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Kickstarter-funded game dev cancels backer rewards due to bankruptcy

Kickstarter backers who funded the creation of Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries will not receive many of their promised incentives or rewards due to developer GRIN’s bankruptcy, the company announced this week.

The news follows up on months of project updates and unsuccessful attempts to spur sales. Though many backer rewards have been printed and are prepped for shipment, the now-dissolved studio lacks the funds to ship them out to paying customers.

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Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries raised more than $72,000 from 2,378 backers in September of last year, beating its initial funding goal of $50,000. Due to the unexpected windfall in additional funding, GRIN subsequently scaled up its initial design and broadened its development scope. This increase in development workload without an equally significant influx of cash is what doomed the project, according to GRIN’s Wim Wouters.

“Changing gameplay from 2D to 3D had a major impact on overall development cost (we found out a little too late),” Wouters wrote in a blog post announcing the studio’s closure. “Collision detection for instance (and you can’t even really see that) became such a big issue so fast. Instead of having a simple 2D track where you would not be able to collide with small environment props like crates, piles of stones or skulls. Now every little element had to collide, every crooked stone on the floor had to trigger correct foot placement.”

Following GRIN’s dissolution, Woolfe‘s development assets, source code, and intellectual property rights have been put up for sale.

Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries describes itself as “a cinematic fairy tale platformer full of drama and dark twists.” Starring a vengeance-fueled Red Riding Hood, Woolfe hit Steam back in March following a successful Greenlight campaign, and was later featured in low-priced digital bundles alongside other indie releases.

Wouters claims that the studio made every effort to manufacture backer rewards, but fell just short of actually being able to deliver them.

“All the backer stickers and letters of enlistment just need a stamp,” Wouters explains. “All the poster sets printed, signed and ready. The artbook is ready to be printed, the soundtrack is ready for distribution, the DVD case is ready for production. But we have literally no money whatsoever to pay for stamps, let alone print the artbooks and DVD cases.”