Saturday, July 6, 2013

Late Kickstarters: July Edition

Usually I hit the lateness before the start of the month but I was lazy.

So let's see what's what thus far eh?

Project Name Estimated Delivery Time Date Late Days Late Months
1650s Rulebook 9/1/2012 7/6/2013 -308 -10
28mm Demons & Devils 3/1/2012 7/6/2013 -492 -16
A Gallery of Rogues 6/1/2013 7/6/2013 -35 -1
Assimilation Alien Host 5/1/2013 7/6/2013 -66 -2
Dwimmermount 8/1/2012 7/6/2013 -339 -11
Imbrian Arts Miniatures 3/1/2013 7/6/2013 -127 -4
Midgard Tales 12/1/2012 7/6/2013 -217 -7
Reaper Miniatures 3/1/2013 7/6/2013 -127 -4
Relic Knights 5/1/2013 7/6/2013 -66 -2
Steampunk Musha 10/1/2012 7/6/2013 -278 -9
Tectonic Craft Studios 6/1/2012 7/6/2013 -400 -13

Some of these are on the way to other people: 1650s Rulebook, Imbrian Arts Miniatures, and Reaper Miniatures.

Some of these are essentially done and in final prep stages: Midgard Tales, Tectonic Craft Studios.

Some of these well, let's see where they wind up: Assimilation Alien Host, Dwimmermount, Relic Knights, and Steampunk Musha.

And I still haven't fully learned my lesson yet because I keep backing.

Then again, Jim Pinto's Toolcards came on time if not early. Wicked Fantasy appears to be well on time. I'm not one of those sitting around going, "Well, it's a Kickstarter. I have no expecations." Rather, I'm going, "Hmmm... this guy isn't updating his KS. He's updating his Facebook account. He's making other stuff. I'm not supporting him in the future."

I once mentioned on good old G+ the "Know What It Takes to Sell Real Estate" quote from that famous movie. Some think it a bit crude but... if you fail to deliver and you fail to update your backers, you are essentially committing hari kari on your RPG career. Anyone remember the original drama of Razor Coast? Ncolas was off the grid for a long time and I still believe if it wasn't for the whole anniversary of the original Pathfinder Adventure Path, may very well still be there. In the KS, we've seen it hit a few times now for a few different people.

It's the difference between Fate, which was a few months late, and Steampunk Musha which is going on many months late but has had terrible updates.

These things can also have effects that go beyond the person who failed. For example, Monte Cook recommending an Infinite Dungeon style adventure that failed. Does that give Monte a good reputation or a bad one or does it put Monte in the position of NEVER recommending a Kick Starter again?

I'm also going to recommend, again, that when you do your updates, save the negative drama. How's this comment from the creator, not in the update section, but in the comments: "I've been sick all week and haven't had the energy to open Indesign, but will be getting that pdf up as soon as I shake this miserable cold." and then no update for a month.

So you could log on, put that comment up, but not open InDesign? Not open any update for a month? Yeah that's real professional man.

Don't get me wrong. The person may have had real life issues. May have been very sick. He's not doing himself any favors by posting that and then posting nothing for a month while at the same time selling other material and promoting it on Facebook. Sorry. It's not helping.

When thinking, "Man, I have NOTHING to update on..." think again. One of the 'defenses' I keep seeing for late Kick Starters is that you're not backing or preordering a product, you're funding 'the process'.

If that's the case, show me the process. Don't give me some lame ass update that you've got the flu and explosive crap and you can only update from Twitter. Provide some "Appendix N" style reading material to the people who backed your project. Talk about other games or ideas you've had in the vein. Go back to the well in terms of what made you want to do this project. Talk about unofficial miniatures that would make good use in the game. Talk about movies that inspired you. Do not fail to provide updates for months because you can't figure out what to update because you're in grid lock waiting for someone else to provide the material. Failure to update is failure.

How about some video of you playtesting the material with your friends? How about some mock cover ups? How about some links to the artists you've got working on the project? Do something useful that engages the audience and provides them with more information on your project.

Just in case you Kick Starter managers didn't know it, it's the era of instant communication and good communication with the people who funded your project is the quickest way, even when you're behind, to make sure that you're building that community for future projects as opposed to passing the torch and the buck off to someone else in the hopes that they'll soon forget your style.