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Lagoon: Land of Druids» Forums » General

Subject: The Perils of Highly Successful Kickstarters rss

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Colin Scanlan
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I'm proud to be a backer, but I have to wonder if the game designer has wildly underestimated the cost of producing and distributing this game.

At US$35 a copy, the game now contains 76 large painted wooden tokens and site hexes made from chunky 3mm cardboard. Besides the additional production cost of such luxurious components, this must also add to the box weight - and only US$20 has been allowed for international shipping.

On top of that, it looks like the Kickstarter will result in upwards of 3000 backer copies to distribute - an enormous task without paid assistance.

I always expect the estimated shipping time for Kickstarters to be grossly underestimated, and I certainly won't be expecting to receive this game in August, or even by the end of the year. That isn't an issue to me. My worry is that it is too easy for generous stretch goals to be piled onto highly successful Kickstarter projects, which then jeopardise the entire project due to their additional cost.

Aside from these concerns, I congratulate David for a very appealing game and for the well-deserved success of his Kickstarter project!
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Malcolm Solo
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Rest assured! David Chott, spent days of precious kickstarter time calculating the extra costs of adding screen-printed tokens to his special game. He communicated directly with his already chosen manufacturing company to get exact costs and delivery capabilities. David has done nothing but amaze us with his careful, honest and deliberate communications. I fully trust him and his product. This game is the real-deal and David's word is totally trustable.


And all of this would be meaningless if his game art, design and gameplay were nothing less than stellar! So impressed with Lagoon: Land of Druids
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Colin Scanlan
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pha3drus wrote:
David has done nothing but amaze us with his careful, honest and deliberate communications. I fully trust him and his product. This game is the real-deal and David's word is totally trustable.


Don't misread me - I don't distrust David's word or intentions at all. My concern is the potential for hidden costs to be overlooked - either by David or by his well-meaning contacts at Panda. Particularly when these calculations are being performed under considerable time pressure, as is often the case for successful Kickstarters.

pha3drus wrote:
And all of this would be meaningless if his game art, design and gameplay were nothing less than stellar! So impressed with Lagoon: Land of Druids


I'm with you there - a stunning vision of a game.
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Malcolm Solo
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Ahh, I see your point. Yes, I'm sure there are hidden costs and delays. Can't deny it. But August is 6 months away. And it looks like Panda has a lot of experience with kickstarter projects or highly popular games: http://pandagm.com/

Anyways! 3 hours left! and only $6500 away from the last stretch goal!!
Yesterday people pledged $18,169! Today looks like its gonna do the same or more!

Anyone reading this should definitely jump aboard!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1619383091/lagoon-land-...
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Nate W
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Keep in mind that anything wooden won't be in the retail version. He said he'll promote them as add-ons when these hit the shelves. Plus, we don't know how the game will go for at retail. Wouldn't be surprised if they sell for $45.
But I'm with you on the shipping. I'm ok with getting it this time next year. I'll forget about it and then it'll show up on my doorstep!
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JP Rowland
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David seems familiar with independent business ventures and looks to have done a thorough job preparing for this campaign and researching costs, talking with both his publisher as well as other successful Kickstarter game designers. I encourage anyone concerned to go read his blog (which disappointingly hasn't been updated since the start of the campaign):

http://3haresgames.com/blog/
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Eric Whitt
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Another thing to keep in mind, is a lot of people launching a kickstart go into it holding back things they already planned to have in the game to add them as goals. So his initial cost of $35 most likely already took into affect many of the addons that were achieved via goals. Just like many video game developers launch a game with DLC readily available, but if you pre-order you can sometimes get them for free.
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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isobar wrote:
Another thing to keep in mind, is a lot of people launching a kickstart go into it holding back things they already planned to have in the game to add them as goals. So his initial cost of $35 most likely already took into affect many of the addons that were achieved via goals. Just like many video game developers launch a game with DLC readily available, but if you pre-order you can sometimes get them for free.


The more copies of a game you make the cheaper each copy becomes. Thus if a Kickstarter sells more copies than the funding goal, the copies become cheaper and more stuff (= stretch goals) can be included for the same price.
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Silver Bowen
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The short reply - we won't really know for sure until the game is actually delivered.

The long reply - we won't really know for sure until the game is actually delivered

At this point worry of any kind is neither productive nor relevant. It is, quite literally, out of our hands.

This has been your moment of Zen. Thank you for participating.
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Erik Schmidt
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If anyone is having second thoughts GM me I missed the ending due to procrastination and technical difficulties.
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Colin Scanlan
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mortenmdk wrote:
The more copies of a game you make the cheaper each copy becomes. Thus if a Kickstarter sells more copies than the funding goal, the copies become cheaper and more stuff (= stretch goals) can be included for the same price.

This is certainly the assumption. But some costs may actually increase with the success of a Kickstarter. Distribution and shipping costs are just two that I can think of, for the reasons mentioned in my original post.

David is clearly a very capable individual, and Panda are certainly experienced in what they do. So the risk is probably small. It just irks me that highly successful Kickstarters encourage their owners to keep adding stretch goals on the fly, and the cost of these must also be estimated on the fly, while the price per unit necessarily remains fixed. And economies of scale are not so straightforward to calculate. To my mind, all of this must translate into risk.

One way or another, we lucky backers are getting a lot of game here for a very reasonable price.
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Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Cogs42 wrote:
mortenmdk wrote:
The more copies of a game you make the cheaper each copy becomes. Thus if a Kickstarter sells more copies than the funding goal, the copies become cheaper and more stuff (= stretch goals) can be included for the same price.

This is certainly the assumption. But some costs may actually increase with the success of a Kickstarter. Distribution and shipping costs are just two that I can think of, for the reasons mentioned in my original post.

David is clearly a very capable individual, and Panda are certainly experienced in what they do. So the risk is probably small. It just irks me that highly successful Kickstarters encourage their owners to keep adding stretch goals on the fly, and the cost of these must also be estimated on the fly, while the price per unit necessarily remains fixed. And economies of scale are not so straightforward to calculate. To my mind, all of this must translate into risk.

One way or another, we lucky backers are getting a lot of game here for a very reasonable price.


I'm not really disagreeing with you :.) My comment was a response to Eric.
 
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dan schnake
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That's too much dough unless it's murder. And if it's murder, it's not enough.
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A highly successful kickstarter is much less of a problem than a marginally successful one. You have sunk costs such as art that would take a (relatively) large chunk of the $$ if the project barely funds. On a 147K funding level, that cost is relatively trivial.

Moreover, it's cheaper per unit as your print run gets larger -- it can be quite difficult with print runs below 1000 units. At over 2000 units, it gets more reasonable.

Not saying there couldn't be bumps in the road, but Lagoon should be okay. It has nice components, but not all that many or varied. And finally, I've worked with Panda for 2 games and they've been very good.
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