "choose your own adventure"-type menu-based game out of the footage; that's $8,000. Let's pay a web developer $100 an hour for 30 hours to make a promotional site; $3000. We now have our game pretty effectively created and marketed for $31,000. Let's give Kickstarter $4,000 in fees, Chuck Tingle $20,000 for writing the script and use of his "brand," and Chelsea Van Valkenburg $10,000 for new tits, and we're still only at $65,000. Am I missing something?

So I'm really curious what went wrong here. Some possibilities off the top of my head:

  1. Chelsea didn't have the brains or the discipline to keep the project money separate from her personal stash; she spent a significant chunk of the project money on personal things, perhaps with the intention of "paying back" the project at a later date from her own personal income. But she just never was able to do so. She fully intended to raise enough money to continue the project at some point, but by then she was just too far over her head.
  2. As sometimes happens with crowdfunded projects, someone along the line got ahold of a vital part of the project and then refused to give it back or continue their job until they got more money. In the example above, suppose we got all of our video recording done, but then we gave the only copies of the video files to the editor, and now he's refusing to edit them and won't give them back unless we give him $50,000. This can be avoided by having good contracts beforehand (so we pay a lawyer $5000 to ensure all of our contracts are ironclad), being smart and making sure nobody has the sole copy of anything important, and/or naming and shaming the offending party and trying to ruin their career, but maybe Chelsea doesn't want to do that for some reason.
  3. For whatever reason, Chelsea just got demotivated from wanting to continue the project. Maybe a falling-out happened with Tingle behind-the-scenes, but she doesn't want to throw him under the bus. Maybe it's just Spoony-like, Twitter-fueled burnout. Besides, she already has her cut of the money and other money keeps coming in from various grifts, so what does it matter if she actually finishes the project or not? It's not like anyone listens to her haters anyway since they're all evil racist gurmbergirders.
  4. The whole thing was a sham from Zoe and/or Chuck from the start.

Or, of course, some combination of them. My vote's on some of 1 and some of 3, but who really knows? I'd love to get some straight answers some day.

I just wish Chuck would open up more about what happened here, since it's apparent we're not going to get any answers from Zoe and they wouldn't be trustworthy even if we did, and his continued silence is a bad look. Maybe it's too much to expect integrity from a guy who writes questionably parodic e-books about buttfucking dinosaurs, but I'm guessing either he's in fear of being cancelled if he spills tea on Chelsea's botching of this project, or he never really cared that much about it in the first place.

EDIT: In case it hasn't been mentioned in this thread before, let's not forget that for all of Sargon's failings, he at least made a reasonable effort to give a refund to anyone who wanted one when his game project went bad. And that was after a significant chunk of the money had been spent. A fat British bigbrain YouTuber behaved more credibly in the field of game development than this celebrated indie game developer.
99.95% chance she expected to just film lol so random short videos, hand it off to someone else to put it in "videogame" form, and swoop in to take credit. Then she either couldn'ty find anyone willing to work, or slighted whoever was already on board to do the work, and was left with a hard drive of unfunny comedy skits she had no ability to pu into FMV form.
 

AprilRains

Drowning Pumpkin
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
99.95% chance she expected to just film lol so random short videos, hand it off to someone else to put it in "videogame" form, and swoop in to take credit. Then she either couldn'ty find anyone willing to work, or slighted whoever was already on board to do the work, and was left with a hard drive of unfunny comedy skits she had no ability to pu into FMV form.
This is a fairly common phenomenon among people who think that they're idea men or women. They throw a bunch of junk at someone they regard as a mere functionary, and expect them to create a silk purse out of a bloody bucket of sow's ears.

I've had this happen myself. Someone I knew was trying to promote some fairly unwatchable videos about a true crime subject. For my amusement, I made a trailer for the videos that adhered closely to the standards for true crime shows on television. It was possible to create 60 seconds worth of plausible trailer content from what was nearly an hour of droning crap. I put in some subtitles, found some free suspenseful music, and got it going. It wasn't that hard.

This was a mistake. The fellow then wanted me to take that 60 minutes worth of footage, combine it with another 30 minutes of absolutely unwatchable boring crap, and come out with about 30 minutes worth of zippy content that was like something you would find on a true crime channel. There was no way I could do that. You'd need quality creative, a real narrator with the standard sonorous deep voice, and most of all, an actual fucking narrative. None of which the original material had.

Zoe has a similar level of laziness to the point of incompetence.
 

KillThemCrackasBabies

kiwifarms.net
Actually wasn't there a Medium or tumblr or something that specifically called her out for not paying staff? I know "Crash Override" put her on blast for expecting them to work for free but I'm fairly certain some of the people who were signed onto Tingler ("signed on" in a very loose sense, anyway) posted something similar, unless I'm just confusing it with CON.

But yeah I'm positive she just assumed someone else was going to actually do the whole "dev thing" for her and had no alternative but to drop it and ignore it when it became obvious that plan wasn't happening.
 

Weed_Prostitute

kiwifarms.net
Well, I mean, the backers' money was lost… save for those physical rewards (which I had forgotten about), they paid for a product that they will never receive. And I don't think it's fair to just say they all got what they deserved for throwing money at a grifter; I assume many of them were fans of Tingle who had never heard of Zoe and her prior shenanigans.
Tingle fans deserved to to be swindled for enabling that worthless hack.
 

RisingPheonix

I came here to squark at you
kiwifarms.net
Actually wasn't there a Medium or tumblr or something that specifically called her out for not paying staff? I know "Crash Override" put her on blast for expecting them to work for free but I'm fairly certain some of the people who were signed onto Tingler ("signed on" in a very loose sense, anyway) posted something similar, unless I'm just confusing it with CON.

But yeah I'm positive she just assumed someone else was going to actually do the whole "dev thing" for her and had no alternative but to drop it and ignore it when it became obvious that plan wasn't happening.
No - actually people who were linked to the project and had participated claimed they had been paid. Some early work apparently had been done on the project. I think outside that, the only person to hint it wasn't all rosey was Tingle himself. Who got annoyed with people bugging him for updates and basically admitted that all he'd really done was give Zoe the verbal okay to use his name and work without a proper contract.
 

Pargon

He don't
True & Honest Fan
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I looked at Eileen Holowka's Twitter and this was the most recent tweet:

"The first thing I did in #ACNH was make a grave for my brother. Today I finished the rainbow garden. Would love to see other memorials."

A memorial in a video game instead of publicly standing by him when he was at his lowest.

I hope she never sleeps again.
 

NeoGAF Lurker

An Niggo
kiwifarms.net
It was during the Tingle game development that she said she was learning to code by reading Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs , a very deep, technical theoretical textbook written in the 70s. That alone showed that she had no clue.
I’m pretty sure the only way she heard about that book was when she was on her knees and saw it on a bookshelf while taking some guy’s load in her mouth.