Saturday, May 26, 2012

Let's Talk About Kickstarters

I've back a few kickstarters so figure I'd pop out and talk about why, my impressions, and a few random rants.

It Came From The Stars:  This was the first one I did. I just asked if it's going to meet its initial completion date. Answer? No. Here's another kicker, I backed at at a level that's supposed to provide me with everything the company does this year. Uh... they haven't done anything. They're working on 'making it right' but this one sets off the 'vibes' detector. Still, it looks cool which is why I backed it in the first place and I've got some hope. The updates they have provided feature some great art and I like Pathfinder so here's hoping.

King For A Day: Jim has done a lot of great stuff. Toolbox is one of the best supplements out there period. He did a lot of good stuff in terms of what you get from the actual pledges. However, "I've been busy finishing freelance projects for clients who actually pay me (weird, I know) and as soon as those are put to bed (around end of this month), you'll get more updates from me, here." Uh... here's me being an ass on the internet. If you're going to treat a kickstarter like some part time get to it when you have time thing, then you really need to make that as clear as possible. Now mind you, it could just be Jim saying that he's working on some material and he doesn't mean it to sound like "that pay him" as opposed to the people on the kick who are you know, paying him but it just sounded off to me. This is part of the problem with the dreaded 'internets' where language isn't as clear as it could be. But again, Jim's done some great things and the hope is high again. Hell, he increased it from 200 to 300 pages!

Blackwater Gulch: Not the first miniature game I backed, which I'll get to in a minute but let me point out what seems to be a very 'real' thing to me. The guys doing the miniature games are doing a lot of communication with the crowds. They are showing 'real' progress of models, of painted models and have a lot of stuff going on. This one added a ton of things as they went through their levels and I'm impressed with what I've seen so far.

Bushido, The Ito: Okay, not a kickstarter and still in process but again, the miniature guys are showing a lot of movement very quickly. Lots of art and models being shown off here and the rewards have some quickly visible tangible effects. Good stuff so far.

Deepwars: The first miniature project I backed. I like a lot of the concepts and figure there are a lot of figures here that can pull double duty. One of the things that was impressive, is how well the company appears to be taking care of the backers from the initial pledge. Mine started off with three factions and got kicked up to another starter set when they hit one of their goals. In addition, like with the other miniature companies, a lot of previews, a lot of material coming out. Pretty sure this is going to be awesome.

Dwimmermount :I like a lot of stuff going into the product in terms of maps and play aids. Their bonus for various stretch goals were incredibly stingy in my opinion and the stretch goals were like double and triple the initial funding goals. Updates have not been frequent but they've been doing other stuff on Google + and I really haven't been paying too much attention.

Midgard Tales: This is just me but I wish there were more options for getting involved in Open Design without some of these levels charging you to ask for your ideas. I'm not into the whole scene as far as that goes. The product looks interesting and I'd like to buy it but working and having a real live keeps me out of deep involvement in these things. The guy behind this has been doing these before Kickstarter showed up so I'm sure that of all the RPG ones, this one is as close to a done deal as you can possibly get.

Tectonic Craft Studios: Another one of the early miniature supplements I backed. Lots of updates, lots of information, lots of visuals. Looks to be a good bang for the buck assuming it comes out. Pretty happy about this one again.

Order of the Stick: I backed this one for the unique PDFs as I already own most of the books with the exception being the collection from the days of Dragon magazine. One of the most successful kickstarters around.

Steampunk Musha:More Samurai but this time with some Steam Punk and hey, it's for Pathfinder. Looks like it's going to hit some impressive goals. It's another one on the 'good' side of stretch goals and rewarding those who back it. Too soon to see which way the wind is blowing here in terms of updates.

Adventurer, Conqueror, King Player's Companion:  I missed out on the initial book but heard a lot of good things about it so went in for the Companion level where I got the first book. Which I did. So hey, one of the first things I've gotten out of the Kickstarter projects eh? Looking forward to the book.

Recreating My Melnibonean Art: I'll be honest and that I supported this one out of pure nostalgia as I actually own the original Deities and Demigods. 'Nuff said.

Zombicide: Some fantastic perks for the buyers, blew through a ton of its stretch goals, is by a well known miniature shop, has had a ton of reviews and information. Again though, miniature based. I'm seeing a pattern here.

Overall most of the kickstarters were willing to cough up some decent wards. The Dwimmermount seems the least useful for that venue.

Miniature companies seem to provide a lot of updates of actual stuff getting done. I suppose with other written material its not as easy.

Updates after the kick starter tend to wind down. Companies should really work on reversing that trend cause it's much harder to get buy in and go, "Me sorry" then "Hey, remember how awesome I was at updating things around last time? I've learned a lot and its going to be better this time around!" People want to know where they're money went. They want to know what your doing. They want to know whats going on.

A sponsor should NEVER have to ask, "So... uh... where's the project" when the due date is going to hit. Rather, even if it's late, you need to be front and center and revise and update and offer people a refund right there and then.

Gee, it's not wonder I'm working ten hour days, six days a week eh? Damn you kickstarter!