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MrMark0673

Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill to Finally Get Physical Release

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Hey all,


Haven't posted here in a while but still lurk almost daily. A couple of close personal friends of mine have been working hard to get the unreleased SNES game Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill released to the general public, and after several years of hard work, the kickstarter is live:




If you have any interest in the game, I feel as though the pricing is pretty fair. I'm not directly involved in the release, so I'm unsure of what questions I'll be able to answer, but feel free to ask anything here and I'll do my best!

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You learn something new every day. I never heard about the Clinton's cat before. It sounds like an interesting game but I'm holding off for now.

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There's also some new games bundled in with Socks in the rewards tiers - Get'em Gary for the NES and Handy Harvy for the Sega Genesis.

 

If there's any questions, concerns, or comments and suggestions, let us know! We'll be more than happy to answer anything we can :)

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I've been anticipating the launch of this Kickstarter, I've known about this lost game and always wanted to try it. Especially because I was a young kid during the Clinton administration and I thought it was the coolest thing that the President had a cat.

 

A lot of people say Kickstarter is meant to launch ideas that only exist on a napkin and premade stuff is just turning the site into a store with no delivery guarantee. They are right to an extent and this game doesn't fit the Kickstarter mold of a group of people laboring in a basement trying their best to code a good game from scratch for their eager backers. So you guys are lacking some appeal on the "only you can help us turn our dream into a reality!" front.

 

But I personally have no problem with Kickstarter being used as a hype platform to preorder goods that already exist. I've already backed other products on the site knowing they were 99% complete before the campaign started. But I feel that a good campaign needs to give backers a reward or at least an incentive for putting their money up front. That reward is best served in the form of a good discount. They're the ones paying for the production line to start rolling, so why should they be the ones paying full price at this point? That's where you lose me as a backer even though I've been looking forward to this game. C'mon, you don't even have any early bird tiers?! $40 for a bare cartridge? What, is it made out of OEM Nintendo plastic? $75 for the boxed game?! Are you crazy?? Maybe I won't buy it now but I will sometime in the future after a discount, I don't care if I have wait a few years because I've waited a long time already.

 

Another thing that turns me off is that your box art is atrocious. Were you not able to get the rights to the original artwork?

 

250px-Socks_Rocks_the_Hill.jpg

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Guest LiqMat

Probably just going for the digital copy as I am slowly selling off space consuming hardware. Looks good. I am a little surprised the digital copy is not included in the higher physical copy rewards or am I just reading it wrong?

Edited by LiqMat
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I'm sorry to hear you dislike the artwork, StopDrop. I thought all of the artwork we had done looked fantastic, especially compared to the original artwork seen in those ads.

 

LiqMat - good question. Let me talk with the team and get an answer on that for you.

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Guest LiqMat

I'm sorry to hear you dislike the artwork, StopDrop. I thought all of the artwork we had done looked fantastic, especially compared to the original artwork seen in those ads.

LiqMat - good question. Let me talk with the team and get an answer on that for you.

I can understand the attraction to the original box art as it has that old time cartoon look to it with the washed out colors. The cat especially has an old 1930s cartoon style. I am not a fan of how Bill was drawn, but everything else looks pretty good. The style slightly reminds me of the upcoming Cuphead game which has a fantastic look to it.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy0bpSyeCuQ&sns=em

Edited by LiqMat

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I dig the new art, myself - looks more dynamic.

 

I do have a question - what happens with the original prototype rom? Does that come with when people back it?

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Is this getting released? I've waited for so long...

 

EDIT: Socks was given to Clinton's press secretary because he didn't like the Clinton family's new dog Buddy. I felt a certain sense of betrayal by that. Why not get rid of the dog instead? Anyway, Socks died in 2009,just shy of his twentieth birthday. They had him before Clinton even became president! He has a good, long life... no reason to pity him.

Edited by Jess Ragan
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Socks was given to Clinton's press secretary because he didn't like the Clinton family's new dog Buddy. I felt a certain sense of betrayal by that. Why not get rid of the dog instead?

It doesn't surprise me. :)

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Jess - neat info, definitely didn't know that.

 

I agree Cupheads art looks awesome, and I also agree that Bill didn't look that great on the cover of the 90's, but that's just my personal opinion :P

 

We've hit 50% funding after 1 week! Thanks for the support so far!

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Hmmm. I just came across this article regarding this game and kickstarter. Seems to be an opinion piece, I've no stake either way (it does not interest me and I wont be backing) HOWEVER here it is for your consideration. I am not looking to thread crap (this is not MY opinion or article) and if the mods / admins feel it is not appropriate or does not belong I apologize, feel free to remove.

 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE LINK

http://retrogamingmagazine.com/2016/10/18/kickstarter-beware-socks-cat-super-nintendo/

 

Kickstarter Beware – Socks the Cat Super Nintendo
Posted by Carl Williams on October 18th, 2016
socks_cat_clintons_super_Nintendo_retro_
First of all, I am a big fan of rescueware- the process of taking an old abandoned game, getting the rights to it and either finishing it or fixing it and then releasing it for fans to enjoy. When I first heard about someone apparently launching a Kickstarter campaign to release Socks the Cat on Super Nintendo, I was excited. I contacted them to request some basic information on the situation (basic journalism fact checking) and was only met with stone walling and lack of response other than references to some “strategic” process they have in place. This raised my eye brows and spurred me to dig deeper into their Kickstarter campaign details and to wonder what is really going on here. This is my first “Kickstarter Beware” article.
I do want to say, they recommend Kickstarter readers to “google the game” and see the commotion over it. So I did.
First, the company behind the Kickstarter campaign is Second Dimension- a homebrew/independent game publisher. They have released a few games under this name and prior under the name “Airwalk Studios” (NintendoAge.com forum link to “dra600n” owner of Second Dimension, post on April 9th, 2015 stating transition). Under the Airwalk Studios name they did release a game that they readily admit was a copy of Fix It Felix Jr., a game based on Disney properties (as shown in the movie, Wreck It Ralph). I have no problem with someone changing their company name, just establishing history here.
Back to the Kickstarter. They claim that the game was complete but that is questionable. On the Kickstarter it is claimed that the game is eight levels long and contains bosses. Great, if true. Also, it is proclaimed that their programmer (someone on the Second Dimension staff or another company?) has fixed all of the bugs in the game (no mention of a prototype at all on the Kickstarter page). No basic history of acquiring the rights that they hold – simply owning a prototype does not give you legal right to produce copies of the contents.
My concern is, well simple. There is NOTHING shown to prove any of this. I mean, there is a box mock up and two small screen shots of dark levels with nothing going on in them. This is a major point of concern for someone like me. If the game is indeed complete and ready to go, why is there not gameplay videos and more pictures of the game in action? IF the game is complete, and they ARE asking for a minimum of $30,000 here folks, then it would seem like a no brainer to provide more “proof” the game is in fact complete and ready to go. Right now, there is none of this and that really hurts the credibility of this campaign in my eyes, certainly making my wallet shy away at this point.
Let’s boil this down some more. Apparently, a person named Tom Curtin obtained the “rights to Socks the Cat”. This is not clear- did he obtain the rights to the game title or did he obtain the rights from Real Time Associates for the game itself? According to Wikipedia (I know- wonderful source) Tom Curtin (MinusWorlds on NintendoAge) only acquired the rights to “Socks the Cat” not “Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill” which is the name of the game that Kaneko owned the rights to (and unless someone got on a plane and went to Japan to talk with Hiroshi Kaneko, they don’t own those rights).
According to Jeff Hill, former Kaneko Director of Product Development, stated to SNES Central.com that “Socks the Cat pretty much headed straight for the litterbox. The game barely got off the drawing board and never got close to being a finished product. All we had at the time development was canceled was part of its first level.” Mr. Hill went on, “The game was never submitted for approval either to NOA or Sega – and certainly never manufactured. I was the guy who would have submitted it! Honestly, the game was nowhere near complete – and development was stopped at least six months before Kaneko closed the US office.” Also on SNES Central.com we see a quote from David Warhol, owner of RealTime Associates, saying otherwise, “Yes, we developed and completed Socks Rocks the Hill for SNES.”
So this leaves us at the point of “which version” is being offered up on the Kickstarter campaign? After asking about details on the game I grew tired of receiving replies stating the question violates their “strategic” activities. I was not asking to be given copies of the contracts, nor was I asking for contact information for the “copyright and game code” owners. I was simply asking if certain people were involved in the acquiring of the rights to the game and the title of the game. The lack of communication from Second Dimension, even in “yes/no” situations has led me to believe that there is plenty of reason for concern with this Kickstarter campaign. Then there is the reasoning that the game, which they state is complete on their Kickstarter, will take nine months to get to gamers (due in July 2017). If the game is complete it should be available a lot sooner than that. Are manual and box printing services that slow? I know Kickstarter holds payment for about 30 days so that still leaves eight months or so after receiving the money for them to ‘work their magic’ and get the game ready (for those that choose the “complete in box” option).
Couple my journalistic instincts of something being wrong here with the near complete lack of anything (pictures or video) showing off later levels (after all, there are eight of them plus bosses) is more reason for concern. When asking for $30,000 to release a highly contested property such as Socks the Cat you would think there would be a little more transparency involved. I cannot, at this time recommend anyone to back this campaign without doing some questioning of your own. As the old saying goes, buyer beware. Will you be backing this Kickstarter even though there is literally no information on the game? Nothing to build interest or show completed work of any kind?
Edited by OldSchoolRetroGamer

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Disclaimer: I write articles for Retro Gaming Mag. I am also a customer and sometimes support/tester for SecondBASIC (A Second Dimension product)

 

So, the dude doesn't want to talk to RGM for whatever reason. Perhaps he thinks going into legal details will give his competitors leverage. Retro Gaming Mag also has articles from people like Piko who are competing in the same space.

 

I'd let him 'splain himself before judging.

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Pretty sure Jason Wilson owned this proto before and said the game was basically complete (and that he had finished it) so that part checks out for me.

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First - yes, the rights have been acquired (it's noted on the Kickstarter page :P )

Second (oh the irony, read on... okay, may not be as humorous to you) - Tom is the owner of Socks the Cat, and it is his Kickstarter Campaign. We put "by Second Dimension" to help spread the word about... Second Dimension (Second, second.. okay, I failed at humor there). If this means we caused some confusion, both Tom and myself, we apologize. We'll correct that and I apologize if that was highly misleading. I (Second Dimension) am just publishing the game and assets for Tom (posters, games, etc.), and in return, he's letting me bundle some of my releases with Socks to help spread the word. We thought that shown with the FAQ, but maybe it just added to the confusion.

Now, onto the article. I'm not sure of the real reason behind the history lesson of Airwalk Studios and Second Dimension (not that I've ever hidden the fact) as it's not exactly relevant. There's no mention of Hangman SG, or the publications of 2048 by Oergg and NES Virus Cleaner by Sly Dog Studios, so only a specific history was actually highlighted.

Tom doesn't just "simply" own the prototype. As mentioned before, he owns the rights.

The claim there's no proof the game is complete is also not correct. I released a video last night of the boss fight with the Donkey, and we're about to release a video showing off a few levels as well. We've also given several outlets unseen screen shots and video, so there's more than just 2 screen shots out there (they asked for exclusive captures, and we're getting ready to add them to the campaign page, as well as the video).

The $30,000 price tag is the break even point for the entire project, from acquisition of the prototype, legal fees, artist costs, production costs, programmer costs, and so on.

As for the game never getting off the ground, I'm not saying that Jeff Hill is wrong, but it's possible he was talking about the Genesis version. I know my word isn't the be all, end all for discussion, but I've played the game from start to finish, found the kill screen, worked with the programmer to fix that as well as other nuances found during testing the game, and so on. I wouldn't risk stating that the game was finished if it weren't - I'm very open with the status of any project I'm working on.

I had never spoken to this gentleman before today, on a Facebook post this afternoon. We would've been more than happy to answer any questions pertaining to the game and campaign and given him exclusive screen shots and video like we have with every other outlet that came to us directly. This seemed to be more of a slam piece from the start rather than an unbiased article without an agenda.

Also, I didn't see the exchanges between Tom and Carl until today. Tom's replies were more than professional (mine on Facebook weren't, so publicly, I apologize to you, Carl - I should've handled myself better) to Carl's inquiry (which was literally only 1 question), and didn't like the response he received, and seems that helped shift the article toward the "buyer beware" category it seems. Very odd that "privacy policy" and "competitive advantages" weren't cited as reasons for not discussing the question.

I hope that clears things up a bit.

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First - yes, the rights have been acquired (it's noted on the Kickstarter page :P )

 

Second (oh the irony, read on... okay, may not be as humorous to you) - Tom is the owner of Socks the Cat, and it is his Kickstarter Campaign. We put "by Second Dimension" to help spread the word about... Second Dimension (Second, second.. okay, I failed at humor there). If this means we caused some confusion, both Tom and myself, we apologize. We'll correct that and I apologize if that was highly misleading. I (Second Dimension) am just publishing the game and assets for Tom (posters, games, etc.), and in return, he's letting me bundle some of my releases with Socks to help spread the word. We thought that shown with the FAQ, but maybe it just added to the confusion.

 

Now, onto the article. I'm not sure of the real reason behind the history lesson of Airwalk Studios and Second Dimension (not that I've ever hidden the fact) as it's not exactly relevant. There's no mention of Hangman SG, or the publications of 2048 by Oergg and NES Virus Cleaner by Sly Dog Studios, so only a specific history was actually highlighted.

 

Tom doesn't just "simply" own the prototype. As mentioned before, he owns the rights.

 

The claim there's no proof the game is complete is also not correct. I released a video last night of the boss fight with the Donkey, and we're about to release a video showing off a few levels as well. We've also given several outlets unseen screen shots and video, so there's more than just 2 screen shots out there (they asked for exclusive captures, and we're getting ready to add them to the campaign page, as well as the video).

 

The $30,000 price tag is the break even point for the entire project, from acquisition of the prototype, legal fees, artist costs, production costs, programmer costs, and so on.

 

As for the game never getting off the ground, I'm not saying that Jeff Hill is wrong, but it's possible he was talking about the Genesis version. I know my word isn't the be all, end all for discussion, but I've played the game from start to finish, found the kill screen, worked with the programmer to fix that as well as other nuances found during testing the game, and so on. I wouldn't risk stating that the game was finished if it weren't - I'm very open with the status of any project I'm working on.

 

I had never spoken to this gentleman before today, on a Facebook post this afternoon. We would've been more than happy to answer any questions pertaining to the game and campaign and given him exclusive screen shots and video like we have with every other outlet that came to us directly. This seemed to be more of a slam piece from the start rather than an unbiased article without an agenda.

 

Also, I didn't see the exchanges between Tom and Carl until today. Tom's replies were more than professional (mine on Facebook weren't, so publicly, I apologize to you, Carl - I should've handled myself better) to Carl's inquiry (which was literally only 1 question), and didn't like the response he received, and seems that helped shift the article toward the "buyer beware" category it seems. Very odd that "privacy policy" and "competitive advantages" weren't cited as reasons for not discussing the question.

 

I hope that clears things up a bit.

 

Real easy question and the answer could alleviates NEARLY all of my concerns over your project. Did you get the rights from Hiroshi Kaneko?

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Only Tom can answer that, and he gave you his response. I'm not sure what you expect from me dude, but your "article" is a slam piece against me, you certainly didn't fact check, and I'm sorry if there was confusion on the KS page, even though it clearly stated in the FAQ that Second Dimension is the publisher, and all the contact info is to Tom, and that Tom (even your Wikipedia source states this, and you acknowledge this) is the owner of Socks, not Second Dimension, and you asked for Tom, Tom responded. Anything past that is just a sleight against me, and for what? We never spoke before today. So, what's your agenda?

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Yikes! Gotta admit, the blog sort of catches me by surprise. Though some may be less excited about the release of the game than others, I'm truly surprised that anyone would genuinely question the credibility of those involved.

 

Does anyone know where Carl lives? I would love to have him over, play the full game, and hear his honest opinion of it.

 

This is a genuine offer. Carl: If you're anywhere near the Massachusetts area, I would love to play host and provide food, beer, and socks the cat.

 

There are specifics about the project that I just flat out don't have answers to, and if asked any questions directly I can either answer transparently or respond with a genuine "I don't know".

 

Super excited to see that the game is more than half funded from I truly hope this game gets to be enjoyed by the general public.

Edited by MrMark0673

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We've updated the campaign with some new tiers, news, and updates! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/481884736/socks-the-cat-the-video-game-based-on-the-clintons/description

 

Most of you just want the meat of the update without clicking the link (I don't blame you, I'm the same way :P ), so here's a quick rundown:

- Can't change the "by Second Dimension" over to Tom, KS won't let it be changed once the campaign is live

- Updated the Stretch Goals: If funded, unaltered prototype rom will be released to the public, $50k, a guide book tier will be added ($15) with all LE backers receiving it at no extra cost, $75k for a Genesis port.

- Added 2 game play videos: one is a teaser/trailer (

) and the other is the boss fight against the Donkey (
)

- Added an LE Bundle Tier w/ Handy Harvy and Get'em Gary

 

Thanks for the support so far everyone!

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