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Subject: DWG Unprofessionalism rss

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Chris C
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As a backer of the recent Kickstarter, I’ve been paying close attention to the comments to get a general idea of when I could expect my fulfillment.

A backer posted in the comments making a point that they have not received their fulfillment but there have been copies of the game available through stores. They continued to say that backers should have been fulfilled first, to which I do not disagree with. I don’t feel this was out of line because it was a fair point.

Unfortunately the response from DWG to the backer I feel was inappropriate. To tell a backer who made a valid point that you would rather sell to backers that are patient and understanding while dismissing the failed point is inappropriate.

I understand that there has been a lot of frustration over this Kickstarter, but it doesn’t excuse bad communication. I hope this is a learning experience for DWG going forward, and I only say this to help the company. I look forward to receiving my fulfillment.
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Bill Buchanan
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Personally, I'm often shocked by the sense of entitlement and disrespect I witness from KS backers towards KS creators. It doesn't shock me when I see creators stand up for themselves every once in a while, it must be incredibly tiresome for them to deal with the constant nagging criticism and demands.
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Jacob Way
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RogueWolf04 wrote:
As a backer of the recent Kickstarter, I’ve been paying close attention to the comments to get a general idea of when I could expect my fulfillment.

A backer posted in the comments making a point that they have not received their fulfillment but there have been copies of the game available through stores. They continued to say that backers should have been fulfilled first, to which I do not disagree with. I don’t feel this was out of line because it was a fair point.

Unfortunately the response from DWG to the backer I feel was inappropriate. To tell a backer who made a valid point that you would rather sell to backers that are patient and understanding while dismissing the failed point is inappropriate.

I understand that there has been a lot of frustration over this Kickstarter, but it doesn’t excuse bad communication. I hope this is a learning experience for DWG going forward.


Chris,

The fact is this backer stated they wouldn’t be backing our projects again, so we would prefer to just refund and let the customer spend their money on companies they feel better deserve it. The comments of a Kickstarter quickly, as you saw earlier, turn sour so we would prefer to just help the unhappy backers become happy.

We did the same when people voiced similar comments when the last stretch goal wasn’t hit.

Sorry if you felt like it was inappropriate, but I am not sure I would summarize it as unprofessional. Terse maybe.

Thanks,

Jacob from Deep Water
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Brian
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I was interested in purchasing this game, so the Kickstarter and this thread caught my attention. To provide context for anyone reading, copies of the game are now available in retail stores for a lower price than the corresponding pledge level. Here is the relevant exchange:

<Backer>:
Quote:
Really disappointing this seems to be in stock everywhere but.....my house....

Those copies should of went to backers first...the first and only time I will back this companies games and the only purchase from them I will ever make.

Deep Water Games:
Quote:
<Backer> I sent you a refund so that you don’t have to worry about backing us. We would rather sell the game to backers who have been patient and understanding while we have been transparent and communicative.

I agree that this is incredibly unprofessional. I don't have much experience with Kickstarter, so I'm not 100% familiar with the expectations, but AFAICT it's a platform that provides an opportunity for the little guy/gal to help make something a reality, and they receive a reward for it.

With this as a starting point, I can empathize with a backer who is disappointed to see a retailer receive copies to be sold to the general public before the backer receives their reward. It's especially disappointing if they can find it for cheaper! I would question the purpose of pledging to begin with. Now there may be good reasons for this. For example: retailers are backers just as individuals are and just happened to receive their rewards first, and they get a volume discount for large pledge amounts. Or: these copies don't contain Kickstarter exclusives available for non-retail pledges. (I don't know if any of these are true).

A professional response would aim to explain the situation rather than ignore it. Is it really that much more effort? I imagine that trying to understand the root of your backers' concerns and addressing them head on to help them understand is a better path to a positive environment.
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Liam Caffrey
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Nothing about the message from the publisher is unprofessional. They refunded so the buyer can get from one of the other suppliers at the cheaper price point you're all discussing.

Yes Kickstarter is for the little guy to make something a reality, but this campaign wasn't for the base game. The base game has been in stores and available for almost a year? This campaign was primarily for new expansions and pads etc, I'm sure getting a reprint made is probably a factor too but I don't understand entitlement of receiving something first if that thing has already been in print and at retail.

There seems to have been a lot of confusion around this campaign and I can't really see why, it all seemed quite clear to me. Look forward to receiving the new content.
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Ian the Inexorable
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WBuchanan wrote:
Personally, I'm often shocked by the sense of entitlement and disrespect I witness from KS backers towards KS creators. It doesn't shock me when I see creators stand up for themselves every once in a while, it must be incredibly tiresome for them to deal with the constant nagging criticism and demands.


They seemed much more willing to deal with someone who had backed at the retailer level than someone who, I assume, backed at an individual level. Their complaints were, essentially, the same.

I understand the complaint. This is one of the failings most likely to create ire in a KS community. The anger was legitimate, and the difference in treatment between a retail and individual backer speaks volumes.

DWG’s response was like yelling at someone because they criticize your work product. In a word, it was unprofessional.
 
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Shak S
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Entitlement, being unprofessional, disappointment all aside, anyone who considers any decision to use Kickstarter not to be one based on business and profit is bound to be let down. As such, consumers need to protect themselves in the same way as producers undoubtedly (and reasonably) will instead of thinking a KS back is anything more than a business transaction.

Of course this message gets lost in the hypetrain/marketing communication, and if there's any real criticism that could be made is that producers should stop trying to pretend that they're besties with backers.

It's sad, but true. To be fair KS did start as a place for novelty and invention that would have otherwise not existed - as with anything though that sentiment has all but been optimised away.
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Jacob Way
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What are you referring to about us treating a retailer different than the backer?
 
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BG.EXE
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Impatient backers always forget retailers are usually allowed to back the game via Kickstarter too. Not sure if that happened here or not, but if it did that retailer would be just as much a backer as the guy complaining.
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Nick Vallina
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I sent an email to DWGs and it took literally a month to hear back from them.
But when I heard back from them they were very kind.

I disagree about them being unprofessional, perhaps busy.
I don't think refunding this dude so he could go buy it elsewhere is that terrible.
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Bill Buchanan
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I didn't pledge the kickstarter to get the base game.

I pledged the kickstarter to get the dry erase boards. And I'm sure many other pledged to get those and/or the new neighborhood sheets. All of which to my knowledge are NOT available at retail right now.

I agree, if I just wanted the base game I would have waited and bought it at retail. Not sure why anyone would be complaining because they made a decision not to do that ...

I'm not surprised though.
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chris
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Online conversations can be quite misleading. The tone is missing and one does not know what the other one has gone through that day to adjust.


I backed due to glorious reviews from friends and mostly for the dry erase sheets.
As it turns out, ours leave some gunk on so I decide to have regular sheets laminated.


I cannot explain why, but I feel more patient toward this game than any other games. For instance, I was missing a 5 and a 7 cards.

My friends helped me figure out both card and I simply added two homemade cards. I did not even consider contacting them. I cannot explain why I felt so zen when I figured out there was an issue. But that was my way to handle it.
I am sorry the backer felt cheated. but maybe DWG did think it was the fast way to resolve conflict.
 
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A Huynh
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From that reply I think they just need to get someone with better customer service communication skills to handle KS comments.

“Patient and understanding”, I don’t know any customer service representative that could get away with calling a customer impatient and ignorant.
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Ted William
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What is in question is whether the backer who was complaining asked for their pledge to be cancelled or whether their pledge was cancelled by the publisher because they were complaining.
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chris
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The backer sounds like he regretted giving them money. Refunding was the right thing to do. Maybe they should have first asked the backer if he wanted a refund. I would have preferred to be contacted first, I admit....
 
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Jacob Way
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iomio wrote:

As it turns out, ours leave some gunk on so I decide to have regular sheets laminated.


I cannot explain why, but I feel more patient toward this game than any other games. For instance, I was missing a 5 and a 7 cards.

My friends helped me figure out both card and I simply added two homemade cards. I did not even consider contacting them. I cannot explain why I felt so zen when I figured out there was an issue. But that was my way to handle it.


Sounds like you got 2 defects in one, that is definitely rare!

We added this form on our site to help! https://www.deepwatergaming.com/wt-replacement

There should be no gunk on any dry erase, but printing/coating errors happen.

Thanks,

Jacob from Deep Water
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chris
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gunk is probably not a good term. When you erase the dry erase markers, it leaves some powder behind. It is hard to describe. I even changed the brand and now use BIC.
Not a big deal, we went to Staples and had 6 sheets laminated. Mine are thinner than yours, and yours are clearly better quality, but it works. Still very happy.

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chris
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DeepWaterWay wrote:
[q="iomio"]
As it turns out, ours leave some gunk on so I decide to have regular sheets laminated.


I cannot explain why, but I feel more patient toward this game than any other games. For instance, I was missing a 5 and a 7 cards.

My friends helped me figure out both card and I simply added two homemade cards. I did not even consider contacting them. I cannot explain why I felt so zen when I figured out there was an issue. But that was my way to handle it.


Sounds like you got 2 defects in one, that is definitely rare!

We added this form on our site to help! https://www.deepwatergaming.com/wt-replacement

There should be no gunk on any dry erase, but printing/coating errors happen.

Thanks,

Jacob from Deep Water[/q


I want to repeat one more time that the sheets looked good. And that we have thoroughly enjoyed the game.
Maybe humidity during shipping messed up the sheets.


And I was advised to ask for the official cards, but when I saw that others were still waiting for their pack, I felt a little guilty.

I now have two priceless homemade cards
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Jacob Way
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iomio wrote:
DeepWaterWay wrote:
iomio wrote:

As it turns out, ours leave some gunk on so I decide to have regular sheets laminated.


I cannot explain why, but I feel more patient toward this game than any other games. For instance, I was missing a 5 and a 7 cards.

My friends helped me figure out both card and I simply added two homemade cards. I did not even consider contacting them. I cannot explain why I felt so zen when I figured out there was an issue. But that was my way to handle it.


Sounds like you got 2 defects in one, that is definitely rare!

We added this form on our site to help! https://www.deepwatergaming.com/wt-replacement

There should be no gunk on any dry erase, but printing/coating errors happen.

Thanks,

Jacob from Deep Water



I want to repeat one more time that the sheets looked good. And that we have thoroughly enjoyed the game.
Maybe humidity during shipping messed up the sheets.


And I was advised to ask for the official cards, but when I saw that others were still waiting for their pack, I felt a little guilty.

I now have two priceless homemade cards


Hahaha well I appreciate the thought. Can you tell me the brand of marker originally used? I think I understand your issue, but I want to make sure future products have that considered.

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chris
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I did not keep the box but here are both brands.For size, I placed them on top of one of the paper sheets that got laminated.

I don't get why this happens. But it was easily solvable. Cards got trickier but I got creative 😂

And again, your laminated boards were thicker and nicer than what I had done, but we have played many many games and had fun nonetheless.

If you need my KS #, let me know.
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David Stevenson
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Sounds like the backer wasn't adding anything to the conversation but negativity. Kinda like that DWG called his bluff and moved on. You are never going to please everyone, and some will never be happy. The backer has his money back and DWG can move on to their other customers. There was a very similar thread with Stonemaier games last week as well, who did something similar to solve it.
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Bill Buchanan
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I think the old adage of the customer being always right in this day and age of online shopping is dead. You don't get to just say and demand whatever you want anymore.

Good for creators for standing up for themselves.
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James C
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For the record, I’ve got that powder left behind on both Träxx and Lets Make a Bus Route too. One reason I’m a fan of paper and pencil.
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John Reyes
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Are the retail versions the same as the KS versions? If I remember correctly KS had an upgraded version with like laminated boards and different themed boards?
 
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Bill Buchanan
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Kilerazn wrote:
Are the retail versions the same as the KS versions? If I remember correctly KS had an upgraded version with like laminated boards and different themed boards?


That stuff is not included in base game box though. They were just other items you could get in addition to base.
 
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