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Subject: Road/Kill Kickstarter backing in trouble? rss

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I like to see how Kickstarters are doing via KickTraq.com

According to the numbers, Road/Kill got off to a decent start but now seems to be shedding backers pretty rapidly. As of today, the campaign has lost money on 4 of the past 6 days, and is predicted to come up short even with the assumed typical last-minute bump, despite accelerating backer flight. This is looking similar to Rick Priestly's Gates of Anatares (which failed publicly and very, very deservedly).

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1936639747/road-kill-ultima...


What is interesting to me is that R/K had a predecessor, that it is currently underperforming in a very visible way. Where the previous campaign pulled over $20k in the first 2 days, this campaign is yet to break $20k at all, and that first $20k is getting farther and farther away with each passing day.

http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/infinitygate/road-kill-ulti...


I hope this doesn't end up like Raven S McKracken's RPG begging for constantly lowered expectations. That would be really sad.
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Jake Rose
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One problem this is destined to have is even if backers stay steady, they will lose dollars pledged. This is because at least several backers seemed to have pledged dollar amounts for reward levels that do not unlock until 79k.

Once that goal seems out of reach I suspect they will lower their pledged amount to only cover available pledge levels.
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Yoki Erdtman
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jakecarol wrote:
One problem this is destined to have is even if backers stay steady, they will lose dollars pledged. This is because at least several backers seemed to have pledged dollar amounts for reward levels that do not unlock until 79k.

Once that goal seems out of reach I suspect they will lower their pledged amount to only cover available pledge levels.

Yes absolutely. This is also why I haven't backed this mess yet. I backed their first Kickstarter attempt, but saying that they'll have some strange "early bird" packages once they reach $79K, like I'm going to sit around and hope to catch that, ugh!

I'm disappointed that a relaunched project could be so poorly structured. The basic game box set is only available as a stretch goal, for real? And then in another stroke of utter bewilderment they decided to boost the value of people's pledges by offering referral bonuses. I gladly and freely post about projects I like on social media just out of pure enthusiasm and perhaps in hope of reaching some elusive stretch goals, but tracking referrals in order to actually make your pledge worth more is an awful idea.

The game looks like it has potential, but due to sadly lacking Kickstarter projects and poor planning this may never end up seeing the light of day.

It's not like miniature games tend to have a tough time on Kickstarter, but here they seem to have decided to buck such trends by not sticking to working formulas. Sad.
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Team Ski
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I mentioned in another thread that exact same sentiment; you never hold a basic game set as a stretch goal. I think the game looks awesome and I would love to play it. However, paying $100 for 13 tiny N Gauge cars, PDF rules and a die is not what I consider an inviting proposition. The base game comes in at $130 which isn't that bad, but why would anybody try to stick around for the campaign to reach $79,000C to find out whether or not they actually can get a basic game set??

It seems to me that the campaign was engineered so the designer could get his hands on some cool new 3D printers rather than a serious game release.

-Ski
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Sebastian Grawan
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Yep, I can confirm that pledges for this KS are dropping constantly.

Yesterday: $ 19,348 CAD
This morning: $ 18,896 CAD
Now: $ 18,631 CAD

I'm a $ 5 CAD backer of this project at this moment and hoped to be able to up my pledge to get one of the 'stretch-goal Starter boxes'.

I, too, think that this KS was sadly doomed from the beginning.
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The Game Steward
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It's both worse and better than portrayed here. RK passed $20,000 for a few hours, then dropped down to $18,436. A couple new backers have since joined, so it's now back up to $18,631. It may be a distinction without a difference, but there you go.
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Sebastian Grawan
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... down to $ 18,617 CAD now.

Meh, I really had high hopes for this project... I long for a good, streamlined SciFi car mosh for years now.
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The Game Steward
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rashktah wrote:
... down to $ 18,617 CAD now.

Meh, I really had high hopes for this project... I long for a good, streamlined SciFi car mosh for years now.


You and me both, brother. You and me both...
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jakecarol wrote:
One problem this is destined to have is even if backers stay steady, they will lose dollars pledged. This is because at least several backers seemed to have pledged dollar amounts for reward levels that do not unlock until 79k.

Once that goal seems out of reach I suspect they will lower their pledged amount to only cover available pledge levels.


Quite frankly, the numbers are starting to suggest the KS could fail, so in that case, the whole thing could be moot.

Just to fund, thy will need to double the number of backers and maintain spend levels. To hit the $79k level, they will need to quadruple the number of backers, and I'm not at all sure if that will happen for a small, relatively unknown game.

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rashktah wrote:
I long for a good, streamlined SciFi car mosh for years now.


You're not the only one, unfortuntely, this might not be the one. Which is a little scary, because this game seems to have the right idea, so if it can't work, what can?
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GrauGeist wrote:
rashktah wrote:
I long for a good, streamlined SciFi car mosh for years now.


You're not the only one, unfortuntely, this might not be the one. Which is a little scary, because this game seems to have the right idea, so if it can't work, what can?


If the campaign is done right, it will go through the roof. Good stretches, a good base game at a decent price and some kickstarter exclusives will go a long way. Add-ons like the futuristic terrain will help fund the venture. I personally think the multi-chassis/ multi-weapon system is a waste of time and money at this scale. Leave that on paper.

-Ski
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I kind of like the semi-customizable models, only because this is a minis game at heart. The weapons are the problem, because it wants to be scale, but 1/160 scale weapons would be visually indistinguishable at normal playing distances.

IMO, the biggest issue is lack of eyeballs. This is a game for the 40k crowd, but are they being marketed to?
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Erik Olsen
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Hey Guys, make sure you dont criticize Miles of his projects otherwise he will try to have you banned from kickstarter!

Miles, your game will go down in flames and I will have the pleasure of knowing, it's all of your own doing. Couldnt happen to a nicer guy!

13 days and counting till flame out!
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Dude, not cool.

If you want to air your issues with how the the R/K KS campaign is run, or how they communicate with potential backers / critics, do so. But don't spam other threads.

That's not cool.
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John "Omega" Williams
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Well as I said. Using Games Workshop gouging prices as a business model was a poor choice.

This is perhaps the example of quality at the expense of the player. And the players baulked at some point. Which is actually surprising as this wasnt a problem last time.

Perhaps cancel the KS again... and re-re-think the KS structuring and pricing model as I'd like to see this game succeed.
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There's nothing wrong with the GW model, if you're GW or another large / established company with an established fanbase. Those fancy molds are expensive, and take a lot of money to pay for. Same with the upfront design & sculpting costs. Especially if going with "name" designers & sculptors. The thing is, it needs volume that comes from being as big as GW or Kingdom Death or Soda Pop. It's no accident that DreamForge, Wyrd & Privateer all went plastic after they had built their market and base.

I don't know why the initial launch was cancelled - it seemed like it was basically doing OK.

I'm pretty sure that cancelling the KS would be a poor idea at this time. Cancelled and re-cancelled? I can't see it getting dramatically better traction the 3rd or 4th time around.

I do agree that the price points and contents are a little messy. The basic, standalone game should be $60-80, and an enhanced game with stretch goals should be $100-125. Then people who buy the game can have command boxes & dice added, along with extra cars / objectives / options, etc. Like how CMoN does a campaign (and they run a really good one). Also the whole Canada thing with extra shipping cost and Canadian dollars - with the US having roughly 10x the population (and a huge aversion to ForEx & international shipping), the pricing should just build it in to make it easy to sell to the biggest market. But then, it's not my KS, so eh, what do I know?
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TooBoCu714 wrote:
Hey Guys, make sure you dont criticize Miles of his projects otherwise he will try to have you banned from kickstarter!

Miles, your game will go down in flames and I will have the pleasure of knowing, it's all of your own doing. Couldnt happen to a nicer guy!

13 days and counting till flame out!


I understand you have issues with the project creator, but at this point you're punishing us. I'm just following the project with casual interest, probably not going to back, and fully expect it to fail to fund.

But please, I think you've made your case clearly. Could you give us a rest, maybe come back for a single gloat post or something once it's all said and done?
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Sebastian Grawan
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Quote:
not going to back, and fully expect it to fail to fund.
That's not a totally awkward expectation, as the funding has dropped further to $ 18,574 CAD overnight.

I think that this KS will fail. Which it wouldn't have, would we have been able to pledge for a base game box at the beginning and if there'd be real/interesting/cool stretch goals to work towards to.
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Yeah, I'm not a big fan of KS so haven't followed many projects, but this one is by far the strangest campaign I've seen. Definitely thinking outside the box, but sometimes that box is there for a reason...
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rashktah wrote:
That's not a totally awkward expectation, as the funding has dropped further to $ 18,574 CAD overnight.

I think that this KS will fail. Which it wouldn't have, would we have been able to pledge for a base game box at the beginning and if there'd be real/interesting/cool stretch goals to work towards to.


Comparing this against the previous KS, the pledges generate a lot less reward. Originally, $ 70 got:
- rulebook
- maneuver template
- 6 clamshell cars w/ guns & options
- 2 unibody cars
- 1 truck
- 12 road tiles
- 18-pc terrain set
- counter sheet
- 24 dice
- 2 command boxes
- 50 car design sheets (50)
in a box

Retooled and rethought, that same $70 now gets:
- rulebook
- maneuver template
- 6 clamshell cars w/ guns & options
all of the other stuff was removed and costs more

The previous $70 package was an actual, complete game with everything included, versus the current $70 sampler.

What's a little disappointing is that the stretch goals don't appear to enhance the pledges, but rather simply allow people to buy more, new stuff. There's no real plan to increase backer value.
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Sebastian Grawan
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Quote:
The previous $70 package was an actual, complete game with everything included
I would've loved to pledge for this, sadly I must've missed this KS.

Maybe they should scrap this KS too and reorganize it for a third time ... three's a charm?
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Miles Holmes
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Hey guys,

Lots of hand wringing here, and appreciably so, given the state of the campaign. So let's have some straight talk.

First of all, I admit it's definitely a tough spot sitting at this end of things. Depite the situation, there's a few things I can say without regrets. First, Road/Kill is a proof of concept as much as it is a game. Car combat as a tabletop genre has languished for some time now, and has never really had spectacular miniature options, as with other games. I wanted to see if it was a missed opportunity.

So, that in mind, I started to work the design of the game. Meanwhile, I got in touch with people with proven track records that could make the miniatures. I strongly believe that with a good miniatures game, it's the minis that get you and the game that keeps you. After talking to our sculptors, a print shop and our manufacturer, we had some numbers. It's not cheap to make a miniatures game, is what we found out.

Factoring in start up costs can really add up if you want top quality. We looked at our numbers many times, and weighed the options. A glaring issue that stood out immediately was that larger players on Kickstarter, notably Coolminiornot or Reaper, have enough capital to front their startup costs. This has set up pricing expectations that are...well, beyond us. The little guy can't offer the Walmart price, unfortunately. But, if it's a missed opportunity out there (that even Coolmini hasn't done), we wondered, would you guys still be willing to back us? That was the question.

After our first Kickstarter attempt, the biggest, most legitimate doubts to that question were: How do we know this game is any good? Who the hell are you guys to be asking for this much? You know what, you were absolutely right. If we were going to ask for the money, we really should have something to justify ourselves.

That's when we pulled.

The idea was, as we said at the time, was to finish the rules, and get them in the hands of as many respected reviewers as we could. Get as many interviews, videos, demos as possible to show that we had a fun game. This was actually the most fun I've had in this experience so far. Take it with a grain of salt as you will, but I haven't played this game with anyone so far who didn't love it. We have a video review from a Sunday night game session with the guys at Board to Death coming out in a few days, you'll see what I mean. The response to these demos is what has really kept me going here. This game is fun to play and has so much room to grow.

Right. So let's talk about the maligned campaign structure. We knew we were between a rock and a hard place. We either launch with a very high target that covers everything, or try to get there in playable chunks. We didn't love either option, so we chose what we felt was the lesser of the two evils.

Really, the big gamble here was on our media push. We felt if we could get enough eyes on it and enough validation, people would back in the numbers it would take. We'd be clear of that 39K in the first week, so nobody would have any issues. After all, we saw projects like Arena Rex and Xia: Legends of a Drift System get backers in the 1000-3000 region (both of these projects were from relative newcomers like us), and figured if our exposure could get us to 400 in the first half or week, well, we're quickly past that barrier. Everyone will get what they want.

And in my opinion, that's the real issue here, the forest we are not seeing for the trees. Our exposure was not as wide as it needed to be, OR, the proof of concept here has been answered. This was never going to be a viable business with only a couple hundred backers. If 180 people unhappy with our options, the issue is not the options. It's the 180, I believe. 400 people wouldn't be facing these options.

So where are we now? I'd be lying to you all if I said that 18.5k is where we thought we'd be. Our gamble didn't work for the early support. But it's still only 20K from us having Road/Kill minis, and I've seen crazy things happen in the final week of Kickstarter campaigns, when you get to the "now or never" mentality.

Regardless of what happens with Kickstarter, Road/Kill as a ruleset will be published and available with additional PDF support (tiles, markers, etc) for all who want it. I can even do the expanded rules over time including factions and characters. What we're really fighting for right now are the miniatures (and then the command box), because those are the only components I can't do myself. Once they are made, they never need to cost that much again. But without them, we're playing with the same card counters or kit bashed models we've always had to work with. Road/kill will not really be a miniatures game.

So, I leave it with you to decide. There are a couple more interviews and videos yet to come (like Board To Death). Can we get more people in on this or not? Can we have a good final week? Can we make Road/Kill a miniatures game after all? It's certainly possible.

Miles
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Dan Porter
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Agemman wrote:


Regardless of what happens with Kickstarter, Road/Kill as a ruleset will be published and available with additional PDF support (tiles, markers, etc) for all who want it. I can even do the expanded rules over time including factions and characters. What we're really fighting for right now are the miniatures (and then the command box)


That's awfully generous of you, good sir.

Mayhaps we can roust a few more pigeons for the pie.

Is that going to be purchasable through the Infinity Gate website?
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Agemman wrote:
Hey guys,

Lots of hand wringing here, and appreciably so, given the state of the campaign. So let's have some straight talk.

Miles


Thanks for your perspective. I think THE big difference between Road/Kill and other grassroots efforts is definitely the base game set. Xia started out with the basic game at X price and if you wanted more, then you pledged for the add-ons (in Xia's case was the add-on ship which cost a lot, but was a kickstarter exclusive).

I think the basic game should have come first with maybe 6 cars and full production value with the roads, command boxes, etc. Then, offer the additional factions as add-ons and the big truck as a long stretch goal. That is how I have seen every other kickstarter succeed. You give the people a true game and watch them come back for more. I know I did with Kingdom Death to a tune of $650!

-Ski
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Miles Holmes
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Yeah, Xia was a great example of asking for high target and getting it.

What we felt they had in their corner was Tom Vasel from Dice Tower giving them the thumbs up. This seemed to validate the high asking price, along with get the word out to a very wide audience.

Admittedly, we tried to get his attention too, but he's a very busy guy!

Would it have worked for us to ask for the big money upfront like we did the first time?

Maybe.
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