King Dinosaur Games Partners Split as their Lies are Exposed


Joseph Vivolo has split from King Dinosaur Games, the duo he founded with Joshua Perry, blaming Josh for the project’s apparent failure. He should not get off that lightly.

Two years ago, on 22nd October 2014, I was one of 4,689 backers of That Which Sleeps. I am also one of only two original backers to get their money back. Early in development, it soon became apparent to me that the authors had made untruthful statements in their attempts to secure funding. Now the founders have split and all their deceptions have come to light.

The detailed and extremely well presented Kickstarter opened in late 2014. It had a series of well presented videos that appeared to show a 2D strategy game, well underway, on a map using cheap and scrappy placeholder art. All the developers wanted was a little cash, $12,000 for art to complete the game.

The game, we were told, was nearly done –


A note in the ‘Story’ section of the ‘That Which Sleeps’ Kickstarter.

According to the publicity material there was a “working game” and beta was promised for December 2014. Backers would receive a scenario viewer immediately after the project was backed.

All lies.

By early 2015 there was no beta and no scenario viewer. I wrote a critical article, but was pacified for a time by the subsequent release of a terrain editor. By the end of 2015 however there was still no beta. We had been told that it was well under way, that the game had been played through and that play testers were having a great time.

I wrote another, harsher article, “Those Who Wait” two days before the first anniversary of the Kickstarter. I sent a draft to Josh and Joseph, pointing out there was an enforceable contract and seeking evidence of development. I awoke the next day to find myself locked out of the backers’ forum. The contract I had intended to enforce was ended, with a $50 repaid in full to my PayPal. Kickstarter terms allow any project owner to terminate a backer with a full refund. There were no answers to my questions.

Since then the wheels have been coming off the project. As the last year went on, the remaining backers have become increasingly restive (aside from a hard core of strange, cult-like devotees).

Joseph Vivolo, the partner whose role was the business and PR, repeatedly complained he had difficulty communicating with Josh. In April, he posted this (via RPGCodex) –


Joseph Vivolo never actually played the game. Click for full size.

In July Vivolo finally met with Perry –


The game does not have an AI nor can turns be progressed. Click for full size.

So, when back in 2015 Josh posted this –

JoshSchedule 2015-09-29

This is the top of a post by Josh from Kind Dinosaur Games posted on 2015-09-29 in response to backer concern. Click for full size.

– it was a tissue of lies. “We” did not spend a gruelling week – Joseph has never played the game. The game could not be played in any event because turns did not pass. There was never any prospect of the videos referred to being released.

In December 2016, Joseph Vivolo formally left the project in an update on the Kickstarter page –


According to this Kickstarter update, Joseph Vivolo has left the project leaving Josh to continue alone. Click for full size.

In response to this some users have charitably suggested that they intended to make a game, overpromised and found it beyond them. Perhaps that is true and if they had said so that would be no more than an ordinary Kickstarter / investment risk.

It was not.

The King Dinosaur Games partners lied. They told the world they had a working, nearly finished game, with videos to boot. It does not exist. If it did, Joseph never saw or played it. In short, the proper thing to do now is for those who have lost money to report them to the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Bureau of Investigation. King Dinosaur Games took over $85,000 on false pretences and there should be consequences for that.

Share Button
This entry was posted in Game Reviews, Gamergate, Joshua Perry, Law, Samuel Collingwood Smith by Samuel Collingwood Smith. Bookmark the permalink.

About Samuel Collingwood Smith

Samuel Collingwood Smith was born in the north of England, but his family moved south early in his life and spent most of his early years in Welwyn Garden City before attending Queen Mary, University of London, where he studied Economics. Smith was employed as a Labour Party fundraiser in the 2001 General Election, and as a Labour Party Organiser in the 2005 General Election. In 2005 Smith was elected as a Borough Councillor for Haldens Ward on Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and served for 3 years until 2008. In 2009 Smith changed sides to the Conservative party citing division within Labour ranks, Labour broken promises and Conservative improvements to local services. In 2012 Smith started to study a Graduate Diploma in Law, passing in 2014. Smith then moved on to studying a Master's Degree in Law combined with an LPC, receiving an LL.M LPC (with Commendation) in January 2017. During his study, Smith assisted several individuals in high profile court cases as a McKenzie Friend - in one case being praised by Parliamentary petition for his charitable work and legal skills. Smith is also the author of this blog, Matthew Hopkins News, that deals with case law around Family and Mental Capacity issues. The blog also opposes online drama and abuse and criticises extreme-left politicians.

2 thoughts on “King Dinosaur Games Partners Split as their Lies are Exposed

  1. I’ve always wondered why they never released “what was working at the moment”. Then it dawned on me that it was a scam so they never had any intention of releasing any game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *