kick checks the current working directory for plugins (shaders and procedurals). That means kick tries to load all .dll/.so/.dylib files in the current directory.
So if you do this:
cd C:\solidangle\mtoadeploy\2017\bin kick -nodes
Then you’ll get a warning like this (plus a pop-up System Error dialog that says “Qt5Core.dll is missing from your computer”).
loading plugins from . WARNING | unable to load dynamic library .\ai_renderview.dll: The specified module could not be found.
On OSX, the warning would say ./libai_renderview.so, and on Linux, ./libai.so
Notice the “loading plugins from .” The single period, or dot, represents the current directory.
The solution? Don’t run kick in the MtoA bin folder. Don’t run kick in an any folder where there are non-plugin libraries.