Update #2: Phillip Summers has taken to Twitter to clarify some reporting around the cancellation of the Hand-Drawn Game Guide Kickstarter campaign. He states that "the party involved has been polite and I'm hopeful something can get worked out. They have every right to act as they are". Here's the tweet:
Separately, The HDGG team sent out an update to Kickstarter backers "to set the record straight on a few things", and detailing why the campaign was cancelled so close to its conclusion. Here are some excerpts:
1) We did not receive a cease and desist.
A number of gaming blogs/sites have reported the cancellation as being forced on us due to a threat, cease and desist, angry CEO banging on our door, etc. It's nothing so exciting. We were contacted by a lawyer suggesting there may be concerns held by a game company. That's it. So...
2) We, alone, made the decision to cancel.
Yes, we know that Kickstarter has tools in place to put projects on "hold" so that any sort of copyright dispute can be resolved and a project may be allowed to proceed or not. We decided against doing this for two reasons: 1) an abundance of caution, and 2) this all happened too close to the goal for Kickstarter to respond.
See... it's possible that Kickstarter may decide to allow funding to proceed. That means all of you wonderful Backers would be charged and we'd be required to deliver rewards. But what happens if, after that, a game company does force us to cancel production? We'd be in a very bad place where we can't get you your books, but also couldn't afford to refund everyone 100% because Kickstarter/payment processor fees do not refund to us in the event we decide to refund Backers.
The only safe move was to pull the project for now.
We have yet to have our meeting to discuss how we can remedy the issues expressed by the lawyer who reached out to us. We don't want to create any additional concerns because things "blew up in the press." Please understand that when you write anything that attacks game companies based on assumptions that are untrue, it can worsen the problem and hurt us in the process.
Again, we don't even know what these concerns are. There are similar situations that have happened before with people trying to make gaming-related books. We are hopeful we'll have good news for you soon and will be allowed to relaunch the campaign... with the blessing of the game companies!
Update: It looks like Nintendo's legal team has struck again, as the Hand-Drawn Game Guides Kickstarter has been taken offline by its creator. The campaign had raised over $322,000 before it was taken down.
Original Story [Fri 6th Aug, 2021 17:00 BST]: Remember guides? We certainly don't, because of that terrible brain accident. But we're pretty sure that they were excellent, fun little books filled with lovely art and weird semi-canonical facts about how Mario is secretly a tower of eggs in a trench coat.
Anyway, you can now (or... soon) relive those glorious manual-filled days with Hand-Drawn Game Guides' Kickstarter. You may recognise the name from our coverage of artist Philip Summers' work; now Summers is making them super-extra-(un)official, with lots and lots of loveable hand-drawn art (as you can probably guess from the title) and very professional hardcovers.
The games getting guides are Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, and a combined guide for both Contra and Ninja Gaiden. All of them will include a range of guide-type-stuff, like helpful walkthroughs, maps, tips, and art, as well as unique looks at the game experiences told through diary entries from the characters and storybook-style narratives that will help you see the games in a new light.
The Kickstarter is live right now, and you can pre-order one of the guides, or all three for a discounted price. Higher tiers include original art, and stretch goals will potentially add gilded edging (oooh) and gold foil on the covers (OOOH).
Go on then, which guide do you want in your grubby hands? Let us know in the comments and check out the lovely Zion waxing lyrical over his paperback copy of the Hand-Drawn Zelda manual below.