Eirik Johnsbråten
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A lot has been said about this campaign. Some are happy, some wanted something else, some expected something else. So, looking back, how did you want the KS to look like? Here's your chance to make your suggestion. You don't really need to calculate anything to make it econimically, but it should be something we could expect to see on Kickstarter.

Here's my take.

Make two pledge levels, standard and deluxe. Standard is with made with meeples and/or standees, maybe meeples for peons and warriors, and standees for heroes. Deluxe is with miniatures, but no prepainted miniatures.

Make the board for four players, with only four islands, and thus smaller. This way the basic game is more focused, and more people would be able to fit it on the board.

New races are stretch goals. I know these will be expensive to make, especially with miniatures, but stretch goals with game content seems to appeal to many, so it would generate enthusiasm for the project. Between these races could be stretch goals for mercenaries, which should be cheaper than whole races. These races could be expansions later, and maybe we even could get to add them through pledge manager if they're not unlocked.

As for addons, I want two. One with the Nomads, but include a solo variant with that. This can be used to add excitement to the board with fewer players. The second addon is a 5-6 player expansion, with an addon board that fits next to the normal board, but print it on the back side of the main board, so that you could get one contigous board that matches the size of the board you have today, similar to what Scythe did. Also, in this expansion put the extra tactic cards needed for more players.

Also, add more videos highlighting the different gameplay aspects of the game, make another playthrough with better lighting, sound, and camera angles, give us a real rulebook, and show only components that are near final (remember, we only see what you show us, not your visions).

As for prices, I would back this game at $70 for the standard version, hoping that more races would join the game. I don't know what to ask for the deluxe version, but let's say $110 for the deluxe pledge. And let's say $15 for the Nomads ($25 with minis), and $15 for the 5-6 player expansion. With $25 for shipping to Norway, I'd get the standard game with both addons for $125. If I got two or three races with stretch goal, I'd be a happy camper.
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Scott Everts
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It's perfectly fine the way it is.
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Stan Sevcik
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I'm not sure these suggestions are that helpful. The problem is that they might not make much difference, just like all the other suggestions they had already implemented in their campaign. Like when people were asking for a cheap version and then the $60 standee version did not make a real dent int he campaign. Or when people were complaining about the SGs so they changed them to please the popular opinion and it resulted in just a $9000 gain.

With this in mind - if they really restarted the campaign the way people are asking them to and it would only make an additional $5000 more than this one, I would not be surprised at all.
 
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N K
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No meeples. For the love of Odin no meeples I like this game immersive as it is. Maybe just make the peon minis/standees smaller but thats about all I would do there. Making the board smaller I kind of agree with as six players are kind of a stretch, and the board is huge (even in the gameplay videos they only played with 4 players). Though it will lose the sense of exploration and branching out, not to mention the nomads (if I understand the nomads correctly). Honestly 4 new races are available in the expansion packs so I don't see that as getting new backers but who knows. The mercenaries are better stretch goals though I doubt they'll reach them. Just leave them for an add-on or another kickstarter sequel down the road like they did with Tiny Epic Galaxies where they added more content after people played the original game and it got a lot of fans.

The solo rules have my vote. If there were genuinely good solo play I probably wouldn't hesitate to back it. And an add on board to make it bigger if someone wants 5-6 players is a good idea as well.

Obviously the presentation of the page, more professional gameplay videos, better painted miniatures and a rulebook that doesn't look and read like a rough draft filled with spelling mistakes are all needed.

The gameplay seems solid, the ships and castles and towers are all great with a unique look to each race. The miniatures are decent enough (especially the expansion ones). With nomads and mercenaries that adds a whole other element but maybe let it go till further down the road when the core game is out. Maybe even change up the 4 initial races - I know those are the most common fantasy tropes and like the old warcraft games but maybe have 2 "good" ones like humans and elves and 2 "bad" ones like Orcs and Undead (admittedly I'm biased against dwarves). I don't think there is inherently anything wrong with the game - it excited the hell out of me, but price and recent kickstarters and coming out only a short time after their previous two kickstarters which I'm still waiting for means I'm still on the fence. But I do want to get it eventually but might just wait till retail.

I don't think it needs to be restarted. It got funded and did a good job compared to a lot of games, albeit below expectations. It's not like the Warriors game that had to keep going back to the drawing board as it would never get funded with two failed attempts (and as a huge fan of the movie I didn't even contemplate funding it as it didn't capture the spirit of the movie, let alone seem fun). Unless they need more time to iron things out but it could also lose backers who get mad that it was simply cancelled after already being funded. It may need some improvements though like a way to make the board smaller but I don't know if there's enough time in the campaign nor if it will ruin the good aspects of the design.)
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At this point, it doesn't matter. I'd rather people put time into the "Let's Contribute Ideas for Future Content" thread.

(Although, I do get people like to analyze events. It's a new style, maybe size is a better word, for them; they're figuring it out as they go. It's fine; at least they're willing to adapt. It's the sign of a survivor!)
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Emils E
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I think there are 2 main problems with the campaign
1. it is on the pricey side.
2. too many pledge levels from the get go.

Both are very interlinked issues. Most KS backers go and look at top tier to determine what to do. And here it was just a bit too much. Had they started with just a core box and done expansions in a seperate campain or as addons I think it might have done better.
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Duo Maxwell
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There are a ton of good ideas that have been discussed.

[1] I think first GG needs to address the elephant in the room which is price.
They need to figure out at what price point can they charge but still be profitable but with the notion that they want to maximize profit.
If they had reduced the price of the base game + 2 expansions from $175 to $150, they might have obtained 100 more backers and although the $25 dollar reduction would be bad maybe it is off-set by have 100 more backers. At $150 dollars, I would assume that they would still be profitable but only GG can truly say. And if $150 is too high then consider $125.

[2] Also, I think an issue that I can not put my finger on is, Do people just want a Large Epic Kingdom or do they really want HoLAS? I'm not sure to be honest. If they provided in the campaign meeples through meeplesource and a game board, would that have been enough to entice the 7000 backers from their other projects? Perhaps, it would. I personally like the idea of miniatures in a big box game. I just don't like the price of the pledge level with both expansions (I'm a completionist - at $150, i might have jumped on, and at $125, I definitely be on board). I am no stranger to dropping a lot of coin on games and my hesitancy is not due to frugality.

I think some see this game as an identity crisis. What does it want to be. It seems to be in a gray area between a CMON project and TEK yet at the price of boutique game.

It seems like we have discussed all this ad nauseam.

Momentum. I literally saw the life blood drain from this campaign. The winds were depleted from the sails. Yes, the campaign will fund but again, could it have been more successful? I think the Momentum loss was due to all the little missteps (standees but we won't support, perceived bad paint job, perception of board size). This was a death by a thousand cuts.

I think we also can not ignore the stretch goal issue. This project waded into CMON territory without examining or studying how they do it. Whether or not you like exclusive stretch goals, you can not deny the success of CMON which using these types of goals. You can't have poorly structured stretch goals and then try to retro-actively shoe horn them in.

There are so many issues but the last one I will mention is the standee.
Is even offering the standee version lucrative to GG? I think to offer it and then not support it in retail is a bad move. People who buy the standee and then try to get an expansion box will have a game that looks like it was Frankenstein'ed together. I cobbled up mix of standees and plastic miniatures which to me would be an eye sore. I am not sure they should offer it at all especially since it is not one of the popular and makes up a smaller portion of the volume of sales.


GG is a business. They have to do what is fiscally responsible. If they can't lower their prices, that is a business decision. And we can criticize but at the end of the day they have that right. At the same time GG is not a charity either. We are not altruist that just over pay to GG (what we perceive to be over paying) just to see them become successful.
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Michael Callahan
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I think it is very hard to decide to reboot a campaign like this. It is well over its funding goal (yes, I know sometimes those are not real),.... but they can make it at this level. MCG ran into the same issues with Dark Frontier recently; there was a perceived price issue,... questions on why there were not more minis, etc. Some attempts to shift some goals, etc.

In the end; with some calling for a reboot; that one went through, and they'll produced likely less games than they had hoped. They learn from it and move on to the next project.

IF,.... and that's a big if,.. you decided to reboot,... I would:

1) get rid of pre-paints - an expensive option that is not driving sales
2) minis have to stay - you have invested money here already
3) just two options 4 player or 6 player (i like the split double sided board idea)
4) unlock other races later,... give mercenaries earlier in SG.
5) no card, box, printing improvement SG for a $100+ game!
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cbrook29 wrote:

There are so many issues but the last one I will mention is the standee.
Is even offering the standee version lucrative to GG? I think to offer it and then not support it in retail is a bad move. People who buy the standee and then try to get an expansion box will have a game that looks like it was Frankenstein'ed together. I cobbled up mix of standees and plastic miniatures which to me would be an eye sore. I am not sure they should offer it at all especially since it is not one of the popular and makes up a smaller portion of the volume of sales.


Interestingly the current top spot on "The Hotness" here on BGG is Gloomhaven which was very successful on kickstarter and had a standee tier and a miniature tier. The thing is it's only the heroes that are miniatures. The monsters are standees no matter what tier you backed. You can see pics here on BGG and it looks awful in my opinion but as people noted it would have been super expensive otherwise. And over 3000 people backed that upper tier to get a game with minis and standees mixing together. I'm not sure it's as big of a deal if people get the base game of HoLaS at $40 cheaper (or $65 cheaper with expansions). But yes they should be supported in further kickstarters if they come about or exclusive standee expansions directly from their website even if you can't buy them in stores (just as deluxe content is only available from their website vs retail).
 
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Nathan Moore
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I have gloomhaven and LOVE the game

but yah... the standees look awful. That being said, if I had to pay 150-200 to get all the miniatures I would have never backed.

Thats the thing that gets kinda lost in all of this - price point matters. Its not JUST about whether or not the game looks good, its about whether or not it looks good at the price point you are offering it at. Gloomhaven's standees look terrible, but they were CHEAP and I got a freaking AWESOME co-op rpg game for a great price. Value wise, I feel like gloomhavens a great value and this game just wouldn't be, even at that standee level (alot of which is due to the added shipping)

I agree theres no way they are stopping a 300k campaign, but I would hope if they had to do it all over again they would try to get a 60 (with shipping) price point for this game, at that point it would likely sell like gangbusters. People can argue all they want that 'they love the game with the miniatures!' but the problem isn't if some people do, its how many people do you turn away by changing the price point. To be honest its hard to know.
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Standees.

KS has matured to the point where, at $100, potential backers are going to expect miniatures and other high-grade components. Besides Heroes, Myth: Dark Frontiers certainly had this problem as well. Makes sense to me, considering that $100 plus shipping is *still* a lot of money. While half of the Scythe backers went for the $100 pledge, a sixth still pledged for the $59 version. Other less Ameritrash games, such as Vast, started with standees and added miniatures in a future edition.

At the same time, I'm noticing more KS offering standees as an option, certainly more than a year ago when it wasn't an option, at least as an alternative to miniatures. Offhand, Victory Point Games' Darkest Night and Cryptozoic Entertainment's Walking Dead offered standees as an alternative to miniatures.

Gamelyn Games is also best known for its Tiny Epic series of games. GG customers didn't expect a premium-priced game from a budget game company. Maybe had GG relased PnP games to the backers of its previous games and asked for reviews, they would have tempered surprises and expectations.

As for Meeples and mini's, maybe GG could have worked with Meeple Source to design meeples for the game, and used generic fantasy miniatures already on the market. That's only my personal wish, though.
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Zachary Homrighaus
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I think 100% of the issues with this campaign are rooted in perceived value which has a direct correlation with price. This has been argued 100 times in a 100 places, but at the end of the day, when people looked at the campaign page, they decided not to back because the cost of the game was higher than they were willing to pay for what came in the box. There are a million factors that go into that calculus and those factors are unique to each potential customer... but enough of us made a very quick decision that the price was just too much. Once that impression is made, you really don't have much hope of changing minds. Even if GG slashed the prices across the board, people would be forgiven for wondering what that meant about GG's greed and/or whether the quality of the components would suffer to support such a drop in price.

To be clear, this is not the same as looking at Kingdom Death: Monster, loving the game and not being able to justify the expense. I know for me and a lot of other people, we just couldn't really see ourselves playing it enough or enjoying the model building enough to justify the cost. That is very different from thinking the game was overpriced (which I did not in the case of KD:M). With HoLAaS, people thought "That's too expensive for what it is.", not "That's too expensive."

Anyway, with that said, if they were to relaunch or try to learn from this for future campaigns, they need to study their peers and the market and come to the table with an immediate value proposition that works for their target market. Maybe they just polled convention goers who played a demo and got a sycophantic response like "Oh man, that was awesome, I'd totally pay $150 for that with minis!"

More specifically, I like the idea about the board extension and I support having only 2 pledge levels with a few add ons for content. Further, the cheap version needs to be cheap. It needs to cost under $60 including shipping and if it's $50, all the better. Maybe that means, killing the structures/ships and making those add ons for the cheap game. You gotta get people in the door and offereing a stripped down version at a pledge level of $45 including shipping is going to accomplish that. Then, you sell them on the upgrades during the campaign and many of those $45 pledges turn into $80 or $120 pledges by the time the campaign is over. Once I had committed to $59 for Scythe, it wasn't too hard to decide to tack on an extra $40 for all the extras... but if my only choice was $99, I might have done the same math I did with HoLAaS and just waited for retail.
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Michael Callahan
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zjhomrighaus wrote:


Once I had committed to $59 for Scythe, it wasn't too hard to decide to tack on an extra $40 for all the extras... but if my only choice was $99, I might have done the same math I did with HoLAaS and just waited for retail.


This. A thousand times this.


You have to get people excited about a game (especially when you are in a new segment like this) that gets people on board early,.... and you can't show SG out to a perceived unrealitic spot to try to coax people into considering those as part of their initial pledge value.

KS has the ability to add tiers after the campaign starts, but not remove them. So you see they were able to add the "standee" options later; and I've seen others do this as well, but only the other way around.

Imagine if they had had a smaller single option pledge at the begining,... all those Tiny Epic backers make the jump up to a $50 or $60 level,.... then once you have 2000 backers you say,... Here is the Deluxe version for $100 or whatever the calculus is,..... $100 moving up to $140 is the same calculation,.... people look at what is there, and many look at what it will cost to get it all,..... $175 or $220 is an imediate turn off.

If you hide the other races and only have a 4p game to start, then give some for SG or even just unlock them later, you end up driving the backer count up earlier,... then add-on's, and some backers add more money,... and the total grows, and more backers jump on board as the SG become a greater and greater perceived value,.... finally, an "all-in" pledge can be added later and shows so much value (especially since you are now much further ahead in the funding curve and have unlocked lots of SG) that backers can't deny the urge to throw in that extra $40 you talked about.

I've watched these things for a while,.... and part of it is a dark art,.... but there really is a "right way" to guide these things,.. some do it on accident,.. others have uncovered the secrets.

This one is doing neither right now.
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Maybe at this point, the Nomads need to be $260,000 to fire up a little excitement?
 
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Michael Callahan
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Desferous wrote:
Maybe at this point, the Nomads need to be $260,000 to fire up a little excitement?


The problem is that; two weeks in and most of the eyeballs have already seen this and made a choice,.....

The only thing that you can hope is that their choice was to hit the "Remind Me" button,.... unfortunately, these days, with so many great games on KS; when a backer does not see value on the first look,... they just move on to something else, and never make it back to look again.
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Ah, I tend to pledge support, and if the campaign fizzles as more game information comes to light (or doesn't), I cancel.

That said, I think I'm sticking with my pledge on this one. It's big, bright, bold, and I'm hoping badass to play.
 
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It wasn't a rock
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ScottE wrote:
It's perfectly fine the way it is.

https://youtu.be/_asNhzXq72w
 
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ScottE wrote:
It's perfectly fine the way it is.


Guess not..
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Dna_Boy wrote:
ScottE wrote:
It's perfectly fine the way it is.


Guess not..


Funny that all the thumbs in the world from those in denial didn't magically change reality.
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Gavin Kenny
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I speak as someone who has backed all of GG kickstarters so far with the exception of TED.

I had several problems with the game as it stood, and the fact that I fell asleep when watching the gameplay video didn't help me that much. I had several issues with the game / campaign as noted below.

1) The early turns just seemed to be very much building up turns with not a lot of conflict going on in the game. Cry Havoc in contrast has action and battles going on from round 1. Spending 3 or 4 rounds without much in the way of conflict seemed to just extend the game playtime without much really going on. I would like to see the game getting going quicker that would help reduce playtime and make it more interactive.

2) The exploration tokens were very variable. You could get nice or nasty results which made the game a little more luck dependent than I would have liked in the early turns which would give the luckier player that little extra boost. I would like to see far more interesting events perhaps with choices on them.

3) For me the price was far too much for what you were getting and I didn't see the value in it all. Having the peons are figures didn't make much sense to me as they weren't involved in battles really. I would have preferred the figures to be just the warriors and the heroes to make them much more distinguishable and maybe leave the peons as meeples. Now I know some people will disagree with me on this, but it would cut down the cost of the game and make things easily distinguishable on the board. This would make an easy and clear way to bring down the cost without resorting to the horrible standees that I really didn't like.

4) Having the small sample board made the game look crowded and did not really give a good impression of how the structures / vehicles would look on the finished product. I'm sure that GG will do a bang up job on this, but the presentation in the KS was poor and did not leave a good impression.

5) The stretch goals, particularly the early ones, really were not very exciting. Spot finish UV - thicker cardstock .... whilst these are nice to haves the really do not make people want to go out and shill for the game in the hope of drawing in the money to get the fantastic add ons. The later campaign update was going in the right direction, but the original KS was poorly mapped out.

6) Perhaps my largest issue with the KS was that it felt that the game was too much like an expanded TEK. Whilst TEK was a great little game for what it was, the HoLaS game just seemed like much the same. Whilst you could decide which buildings /leaders to get, the factions weren't customisable enough for my tastes. It felt a little to me like the game was missing something that would really give each race lots of different choices and adaptability. For a large box game, this is more of what I'd expect.

Now this is a game I'm going to watch when it comes back and see what additional development has been done on it. For me the biggest issues are in the gameplay and not in the cost. I have a reasonable disposable income but not much shelf space, so for me the game really has to do something interesting and unique to get itself space on my shelves. It has to have that re-playablity that will ensure that the game play it gets with my two different groups is worth the cost. For me anyway, the jury is still out on this.

I will wait and see what development is done on the game.

Gavin
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Michael Off The Shelf Board Game Reviews
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I think part of the campaigns problem was too much vocalized desire to make the game what it was never meant to be.
 
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Zachary Homrighaus
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Grumsh wrote:
I think part of the campaigns problem was too much vocalized desire to make the game what it was never meant to be.


I think that is a symptom of the actual root cause and not a problem in and of itself.

The problem that all of these symptoms hinge off of is that GG delivered a campaign that too few people wanted (mostly due to value proposition). If you give people something they want, they don't vocalize desire to make it different.

Sure, GG could have stuck with the original vision (painted minis) for the game, but that would have likely ended up in a similar place... with a few thousand backers and $250k-ish in funding.

Clearly GG needs to go back to drawing board and figure out how to deliver this campaign to customers in a way that makes them see the value and want to pay the asking price.
 
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