Pioneer 2140CC Kickstarter campaign shuts down

An announcement from Aaron Jenkin, creator and producer the video game proposal, Pioneer 2140CC, based on my science fiction novel Pioneer:
To everyone here on Behind the Black,

We covered a lot of topics in our Kickstarter update, but I wanted to give a special thanks to you all for following us on our journey, for your helpful feedback, and for your support on Kickstarter. This isn’t the outcome we had hoped for, but we’re hopeful it’s not the end of the road in our effort to expand on the world envisioned by Mr. Zimmerman in his fast-paced, 1983 sci-fi novel Pioneer.

In the meantime, please enjoy this wallpaper featuring characters from the game and book. From left to right: Saunders Maxwell, Jane Barlow, Becky Lightman, Michael Addiono, Alex Barlow, Morgan Callahan, and Harry Nickerson.

Pioneer game wallpaper
Click for full resolution.

I’d also like to thank Mr. Zimmerman for taking a chance on us and this project. He’s built up a distinguished career and it would have been easy to brush us off. But instead he welcomed us and did everything he could to help us succeed. We really appreciate that. Hopefully one day soon we can meet face-to-face for a hike or cave trip and talk about the adventure!

One problem we faced that we mentioned before was related to other people’s fear of being blacklisted. I can imagine that’s something a lot of you here would like to hear more about, and it’s something that I’d like to talk about, so we’ll have to get into that one day.

As far as moving forward is concerned… I’m a Creative Director, but I lost my main client at the end of the year due to a merger. That ended up being a good thing at the time because I was able to focus more on Pioneer. But now with the Kickstarter not panning out, I need to pick up new work. My plan is to fall back on one of my strong skills, video editing. I’m thinking that will leave me more time to devote to whatever comes next with Pioneer. If you need a video editor, please get in touch!

Thanks again for your support, and thanks for being such a great community!

From my perspective, this outcome is incredibly sad, especially because of the blackballing of Aaron and the project behind the scenes because of my politics. I have no idea if the project failed because of this blacklisting, but it certainly acted as a dead weight. Some of it was vicious. Some was simply fear, holding no animus to Aaron, the book, or my politics. Such people simply did not wish to help promote the game or participate in making it because they feared the consequences to themselves if it was learned they had worked on a project by someone with conservative values.

That such fear permeates our culture now so deeply bodes ill for the future. Very ill indeed.

Update on the video game Pioneer 2140CC & its February 1st Kickstarter launch

With less than a week before the start of the Kickstarter campaign on February 1, 2022 to raise at least $73,000 to pay for producing the video game Pioneer 2140CC (based on my science fiction book, Pioneer), Aaron Jenkin, the game’s producer, tonight sent out an update to the subscribers of the Kickstarter newsletter.

Besides describing the growing interest from our potential audience as well as his recent successes at marketing, Aaron’s the big announcement was the release of the game’s trailer, embedded below:

I was personally quite impressed with this trailer, which Aaron tells me he created himself. It captures perfectly what I tried to say in the book, and does so while adding intelligently the necessary game elements that any video game must have. Pioneer is about the human spirit, faced with the actual dangers that future space explorers will face, not the typical science fiction faux aliens or artificial cartoon character conflicts that are all too common in many sci-fi movies. Space is deadly and alien, and it will be the noblest achievement of humanity to make it possible for humans to live and work there.

If you are interested in supporting the game (as well as buying it when it is published), go to and subscribe to the newsletter for future updates counting down to the February 1st launch.

You might also want to read Pioneer first. It won’t necessarily help you play the game, but it will put you in the right mindset.

The Kickstarter campaign by the private company Planetary Resources has made its $1.5 million goal.

The competition heats up: The Kickstarter campaign by the private company Planetary Resources has made its $1.5 million goal.

That campaign reached its $1 million goal on June 19, opening the way for one of Planetary Resources’ Arkyd-100 space telescopes to be used for educational and personal imaging projects. The biggest crowd-pleaser was a $25 offer that will let backers take “space selfies” — orbital pictures showing a display on the telescope with an image submitted by a backer in the foreground, and Earth in the background.

The Asteroid Zoo plan was [the $1.5 million] stretch goal for the campaign. Planetary Resources will partner with Zooniverse to create a game-like online program to identify asteroids, modeled on other Zooniverse citizen-science efforts such as Galaxy Zoo, Moon Zoo and Planet Hunters. Users would be recruited to join in, and then trained to spot the telltale signs of an asteroid’s movement — for example, by “blinking” multiple images of the same patch of sky, or using more sophisticated techniques. The search would draw upon more than 3 million images from the Catalina Sky Survey.