Citizens of the Imperium

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-   -   So, Did the Spinward Traveller Debut Happen at Gencon? (http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/showthread.php?t=35037)

Mako October 1st, 2015 11:54 PM

So, Did the Spinward Traveller Debut Happen at Gencon?
 
I haven't seen any mention of it here, or elsewhere, so wanted to know if the Spinward Traveller debut happened at Gencon (IIRC), and if so, how it was received?

Any news on when it may get airtime, or become available on DVD?

Echo October 4th, 2015 06:42 AM

It did happen, but there are a lot of annoyed backers who not only have not received their DVDs, but also the various resin models and follow on sales that he made after the kickstarter campaign.

Ken Whitman does not respond to emails and simply doesn't deliver on promises, or indeed sales that he is obliged to fulfil. I paid for a Hiver model back in February, paying over $100 for it. I have seen or heard nothing since despite sending emails to him, while he continues to advertise more goods through junk mail all the time. Frankly, I feel like it's a con job and I am certainly not alone.

Nightwind1 October 4th, 2015 01:53 PM

Don't forget, Whitman has a well-known rep for not carrying through with his Kickstarters and such.

Mako October 5th, 2015 04:23 AM

A shame to hear that about the DVDs as well.

Yes, there certainly are a lot of annoyed people discussing the lack of resin model shipments, especially after he's shown he has possession of at least the unpainted resin ships, and said they were shipping back in August.

I paid for a three-vessel set back in mid June, since the website listed them as "shipping" at that time, and there were pics of them.

It's been almost four months, and he hasn't responded to any of my e-mail requests to him for an update, and of course, no ship models sent, either.

On another thread in the TAS News section, under Resin Models, we're discussing alternatives to get him to meet his commitments to us.

Paypal now provides for a 180 day dispute window, instead of the old 30 - 60 day one.

From some of the posts I've read, he's been allegedly doing this sort of thing to people for about 20 years.

There are at least two blogs dedicated solely to him (and a number of other postings as well on other website), and his failed or mismanaged projects. See below for the links to those (and check out some of the additional postings about him in the sidebar links - they certainly are eye-popping):

http://dontfundkenwhitman.blogspot.c...tell-lies.html

http://notanotherdime.blogspot.com/

I know some of you may be outside of that, so if the Paypal disputes don't work, or are no longer valid, I guess a wirefraud complaint with the FBI and US Attorney General's office may have to be the fallback plan.

Penalties for that are rather stiff, at up to a $1,000,000 fine, and up to 30 years in jail.

I suspect that might get Ken's attention.

Echo October 5th, 2015 07:32 AM

Actually, reading through his profile on Wikipedia, his track record speaks for itself:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Whitman

atpollard October 5th, 2015 08:21 AM

Just a reminder to all:

RULE 1) No personal attacks.

You may attack ideas, subjects, or documentation.

However you will not get personal at all.


Criticize to your heart's content, that is your right.
State facts.
Complain about service.

But please avoid making direct personal attacks on any individuals.
That's just how we roll at COTI. :)

Thank you.

Mako October 5th, 2015 08:37 PM

Got it, ATPOLLARD. Thank you for the reminder.

I will attempt to keep all postings objective, and factual, as I always do.

Wow, ECHO, that is a rather telling article. I hadn't seen it before, nor was I aware that allegedly, all of those Kickstarters had failed:

"Whitman also stated that, even though none of the 6 Kickstarter projects have been fulfilled, he has used monies obtained in one of the 6 Kickstarter campaigns to help pay for one or more of the others".

Add that to all of the alleged non-deliveries of direct sales of the spaceship miniatures, and other stuff, e.g. DVDs for Spinward, etc., and the scandal widens further. Actual non-delivery, in the case of my spaceship order, 3.75 months after payment for the items that were listed as "shipping", on the D20 website, back in mid-June.

I inquired about whether Marc Miller is aware of this, on another thread here on CotI, due to licensing issues, and someone responded that he is.

It will be interesting to see if his awareness of these concerns will result in any changes relating to product and Kickstarter delivery performance by Ken Whitman, and/or D20 Enterainment, in relation to the licensing agreements for the Traveller name.

I certainly hope that it does have a positive outcome for people that have paid money to support these projects, and to buy Traveller miniatures.

Echo October 5th, 2015 11:53 PM

Got the message and respect it, moderator.

I will just say this as facts: he has taken monies for promised goods and repeatedly not delivered over several campaigns. There is evidence he has used that money to fund other things. This is not just a few disgruntled individuals - it's a whole lot of people affected by this from what I gather.

He continues to advertise goods through what is essentially junk mail towards his Kickstarter backers, and does not respond to emails sent to him. There does not appear to be much evidence that much has been delivered at all.

I remember waiting for T5 for an age, and being frustrated by it for a number of reasons (As it turns out the later delays were due to a change of address, and my mistake in updating it properly). That is sorted now, thankfully. However, the point is that even though it took over a year to sort out, at no stage whatsoever did ever question to myself the character of anyone involved in it's delivery. It simply didn't ever register - at worst I thought it was an administrative error - which it turned out to be. The communication channels were always there - even if the communication was strained at times. I cannot say I feel the same way about this case - I feel duped.

David Johansen October 6th, 2015 10:54 PM

GAH! Scandal schmandel! Was it any good?

Not that the scandal speaks well for the future of Spinward Traveller but it's as close as we've come to a Traveller TV show.

aramis October 7th, 2015 12:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Johansen (Post 518485)
GAH! Scandal schmandel! Was it any good?

Not that the scandal speaks well for the future of Spinward Traveller but it's as close as we've come to a Traveller TV show.

So far, all I've found of it is a 1 minute preview/teaser trailer.

Echo October 7th, 2015 07:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Johansen (Post 518485)
GAH! Scandal schmandel! Was it any good?

Not that the scandal speaks well for the future of Spinward Traveller but it's as close as we've come to a Traveller TV show.

Actually, on the basis of what we've seen so far, not really, no.

The closest we've really come to a Traveller TV show was Firefly.

Hyphen October 7th, 2015 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aramis (Post 518495)
So far, all I've found of it is a 1 minute preview/teaser trailer.

What I've seen (and downloaded!) so far, available to the Kickstarter backers:

Opening Credits - 1 minute
Pt 1 - 5 mins
Pt 2 - 6 mins
Pt 3 - 3.5 mins
Pt 4 - 3.5 mins
Pt 5 - 6.5 mins
(25.5 mins total)

All fairly raw footage, CGI done for the opening credits and a few other shots (e.g. ship's laser turret firing).

David Johansen October 7th, 2015 11:19 PM

Not surprising, the trailer wasn't promising. Even so, Traveller TV would be a great thing. I wonder if something more like the fan made seasons 4 & 5 of Star Trek would be possible.

savage October 9th, 2015 11:13 PM

Well, I was waiting on a T-shirt. Hoped to wear it at DragonCon. When i saw complaints i dropped a note to Marc.

I do hope Marc has this situation under control. And i hope the actors and crew get paid. It appears he's known Ken for a while. Also they worked on T4 together. I'm not a T4 fan but Aramis tells us that there are some from a previous thread. I believe someone mentioned Psionics in T4 is pretty good. I never read it. I probably should sometime.

I'm not to wild about the spam emails about other projects. I'm not interested, if it does not discuss spinward traveller.

vargr1 October 11th, 2015 01:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by savage (Post 518740)
Well, I was waiting on a T-shirt. Hoped to wear it at DragonCon. When i saw complaints i dropped a note to Marc.

I do hope Marc has this situation under control. And i hope the actors and crew get paid. It appears he's known Ken for a while. Also they worked on T4 together. I'm not a T4 fan but Aramis tells us that there are some from a previous thread. I believe someone mentioned Psionics in T4 is pretty good. I never read it. I probably should sometime.

I'm not to wild about the spam emails about other projects. I'm not interested, if it does not discuss spinward traveller.

I tried to call Mr Whitman today, using the phone number Mr Whitman posted on his d20 Entertainment page and his Ken Whitman & Associates page.

I got a 'this number has been disconnected' message.

I would say that Mr. Whitman has disappeared, except he did block me on Facebook yesterday for messaging him and asking where my refund was.

There are a couple of webpages that extensively document Mr. Whitman's business practices over the last twenty years, as well as the more recent situation with regards to Jolly Blackburn. Mr. Whitman's handling of Spinward Traveller is not an aberration.

Mako October 11th, 2015 01:47 AM

I saw on another site, that the Kentucky Attorney General has apparently sent him a letter, with 30 days to respond, given a complaint about either his, or D20's business practices, so perhaps he doesn't want to take any calls due to that, and/or other issues.

I guess I need to file my complaint with them as well.

I've filed a Dispute with Paypal, so am hoping to get my money back.

savage October 12th, 2015 12:12 PM

50k is not enough for anything other than a short scifi movie. I was in a 100k production and was amazed at the effort for a non-scifi. I assume D20E is sitting on a ton of footage. They just need the CGI and editing to pull it together. Not a small task.

They put out the resins to make extra cash. So, I'm not surprised if this is a big snag. They needed to look for bigger backers. Marc may have put in cash but up front they should have reached out to Mongoose and anyone that may benefit in exchange for a film advertisement. And they should film in a state that has many rebates, and assistance.

Well, well see how it turns out.

Echo October 14th, 2015 07:35 AM

They shouldn't be selling resin models that they do not provide. They weren't part if the Kickstarter deal either, merely advertised to kickstarter backers after the campaign had finished. As such, they should be delivered as soon as there was confirmation of payment. I've been waiting the best part of a year for my model.

They set their own goal targets with the Kickstarter Campaign, and these goals were met. If they then decide they didn't raise enough money to fulfil their own goals, then that's their own fault.

Redcap October 14th, 2015 08:41 AM

Just the ex-Military Policeman in me, but has anyone actually laid charges against this person for fraud or theft, or has there been insufficient evidence to charge him?

Sir Brad October 14th, 2015 09:29 AM

I think so far it's all "Small Claims" spreed over too many jurisdictions, though I think I heard he has got a letter from a court somewhere in the states trying to arrange an appearance by him or his representation.

But I could be wrong

Redcap October 14th, 2015 09:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sir Brad (Post 519075)
I think so far it's all "Small Claims" spreed over too many jurisdictions, though I think I heard he has got a letter from a court somewhere in the states trying to arrange an appearance by him or his representation.

But I could be wrong

Being a kickstarter, I'd imagine US Federal jurisdiction might apply, at the very least for Wire Fraud?

vargr1 October 14th, 2015 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sir Brad (Post 519075)
I think so far it's all "Small Claims" spreed over too many jurisdictions, though I think I heard he has got a letter from a court somewhere in the states trying to arrange an appearance by him or his representation.

But I could be wrong

True. Also, filing Small Claims Court is pain-in-the-cloaca.

Another week without any word from Mr. Whitman.

I filed a complaint with the KY AG, and I have to give them a chunk of time to process and wait for Mr. Whitman's presumed non-reply.

After than, I'll take a day to drive over to Brandenburg, KY (it's a daytrip from here, and I used to live at Fort Knox, and it's a good excuse to visit the Armor Museum) and file Small Claims on him. I can spare a couple of days, a tank of gas, and some effort for this.

Time to get my suit back from the cleaners.

Never try to bilk a Vargr, for they have pointy teeth and know the number of a good lawyer.

Scratches October 14th, 2015 06:13 PM

I see on KS that some (okay one) replacement ships have arrived though there is still no communication. If you're talking to a lawyer let them know about this as it may constitute a good faith effort and be enough to deflect any action you may bring.

phorner October 15th, 2015 05:43 PM

Ken is not MIA. He is pretty active right now with his new project - Sol Bound (a direct to Web series in the Traveller universe)

MJD October 15th, 2015 07:00 PM

I've always said that Ken Whitman had a talent for starting new projects.

I accepted his reason/excuse why I didn't get paid for Imperium Games work, and - foolishly perhaps - did some more work for him under Archangel Entertainment. Never got paid. Later he contacted me and asked me to work on some new thing of his. I queried the first two failures to pay and never heard anything further.

I still have the emails on file.

Nothing further to add really; twice burned, forever shy and all that.

Echo October 16th, 2015 02:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phorner (Post 519226)
Ken is not MIA. He is pretty active right now with his new project - Sol Bound (a direct to Web series in the Traveller universe)

Ken is not fulfilling his obligations.

Where is the model I paid $120 for back in February?

aramis October 16th, 2015 07:06 AM

Stick to facts, not character assassination.

Innuendo WILL be infracted.

Also remember: Ken is also a member of the boards. Attacks and innuendo will be infracted as such.

rich4421972 October 28th, 2015 10:17 PM

I think Ken Whitman wrote (or contributed to) "Chapter 11: Psionics" in the Traveller4 core rulebook. He is also pictured as one member of the "Dream Team" on page 191. I used to think that each contributor to Traveller4 had their own specialty area (i.e. Aliens, starships, psionics, worlds, encounters or combat equipment and etc.)

savage October 28th, 2015 10:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rich4421972 (Post 520487)
I think Ken Whitman wrote (or contributed to) "Chapter 11: Psionics" in the Traveller4 core rulebook. He is also pictured as one member of the "Dream Team" on page 191. I used to think that each contributor to Traveller4 had their own specialty area (i.e. Aliens, starships, psionics, worlds, encounters or combat equipment and etc.)

A few have said that it is the best psionic representation in Traveller. However, Film production requires an extremely tight handle on project management. I'd say that many people have stumbled in the producer director role. I think it's best that we let Marc work things out and see what is happening. It's probably just running slower than planned.

rich4421972 October 28th, 2015 11:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by savage (Post 520489)
I think it's best that we let Marc work things out and see what is happening. It's probably just running slower than planned.


I did enjoy his "Brothers Barbarian" series. It was a lot of fun. At some point, everything is positive and fun and hopeful.

Best to stay positive and hopeful. B)

Echo November 3rd, 2015 12:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by savage (Post 520489)
A few have said that it is the best psionic representation in Traveller. However, Film production requires an extremely tight handle on project management. I'd say that many people have stumbled in the producer director role. I think it's best that we let Marc work things out and see what is happening. It's probably just running slower than planned.

It's not a question of when he fulfils the kickstarter campaign that has people angry at him. It's the fact that he has sold extra goods using channels opened by the kickstarter via junk mail, and then failed to deliver these goods.

Without labelling himself in any direct, personal way, these practices are clearly disingenuous to the fact that he is abusing the mechanisms of Kickstarter rules. You raise money through the Kickstarter campaign and set your goals accordingly to fulfil the project. With these goals met, it is not acceptable to then keep peppering the backers with junk mail, to attempt to raise additional funds after the kickstarter has ended.

It is also not acceptable to sell goods outside the campaign, which aren't then delivered, while conflating these additional transactions as being somehow part of the campaign and using that as an excuse for non delivery.

rich4421972 November 5th, 2015 09:38 PM

Citing "personal problems," Ken has informed his KS backers (across the six projects) that he has moved out of Kentucky and into Atlanta, GA.

Ken moves to Georgia

Let's hope that a "fresh place" will bring good tidings. ;)

Adam Dray November 6th, 2015 12:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rich4421972 (Post 521142)
Citing "personal problems," Ken has informed his KS backers (across the six projects) that he has moved out of Kentucky and into Atlanta, GA.

Ken moves to Georgia

Let's hope that a "fresh place" will bring good tidings. ;)

I think he's looking for a fresh legal venue.

rich4421972 November 6th, 2015 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Adam Dray (Post 521195)
I think he's looking for a fresh legal venue.

I know, from his own statements, he has lived in Kentucky for quite some time. It does sound kind of curious to just pick up and move to a different state.

savage November 6th, 2015 01:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Echo (Post 520891)
It's not a question of when he fulfils the kickstarter campaign that has people angry at him. It's the fact that he has sold extra goods using channels opened by the kickstarter via junk mail, and then failed to deliver these goods.

Without labelling himself in any direct, personal way, these practices are clearly disingenuous to the fact that he is abusing the mechanisms of Kickstarter rules. ...

I get it Echo.

I too funded the kickstarter. My point was that film kickstarters have a pie in the sky approach when film length and deliverables should be based on the project finances. This is failed project management at a classic level. I see it in corporations when engineers develop relationships without structured deliverables and sign with their clients and i see it in the Atlanta Film industry with startups.

So, i don't particularly like getting "extra" product emails or anything of that sort either which is why i didn't buy anything extra.

rich4421972 November 6th, 2015 03:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Echo (Post 520891)

these practices are clearly disingenuous to the fact that he is abusing the mechanisms of Kickstarter rules. You raise money through the Kickstarter campaign and set your goals accordingly to fulfil the project.

To date, I have not seen kickstarter check into a single complaint reported against the "Spinward Traveller" campaign (or any of the other kickstarters started by KW and d20).
I think a few Attorneys General are looking into the situation.

atpollard November 6th, 2015 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rich4421972 (Post 521222)
To date, I have not seen kickstarter check into a single complaint reported against the "Spinward Traveller" campaign (or any of the other kickstarters started by KW and d20).
I think a few Attorneys General are looking into the situation.

Just because I am ignorant of the details of how Kickstarter works (beyond the basics of you pledge money, they keep part, somebody makes something), so please indulge me ...

... have you seen "kickstarter check into a single complaint reported against" anything else?
[I am just wondering if that is something that kickstarter even does, ever.]

aramis November 6th, 2015 03:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by atpollard (Post 521232)
Just because I am ignorant of the details of how Kickstarter works (beyond the basics of you pledge money, they keep part, somebody makes something), so please indulge me ...

... have you seen "kickstarter check into a single complaint reported against" anything else?
[I am just wondering if that is something that kickstarter even does, ever.]

They killed Ken's Solbound Traveller KS...

Yes, they do screen. Somewhat. They do at times block individuals from new KS projects because of complaints. In at least one case, they provided state's evidence.

rich4421972 November 6th, 2015 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by atpollard (Post 521232)
Just because I am ignorant of the details of how Kickstarter works (beyond the basics of you pledge money, they keep part, somebody makes something), so please indulge me ...

... have you seen "kickstarter check into a single complaint reported against" anything else?
[I am just wondering if that is something that kickstarter even does, ever.]

Kickstarter itself does not monitor the campaigns closely unless there is obvious, egregious misconduct.

Mr. Whitman's fraudulent campaign for the Dice-o-matic game accessory was suspended by kickstarter when it became obvious that he had stolen another company's product and sold it as his own (at a higher price).

Ken/d20 Entertainment has also been banned from starting any new Kickstarter projects through Kickstarter. He is now operating another crowd-funded project through his d20 website.

Kickstarter's lack of action with the most recent of Whitman's projects has been noteworthy because there have been so many direct complaints sent to the Kickstarter accountability reporting service by backers of Whitman's various campaigns.

My point is that Kickstarter has done very little to protect the interests of the "Spinward Traveller" backers.

A few enterprising individuals have contacted their state attorneys general about the problem and have gotten positive action (in both Kentucky and New York) towards getting a refund on their kickstarter donations.

atpollard November 6th, 2015 04:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rich4421972 (Post 521236)
Kickstarter itself does not monitor the campaigns closely unless there is obvious, egregious misconduct.

...

My point is that Kickstarter has done very little to protect the interests of the "Spinward Traveller" backers.

A few enterprising individuals have contacted their state attorneys general about the problem and have gotten positive action (in both Kentucky and New York) towards getting a refund on their kickstarter donations.

That's what I was wondering about.
Was Ken getting some special treatment from Kickstarter, or was kickstarter not really equipped to 'do' anything?

rich4421972 November 6th, 2015 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by atpollard (Post 521241)
or was kickstarter not really equipped to 'do' anything?

I think they are not well equipped to closely monitor each campaign
that is on their site.

I don't think he is getting special treatment. Especially on the "Dice-O-Matic" thing. I feel that he did get "caught" on that one.


There are literally thousands of kickstarters going at any one time (over 6 thousand right now).
Mr. Whitman has managed to run several kickstarter campaigns under different names and sock puppet companies. "d20 Entertainment" seems to be his latest invented company.

On the other hand, it seems like local court systems are starting to crack down on the worst ones. I would argue that "Spinward Traveller" has now gotten the interest of the legal profession/state courts and such.

I feel so much sympathy for the kind souls who supported this project and have had a bad experience as a result. Hopefully no one has been deeply hurt

Patron Zero November 6th, 2015 11:25 PM

Becoming financially involved in any KickStarter project is simply a caveat emptor situation.

Like any 'investment', one should do a bit of research before blindly handing over funding.

MJD November 7th, 2015 03:35 AM

Absolutely. Given my previous experiences with Ken I would not go near any project he was involved in. Unfortunately the association with FFE seems to have been enough to convince many potential backers that this was a legitimate project. Which maybe it was, at the outset.

I've had a look at the controversy surrounding this affair, and things are not looking good for the project. That's a shame; I wonder what the implications for any future attempt at a Traveller TV series might be.

It's been a long time since my own last attempt in that area. We got as far as the development board at a studio, and these days I have a lot more experience in the field... but at present I'm pretty sure it's not worth making the attempt.

MJD November 7th, 2015 03:36 AM

I'm also concerned at the idea that one of the first Kickstarters to attract major law enforcement attention is associated with Traveller. Mud sticks, even if unfairly, so this is not the sort of fame we need.

rich4421972 November 7th, 2015 09:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MJD (Post 521290)
I'm also concerned at the idea that one of the first Kickstarters to attract major law enforcement attention is associated with Traveller. Mud sticks, even if unfairly, so this is not the sort of fame we need.

agree heartily. Thou it is good to see fans uniting around the games they love (in spite of the circumstances). I hope things can get better from here on.

I would have liked to have seen your project. I love your work in general. :)

rich4421972 November 7th, 2015 09:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MJD (Post 521290)
I'm also concerned at the idea that one of the first Kickstarters to attract major law enforcement attention is associated with Traveller. Mud sticks, even if unfairly, so this is not the sort of fame we need.

agree heartily.

Scratches November 7th, 2015 11:04 AM

Losing funds to Spinward did irritate me for a while but I've gained some positives from the experience. I discovered KODT which I would have otherwise been unaware of and, being honest here, following the Kickstarter trainwreck and the history behind it has been an entertainment in itself. I am now a much smarter backer and I'm all in for Agent of the Imperium.

aramis November 7th, 2015 08:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rich4421972 (Post 521304)
agree heartily.

It isn't one of the first - it's about the 6th. The others have all been dealt with by deals with State AG's.

There is little reason to think that this will get any more press than those.

MJD: STOP THE FEARMONGERING.

rich4421972 November 8th, 2015 12:16 AM

As far as I know, GenCon 2015 was great fun and there were a multitude of people who stepped up to make the showings and the after party as pleasant as possible. Great fans!

MJD November 8th, 2015 05:37 AM

Fearmongering wasn't my intent. I have what I think is a legitimate concern, given the effects of rumours I've seen in the past. But okay, if the mods don't think it's appropriate then I'll abide by their ruling.


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