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Subject: Let's work on the games of the future rss

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Sebastian Portillo
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Hi everybody,

Suplement (6th October 2016):
First, let me put straight that this is not about paying money for play testing. As often here on Forums, when you come up with certain topics there's an attack on the thread creator. I'm sure you know what I mean.

Anyway, before actually getting yourself a picture of what was going on here in the past 24 hours, I suggest you simply take a few minutes and visit: www.portillo-entertainment.com/games/about and make yourself an idea of this project.

I'd love to see your contribution here afterwards. That could be fun!


Initial post:
If you think that one of the following descriptions describes you well, then, please, read more about our project here: www.portillo-entertainment.com/games/about. Thank you!

- You play games regularly and you would love to support the design of new games that aim to improve established mechanics in order to be worth adding to your current collection.
- you're a game designer and always looking for a source of inspiration and likeminded designer fellows
- You like to play alpha and beta versions of brand new game concepts

Supplement:
- You are a game designer willing to join a group of people who gives a certain amount of money in a pot to pay for the illustration of the games that we develop with that same group of people
 
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Brendan Riley
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Usually you don't charge people for access to something like this until you have a proven track record of quality and value. I think you'd have better success gaining participants if you start off using a free-to-participate model and then, once the group has developed games and shown itself to be viable, try moving into a freemium model.

Just a first reaction. Good luck with your endeavor!
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Matt D
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wombat929 wrote:
Usually you don't charge people for access to something like this until you have a proven track record of quality and value.


I'd like to echo this. I think your idea is interesting and has some merit (breaking down game design into a very scientific/coding style of effort) that may or may not lead to success.

But I think until you've actually proven yourself as, well, anything, you're going to have a hard time getting people to pay you to be part of your beta testing pool and receive "discounts" on your games.

Most of the big publishers have developed cadres of people like the audience you are looking for, and they don't make them pay a dime. So if Mayfair, RGG, etc, are willing to give away for free what you intend to charge for, with their track record, why would anyone pay for you for the privilege?

Not trying to be mean or anything, just trying to be realistic. You're not presenting any kind of value proposition to anyone you are trying to entice. If you're trying to raise money for your game company, then consider crowd sourcing and front load the money for your next few games, and let those people be your investors. (For an example of how this works, check out how Chip Theory Games went about ramping up their production by providing a staggering opportunity for its early supporters)

But at least give people for something.

Because honestly, reading your post and your website, it kinda looks like you want people to pay you to play test for you, provide you with game designs, and what they get out of it are discounts on buying the games that they help you make.

And, uh...I'm not sure that that would fly with a gaming company that already had an established stellar reputation.
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Sebastian Portillo
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Hi guys,

Thanks for those valuable feedbacks. It is indeed the idea to get start funding together. I have invested considerable money to develop first games. We have now 5 games in progress and the first will be launched as Kickstarter campaign soon.

There is also people who join as guests but those are only added on a friendly basis. Those who contribute with only 1$ a month will make it possible that there is great illustrators working on the promising concepts to actually create a Kickstarter campaign.

Shining reputation is great but sometimes you must simply believe in what you want to create and it is the aim of the project to have visionary, open people on board who are understanding that a small financial contribution can make so much possible.

Of course, I understand that the big, shining companies with reputation will always make this for free because in the end, their community is paying the service as soon as they buy the new games - it's like a hidden cost and because their wheel is already turning, they can go on with a "free" service up front.

Matt and Brendan, you seem really nice guys and it would be a pleasure to welcome you. Let me know if you want to join the community as guests. I'd be happy to set you up

Again, thanks for the feedback!
- Sebastian
 
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Jeffrey Bailey
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Edited after sleeping off a bit of my stupidity.

While the intentions may be pure, my initial reaction is I don't trust people. Especially when they are asking me to pay to test something for them. While I see the appeal of "Early Access", I just don't get it.

If a game is interesting enough, I'll buy it after it is actually on the market. If I miss out because I didn't back it, oh well. I definitely won't pay to test a game just to buy it later (even at a discount) when it is actually produced.

That's all it really boils down to for me.

Not sure if this is any better than what I originally wrote. Need more sleep.
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Eddy Sterckx
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Oreolus wrote:
but what I read makes me feel like I'm reading the writings of a Nigerian prince or somesuch.


"Never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity" whistle

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon%27s_razor


 
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Stuart
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I'd like to see jet packs, lasers and holograms in the games of the future. Plus dice that roll themselves. And little robots to shuffle decks.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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EpicSouldier wrote:
Of course, I understand that the big, shining companies with reputation will always make this for free because in the end, their community is paying the service as soon as they buy the new games - it's like a hidden cost and because their wheel is already turning, they can go on with a "free" service up front.

Big shining companies started out small, too, in times there wasn't any Kickstarter around, so I don't quite understand the acrimonity here. Perhaps they managed to get a good business loan at the time, or used savings to finance the first few development and publishing iterations.

But I'm afraid I just don't understand the appeal of this financial model. People pay to be part of an alpha/beta programme, but if they don't like the games their money is wasted. Apart from having had a say in matters nothing really is different from participating in a crowdfunding campaign and then finding out the money was better spent elsewhere. And what are you going to do with conflicting advice at the beta stage? It's not possible to create games by consensus, after all. It also doesn't sit straight with me that being a paying tester still exposes me to the capriciousness of Kickstarter with its infamous problems of production delays, late deliveries (later than store customers I mean), and high prices (higher than in the store).

So, no.
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Matt D
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
Oreolus wrote:
but what I read makes me feel like I'm reading the writings of a Nigerian prince or somesuch.


"Never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity" whistle

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon%27s_razor




You know, I've always sort of had this maxim in my head, but never before knew it had a name. Thanks!

This is actually a real problem for me; I think because I project my level of intelligence and reason onto people (not saying mine is high, it's just not low), and so I sometimes find it hard to believe people are THAT stupid.

Not saying it applies in this case, just other cases I have to deal with. People at work, for example...
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Rob Harper
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hestiansun wrote:
eddy_sterckx wrote:
"Never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity" whistle

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon%27s_razor


You know, I've always sort of had this maxim in my head, but never before knew it had a name. Thanks!

This is actually a real problem for me; I think because I project my level of intelligence and reason onto people (not saying mine is high, it's just not low), and so I sometimes find it hard to believe people are THAT stupid.


It's often worth using a term like "incompetence", "inexperience", or "lack of awareness" instead of stupidity when applying Hanlon's Razor. Often the person being assessed isn't stupid, they might just not yet be aware of the full facts, or of how things work.
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Matt D
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polyobsessive wrote:
hestiansun wrote:
eddy_sterckx wrote:
"Never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity" whistle

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon%27s_razor


You know, I've always sort of had this maxim in my head, but never before knew it had a name. Thanks!

This is actually a real problem for me; I think because I project my level of intelligence and reason onto people (not saying mine is high, it's just not low), and so I sometimes find it hard to believe people are THAT stupid.


It's often worth using a term like "incompetence", "inexperience", or "lack of awareness" instead of stupidity when applying Hanlon's Razor. Often the person being assessed isn't stupid, they might just not yet be aware of the full facts, or of how things work.


Oh, trust me, I know. I'm a trainer so I am definitely am well aware of the difference between being uneducated and being stupid.

That being said...I do work with a lot of stupid people.

Also note, being stupid doesn't necessarily make you bad at your job. It just means you lack reasoning skills to operate outside of your given parameters. Sometimes, that actually makes you better at your job!
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Sebastian Portillo
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hestiansun wrote:
[q="wombat929"]

Because honestly, reading your post and your website, it kinda looks like you want people to pay you to play test for you, provide you with game designs, and what they get out of it are discounts on buying the games that they help you make.


I was carefully reading your comment and it is interesting that you interpret it in this way. I will add text trying to clarify even further what we endeavour at PEGames. It has to be absolutely clear that investors are not required to play test, or actively contributing to the development. According to my personal experience, many game designers subscribe to forums and newsletters only to get ''inspired''. That's not what we want. It's OK to inspire and to get inspired but if you take, it's good to give something back. We mainly focus on gathering likeminded, positive people who are constructive foremost.

Investors are granted access to the development section because they actively support (with a reasonable amount of money) what I and everybody at PEGames believe in. In this sense, they make it possible that a young game publishing company with a lot of ambitions will have a higher yearly budget to compete with the established ones and also offer top illustrated games that feel good and are worth collecting.

I am sure that people who are enthusiastic and serious about board games - people who truly love great games, will enjoy this project. Think of them as great people who are visionaries and actually enjoy the idea of game designers that are working hard to come up with something that improves the experience of playing games.

In that sense, I hope that some positive thinking minds will dare to post here too and not only the destructive ones which are often and (sadly) off topic.
 
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Matt D
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EpicSouldier wrote:
It has to be absolutely clear that investors are not required to play test, or actively contributing to the development. According to my personal experience, many game designers subscribe to forums and newsletters only to get ''inspired''. That's not what we want. It's OK to inspire and to get inspired but if you take, it's good to give something back. We mainly focus on gathering likeminded, positive people who are constructive foremost.

Investors are granted access to the development section because they actively support (with a reasonable amount of money) what I and everybody at PEGames believe in. In this sense, they make it possible that a young game publishing company with a lot of ambitions will have a higher yearly budget to compete with the established ones and also offer top illustrated games that feel good and are worth collecting.

I am sure that people who are enthusiastic and serious about board games - people who truly love great games, will enjoy this project. Think of them as great people who are visionaries and actually enjoy the idea of game designers that are working hard to come up with something that improves the experience of playing games.

In that sense, I hope that some positive thinking minds will dare to post here too and not only the destructive ones which are often and (sadly) off topic.


I'm sorry if you view my comments as "destructive" and "off topic". You posted up here what is basically an ad for your site, and asked us to "read more about it". I did, and I commented on what I read from it.

All due respect, if your intention was just to advertise the existence of your site and not have people comment on it, you would have been better off paying BGG to take out an advertisement (which is what you are saying you wanted) instead of posting on a "Discussion Forum" about it. Because, well, the latter inherently invites discussion.

Given that this is a discussion forum, I thought my post was very on-topic.

Now that you've clarified what you intend, it does become clearer for me, I think. So can you please confirm if my interpretation of the your post here reframing your message is correct:

You do not want investors to contribute to the development of games.

You don't necessarily want to gather game designers to work together and get inspired.*

You want to solicit investors to pay you for access to your library of games during their playtest stage, and then as a reward for that provide them with discounts off of the finished product if/when it comes out.



As others and I have said, I don't see how this is a value proposition. You want people to pay to PnP rough copies of games that aren't ready yet. But you haven't demonstrated that those games are inherently better than anything else out there from a PnP standpoint. Aside from having nice artwork?

Finally, I've gone from thinking that you are a somewhat ambitious game designer/publisher to someone who has a kind of insulting view of everyone else:

EpicSouldier wrote:
I am sure that people who are enthusiastic and serious about board games - people who truly love great games, will enjoy this project. Think of them as great people who are visionaries and actually enjoy the idea of game designers that are working hard to come up with something that improves the experience of playing games.


Which is to say, people who don't jump on this project are, in your mind, not serious or enthusiastic about board games. And that if we don't support you, we must be people who don't like the ideas you espouse.

With that I think you alienate most anyone who would actually be in your audience. There is a very vibrant and collaborative game designer community here on BGG -- and guess what, they all free discuss their ideas back and forth with each other, help each other out with mechanics and themes and such, playtest each other's games, and generally foster a sense of cooperation. For free. Without insulting people who don't follow their exact methodology.

So, no offense intended personally, I've adjusted my perception of you from someone who was earnestly looking for support for an idea you thought was "innovative" (but really isn't) and expected people to flock to your "innovation" and therefore sought to monetize it, to someone who seems to earnestly think that you are better than all of the people who are working on actually, uh, designing games and working together with others to do it.

I apologize that I have made another "destructive" post about your idea (btw, in the world of design, people pointing out differences of opinions or suggestions or even critiques of your ideas are actually invited and essential to make your game ultimately better -- so you may have too thin of a skin to really be a designer if you find THIS discussion "destructive"), and that it is off the topic that YOU would like. As for the former, honestly I'm not really sorry. About the latter, I think you would be wise to exercise better choices about the venues that you use. Since your interpretation of "off topic" is sadly grounded in an incorrect assumption about what the purpose of this forum is for, IMO.

I wish you the best in your endeavor, I just suggest you really consider how you go about promoting it in the future if you want to achieve success with it.

* It's hard for me to really parse what you are saying here, but the closest I can come is you don't want other game designers to come and leech off of your superior designs without contributing their own ideas to you.
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Matt Lee
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hestiansun wrote:
EpicSouldier wrote:
It has to be absolutely clear that investors are not required to play test, or actively contributing to the development. According to my personal experience, many game designers subscribe to forums and newsletters only to get ''inspired''. That's not what we want. It's OK to inspire and to get inspired but if you take, it's good to give something back. We mainly focus on gathering likeminded, positive people who are constructive foremost.

Investors are granted access to the development section because they actively support (with a reasonable amount of money) what I and everybody at PEGames believe in. In this sense, they make it possible that a young game publishing company with a lot of ambitions will have a higher yearly budget to compete with the established ones and also offer top illustrated games that feel good and are worth collecting.

I am sure that people who are enthusiastic and serious about board games - people who truly love great games, will enjoy this project. Think of them as great people who are visionaries and actually enjoy the idea of game designers that are working hard to come up with something that improves the experience of playing games.

In that sense, I hope that some positive thinking minds will dare to post here too and not only the destructive ones which are often and (sadly) off topic.


I'm sorry if you view my comments as "destructive" and "off topic". You posted up here what is basically an ad for your site, and asked us to "read more about it". I did, and I commented on what I read from it.

All due respect, if your intention was just to advertise the existence of your site and not have people comment on it, you would have been better off paying BGG to take out an advertisement (which is what you are saying you wanted) instead of posting on a "Discussion Forum" about it. Because, well, the latter inherently invites discussion.

Given that this is a discussion forum, I thought my post was very on-topic.

Now that you've clarified what you intend, it does become clearer for me, I think. So can you please confirm if my interpretation of the your post here reframing your message is correct:

You do not want investors to contribute to the development of games.

You don't necessarily want to gather game designers to work together and get inspired.*

You want to solicit investors to pay you for access to your library of games during their playtest stage, and then as a reward for that provide them with discounts off of the finished product if/when it comes out.



As others and I have said, I don't see how this is a value proposition. You want people to pay to PnP rough copies of games that aren't ready yet. But you haven't demonstrated that those games are inherently better than anything else out there from a PnP standpoint. Aside from having nice artwork?

Finally, I've gone from thinking that you are a somewhat ambitious game designer/publisher to someone who has a kind of insulting view of everyone else:

EpicSouldier wrote:
I am sure that people who are enthusiastic and serious about board games - people who truly love great games, will enjoy this project. Think of them as great people who are visionaries and actually enjoy the idea of game designers that are working hard to come up with something that improves the experience of playing games.


Which is to say, people who don't jump on this project are, in your mind, not serious or enthusiastic about board games. And that if we don't support you, we must be people who don't like the ideas you espouse.

With that I think you alienate most anyone who would actually be in your audience. There is a very vibrant and collaborative game designer community here on BGG -- and guess what, they all free discuss their ideas back and forth with each other, help each other out with mechanics and themes and such, playtest each other's games, and generally foster a sense of cooperation. For free. Without insulting people who don't follow their exact methodology.

So, no offense intended personally, I've adjusted my perception of you from someone who was earnestly looking for support for an idea you thought was "innovative" (but really isn't) and expected people to flock to your "innovation" and therefore sought to monetize it, to someone who seems to earnestly think that you are better than all of the people who are working on actually, uh, designing games and working together with others to do it.

I apologize that I have made another "destructive" post about your idea (btw, in the world of design, people pointing out differences of opinions or suggestions or even critiques of your ideas are actually invited and essential to make your game ultimately better -- so you may have too thin of a skin to really be a designer if you find THIS discussion "destructive"), and that it is off the topic that YOU would like. As for the former, honestly I'm not really sorry. About the latter, I think you would be wise to exercise better choices about the venues that you use. Since your interpretation of "off topic" is sadly grounded in an incorrect assumption about what the purpose of this forum is for, IMO.

I wish you the best in your endeavor, I just suggest you really consider how you go about promoting it in the future if you want to achieve success with it.

* It's hard for me to really parse what you are saying here, but the closest I can come is you don't want other game designers to come and leech off of your superior designs without contributing their own ideas to you.


Funny thing... I have that vibe from the vast majority of the posts in the board game forums on LinkedIn. People who think the secretiveness protects the "value" of the game idea and is placed above almost anything else, which is drastically reduced by "exposing" it to the general public.
 
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Timothy Young
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klz_fc wrote:
the board game forums on LinkedIn.



I never knew that was a thing. Is it worth checking out?
 
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You are asking people to "invest", but it doesn't sound like you're offering stock or dividends, just a name in the credits and early access to in-development projects.

Investing involves the expectation of a financial return. What you appear to want are not investors, but patrons.

I suppose they're nice if you can get them, but I won't hold my breath.
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Sebastian Portillo
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Hi Matt,

First, I'm sorry if you feel pointed at when I mentioned off topic.

Second, concerning your very simplistic reframe, the answer is no.

1) I do not necessarily want investors to contribute to the development of games but they are very welcome if they want to.
2) I do want to gather game designers to work together and get inspired. (star off, since this is what I mean, period)

Point 3) is completely off, please forgive the directness.

Here is a more accurate simplification:
3) Investors should get free access to the development of what is currently in development stage.

I hope those clarifications help. And, btw, I really believe that your comment that I'm referring to here is very constructive and not off topic.

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Sebastian Portillo
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Antistone wrote:
You are asking people to "invest", but it doesn't sound like you're offering stock or dividends, just a name in the credits and early access to in-development projects.

Investing involves the expectation of a financial return. What you appear to want are not investors, but patrons.

I suppose they're nice if you can get them, but I won't hold my breath.


Hi Jeremy,

You're making a good point here. Patron is most probably more accurate although the games we come up with is what I was thinking of being the return I guess.
 
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TIM0THY wrote:
klz_fc wrote:
the board game forums on LinkedIn.



I never knew that was a thing. Is it worth checking out?


For the most part, not anymore. I stopped looking when it became an absolutely useless resource. The "business-oriented" posters all overwhelm things and it was at least 80% advertising for an upcoming game release/crowdfunding campaign or Chinese printers who never posted anything but their own products and no attempt to at least be part of the community. I think Roy(?) from Paragon is one of the few I respected because he would discuss his company's services when he felt it was useful, but also was a contributing member of the community.

There were still some decent people there (Chern Ann Ng I think - from CMON, Ann Stolinsky, and a couple of others I can't recall offhand now), but I noticed when James Mathe stopped posting on there on a regular basis and focused on the much more useful Facebook groups, the amount of real information pretty much dried up, and the repeated questions that were answered and still on the same first page of threads but rehashing the arguments/discussions in those still relatively fresh threads got really tired.

Truthfully, look up those FB groups too. I think they are often as useful (in slightly different ways) as here and BGDF. The groups are a lot more focused (development only, design only, etc), so you might have be a bit careful when posting to the individual groups, but it's also useful to see what designers who do not come here or BGDF think or what kind of information they are looking for.
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EpicSouldier wrote:

First, I'm sorry if you feel pointed at when I mentioned off topic.


Ok.

EpicSouldier wrote:

Second, concerning your very simplistic reframe, the answer is no.

1) I do not necessarily want investors to contribute to the development of games but they are very welcome if they want to.
2) I do want to gather game designers to work together and get inspired. (star off, since this is what I mean, period)

Point 3) is completely off, please forgive the directness.

Here is a more accurate simplification:
3) Investors should get free access to the development of what is currently in development stage.


So just to clarify, your correction from my simplification was just to remove the idea that they would receive discounts on the games when they come out? So really, being an "investor" just gives access to the games during their development cycle?

EpicSouldier wrote:

I hope those clarifications help. And, btw, I really believe that your comment that I'm referring to here is very constructive and not off topic.


I'm trying to be. I firmly believe that you are trying to do something productive for the community, and that you have an innovative approach to making games. I don't think that you're a shyster out to try to make money from nothing.

My word of caution is that I think that you have inflated your sense of your own innovation and importance, and that has allowed you to think that what you are offering is worth paying for. It's not, from what I can see.

If you want to foster a community that has a deconstructionist model of game development, do that. It might yield some really interesting results! But don't try to monetize something that at the moment doesn't really represent a value. You are saying how you want to try to limit your own risk, etc, and that the investors will help bring your dream into reality. And that's great. Except pretty much all of the folks that came before you (and there are a lot of them) did it with either their own money or by using crowd sourcing or other techniques to be able to raise the money, with the specific idea in mind of rewarding those who providing funds in the early going with a clear reward.

I doubt you will find many people who want to just throw money at you so you can design games to better society. As was pointed out earlier, you most certainly are asking more for patrons than investors -- and frankly, outside of Shakespeare, Dante, Michaelangelo, etc, people don't really get patrons anymore.
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From the website:
Quote:
Once that we have something in place that is fun to play without a theme, we use the designed mechanics and implement them into a small game which is themed to test it.

Erm... if you want the best possible game designed, you should be creating mechanisms along with an evolving theme.

Hey, you want a business idea? Send me pre-made prototypes of games from a well-known designer, then I'll buy in!
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Sebastian Portillo
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Quote:
So just to clarify, your correction from my simplification was just to remove the idea that they would receive discounts on the games when they come out? So really, being an "investor" just gives access to the games during their development cycle?


You're right there, again, I was not careful and precise enough when rephrasing. The discount is actually a credit. That means that if you invest X you get X back on games that make it to the manufacturer. In that sense, you invest because you kind of lock the money together with other people, the game is designed, hopefully Kickstarted and then sent back to you including your investment. So you kind of lose nothing and gain something back. In the worst case, you must hope that enough people join in so that there's one game manufactured because the community has grown to the point where there's enough investment to manufacture a title.

That can - in the case of 12$ - be a card game for instance.

Anyway, this is really some detailed possible development of how the project works. I guess if we actually come up with some concrete new games all this will make more sense.

Check out WizArt™ if you like for a concrete example. That one did have great positive impact as our first work in progress and we'll be launching the KS soon.
 
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EpicSouldier wrote:
The discount is actually a credit. That means that if you invest X you get X back on games that make it to the manufacturer.


As others have pointed out several times, that's not investing. In investing I would expect to an investment of X to yield a return of X+Y, where Y is a positive number. In this proposal Y will never be positive; it will either be zero, and may be negative in case you don't release a game.
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Sebastian Portillo
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Hi adamredwoods,

Your quote refers to the first stage for mechanic play testing. It gives a flair but of course you're right. In the process where we actually come up with the storyboard, the mechanics (German tradition) need additional rules (American tradition) and evolve along with the theme (I guess we mention this a bit further down on the page that you quoted but eventually not with the necessary precision).
 
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Sebastian Portillo
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Hi Jaffeli,

I can't agree here. X is your money you put into the project and Y is not the currency or any monetary value but the value of owning a game including all the experiences that come along which would never have been possible without the initial X. In that sense X and Y are not belonging to the same set but simply representing something valuable in terms of "valuable to a game enthusiast who enjoys games that are designed by PEGames".

There is always going to be at least one game released due to companies like Game Crafter who allow print on demand and will make it possible to offer single releases. This particular scenario would be the case if there is only one investor who claims a game - so we end up designing one item for him
 
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