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Subject: What seals the deal for you on a KickStarter Game purchase? rss

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Brian Bennett
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I am very curious what it is that separates the men from the boys when it comes to KickStarter campaigns. I am going to be working on a KickStarter game here in the near future and I have been discussing possible "Stretch Goals" to include and is that really what brings in the support. So I ask-

What is the most important quality you look for when deciding to support a KickStarter game?

Do the Stretch Goals play an important role in your decision? Both, before they are reached and after they are reached (depending on when you jump in of course)

If so, what types of Stretch Goals are you most intrigued with?
For instance, items that are directly related to game play (additional tokens, better quality board, etc.) or non-game related items (like a poster, unique collectables, or any "flare" if you will.)

Thanks for your input! Looking forward to an exciting launch here soon!

Regards,
Brian Bennett
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Paul DeStefano
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So far, nothing.

I wait for it to come out, and in a matter of a month or two, I pick it up way cheaper than the original Kickstarter.

There's so many games out and coming out, I've seen nothing so needed that I wanted to spend more to pre-fund it. If it doesn't make it's goal, there's other games.

I haven't seen any goal that made me jump up and order.
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J C Lawrence
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EGGR0LL wrote:
What is the most important quality you look for when deciding to support a KickStarter game?


Is it a product which commands compelling interest from me and which is bluntly incapable of being produced by traditional means?

Quote:
Do the Stretch Goals play an important role in your decision?


Only if they materially affect the game design, in which case they are a clear sign to avoid an under-developed product.

Quote:
..."flare"...


s/flare/flair/
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Thomas Dunagan
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Beyond gameplay itself, price point is the biggest factor.

Some games will interest me but if the asking price is MSRP and with little additional content is offered I'll typically pass and wait for a wider release to purchase it at a discounted rate on CSI or the like.

If enough content is offered exclusive or not that justifies the price point I will jump on it. It is the main reason I backed MYTH.

Since you are discussing stretch goals, one game currently running that I haven't backed is the Captains of Industry/City Hall. While they are offering the games at a really nice discounted rate, there are no stretch goals yet. I'm keeping it on my radar but unfortunately I am much more interested in one of the games versus the other. Yet to get the best price it would be wise to purchase both. If stretch goals pop up and make the games seem more valuable I will probably end up backing it.

 
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rob stencel

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For me its how well they answer questions and respond to suggestions of their backers. Having good stretch goals that make sense and give you some exclusives doesn't hurt either.
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1. Does it sound interesting?

2. Is it getting support from the project creator during the project?

3. Does the designer have previous game design experience? If so, what is it?

4. How much does it cost?

Twice, I've backed a game because the stretch goals were such that it seemed like I was getting far more than my pledge amount was worth. But the game still has to be mildly interesting for me to want to back it.
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M M
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EGGR0LL wrote:
Do the Stretch Goals play an important role in your decision? Both, before they are reached and after they are reached (depending on when you jump in of course)

No.

EGGR0LL wrote:
What is the most important quality you look for when deciding to support a KickStarter game?

Most important? Price and value. There's been a few KS campaigns that I was interested in but there was a base set and then various add-ons. But the add-ons brought the total purchase over $100. And frankly, I'm not going over $100 on a KS project. I buy them assuming that it's a hit-or-miss proposition so want to only commit say $70 or less. And I'm not that interested in buying 1/2 or 2/3 of the game.

Beyond that, how does the gameplay look? Is this something that looks worthwhile? And then lastly, is this a person or company that I want to support? I'll still buy from established businesses but people who are creating their dream get extra points.
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Richard Morris
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... on the other hand, the thing that immediately turns me off and stops me going for a kickstarter game is when they are so US centric that they make no effort to organise a sensible shipping price. You know, postage free in the USA, Europe please add $40 - that sort of thing. Some kickstarter campaigns sort this out, so why can't they all?
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Jake Staines
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EGGR0LL wrote:

What is the most important quality you look for when deciding to support a KickStarter game?


1) Price point, effectively.

What this realistically means in most cases is "shipping from within the EU to EU backers".

2) Those rare cases where it's a game I'd like to see made and it looks like it's in danger of not happening. Police Precinct was one of these, for example - it looked like a promising game, but they were nearing the end of their campaign without having hit funding goals yet.

EGGR0LL wrote:

Do the Stretch Goals play an important role in your decision? Both, before they are reached and after they are reached (depending on when you jump in of course)


Yes, no, maybe.

With projects like the Reaper Bones Kickstarter, or Sedition Wars, absolutely! Stretch goals made the overall value-for-money of the project better, so they make the project more attractive as a whole.

I'm in agreement with some of the up-thread posters that stretch goals which add extra gameplay elements are a bit of a red flag, it gives the impression that the game is either not very tight (or it would be hard to insert extra elements without destabilising it) or that the designer hasn't properly finished the game yet. I know it's not always the case, and it's quite plausible that the designer has playtested the hell out of these stretch-goal additions and they're not just "oh hey, we can ask for more money, must think up extra gimmick now" add-ons, but that's often how they come across.

I'm on the fence regarding "get a copy of the first expansion" or "get these promo cards" bonuses/stretch-goals. The promos I doubt I'll ever play with (see above paragraph) and just seem to elicit a lot of whining from the BGG community as a whole about how they thought they were KS exclusives and now anyone can just buy them online or how they like the look of the game but they'll never buy it because there's this one pointless card that they can't own, and that just winds me up and makes me lose interest in a game.
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Caleb
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I've only backed one game on KS, and while it wasn't a *bad* game, I regretted it and sold it. If it can't be produced via traditional means, I'm really just not interested. Mostly that's because there are more good games out there than I could ever play in a lifetime, so I don't feel the need to take a chance on something that, likely as not, is half-baked.
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Beau Bocephus Blasterfire
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So far nothing. I wait till it can be purchased online at some site.
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torontoraptors
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Shipping prices
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Rocco Privetera
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AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
... on the other hand, the thing that immediately turns me off and stops me going for a kickstarter game is when they are so US centric that they make no effort to organise a sensible shipping price. You know, postage free in the USA, Europe please add $40 - that sort of thing. Some kickstarter campaigns sort this out, so why can't they all?


Just because project A somehow was able to provide 'sensible' shipping has (almost) nothing to do with project B doing the same. Unless a lot of the variables behind the scenes are the same, which isn't true a lot of the time.

Sometimes a company sells or ships at a loss to get a game out there. If they have operating capital (due to selling many games) such a move isn't bad, because they are looking at future revenues, and have money to handle shortages like that. Other companies or individuals don't have that option.

Sometimes various shipping options (like Amazon fulfillment) don't work at certain scales. If you know your game has a profit margin of 10 bucks to work with (say on a big box 50-60 game, paying 3-4 bucks to Amazon isn't a deal breaker. If you are selling a very low cost game the fees are a much greater total and can completely erase margins. Or maybe it works if you are selling 5000 copies of a game, but not if you are doing 1000.

We can argue a lot about this case and that case. And yes I agree - I think shipping is a bane and a lot of people don't do enough research on how to do it in a way that works with their situation. But not everybody is in a position to just automatically provide sensible shipping to the entire planet. I'm not being US-Centric if I literally don't have the means to ship it outside the US cheaply!
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Jake Staines
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Rocconteur wrote:
I'm not being US-Centric if I literally don't have the means to ship it outside the US cheaply!


Point of order, but you are by definition. I mean - you live in the US, it's only natural that it'd be the easiest market for you to address and the one you're most likely to consider first.

Whether or not it's a legitimate thing for people to complain about is another matter entirely, of course.


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Shipping IS a big deal when going overseas from the US. I have heard so many complaints about the shipping costs these days...someone bought a $22 game magazine and paid $28 in shipping...it's crazy and the single biggest problem in gaming today. Companies like GMT are even cutting back on weight by switching back to paper maps instead of mounted maps to lower cost and weight.

What we need is someone to step in and start regional shipping centers that can handle bulk deliveries and then send out individual packages at local shipping prices.

The Canadian situation is the worst in my opinion due to proximity to the States. A shipping center on either side of the border would solve a lot of that problem
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Rocco Privetera
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Bichatse wrote:
Rocconteur wrote:
I'm not being US-Centric if I literally don't have the means to ship it outside the US cheaply!


Point of order, but you are by definition. I mean - you live in the US, it's only natural that it'd be the easiest market for you to address and the one you're most likely to consider first.

Whether or not it's a legitimate thing for people to complain about is another matter entirely, of course.




Fair enough - let's say that I'm being US-Centric in my shipping... but not by CHOICE.

I can understand people not being happy about shipping. I can understand complaining about shipping. I can understand not buying/kickstarting the game. What I don't get is people getting angry at the game creators, or saying we're doing it because we're jerks, or doing it because of American patriotism, or doing it because we're wrong for not wanting to lose money on a transaction. Because I can't think of any US Kickstarter who actively *despises* the rest of the world and doesn't *want* to sell to them. We want those sales!
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John "Omega" Williams
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Stretch goals are irrelevant to me.

What matters price vs content. A PDF, maybee tiles maybee a dice and 6 minis at 70$? No. A printed rulebook, dice, tiles and 8 minis at 70? Yes.
 
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Brook Gentlestream
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For me, it comes down to the designer. I need to know he's played similar games to those that I like and that he has similar ideas about what makes a good game.

If someone is making a "better" game than something we've had before (like a new zombie game), I need to be able to understand what makes a game good, or better, in his view, and what other games lack.

If someone's making a space empire game, I need to know that he's played other space empire games and what he likes or doesn't like about them. He doesn't have to name them, but it sometimes helps.
 
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Clive Lovett
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It has to be a game I want to play and then the deal maker is the cost of shipping to Canada. If the shipping is too much then no deal...I will wait until it goes online retail and get it for a better price.
 
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Alison Mandible
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The difference between backing a Kickstarter or waiting for retail is a combination of:

- Did they post a PnP? If so, and I liked playing it, I'll always back. Supporting people who let potential backers actually test the game is way more important than maybe getting a lower price later.

- Does the creator seem like a good, thoughtful person-- someone whose dreams I want to chip in for? Obviously, this doesn't matter if I don't think I'll like the game, but it makes a HUGE difference if I'm pretty sure I'm into the game but can't decide whether to spring for it now or later.

On that second point, phrases like "separate the men from the boys" would discourage me from backing a game. Sure, it's a small thing, but there are plenty of games I want which *don't* subtly send the message that gaming is only for guys. All else being equal, those games get first dibs on my money.
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Stretch goals only really matter to me when they will make the game materially better for everyone. As an example, in the Kickstarter for Compounded, the creators upgraded the tokens from cardboard to wood and doubled the size of the board as stretch goals. That's the kind of thing that the increased scale of Kickstarter-backed games allow for that make them worthwhile in my opinion.
 
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Drew Scott
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When I backed Viticulture, I was very, very impressed with the way creator Jamey Stegmaier came across:

* He had a design philosophy, and he showed how each element of his game served that philosophy.

* His communication on the front page, and on the Updates/Comments pages were very thorough and thoughtful. He seemed engaged.

* He showed that he had been playtesting his game for a while, with the intent of delivering a very specific game experience: Not too hard (so non-gamers can get on board), but still meaty (to give gamers something to chew on)

* He showed a lot of near-finished production artwork to prove he was committed to production quality, and that he was already fronting a lot of his own money to get this far.

* The campaign seemed very organized and thought through. It seemed to be asking for a reasonable amount to deliver a high-quality product of that kind.

Once I had bought into all of this, I wanted to see him succeed. I wanted to be a part of his success -- even beyond getting a "cardboard reward" at the end.

Now that I think about this, that's pretty powerful. I felt a bit like an angel investor trying to help a guy get his business off the ground. That goes beyond just getting some wood and cardboard in exchange for 50 bucks and six months. I encourage you to take a look at the KS campaign and see for yourself how convincing it came across. From top to bottom, I felt like it was a "quality establishment," so to speak, run by a guy who was trying to do it the right way. In fact, Jamey does nothing to dispel that perception at stonemaiergames.com that encourages good Kickstarter habits. I want that kind of guy to succeed in this business, you know?

After all that bloviation, I should say that a meaningful second place consideration for me is price. I don't need to get a spectacular deal below retail, and I don't need a boatload of stretch rewards but I do need to believe that I can get my money's worth. To that end, I do like backer levels that give early backers incentive to get the game for a smidge less, as in: "The first 50 people can get the game for $45, but everyone after that, must back at the $50 level." A nice motivator to pull the trigger.
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Debra
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Quote:
I am very curious what it is that separates the men from the boys when it comes to KickStarter campaigns.

Err... being a female gamer I'm not on either of those sides but I'll assume you *are* looking for an opinion from the other 50% of the population!


Quote:
What is the most important quality you look for when deciding to support a KickStarter game?

For me, it's not just one thing but rather an interplay of connected factors. So in coming to a final decision I'll look at:
* cost - price of game plus postage (to Australia!!)
* gameplay - Is it interesting? Is it something I already have? Is it something my friends would play?
* component quality - How is it packaged? What is the weight of the cardstock used?, What is the finish on the cards? Are there cardboard or wooden tokens? etc
* artwork - This one is almost make or break for me - good quality theme-relevant artwork is crucial for me in the purchasing decision.
* theme - Some themes are an instant turn-off for me (zombies, cthulhu, violence to children etc) while others are instantly intriguing. Is the theme relevant to the game mechanic or has it been crudely pasted on?
* game designer values and ethics - This is a wide, wide spectrum. At one end you have openness, approachability and accountability. At the other end ... you don't. If I find out someone is at the latter end in enough time to back out of a Kickstarter I will. I have cancelled my pledge for several games I really wanted and looked very interesting because of previous history that came to light.
* gaming and Ks background - Yes, I look to see if they've backed Kickstarters before, what sort and how many? Have they published games previously? Are they on BGG? etc

All of these really add up to 'value'. Based on all those factors do I value the game enough to support it with my hard-earned cash?

Quote:
Do the Stretch Goals play an important role in your decision? Both, before they are reached and after they are reached (depending on when you jump in of course)

Yes, they do. They are definitely not the primary factor but there are projects where I was wavering and the additional value provided by the stretch goal(s) was what tipped me over into supporting the project.

Quote:
If so, what types of Stretch Goals are you most intrigued with?

For me, I am *only* interested in stretch goals that either add to the game quality or add to the game play. I have ZERO interest in receiving a t-shirt, stuffed toy or an art print etc. That is just clutter. And the money spent on that could have been spent on producing a better game.

So, stretch goals I look for are ones that:
* improve the box, artwork, cardstock or printing
* add new cards
* add additional players
* upgrade tokens from cardboard to wood or wood to metal
* provide a different way to play the game (adding to replayability and therefore increasing value)
* player mats are ok
* player aid cards are a definite yes

Anyways, that's just my 2c worth!!

Disclosure: To date I've backed 28 Kickstarters, of which 20 are tabletop games.

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mike
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"What is the most important quality you look for when deciding to support a KickStarter game?"


Regardless of whether or not the game is coming from kickstarter, the local retailer, online or wherever, sales channel to me is irrelevant.
I have to be able to say yes to one of these
1. Is this something I can play with my son
2. Is this something the family can play
3. Is this something for the game group

If any of those are maybe and its not likely I'll play it at least once within a few months of getting it, then I am probably not going to support the project at a level where I would get a copy of the game. Which also ties into price. Is the price reasonable for the type of game and the contents.

There have been a number of projects where I liked the concept, but the base game was simply too expensive, so I just backed at the $1 or $5 to support the project, but wasn't worried about getting a copy of the game.


"Do the Stretch Goals play an important role in your decision?"


Not really, I look at the base price first and if that is reasonable and I like the concept then I'll support it.


"If so, what types of Stretch Goals are you most intrigued with?"


I like upgrades to the components or expansions
If you are improving the quality of the boards, cards, dice, etc or adding an expansion, that's cool and I'll back at a level to get those upgrades

I don't care about SWAG like T-Shirts, Hats, Magnets, Calendar's, etc save that stuff for the convention booths or your website

I think a project can go overboard on add-ons as well. Robotech RPG Tactics was like this. I backed at the Battlecry leve, which is the most I have every contributed to one project and then simply went overboard on all the add-on packs. It's great they are having that stuff at launch, but I felt like they should have had a pledge level where you got absolutely one of everything

 
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Michael Iachini
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This thread got me thinking, and I eventually decided to go through all of the Kickstarter projects I've backed so far in order to look at what made me back them and how they turned out. I've had a few that I later felt were a waste of money, but so far most of them have been all right.

The first ten I backed are here
Numbers 11-20 are here

I plan to hit numbers 21-30 soon, but I'll have to take a break after that to give numbers 31-40 time to deliver (those are games I backed between March and July of this year).

Michael Iachini
Clay Crucible Games
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