The Kickstarter for vapourware indie PC game “That Which Sleeps” allegedly to be published by King Dinosaur Games (KDG), is infamous for the large amount of money taken and the absence of delivery. As I reported in my article, “Those Who Wait”, the project is years overdue. In “King Dinosaur Games Partners Split” I recounted how the partnership had split, with many of their statements (by which they had obtained monies) exposed as flat out lies. Now it appears that KDG’s sole remaining partner Joshua Perry is connected to another, very similar overdue Kickstarter – “Stay Out of My Dungeon” by 2 Handsome Games.
In fact, unknown until now, whilst “That Which Sleeps” languished in development limbo Joshua Perry was attempting another failed Kickstarter called, “Ready Check” (archive here) under the “2 Handsome Guys” brand. He is the registered owner of the website http://www.2handsomegames.com/ and has been since its inception.
On 3 May 2016, “2 Handsome Games” opened a Kickstarter for the board game, “Stay Out of My Dungeon” (archive here). It was cancelled two weeks later on 18 May. The project was resurrected on 29 September 2016 (archive here), and succeeded in being funded, taking $39,186. In an eerie moment of déjà vu, I noticed the remarkably similar promises made about the game, compared to “That Which Sleeps” –
Through all of that period, Joshua Perry was listed as owner of the site for 2 Handsome Games – that period when he was still supposedly hard at work on “That Which Sleeps”. During this period, times were supposedly tough for Joshua – whose finances were said by his former business partner Joseph Vivolo to be at “breaking point” –
At no time during the Kickstarter for “That Which Sleeps” or afterwards was 2 Handsome Games mentioned by Joshua Perry or Joseph Vivolo on the Kickstarter page. At no time during the Kickstarter for “Stay Out of My Dungeon” was Joshua Perry or “That Which Sleeps” mentioned on the Kickstarter page.
So in fairness, I contacted King Dinosaur Games, Joshua Perry by his personal address and 2 Handsome Games. At the time of writing, only Paul of “2 Handsome Games” has replied. His responses warrant quoting. At first, he vigorously denied any connection to Joshua Perry –
He specifically wrote, “Josh Perry was never and is not now in any way affiliated with Stay Out of My Dungeon!”. So I politely pointed out Josh owns the website for “Stay Out of My Dungeon!” A further response. Oh, that Joshua Perry!
So, Paul bowed to the inevitable and admitted that in fact Joshua Perry is in fact the site owner for 2 Handsome Games. But that is okay! Because in reality, 2 Handsome Games is not making “Stay Out of my Dungeon” at all! No “Paul” is making it. He said this, “I’m still listing 2HG as the company behind Stay Out of My Dungeon but all KS funds are going to me, directly. Not 2HG”.
Clearly, the fact that “Stay Out of my Dungeon” is listed as a 2 Handsome Games product on the 2 Handsome Games website (and that is its main and indeed, only page apart from the Kickstarter) is an optical illusion. Even if “Paul” is on the level and does intend to make a game, he has hardly been candid with backers, even to the point of precisely where their money is going.
Finally, like “That Which Sleeps”, “Stay Out of My Dungeon” is delayed. “Paul” from 2 Handsome Games sent me this list of explanations. Readers can make their own minds up on how credible they find “Paul” and his excuses –
Now, none of this in itself means there is a fraud in relation to “Stay Out of my Dungeon”. Just … incomplete … information being shared, perhaps an unworldly developer who is not clear on the rigours of disclosure to investors and business practice. Perhaps he really has shed the dead weight of former partner Joshua Perry.
It is now undeniable however, that the Kickstarter for “That Which Sleeps”, was founded on lies. There was no game, yet the developers said it was almost finished. They spoke of alpha testers and full play-throughs. All wild invention! Even Joseph Vivolo never played it and never saw it in a working state.
Furthermore, “Paul” admits at the very least that Josh was indeed a partner in the failed Kickstarter for “Ready Check”, launched on 8 February 2016. This was never mentioned in any of Josh’s sob stories on the forums for, “That Which Sleeps”. Neither did “Joseph Vivolo” mention it. So, if “Stay Out of my Dungeon” is released on or in the ballpark of the promised date then great. Well done, “Paul”. But if it is not, if there are delays or the product is otherwise unsatisfactory then we are looking at something quite serious and quite organised.
If “Stay Out of My Dungeon” does not deliver then backers should be ready to call not only the FTC but also the FBI. Something is very wrong here.