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Dire Bare

Legend
All great advice, thank you. I can assure you, my KS will be all digital at this point in the process. I have one idea that might be a really good hardcover, but that won't be one of the first ones I do.

I'd guess 100% of the revenue on my early projects would go to art (and, if I get enough money, someone else to do layout).

My goal is to do a Morrus, and release the product the moment it closes, but given I'll be buying art based on what I sell (see goals, stretch), that won't happen.

Again, great stuff. Thanks!
It's super cool to get digital product the day a campaign closes . . . . but it isn't something most folks expect, I think. I think going in with the product fully, or mostly, written, just needing editing, layout, and art, is a good way to go. And it takes time to do all of that, and do it well. One neat thing campaigns have done is to offer preview files to backers right away, the product sans editing and art . . . both to get something into backers hands right away, reward backers with an exclusive sneak peak . . . and to get lots of eyeballs on the product to hopefully find any issues that need correcting!

There have been discussions here on ENWorld, and elsewhere, on the importance of paying visual artists (and other support folks) a fair wage . . . . but you should include yourself in that as well. You should be able to pay your artists, editors, and anybody else who helps out, but YOU should also make a fair wage! I think that's a large reason why digital products have been going for more on Kickstarer ($25-30+), is for everyone involved to be paid fairly, and produce a slick product! Some folks will always bitch about high costs of digital only products, but more and more of us are acclimating! If you want your initial product priced more affordably, $10-15 . . . it's okay if it's a small, focused project.

Of course, another way to get some cred with the TRPG community before your first Kickstarter . . . is to not start with Kickstarter. Put up some products on drivethrurpg.com and/or dmsguild.com, low risk, low investment (potentially), and a venue for feedback and growth. Do you already have some products out there we can look at?
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
It's super cool to get digital product the day a campaign closes . . . . but it isn't something most folks expect, I think. I think going in with the product fully, or mostly, written, just needing editing, layout, and art, is a good way to go. And it takes time to do all of that, and do it well. One neat thing campaigns have done is to offer preview files to backers right away, the product sans editing and art . . . both to get something into backers hands right away, reward backers with an exclusive sneak peak . . . and to get lots of eyeballs on the product to hopefully find any issues that need correcting!

There have been discussions here on ENWorld, and elsewhere, on the importance of paying visual artists (and other support folks) a fair wage . . . . but you should include yourself in that as well. You should be able to pay your artists, editors, and anybody else who helps out, but YOU should also make a fair wage! I think that's a large reason why digital products have been going for more on Kickstarer ($25-30+), is for everyone involved to be paid fairly, and produce a slick product! Some folks will always bitch about high costs of digital only products, but more and more of us are acclimating! If you want your initial product priced more affordably, $10-15 . . . it's okay if it's a small, focused project.

Of course, another way to get some cred with the TRPG community before your first Kickstarter . . . is to not start with Kickstarter. Put up some products on drivethrurpg.com and/or dmsguild.com, low risk, low investment (potentially), and a venue for feedback and growth. Do you already have some products out there we can look at?
I have like, 13? on DMsguild already....and am close on my next one......Agreed on the preview version, that is my plan. (some of those 13 need serious re-work.....)

I almost sound serious.....I guess I should finish NPCs and Their Stories......
 

Liane the Wayfarer

Frumious Flumph
In my defense, he had not, quite yet, screwed the pooch quite so publicly at the time of those kickstarters. Which is why Jolly was willing to partner with him, he seemed to know what he was doing.

It was all the stuff after that made it screamingly obvious how much I'd basically just lit money on fire.
 

woefulhc

Explorer
From reading the thread (and talking to some other backers of KS projects that I have backed), there seems to be a number of different flavors of how people want updates. Personally, I want them as often as you've got them, up to once per day. Others prefer a weekly or monthly cadence. This tells me that KS should allow for a backers to choose their maximum notification rate. I would say that ACTION NEEDED notifications should be something that creators and set as a flag for a particular notification and that such updates should not count against the max rate if one has already been sent out for the current interval.

The above allows creators and KS to support backers in the ways they prefer rather than a once size fits all.
 
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Only two, really.

1. Do I want it?
2. Will I actually use it?
Same for me
Yeah, we do that too. Final PDFs within seconds of the KS ending, physical books within weeks (basically physical printing/shipping time only).
For me, if it's all ready to go, that's a disincentive. The total opposite also is.
My ideal completion level is late playtest - allowing the KS backers to get a PDF right at closure, but 2-3 months to table test it and ID sections that may need a final reword, as well as catch as many spelling and grammar errors.

I backed both the Knights of the Dinner Table Live Action Series and Spinward Traveller TV Pilot kickstarter projects launched by Ken Whitman.
I was towards the front row of he and Courtney Soloman's debacle known as Imperium Games... publisher of T4: Marc Miller's Traveller. I knew better than to trust Ken with any money at all.
On the other hand, if I lived next door to Ken Whitman, and he told me personally that I would get as a stretch goal a lawn chair that I could clearly see in his backyard, I wouldn't believe him.
I hit that point in 1998. He ran Imperium Games for Courtney Solomon. IG still owed many freelancers money when Ken finally walked away. Marc Miller keeps trying to get Ken to actually follow through with Spinward Traveller and KoDT.

For me to back...
1: I want something at backing to check the writing quality.
2: I want a full draft at payment, but I don't expect final draft. I'd prefer (as noted above) a final round playtest.
3: I want to see some, but not too many, stretch goals
4: I need to know it's something I can get to table.
5: it needs to be something I will want to get to table.

I sunk into several KSs during lockdown.
  • SG1 (5e derivative) - there was a good preview in the form of an online play sample... the point where I went in was when several cast members played the game. There was a playable (but online only) alpha at payment. I was able to run it, did run it, will happily run it again. Still waiting on the dead tree,
  • The One Ring 2E. I was excited about the 2E announced by C7. I was hopeful when Free League said they were going forward. I have been sorely disappointed by the FL 2E draft. Got it to table. Am running a hybridized houserules version, instead, because 2E seems to have missed the mark widely.
  • T2K 4E. I was a fan of 1E, and liked (but wasn't a true fan) of 2.0, and was disappointed with 2.2, hated 3 (aka Twilight:2013)... and like YZE. I was skeptical about the 1dAtt+1dSkill symbollic mode of T2K 4e... but since I started running it, I like it. It's not perfect, but it works well enough, and the setting is now alt-hist instead of sf.
  • Space Aces: TNG - I wanted something for doing quickplay storygame at the next con. This had a free prior edition. It fulfilled very quickly. I've played some solo with it using the computer assistant. It was cheap, and I got my money's worth.
  • Once More Into the Void: this really struck a chord on the preview. Has yet to fully fulfill, but progress is being noted. Not played yet.
  • Vaesen: This appealed, and I was enjoying Alien, so... it fulfilled relatively promptly, including the backer corrections pass. Fulfilled. We got about 20 hours of play... but my players were too quick to go the violence route. Shelved for now.
  • Sentinel Comics. This looked good in the preview module, which I'd run 3 times. The alpha/beta process with KS polished it. The corebook has fulfilled. The other books still haven't. Communications have been excellent, tho'.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I've backed 20 kickstarters plus a couple on fig (thing the wasteland crpg developers made). About half of those are TTRPGs or TTRPG related.

* Unless it's something I was waiting for & already wanted to back I'll read everything on the page, watch any videos, and read whatever updates I can see before deciding if I'm going to back it.

*I don't back things based on stretch goals but have more than once thrown in extra or adjusted my pledge if there were stretch goals that gave (physical) things I wanted. an adventure as a stretch goal is unlikely to do that & I have so many dice I need multiple dice bags so just shrug stretch goals for those

* If there is a forum, discord, or whatever I'll probably join it & keep tabs or chat after backing but that won't have any real impact on my decision to back it.

* Like others I'll tell almost everyone I know about the cool thing I backed& some of them will be told more than once.

* Since a few people mentioned the other way around & @Zaukrie was disheartened to hear it, I don't really care if it's a first kickstarter or not & don't think I've ever checked.

* I moved from battlemaps & markers to using the local arkenforge VTT pushed to a tvbox from my laptop (pic here at the bottom of the post)for in person play a few years back so digital assets like tokens are something I consider but almost never see.
 

Liane the Wayfarer

Frumious Flumph
I was towards the front row of he and Courtney Soloman's debacle known as Imperium Games... publisher of T4: Marc Miller's Traveller. I knew better than to trust Ken with any money at all.

I hit that point in 1998. He ran Imperium Games for Courtney Solomon. IG still owed many freelancers money when Ken finally walked away. Marc Miller keeps trying to get Ken to actually follow through with Spinward Traveller and KoDT.
Well, then Marc must be a man of infinite patience, because that seems like a Don Quixote-style windmill to tilt at!
 


CapnZapp

Legend
Points #1 and #8:

I love ttrpg product lines with lots of supplements. That's what makes it a living game for me.

As opposed by "hit'n'run" games where the publisher prints a core rulebook and maybe one or three more books, before cashing in and moving on.

Moving on to a new property and a new rulebook (with similar or different rules).

Unfortunately, the latter approach is greatly facilitated by the Kickstarter approach, as exemplified by one backer here in the thread.

But I don't need more rules. I already have dozens more rulesets than I will use in ten lifetimes.

What I "need" is meticulously produced adventures. Books whose stories make me go "I need to tell this story to my players!" Products with great maps and attention to detail, ideally with little hand-outs to reward and amuse your players. Scenarios filled with specific detail and fully-fleshed-out adventures and NPCs.

For that reason Call of Chtulhu campaigns are the best.

While companies that release eleventy core rulebooks using pretty much the same rules engine in all of them do nothing for me.

Of course, as the OP suggests, this latter approach is the kind of company that makes a killing on KS!
 

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