I agree with what Thomas stated below.
Just because one fool burned a lot don't mean others do.
Ask questions, don't ramble about when its coming. That info comes in the answers to the questions.


At 01:57 AM 10/21/2010, you wrote:
Hi,

Shaun wrote:
OUT of ALL THAT THOUGH WE HAVE LEARNED NOT TO PREORDER TILL WE HAVE A
> RELEASE DATE SET AND NOT TO SET THAT DATE TILL WE ARE JUST ABOUT TO
> FINNISH THE PROJECT.

My reply:
Well, I certainly agree the way James North handled the preorders was
definitely not the way to go about it, but I also believe that doesn't
completely rule out having some sort of preorder option available for
small time developers.
Che Martin, for example, had a great preorder system going for Rail
Racer. What he did that made it work is he had an early alpha or beta
version ready to go so even if people preordered early they got the
full game such as it was every few days untl the final release of the
project. Plus they got up to date news of what was happening and ai
fairly good idea when a next update would appear. All of it was to the
good, and showed he could be trusted with their money.
One major reason why James North got burned for his preordering is he
was too closed mouth about everything, and made a lot of promises he
couldn't keep. For example, I placed an order for Montezuma's Revenge
in December 2004 with the understanding the game was to ship around
Christmas. Next thing we knew it was delayed, because of something
about a problem with the registration system, and he was holding it
back to fix that. Months later he was pressured into releasing a demo
of Montezuma's Revenge. To Everyones amazement the game was far from
complete, and had a number of notable bugs like the ladder bug. The
very bug I ended up fixing personally when I got the source code.
To make a long story short he did a lot of things wrong. He should
have put out a demo early on before he took any preorders. Instead of
saying the game was going to be done for Christmas he should have been
more open and honest about what was left to be done with the game such
as he had two levels and a bonus level complete, and had a third level
that was never released to the general public but I found on the cd of
materials he sent me. There was no registration system at all in the
game which could mean two things. If he had one he yanked it out
before giving me the source code, or the more likely explanation there
never was one to begin with.  whatever the case he did intentionally
mislead everyone about the development progress until he was pressured
into releasing the demo that was far from complete. Not being
completely honest with the public was definitely his first mistake,
and the source of most of his problems with the community.
Basically, i feel if a developer chooses to take preorders they can do
so with the understanding they release demos, trailers, news letters,
etc to keep everyone informed of the development process of the game.
No one expects a game to be created in a month, maybe not even six
months, but they do expect to be kept honestly informed of changes and
how much progress is being made.

Cheers!

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