Robots Love Ice Cream: The Kickstarter That Time Forgot

Posted 7 years ago by Games

Robots Love Ice Cream

Note: This post isn’t meant as an insult to the developers of Robots Love Ice Cream, I’m just using the game as an example to get a discussion going on Kickstarter.

Today I was going about my boring daily routine and I got to the part where I dig through my dresser looking for a tshirt to wear. I pulled out my Robots Love Ice Cream shirt and suddenly I thought, “Hey, wasn’t this from a Kickstarter for an iPad game? Like two years ago?” I hopped on Kickstarter today to check, and sure enough it was. In fact, Robots Love Ice Cream was the third project I ever backed on Kickstarter, and it’s funding was completed un July of 2011. And the game still isn’t done.

This got me thinking hard about Kickstarter and how I see myself using it in the future. When I paid $60 to back this game, I never would have guessed it would be over two years before I’d be playing it. I’m sure it’s really hard to make a game like this and it takes a ton of time, but paying that much money for a game that you might not even like (and I’ve payed $59 less for games I haven’t liked) isn’t something I’ll be doing again any time soon, unfortunately.

Now its my fault I spent that much. I could have backed the game for ten bucks, but I was new to Kickstarter and wanted to get a bunch of extra goodies. I got a shirt and some stickers. I thought the game sounded fun and that they could use the funds to push through and get it developed in a few months. Things must have happened that made production of the game take longer than they anticipated. But it’s made me question the merit of Kickstarter, and I’d like to get your opinions.

What Should We Expect From Kickstarter?

What kind of expectations should we have for projects we back, and does backing a project give us the right to have those expectations? I know it depends greatly on the type of project. I’ve backed some physical products that needed to find factories in China to manufacture items and have tooling and molds created. But then again, some of those same physical products have gotten to me years sooner than this iPad game. Should Kickstarter enforce completion times?

Maybe if the developers had a deadline they knew they had to hit due to different site rules, they could have at least gotten a beta version of the app out on time? I hate to make comparisons, but look what the crew behind the Retro Game Crunch was able to do in six months.

I’m sure Robots Love Ice Cream is going to be awesome and I apologize to the developers for using them as an example for this post, but the world of Kickstarter is such a new and exciting thing and discussing projects can’t hurt, right?

Update: Again, I want to say I don’t have any hard feelings for Addo, and from their latest update about PAX Megabooth, it looks like their game is going to be great, and I look forward to it!

  • Burton Posey

    Hey Tommy, Burton from Addo Games here. I definitely don’t take offense to you writing this up. I wish you had asked for our comments on the matter first, but that’s past us now.

    RLIC has definitely been a hard fought project and something we’re still fighting for. We surely didn’t expect it to take this long and we couldn’t have expected some of the challenges with the project that we’ve encountered. We failed to execute in our initial window and I’ve been funding the game out of pocket with contract work since then – to the tune of more than all we raised from Kickstarter before any fees, reward costs, etc. were deducted. I hope to some degree that shows the dedication we have to the project.

    I do think we’re on the best track we can be on given our circumstances and doing the best we can each day with the opportunity. This summer we were chosen out of about 200 applicants to be one of 60 developers to show at PAX in the Indie MEGABOOTH. I think that speaks a lot to the quality of product we’ve produced and I’m personally really proud of the game and the quality. Still, I know it needs more work before it’s the success we’d like and to a certain extent, need it to be for the future of Addo Games.

    Thanks for caring enough to write this. I am sorry we haven’t delivered all of your rewards yet. We’re definitely working on wrapping it up every moment we can. We think the wait will be well worth it! Take care.

    • Hey Burton,

      Thanks for taking the time to respond. Sorry I didn’t reach out for comments before writing this, but I really appreciate the response. I’m sure RLIC will be awesome and I can’t wait to play it.

    • delinear

      I think this reply from Addo shows why having enforced delivery times would be a dangerous thing. Burton is progressing development using his own money to try and deliver the best game possible. If he’d had an enforced “finish by this time or get hit by some kind of penalty” deadline, the only option would have been to put out an inferior product much earlier, which is in neither Addo’s or the backers’ interests.

      Given the choice I’d rather companies spent longer and delivered better games, even if it means a long wait. The only digital game I’ve backed so far is Elite: Dangerous, but I’ve backed lots of physical games and the same applies really, quality is much more important to me than hitting arbitrary deadlines – although if you DO give an explicit deadline that you go on to miss, frequent updates as to why and what is happening behind the scenes are always appreciated too!

  • C

    KickStarter enforce rules? Like they did with Gridiron Whateveritwascalled? They didn’t even find the Kobe Beef Jerky scam, or the IC-Otherwhatever electric car scam, or the video game with the plagiarized everything. No, it really *is* up to the backer to go beyond the sales pitch and NOT treat KS as a store. It’s a project, and a project needs more than a good idea, it needs the right project management behind it. If you can’t find out that information for whatever reason, don’t back the project, no matter how robotic and delicious it sounds.

  • chippy

    I backed a deck of cards, was going all well. got an update that he revived them all last November… but since then updates are none existent, hardly anyone has their cards and people keep bringing up class action law suits in the comments…
    kick starter needs to have more rules about delivering physical things, I have backed a lot of stuff. a few games I am waiting for but can see the alpha or in the alpha’s
    did have 1 iphone cable project that shipped to all US people but left us non US people in the dark for 5 months…

  • Dex

    Any games on KS that have some kind of beta get my attention first. If I can actually get an idea how the game will play when it’s done, I”m more likely to drop cash on it. Plus, I can see they’ve actually got something done already.

    I have a ridiculous habit of dropping $10-$20 of KS games that I think look cool because it’s not much money and it’s something different from the mainstream. What I think is going to end up happening though is some of them I’ll play a couple times and then totally forget about them like a couple of Steam games I’ve bought over the years and didn’t like. But at least with KS, I have the knowledge that I helped somebody make something a reality.

    As far as deadlines, I”m with delinear. For physical games I could see it (although there’s always production issues). Maybe the deadlines could be along the lines of you need to have something to show by a certain date instead of a completion date.

  • James Abels ‘Jabels’

    Tommy just can’t say no to them goodies. His Instagram account proves this theory.