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Honestly, the only incredibly disappointing part of this project is that there currently doesn't exist a way for me to throw my money at you through the internet.

In case you missed it, a link to be notified for the Kickstarter:


Thanks, I currently take pigeon delivery though. :) Yeah, I am holding off on preorders until Kickstarter so that people are fully aware of the terms, conditions, risks, etc. Also, I sincerely promise not to pull an Oculus.

If somebody offers you two billion dollars, yeah you will.

People just need be clear on what Kickstarter is: a way of raising enough money to achieve a startup target goal by selling trinkets/products/services/recognition/facetime. Reaching that goal isn't necessarily the totality of fundraising, and sure doesn't mean the company/product won't be way more valuable at that point. If your Kickstarter campaign nets you enough money to complete development, nobody should feel betrayed if someone else decides your product is very valuable and gives you a giant pile of cash for it.

Yep, I don't really blame the Oculus guys per se (if there were any blame that could be placed). I blame Andreesen Horowitz, which put $75 million in. It was basically an old fashioned pump and dump; when you put in that kind of money, you know where a company is headed: acquisitionville. :)

I do question if I would take $2 billion, because I'm not really in this for the money, so long as I have enough to survive. I actually passed up an opportunity for acquisition not that long ago (with another company) because I did not want the golden handcuffs, which would have been 3-5 more years of work I hate. Basically, I see this as almost my last chance to do something interesting with my life (its very tiring and I am getting "older"), I don't know if I could put a price on that. That said I'm not trying to act like I'm above money or something, I'd enjoy a billion dollars just as much as the next guy. :)

I think it'd be ok to sell a game engine to a game company, so long as the openness promises are maintained.

Oculus had the dev community rallied around them. They just had to create a platform and standards, sponsor the open metaverse and they'd be in a great position to make billions from portions of transactions / marketplaces / convenient ad services / etc, just like Google does with Android. Instead they sold to FB, who will no doubt pull an Apple. In an instant they destroyed the vision, and now we have to wait for the next Google to come along and prevent any one company from gaining too large a stranglehold in the mean time.

Oculus was certainly involved in the Andreesen Horowitz deal

That is true. I'm sure they were not that naive, but maybe I will give the benefit of the doubt; either way, the situation is kind of a mess, and could have been side stepped but $2b, (or $75m) is a lot of money, can't say I'd have the willpower to necessarily turn either offer down if I were in their shoes...they are a bigger company with lots of employees...not exactly a one man decision and I guess you have to think about what is best for the group. If I were offered a huge sum of money, it would not be worth it for me to take it unless I could be guaranteed total freedom, which usually is not the case - I'd rather have enough money and freedom than a buttload of it and some handcuffs. :)

I really want to warn each and one of you against giving Gavan Woolery any money for this.

I was a big fan of him as a kid when he created a huge following around his game project genesis. It was an open-world, sandbox voxel rpg.

As far as I remember he received thousands for development of the game (admittedly much of it was from close friends and relatives, but I donated money as well).

At the nearest opportunity Gaven abandoned the project, using it to get a job at a game company and not even bothering to develop the project in his spare time.

His brother tried his best to keep the project alive, and many lurked around the forums generating hype and designing the game.

The updates from Gavan became less and less as if his heart was not in it any more and years later people began giving up hope-- little by little people left.

Eventually Gavan shuttered the site.

I understand that the project was overly ambitious, but looking through your life I believe you have a tenancy for creating vaporware and not finishing any you start.

I really believed in you Gavan and you were an inspiration for me to become a programmer and to start projects of my own, but I will never forgive you for abandoning the project the way you did.

Screenshots of game:


Archive of website:


Hi Andy, to set the record straight:

I received about $700 total, and I was living with my parents (most of that $700 was from my family, but there were several other people who donated). I actually still have a list of the donations, and I covered this topic in my Kickstarter page (which is not yet public). I probably should have returned the original donations as it was not a huge amount of money, but I was planning to surprise my original backers with something -- cat is out of the bag now I guess. I still remain friends with many of the original Genesis fans like David Sahlin, Collin Popel, and Seiji Tanaka.

My parents were very supportive, but at the same time I had been living with them 8 months post college, and it came to the point where they were hinting more and more that I get a job and move out. After I launched, it became pretty clear that I was not going to support myself off of Genesis even though the reception was very positive (there was no equivalent of Kickstarter at that point in 2006, unfortunately). Not more than 2-3 months after launching I got an offer at my the startup my brother worked for (which was not lucrative, just $35k year to work 80 hour weeks). I put in 10,000+ hours of work into Genesis, no one was more disappointed than me to shut it down. I did what I could and released the source code, hoping that I could return to it later. I made several attempts over the next couple years to make Genesis-related projects (most of my failed game engines) or make something that could support me to do so. For the most part, I've been working 80 hours or more trying to make up for it for the past decade.

The only situation in which my current project will become vaporware is if I run out of money and have to get another job, and I am really hoping this does not happen because I have put so much work into it again. Thank you for bringing this up, if I can do anything else to make up for Genesis please let me know.

Also, the silver lining in this is that it led to where I am now. My honest opinion of Genesis is that it was doomed from the start: I was a young, naive coder and did not know enough to make a project that ambitious work (even now, I still have my doubts in myself). I learned a lot over the following decade that hopefully puts me in a more capable position now. Also, for a bit of further clarification, my first job was at Goowy Media (not a game company), although I got job offers from EA and a few other companies but I did not want to work in the game industry (it is fun if you are independent, but mostly pretty bad conditions otherwise)...

All of that said, I myself am going to warn people against giving me money. This is obviously a very ambitious, very risky project and I want everyone to have a very realistic idea of what I am up against. Some people are willing to take that risk for the chance of producing something new and interesting, but not everybody.

I'd say go for it if it will support you to finish the project. I think now that kickstarter is common people are a bit more accustomed to giving money to projects and not necessarily expecting immediate results.

Thanks! Yes, unfortunately many people have differentiating ideas about what Kickstarter should/shouldn't be, so I really have to tip toe through a minefield not to piss anyone off.

Just for posterity, here is the list of backers from Paypal; I have removed the names and other sensitive information. $500 was from my family ($100,$200, and $200 entries). The total gross is $759...totals are at bottom.


Even if it were thousands, giving someone money before something done is an investments, and investments can go bad. Especially if it's just a few thousand, what did you expect, that he'd continue to slave away at the project for the few bucks you gave him?

Perhaps, but I still hold myself accountable even under the circumstances mentioned above. If any of the original Genesis backers are reading this and want their money back, please let me know and I will gladly return it, with interest (just let me know the email address or alias you donated under and I have a record of the amount you gave (thankfully Paypal keeps history that far back)).

"Genesis" always reminds me of the Genesis3D game engine from the late nineties. http://www.genesis3d.com/screenshots.php

I have no problem with people pulling an oculus so long as they take money while still retaining control. Mark was able to retain control when he took money from investors. I don't see why it would not be unreasonable to make the same demand of Mark when he comes a knocking with a term sheet.

If Oculus had stated that they secured certain protections for their users as terms of the acquisition, such as:

(1) No requirement to use the Facebook login system, not no or ever. (2) No sharing of private information of oculus users and developers with facebook.

... I don't think many of us would have been nearly as disappointed.

The citybound dev was surprisingly successful by just providing a bitcoin and dogecoin address with his blog updates:


(I've sent him a few Ð myself)

Also, Nicky Case recently raised $43K for his uncopyrighted game, a good portion via bitcoin donations:


If his hosting/dns provider offered a Bitcoin/Dogecoin address you could dump $ 0.02 into, you think that's a step in the right direction?

I understand mining fees might not be negligible.

Of course Kickstarter is much better! but bloggers without deliverables deserve credit, too.

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