D&D General I am so done with kickstarter

JarooAshstaff

Explorer
The younglings hate Amazon. But I love Amazon. Because whatever I order, it arrives tomorrow.

Kickstarter seemed like a cool way to support creators.

But it doesn't seem cool any more, with their cash grab towards blockchain so the world can be destroyed faster by climate change.

But what really bothers me, is how long you have to wait for kickstarter products to arrive.

It is almost a year ago when I backed Dungeons of Drakkenheim, still no sign, no idea if it will even come this year.

I have no interest in it now.

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kenada

Legend
I have one Kickstarter that hasn’t delivered all the extras that were promised, and it’s been about a decade. I wouldn’t back anything from that person again. I’ve also had several outright fail due to naïveté or mismanagement. Anymore, I try to stick projects that are nearly complete or are being launched by people with a reputation for delivery.
 

Endroren

Adventurer
Publisher
Dungeons of Drakkenheim was set to deliver by the end of April 2022. They're currently only 9 days late and according to the Kickstarter page shipping containers should arrive on May 19th in the US. With all the delays from COVID, supply chain, and more, that SEEMS pretty darn good. Have they failed in some other way? How could they have done a better job for you?
 


eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
I still use it from time to time, but I would advise judging all potential campaigns with a critical eye.

Many Kickstarters now rely on communal hype to sort of obfuscate the fact that you aren't really getting all that much. Alot of the time, you might as well be pre-ordering directly from the publisher in a conventional way, as they'll charge you MSRP plus shipping. This can be offset by exclusive loot or other added bonuses, hence the critical eye.

But, in alot of cases, that's not really true, what you're getting is more or less what you could get at retail. In which case, you'd wait roughly the same time give or take an extra month or two, but depending on where you shop, save alot of money.
 


I do think that, due to Covid, I am going to be more careful about games I back for kickstarter. Small publishers often have no leverage to aid them when manufacturing delays hit. I do feel "Kickstarter is not a store" cuts both ways, with creators needing to know that they are going to draw a great deal of ehat on promises they can't deliver on. Best advice is to avoid projects with dozens of add-ons. Add-ons sink fulfillment imo.
 

JarooAshstaff

Explorer
How could they have done a better job for you?
Have the thing near ready when they do the kick starter I guess, so its not so long.

Its the same with Montes Planebreaker, I was super excited for it, but again just waiting almost a year for it is just a drag, life changes during that time, and I'm getting a little fed up with 5e and I can't say I'm excited about a 5.5e which is just going to be the same product but dumbed down more.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I've been backing projects on Kickstarter since 2012. In that time there were a few that failed completely but only one where I lost a meaningful amount of money (for mean that's several hundred dollars). In the earlier days, it was much more about helping fund cool ideas and most backers seemed well aware of the risks. As Kickstarter gained traction, it increasingly began to be used by more established creators to ensure a certain amount of guaranteed orders to reduce the risk of manufacturing/printing items for which there wasn't sufficient demand. That attracted backers who had lower risk thresholds and began to see it more like a preorder site.

When backing a cool idea, I am pretty forgiving with projects dragging out far longer than estimated. S**t happens and I backed the project to support the creators and many of the creators may not have a lot of professional project-management experience, logistics, etc.

That said, when it comes to backing games (TTRPG and board games), I have used Kickstarter a bit like an early pre-order and when I do, I tend to gravitate to creators with good track records. But, increasingly, for more successful projects, I'll often just wait until the product has been funded, has had reviews written for it, and is available for regular purchase. Generally, I'm not interested in all the swag from higher pledge levels, and rarely is there anything I feel I can't wait for.

I'm back to being more interested in funding a game from a small, new company or individual creator with a cool idea than another project by Monte Cook, MCDM, etc. And that means a far greater risk of delayed gratification, a disappointing product, or losing my money. But more often than not, it helps provide a means for an indie designer to create something new and cool and those have been some of my favorite games.
 

That’s totally dependent on the creator. We have a campaign ending tonight and the PDFs will go out immediately with the physical books in 2 weeks.
I mean, that is definitely cool, but it serves to illustrate the issue really well. You cannot make safe assumptions about how long a KS will take. Now, that's fine, caveat emptor and all that, but at the same time, it does mean that I too have gradually become more reluctant to use KS (and obviously I will never touch them again if this blockchain naughty word goes anywhere, but that's a separate issue), because it's often not even worth bothering to back something unless it's either in serious need of backing, or going to release stuff early to backers, as it'll come out anyway when its actually ready. Most do, but I dunno, I get that it sort of degrades the utility of KS slightly.

And anything that's multiple years out I'm just not backing (except when I got talked into back Exalted Essence sigh), because I'm skeptical it'll ever come out. And the only things I've backed so far that did take that long were all videogames and all disappointing except the Obsidian ones.
 

WarDriveWorley

Adventurer
I've backed a lot of KS (almost 200) and the majority have delivered. I've had 10 just go no shows with my money (but most of those I backed $10 or less). Every KS I have backed that has been delivered has had a delay. Sometimes the delay is minor. Sometimes not so minor. I've learned a few things with KS.

1. Always remember that most companies are small companies that can't just pre-create the product in full until they know it'll be backed and by how many. KS isn't a store, it's a means of finding interest in games and preordering something you may be interested in.

2. Even if a company has the majority of the product ready pre-KS (A few do) what they've put together may, and usually will, change due to stretch goals and customer feedback.

3. Always research the company before backing it. Most KS creators have a history of projects and you can see how they deal with delays/fulfillment. If you don't like how they handle these it may be better to wait till it's funded then buy it after the fact.

4. Life happens. No-one can predict everything and politics, illnesses, wars, supply issues, and stuff happens. It's not the fault of the creator. I'm still waiting on my Level Up books from @Morrus that I ordered back in March and I'm not upset, because life happens.

5. It is exceedingly unfair to compare Amazon and KS. Amazon is a store that sells items already made and has a global distribution system. KS is (as I mentioned in 1) a means of generating interesting in a game and funding pre-orders that has no built in distribution system. They're not the same.

If you want to wait till a product is done go for it. I do that with a lot of products if I don't trust the creator. It's safer tbh, but that doesn't mean that KS is all bad.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
4. Life happens. No-one can predict everything and politics, illnesses, wars, supply issues, and stuff happens. It's not the fault of the creator. I'm still waiting on my Level Up books from @Morrus that I ordered back in March and I'm not upset, because life happens.
Our Kickstarter was last year. If you ordered books from us in March, it wasn't anything to do with Kickstarter! I assume you're referring to pre-orders?
 

Yora

Legend
I do think that, due to Covid, I am going to be more careful about games I back for kickstarter. Small publishers often have no leverage to aid them when manufacturing delays hit. I do feel "Kickstarter is not a store" cuts both ways, with creators needing to know that they are going to draw a great deal of ehat on promises they can't deliver on. Best advice is to avoid projects with dozens of add-ons. Add-ons sink fulfillment imo.
Definitely. When you have reached your goal, be happy that you have reached your goal. If you calculated your required right, all the excess will go straight into your pocket. No need to keep increasing your workload and production costs by expanding the scope of your product.
I can understand how the first people encountering the situation thought they could get more money from people by telling them there's more product for them if they keep giving you more money. But providing more product means more work. More works requires more time. And time is not going to increase no matter how much money people give you.
And you probably should take more than a day or two to calculate the actual costs for the additional product before you commit to delivering it to customers.
 


MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
2. Even if a company has the majority of the product ready pre-KS (A few do) what they've put together may, and usually will, change due to stretch goals and customer feedback.

This is one reason I'm not a big fan of stretch goals, especially if they are tied to the core product. If it is just some swag or supplements, fine. I don't care if they don't get delivered for a while after the core product. But saying if we make X amount we'll add additional content to our core book, that leaves me with a bad impression. First, it is more likely to lead to delays. Second, and most importantly, I feel you should have a vision for your core product and not add "fluff" to it in the hopes of coaxing more people to back or backers to back at higher tiers.

Related to this, are how many TTRPG creators handle tiers. Its nice to offer deluxe leather bound books to higher pledge levels, but take care of the quality of the material first. There are a number of publishers where they over very expensive, luxury, collector-edition versions of the books for higher pledge levels but have numerous glaring errors in the book.

Frog God Games is one of the worst offenders here. They do a great job publishing "on time" and offer very high quality books in terms of paper quality, binding, etc. (even for the base book) and these great, expensive leather bound versions of the books, for higher tiers, but they do a terrible job with proof-reading. I still back them, because I like their setting and adventure material. But I would never pay the cost for the high-tier levels because why have a beautiful leather bound book with typos in it.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
This is one reason I'm not a big fan of stretch goals, especially if they are tied to the core product. If it is just some swag or supplements, fine. I don't care if they don't get delivered for a while after the core product. But saying if we make X amount we'll add additional content to our core book, that leaves me with a bad impression. First, it is more likely to lead to delays. Second, and most importantly, I feel you should have a vision for your core product and not add "fluff" to it in the hopes of coaxing more people to back or backers to back at higher tiers.
Yeah, it's easy to get carried away with stretch goals, and I've seen lots of Kickstarters come undone by overcommitting themselves. I have a very strict policy with stretch goals -- none at all on the mini quickstarters, and nothing that changes the core product on the larger campaigns.
 




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