As a collector I’m tempted, but I think I’m gonna pass this time. I’d have a better feeling if Chris Schneider had more games under the belt, and 125 $ is money.
Looks interesting. Would like to know more about the box and manuals. Unfortunately the KS images do not zoom. Maybe also the campaign should have a demo?
Having run an IF Kickstarter, I’m predisposed to back them, and I backed it. I’m also predisposed to support creation of new Apple II software in particular, and since it will run on all these other platforms, that’s a nice thing about these multi-platform / retro projects. They can reach a lot of people.
I know this game intimately, as I virtually wrote it.
The author is indeed Chris Schneider. This was his first foray into PunyInform and he had absolutely no idea what he was doing. The puzzles were weak, the spelling, grammar and punctuation was abysmal, the code was a mess, and the game was chock full of bugs.
Starting on 11 June 2023, I had a long series of one-on-one discussions with him on Discord, where I answered all his questions and sent code samples. He sent me nine (9) beta versions along the way and I sent him endless bug reports and commented transcripts. I kept reporting the same bugs over and over again.
When he sent the last beta version, it was still a disaster, so I offered to clean it up for him. He sent me the source code and I rewrote it.
My last communication with him was 5 August 2023 and then he started promoting the game and the Kickstarter campaign in various Facebook groups (as Christopher Lee). At no point did he ever tell me that he planned to make this a commercial game.
So, I spent a couple of months writing a game for someone else as a favour, thinking I was just helping out a newbie, only to find that he plans to make money out of it. Sheesh. He did write some very nice comments about me in the credits, but, hey, a bit of honesty up front would have been nice.
If anyone would like to see what the game is like prior to committing to his Kickstarter campaign, send me a DM and I’ll send you the z3 and/or z5 file that I compiled on 4 August 2023. I can even send you the source code before and after I rewrote it, if interested. I haven’t tested the final version very thoroughly, as I was sick of it by this time, so there may still be bugs to be found.
FWIW, this is a Scott Adams’ style treasure hunt. You have to collect 13 treasures and complete 6 tasks to complete the game. There’s also an Easter egg that he likes to emphasise.
I can also provide a map and could write up a walkthrough if anyone needs it.
wow. sorry, Garry.
Ugh, that’s a really crappy way to repay what sounds like a huge amount of effort on your part
I’m really glad you said something, Garry. Not right.
Based on your info, I withdrew my pledge. I think some others did, too.
Thanks for the support everyone. I didn’t really intend to discourage anyone from supporting a new author, but I felt obliged to give you some background. The game is okay, but not great. If it was me, I wouldn’t want to spend any money on it.
I dropped him a note earlier today to ask what was going on. I’ll let you know what he has to say.
Now here’s a really interesting development. I don’t know if this is true or not, but here’s a quote from the AtariAge forum
I have been in the hospital for over a week and just got home this past weekend.
I have been doing all my correspondence from my phone, but it stopped working and since it is a company phone I had to wait until I went back to work (monday) to have it looked at.
Well in short, it was hacked/cloned or whatever while I was in the hospital and whoever did it had access to all my facebook, etc… luckily it is a work phone so they did not have access to my banking info. But facebook, atariage, etc… they had.
In short. I did not start a kickstarter for this and was not planning to do so. I do have a plan to do something for other games but I am working with Scott Adams to gain approvals for new games (not coded yet). I have reset passwords on many sites and still trying to find everywhere this has been posted to get them removed or respond. I was able to get the kickstart project cancelled.
Was just about to post… There’s not a shortage of old school, bog-standard treasure hunts out there. Given the standard of games that people release either for free (or fund the publication of themselves), I’d have thought that you really have to make something pretty special and unique to justify running a Kickstarter for it.
However Garry’s comment just came in above, so I’ll now post… that would certainly be one of the strangest hacks/clones on record if someone went to all that effort. Sounds a bit more like frantic back-peddling to me. (There was similar back-peddling when someone did a Zenobi-related Kickstarter a while back). But benefit of the doubt and all that. I guess.
Well, that story is clearly true. Glad he got well.
I’m corresponding with him now on Discord. He’s giving me details of the phone hack and his medical woes, so it may be true. Time will tell. At any rate, the Kickstarter campaign has been killed.
KS project seems to be cancelled.
So someone “hacked” his phone (that he had with him in hospital). That person knew about the game and its content, created a complete mock-up set of how he imagined a box and its content would look like and created a Kickstarter campaign for which he set up an account that Chris later had access to in order to cancel it, and connected it to an Amazon Payments account that makes him traceable.
A very dedicated person.
Sorry to hear this, Garry. You’re always so generous with your time and advice and it’s such a shame that somebody might be taking advantage like that.
It could be inside person. Irresponsible family member? Bully co-worker? Who knows?
I guess a dog does actually eat the homework occasionally. I’ll take this at face value out of respect for you until if and when we know better.
When did the hack take place? Because “Christopher Lee” was posting on Facebook more than a month ago saying that he was going to launch a Kickstarter for the game. There are posts still up about this.
Most of the Facebook posts appear to have been deleted. I recall an early one where he was asking for testers. (I think this was before he sent me the source code to fix it up.) The later ones were about the Kickstarter campaign, which may have been posted while he was in hospital.
I chanced upon a Facebook post yesterday that was not posted by Christopher Lee. This one had a link to a 16-minute Kickstarter video with voice-over. The video showed the game running on various platforms. That looked pretty suspicious.
In recent communications with Chris, he has been giving me more info. He claims that his work phone had been cloned. His work phone had access to his Google Drive, Kickstarter account (that he had never used) and various social media accounts. The video and other assets were on his Google Drive.
His original plan was to do a pre-order, not a Kickstarter and the video was done when the game was very buggy, hence it only shows the starting screen.
I know all this sounds very suspicious. If true, it’s a very sophisticated hack that is similar to identity theft. Identity theft can be extremely traumatic, as is the case here.
There is some further discussion on the Atarimania link given above, but the thread has now been closed and Chris’ account has been cancelled, so he’s not able to defend himself. I’m prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt unless something nefarious turns up.
The last thing he said (about half an hour ago) was “My cyber security department is combing through the phone to figure out who, what, where, etc… they are good so… it will just take some time to figure it out.”