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Subject: Kickstarter - I don't get it rss

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Curt Carpenter
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I see all the kickstarter projects, and I just don't get why anyone would support. Unless they have a strong connection to the project, like if I were friends with the designer or publisher or something, and wanted to see them personally succeed. But if you take the personal relationship out of it, and look at it objectively, what gives? Are people's tastes in games so finely tuned that the zillions of games that exist (and that they already could buy but don't) don't satisfy them, and they need this kickstarter game to come to fruition to do the trick? And for simplicity, I'm just talking about supporting at the level that gets you one copy of the game. I understand that supporting at a higher level might be economical for non-domestic customers, so ignore that case.

For US customers, buying a game on kickstarter is usually more expensive than buying it once it releases (based on my observations, and assuming buying online, which kickstart also is). What do you get for that extra money (that you have to pay months before you get the game)? Sure, you get to say you helped make the game a reality, but did you really? Won't most good games get published anyway? There are enough good games get published without kickstarter that it's hard to believe games that are really good won't find a publisher that can afford to publish. Or even if it does get kickstarted (whether it needs to or not), does it really need my vote? I know a similar argument could be made toward voting for political elections, but it doesn't cost money to vote there.

Once the game comes out and is available at retailers (especially discount online retailers), how do those who kickstarted it feel? I think it would feel annoying to have paid more, in advance, sight unseen, than those who can see exactly what it is before putting their money down, and know that if they do buy it, they'll get it within a week, for less than the early adopters.

Sure, you get the game a little sooner. I suppose that might be worth something to some people. Or at least that's about all I can think of.

Any other reasons? Just curious. I was going to make a poll, but I think I might not even know all the options to put in the poll yet. Again, I'm only asking about supporting at the level that gets you a copy of the game, nothing more.
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Joseph Wisniewski
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I think there are a few reasons kickstarter seems to be working pretty well. The first is that people like to feel like a part of something.

Secondly, I disagree that all the really great games will make it to print anyway. I believe there are many great artistic works that get thrown away because they aren't deemed marketable by companies that have a chance to produce them.

Just think of music. I am sure you know someone who is a talented musician, maybe that you even feel is better than many of the "Stars", but they will never be famous or get any record deals, because making it big requires certain things to happen that are outside the control of the musician (this is assuming they would even take advantage of these opportunities if they were presented).

I won't get into the debate about whether games are art, but I feel a similar principle applies. The major game companies might not want to take a chance on young upstart game designers even if their games appear excellent, or they might already have a full line up of games and no money to bring in new projects. Kickstarter gives these new designers a chance to pitch their game idea directly to the customer.

I have seen some very strong kickstarter responses, and I feel that at least in those cases, the designer can feel confident that their idea was worthwhile, and even if the game never has a second run, the people who contributed to it will likely enjoy it, and be able to tell others who they play it with that the game exists in part due to their contribution.
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Curt Carpenter
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geraldkw wrote:
Just think of music. I am sure you know someone who is a talented musician, maybe that you even feel is better than many of the "Stars", ...

Exactly. It would have to be someone I knew. Not just some band that made a case for themselves online. But that's what most of the kickstarter game projects I see seem like.
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Ronnie
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Fair question.

I have kickstarted 2 games thus far and received one. I have Creatures and am awaiting Super Showdown.

I did it because I wanted to support a new game designer and they looked pleasant.

Would I do it again? No. Not unless a game reviewer who I trust gives it a very positive review.

If you are looking for the most game play for your buck it isn't the way to go but if you want some little extra's, the game early, and to help ensure the game sees the light of day then it's pretty cool.
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denny prijadi
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what if after receiving the funding, a kickstarter project stalled or the person bailed? will ppl lose their money? how the kickstarted site impose responsible actions from the initiator? i heard that kickstarter also used to fund someone to go to Essen and create vido review? is that what kickstarter used for? a form of donation like PayPal Donate button?
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Sam
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I have backed several projects for various combinations of these reasons:

1 Get to feel like a part of something -- it's quite fun getting updates etc., worrying if you'll make it to the next funding goal.

2 A lot of the time it's actually cheaper, especially for those outside the US (e.g. Eminent Domain six-packs worked out at $30 each vs $45 at a local online retailer, or $60 at my price-gouge emporiumFLGS if they had it, which they don't). I know you said to ignore these categories, so for another example: a single copy of Get Bit! was still cheaper than buying it locally.

3 It isn't the case with publishers like Valley and Tasty Minstrel, but with some of the smaller games it's quite reasonable to assume they will not be readily available later through normal retail channels. One I backed in that category was Imperial Crusade Armada.

4 And, of course, obnoxious exclusive promos! zombie
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Ronnie
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geraldkw wrote:
I believe there are many great artistic works that get thrown away because they aren't deemed marketable by companies that have a chance to produce them.


That is my impression of a recent Kickstarted Mobster game. I heard tell that to get it published the usual way would have required major shifts to the design and theme. Those changes were not in line with the designers vision so they went to kickstarter.

I see that it could serve the function of HBO or Showtime. A "artist" has a shot of skipping the publisher who will generally try to play it safe in order to have the design they really wanted...
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Bradley Martin
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I would say WHY not support somone through kickstarter? It gets you the game sooner, allows for potential improvements to the game if it's popular enough and raises enough funds. It allows for more creativity as people are able to design something and be far more open as they are not constrained by meeting the costs for an initial print run, thus forcing them to cut quality to afford it. Basically it's supporting something and helping it get it's start, it's like investing, it's a risk, but a calculable one.
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Josh Gaudreau
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I've supported 4 and have yet to receive any of them:

Creatures (should be any day now)
BattleCON
D-Day Dice
Frankendie (still hoping this one meets its goal)

For me, the extras are great, but it's also about being a part of the community. I may never publish a game, but I can help someone else achieve that dream and celebrate when they do, even though I don't know any of them personally.

Of course that doesn't mean I'll support every game on there; sometimes because they don't appeal to me (though they may be good games), sometimes because they look like lemons, and mostly because I just don't have that much money.

I have no illusions that any of the games I've supported will be the next Puerto Rico (or whichever is popular at the moment), but that's not why I support them. And you're right, there's lots of good games already on the market, and hopefully I'll get around to them one day (like Puerto Rico), but Kickstarter is a chance to help make a game happen that might not otherwise make it.
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Mike Jones
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I'm fond of buying 'self produced' games. I've bought quite a few games off of some no name site for some odd title. I appreciate some game designer trying to bring a game to market.

But, even I find this kickstarter slightly annoying. If a 'business' wants to make a go for it, they should have enough faith in their product to find their own capital.

But, what has really gotten to me lately are 'established' companies that either should have their own capital OR if they don't should be allowed to fail do to their lack of cashflow. But, to use the 'kickstarter' system to get 'individuals' to 'give' you their capital in order so you (a company) to make money off that capital AND get people to 'pay' for that privilege is amazing from both sides of the equation.



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darksurtur
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I think Kickstarter is a genius idea for a variety of reasons and I wish I had thought of it before they did!

Why do people donate? Many reasons, really.

1) As people above had noted, people like to feel like they are "creating" something. A Kickstarter donation is usually formally and informally appreciated, and serves as a form of social (though rarely literal) capital.

2) People will often be willing to pay more to support independent products or stores. This is no different. Although some projects go to the mass market, many will remain low-run, niche productions. Furthermore, in many cases the middleman is cut out, allowing these fledgling companies to collect a greater percentage of money and self-fund future projects. That creates a self-sustaining chain reaction.

3) Haven't you ever had a favorite TV show cancelled or book series go defunct? Ever though to yourself, "I'd put money down to see that continue." This is the same idea - allowing projects that have failed to gain or keep traction via mainstream business models to succeed.

4) There are intangible awards offered due to the funding model that have very high value for some people. A chance to peek into or contribute to a game development project, personal meetings with personal heroes, etc., aren't going to be offered by conventional companies often and are often unique, once-in-a-lifetime sort of opportunities.

5) Finally, of course, there are the tangible rewards. In many case, people do value promos and exclusive items enough to think they are getting a deal when Kickstarting a game. In other words, depending on how you value things, you actually are not always paying more.
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darksurtur
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Guantanamo wrote:
But, even I find this kickstarter slightly annoying. If a 'business' wants to make a go for it, they should have enough faith in their product to find their own capital.

But, what has really gotten to me lately are 'established' companies that either should have their own capital OR if they don't should be allowed to fail do to their lack of cashflow. But, to use the 'kickstarter' system to get 'individuals' to 'give' you their capital in order so you (a company) to make money off that capital AND get people to 'pay' for that privilege is amazing from both sides of the equation.


Hear, hear. I find very little ideological justification for companies like Tasty Minstrel and Clever Mojo kickstarting any more games (or in some cases, expansions to kickstarted games!). I wish people would have the guts to say that we funded you once, now prove you can stand on your own two legs instead of continuing to act like a newborn. As it stands, it's lucrative for them, but it draws a lot of money away from true indie companies.
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Drew Dallas
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Kickstarter doesn't give any guarantee that the person won't bail.

Personally I've only backed one project D-Day Dice and I did it because the extras offered at the higher levels easily make it worth it.

There have been plenty that I wanted to back though and I'm sure I'll back others in the future.

I don't think that you can say though that if it is a good game it will get produced. There are many obsticles to getting a game produced by the game publishers and there are only so many games they can and will publish per year, and alot of what they publish is crap . The amount of money it costs to self publish is crazy so Kickstarter is a good way for game designers to do it themselves. It also lets the game designer keep creative control of their game, many publishers will want to make many changes to a game they acquire and alot of designers would rather their game not get made if it means their civil war theme deckbuilder is going to get rethemed into a My Little Pony CCG.

I've also seen many kickstarter projects that offer extras which you can't get other than by backing, and many people take advantage of these extras and bulk discounts to make it worth it to support.
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Mike Jones
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darksurtur wrote:
Guantanamo wrote:
But, even I find this kickstarter slightly annoying. If a 'business' wants to make a go for it, they should have enough faith in their product to find their own capital.

But, what has really gotten to me lately are 'established' companies that either should have their own capital OR if they don't should be allowed to fail do to their lack of cashflow. But, to use the 'kickstarter' system to get 'individuals' to 'give' you their capital in order so you (a company) to make money off that capital AND get people to 'pay' for that privilege is amazing from both sides of the equation.


Hear, hear. I find very little ideological justification for companies like Tasty Minstrel and Clever Mojo kickstarting any more games (or in some cases, expansions to kickstarted games!). I wish people would have the guts to say that we funded you once, now prove you can stand on your own two legs instead of continuing to act like a newborn. As it stands, it's lucrative for them, but it draws a lot of money away from true indie companies.


http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/728794/caveman-curling-o...
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Richard Urich
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I've supported 2 games just because I'd forget about them before they came out, but they were both like $15 for a copy including shipping. I also supported a game because I figured it would be hard to find stocked, so basically just treated it like a pre-order. And I also supported D-Day Dice just because the promos got so ridiculous that I'm sure I'll recoup the cost even if I hate the game. I think D-Day Dice raising so much money is good for the industry anyways, so I happily added a few more dollars.

Other than those examples, I like supporting people trying to make a go of it in the business with their first game. The more support they get on Kickstarter, the more likely game stores will carry their game, and you might wind up supporting someone that continues to make lots of great games. I think I enjoy giving people a chance with a new business partially because I am self-employed. I don't really worry about if I'm paying a little more since there are plenty of things far more expensive that have gone down in price after I bought (my house, car, TV, computer...).
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darksurtur
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Guantanamo wrote:
darksurtur wrote:
Guantanamo wrote:
But, even I find this kickstarter slightly annoying. If a 'business' wants to make a go for it, they should have enough faith in their product to find their own capital.

But, what has really gotten to me lately are 'established' companies that either should have their own capital OR if they don't should be allowed to fail do to their lack of cashflow. But, to use the 'kickstarter' system to get 'individuals' to 'give' you their capital in order so you (a company) to make money off that capital AND get people to 'pay' for that privilege is amazing from both sides of the equation.


Hear, hear. I find very little ideological justification for companies like Tasty Minstrel and Clever Mojo kickstarting any more games (or in some cases, expansions to kickstarted games!). I wish people would have the guts to say that we funded you once, now prove you can stand on your own two legs instead of continuing to act like a newborn. As it stands, it's lucrative for them, but it draws a lot of money away from true indie companies.


http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/728794/caveman-curling-o...


Geez, well, it seems not only are they aware of this issue, they are also taking steps to circumvent it by namewashing out their involvement. Of course, it is Gryphon ...
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Erik Dahlman
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Before I ran my own project, I funded games for many of the reasons listed above. I saw a game designer that had an idea that would have otherwise been unable to fund it out of their own pocket. I'm also a sucker for promos and exclusives that I won't be able to get anywhere else.

Now that I've been on both sides of the equation I can say that without Kickstarter, Genegrafter probably would have never been produced as a card and dice game. The main reason is that the standards I have for its production value are very high and it's a huge risk on my part to put thousands of dollars into production for a product that may or may not sell. On the flip side, the more money the project makes, the more I can spend on plastic molds, custom dice, and other features the game might not have ever had if I was the only one funding it.

I think the key to Kickstarter is that it's all voluntary. If you don't like the project, don't back it. If it isn't successful you may still see it someday but there is a big possibility that you won't. And even if it is successful, I haven't seen where many game creators haven't thought much past the initial run. So you may have to wait if you ever want to get your hands on the game through normal distribution channels.

Personally, I hope that you aren't too offended by the ads you may see for the game on here because you've become annoyed by the 'Kickstarter Bubble'. It's definitely been a great vehicle for some of us to bring our products to the market and I can only hope that most of the projects fulfill that promise so that others can continue receiving the same support.
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Rick Koeppen
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Personally, I do it all for the goodies!

Seriously. With my backing of 'Creatures: The Card Game' I got the promo cards and some sweet T-shirts. I would buy this game commercially anyway, plus it was actually cheaper for me to buy it on Kickstarter.
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Derry Salewski
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I think the reasons for not bothering make a bit of sense when it comes to established companies using KS. Like, I'm pretty sure Mayday or Tasty Minstrel can figure out how to publish a game eventually. Now, asking for 'votes' to get it sooner makes some sense, but it's not needed for that game to get made in the long run, if they're sure it's a decent game.

But when it comes to some new designer . . . sure reducing it to dollar signs might make sense (but whether treating life that way makes sense is probably another discussion) but like . . . isn't growing the hobby worth something?

It's not to me. I haven't seen anything on kickstarter I want. I buy everything I can online for a discount.

If I see a project someday that I actually want . . . I'm sure I'd back it. (And actually, games are the only thing I've looked at. Maybe I should see if there's some good punk bands out there on KS . . . )

Also, some companies really DO make it worth it. Six game bundles might be 50 percent off retail. That's better than online if you live in a highly populated area. D-Day dice showed how successful you can be by offering additional goodies.
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Jeff Hinrickson
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Kickstarter » Forums » General
Re: Kickstarter - I don't get it
Not much different than charity, and what's wrong with that? It's not like someone is stealing your money or forcing you to support the project it is of your own free will. If you want to do so if you don't then don't so what.
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Jeff Hinrickson
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Guantanamo wrote:
I'm fond of buying 'self produced' games. I've bought quite a few games off of some no name site for some odd title. I appreciate some game designer trying to bring a game to market.

But, even I find this kickstarter slightly annoying. If a 'business' wants to make a go for it, they should have enough faith in their product to find their own capital.

But, what has really gotten to me lately are 'established' companies that either should have their own capital OR if they don't should be allowed to fail do to their lack of cashflow. But, to use the 'kickstarter' system to get 'individuals' to 'give' you their capital in order so you (a company) to make money off that capital AND get people to 'pay' for that privilege is amazing from both sides of the equation.





All companies look to investors to start. Are there really any 'established' game companies. (other than the national brands like Milton Bradley, etc...) Your not being forced to contribute you are asked to invest, so what's the problem? I don't think people are profiting a hell of a lot from the investments. Having copies of a game produced isn't cheap. If you are not an artist you have to pay someone to draw it up for you. You need someone to make the cardboard chits or the wooden cubes. This is also for several copies of the game. I know a guy who used his own money to invest in a game that he made, cost him $15 Grand and didn't sell many because he didn't have money left to market the game. So he basically was out his money and left with about 50 copies of the game, it was a decent game too.

Investment is always a risk. In this case a person could bail on the project, just like a business someone invested in could fail and you wouldn't get the projected return.
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Curt Carpenter
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srand wrote:
It isn't the case with publishers like Valley and Tasty Minstrel, but with some of the smaller games it's quite reasonable to assume they will not be readily available later through normal retail channels. One I backed in that category was Imperial Crusade Armada.

If the game doesn't get wider publication even after a successful kickstart effort, that seems to prove the game isn't very good. Or only appeals to a very narrow market. I guess I could see the very narrow market case, even though it doesn't apply to me.
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Jeff Hinrickson
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curtc wrote:
srand wrote:
It isn't the case with publishers like Valley and Tasty Minstrel, but with some of the smaller games it's quite reasonable to assume they will not be readily available later through normal retail channels. One I backed in that category was Imperial Crusade Armada.

If the game doesn't get wider publication even after a successful kickstart effort, that seems to prove the game isn't very good. Or only appeals to a very narrow market. I guess I could see the very narrow market case, even though it doesn't apply to me.


Boy with some of the crap that is actually published I wouldn't think it would be hard to find a company to publish a game no matter what.
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I mainly support games on Kickstarter because
a: the game has a design and game mechanic that appeal to me.
b: I like some of the exclusive items that may be included for support.
c: finacially backing a project is worthwhile for the people involved at both ends. They recieve financial assistance and I recieve goods.

Game 'companies' such as Clever Mojo are still quite young, and I have no qualms in their use of Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a source to obtain funding for what-ever the product may be, by whom-ever may want it, and I can think of a hundred worse ways to spend a little extra cash then supporting a young company or a creative project and getting something that brings me or my household enjoyment in return.

I do not seek to purchase items always at a reduced price. In fact, paying a little more could help ensure that the product in question will bring in enough financial gain to the producers that they will be around for a while, and encouraged to create similar projects, which is favored if they make things I enjoy.

So, now I've tossed in my two pennies worth. Invest them wisely.
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Curt Carpenter
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theseventensplit wrote:
I would say WHY not support somone through kickstarter? It gets you the game sooner, allows for potential improvements to the game if it's popular enough and raises enough funds. It allows for more creativity as people are able to design something and be far more open as they are not constrained by meeting the costs for an initial print run, thus forcing them to cut quality to afford it. Basically it's supporting something and helping it get it's start, it's like investing, it's a risk, but a calculable one.

The simple reasons are:
1) Having to commit to the game before you even can see what the final game is.
2) Paying more than it would cost if you just bought the game after it was released.

I don't buy the "allows for improvements" argument. I know some publishers are using this, but it seems as silly as when the car dealership tried to add advertising costs onto the cost of my car. Um, no. Yes, it costs more to produce games with better components. But you can make games with great components without kickstarter. Companies do it all the time. I can certainly see the advantage from the publisher's perspective. getting more up front capital means they can do a better production and borrow less (or no) money. But it doesn't make sense to me from the consumer perspective. Why would I want to pay X$ for some game of unknown quality components, when I can wait until the game is released and pay less for known quality?

It's not like investing either. Or it's like investing in a loser. After the game is released, others can get the same thing you have, and pay less money for it (remember, this is my premise), so the value of your investment is less than you paid for it.
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