After using Kickstarter for almost two years, and in a multiple of ways, I've decided it's about time I discuss the elephant in the room.
What do I think about Kickstarter?
TO FIND UNIQUE AND INDEPENDENT GAMES:
I want to talk about my purchases of games on Kickstarter. Maybe in discussing the projects I have backed, you can determine for yourself if the process is worth it.
Movie Mashups:This was a fun game. I only pledged on the digital copy level, and while I enjoy the game for what it is, it is print and play, so it's hard to really enjoy the game for long term. This game was made, and supposedly is still on it's way to providing the game to it's backer. I have no regrets backing this project!
Wrangled!:Digital rewards have been sent out, there is a slight delay in the release of the physical copy, but that being said the designer is doing an amazing job of getting information out about the slight stall. I've been very lucky to be able to play this game in advance, and while I do not have my final copy in my hand yet, I am still pleased by backing this project!
Ars Victor:This game has passed it's planned delivery date now by a couple months. This is disheartening, but I have not given up hope. The designer gave the backers an option to knowingly prolong the delivery with the hopes of better product, an amazing idea. The backers spoke up, and by majority went with better quality items, and more items. I am not to sad in the time it's taking to resolve this project, but I am not exactly pleased in the wait. So far though, the company is doing a good job holding itself accountable, and communicating with the backers.
Deadwood Studios USA:I backed this game, I expected this game, and I received this game. All relatively on time, give or take shipping. This is what I expected from an established game company using Kickstarter to release products. If I had received anything less I might have been upset. They didn't give me the chance. The game components are good quality, and nothing is wrong with the game, so this is clearly a success of a project.
Boss Monster: The Dungeon Building Card Game:Boss Monsters is truly a unique game. It is also a very fun one. The Kickstarter was successful, and the release of the game came almost completely as expected. The cherry on top for this product was their expansion. While some companies forget extended pledge bonuses, that release after the game, Brotherwise Games did not. They provided above and beyond on their expansion.
HERO versus GUARDIAN: A Game of Dungeon Craft:I chalk this up in the skeptical pile, but not unsuccessful. I always worry when a game releases a second Kickstarter, but viewed this as a second chance to pledge, so I took the chance. One of the joys of this project, and reasons I pledged, was that the stretch goal guaranteed an earlier ship date. They did not meet that, or their original ship date. This is a lesson that you should always be weary of promised ship dates.
Storm the Castle!:This is a game that is more amazing in concept, then in it's creation. It arrived late, which is sightly expected, sadly, at this point with Kickstarters. With regards to the game, the rules sheet was unhelpful, and the parts were horrible. Miss-prints on tokens, conflicting numbers on cards and boards, and cards that fused together and curved. The designer/publishers response, to bad, consider it a collectors edition, since the second print run will not have those errors. That's just sad. This Kickstarter tought the lesson, that we are just the beta test to their game, and our errors will not be felt at the consumer level.
YOU are the Maniac!:This game promised a horror themed card game that put the player into the position of the killer. It was believed that it would feel like the game play would play like an actual movie. From my feelings of the game, you can tell that I believed that they met their promises and goals. However there has been some aggressive opinions that this game is just a cheap rip off of Guillotine. While that may be true in some aspects, I never complained when I played Cards Against Humanity. If anything can be said about the relationship from YOU are the Maniac to Guillotine, it can be said that it takes the mechanic and invests it into a themed play that is strong and awesome. But maybe the game isn't that unique when it comes to the mechanics.
Mr. Card Game:This project is questionable to some, and not so much to others. I personally have not received my game, but I have seen the "near" finished project with my own eyes. The major issue with this Kickstarter, in most backers mind, was lack of communication. In all fairness there has been constant communication. The designer wanted to prevent the spamming of people's email accounts by moving updates to Facebook. The backers seem to have been upset by that. In my opinion the game is almost here, and if people are generally satisfied with the final product will determine if this project was successful or not.
Evil Spares None:This project had such potential. The creator of which received an award for his ability to perform so many actions, scientist, improv actor, and game designer. I couldn't help but jump on the band wagon of a game I thought would be an amazing project. Then came the harsh reality of a man over taxed, through a disaster, and then lack of care. The Kickstarter funded partly because of his last stretch goals, then the storm hit, and that caused an understandable delay. But that wasn't the end there. Then came the games, to only some. The quality horrible. Still, it's an independent game, so you can move past it. What happened next was lies, and disappearance. He rescinded his prior statement about a miniature that came as a stretch goal, trying to say it was only for much higher backers. He didn't even bother to change the text on stretch goals. Then he disappeared, not from the world, but from Kickstarter. He stopped responding. He never finished all the games to be sent out, and multiple people will never receive their expansions that they pledged for. This is an abysmal failure of a Kickstarter.
Hirelings: The Ascent:This was a very cute project. I originally backed it at an very high pledge level. As the project continued, I realized I wanted the game for my soon to be step son, but not that I wanted to spend as much as I pledged on it. That being said, when the project finally arrived. I played the game with my soon to be step son and he loved it. The quality of the game was top notch. The box great, the storage in the box was left to be desired, but the game was worth the price and it arrived.
Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot: Deluxe Limited Edition:Killer Bunnies is a game I like, but don't play often. It takes a long time. I wanted to get the game, but wanted the whole game. Then came this Kickstarter. I honestly don't know if it really needed a Kickstarter, but still I enjoyed the process. The game came, little late, but it arrived. When it did there were a couple issues, mainly the lack of the proper backing on one card. However Playroom Entertainment is a big company, unlike Giant Goblin Games, so when they noticed their mistake, instead of saying tough, they mailed out the corrected card to all backers. Good on them. I love the game, and the set. This, in my opinion, is a successful project.
Race to Adventure: The Spirit of the Century Exploration Game:Race to Adventure delivered a tiny bit past their schedule, but not enough to cause a bother. They provided print and plays, and even released a partial of their final un-reached stretch goals for the people who backed the game. When the game arrived the quality was amazing, and the product was wonderful. I am very happy I backed this project and will back their next one.
Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule!:A game plagued with late delivery date, this game was at it's core a simple small deck game. The stretch goal, with the metal tin, is likely to blame for the delay. Regardless of my like or dislike of this game, it delivered, around half a year late, but it delivered.
Ogre:This was at it's time, the end all of all Kickstarters. They dreamed big, boy did they ever. That being said, this Kickstarter was no immune to failures. The pledge rewards were eventually delivered almost a year after their initial delivery date. The game was plagued with production problems, and in my opinion could have destroyed a major game company, if not managed well. However under the tutelage of Steve Jackson and Phil Reed (not to mention the amazing Daniel Jew), the game not only made it through but the company survived the ordeal. Steve Jackson Games pulled an amazing rabbit out of a hat. How? Well first of all, the problems of the development delays were partly created due to the amazing surge the Kickstarter received, technical problems aside. Second, they kept everyone in the know. They were informative, and kind. This is a lesson a lot os Kickstarters can learn from. I have received my pledge reward, and I am very happy with it. Although, I am unhappy with trying to find a place to put these games...
So from all that I posted here, there seems to be almost a guarantee that a Kickstarter game project will be delayed, even more so by it's success. It's a bit rare, from my finds, for a game to actually not deliver. However it is always a possibility. Look to the Kickstarters that are talking, and make sure to see if the Kickstarter is active and has a place to voice concerns to the creator (besides Kickstarter mail).
In regard to the Unique factor, a lot of games on Kickstarter are trying out new game mechanics, some of the games are big companies and some are small companies. With the little guys, you have a chance to play a game that is more unique and intriging, but with the bigger companies you are more likely to find items that you can only get if you back the game at this location.
In summation, when it comes to looking for a game project? Definitely worth your time and attention to check out some amazing games.
Right now, if you are interested, I'd recommend checking out these projects:
Zeppelin Attack, from Evil Hat Games. (Check this game out!)
Bio Syndrome: A Survival Horror Table Top War Game
As a long time avid game player, and lover, I come before you to tell you my complete honest and forward opinion on games. I will bring out the things I like in the game. Point out the things I dislike. And consider who this game would be best targeted at. All of this while also assigning a completely random biased number on a scale of 1-8. Why 8? Because I can!
14 Feb 2014
- [+] Dice rolls