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Subject: Miniatures or Standees? rss

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Ramon Raya
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I currently have a problem. Minis or Standees? On one hand, minis are cool but expensive. On the other, Chitboard Standees are cost effective but flat (figuratively and literally).

Dungeon Brawl is nearly ready for Kickstarter and I'm unsure on how to proceed. Do I make minis as an Add-on? Do I include minis but raise the base price? Or do I just not bother with minis at all? Do I include the standee option with the minis? The minis are being worked on as of me writing this. I have 5 characters to make and each will take 3-4 weeks to make. I've gotten the impression that minis really help sell a game but I just wanted some 3rd party thoughts. In early prototypes, I used Reaper figures and people really loved them. With the standees, people still love it just due to the sheer size of the standees. It's a kind of King Of Tokyo effect.

On a side note, I put Dungeon Brawl on The Game Crafter, but it's using poker cards in place of the chitboard standees in order to reduce the overall cost. I personally didn't want the poker cards just because it gives me the impression of cheapness. It was either that or have the game cost 8-9 dollars more.

Below are the images for the current Standee which will stand 4" high x 2" wide. The 3D version, in the early stages of creation, will be cast in gray should I go through with the miniature path. The minis, I'm hoping will stand 2" tall (50mm).


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Big Sean
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Minis as a stretch goal. I assume would help with costing.
Miniature figures provide a tactile item and improve the overall impression and image of a game in my opinion.
If the stretch isn't reached the figures could be sold later as an expansion.

I hope that's food for thought.
Personally I would pay the extra for a game with quality figures rather than standees.

I had considered the full KS option on Vikings due to the figures but my gaming buddy had already committed, but the figures really sold it to me.
I'll wager I'm not the only one.

Good luck with your venture.
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Michael Debije
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If its got minis, I won't be buying. Unecessary cost and makes the game box too large, and they bring nothing to the game for me.
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James Campbell
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And there you have it!

Half the people will want minis. The other half will avoid them. (yes, that's over simplified, but you get the jist)

Pros of Minis : If done WELL they look great and will attract an extra audience, however that extra audience are frequently looking at JUST the minis (often for other games and to paint), so if it's not a minis heavy game, they do little for you.

Cons of Minis : EXPENSIVE - If you're not making (at least) 2000 units you're throwing a lot of money out the window .. and even at that quantity they are expensive (3d modelling and molds are the 2 big expenses). Added space required. Need (more often than not) to be painted.

Pros of Standees : You get the gorgeous artwork already created displayed on them (no painting required) and they are inexpensive (yet nice if done well).

Cons of Standees : They aren't minis so those minis advocates tend to dislike them.

Personally I like (in order) - Meeples > Custom Meeples > Standees > Minis (and minis only rarely any more .. I have too many as it is).
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Evil_ColSanders wrote:


Below are the images for the current Standee which will stand 4" high x 2" wide.


I know you said people loved the standees "just due to the sheer size" .. but my god that's HUGE. Standees that big would be a turn off for me in most games (King of Tokyo/New York standees notwithstanding due to the theme and nature of the game).
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Jeremy Lennert
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silverfox63 wrote:
Minis as a stretch goal.

With Darkest Night, when we proposed a stretch goal that would replace standees with minis, some backers complained that they wanted the standees and were upset that a stretch goal removed them.
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Gláucio Reis
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rorschach9 wrote:
Half the people will want minis. The other half will avoid them. (yes, that's over simplified, but you get the jist)

Oversimplified and obviously inaccurate, comparing the general success of Kickstarters with and without miniatures (exceptions exist, of course). But at this point, there is some saturation and it's not enough just to have miniatures. They have to be good and varied.
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Gláucio Reis
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Evil_ColSanders wrote:
The 3D version, in the early stages of creation, will be cast in gray should I go through with the miniature path.

Just a personal remark... This current fashion of all-gray miniatures irks me. Why not distinctive player colors? Not everyone paints their miniatures.
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Ramon Raya
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silverfox63 wrote:
Minis as a stretch goal. I assume would help with costing.
Miniature figures provide a tactile item and improve the overall impression and image of a game in my opinion.
If the stretch isn't reached the figures could be sold later as an expansion.

Yes and no. Stretch goals give incentive for more people to buy. (IMO I believe a game will not sell more or less no matter what stretch goals there are. Only hype can do that.) Stretch goals also don't alter the price of the game. If the SG is not met, people are now overpaying for a game. If I price it lower and the goal is met, I'm eating all the cost of minis being added.

Add-on is looking better and better as it appeases both pro-mini and anti-mini groups.
mi_de wrote:
If its got minis, I won't be buying. Unecessary cost and makes the game box too large, and they bring nothing to the game for me.

I don't agree with "unnecessary cost". Art on cards or the board could also be argued "unnecessary". Minis add theme and are engaging, much like art on cards. The only difference is a minis job has a cheaper alternative that performs the same function. If they don't engage you, that's all good. To each their own. Lastly, the box size will not change side there are only 5 minis. There is adequate room by design.
rorschach9 wrote:
I know you said people loved the standees "just due to the sheer size" .. but my god that's HUGE. Standees that big would be a turn off for me in most games (King of Tokyo/New York standees notwithstanding due to the theme and nature of the game).

It's not THAT bad. The size really allows players to see the detail in the artwork and also makes it easier to grab into different squares. (Those are 2 main comments from players regarding the standees)

Thanks guys! This is adding real insight to gamers-at-large.
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K S
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GSReis wrote:
Just a personal remark... This current fashion of all-gray miniatures irks me. Why not distinctive player colors? Not everyone paints their miniatures.

It seems that uniformly-colored (e.g. gray) miniatures are often used when sculpts (and often player powers) are unique, sometimes in conjunction with distinctively colored player bases. I don't paint my miniatures, but I greatly appreciate this because it doesn't force me to play with a particular color to use a certain character/faction.
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Jeremy Lennert
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Evil_ColSanders wrote:
Stretch goals also don't alter the price of the game. If the SG is not met, people are now overpaying for a game. If I price it lower and the goal is met, I'm eating all the cost of minis being added.

Theoretically, the financial justification for stretch goals is that you (the project creator) start to get volume discounts as your print run grows larger, and so you can use the savings to offer a better product for the same price.

So whether the stretch goal is met or not, people are paying the price necessary in order for you to make the thing. They get more for their money if the stretch goal is met, but (if you did your homework) that's not because you are taking a smaller cut.


Obviously, there are a lot of projects that don't do their homework and/or change their answers for purely marketing-based reasons, so this doesn't necessarily hold true in practice. But in principle, the reason for stretch goals is that that's what the feature actually costs.
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Lewis Johnson
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If you are going to Kickstarter, you pretty much need plastic minis to woo the masses. Its sad, but its just the way things are.
I'd also advise against even mentioning the standees as an option or stretch goal, because that will just confuse and annoy people. People who like plastic will complain that its a useless stretch goal, and people that like standees will suddenly start asking for a cheaper option that leaves out the plastic - which will be a headache for you.

So yea, just do plastic minis and keep quiet about any other option.
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Roland Macdonald
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I would love to see gamers in general embrace standees. Most people don't the Minis and that is just sad. Is it not better to have very lavish standees with excellent illustrations.

Check out this guy who is doing some amazing work - https://www.patreon.com/PrintableHeroes or https://twitter.com/PrintableHeroes

I tend to paint all of my stuff but if I could order these kind of figure for a game I would rather do that.

If you do do minis at least use coloured plastics. Cmon has finally learned that lesson with Rising Sun so it will likely trend next year.


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Roland Macdonald
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RolandDraws wrote:
I would love to see gamers in general embrace standees. Most people don't the Minis and that is just sad. Is it not better to have very lavish standees with excellent illustrations.

Check out this guy who is doing some amazing work - https://www.patreon.com/PrintableHeroes or https://twitter.com/PrintableHeroes

I tend to paint all of my stuff but if I could order these kind of figure for a game I would rather do that.

If you do do minis at least use coloured plastics. Cmon has finally learned that lesson with Rising Sun so it will likely trend next year.




Here is a sample from the link above. These are pretty impressive right?
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Brant Benoit
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I would suggest standees.
First of all, you only have 5 models.
Second, they are HUGE. 50mm is out of whack with every 'standard' scale available today.

So, you aren't going to attract the mini painters, or people wanting to use them in other games; the scale doesn't match, and they are standard fantasy tropes it seems.

Unless the minis are extremely well-sculpted, you aren't going to rope anyone in due to the weird scale. At least as far as mini painters go.

An add-on seems the best solution to be honest.
But, I wouldn't expect to sell many, and you might have to eat a lot of the cost there. I would put it as an add-on stretch goal, to make sure that you can afford to pay the costs associated with making minis.

The scale and number (5 models only) won't be attracting to mini painters, or collectors as they can be used for this game, and this game only.
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Brant Benoit
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toy_brain wrote:
If you are going to Kickstarter, you pretty much need plastic minis to woo the masses. Its sad, but its just the way things are.
I'd also advise against even mentioning the standees as an option or stretch goal, because that will just confuse and annoy people. People who like plastic will complain that its a useless stretch goal, and people that like standees will suddenly start asking for a cheaper option that leaves out the plastic - which will be a headache for you.

So yea, just do plastic minis and keep quiet about any other option.


Wrong. Mini painters and collectors are definitely NOT looking for oddly-scaled miniatures that don't match up with any other line in scale, nor are they anything unique. They are all standard fantasy tropes.

You are not going to woo any miniature crowd with that.
Go with standees.
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Ryan Byrd
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My input...

The example above is nice because they are not just rectangles, but cut to shape. They are very attractive. I mean the standees a few posts up.

I am one of the ones that likes (not loves) minis, but am not interested in a game if the price is too high. Minis tend to make the price higher. Of course, the game with standees must be priced appropriately also. Since I never paint minis, to me, the perfect example is to have a reasonable price with standees, then an add on for minis. I am of the mindset that the lower barrier to entry due to price will draw more backers. Of course, the funding model would need to be flexible enough to accept that a portion of the rewards will not have minis, thus making the volume of minis lower (that may affect the ability to pay for the minis).
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Ryan Keane
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I'm a standee proponent but it really depends on the game and functionality. They don't serve the same function. But for a game called Dungeon Brawl, I'd assume it has minis.

Minis are fine when they represent pawns that don't really have any unique attributes, like zombies or all 1-strength units, and when I don't need to place a ton in a small area. Minis on the board usually look better than a bunch of standees all with the same art (or chits or cubes or whatever), and are generally easier to manipulate and quickly visually tally.

And minis are good when every unit is unique and has its own card representing its unique stats. That's probably where they shine.

Standees are best when you have units that have a small number of attributes that vary and you can include that information on the standee. Basically, they're the same as a chit but allow you to include some nicer art, are a bit easier to manipulate (although they can fall down domino-style), and visually they pop out better than chits.

You also need to do standees/blocks when you need the two faces to show different information to the 2 players.

And while this is rarely used, minis are best when the physical manipulation of the mini conveys information, like a boat tilting away from the direction of the wind, or removing armor and body parts as a unit gets wounded.
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Randall COBB
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Definitely need to pick one or the other. I have witnessed several KS campaigns offering both, and the low number of pledges associated with the standees only version put the printing cost of those "cheaper" options way higher than the "expensive" miniature pledges that were in the majority. cool
 
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Ghool wrote:
toy_brain wrote:
If you are going to Kickstarter, you pretty much need plastic minis to woo the masses. Its sad, but its just the way things are.
I'd also advise against even mentioning the standees as an option or stretch goal, because that will just confuse and annoy people. People who like plastic will complain that its a useless stretch goal, and people that like standees will suddenly start asking for a cheaper option that leaves out the plastic - which will be a headache for you.

So yea, just do plastic minis and keep quiet about any other option.


Wrong. Mini painters and collectors are definitely NOT looking for oddly-scaled miniatures that don't match up with any other line in scale, nor are they anything unique. They are all standard fantasy tropes.

You are not going to woo any miniature crowd with that.
Go with standees.

I respectfully disagree, given the popularity of Rising Sun, Blood Rage, Cthulhu Wars, Arcadia Quest, and a bunch of other board game kickstarter projects that all had oversized miniatures as a big selling point.
 
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Andres Montanes-Lleras
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rorschach9 wrote:
Personally I like (in order) - Meeples > Custom Meeples > Standees > Minis (and minis only rarely any more .. I have too many as it is).


For me it is:

Miniatures > Custom Meeples > Meeples >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Standees (and even then it would have to be something very special for me to even consider buying such a game).

RolandDraws wrote:
I would love to see gamers in general embrace standees. Most people don't the Minis and that is just sad. Is it not better to have very lavish standees with excellent illustrations.


I respectfuly disagree.

Though I can see how standees can be cheap and have wonderful art (the pictures you posted provide a great example) I would rather have a character card with good art that corresponds with a colored meeple (even if it is a generic one) than a standee.

I simply don't like the tactile feeling of the standee and are more than willing to pay for more elaborate pieces.

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Brant Benoit
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toy_brain wrote:
Ghool wrote:
toy_brain wrote:
If you are going to Kickstarter, you pretty much need plastic minis to woo the masses. Its sad, but its just the way things are.
I'd also advise against even mentioning the standees as an option or stretch goal, because that will just confuse and annoy people. People who like plastic will complain that its a useless stretch goal, and people that like standees will suddenly start asking for a cheaper option that leaves out the plastic - which will be a headache for you.

So yea, just do plastic minis and keep quiet about any other option.


Wrong. Mini painters and collectors are definitely NOT looking for oddly-scaled miniatures that don't match up with any other line in scale, nor are they anything unique. They are all standard fantasy tropes.

You are not going to woo any miniature crowd with that.
Go with standees.

I respectfully disagree, given the popularity of Rising Sun, Blood Rage, Cthulhu Wars, Arcadia Quest, and a bunch of other board game kickstarter projects that all had oversized miniatures as a big selling point.


But also take a look at how many miniatures are in each pledge. Take a look at the quality of sculpting, and none of those games contain any standard fantasy tropes, which the market is flooded with.

All I'm trying to say is that if you only have 5, oddly-scaled fantasy tropes, it's going to be a hard sell to any miniature collector. And thus, you lose a big chunk of the audiences that are buying all of your mentioned games.

I'm just saying this as a collector and painter myself. I wouldn't have any interest in the models if there was only 5, and only fantasy tropes. I assume there's a large portion of the miniature buying market that feels the same.
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Even though I've heard my opinion, at least in part, voiced in some of these other replies, I'm still gonna weigh in.

I gotta go with standees for the most part. And that harkens all the way back to my D+D/Ral Partha days. I was never really good at putting those minis together, and much worse at painting them, so when I shelled out to get one painted nicely, it sat on the shelf with my lucky dice and other choice gaming stuff that I didn't want people putting their grubby fingers on. This behavior carried over to when I got into Battletech. In fact, much to the dismay of "serious" BT players, I still use the standees that came with my 1986 box set when I play.

I like standees for their resistance to damage when being swept off a table or whipped against a wall. However, they are quite susceptible to the errant placement of a fan, or an unexpected breeze.

Minis are nice when they come like the ones for HeroScape or X-Wing (for us non-painters), but are a pain in the ass to store and keep damage free when you go past a certain collection size.

Just my $.02

 
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Just looked at the game. I would recommend miniatures, ideally pre-painted. I'm not a KS expert, but with only 5 pawns needed, the game is not the type likely to garner big KS sales based on high-quality miniatures. But I think pre-painted miniatures a la Heroscape would be cool and in the aesthetic of the game, and attract a different type of crowd than those seeking out nice, unique sculpts to paint.

It's hard to tell from the pics what the spatial dynamics are. One pic has huge standees with no grid at all, while the other pic has minis on 6 boards with grid overlays but their bases are too big for the grid squares. If the spatial dynamics are very minimal, then another option would be to have the characters represented by cards on a grid, Summoner War-style, which would cut down the cost and make it easier to produce expansions (just cards - no additional minis or standees needed).

Lastly, there doesn't seem any reason game-wise to use the standard fantasy tropes. That's one of the attractions of Dungeon Run, which has a similar end game to this one. Seems like you could use more unusual classes and races borrowed from D&D, rather than create your own like Plaid Hat did:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_alternative_Dungeons_%...
 
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wamsp wrote:
GSReis wrote:
Just a personal remark... This current fashion of all-gray miniatures irks me. Why not distinctive player colors? Not everyone paints their miniatures.

It seems that uniformly-colored (e.g. gray) miniatures are often used when sculpts (and often player powers) are unique, sometimes in conjunction with distinctively colored player bases. I don't paint my miniatures, but I greatly appreciate this because it doesn't force me to play with a particular color to use a certain character/faction.


I like games where if the minis are gray, there's a colored base tray on the bottom. That way you can use either the mini's shape or the color of the base to represent you.

I also like games where the minis are distinctive colors.

Obviously I'm a minis fan
 
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