A Diverse Team of 18,000 People

July 1, 2013

Though I had a variety of gaming press and bloggers trying to stop the creation of this game, I got generous help from over 18,000 amazing people… and no, you can’t put them in a box.

This isn’t a Christians vs. Homosexuals victory because many of the people who boycotted let me know that they were Christians. My work has never had a lot of support from evangelicals, and the PC Pharisees regularly line up to make sure I know how un-Christ like I am. We probably agree on that conclusion, though attribute it to different reasons.

Ah, but the other reason why this wasn’t a Christians vs. Homosexuals victory is because many of our donors are outspoken LGBTs and a majority of them are for same sex marriage. Liberals everywhere wish the lovers of my work would just go back in the closet. Out of 18,000 donors we are going to have every world view imaginable. Every one of them is a legitimate member of the team, even the donors who dislike me. That’s not unique to Armikrog, that’s a normal part of life.

I learned early on to not give in peer pressure.  Get in line with every other force in my life that says I can’t create art, I can’t make, I can’t write, I can’t do a game…. You’re just this week’s excuse and it’s not gonna work.

I’d like to dedicate today’s work designing Armikrog to the following gamers:







26 Responses to “A Diverse Team of 18,000 People”

  1. jkunkel86 Says:

    You and I disagree on many things. But your art and imagination was crucial in forming me as a person in my youth. While I wish we were on the same page in the “equal rights for homosexuals” front. I trust you are coming from a good place, even if it’s a place I don’t agree with.

    I gladly gave my $25 for armikrog. and I have absolutely zero regrets doing so.

    • Kyle Corson Says:

      Since I can’t just agree with Jeff due to the WordPress format, I’ll just say I’m in the same boat. I got the Neverhood back in the 90’s when I didn’t even have a computer that could support it (Win 3.1 BOO). I’d read through all the material and absorbed all the imagery until my parents finally got a Win 95 computer a couple years later. I backed Armikrog for all of these reasons, knowing that one does not always agree socio-politically with artists that inspire them. Nor do they need to.

  2. Jack Dandy Says:

    Right on.
    I was especially surprised by that skype interview you did with the Russian dude. It was really heartwarming how you got so much support from countries like Russia and Iran due to the huge amount of pirated copies that spread there.

    It just goes to show that the general public (spread across the entire earth!) simply appreciate good products, and the good memories it leaves them with. Nothing more, nothing less. No politics involved.

    Looking forward to the game!

  3. Paul Says:

    It seems very tough for a lot of people to realize two things:
    #1 That these views are not born from hate. In fact most devoted Christians would say that it is quite the opposite. This disagreement is born from true Christian love.
    #2 That socially conservative people are constantly faced with the idea that we may be supporting artists (actors, musicians, game makers) with whom we strongly disagree socially. This isn’t something our more liberal neighbors are quite as used to dealing with. For me it’s always been tough drawing the line. I stop supporting some artists when they are extremely outspoken but others I still support simply because I enjoy their craft too much. When I enjoy someone’s work and then find out that their views fall in line with my own, it’s sort of like a bonus.

    • Rachel Says:

      I agree completely, Paul. Thanks to Doug, Ed, and Mike for sticking it out. I’m glad to support a project with so much love of creativity behind it, and knowing that we share a relationship with Christ is a huge bonus I don’t usually get to experience. I look forward to seeing their progress and eventually playing this game!

  4. Kenny Brown Says:

    I didn’t have the money to join the campaign, but when it comes out; I’ll pick it up. I’ve always been a fan; ever since the “Cat in the Hymnal” days.

  5. Uland Says:

    How big would the bonfire be if it contained all the works of artists & writers who weren’t completely on board with whatever new liberation theory privileged campus Progressives came up with last week? The piles of unsold Obama biographies ( he did write that before 6 months ago, right?) alone would cost some serious carbon credits.
    At a certain point, middlemAnerica just needs to take its ball (& it’s $, skills, willingness to pay taxes-all of it) & go home. Seriously. Reality isn’t going to interrupt their kool aid party anytime soon & they’re getting so high on the stuff they’ll just need more & more to feel like they’re opinions matter to real people. Maybe we’ll fix their cars , build houses and sell them some food now & then if we’re feeling generous.

  6. Imagine if I stopped supporting the work of artist’s and writers whom I admire, simply because they were non-Christian? I’d have, sadly, very little content to enjoy.
    For the record, Mr. Tennapel, I’m a Christian, and I admire the mature, professional, way in which you’ve handled all of this.

  7. James Tabacco Says:

    lol, “homophobe.” It always amuses me that the people who try and hate are worse then the people they think they are righteously hating on.

    Fight Doug in real life? Why? Because you disagree? Oh silly internet, you are so awful.

  8. Dear Doug!
    God loves you so much!
    Martin (Jesuses child)

  9. Ben Kreis Says:

    You wouldn’t be able to function in society if you truly boycotted ever person/company/product that in turn supported things you disagree with. It just isn’t possible.

  10. James Says:

    I’m sure many if not most of your gay supporters are hoping you pull an Obama/Rob Bell and become in favor of gay marriage.

  11. “many of the people who boycotted let me know that they were Christians. My work has never had a lot of support from evangelicals, and the PC Pharisees regularly line up to make sure I know how un-Christ like I am.” – Really? Weird. I wouldn’t have expected that. I find myself in a similar position to Paul who commented earlier, when I find out that someone whose work I support happens to also agree with me on religion or politics or whatever, it’s a bit of a bonus. I found out about that bonus with you somewhere in the midst of Ratfist being put online. Before that, all I knew was Earthworm Jim (which I grew up with, though I didn’t know who you were or that you had anything to do with it until the ad that led me to Ratfist mentioned ‘a comic from the creator of Earthworm Jim’)

    I think I kind of started rambling and forgot what point I was going for there, but in short: I’m surprised at the lack of support from evangelicals, and your work and the way you respond to this type of criticism is an inspiration for me as an aspiring writer and game developer.

  12. msample2 Says:

    Ben Kreis: That’s exactly right. I mean you wrote a great little short story, and I didn’t like it, but I still like and support you. We need to be bigger and more honest in our online relationships instead of petty.

    I really like what Paul said up above:
    “That socially conservative people are constantly faced with the idea that we may be supporting artists (actors, musicians, game makers) with whom we strongly disagree socially. This isn’t something our more liberal neighbors are quite as used to dealing with. For me it’s always been tough drawing the line. I stop supporting some artists when they are extremely outspoken but others I still support simply because I enjoy their craft too much. When I enjoy someone’s work and then find out that their views fall in line with my own, it’s sort of like a bonus.”

  13. Bryan Says:

    You’re entitled to believe whatever you like. Religion, to me, is silly and outdated but I can see how it can help certain people. The only move you make which seems unwise to me is to express your personal beliefs and opinions to your audience, I wouldn’t want to alienate anyone. I’m not sure I agree with same sex marriage either ( I don’t know if I believe in marriage, period) but its here and what you or I feel about it is irrelevant, its probably better to just accept it and move on since it doesnt directly affect your life.

    • tennapel Says:

      Bryan, but what if you were punished for even expressing what you just said on this forum? Life isn’t fair, but it’s amazing to me that we live in a culture where every member of my audience and most of my fellow creators have no problem with criticizing a religion as “silly” and face no correction. In the end it just sounds like our admittedly arbitrary culture has sanctioned open mockery of religion as The Good and any comment against homosexuality, no matter how benign, as the evil known to western civilization. The crowd has its rules, religious attitudes and sacred rituals and I just shrug, because the crowd never bothers to justify the coherence of its own positions beyond, “Everyone else is doing it so if you don’t you’re yucky!”

      Somehow, I think we’ll all survive me speaking my mind in public while it’s still legal in this country. I’m going to enjoy this privilege while it lasts, and probably even after the privilege is taken away by the well-meaning, do-gooder totalitarians.

      • jonny b. Says:

        Gay marriage is like evolution, whether you agree/believe in it or not, it’s happening, and nothing can be done to stop it. That being said, I don’t want people being punished for having an unpopular or false belief, unless they are actually denigrating or harming others.

      • Bryan Says:

        You absolutely have the right to feel and say whatever you like, especially on your own website. Just don’t be surprised if some people hate you for it. I’m fine with your opinions and beliefs and I respect your religion even though I personally find it unappealing. If I were to flat out bash religious people, I wouldn’t be surprised if I had some backlash and if I were selling something I wouldn’t be shocked that to lose some sales. You know how it goes, religion and politics are tricky subjects to discuss.

      • tennapel Says:

        I’m never surprised when hateful people hate. People act according to their nature. But I would never try to normalize it or pretend like anyone has that kind of vitriol coming to them. The way our culture acts and foments hatred is a far bigger indictment on this culture than it does on anything I’ve ever done.

        “A fool gives full vent to his hatred, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” -Proverbs 29:11

      • Jacob Says:

        I legitamly have no problem with religion or people expressing their opinions, but people just want to have their own opinions heard no matter how it looks. Also the game looks great. You seem like a nice guy, opinions aside.

  14. kevingabbert Says:


    I’d only have a problem if you put your beliefs into the gameplay. Seeing that you wrote ‘The Neverhood Chronicles’ (which to me, is a silly spoof of the Bible), I think your head is squished on straight. ;)

    Klaymen had no need for gender or politics and I have a strong feeling that Tommynaut will have no need for it as well.

    Part of the great storytelling The Neverhood is its creative ability to reach so many people, and you have hit the right combination.

    Doug, I think this post should be your first and last hurrah in even acknowledging the haters. Don’t let them set any part of your agenda now that the funding BS is over.

    My $400.00 of your paycheck is meant for you to be spending your valuable time on the *game* and not them, and it will start annoying me to keep seeing posts about them when I am expecting awesome updates (and pictures dammit!) ;)

    You are doing an great job. Keep up the good work!

    • tennapel Says:

      You’ll notice that this is the only blog post where I’ve addressed the haters and it’s only because they crossed the line and disrespected my deceased pal, Breitbart. I just want everyone to know that their spittle and froth changes my game plan exactly zero. I don’t even believe in changing or censoring my stories for other people, so if there are no politics or divisive topics in my stories, it’s not because I take my orders from my fans. Even if I brought the subject up it would be done with respect and thoughtfulness I’d hope. I watched Avatar the other day, and while I thought it was some of the most preachy, ham-fisted assault on my values, I never thought, “I could never support James Cameron.” Or with Alec Baldwin’s recent comments, I still LOVE Alec Baldwin as an entertainer and will continue to make Paula Deen food. Maybe I’m just not accustomed to living in a world where every work of art agrees with my values. The contrary is true, nearly EVERYTHING I consume is against my values, and I think it makes me a bigger person, a more robust Christian, and shows the confidence of my conviction, not an abandonment of the same. That said, your virgin ears will not be offended by any philosophy I know of in Armikrog. It is a safe story with nothing to fear. You can all sleep without the haunting horror of values presented in fiction that don’t 100% agree with you, pop culture, many Hollywood celebrities and gaming journalists.

  15. Andrew Says:

    Stay strong, man. If I can be perfectly honest with you I didn’t and don’t care about Armikrog, am an atheist and support gay marriage, but I donated to your project because I am sick and tired of the tumblr privilege police shutting down all discussion with their shrill recriminations and ridiculous accusations. Just look at that berserk outcry to that “How to Score” seduction book or whatever it was. They’ve essentially turned Kickstarter into another censor-happy totalitarian hellhole with their grating nonsense. Human cartoons that poison public discourse; they’re like something out of Dostoyevsky.

    “Why did you come in to-night with your heads in the air? ‘Make way, we are coming! Give us every right and don’t you dare breathe a word before us. Pay us every sort of respect, such as no one’s ever heard of, and we shall treat you worse than the lowest lackey!’ They strive for justice, they stand on their rights, and yet they’ve slandered him like infidels in their article. We demand, we don’t ask, and you will get no gratitude from us, because you are acting for the satisfaction of your own conscience! Queer sort of reasoning!… He has not borrowed money from you, he doesn’t owe you anything, so what are you reckoning on, if not his gratitude? So how can you repudiate it? Lunatics! They regard society as savage and inhuman, because it cries shame on the seduced girl; but if you think society inhuman, you must think that the girl suffers from the censure of society, and if she does, how is it you expose her to society in the newspapers and expect her not to suffer? Lunatics! Vain creatures! They don’t believe in God, they don’t believe in Christ! Why, you are so eaten up with pride and vanity that you’ll end by eating up one another, that’s what I prophesy. Isn’t that topsy-turvydom, isn’t it infamy?”

  16. Peter Meldgaard Says:

    Mr. TenNapel, you’re a pretty damn cool guy, and I got your sketchbook and backed Armikrog because I love your stuff. Smiles all around.

    I wish you wouldn’t hang out these individuals in a post like this even if they say stupid shit. Some people do sometimes. You can afford to be the bigger man here.

  17. Jay Says:

    Hang in there, Doug. Looking forward to the new game!

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