Nick Smith
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Reading through some threads from last month got me curious about the average experiences of people when backing games. Let me state clearly up front that this is not an attempt to start a conversation about whether or why Kickstarter is good or bad. But I am interested to see what the average personal experience of backers seems to be, especially those who've backed over a significant period of time. So please, if you're willing, fill in the poll and if you'd like to offer more detail in the thread below, I'd be very happy to see it.

Poll
1. How many games have you backed/crowdfunded?
0
1-5
6-10
10-15
15-20
20-30
30-50
50+
2. How happy are you with the games you've backed or crowdfunded?
Ecstatic. I never backed a bad game.
Happy. They weren't all amazing, but I still play and enjoy most of them.
Neutral. Some were good, some were bad.
Unhappy. I still like some of them but most were disappointing experiences.
Terrible. Every game I backed was a bad experience.
I never backed any games.
3. Have you backed any games that you consider a terrible mistake?
Yes, once.
Yes, several times.
Yes, half the games I backed were terrible mistakes.
Yes, all/almost all the games I backed were terrible mistakes.
No, I never have.
4. Have you ever backed any games that you absolutely love and would not want to live without?
Yes, once.
Yes, several times.
Yes, half the games I backed are favorites of mine.
Yes, I adore all/almost all the games I backed.
No, I don't like any of the games I backed THAT much, even if I do enjoy some or all of them.
5. Have you ever chosen not to back a specific game only to buy it later in stores?
Yes, this has happened to me and I loved the game(s) in question.
Yes, this has happened to me and I hated the game(s) in question.
Yes, this has happened to me and I was largely neutral about the game(s).
Yes, this has happened a few times. I enjoyed some of them and not others.
No, this has never happened to me.
      280 answers
Poll created by grendelsbayne
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Nick Smith
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Re: How would you describe your overall experiences with tabletop game crowdfunding?
One more poll question I forgot to add in the first post:

*This poll likely should've been worded slightly differently. To clarify, this is referring specifically to games that you found through stores or other channels and only later realized they were Kickstarter games.

Poll
To the best of your knowledge, have you bought any games through retail or other venues which were originally published through crowdfunding?
Yes, I have bought one and enjoyed it.
Yes, I have bought one but didn't enjoy it.
Yes, I have bought several and enjoyed them.
Yes, I have bought several and did not enjoy them.
Yes, I have bought several. I enjoyed some of them and not others.
No, I don't believe I have ever bought a game that was originally crowdfunded.
      184 answers
Poll created by grendelsbayne
 
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Kim Williams
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Re: How would you describe your overall experiences with tabletop game crowdfunding?
It might be worth adding a (Poll) to the post title, as people are probably more like to click if they know that 'describing their overall experience' is actually as simple as clicking a few poll options (and I think people do love a poll, so why not let them know before clicking through).
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Re: How would you describe your overall experiences with tabletop game crowdfunding?
For the last question: and I was unhappy to learn that there were never to be reprinted promo.
 
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Nick Smith
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Re: How would you describe your overall experiences with tabletop game crowdfunding?
So I'll just lay out my own experience to start the conversation.

I've backed 18 tabletop game projects - 17 games and 1 expansion.

Of those, I still own 11, including the expansion. One of those ten games is recent and hasn't been played yet. Another one of those is literally my favorite game of all time. Of those 11, I've rated 9 so far on BGG with the lowest rating a 7 and the highest a 10. The average is around 8.

Of the 7 games I backed and no longer own, one was never played (it was a print and play and I was overly ambitious about printing and assembling - thankfully it was only a dollar). The other six I've rated, lowest is 4.5, highest is 7, average around 5.5, which I consider a disappointing rating (anything below 5 being outright bad).

For various reasons, I also backed out of 12 game campaigns before they finished. Five of those I've since bought anyway, usually under better price terms or at a better time for me (financially speaking), but one was a genuine case of holding out for more information/reviews before pulling the trigger. (One of these has only been played once, so isn't rated yet. The other four are all 8s - that includes the game I was waiting for more information on before buying.) Another game on that list of 12 remains very high on my wishlist and a likely buy in the future.

A different five of those 12 are games that I almost certainly will never buy after having found further information - but most of that information I found during the kickstarter, which led to the cancelled pledge.

I can also think of at least 2 games which I was very sorely tempted to kickstart, but which I never actually pledged to, that I ultimately wound up buying anyway. One of them was very good. The other turned out to be bad. I also bought 1 expansion that I had skipped on Kickstarter and enjoyed it thoroughly. Actually, come to think of it, even though Sentinels of the Multiverse wasn't originally kickstarted that I know of, I think all their expansions were on Kickstarter, so I've bought and enjoyed a bunch of kickstarter expansions that I didn't back

And finally, in terms of kickstarter games that I bought without ever having the opportunity to back them or knowing they were even from Kickstarter, there have been 10 that I know of. One of those ten was a four, the rest were all 7 or above (highest 9.5). Six of them are still in my collection and two of the six that aren't really only left my collection because others didn't enjoy them as much as I did. The average rating of these is probably around 7.5, maybe 8 even though that 4 weighs things down.
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Nick Smith
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entwife wrote:
It might be worth adding a (Poll) to the post title, as people are probably more like to click if they know that 'describing their overall experience' is actually as simple as clicking a few poll options (and I think people do love a poll, so why not let them know before clicking through).


Thanks for the reminder. I forgot this board system doesn't do that automatically.
 
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Nick Smith
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Razoupaf wrote:
For the last question: and I was unhappy to learn that there were never to be reprinted promo.


True, that was one of the issues in the game I mentioned that I had been tempted to Kickstart but didn't pledge, only to wind up buying it anyway. I don't even mind exclusive promos or improved components, but in this particular case there were literally more exclusives than non-exclusives and they weren't just little promo cards or alternate minis, either - they were all extra gameplay add-ons. And then the company turned around and gave other gameplay exclusives to some store chain, so that even the kickstarter backers didn't actually have the complete package.

Irritating as all of that is, though, if the game had been good, I would still have it and play it anyway.
 
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Russ Williams
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(FWIW I have no idea whether I have later bought a game normally which was originally crowdfunded, so I didn't answer those latter questions. I don't tend to pay very close attention whether games I buy were originally crowdfunded, since it seems kind of irrelevant to me when considering whether I want to buy a game.)

Edited to add: oh wait, I just remembered that I bought the reprint of $2.95 pocket edition Ogre, which was part of the giant Ogre crowdfunded reprint.
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I do not like pre-orders, especially when it comes to my hobbies. Therefore I have not backed any games.

I buy games because there is a need (justifiable or not) for a new game to play. I have learned to handle next-day shipping, but waiting longer than that is a stretch.
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you might also ask if behavior has changed. i used to fund things that i felt should succeed and exist (Scythe, Anachrony, Keyflower, etc), but now i'll pass up things that look amazing (BarrageEscape Plan, Empyreal: Spells & Steam, etc) so that i have a chance to see more reviews, hear more opinions, and maybe catch a play or two first.

i'd also be curious how many people take advantage of Tabletopia, Tabletop Simulator, and print-&-play prototypes for kickstarters. personally, i avoid those and search out a good playthrough video to get the feel.
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Chris Laudermilk
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Rumbelow wrote:
you might also ask if behavior has changed. i used to fund things that i felt should succeed and exist (Scythe, Anachrony, Keyflower, etc), but now i'll pass up things that look amazing (BarrageEscape Plan, Empyreal: Spells & Steam, etc) so that i have a chance to see more reviews, hear more opinions, and maybe catch a play or two first.

i'd also be curious how many people take advantage of Tabletopia, Tabletop Simulator, and print-&-play prototypes for kickstarters. personally, i avoid those and search out a good playthrough video to get the feel.


I'm doing a bit of the same. More because I have a sizable collection and am finding I'm not playing individual games as much as I'd like. So, I'm deliberately slowing my purchase rate--both retail & KS to allow games in my collection to hit the table more often.

I have taken advantage of PnP when available. That's really the best indicator for me--for example as intrigued as I was with Scythe, the PnP plays my son and I did tipped us over the edge--and I ended up going all-in on it. Good playthrough videos have also helped make decisions, some to back, and some to pass on.

Back to the poll questions. I really only had one game that was a disappointment (Bin'Fa) and it was more of disappointment in the really cheap, cheesy components for the price paid than the game itself--it's not a bad game, but it also hasn't hit the table much for a long while.

Several games I've bought retail have turned out to be KS that I wasn't aware of when the campaigns ran. Some I kind of wish I had known about & participated, others I see why they ended up in the clearance bin (which made the price acceptable for the game I got).
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Darren M
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100% success rate on KS... but I really only backed games that I already knew were good.

Zombicide: Black Plague
7th Continent


I likely wouldn't back something without already having the game rated highly on BGG with already 1000's of ratings in the database.
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Pete
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If your answer to the first question is "one" the rest of them become somewhat silly.

Pete (shrugs)
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Steve C
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plezercruz wrote:
If your answer to the first question is "one" the rest of them become somewhat silly.

Pete (shrugs)

Mostly, yeah.

I have backed 0 KS campaigns, but did buy Sagrada from a FLGS. I knew it had been a KS thing, but heard good reviews and decided it would be a good fit. It was and still is!

I've bought other games secondhand that were originally KS, although generally at steep discounts due to a variety of reasons. Some I really enjoy, one I love, and some I traded on.
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plezercruz wrote:
If your answer to the first question is "one" the rest of them become somewhat silly.

Pete (shrugs)


Exactly. I’ve only backed 1 myself, and love it, but learned from that experience that it’s not worth it to me backing anything else. So I ignore KS completely, but the way the rest of the poll is worded my answers are all very positive.

Now if the poll asked me about all the trash that my friends have Kickstarted and gotten me to try...

Like Vasel’s Law that every great OoP game will eventually get reprinted, every great KS game will get retail distribution. If not, then it’s not a great game.
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Ryan Keane wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
If your answer to the first question is "one" the rest of them become somewhat silly.

Pete (shrugs)


Exactly. I’ve only backed 1 myself, and love it, but learned from that experience that it’s not worth it to me backing anything else. So I ignore KS completely, but the way the rest of the poll is worded my answers are all very positive.

Now if the poll asked me about all the trash that my friends have Kickstarted and gotten me to try...

Like Vasel’s Law that every great OoP game will eventually get reprinted, every great KS game will get retail distribution. If not, then it’s not a great game.


I agree with the first part which is Vasels Law but the second about if a Kickstarter doesn’t go to retail that it’s not a good game is rubbish. Some games would have a mark up of $500+ dollars (due to distributors and retail stores) if it went to retail and most retailers aren’t going to give up shelf space for games that hard to sell, not because there bad games but because the price point isn’t what most people who go to a local game store are willing to pay. Those games can only exist on Kickstarter and it seems they at least have a second go on Kickstarter for those that missed it or to add an expansion while still offering what came with it the first time around.
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KDM and 7th Continent are 2 that you could really only get at a reasonable price on KS... so if you missed out you are basically looking at high prices on the secondary market.

Vasel's Law isn't infallible.
 
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nexttothemoon wrote:
KDM and 7th Continent are 2 that you could really only get at a reasonable price on KS... so if you missed out you are basically looking at high prices on the secondary market.

Vasel's Law isn't infallible.


They have run a second Kickstarter for KDM, I think Seventh Continent recieved a expansion where you could get a copy of the base game as well.
 
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Quote:
1. How many games have you backed/crowdfunded?
-> 0
4. Have you ever backed any games that you absolutely love and would not want to live without?
Yes, once.
Yes, several times.
Yes, half the games I backed are favorites of mine.
Yes, I adore all/almost all the games I backed.
No, I don't like any of the games I backed THAT much, even if I do enjoy some or all of them.


404
 
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My experience so far is very good (great). All my games which have arrived are at least very good, if not my gaming staple or a member of my TOP X list. So far I have no bad experience.

Projects backed: 32
Games (or gaming related product) delivered: 8
Waiting for delivery: 22
Currently active kickstarters: 2

Only my latest delivery had some missing parts (and I have submitted for replacement).

All other delivered games were great and they are great addition to my collection. And Too Many Bones is probably my TOP 3 game ever. Games like One Deck Dungeon, Spirits of the Forest are great and I love them and for example Palm Island is the most played game (almost on daily basis) for last three months.

Maybe it is because I do a lot of research and watch the campaigns regularly but I still don't know what it is to receive bad kickstarter (or don't received it at all)


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Andy P
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21 backed -
I still own just 3. One from Artipia was destroyed in the postal system, squashed flat, tried it later, disliked it. Artipia had already refunded. No way of me still owning that one. Most recent one was Endeavor, box contents were so bad I tossed the whole thing in the recycling as 80% of the contents were damaged/sub-standard/missing despite the outer box being undamaged. IE the game was packed with the bits in that condition already (having seen another copy), so likewise, no way I could still have that one, but acknowledge that was entirely my choice.. I did not request replacement or refund (someone always asks questions and I tend not to read threads after I reply)

Of the 3 I still own, 1 was the expansion for Roll Player, a game I had already played a lot of and enjoyed. I actually don't much like the expansion and it has put me off playing the base game. Then there is Tokaido collectors edition, for my wife. We already had the standard version and traded off that version to back the collectors edition. That was zero risk. Finally a small game called Cogz because it was designed by a guy who currently lives where I used to in Western Australia. I had zero expectations for the game but wanted to show support for what would have been a local designer for me in a moment of nostalgia. I quite enjoy the game and have been very pleased with my moment

I have 3 waiting on delivery. All fairly soon.

I do enjoy some games that have been from KS that i haven't backed, Blood Rage and Zombicide are two that spring to ind that I own and dismissed on KS as being all mini's and little substance. Scythe, which at came close to backing and then didn't, and finally Gloomhaven, which I just couldn't believe could deliver on what the game suggested it was going to be (boy was I wrong in a big way, I love it).

Moral, I am truly terrible at choosing game on KS. No plans for me to ever back anything on there again as it seems there is something less than a 25% chance the game will either be one I like at all, or will be delivered undamaged.

So, if you ever see me back something, jump off it, or ask to buy it from me after I play it once shake
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Steve C
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Lil Blue Spider wrote:
Quote:
1. How many games have you backed/crowdfunded?
-> 0
4. Have you ever backed any games that you absolutely love and would not want to live without?
Yes, once.
Yes, several times.
Yes, half the games I backed are favorites of mine.
Yes, I adore all/almost all the games I backed.
No, I don't like any of the games I backed THAT much, even if I do enjoy some or all of them.


404

404: Kickstarter not found?
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cyan1de wrote:
Ryan Keane wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
If your answer to the first question is "one" the rest of them become somewhat silly.

Pete (shrugs)


Exactly. I’ve only backed 1 myself, and love it, but learned from that experience that it’s not worth it to me backing anything else. So I ignore KS completely, but the way the rest of the poll is worded my answers are all very positive.

Now if the poll asked me about all the trash that my friends have Kickstarted and gotten me to try...

Like Vasel’s Law that every great OoP game will eventually get reprinted, every great KS game will get retail distribution. If not, then it’s not a great game.


I agree with the first part which is Vasels Law but the second about if a Kickstarter doesn’t go to retail that it’s not a good game is rubbish. Some games would have a mark up of $500+ dollars (due to distributors and retail stores) if it went to retail and most retailers aren’t going to give up shelf space for games that hard to sell, not because there bad games but because the price point isn’t what most people who go to a local game store are willing to pay. Those games can only exist on Kickstarter and it seems they at least have a second go on Kickstarter for those that missed it or to add an expansion while still offering what came with it the first time around.


I was winking because I don’t believe in either law - they’re circular arguments. But all the points you made about why a still great Kickstarter game won’t be successful retail can be used to argue why a still great OoP game won’t be successful being reprinted.

Also, by retail I don’t mean it has to be available through an FLGS or OLGS. Both could be sold directly from the publisher’s website.
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cyan1de wrote:
nexttothemoon wrote:
KDM and 7th Continent are 2 that you could really only get at a reasonable price on KS... so if you missed out you are basically looking at high prices on the secondary market.

Vasel's Law isn't infallible.


They have run a second Kickstarter for KDM, I think Seventh Continent recieved a expansion where you could get a copy of the base game as well.


If a company is liquid and confident they can sell all the copies they print, why can’t they just do more print runs and sell the game direct to customers through their website? Isn’t using KS to do a 2nd/3rd/etc campaign primarily a way for the company to avoid financial risk and force all potential customers to jump in the 1- month window?

I have nothing against companies doing 2nd/3rd/etc. KS campaigns (or campaigns for games previously sold retail - eg Queen), but I don’t see the argument that they HAVE to use Kickstarter and take customers’ money before printing the game, that they have no other viable option to sell new print runs of their game when previous print runs sold out.
 
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