It's been a long, slow, and ugly process, but it seems certain now that The Stomping Land, the multiplayer survival game set in a land of dinosaurs that raised over $100,000 on Kickstarter, has been abandoned. After losing contact with developer Alex "Jig" Fundora in late 2014, modeler Vlad Konstantinov halted his work on the game in January, and has now moved on to a different game altogether.
"I'm sad to say this but I have to temporarily freeze all my work for TSL project," Konstantinov wrote on The Stomping Land forums in January. "More than a month has passed since the day when I received the last reply from Jig. I've sent him 5 messages and haven't got any single reply." He also claimed that Fundora still owes him money, and that he actually had to pay the texture artist out of his own pocket.
"If this silence continues I will stop my participation in TSL and start taking the necessary measures to cover my expenses (sell the models for example)," he added.
The silence apparently did continue, because earlier this month the developers of Beasts of Prey, another sandbox survival game with dinosaurs, announced that Konstantinov had signed a deal to provide it with new dinosaur models, and had actually already come across with an ankylosaurus model.
Surprisingly, The Stomping Land is once again available for purchase on Steam: Sales were halted in September, although it remained listed, but sometime between then and now, the purchase option was re-enabled. There's been no new activity on either the Stomping Land Facebook page or Twitter feed, however, both of which have been silent since September 2014.
Unfortunately for Kickstarter backers, the likelihood of refunds seems extremely remote. According to another recent forum post, Kickstarter told a backer seeking a return of his money that it had already reached out to Fundora to remind him of his obligations, but beyond that there's little it can do but restrict or suspend his account, so he can't launch any new Kickstarters. That's obviously of little value to the people who collectively sunk $114,060 into this one.
We've reached out to both Fundora and Valve about the future of The Stomping Land on Steam, and will update if and when we receive a reply. But right now, it looks like... the Jig is up.
Thanks to a reader called Russell for the tip, which led to this story.