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An Open Letter To Terra Snover


This piece was originally posted on

Years after the Kickstarter episode, some events led me to look into what Terra Snover (one of the key subjects in the episode) is up to, because I frequently make bad decisions on what to do with my free time.

Anyway, it might interest you to know that Terra hasn't given up on Kickstarter. After Princess: Escape From Kingdom Kalamity failed to find funding, the organization dissolved and Overzealous Studios rose from its ashes. They have a game (idea) called Wisp, which is some kind of indie game bullshit where you're a dot and there's colors.

Anyway, they made a new Kickstarter. We need $2,000 to make Wisp a reality! That didn't get funded. But the good thing is they had a back-up plan. Start a new Kickstarter! Now we need $4,000 to make the same game that we were going to make for $2,000 a couple months ago. The fun part is that they raised more than $2,000 in their second attempt and the project still failed.

Now they've wised up and removed the middleman entirely. You can now preorder a copy of Wisp, which of course has no release schedule, timeline, or any real assurance that this game will ever exist at all. The game has had a playable demo (it seems to have been scrubbed), so by all means everybody should send them $15 for a beta key. Or hell, $100 to design your own level! The result is the same regardless.


Okay, I know I've been harder on Terra Snover than a lot of other F+ subjects, but I think this panel from one of her Kickstarter pitches should put the whole thing into perspective.

Terra has to work at a JOB! How humiliating!

Fuck. You.

You're a 25 year old art school graduate with absolutely 0 track record in producing anything, other than poorly considered websites promoting products which do not exist. You wanna make your own game? Fine. Clearly you've met some people who realized that Torque 2D is pretty damn easy to work with, sit in front of the computers you already own and make a game during any hour when you're not working at Doc Hoopers.

You think this game will be something people will really love? I don't, but shit I played Typing of the Dead this morning, what do I know? I certainly can't judge you by the demo, which is fine because I get the feeling I'd have to install the Torque SDK to play it anyway. The point is you've had two years now to crank out a game and figure out the distribution later, but instead you keep coming back to the idea that other people need to hand you money so you can realize your dream and they do not.

The entire world is my Santa Claus

And even if they did, what good is that $4k gonna do for you anyway? From your own pitch comic you need the money for

  1. A copy of Photoshop
  2. Quitting your job
  3. An Alienware computer
  4. An Xbox 360
  5. Ghirardelli chocolates? I'm not sure what that other shit is on that table.
  6. Also pie, but I suspect that's a joke

And there's somewhere between 3 and 7 of you on this team. Are you all quitting your jobs? Do all of you need your own new Alienware computer? Would you settle for Godiva chocolates, or does it have to be Ghirardelli? Honestly, how long do you think this $4,000 will last between you all and your laundry list of shit you need that's preventing you from releasing the World's Best Video Game? It's nonsense. If you got funded, you'd fight over what they money should go to and then six months later you've got another Kickstarter going to get you over "the next game hump".

Stop using other people to help you make excuses. Everybody I know that produces innovative and terrific creative work does so in addition to working at a real job, which might be intellectually fulfilling but probably not. If you truly love the work, you'll find the time to make it and you'll find the way to ship it. If you need $4,000 to get motivated to do something that you profess to love, then you need to stop lying to yourself.

Also, stop drawing Calvin & Hobbes.

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blog open letter kickstarter