I've been following Dappervolk since before it was named Dappervolk. So I'll give you the deets as I understand them. All from an outside perspective btw, I'm not a VIP person or staff or anything. Just a player/lover/follower whatever.
So the owner of the website is named Anji (she also has the alias of Quisling) was a player over on Aywas. She got really popular when she opened a custom clothing shop on Aywas. Her art style knocked our socks off. She always sold her clothing in small lots. The second she'd send out the ping they would be GONE. I have quite a few pieces of hers over there on Aywas still.
Anyway, her art was just amazing. She's insanely talented and I think all the Aywas people knew it. I think the idea came when people told her she should just make her own game. I'm not sure at what point she decided that she was going to make a game of her own but she did. She mentioned it to me on the fly when we were talking about something else Aywas related. I think she must have mentioned it to others as well. So I think all of us were already part of her fandom at that point and we waited for updates.
Before Alpha happened she put up an official page. I think it was Facebook but I could be wrong she does seem to favor like instagram and tumblr. I really can't remember though... I'm guessing this was back in 2016. The oldest verifiable thing I have participating in Dappervolk was 2017. So it seems reasonable to me this must have gone down in 2016 lol but I can't be 100% for sure.
After she got up that first official page I stalked it (like many others I believe). Eventually they took apps for Alpha and I was chosen as one. The wiki has a good timeline of Alpha info - Alpha
After Alpha is when they started the kickstarter for Beta. That was so incredible watching that. She was always really excellent and marketing in my opinion. I think she gained a lot of following from her Twitch streaming. She religiously would stream twitch and she drew for hours and hours. She'd chat with everyone on there. It was really awesome. Although I didn't have the patience to participate for hours on end I found her dedication and consistency to be super admirable. Any one that used to be in those Twitch streams can attest to her really fantastic personality. I think she was able to sell the game because she was able to sell herself you know? I know that because of her personality I felt really comfortable and even EXCITED to donate to the game. She seemed so very deserving of all the hype to me. When the kickstarter happened we all battled to get our donations in the fastest before the tiers that we wanted sold out. I'm super excited and proud to say that I was the 3RD donator for the whole kickstarter (man I tried so hard for first lol) and if I remember right it hit like 30,000 within 20 minutes of going live. It was amazing. I remember Anji putting out a release or something saying how grateful and shocked she was.
So anyway the Kickstarter happened September 29th, 2017. All the details here: Kickstarter
So I know this is all over the place my ADHD is strong but that's some info. In my opinion this game is totally worth the hype. They made huge improvements from Alpha to Beta. And now that they are live there is SOOO much more content. I'm still 11 days away from being able to unlock our guild. It's just a really great game and I'm thrilled to support their team. They have a great team. Like I mentioned in another post I think they are hands down the best VPL to come in a decade.
I just peeped way down on the Facebook thing and the earliest post was April 4, 2016. So it's been in development AT LEAST that long. I believe the began devloping before they had a name for it.