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Police Quest 'successor' Kickstarter canceled, moves to its own tiered funding platform

Xav de Matos, @Xav

The Kickstarter campaign for Precinct - pitched as a spiritual successor to the Police Quest series - has handed in its badge and gun. Robert Lindsley, president of Jim Walls Reloaded, told Joystiq that the campaign has been canceled in order to give the developer an opportunity to create a playable pilot version of the game. The motive, Lindsley said, is to allow potential backers to "experience" the vision behind the spiritual successor, rather than use a tech demo video to decide whether the game was worthy of backing.

Kickstarter users are cautious, Lindsley admitted to Joystiq, especially considering recent high-profile project "stumbles," and a prototype version of Precinct will allow the developer to give players a playable taste of the vision Jim Walls - co-creator of the Police Quest series - has for the spiritual successor. Beginning today, Precinct will crowdsource funds from its own website, using a tiered structure to fund different stages of the project. The developer has told Joystiq it will not return to Kickstarter for contributions. Jim Walls Reloaded is seeking $25,000 to develop the Precinct prototype, which Lindsley said will take two months to develop.

"Giving backers an early hands-on is a primary incentive for this new campaign. The team hopes that showing their vision through early builds will lead to additional funding for the full game," Lindsley told Joystiq.

​With ten days left in its (now canceled) Kickstarter drive, Precinct has only managed to inch over the $85,000 mark, a far cry from the $500,000 sought to complete the project.

Gallery: Precinct | 6 Photos

Lindsley told Joystiq that the funding for its new campaign will work much like Kickstarter: Contributors will only be charged when a predetermined funding goal is met. Unlike Kickstarter, however, Precinct has multiple stages associated with its campaign and contributors will be charged as each tier is funded.

Aside from the $25,000 prototype, the developer is offering a $90K "vertical slice" stage and a $250K "demo" stage. The final stage of the funding structure, set at $400K, makes up the total amount of money the developer says it will need to deliver on the "vision" it has for Precinct, Lindsley said. This model was decided on to show "progress in stages," and development will only occur as tiers are met.

"We can make a great game for $400K. That said, we have created stretch goals in case we exceed that amount; those stretch goals will allow us to develop more content and add additional platforms," Lindsley added.

Precinct Kickstarter cancelled, moves to its own tiered funding platform
Lindsley told Joystiq that moving away from Kickstarter will save money on payment fees and on "extensive rewards" used to entice backers but take away money from the actual campaign; though rewards may still be available as separate from development funding. Avoiding Kickstarter also means Jim Walls Reloaded won't be at the mercy of a time-limit, which would see a project on Kickstarter canceled if it did not meet its goal in time. At nearly a month, the current project's campaign has only achieved 17% of its goal.

According to Lindsley, "all backers will get access to all builds (including the full game) upon completion, regardless of how much they've pledged." This includes, we're told, any backer that contributes $1 to the project. This low entry point allows "risk-averse backers" the ability to contribute. Lindsley and his team are banking on Sierra fans to commit the necessary funds to help collect the required total for development, and allowing any contributors the option to add to their pledge throughout the tiered process.

Precinct was originally slated to launch in June 2014, based on the Kickstarter page. Due to the structure of Precinct's new tiered funding, the developer cannot commit to a timeline for development - save for the two months it says it will need to build a prototype.

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