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Subject: Thoughts on the Kickstarter campaign rss

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Driver 8
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I'm a tad bit...'meh' about the current Kickstarter campaign. Let me explain where I'm coming from first.

I first bought Sentinels of the Multiverse shortly after Rook City came out; I got the base game and expansion at the same time. I loved the game. I only wished that I had gotten on board sooner with the Kickstarter campaign to get the Wraith and Legacy promo cards.

Then, the Infernal Relics expansion was announced and I was psyched to hear that I could pick up the missing promo cards. I was also excited to hear about the Enhanced Version with the new 'H mechanic' and the thicker cards, but was slightly bummed that I had to basically 'repurchase' the base game. Oh well. As that Kickstarter campaign rolled on, I was even more excited about all the promo stuff that was unlocked. I got the stuff in the mail and was glad to have made the investment! Again, slightly peeved that my first edition was kind of worthless now, but oh well.

When Shattered Timelines was announced, I of course jumped at it. Once again, I was very excited with all the promo materials. I'm a hug fan of the tokens and the oversized villain cards. They make it so much easier to see what's going on a track it all. I was also excited that the misprints on the villain cards were going to be fixed. So far so good.

Then, the Vengence 'expansion' was announced. At first I was overjoyed. But after I read the fine print and realized that the game was still in the works and wouldn't be ready until next Fall, I had second thoughts. I had already invested my money for one expansion in the Spring and was unsure if I wanted to put out even more for something I wouldn't see until almost a year from now.

It kind of felt like my brother in law asked to borrow $30 and then asked me for another $40 before he even paid back the first loan I gave him. I feel like it would have been more appropriate to wait until Spring and then started a new fundraising campaign for Vengence.

Here's the part that really sucks: if I DON'T invest the $40 now and lose my chance to pick up the oversized villain cards and promo hero card (and anything else that's unlocked for Vengence between now and the end of the campiagn), I'm going to be pissed. It's Christmas season and I'm short on cash as it is. I 'want' to give them the extra for Vengence, but I feel it's a little too much to ask to invest again before the first payout.

Now, tell me I'm over reacting. Or maybe you agree that it's a bit too much at once.
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    Any wargamers with preorders from 2009 that would like to chime in?

             S.


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David desJardins
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I do find it sort of manipulative to launch successive Kickstarter campaigns before completing the first one. It would be better for your customers to let them see how well you deliver on your previous commitments.
 
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Shawn George
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I'm feeling the same way as you are right now. I'm just not terribly excited at the prospect of paying full retail price + shipping for something that I know that I won't see for another 11 months, especially when I'm already paying them for something that I won't see for another 3-6 months. I have little doubt that we'll be able to order the Vengeance oversized villain cards and the Legacy promo card separately, and I really couldn't care less about the art prints.

I'm thinking I might just skip out on Vengeance for now, order it from Boards and Bits or something once it's actually released, and purchase the promo items separately from GtG at a later date. It will probably end up costing the same in the end anyway.
 
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Shawn George
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DaviddesJ wrote:
I do find it sort of manipulative to launch successive Kickstarter campaigns before completing the first one. It would be better for your customers to let them see how well you deliver on your previous commitments.


I have little doubt in GtG's ability to deliver. They've run two successful campaigns already with very few complaints as far as I'm aware. They definitely care about their customers, I'm just having a hard time seeing the appeal of ordering Vengeance at this time.
 
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J Karrde
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DaviddesJ wrote:
I do find it sort of manipulative to launch successive Kickstarter campaigns before completing the first one. It would be better for your customers to let them see how well you deliver on your previous commitments.


I believe this is >G third Kickstarter campaign, so potential customers/fans do have something to look back on to see how they handle things.

And in my opinion (based only on the previous KS) they delivered smoothly.

To the OP, I think you are over-reacting a bit. But hey, to each their own.
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Wikiro Trio
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I agree with the OP. You are not over reacting. I feel sidelined when they suddenly add promos you cant get any other way.

-LMK
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Driver 8
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I have no bought that >Games will deliver. They have inpecible customer service as far as that goes. So, I'm not worried I'll get my money's worth. I'm sure I'll get more than I pay for. I just think the timing is off.
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Peter Schott
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I'd agree that they'll deliver, but I'll definitely be holding off on Vengeance. I'm not sure that I'm that interested in that particular set in the first place, but even then I can't justify the extra $40 to get Vengeance. I'll tend to agree that the timing is off to fund it and would have preferred doing that in a separate KS campaign when it's closer to being released.
 
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Vincent Lalyman
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They are not founding Vengeance - this product was not meant to be kickstarted, but published "normally", in 2014. In fact, you are not founding Vengeance, just pre- ordering it. It would have hit the stores anyway - but now they know they'll have enough finances to advance its publication to second semester of 2013.
This gives a strange KS campaign, but for both >G and "fans", it is great. Even if it is a little confusing.

Chrys - waiting for the publication of Vengeance to buy it is completely normal and acceptable : Vengeance will be published anyway
But if we only look at Shattered Timelines and its kickstarter, well, I think the campaign was worth it, if we look at the rewards !
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SnipedintheHead
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I wholeheartedly agree with the OP. I not only find this addition to be horrible timing, but I find it to be incredibly insulting. In a way, I feel like G2G is running this Kickstarter simply as a way of scamming out Vengeance, rather than producing the expansion we are supporting: Shattered Timelines. Most of the recent updates have been about Vengeance, not about Shattered Timelines.

I've supported every kickstarter that they've had as soon as I learned about the game, and I would've gladly supported Vengeance as well, even if there weren't any bonuses to content, just the game. SotM is the ONLY game I support on Kickstarter because I don't see the point in paying full retail price for something I can get 2 months down the road for 30% off. But I do it for SotM because I respect G2G, I like what the guys are doing, and the bonuses are awesome.

But this time, it's just too much. Not only are you attempting to Kickstart something that is, at best 11 months down the road, but you're doing it during the time of the season when most people don't have any money because they're spending it on gifts. 40$ in my family is a lot of money, and I can put a lot of presents under the tree for that price. I find it hard to believe that this kickstarter could not have just been moved back 2 or 3 months to early next year. Heck, with their timeline, why not put it in April, when people are getting refund checks back and people have that extra money to spend? This way you can still get it 4 months early, but G2G is only holding our money for 4 months and they're not asking for more money at such a ridiculous time?
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Joe Loviska

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I see your point about the holidays. The campaign could have ended at a better time earlier or later, but it has been said that they aren't going to use the kickstarter route anymore. This will be the only way that people can go in and back vengance through kickstarter, and probably the only way that almost all your money will go to >Games. (Unless you order through their website, but most of us would get it online or at a FLGS instead)
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Markus
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I don't have have any problems with this campaign and I'm paying $80 just for international shipping.
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Jim McMahon
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I don't have any problems with the campaign either. In fact, I added Vengeance, knowing that whenever it finally releases, I won't have to worry about the funds for it then.
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Marlon de Silva
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SotM gets a LOT of play at our house.

But I have to agree with the OP... I was in exactly the same boat, and essentially purchased the base game twice (with extra intl shipping). I have a copy of the original version sitting in a cupboard, basically untouched.

I just don't have the money at this time of the year to outlay for Vengeance, and wait 11 months for it. Intl shipping makes it an additional $80.

I really do like the oversized villain cards. For us, they enhance the game-play, by making the villain's powers a lot easier to read at the table. However, if the oversized cards for Vengeance are available outside KS, I'll order these online directly from >G, and pick up Vengeance from my FLGS when it eventually hits the shelves.

If Vengeance were to be run through KS with promos or additional game material, then I'd definitely be on board; for me, the additional game material completely justifies paying the higher price for the game + shipping. Sorry guys, I just don't have any use for the art prints/shirts.

Peace, Marlz.

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J Cale
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I'm not going to add the extra money for Vengeance to my pledge. If it's good, I'll pick it up from my FLGS. However, I'm very happy to have backed Shattered Timelines.
 
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Julian Garcia
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I have no problem with the campaign. I pledged for both Shattered Timelines and Vengeance and have no problem waiting for as long as I'll have to (I'll just forget about it and be all surprised when it finally comes. This isn't something I'd do often, but for this game I did.

I fully understand the reasons why some people can't or won't back Vengeance and they are all legitimate reasons, but look at it this way. Because enough of us were willing and able to back it at this time it will now be available to you a bit earlier than it would have otherwise. It really is a win-win.

As far as the promo items go, you really are only probably going to have a tough time getting the Legacy promo since the oversized cards will be available for sale through their site and I think having some sort of exclusive promotional item is a just reward for those people who did put forth the money to speed up the process and get Vengeance done... and in the end you will probably pay just about the same but at a time when you are better able. So I don't think it was bad move. It was certainly a gamble, but it paid off and as a result we ALL get the game earlier.

So I don't really see much of a problem with the campaign.
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Campbell
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I completely agree with the OP and it's the majority of the reason I cancelled my backing today.

I know in the larger scheme one guy cancelling doesn't matter.

I feel like ordering Shattered Timelines was a bit of a bait and switch (I know it's not literally one) for a $70 bid on 2 expansions, especially when the 150k stretch says you won't get it unless you tack on Vengeance. $30 I can swing. $70 is too much to ask for me this close to Christmas.
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Julian Garcia
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But the only thing you don't get is the Legacy promo (which would not have been available without the addition of Vengeance anyway), you still get everything else for your $30.

It is a kickstarter within a kickstarter maybe (with rewards built in for the added expansion), but I don't see how it is a bait and switch.
 
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Paul Bender
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For what it is worth, here is a clarification of why we did what we did.

When we launched this campaign, we had no intention of including (or even announcing) Vengeance as part of it. Since this was a Kickstarter for just an expansion and not an expansion + reprint like our last campaign, we expected it to end significantly under $100K.

However, as we started blowing past stretch reward after stretch reward, people began asking what we would do with the extra money. Well, aside from the extra amount we'll be spending on stretch rewards and shipping for that many backers, the honest answer is "we'll use it to bump up the release date of our next SotM expansion, since it seems that there is demand". Although we were not initially planning to announce or include Vengeance, it has been in the works for a while now, as have the rest of the expansions for the Sentinels of the Multiverse card game from now until the end of the game (and there is a definite end planned ).

Anyhow, at the point that we were going to reveal Vengeance as the answer to "where will all the extra money go", it only seemed reasonable to allow people to pledge for it if they so desire, and reveal a little bit of information about it. Unfortunately that does make for some complicated pledge levels, but we have been attempting to explain those as well as we can, and be as clear as possible about the delivery date, etc.

Of course, if you want to wait on Vengeance (or not get it at all!) that is definitely an option! The originally planned expansion for the Kickstarter (Shattered Timelines) is still available and now, thanks to all the backers, comes with a ridiculous number of stretch rewards.

Hope that at least helps explain some of our logic!
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Marlon de Silva
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Paul, thanks for entering into the discussion.

I recognize that some of this feedback has come about because the game is so popular, and the campaign has been successful beyond everyone's expectations.

Would you mind clarifying one thing for me/others?

I have already pledged for Shattered Timelines, but money constraints at this time of the year are putting Vengeance out of my reach. If I do not pledge for Vengeance during this Kickstarter, will the oversized villain cards for Vengeance be made available for purchase through your website at a later date?

We find that the oversized cards really help with the flow of the game; the large card can be seen and read by everyone at the table, and the regular sized card can still be passed around when people need them. I'd really like to have a complete set for all the villains.

All the best...

Peace, Marlz.


 
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I've been giving some more thought to my original feelings when posting this thread, and here's what I've come up with. First of all, I realized that if I had been a supporter of Vengence, I wouldn't have a problem with it at all. I would have paid for it, and I'd have coming to me exactly what I deserved: extra stuff. However, since I haven't yet supported Vengence, I'm kind of 'jealous' that I could potentially be missing out on something.

And therein lies the problem as I see it: the promos. Now, I remember when I first got into Sentinels of the Multiverse, right after Rook City. I discovered that there were two promo cards that I didn't have. I was near panicky. Where could I get them?! Could I find a trade? Could I buy them online? Would I have to handcraft them myself using scanned photos?! Therefore, when the Kickstarter campaign for Infernal Relics came out, I supported it immediately! Why? Because I was afraid NOT to. I didn't want to miss out on goodies that complete the game.

And you know what? I was right in doing so! Afterwards I kept seeing threads on BGG of people asking "Where can I get Unity?" "How can I get tokens?" "Does anyone have an extra promo character card?" Something just didn't seem right about that. Now, I happen to own every promo and extra that SotM made so far, so I shouldn't worry, right?

At this point you might think I'm over reacting again. Keep in mind however that SotM is a game based on comic book superheroes. Have you every owned a complete run of a comic book...except for that one issue? It's no big deal, right? No, it is a VERY big deal! You can't be missing one issue! That just isn't right. But in a situation like that, the onus is on you to have that issue. They comic book company published it afterall.

But this brings to back to my orignal point. I'm not talking about a comic book issue that was intended to be included in the standard comic book run. I'm talking about a promo game piece that was never included in the standard game. And that's where I think the problem lies. Imagine an over exaggerated situation. I publish an abstract board game called Chess, perhaps you've heard of it. As part of a special promotional, I offer new pieces for the game called Knights, which move and capture in an L-shaped pattern. Sounds exciting, right? They are. Now, those of you who have Knights in your Chess game will say "This is the greatest game ever!" while those of you who don't have Knights may not have quite the same game experience. Oh well, it's still a good game, right? OK, maybe that's an extreme example.

I recently talked to a friend of mine who was interested in getting into SotM as well. I told him about the new Shattered Timeslines Kickstarter and he went to check it out. Disappointed he said, "It looks like some of the options are sold out and I can't get all the characters from earlier sets. That sucks. I don't think I'm going to do it now." I can't say I blame him.

Now, let me calm down a second and get back to some practical thoughts. Actually, it's more like advice to game designers and publishers. Not just Great Than Games, but all the game industry really. Here it goes...

Don't make promos that enhance the game in such a way that 'not' having them detracts from the game.

Let me make sure I define the word promo before I go any further. When I say promo I mean something that is offered for limited sale or availability. Something that is only available at a convention or for a limited time. And just so you don't think I'm picking on Greater Than Games, let me bring up another game that did the same thing. Now, I love the game Cuba. And when I saw on BGG that they were offering the Cuba: Spielecafé promo piece, I had to get it. After all, it gives you a free rum bottle. But then when I played a game with it, I realized that it made the rum strategy a little better than the cigar strategy. It needed a balance. I then had to scour the globe for the Cuba: Kanadische Botschaft promo piece. I finally found one in Canada and ended up paying way more than it was worth to reestablish balance to the game. My question is "Why the hell couldn't you have added those tiles to the game in the first place?!"

Ok, back to my original topic. I love Sentinels of the Multiverse and I'm glad I have everything for it that I do. Furthermore, I will continue to purchase everything that they make for the game. I've kind of tired myself out with this post and I really gotta get back to work so let me sum up with another suggestion.

Please give everyone an opportunity to own the components you produce for your games. If you want to give Kickstarter supporters a reward, give them the promos for free, but please allow late comers a chance to purchase those promos as well. Especially if those promos enhance the game, such as game tokens, oversized villain cards, extra characters, alternate heroes cards...come to think of it, every promo made for this game enhances it! You guys do such a great job that I just feel bad for those who can't experience the whole span of materials available so far.

And just in case, I'm going to do without paying for my electric bill this month so I can afford to buy the Vengence expansion. Why? Because I'm scared to NOT have the promo pieces!
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Shawn George
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AmigoMarlz wrote:

Paul, thanks for entering into the discussion.

I recognize that some of this feedback has come about because the game is so popular, and the campaign has been successful beyond everyone's expectations.

Would you mind clarifying one thing for me/others?

I have already pledged for Shattered Timelines, but money constraints at this time of the year are putting Vengeance out of my reach. If I do not pledge for Vengeance during this Kickstarter, will the oversized villain cards for Vengeance be made available for purchase through your website at a later date?

We find that the oversized cards really help with the flow of the game; the large card can be seen and read by everyone at the table, and the regular sized card can still be passed around when people need them. I'd really like to have a complete set for all the villains.

All the best...

Peace, Marlz.




And beyond that, will the Legacy promo card also be available at that time?

I think the ideal solution is to open up preorders for Vengeance on GtG's website later next year as was the original plan. Allow anybody who preorders through the website to receive the same bonuses as the Kickstarter backers, minus possibly the art prints.
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Carlos "Koey"
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Driver 8 wrote:

Don't make promos that enhance the game in such a way that 'not' having them detracts from the game.



I agree that games shouldn't make cards that do that, but I can also see why promos were made.
The only part I would disagree with you while the promo does provide a new play style you do not necessarily need the card to play. >G has provided the images online so you can print them off and use them in your game play. The reason why that works in SOTM is because you do not need to draw hero character cards, for majority of the game they just sit there and you read off the text. You wouldn't even need the promo card if you know the ability well enough.

Now if they made something like Unity or Hero cards you can add to "___" Deck then I would agree with you 100%.
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Vincent Lalyman
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The only "promos" that won't be available for purchase after the kickstarter are the alternate Hero character cards.
If the promo decks were not available, I would understand your critics, and fully agree.

You say that game designers should not provide as limited promos things that completely change the gameplay. I agree.
But do the alternate hero cards change the game play in such a big way ? They are just alternate versions of the same hero with a different HP amount, and a different base power (plus different Incapacitated abilities), not something that would change the deck - and all these informations are easily accessible. I don't have Young Legacy, but I know her abilities and can play her if I want with no problem.
In my opinion, it is a far better choice for "limited promo cards" than a card that would be added to a deck, like we see in so many other games - and it is the reason why >G chose these specific cards to be their limited promos.

I would fully agree with you, if you were not pointing your finger at designers who did make a special effort to avoid the pitfall you describe.
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