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Double Fine Adventure Crosses $2.5 Million In Kickstarter Funding 114

Posted by Soulskill
from the people-pay-for-things-they-want dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Double Fine Adventure, the crowd-funded adventure game from Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert (of Monkey Island fame), just crossed the $2.5 million mark in funding on Kickstarter. So far, about 73,000 enthusiastic backers have contributed an average of $35 dollars each, with 3 extravagant backers going as far as to contribute $10,000 (earning them a lunch with Schafer and Gilbert, among other goodies). The total sum is over 6 times the amount Schafer and Gilbert were initially hoping to raise ($400,000). Schafer released a few pictures showing what he's doing with all the money. The project has received attention in mainstream media (sort of), with NPR's Morning Edition covering the story."
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Double Fine Adventure Crosses $2.5 Million In Kickstarter Funding

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  • by DWMorse (1816016) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @11:15AM (#39318215) Homepage
    Click the pictures link, it's worth your time.
  • Crowd-funding (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alexgieg (948359) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Sunday March 11, 2012 @11:38AM (#39318305) Homepage

    Crowd-funding is how entertainment will work in the the not too distant future, as far as creators are concerned:

    0) Start by making something good, although probably for free, thus starting to build a reputation;
    1) Offer to do something, for money, proportional to your reputation;
    2) Get funded by the crowd;
    3) Deliver a good end result, and with it improve your reputation;
    4) Loop back to 1 as much as you need or want;
    5) Retire.

    Copyright? What for?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      To keep other people from making something better using your building blocks and leaving you out of it.

      • Re:Crowd-funding (Score:5, Insightful)

        by am 2k (217885) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @11:50AM (#39318367) Homepage

        To keep other people from making something better using your building blocks and leaving you out of it.

        Unlike yourself, who hasn't used a single concept (like the idea of an adventure game or using a mouse as an input device) from somebody else at all.

        • Mod the grandparent up. While it is true we all of us build on the shoulders of those who came before, we ought only build on what is made available willingly. If I work hard on a product, I don't want someone else to just take it and get rich off it while I am left to stew. If I work hard on something I choose to release as open source, then I've made that choice to let others build off of an benefit from my work. That distinction ought to have resonance.
        • by tehcyder (746570)

          To keep other people from making something better using your building blocks and leaving you out of it.

          Unlike yourself, who hasn't used a single concept (like the idea of an adventure game or using a mouse as an input device) from somebody else at all.

          Right, so by that argument your car uses technology and concepts based on other people's work (going back to the inventor of the wheel), so I should just be able to borrow it whenever I feel like it?

          • by am 2k (217885)

            Right, so by that argument your car uses technology and concepts based on other people's work (going back to the inventor of the wheel), so I should just be able to borrow it whenever I feel like it?

            Yes, I should be allowed to construct my own car based on the idea your car was built upon (while still respecting trademarks, as already mentioned).

      • Re:Crowd-funding (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 11, 2012 @11:55AM (#39318389)

        Exactly. Copyright isn't the demon here, it's the middle-men that have taken over the administration of creative works at the EXPENSE of the creator.

        Copyright isn't inherently evil, but the corporations and interests that are far removed from the average creator's interests are twisting copyright to make it something negative to the consumer.

        • "Copyright isn't inherently evil, but the corporations and interests that are far removed from the average creator's interests "

          I'm sorry but the average creator is a douchebag, many creators once they get rich push for copyright extension. In the beginning before the rise of the 'middlemen' original creators got rich and then used government to abuse copyright. The bad Creators are just as much a problem. See modern game developers, their sense of entitlement is disturbing. By all means we should be ab

          • by tehcyder (746570)

            I'm sorry but the average creator is a douchebag

            Yes, because of course what is important is your having free acess to anything you want, fuck all that fostering creativity and culture nonsense, eh?

            It is clear where your sympathies lie, in your own shallow brain.

        • Copyright isn't inherently evil

          I like to think of copyright as a poison (monopoly of the expression of culture) which when administered in the right dose, however, proves to be a medicine, and is quite beneficial (albeit with a few side effects).

          The problem with copyright is that the junkies have the ear of the prescribing physicians, who keep bumping up the dosage for everyone, regardless of the consequences.

      • Re:Crowd-funding (Score:5, Insightful)

        by alexgieg (948359) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Sunday March 11, 2012 @12:05PM (#39318423) Homepage

        To keep other people from making something better using your building blocks and leaving you out of it.

        The (alleged) purpose of copyright is to promote the progress of arts. The moment it starts keeping other people from making something better, i.e., starts PREVENTING the progress of arts, its whole purpose becomes null and void. So, again: copyright? What for?

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Like the Supreme Court mentioned recently (while lobotomising the public domain), the progress of the arts can be promoted by enabling not just the creation of works, but also their wider dissemination to the public. Strangely, they used this argument to introduce more copyright, which leads me to think that they have no clue what the internet does or how it works... The dinosaurs will be dead soon, it's just a matter of time.
        • Why should that be the only purpose of copyright? Why can't it let people prevent others from profiting from their work without their permission?
      • Re:Crowd-funding (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @12:24PM (#39318503) Journal
        Why is that a problem? With the grandparent's model, you're paid before you release your product. If someone else takes it and makes something even better, then that's great! You can then take their work and incorporate it into your next product. The important thing is to not lose something like trademarks or moral rights: if someone takes your work and builds something great, then they need to credit you. When you're looking for funding for your next project, that credit can be worth a lot...
        • by causality (777677)

          Why is that a problem? With the grandparent's model, you're paid before you release your product.

          Sometimes old ideas resurface and prove useful again. Before copyright, there was patronage.

          It's just that now it's a crowd of regular folks instead of a single wealthy noble.

          • Patronage still exists, and indeed is how most creative works are funded. It's just that now the patrons are not kings, they're publishers. They give creative people an interest free loan to fund the cost of creating the work, and then they own it. The only difference now is cutting out the middlemen.
            • by causality (777677)

              Patronage still exists, and indeed is how most creative works are funded. It's just that now the patrons are not kings, they're publishers. They give creative people an interest free loan to fund the cost of creating the work, and then they own it. The only difference now is cutting out the middlemen.

              Not to quibble but I see them as fundamentally different, both in intent and execution. About the only thing they have in common is that they are both a way to get creative works done.

              Patronage was more personal and it was more like sponsoring or hiring someone. You pay the artist, he produces the work. In its heyday there was no easy way to mass-produce copies of a work; if a great painter made a portrait of a king, you could not distribute millions of copies of it. It was much more ... personal. I

            • Patronage still exists, and indeed is how most creative works are funded. It's just that now the patrons are not kings, they're publishers.

              I'd agree with the first, but not the second. The biggest form of patronage these days is government grants for artists (at least in Australia - don't know what it's like in the US).

          • by tehcyder (746570)
            If some version of patronage is your alternative to copyright, I prefer copyright.
        • by tehcyder (746570)

          The important thing is to not lose something like trademarks or moral rights:

          So, some intellectual property is bad, because it stops you just copying anything you want for yourself, but some is good, because...why?

          A "moral right" is just a wishy washy version of an actual "copy right". And trademarks are just bollocks all round.

    • Re:Crowd-funding (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 11, 2012 @11:48AM (#39318365)

      Music you say ?

      0) Start by composing a few good tracks , although probably for free , play in a few pubs thus starting to build a reputation;
      1) Offer to go to gigs , for money , proportional to your reputation;
      2) Get funded by the crowd that showed up;
      3) Deliver a good end result , and with it improve your reputation;
      4) Loop back to 1 as much as you need or want;
      5) Retire;

      Music artists hurt by pirated albums you say ? Tell that to anybody that enjoyes going to concerts.
      I've paid for once concert more than I've paid for all my CD's , and a concert is a one-time event,
      Good musicians earn their living through concers , shit ones through radio ad revenue.

      • The model doesn't just have to be for live music. Release one track, and ask for funding for the rest of the album. Once you've reached the target, record and release it. Encourage people to 'pirate' it (not really piracy, since it's with your consent) and spread it as widely as possible. Then ask for funding for your next album...
      • by Anonymous Coward

        The Beatles should have skipped making Abbey Road because they were, according to you, shit musicians for not playing concerts any more?
         
        What's more, most people listen to music an order of magnitude more than they listen to music at concerts, and you want musicians to minimize the album quality so it's just good enough to convince people to see them live? That's idiotic.

        • by causality (777677)

          The Beatles should have skipped making Abbey Road because they were, according to you, shit musicians for not playing concerts any more? What's more, most people listen to music an order of magnitude more than they listen to music at concerts, and you want musicians to minimize the album quality so it's just good enough to convince people to see them live? That's idiotic.

          I never understood this style of "debate" because it completely throws out the concept of entertaining an idea regardless of whether you agree. It's frankly infantile.

          I believe the thought is something like this: "I don't like this idea, so I'm going to be completely dense, take it to the most ridiculously absurd extreme possible instead of trying to see how it may work if done reasonably, and then declare that it's idiotic." No, your methods are idiotic.

          This idea may or may not work out. That rema

          • by Anonymous Coward

            He's violating the principle of generosity. When debating somebody, you invariably come across a statement that could be interpreted in several ways. The principle of generosity says that you should try to interpret this in the best way, which makes the strongest argument, and assume that that's what he meant. Be generous to his argument, in other words.

            The usual instinct people have is to take the most idiotic interpretation and use that, since it's easier to attack. But as we see in the GP, it doe

            • by causality (777677)

              He's violating the principle of generosity. When debating somebody, you invariably come across a statement that could be interpreted in several ways. The principle of generosity says that you should try to interpret this in the best way, which makes the strongest argument, and assume that that's what he meant. Be generous to his argument, in other words.

              The usual instinct people have is to take the most idiotic interpretation and use that, since it's easier to attack. But as we see in the GP, it doesn't help your side, it just makes you look like a jackass. Which is why, if you're interested in winning your argument, you need to be generous.

              It just seemed so natural and obvious to me that I didn't realize there was a term for it. Thank you -- seriously, you have educated me today.

              I agree with you about the nature of it but I disagree in terms of emphasis. You're correct that this kind of impatient "I must be right and you must be wrong so easy-to-attack is all I care about" mentality doesn't work very well and often backfires. But I don't really view it so much in terms of working or not working.

              To me it's the product of an (emotional

              • by ae1294 (1547521)

                Wow, you both make great points rarely seen in this day... Thanks for the enlightenment...

          • by Anonymous Coward

            This idea may or may not work out. That remains to be seen because we still have traditional copyright. What I can say for certain is that no one who ever truly innovated and changed things for the better approached new ideas the way that you do. Ever heard the saying that if all possible (as opposed to reasonable) objections must first be overcome, nothing would ever get done?

            I am all for new ideas, but this is not really a new idea. This is an idea that's been playing out over the past one hundred years,

          • by tehcyder (746570)
            When the OP concluded his argument with the categoric "Good musicians earn their living through concers , shit ones through radio ad revenue" it was a perfectly legitimate argument to think of an exception to that rule. If he said "most (or many) good musicians..." that's different.

            If I say "all good guitarists are right-handed" it is an entirely valid counter-argument to point out that Jimi Hendrix was left-handed, and an entirely irrelevant counter-counter argument to say "yeah but I don't like Jimi
      • by tehcyder (746570)
        Fuck off, I have neither the time nor the inclination to go and see live music any more. Once you reach the age of twenty, you will probably feel the same.

        I want to listen to music in the comfort of my own home, same as when I read a book.
      • by westlake (615356)

        Good musicians earn their living through concerts , shit ones through radio ad revenue.

        I'll take it as given that the you think of a professional musician as a twenty-year old kid, single, with the stamina of an army mule.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If this actually works out. You'll start seeing some FUD over this from the big game houses like EA.

      Thats the real thing all the riaa, mpaa, game publishers and everyone else is really scared of. Becomming irrevelant and not needed.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        EA will love this.
        Let the 'crowd' risk the money to see if the developers are worth a shit. If they prove themselves EA can buy a proven studio, if not then EA didn't lose any money so why should they care?

        • Why would a studio that can attract crowdfunding ever let themselves be bought out by EA? Do creative types have a predilection for 80 hour weeks and having their decisions dictated by corporate suits all of a sudden?

          • by toriver (11308)

            Maybe best of both worlds? Funding through Kickstarter, distribution via EA Partners/Origin? This new game will for instance be distributed via Steam (and a DRM-free version to backers, ref. the first update video) for the PC/Mac editions.

      • by causality (777677)

        If this actually works out. You'll start seeing some FUD over this from the big game houses like EA.

        When large governmental or corporate interests are against something and launch FUD campaigns against it, in my eyes whatever they're railing against couldn't possibly have received a better endorsement. "Consider the source". The next most priceless event is when that Puritannical "you must live as I do" mentality gets its panties in a wad.

    • by Auroch (1403671)

      Crowd-funding is how entertainment will work in the the not too distant future, as far as creators are concerned:

      0) Start by making something good, although probably for free, thus starting to build a reputation; 1) Offer to do something, for money, proportional to your reputation; 2) Get funded by the crowd; 3) Deliver a good end result, and with it improve your reputation; 4) Loop back to 1 as much as you need or want; 5) Retire.

      Copyright? What for?

      Crowd funding is already what we do. They make a good game, you buy lots of it, they make a sequel. What you're talking about is cutting out the middle man (publisher/developer who lends them money) and doing it yourself.

    • Re:Crowd-funding (Score:5, Insightful)

      by artor3 (1344997) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @01:58PM (#39319047)

      Doesn't work. You really think that this kickstarter project is endlessly reproducible? There are so many great movies and TV shows and books and songs and video games that would never have seen the light of day if they had to be funded in advance.

      By your own admission, you have to do some good, free works first, before you get jack. And one good game ain't gonna cut it. You really think people would dump millions of dollars onto some developer who's only claim to fame was a single, albeit fun, flash game? Of course not. You'd have to make hit after hit, and only then, after years of unpaid hard work, would you even have a chance of getting paid.

      Kickstarter, the Humble Bundles, they're all nice supplements. But for the vast majority of content, copyright is necessary. It needs reform, but it is necessary.

      • by kamapuaa (555446)

        This. Crowdsource funding is a fun one-off for already established artists with a large following.

        In addition to the problem for non-established artists, if every single artist/author/video game producer had their hat in hand asking for crowd-sourced money, it would become an ignored barrage. Projects like these work because they're unusual enough to get people's attention and maybe even a couple Slashdot articles.

      • First point first - ALL movies, TV shows, books, songs and video games (made commercially) ARE funded in advance - usually by publishers. The change is from the single publisher/financier model to the self-published crowd-financed model. Having the cash before producing things hasn't changed. I can also tell you than in the game industry (and there isn't a significant difference for the others) you have to do some good, small, sometimes free works first before the publisher will touch you. Second, why wou
    • And yet, reality has already shown how this works:

      0) Start by making something good, although probably for free,thus starting to build a reputation;
      1) Offer to do something, for money....
      2) Watch your fans/community/users/whatever turn on you like a pack of piranna, for they have come to expect, nay, are entitled by the very gods, to the fruits of your labour for free. Sellout!

    • by TheSunborn (68004)

      Has that ever worked? I mean all the successfull software kickstart projects seems to be made by people who have previously for many years made successfull commercial software.

      So kickstart seems to be good af funding projects/users which are already somehow famous from previous projects.

  • by airfoobar (1853132) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @12:22PM (#39318483)
    A few of days ago I submitted a story about another high-profile game creator following Schafer's lead by using Kickstarter, but /. mods chose to post ads about Apple TV instead (because obviously Apple needs the help more than an indie team).

    "..an independent team led by Chistian Allen (lead designer/creative director for games like Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and Halo: Reach) has launched a Kickstarter for a new hardcore tactical shooter."

    Their PR is nowhere as good as Schafer's, but tactical shooters deserve some love too! [kickstarter.com]

    • by IICV (652597)

      ... I thought they already made that, and called it Frozen Synapse [frozensynapse.com]?

      But then I've signed up for the kickstarter, so I guess not :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 11, 2012 @12:22PM (#39318491)

    2.5 Million? And we'll never own the game.

    For 2.5 Million we could fund the same effort or more and enrich the commons with a high quality opensource game that would allow a wide array of derivative. Instead the commons is robbed and is given a proprietary game.

    Slashdot should not be posting kickstarters for software and other things that aren't free/libre open source licensed or creative commons licensed.

    Use kickstarter to compensate creative people for their effort, but pay them to contribute to the commons as well.

    • by Anrego (830717) * on Sunday March 11, 2012 @12:44PM (#39318625)

      Or we could use the money to cure cancer!

      Seriously though, people spend the money on whatever they want. There's always something better they could have spent the money on, but things don't work that way. If they did we'd all be giving all our money to whatever society deemed the absolute most important cause.

      As for turning slashdot into a church of RMS .. bleh.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Then some opensource creator should use Kickstarter to make some games. If it is so important to you, go search for such an opensource start-up and post it on /. I know I would kick money into it if I *knew* I was going to get some great product.

      Tim Schafer has a reputation for being one of the best and lots of people have played games that he touched. This is where a lot of his support is coming from.

    • by Garth Smith (1720052) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @01:00PM (#39318715) Homepage
      We donated millions to Tim Schafer because he has a rightly earned reputation for making great games. Tim is being rewarded for all the hard work he put in. Are you saying that good work and effort should go unrewarded? Is it a problem that we want to help people out who have already proven they can enrich our lives? Kickstarter has helped us get a new old-school adventure game where previously where was none.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Gaygirlie (1657131)

      high quality opensource game

      That there is an oxymoron. There are no high-quality F/OSS games.

      Slashdot should not be posting kickstarters for software and other things that aren't free/libre open source licensed or creative commons licensed.

      /. doesn't exist to drive F/OSS agenda, it exists to propagate news items about stuff that people are interested in.

      Use kickstarter to compensate creative people for their effort, but pay them to contribute to the commons as well.

      Tell some high-quality F/OSS dev to make a kickstarter project then and stop whining about it here.

      • by Paul Fernhout (109597) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @01:24PM (#39318841) Homepage

        "Tell some high-quality F/OSS dev to make a kickstarter project then and stop whining about it here."

        The problem is that the social dynamics of Kickstarter don't work very well for F/OSS, given that pledges are generally tightly tied to specific rewards (and pledges are amplified by the project creating "artificial scarcity").

        The big issue is that people need to wake up to the notion that they are supporting and even creating "artificial scarcity" with how they spend their time and money. Related by me: http://www.artificialscarcity.com/ [artificialscarcity.com]

        • by Anonymous Coward

          To be honest, that is just lack of imagination. In the creation of anything, there is plenty of stuff you could give to pledges: stickers, magnets, concept art, original sketches, NPC names... F/OSS can use kickstarter, it just need to plan ahead on what things it can give as pledges, while still retain enough cash for the goals.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          People don't respond to idealistic ideas as well as their basic nature.

          The idea of Kickstarter can work well for F/OSS, but these GNU/BSD/MIT people need to understand social engineering better.

          P.S. voted you up

        • The problem is that the social dynamics of Kickstarter don't work very well for F/OSS, given that pledges are generally tightly tied to specific rewards (and pledges are amplified by the project creating "artificial scarcity").

          So? The scarcity in the rewards doesn't have to be scarcity of the software - and if you look at the rewards offered, that's generally only true of the very lowest tiers. Above that, you have rewards like "name in the credits", or participation in the creative process, or game elements named after you, or a dozen other things of that nature.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by elifer (1840010)

          There are at least two succesful open source projects in kickstarter:

          http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/149077132/a-house-in-california-a-point-click-art-game?ref=live

          http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1384519763/pissed-off-penguins?ref=live

          Just because people backed the project doesn't mean it can be released freely afterwards. They still can get their recognition through the rewards

        • GitHub are really well positioned to provide a crowdfunding platform for FOSS projects.

          I suspect that, with the success of Kickstarter and other similar sites, it's only a matter of time before someone makes the model work for commons-based stuff.

      • That there is an oxymoron. There are no high-quality F/OSS games.

        Freespace series? Search & Rescue series? FlightGear? None of those are high-quality?

        (I was also just checking the progress on Vdrift, screenshots look good now, I'll have to give it a try.)

        • Freespace series?

          If you mean Freespace 2, well, it isn't an original F/OSS - project, it was a commercial, proprietary product and then the engine was released as open-source. As such it doesn't count.

          Search & Rescue series?

          Not familiar with that.

          FlightGear?

          Not a game.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Free and open source are always portrayed as the holy grail but they more often than not fall short of what the public actually wants. Look at open source graphics software. Yes Blender is powerful and can do what most of the big boys can yet hardly any pros use it and they are still willing to pay $3,000+ for software where as Blender is free. The interface is clunky making it slow and painful for most to work with damning it to the side lines. Gimp has fallen to a similar fate although is far more useful

    • by residieu (577863)

      Most of the backers here basically prepaid for a copy of the game (There were some exceptions, like the ones mentioned who gave 10k). We went in giving what we thought was a decent price for a game from a proven developer. None of the backers expected to get access to the source, they're not being robbed of anything.

      I missed the part where the Slashdot community signed up for a total open-source at all times stance on software licensing.

  • The only problem I can see is that now that the precedent has been set, the result better be the gaming equal to the Second Coming, else the fickle "gamerz" out there will raise so much Internet fury that everyone will be too scared to attempt this again.

    • It'll either be awesome or crash and burn horribly. Those are the only two options Tim gave us. =p
    • What? Have you been living under a rock or something? It's Tim Schafer, man; it CANNOT be anything short of orgastic.

      • I know who it is. But even the most epic game designers can have off-games. It's one thing to have a company breathing down your neck for "quality assurance," but to have MILLIONS of fans that have donated their hard-earned cash, directly funding your project?

        That's some serious pressure.

        • I get what you are saying and some lesser designer might indeed start to crack under the pressure, but looking at what Schafer has been saying in the public and his pictures here, it doesn't seem like he even notices it. I really doubt quality is an issue, but one thing that people WILL complain about is that it takes so long for the game to materialize. People are impatient and a large adventure game is a multi-year project, that is going to cause some quarreling eventually.

  • ...he's gonna have some 'splaining to do.

  • by jensen404 (717086) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @01:17PM (#39318795)
    From NPR:

    Schafer plans to do just that and make a documentary about it, to demystify the process for kids who think that only big publishers can make games.

    The 74,000 backers are obviously just buying the game for their kids.

  • It makes so much sense for the crowd to fund the creator, rather than a publisher who takes on the risk and exerts creative control over your product. Using the right online platform, you can turn your entire consumer base into a focus group that tells you exactly what they want, and even pays for it in advance.

    We're returning to a model of creative production based on Renaissance "patronage," but with that patronage distributed throughout the population of individuals who will actually be using the pro
    • by tehcyder (746570)

      Using the right online platform, you can turn your entire consumer base into a focus group that tells you exactly what they want

      That might be OK for populist entertainment, but it's not a great basis for serious art.

      At least in the past the rich patrons were cultured and expected to pay for the best, which would be judged by other cultured people. Now you'll just get lots of people demanding LOLcats and ponies.

  • by Malibee (1215790) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @03:57PM (#39319783)

    I'm not sure it's accurate to say this game is "from Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert." See http://grumpygamer.com/5694081 [grumpygamer.com]

  • and while we are on the topic, the Erfworld Kickstarter [kickstarter.com] has raised over $64000 with over 880 backers to fund a motion comic

    Additional funds will go towards [partiallyclips.com] -

    New Erfworld website [erfworld.com]
    Free Erfworld book 1 for a variety of people
    Funding a reprint of book 1
    Funding to making Hamstard [hamstard.com] beanies
    Funding for a make-your-own-Hamstard-comic tool
    Funding f

  • Imagine if you'd been one of the chumps who crowd-funded that?

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