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Crowdfunding: Kickstarter» Forums » General

Subject: Kickstarter. Thoughts and opinions. rss

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David Miller
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When I first discovered board games a little over a year ago. I also discovered Kickstarter. At first I thought Kickstarter was amazing. I was helping companies produce games and basically preordering games that I potentially would've bought anyways. Plus a little extras.

A little over a year later and after many backed projects I now view Kickstarter in a different light. Now it seems the Kickstarter unlocks and bonuses outweigh the game itself. But I have received some not so great games through Kickstarter and some major disappointments.

My biggest problem with ks lies in the backing or not backing of games and
feeling like I'm missing out. I really wish companies with ks campaigns wouldn't add additional components to use in the games, but maybe just add alternates of sculpts or cards. For example Zombicide added so many new characters its not funny, and sentinels of the multiverse added new enviorenments, additional heroes, but at least those were for sale outside the campaign. At least if companies do make unlocks as additional components maybe offer the majority of those for sale outside of the campaign. I used to back a lot, but have realized that i was dropping nearly $150 a month to ks. Now I pick and choose my projects, though i am still conflicted because I dont want to miss out on additional game components, etc. which I'm sure is part of ks strategy. I am actually thinking about quitting ks all together, but I know when I do something that I must have will pop up.

I recently dropped Zpocalypse: Aftermath Kickstarter, because it would've cost me nearly $150 to get what I wanted and I have 2 other projects backed that funding will go through soon. But I can't help but feel I'm missing out
on some stuff. Although at least Zpocalypse just adds some alternate sculpts, extra zombies, and maybe one ks survivor. In my opinion they did good, and I would love to support them on that but there are other game campaigns that interest me more.

Overall I am frustrated that ks started out as a platform for funding projects but have now turned into a game itself with "let's see how many unlocks we can get".

Just my opinion and was wondering others.


Poll: Kickstarter opinions
What do you think of Kickstarter?
Love it
Hate it
Meh
      240 answers
Poll created by warpi9

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David Miller
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Very true. But really how many products have fallen through? I would love to see the numbers on this.
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Tony C
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I'm definitely getting more "meh".
i like the way it allows individuals or very small companies to produce a game directly to the consumer, where a publisher might not give them the time of day.
I really like the communication and transparency some projects share.
Like you, I don't like the KS-exclusive, game-changing content. I am more likely NOT to buy the game, ever, if I missed out on cool stuff like that.
If I catch the Early Bird pricing some use, I'm more likely to contribute; if I miss it, I'm less likely, because now I feel like I'm paying more.
I've seen some KS where the bundle or pricing is competitive, but most of the games I've gotten from KS, I could have gotten much cheaper from an OLGS two months later (like 20 or 30 bucks cheaper).
And of course the time and quantity limited nature of some projects sometimes pushes me to pull the trigger, much like an ebay auction.
It's also a little bothersome how some big companies use it as a pre-order system.
And one last annoyance, projects where the base game is 25$, but to get the full package you have to get this Add-on or that Add-on, which kicks it up to 60 or 75 or 90, etc. (Yes, you don't "have" to, but many gamers are completists).
So I voted "meh", but it looks like in actuality my thoughts are between Meh and Hate it.
That said, except for one notable example, and a few projects that are still in progress, I have gotten everything I expected from KS as promised; I might not have liked the game that much, but I did get what I paid for.
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Barry Hood
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It's easier for me to be "meh" since shipping prices me out of a lot of games I'd otherwise love to back. If I was in the US I'd have a much harder time resisting, but if I'm being asked to pay $60-80 + taxes for a $40 MSRP game that I will be able to buy zero-risk over here in a year's time for £30, there has to be something VERY special about it.
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Moe45673
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There are plenty of amazing games out there. Very few expansions are must-haves. Life goes on, I enjoy boardgaming.

So far, the only kickstarter game I backed and received was Tammany Hall and I don't regret backing it for a minute. I have backed a couple others and am looking forward to receiving those. I did not back D-Day Dice but bought it and every expansion available in stores and couldn't care less on the stuff I missed out on... it's not that important and I let it go.

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Michael Callahan
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chubber911 wrote:
My only issue with the platform is that kickstarter states in the terms that there is no guarantee of receiving a product. This severely limits the number of projects I'd consider. Take MYTH for example, looks great, I would love to back it, however it looks too good to be true, and this is MERC miniatures first project. So I pass, to protect myself.


you are very right to be careful in funding any project on KS. I have seen some horror stories. It is our duty as potential backers to do a little due diligence. You need to look at the company, what they have done before,... after all,.... as stated in teh T&C for KS,.. you really are just putting you money in a slot machine.

I'll start by saying I'm on board with Myth, and there are many reasons why,... I cetainly think that it is going to be a great game (otherwise, why back it), but my main reason that I am confident that is because the company has been around for a few years, and produces a very high quality tabletop game and miniatures. I've been a customer for over two years, participated in their forums, and own a lot of their MERCS line. They have been great at play balancing that game,... so I expect nothing less. Lastly the level of communication from them during the KS is not a fluke,.. they have been open with all their customers for the years that I have been involved.

just my 2 cents,... many people run from a project if it says "first backed" on it,..... but I have also seen people flock to throw money at some guy giving you a pitch from his web cam and nothing but a little art and promises.

to each his own I guess.
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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Kickstarter seems like a gambler's game to me. You put in your money and hope you get something back. Sometimes you lose out, i.e. either it doesn't happen or you get a game you don't like, or it wasn't worth what you paid. Sometimes you win and get a great game with all the extras you love. And for a lot of people it seems it's the adrenaline rush of possibly "winning" that drives their kickstarter habit.

I'd rather wait and let the market sort out which games are good and which aren't. So I won't get an awesome game in advance, and I won't get all the cool extras. But I also won't get burned. Instead, I'll know that I'm paying a pretty good price (as these are usually much cheaper when they become available through OLGS's) of a game that's been recognized as being pretty good (cause I won't buy unless I hear great buzz from people who have played or I've played myself).

I don't really get the need to be a backer on these things. But if it makes you guys happy, go for it.
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What's the deal with board games?
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I remember when Space Hulk 3rd Edition came out and so many voices on this site decried it for charging $99 for a miniatures game. But now (not necessarily the same) people will spend upwards of $200 for a miniatures game that they aren't even sure is good. It's insane! The urge to collect everything has got to be overwhelming for some.

I don't Kickstart because I want the publisher to shoulder the risk, not me. And I can always get the games from stores cheaper and earlier than the backers anyway.

I feel bad for brick & mortar game store owners who are being left out of the chain here. Sometimes their only way to get the game is to back it themselves, which puts a lot of the risk on them too. And few businesses can afford to float the money for that long before seeing product.

Maybe I'm nostalgic but I miss the old way of doing things. You had maybe 100 game releases in a good year and each game was dissected and played to death. Now we have hundreds of games come out each year and each one is played once or twice and set aside.
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Bruce Murphy
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stanstanminson wrote:

Maybe I'm nostalgic but I miss the old way of doing things. You had maybe 100 game releases in a good year and each game was dissected and played to death. Now we have hundreds of games come out each year and each one is played once or twice and set aside.


When was that? If you consider all the small and self-publishing stuff coming out at Essen and elsewhere, that was a long time ago.

Kickstarter is a fine way to throw money at somethingot make it happen. For things like film projects etc, this is great. For games, it's less clear that it's a completelye good thing, although again can see games produced that otherwise wouldn't be.

The problem comes in when folks assume that kickstarter is anything like a normal retail purchase. It really isn't, and it is mostly those folks who make up the bulk of people who are very disappointed in Kickstarter.

B>
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Michael Callahan
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when it comes to exclusives and add ons,....

the trend is a bit disturbing,... I like the idea of unlocking something that the backers get,....

some are about making the product better,... with Compounded each goal improved on the components of the base game,... so while backers were getting more that they originally saw,... the later retail buyers can also benefit from a better game as well.

then you have your freebie stretch goals,... we all love these,... I don't like when they become mega exclusives,... yeah, they are neat to have, but I never want to feel like if I can't support the KS that I'll be severely limited gameplay or enjoymentwise if I later buy the game.

the worst type of stretch goal is the unlockable purchase option. These drive me crazy,.... "if you pledge so that we can get to the XX goal,.. they you'll be able to spend more for add ons!" and it's even worse if those add ons are exclusive,... "buy it now,.. or you're SOL"

Don't get me wrong, I love add ons,... but let me choose what I like and not feel like if I don't buy it all now that I'm left in the cold.

So the recent trend of mega exclusives,.. has turned me off of these mega games like what CMON has been doing,...... when one of these big ones go sideways, I'm worried that it might really hurt the potential of KS gaming projects in general.
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Agent J
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Kickstarter is an amazing platform and does its job very well. For example, when you pledge money to a project, Kickstarter moves that money from you to the person who created the project, but only if it's fully funded (taking a little off the top of course).

As for the products on Kickstarter, well, some are great, some are crummy. I'm not going to judge Kickstarter on that though.
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Eric Jome
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I look forward to a wonderful future of trading games and buying them used at huge discounts with all the wonderful things people helped wedge into them.
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Chris
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I've never done a Kickstarter. I need reasons _not_ to buy games, and that seemed like a good one. I'm happy to buy some games in the usual old fashioned way that have gone through the normal editing development cycle.
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David Miller
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I love it when the extra earned money is spent to improve game quality. I am proud of backing that knowing that I contributed to a better product. Plus I receive the game sooner. Compounded did it well.

I also hate the unlock add ons. As well ad the base game is x$ but you can get different models (not just sculpts) for an additional x$. I am now starting to back projects and depending on their stretch goals I back out. I am not looking for stretch goals exclusive to backers but stretch goals that really do improve the game for everyone.
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Magic Pink
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chubber911 wrote:
My only issue with the platform is that kickstarter states in the terms that there is no guarantee of receiving a product. This severely limits the number of projects I'd consider. Take MYTH for example, looks great, I would love to back it, however it looks too good to be true, and this is MERC miniatures first project. So I pass, to protect myself.


You need to do better research.

Kickstarter doesn't gurantee a product but it does require the developers to deliver something or refund money.

MYTH is NOT Merc's first product.
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Magic Pink
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yamato2 wrote:
you are very right to be careful in funding any project on KS. I have seen some horror stories.


I've HEARD of horror stories but when I actually go to see what's up, so far all but one of them have been totally blown out of proportion if not outright lies and that one just hasn't delivered yet and is behind schedule.

All these claims of being brutally ripped off by Kickstarter projects is an urban myth.
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Bruce Murphy
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Magic Pink wrote:
chubber911 wrote:
My only issue with the platform is that kickstarter states in the terms that there is no guarantee of receiving a product. This severely limits the number of projects I'd consider. Take MYTH for example, looks great, I would love to back it, however it looks too good to be true, and this is MERC miniatures first project. So I pass, to protect myself.


You need to do better research.

Kickstarter doesn't gurantee a product but it does require the developers to deliver something or refund money.

MYTH is NOT Merc's first product.


Except that requirement has no teeth.

B>
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John Di Ponio
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I am careful in my kickstarter choices. My recent backings such as Sails Of Glory are from campanies that already produce great games so I have no worries about my investment. I have taken a gamble on the Up Front backing due to the ongoing lawsuits and fighting for rights of the project but I am willing to take a chance to have that project come to light.
 
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David Miller
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JohnnyD wrote:
I am careful in my kickstarter choices. My recent backings such as Sails Of Glory are from campanies that already produce great games so I have no worries about my investment. I have taken a gamble on the Up Front backing due to the ongoing lawsuits and fighting for rights of the project but I am willing to take a chance to have that project come to light.


And that's what Kickstarter went away from. People pledge because they want to see a project succeed. Seriously did c'mon need a fundraiser for zombicide second season. With the success of the first, did they not think people would buy it if it just went to retail?
 
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thepackrat wrote:
Magic Pink wrote:
chubber911 wrote:
My only issue with the platform is that kickstarter states in the terms that there is no guarantee of receiving a product. This severely limits the number of projects I'd consider. Take MYTH for example, looks great, I would love to back it, however it looks too good to be true, and this is MERC miniatures first project. So I pass, to protect myself.


You need to do better research.

Kickstarter doesn't gurantee a product but it does require the developers to deliver something or refund money.

MYTH is NOT Merc's first product.


Except that requirement has no teeth.

B>


There's been at least one project that refunded its backers completely due to post-campaign events that made it impossible (well, illegal) to fulfill the project. If memory serves, the project was for some super-charger type thing and Apple wouldn't let them use their proprietary hardware.

Now, they should have gotten permission first, but they still made all the backers whole.
 
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James Boyd
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As with all things the buyer needs to be aware of the chances the take. Kickstarter seems to get items to the market and that's great, but always be wary of fraud that might raise it's ugly head from the weeds.
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warpi9 wrote:
JohnnyD wrote:
I am careful in my kickstarter choices. My recent backings such as Sails Of Glory are from campanies that already produce great games so I have no worries about my investment. I have taken a gamble on the Up Front backing due to the ongoing lawsuits and fighting for rights of the project but I am willing to take a chance to have that project come to light.


And that's what Kickstarter went away from. People pledge because they want to see a project succeed. Seriously did c'mon need a fundraiser for zombicide second season. With the success of the first, did they not think people would buy it if it just went to retail?


CMON is an interesting beast - they're not making the games, just publishing, so the (new) creators need them to facilitate that part of the creation process. However, CMON's continued use of KS is to circumvent retailers/distributors. Why sell ZC for $20 to the distributor who sells it for $40 to the store, who sells it for $80 to you and me, when you can just sell it for $80 to the customer directly?
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Matt Brown
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warpi9 wrote:
My biggest problem with ks lies in the backing or not backing of games and feeling like I'm missing out.


You aren't. You'll highly likely pay more to maybe get it early with some add-on bonus items that aren't really required.
 
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Matt Brown
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warpi9 wrote:
And that's what Kickstarter went away from. People pledge because they want to see a project succeed. Seriously did c'mon need a fundraiser for zombicide second season. With the success of the first, did they not think people would buy it if it just went to retail?


A number of publishers use KS for every product they put out regardless if they technically need to or not.
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Dane Turner
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I back projects I like the look of occasionally, but I will say that the "KS exclusives" really annoy me. I'm all for rewarding your backers with free extras. Stretch goals are great. But the fact that I missed your 1 month or 2 week window to get the cool little extra feels a bit cheap to me. I have to agree with others who say their completionist instincts kick in. I lost interest in Zombicide when I realized the only way I'd be able to play as Dave the Geek would be to buy a full set of KS promos on ebay.

I'm all for early access to expansions, or them coming with your reward for free, but making your coolest items be something that won't help your sales later on seems counterproductive to me.
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