"Bunky was inexperienced with the music business and demanded stuff from me that I will never give up," she said. "His money couldn't buy me."

Despite the falling-out, Robichaux said Bartlett "has a great heart" and added: "He really cares about his friends."

Because he is so generous, Bartlett can't help being bewildered by what he terms as the "haters" who have excoriated him for creating a crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter. He's seeking $1.1 million to create a test-ready version of the project he's tentatively calling "Your World."

With 29 days to go, 63 backers have pledged just $20,774. Detractors, meanwhile, are wondering loudly why a multimillionaire is asking them for money.

"My budget for this game is at minimum $5 million, so I'm going to be investing a lot of my own money," Bartlett said.

"I have no problem if 1.1 million people each give $1. In fact, I'd prefer it, because I'm trying to find out if there's a market for the type of game I want to create."

If "Your World" doesn't reach its May 3 goal, he said, he will continue to seek private investors for the project. He's been playing video games for 35 years, so he has a good sense of what will set his venture apart. He's been assured by experts in the field that his goal, while difficult to reach, will be obtainable.

He'd like to release the game in 2014, but he'll wait as long as he needs to get the details right. And luckily, he has that option.

"Winning the lottery buys you time," he said.

"Before I won the lottery, I had to go to work, I had to do this, I had to do that, I had to, had to, had to. Now, if friends call up and ask if we want to go on a cruise, we don't have to plan years in advance. We can just go."

mary.mccauley@baltsun.com

justin.fenton@baltsun.com


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