Thursday, September 6, 2012

September's Kickstarter Bitching

So on Kickstarter, I checked to see how many projects I've backed. It's twenty two. Mind you, that doesn't count Indiegogo where I've backed a few.

I've gotten music (Amanda Palmer for the girlfriend), board games (Zombicie), miniatures (Kings of War by Mantic), art prints (by the awesome Jeff Dee!) and e-books(Tales of the Emerald Serpent).

Roleplaying games? I've got bits and pieces of a few pledges thanks to pledging at a level high enough to get previous material released or future material released.

Actual product?

Zip.

Now I know Gareth from Adamant Games feels, and quotes directly from the source, that a Kickstarter is not a preorder. You're helping to pay for the 'process'.

As I mentioned when Gareth first brought that up, I feel that's nonsense. Tell people that they 'may' get something. Tell people you don't know when it'll be ready. Tell people they're not paying for actual product. See how far that kickstarter gets.

In all the various projects I've backed thus far, it's the role playing ones time and time again where the taking of the money is no problem but the actual getting the product out the door is. This includes with people I have a great deal of respect for. In some instances, product has been sold to the public like Rappan Athuk at Gen Con by Paizo, before the people who made it possible got their physical copies. Some vendors actually allowed people to pick up their kickstarter packages and customized them there. I don't recall that option here. I checked the updates again and I'm still not seeing it. Things can be done to make the whole process better.

Me? I'm going to bug Kickstarter and Amazon about putting some feedback in there just like you do for third party sellers at Amazon's site. Things that cover simple bits. Was the project delivered on time? Did you feel the final project matched the intended project. Was communication clear throughout the whole thing? That last one really bugs me. If people have bothered to give you money and you can't update a few times a month, is using a digital medium really the way to get your funding? Try a newspaper ad or something eh? Things like that.

For me? Unless these RPGs just blow me out of the water, like I'm sitting there going, "WTF!", it's highly unlikely I'll be backing more RPG projects. It's just too much of a vanity fair thing where the end result may not mean to be, "it'll get done when it gets done" but we all know what the road to hell is paved with right? Intentions are not results.

I hope that we don't see some of these companies try too far and too hard and fall on their face because much like the d20 glut, it's not just going to effect them. How many other people have decided to stop backing projects because of this failure to deliver?

Mind you, it should be expected. Game companies, without kickstarter, without being 'some dude', are notorious for missing release dates. Their notorious for missing Gen Con or for having to air ship out products to try and make up their show precense. Why I thought it would be different when, it's, you know, your whole brand on the line? Well, that was just me being too optimistic.

How's everyone else doing? I've seen some I've thought of backing, but... let's look at Rappan again. It's late. It came out at Gen Con. I don't like the download delivery method. While there are a ton of bells and whistles you can get with it, I went with the 'cheap' option of just the book and PDF's. By the way, that was a $17 shipping fee EXTRA I had to pay. I can probably get it from Paizo cheaper, since I'm a subscriber to the adventure paths, the Paizo downloads are much easier, and I doubt I'd be paying that massive shipping cost. If I'm just getting 'core' stuff, why on earth would I ever support this company through a kickstarter again?