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Subject: Kickstarter making a difference? rss

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David Fair
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So it was recently pointed out in another thread, that Cheapass Games just did a Kickstarter for almost $50K for an update to what is, lets face it, a cute, but rather mediocre game, Unexploded Cow. This startled me.

So, are we getting nicer versions of mediocre games due to all the funds that KS is making available, or are we getting better game designs than through traditional channels?

And what is it that makes people so willing to spend money on a game through KS that they would not support otherwise (Because no one would ever expect to sell $50K worth of Unexploded Cow in 5 years of sales in the traditional manner...)?
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Denise Van Peursem
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I don't know that KS makes people more willing to spend money than through other means, but it IS an easier way to market worldwide without actually having the product already.

I'm fairly new to KS but I've already backed quite a few products/games. Would I buy the same items if I saw them in a store? Sure! But so far, they aren't in a store, so KS is the way to go!

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Mark Stadel
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I'm not convinced KS is a good vehicle for game development ... I have not supported any game projects and my feeling from reading various posts from many KS-funded games is that the average quality is not that high.

I'll wait until they hit the stores to see if they're any good ... its a lot easier to let others do the review/screening process
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Donnie Clark
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I believe KS allows games like Unexploded Cow to reach an interested niche market that it might not otherwise see it through traditional methods.

It's not like Cheapass is new to this market though, so why they chose KS instead of their usual production/distribution channels, I can't say. But I digress.
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Reis
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We're getting all of the above. We're getting awesome designs with great production that wouldn't have been published otherwise. We're getting nicer versions of mediocre designs. We're getting mediocre versions of great designs. We're getting a chance to preorder games that would be coming anyway even without the Kickstarter. Occasionally, we're getting nothing in exchange for our money.

None of these things are unique to Kickstarter. All of the above have happened in the games industry before and by my own perception, at about the same rate as they happen on Kickstarter.

Every Kickstarter there are a group of people who are buying a game sight unseen, only having seen promotional material and maybe a rulebook. Before Kickstarter, this happened all the time, and some people ended up with crap, and some people ended up with awesome games, and lots of people ended up with mediocre games. This is still what happens through traditional channels.

What is unique to Kickstarter is that the early adoption is public and people get to react to it.

In regard to Unexploded Cow, people like mediocre games (taking your word here, as I have not played it). It's not a bad thing as long as people are having fun. And I also don't think $50k is a surprising amount of money for an affordable game from a well-known publisher to move.
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Sean Tompkins
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One thing I think you're seeing is games people are nostalgic about getting reprinted because of Kickstarter. It's hard to judge how much a reprint will sell - you can look at the used resell market, but it's not a guarantee. A game may be highly in demand because it's out of print and hard to find, but upon reprint you may find that there were 50 people who REALLY wanted a copy, but no market past that. Kickstarter allows publishers to guage interest prior to making a print run, and allows them to customize print run to minimize overstock.

Ogre, Unexploded Cow, Lost Valley - are all examples of games where the reprint would probably not have happened outside of a Kickstarter initiative.

In addition, I think the nice thing for publishers is that Kickstarter gives them the seed money from people willing to pre-order games sight-unseen, and lets them reward those early adopters with exlusive bling and trinkets...
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Laura Creighton
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One thing that CheapAss games discovered, when they made (licensed?) deluxe verisons of Kill Doctor Lucky and Give me the Brain is that there are a whole lot of people who are perfectly willing to spend quite a bit of money in order to get nicer components. So the whole 'you don't want to spend money on components like dice and counters which you already have' argument does not, at all, work for them. So why not make a more expensive version of every old CheapAss game that sold well, aiming for just these people? KS is HEAVEN for people who love to spend money as long as they get cool components, and you can soak these people for all you can get with their enthuthiastic approval.
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matt way
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What I see Kickstarter doing is becoming a national game warehouse. Very few people have access to a FLGS (Dallas doesn't even have 1, you have to go to a suburb to find one) and few FLGS can carry a wide stock of items. So I see KS reaching a lot of niche markets, that wouldn't support a brick and mortar store. Kickstarter gets you a large market exposure, and there is cross pollination from the non-game related products that seems to expand your typical market reach.

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Rafael M
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I think that regardless of the outcome of individual cases, for me the concept in general is amazing. It gives creative dreams only hindered by money a chance to exist. The nature of the whole process disposes of editors and the quality filtering resulting from presenting a prototype to a company and being rejected, which leaves the effectiveness of the design merely in the talent of the project creator. Its results almost in a blind gamble, with most outcomes being possible. Yet, ideas are much more abundant than talent.

I'm really liking how established companies are using Kickstarter and similar platforms to bring to life well needed reprints and good tested designs that due to lack of money and market risk are not usually published . This the best use of the system I see.

In terms of why, there is a certain thrill to get on board with a project before "everyone else", and perhaps of expecting it to be the next big thing. Also, you feel you are helping someone, which makes you feel like a good person.
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Barry Hood
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Kickstarter is still a relatively new format, like all new formats it will either disappear (this doesn't look likely) or it will gradually adjust to meet the needs of the market.

At the moment there seems to be a lot of excitement about certain games, but not every game is funding by any means. I think over time, if KS does result in a lot of hype over what turn out to be mediocre games, people will start to demand more up-front and be more selective in their backing, so over time the process for sorting the wheat from the chaff should improve.

We're already at the point where a lot of people are starting to resist the urge to fund without seeing the rules or gameplay videos. This starts to show people being a bit more savvy about where they put their money, it should hopefully result in better games rising to the top in the future. Additionally, services like Springboard can help here, or getting prototypes into the hands of reviewers early enough for them to give some feedback before the funding gets under way - again over time I expect to see people favour games that have been played by their favourite reviewers in advance of the campaign.

In short, I think it's too early for us to judge KS on its performance so far, it's a fledgling idea that's finding its way. If you're a risk averse person it's probably not for you right now, but with some polishing it could be in the near future.
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Johan Haglert
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BeyondMonopoly wrote:
So it was recently pointed out in another thread, that Cheapass Games just did a Kickstarter for almost $50K for an update to what is, lets face it, a cute, but rather mediocre game, Unexploded Cow. This startled me.

So, are we getting nicer versions of mediocre games due to all the funds that KS is making available, or are we getting better game designs than through traditional channels?
Exclusivity. As in stretch promos.

It's collector instinct on steroids.
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Barry Hood
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aliquis wrote:
BeyondMonopoly wrote:
So it was recently pointed out in another thread, that Cheapass Games just did a Kickstarter for almost $50K for an update to what is, lets face it, a cute, but rather mediocre game, Unexploded Cow. This startled me.

So, are we getting nicer versions of mediocre games due to all the funds that KS is making available, or are we getting better game designs than through traditional channels?
Exclusivity. As in stretch promos.

It's collector instinct on steroids.


That's part of it, but not every game that has KS exclusive stretch goals does fantastically well, meanwhile Nothing Personal recently demonstrated you can do incredibly well while making all of your stretch goals available retail as well as KS (of course, that may be a bit of an exception, but I like the idea that the KS campaign's purpose is to make the game better for everyone, not just a select few).

Having said that, I really wish I'd jumped on the Zombicide KS for some of their stretch goals. I'd never used KS at that point so didn't really understand how it all worked, and by the time I'd decided it sounded interesting I'd missed the end by a couple of days soblue
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