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The Minecraft-Like Game That Fans Really Wanted To Happen

Kickstarter can be a great way of finding out what people really want, although sometimes the results may end up being a crapshoot. In the case of Yogventures!, it was clear that 13,647 gamers wanted a multiplayer, open sandbox game for modders based on characters created by two members of The Yogscast: "Think adventure maps in Minecraft, only now you aren't limited to just blocks!" the campaign page read. Sounds fun, right? Unfortunately, this was a game that never saw the light of day, even with $567,665 raised by expectant crowdfunders who invested in the project over its 30-day funding period.


Sadly, this was a case in which inexperience caused mismanagement. And because all the funds went toward the game and the developer's expenses, there was no money left to refund to backers. In the end, they did receive a couple of game codes as compensation. But what happened to this promising title, exactly?

At first, Yogventures! seemed promising

In 2012, the YouTube/Twitch stars from The Yogscast decided they'd create a video game based on their own Minecraft-based IP, Shadow of Israphel. Characters from the series by Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane would appear, including heroes Honeydew and Xephos, the wizard Fumblemore, Professor Griswold, Old Peculier the former Knight, and more. The game would release all maps and adventures so the community could play along.


But, Brindley and Lane weren't game designers, so they teamed up with an unproven Los Angeles-based company named Winterkewl Games LLC to do the actual heavy lifting. Yogventures! was set to include beautiful, randomly generated worlds, fully shapeable terrain using a wealth of building materials, a rich underground, a fleshed-out crafting system, a detailed physics engine to govern how blocks are placed, easy game modding, and ways to get involved with every stage of the game's development.

Winterkewl organized the Kickstarter in the spring of 2012 and started taking preorders in May. By December, it was apologizing for delays but released developer's logs and several pre-Alpha versions to founding backers. In March 2013, the full Alpha was launched, and a Beta released in August, though commenters called it unplayable. 


The end of Yogventures! and Winterkewl

Almost a year passed with no news for antsy fans. Finally, in July 2014, an email from Brindley announced that work had stopped on the game. Winterkewl had folded, and its partnership with Yogscast was ended. 


Yogscast teamed up with Nerd Kingdom to offer replacement rewards, including a Steam access key to the game TUG. Brindley pointed out in an email posted to Reddit that the $150,000 Yogscast received from its share of the Kickstarter proceeds went straight to supporting the project and then fulfilling rewards, and it was still spending money on doing so. 

Kris Vale of Winterkewl posted an expenses breakdown on Kickstarter, admitting that some mistakes came down to inexperience. For example, the company paid $35,000 to an artist who left two weeks in — and the contract with Winterkewl did not properly stipulate for the return of the money. In another example, Winterkewl and Yogscast had trouble teaming up to hire a main programmer.


Basically, all that money was spent, and the six-person team at Winterkewl was gone. Yogscast waited until 2017 to publish its first game, Caveblazers, which it announced only a couple of weeks before it launched.