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Subject: Excitement quickly birthed then slowly killed by a publisher rss

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Brian Davis
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In particular, I'm referring to the game Myth by MERCS. During the initial Kickstarter campaign, the money was fast flowing, the updates were informative, the game looked stellar... my excitement for the game was born!

Fast forward a couple of years, and now I have zero interest in the game. (and I haven't even played it yet)

Why? many reasons. Here is how MERCS killed my interest in what could've been an awesome game.

The Kickstarter campaign:

Started off fast and furious and has grinded to a halt (even though I have 95% of what I pledged for, it has yet to be fulfilled). The initial campaign was exciting and well done... until shortly after that million bucks hit their bank accounts. Now, as a US backer there hasn't been any news from the campaign (that is pertinent to me anyways) since September...

Delays, bad communication, knee-jerk reactions to people's criticisms, excuses, and only partial fulfillment almost two years later has left a really bad taste in my mouth for MERCS. I will likely never support another Kickstarter project from them.

Fulfillment:

I have received MOST of what I had pledged for. however, my fulfillment was rife with error. Shortly after receiving my wave 2 box, I counted 6 minis short (every US backer were shorted these) 2 missing boss decks, and several individual cards were missing. I notified MERCS immediately and got an ambiguous reply over 2 months ago stating I'd receive my replacement parts once all orders had been fulfilled...

The quality of the miniatures was lacking (we were promised hobby-level rigid miniatures--we got soft FFG-like plastic minis). Needless to say, most of the wave 2 minis I received were bent out of shape...

The Game Itself:

Had a horrible, hard to read/understand ruleset (which has apparently been revised but you have to print your own copy). Many of the cards have been updated but again you have to print your own... There were broken quest lines, typos, etc.

One would think that with the many delays the game had, that they would've addressed a few of these issues before printing and shipping a half finished game.

Keep in mind, I have yet to actually play the game (since I have lost all interest in doing so) but I have watched many videos (some gleaming--others glaring) about the game/the rules/etc.

All of that to say this:

It's a weird thing to have experienced such excitement for a game initially and then to have that ripped away from you slowly over a period of time. I was SO excited for Myth, and Now I'm at a point where I'm almost willing to just trade the thing off just to be rid of it (if it were complete lol). I've also lost all faith in its designers and publishers, with whom initially, I was right on board with and even sided with on many of the things that happened during the campaign. I've had a similar experience with HEX from Cryptozoic (was super excited initially--now I'm kind of over it).

Is this a typical response to the long KS campaigns that have tons of problems and delays? I read about some of the issues with Kingdom: Death recently and can understand some of the frustrations people have.(which is what initially inspired this post)

Have you had a similar experience, where your excitement for a game was crushed by bad communication or tons of problems and delays?

How do you get that excitement back? Should I just take Myth off of the shelf, watch the tutorial vids, read the rules, and give it a go, despite the bad taste in my mouth? Or should I say forget it and move on? Any advice is appreciated. I would like to get that excitement back!

Thanks!
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I definitely know how you feel. I have a similar feeling with the Mars Attacks game now that I have not received all of my pledge even though Mantic announced that ALL shipping is done and they have moved on to a new kickstarter shipping. I only received the base game and that was it, and have contacted them.

I also backed Warmachine Tactics video game from Privateer Press, and although they have announced that everything is done..... I still have not received my game, only a metal miniature. I am still awaiting responses from both of those companies.

How do you get the feeling of excitement back. I really don't know. Right now, I don't even like looking at what I've received from the two games while waiting for the silence from these companies to be broken.
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Kip Kwiatkowski
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Dig

This was my Kickstarter Flunky. Jason was nice, responded to backers seemed like an awesome game.

When I got the game it was very cheaply made, bad cards were apparent due to slight discoloration, the rules were mediocre and the mechanics were "Blah" at best. Also the negative cards were devistating, you could be going well then suddenly you were far behind.

Jason did offer to replace the copy, but I doubt the new copy would be better quality.
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Curt Carpenter
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Caedmus wrote:
How do you get that excitement back?

You don't. At least not for Kickstarters. Instead, you come to the realization that if you care more about actually getting a great game for your money (remember, there some who claim that what you should care about is the ability to stand proud, just knowing that you helped the game get produced at all), then it's much safer to stick with games that have already been released, and people have been able to give feedback on the actual released game. You realize that it's actually extremely common for KS games with nice minis to get a lot of hype, and not live up to it after release. You realize that there are plenty of great games already out there. You realize that you don't actually care that much about that feeling of satisfaction knowing that you helped the game get released. You care more about getting good gaming value for your dollar that comes from buying known entities, i.e. released games. Etc.
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Brian Davis
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curtc wrote:
Caedmus wrote:
How do you get that excitement back?

You don't. At least not for Kickstarters. Instead, you come to the realization that if you care more about actually getting a great game for your money (remember, there some who claim that what you should care about is the ability to stand proud, just knowing that you helped the game get produced at all), then it's much safer to stick with games that have already been released, and people have been able to give feedback on the actual released game. You realize that it's actually extremely common for KS games with nice minis to get a lot of hype, and not live up to it after release. You realize that there are plenty of great games already out there. You realize that you don't actually care that much about that feeling of satisfaction knowing that you helped the game get released. You care more about getting good gaming value for your dollar that comes from buying known entities, i.e. released games. Etc.


I have had some really good KS experiences, but I guess it really is hit or miss. I find if the creators are honest and open and work to actually deliver on what was promised that it makes waiting on the game easier. But excuses, miscommunication, delays and problems clouded in ambiguity, bad customer service, etc. really hinder maintaining that initial excitement.
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Craig H
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curtc wrote:
You realize that it's actually extremely common for KS games with nice minis to get a lot of hype, and not live up to it after release. You realize that there are plenty of great games already out there.


Well said ! Have some GG for finally convincing me to get out of a current mini-heavy KS game that, to me at least, looks like fairly mediocre gameplay.
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Michael Gardner
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I've sort of felt this way about Zombie '15. One of the reasons I bought it was for the solo campaign. This is one of the several items iello has not shipped. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth that once they receive your money, the updates and responses become much more infrequent. They're occasional and erratic responses indicate they were no where near complete with the stretch goals when they were formally claiming to ship it all with the core game. They are actually stating now that efforts are slowed on finishing the project because they have other upcoming projects to produce.

This has not only tempered my enthusiasm for Zombie '15, but also for the several other iello games I already own. It also kept me from pledging for their new kickstarter.

Compare this to the latest Resistance, Reaper Bones, and Super Dungeon Explore kickstarters, all of which have been delayed. Their transparency and frequent updates have softened the disappointment.

Lesson learned, I suppose.
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Kip Kwiatkowski
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I HATE games with Minis. They are usually overpriced for the quality. I wrote Cool Mini or Not that they should have a mini-free backer level.
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I think it is the KS blues. I found this with Arcadia Quest. The 3 month delay before they even put the EU\ROW shipment on a boat after the US backer got their game meant all the excitement and unpacking videos just burned me out.

It remains still shrink wrapped on the shelf and I have no desire to play it.

Sadly that is a fairly common KS experience as AQ is the only KS game I ordered 2014 for 2104 that has arrived in 2014.
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M M
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curtc wrote:
Caedmus wrote:
How do you get that excitement back?

You don't. At least not for Kickstarters. Instead, you come to the realization that if you care more about actually getting a great game for your money (remember, there some who claim that what you should care about is the ability to stand proud, just knowing that you helped the game get produced at all), then it's much safer to stick with games that have already been released, and people have been able to give feedback on the actual released game. You realize that it's actually extremely common for KS games with nice minis to get a lot of hype, and not live up to it after release. You realize that there are plenty of great games already out there. You realize that you don't actually care that much about that feeling of satisfaction knowing that you helped the game get released. You care more about getting good gaming value for your dollar that comes from buying known entities, i.e. released games. Etc.

FWIW, I've been hoodwinked far more often by exuberant reviews of games which I can pile into a CSI order or Amazon 1-Click than of KS pre-orders. It probably is somewhat related to the idea that I start looking at KS campaigns with an eye of jadedness but it's still nonetheless true. After I click the KS pledge button I'll have a few weeks to think about if it's something I really want to commit to. Whereas once I click the Buy button for CSI/Amazon it's only after I get the shipment that I think, "what have I done."
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J Holmes
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I'd also say, if you are a geek, and you are backing more than a few kickstarters you have to accept you'll be printing out errata/faqs/manuals for some games.
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jamuki (Jueguetistorias)
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Mat628 wrote:
curtc wrote:
Caedmus wrote:
How do you get that excitement back?

You don't. At least not for Kickstarters. Instead, you come to the realization that if you care more about actually getting a great game for your money (remember, there some who claim that what you should care about is the ability to stand proud, just knowing that you helped the game get produced at all), then it's much safer to stick with games that have already been released, and people have been able to give feedback on the actual released game. You realize that it's actually extremely common for KS games with nice minis to get a lot of hype, and not live up to it after release. You realize that there are plenty of great games already out there. You realize that you don't actually care that much about that feeling of satisfaction knowing that you helped the game get released. You care more about getting good gaming value for your dollar that comes from buying known entities, i.e. released games. Etc.

FWIW, I've been hoodwinked far more often by exuberant reviews of games which I can pile into a CSI order or Amazon 1-Click than of KS pre-orders. It probably is somewhat related to the idea that I start looking at KS campaigns with an eye of jadedness but it's still nonetheless true. After I click the KS pledge button I'll have a few weeks to think about if it's something I really want to commit to. Whereas once I click the Buy button for CSI/Amazon it's only after I get the shipment that I think, "what have I done."


That is why negative reviews are so valuable. Unfortunately they are uncommon.
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Curt Carpenter
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jamuki wrote:
Mat628 wrote:
FWIW, I've been hoodwinked far more often by exuberant reviews of games which I can pile into a CSI order or Amazon 1-Click than of KS pre-orders.

That is why negative reviews are so valuable. Unfortunately they are uncommon.

That's also why there's value in buying games that are released. The are multiple unbiased opinions readily available, i.e. not just from people who played pre-production copies. And you can figure out which opinion sources best align with your own, and weight those accordingly.
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Brett Burleigh II
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Caedmus wrote:
Is this a typical response to the long KS campaigns that have tons of problems and delays? I read about some of the issues with Kingdom: Death recently and can understand some of the frustrations people have.(which is what initially inspired this post)

How do you get that excitement back? Should I just take Myth off of the shelf, watch the tutorial vids, read the rules, and give it a go, despite the bad taste in my mouth? Or should I say forget it and move on? Any advice is appreciated. I would like to get that excitement back!


To answer your question OP, from my perspective: Yes. Try your own suggestions. I've seen a lot of folks that have "improved" the ruleset for Myth and I've heard that it's much better with those rules. I did not back it, haven't played, and have zero interest (before/during/after the campaign). It's a major bummer when components fail to match up with expected and "agreed upon" standards. (By agreed upon, I mean, you agreed with the creator, as a backer, and used your voice during the campaign/production to say: "Yes, I'll gladly wait for the improvement")

I did not back Xia, but I bought another Backer's KS copy. There were some delays to improve quality, but Cody (Designer) was extremely forthcoming and open about each phase, and looking back, you can see his backers were supportive of the decisions. He admits many times asking the backers what they'd like to see, tweaks, feedback, etc., and at decision time, would ask--"Am I being a perfectionist? Do you mind waiting?" Which is a very nice consideration when you give someone your hard earned monies. I think that the wait for Xia was well worth it. There was no issue of scope explosion, just component upgrades to meet the "agreed upon" standards.
(Hint: the components turned out beautifully, and the game is gorgeous just to look at and handle [the metal credits are killer!]) The gameplay is pretty solid, and the ability and community that are already producing mods are really adding strength to Xia's universe.

I think Xia is a pretty solid example of a very well run campaign & development cycle. Cody was receptive to feedback, open, honest and prompt about delays, and adhered to consistent and timely updates. Scope creep did not become an issue, due to the way that the SG's were designed, and the $$$ goals were great enough to support each new unlocked endeavor.

I think anytime there's a delay, you're going to lose a little bit of excitement, but it's all about the rebound. Where's the increase in value? Is it a perceptible change?
IE -- We're waiting longer, amd we're getting PAINTED mini's not plain?? OK, worth the wait. VS. Delay, for the backed product as listed initially.
I think that a project's inevitable wrap-up and fulfillment usually pumps any remaining excitement to a max and drums up the support and buzz all over again. Another way that Xia was smart in design, is, it all came in one box. No waves. No missing components. No "We made 541 figures for wave 1, with 72 packs of cards, and we've really rushed to crush this rulebook out" issues. How bad is it if the Creator of a project can't even keep their creations straight, and end up missing those items for ALL orders!? Whoops!

But, at this point--you've already forked over the cash, it's sitting on your shelf… I'd say it's it's worth taking out for a (hopeful) joyride.
Or sell it, and be done with it.
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Published games are always better. I love Mansions of Madness, but just the base game is prone to setup mistakes and the first print run had issues. Three expansions later and with the help of BGG, it is a much better game.

I was apprehensive about Historia, but I backed it. I usually stick to pnp games because I am distrustful about delivery. My view of Historia? If it had been a $5 to $10 pnp game I would have thought it incredible, but as a full priced game in a huge box with a 2.5 hour play time (the "25 minutes per player" is deceptive because you always fill out to 6 with civbots to get an interactive game). I enjoy it, but I think I would have been happier buying a game like Archipelago off the shelf.

I get the drop off in feedback. I backed the pnp of Ophir (have yet to print it), but communication dropped off pretty fast and the pnp info was absent in most updates. Compare this to Progress: Evolution of Technology which was constant feedback and updates over the first few weeks until the pnp was released! It made me an NSKN Games fan - I look for their stuff on shelves now because they had incredible communication.

However, I'd say in general I've had very good success on kickstarter. Of course, I avoid the plastic-heavy physical games.
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kgk4569 wrote:
I HATE games with Minis. They are usually overpriced for the quality. I wrote Cool Mini or Not that they should have a mini-free backer level.
Of course they are going to be overpriced for the quality.

They promise to deliver custom minis on a tiny print run. How can that NOT cost a load more money than professional minis that are probably ordered in volumes an order of magnitude larger?

But it sells so companies will continue to bait with them.
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Caedmus wrote:

How do you get that excitement back? Should I just take Myth off of the shelf, watch the tutorial vids, read the rules, and give it a go, despite the bad taste in my mouth? Or should I say forget it and move on? Any advice is appreciated. I would like to get that excitement back!

Thanks!


If you want that excitement of getting something hot off the presses, I think that ship has sailed.

What you CAN get now, is the feeling of getting a 'new' game (like you went to the store and bought it), added with the feeling that you helped make it happen.

I would wait a while, and then come back to it once your immediate distaste wears off.

If in the future you feel the desire to print off the 'updated rules set' for the game and try it out, then take the game off the shelf and try it out. You can't force the feeling.

Whether you will enjoy the 'opening the box' game experience will come down a lot to whether or not you think the game is a good one.

As for future Kickstarter experiences - I do think it comes down to communications and proper expectations - if the creator doesn't set the right ones, or the consumer expects too much, someone is not going to have a good time.

Kickstarter can give you a bigger feeling of elation when you support projects you love - not only do you get a new game, but you are often helping make it happen.

But I would say this - Kickstarter is not for everyone. While I advise you to be thoughtful on what you back, no matter how careful you are, you're going to back some Kickstarter duds. That's the nature of the process.

The way I look at it - if you're the type of gamer that doesn't like Luck in your games, Kickstarter is probably not for you.
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aylwong wrote:

But I would say this - Kickstarter is not for everyone. While I advise you to be thoughtful on what you back, no matter how careful you are, you're going to back some Kickstarter duds. That's the nature of the process.


I've pretty much came to this conclusion after getting 2 mediocre games from Kickstarter. 1 already left my collection and the other on my shelf collecting dust.

I find the hype machine wasn't worth the money amount that I've put in and the exclusives are meh if the game is mediocre.

I am now sticking to the traditional published game route.
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