Last night I was speaking with Jolly Blackburn about the interview I recently did with him. And the topic of D20 entertainment came up. I had mentioned how I was glad to see how KODT and Kenzer Co has handled the backlash of D20 Entertainment’s kickstarter and how difficult the whole process must feel overall. I mentioned as well I left this out of our interview because Jolly himself has been one the most vocal about D20 Entertainment being more active on their fourms as well as providing better service to their backers.
Now I am not a fan of Ken Whitmen and other than the KODT kickstarter I have not backed any of his projects. I also only Backed KODT for 1 dollar to support the Knights. My reasons were Ken’s past Kickstartes that he conducted as Ken Whitmen games.
Ken’s first two kickstarters as Ken Whitmen games were funded. The Dice O’Matic and Knights Quest Family Card game. These two projects brought in $12,309 dollars & 331 backers combine. And the first look at what worried me about Ken and D20 Entertainment. Knights Quest had several backers that seemingly never got their card game. Ken was insistent that everything had been shipped out to the backers but the problem was never fully resolved. The second thing was that his Dice O’matic kickstarter was suspended. Mostly due to the fact that it already existed. Take a LOOK the real irony here was Ken Touted that as the Dice O’Matic Reached its stretch goals he would include a Plastic cover and 5 dice for the game. So if it had not made its stretch goals Ken had planed to not send the whole product to his backers. As you can see in the link above the Dice roller comes with both of these. So rightfully KS stepped in and suspended the funds for this Kick.
While this is going on D20 Entertainment comes on the KS scene with an Epic KS they Roll out KODT live action That funds in Feb 2014, and shortly after that Spinward Traveller that funds in July 2014. Followed up at a regular pace with Castels & Crusades In Nov 2014.
These projects all are well received at first. Then as the months go by. .one by one they begin to break down in the communication from backers to creators. On the comment sides there is a ton of complaining of Stretch goals and add-on’s not arriving or damaged. Almost entirely each time the comments are deflected with statements that your product has shipped or will ship soon or did you send us the right address contact us again.. over and over. Ironically in the case of Castles and Crusades.. Ken just didn’t. The project completed and he said he sent out the surveys in a few weeks and never posted again on the comments. But D20 Entertainment kept blazing away with three more Kickstartes at the start of 2015.
In 2015 we see the Pencil Dice Kicstarter that even got a KS Staff pick … sigh. Pencil Dice comes out in Feb followed immediate by RPG pencil Dice in March.. REALLY ? And then Deck Dice playing cards with roll-ability last month. The last RPG pencil kickstarter’s got much the same treatment as C&C.. backed followed by silence or a survey. Maybe one or to comments and then months of silence.
Now some people will be of the mind that it’s the fault of the backers for not looking into the creator and going in blind. But at some point you have to point at the creator and say hey you know you’re in the wrong. As of this blog D20 Entertainment had over the breath of their six Kickstartes just shy of 3 thousand backers ! And $177 thousand dollars in funding received.
Then last night after speaking with Jolly I decided to write this blog and tell people about it.. And something shocking happen. As I was pulling all this information together something changed as I was looking at the comments listed by the creator. They all had a header of Deleted. I was confused for a moment and clicked on the creator’s name only to find in bold header the following..
“. Sorry! This person is no longer active on Kickstarter.”
2979 backers , 177,095 Dollars And 6 projects in the wind. Not a word from Ken Whitmen or D20 Entertainment on any of their channels of communication. Did Kickstarter Delete him? This seems unlikely as it would then cut off communication to all of their backers of outstanding products. Could it be innocent or a misunderstanding. Only time and Ken or D20 Entertainment speaking up will tell.