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Crowdfunding: Kickstarter» Forums » General

Subject: Why I don't support KickStarter games rss

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Paul DeStefano
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I've played some games people have funded on KickStarter.

And yes, I understand many very popular games come from there.

I even have several designs at publishers who plan to use KickStarter, so this may not be the most profitable post for me.

But let's face it - a good number of these projects are terrible. I mean so horribly bad, its no wonder they had to get it made themselves.

It's vanity press at its worse.

There used to be a process. A series of gatekeepers in the publishing houses.

EVERY designer thinks they have the next greatest thing. They would never tell you otherwise.

You need a publisher to smack you in the head and tell you you're wasting your time.

OR you could tell them to take a hike and use Kickstarter.

Yes - there are great games on Kickstarter. But there's such garbage out there selling on CGI images and marketing promises and themes and pretty pictures ... in the end the games are awful. The proofreading often nonexistant.

These are things where tons of effort goes to pretty pictures and logos to sell a product that doesn't exist. Five years ago, this would have been the pizza box top prototype. Yet people flock to the pretty pictures and the odd theme.

And these games come out and they look all pretty and really are unplayable.

The gatekeeper is needed. The person who recognizes another's design as good stuff. Here the gatekeeper is the public, swayed by the promise and description of a good game.

Again - I'm probably upsetting a lot of people putting stuff up on Kickstarter, but I really think its a pretty bad thing for the hobby. Its diluting the market. The REALLY good games would have found publishers anyway.

I know I'm in the minority. But Kickstarter is low end self publishing with other peoples money made flashy. The games aren't getting better. Just prettier ads.

I apologize if I've offended anyone working through KS. Its a great tool for some. But this market is flooding, and not with quality.

People aren't buying games. They are buying hype. And everyone knows that sometimes that's all that is.

Lots of you support and love the process. That's great. It just makes me very uncomfortable.

(No I'm not going to say any games I felt were terrible by name)
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Ian Scrivins
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Couldn't agree more. The Kickstarter-funded games I've played so far have ranged from mediocre, through undeveloped half-finished ideas to outright broken.

The average quality of games reaching the marketplace is sharply in decline. Everyone's a game designer now and the cost of publishing a game is approaching zero. They're being encouraged by an over-enthusiastic and uncritical audience that's apparently willing to support any pap so long as it gets 'published'.

The inmates have truly taken over the asylum.
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Paul DeStefano
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iansc wrote:
Couldn't agree more. The Kickstarter-funded games I've played so far have ranged from mediocre, through undeveloped half-finished ideas to outright broken.


Sounds like you've played the same ones I have...
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Michael Potter
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There are thousands of examples of extremely profitable and good products that the gate keepers ignored as expected failures.

Some examples: Harry Potter, Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Wendy's.

Only through the persistance of the developer did these products/businesses see the light of day. Granted, a high percentage of most forced products probably end in failure. Kickstarter is just nice way to find out if your dream can become a reality.

If you don't like it, don't use it. It is just lowering the barriers to entry. It is not evil.
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fightcitymayor
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Geosphere wrote:
The gatekeeper is needed.
See, this is where I disagree. The music industry once tried to feed me this line, that major labels were the only ones that could truly discern talent and make you famous. Well, we all know where they're headed. Same with books and videogames. Any business model that creates a "gatekeeper class" of supposed highly-evolved individuals merely places barriers between an artist and his/her potential clientele. And ultimately the publisher will tend toward whatever is trendy at the time (aka stuff they are confident will sell at that moment, deckbuilding games anyone?)

I think one issue to recall at this juncture is that the Kickstarter realm is all still very NEW and SEXY and INTERESTING! Once enough consumers get burned once or twice with subpar product then their gaming palate will improve, and the newness of the idea of financially supporting everyone that comes to their door hat-in-hand will fade. By then, you'll have a nice process for truly interested people to buy truly interesting games. Anything that makes consumerism a more democratic process is fine by me, and buying a clunker once-in-a-while (which, btw, happens with big publishers too!) is a small price to pay to not be totally at the mercy of the self-professed know-it-all patriarchs of game publishing.

Geosphere wrote:
(No I'm not going to say any games I felt were terrible by name)
C'mon, this is the fun part!

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A.J. Porfirio
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I imagine everything that is or will be posted in this thread has already been said here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/736156/kickstarter-i-don...

I'm not sure I see how this one is much different.
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Jon W
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Geosphere wrote:
The proofreading often nonexistant.

I see what you did there....

I confess, I don't follow KS much. Can you at least give some hints or clues as to which games have inspired your ire?
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Paul DeStefano
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waddball wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
The proofreading often nonexistant.

I see what you did there....

I confess, I don't follow KS much. Can you at least give some hints or clues as to which games have inspired your ire?


No.
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Eric Etkin
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Geosphere wrote:
iansc wrote:
Couldn't agree more. The Kickstarter-funded games I've played so far have ranged from mediocre, through undeveloped half-finished ideas to outright broken.


Sounds like you've played the same ones I have...


As someone who's batting about the idea of doing a KS at some point myself, I'd appreciate it if you guys considered mailing me your list of half-baked games.
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Paul DeStefano
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vanrydergames wrote:
I imagine everything that is or will be posted in this thread has already been said here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/736156/kickstarter-i-don...

I'm not sure I see how this one is much different.


Easy.

I haven't read that thread.
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Markus Hagenauer jr.
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For sure, therer are a lot of horrible games at kickstarter (in game stores too, but the quota seems to be lower).
But there are some verry good too. Kingdom of Solomon for example is one of my favorits I picked in Essen this year, and it was funded with kickstarter.
So I would not say I will not found a game at kickstarter, but as always, I would have a colse look at it, before I buy.
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A.J. Porfirio
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Geosphere wrote:
vanrydergames wrote:
I imagine everything that is or will be posted in this thread has already been said here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/736156/kickstarter-i-don...

I'm not sure I see how this one is much different.


Easy.

I haven't read that thread.


Maybe you should. Instead of posting virtually the same thing.
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Liam (Away/AFK)
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Every investor is a gatekeeper.

Publishers are in it for the money not the art, they want a product that will sell not make spirits soar.

I've never invested in kickstarter but have viewed some god awful kickstarter concepts.

I've also played Mob Ties: The Board Game, a game that publishers, repeating whats been written elsewhere, asked for the violence to be toned down in order for it to be publishable.

The designers said no, kept the art - their vision of the game - and went to Kickstarter, now Mob Ties: The Board Game is out there as the designers intended. It's bloody and it's bloody good.

Yes lots of crap games will be offered but no that does not mean we have to invest in them.
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Paul DeStefano
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fightcitymayor wrote:
The music industry once tried to feed me this line, that major labels were the only ones that could truly discern talent and make you famous.


I am an independent musician that is available on iTunes.

Any indie artist you can hear now IS the good stuff. Realize how many hundreds of bands burn their own CDs and sell to their circle of friends.

Its the ones that sell to the friends of friends and the radio and iTunes and so on that make it in the indie world.

There is STILL a gatekeeper - the first listeners. They determine whether or not you get to hear it. KS is often before the listen.
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Paul DeStefano
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vanrydergames wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
vanrydergames wrote:
I imagine everything that is or will be posted in this thread has already been said here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/736156/kickstarter-i-don...

I'm not sure I see how this one is much different.


Easy.

I haven't read that thread.


Maybe you should. Instead of posting virtually the same thing.


reading it now... not seeing all the same thing...
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Chapel
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I don't support Kickstarter because I'm not a hipster. I don't seek out designers in their infancy. I like to wait till they have developed into a powerhouse designer, and have gotten rid of all the mistakes and rough edges, and have fleshed out really good designs.

I just don't have the time or money tying to find the next best thing waddling through the mud to get there.

Take your lumps then get back to me.

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King of All Simians — Not a Mere Diplomat
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I just don't see where you're coming from... Of the Kickstarter projects I've backed, I've received three finished games so far: Eminent Domain, Flash Point, and Creatures. Of the three, EmDo is good, Flash Point is incredible, and Creatures is very simple, but very cute and very fun; I don't regret any of them in the slightest.

The projects I'm currently waiting on are Glory to Rome Black Box, Borogove, Carnival, Sunrise City, Miskatonic School for Girls, and D-Day Dice. Of those, the only one I think I might have gotten burned on is Borogove, but it was also only $15 and the art is cute so I'm not sweating it. So the crap-to-cool ratio in my experience has been lower than, say, the typical "Games for X Players" Geeklist.

Mind you, this is what comes of being fairly discriminating in my selections. If you just go in there swinging dead cats and buying whatever gets hit, you're gonna have a handful of garbage. But isn't most of everything--including traditionally published games--garbage?
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Troy Adlington
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vanrydergames wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
vanrydergames wrote:
I imagine everything that is or will be posted in this thread has already been said here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/736156/kickstarter-i-don...

I'm not sure I see how this one is much different.


Easy.

I haven't read that thread.


Maybe you should. Instead of posting virtually the same thing.


You know not EVERYONE has read every thread on the geek. Nor should they have to. A helpful "this has already been discussed here (link) " would suffice.
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Paul DeStefano
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MWChapel wrote:
I don't support Kickstarter because I'm not a hipster.


Never made that connection, but OK...
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A.J. Porfirio
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Troymk1 wrote:
vanrydergames wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
vanrydergames wrote:
I imagine everything that is or will be posted in this thread has already been said here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/736156/kickstarter-i-don...

I'm not sure I see how this one is much different.


Easy.

I haven't read that thread.


Maybe you should. Instead of posting virtually the same thing.


You know not EVERYONE has read every thread on the geek. Nor should they have to. A helpful "this has already been discussed here (link) " would suffice.


I thought that is what I did. Fine, I will leave you to your redundancy.
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Caleb
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Geosphere wrote:


There is STILL a gatekeeper - the first listeners. They determine whether or not you get to hear it. KS is often before the listen.



Uh, I don't think so. KS functions like the first listener - people willing to take a flier on something most people aren't. If the game is good, it'll generate lots of buzz by the people who KS'd it and got a copy and liked it.
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Gilad Yarnitzky
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I'll give you a different point of view.
I have a game that was rejected by 3 companies so far. 2 of those company told me they liked the game but after reviewing the production costs compared to the possible income they decided against going with the game.

This is the case where I'd think of going and doing a kickstarter.
As a game designer I'll be happy if people play my game, I'll get a good exposure and the odds are I'll break even.

I admit there are lots of crappy stuff out there and you as someone who wants to support game developer will never know when reading the game description why the designer turned to that option, but in some cases it might be the only solution

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Paul DeStefano
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Holmes! wrote:
But isn't most of everything--including traditionally published games--garbage?


Very few traditionally published games are total garbage - but those that are can be easily weeded out by reading bad reviews and such.
 
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randall fischer

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Anytime I read a thread like this I just hear, "I am not happy that you are spending your money on a game that you think will be fun that I have no financial involvement with, nor have any interest in playing. Furthermore, because I dont like other games that you have spent your money on (because I refuse to support the product), all the games that you might spend your money on in the future must also be bad, but I wont know for sure until you buy it and I get to play it because as stated, I'll never buy these products. Additionally, the games you are buying, and that I refuse to play, are weakening the exceptionally fragile gaming ecosystem because while they add additional playing options for interested parties, they do not measure up to my refined gaming tastes, thus they are destructive to how I think this hobby of mine should work. In conclusion, because I do not agree with how you spend your money, I must insist that every game that may ever see production be submitted through someone that I do not pay, but who shares my refined gaming tastes because no game company has ever produced a game that was mediocre or barely playable. Please, I beg you, stop spending your money on games I dont want to play."
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Jason Birzer
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Geosphere wrote:
There is STILL a gatekeeper - the first listeners. They determine whether or not you get to hear it. KS is often before the listen.


Agreed, which is my main problem with Kickstarter right now. You need more than just a concept and pretty graphics. Personally, I want to see some actual gameplay, and some buzz behind a game from semi-respected members of this forum. Otherwise, it is just a shot in the dark.

Personally, I was tempted to support Miskatonic School For Girls, because I find the mechanic interesting, but I question if it scales for more than two players.
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