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Kickstarter Too many Kickstarter projects? Is Kickstarter the new d20 glut?

Griego

First Post
I think it will all blow over soon, after a bunch of ill-advised projects fail. But who knows? Maybe it'll become the de facto publishing method for small press RPGs.
 

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MatthewJHanson

Registered Ninja
Publisher
I've contributed to eight Kickstarter Projects and had one funded. I don't think they will be going away soon. It's possible that the glut might thin out a little bit, but having the money in hand before I started my project made a HUGE difference as a small publisher.

And while some consumers might get turned off by too many projects, I think many others (like me) are coming to see it as just another way to shop. It's just like when Amazon started selling books online or Apple started selling music downloads.
 


ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
I've supported a couple. I think it's an exciting phenomenon. I only support ones that are started by someone whose work I've seen before. If a "name" supports one, I'm more likely to support it; that is, if a Monte Cook says he's putting money into supporting one, I'm inclined to take a look.

I think it would be worthwhile for those thinking of doing a Kickstarter, and who don't have a track record of some kind, to start off with a small project and make sure it gets completed in a timely fashion once funding comes through. I'm leery of supporting projects that seem really substantial if I have no clue about who is doing them. It's one thing to risk a few bucks on a small project, and quite another to support one with a $50+ buy-in, especially if it's by someone who is a complete unknown to me.

I'm still waiting for one project I supported to arrive. It's a few months late. I don't have doubts about it ever showing, but the longer it's taken, the more trepidation I feel about supporting other, similar projects.

I really dug that Steve Jackson did his OGRE Kickstarter and was so successful. I'd love to see other companies and well-known designers go and revive old properties like that. That is, I'd be inclined to support a game or product that put back in print something that may inspire a lot of nostalgia but be too niche-y for a company to think worthwhile.
 

Lord Mhoram

Adventurer
I equate "Oh no.. Not another Kickstarter" (as applied to RPG products) as "On No, not another book in a catalog I can order"... in other words a sorta stupid attitude. It is a way for smaller publishers to gauge interest and see if it would be profitable.

But then I am a big Kickstarter Fan.
 

aurance

First Post
I think a lot of people are blurring the line between investment and donation. Sure, if I put money into something with some expectation of return and it's all gone, I'd be upset. But with kickstarter you're funding someone's effort, not his product.
 

Sir Brennen

Adventurer
This whole thread reminds me of an article by a fairly big site (Gizmodo) that was formerly a big supporter of Kickstarter. You can read it here: We're Done With Kickstarter

Also, about 50% of Kickstarter projects fail, according to most online articles discussing it. However, I'm sure the percentages differ when you narrow projects to a particular area, like RPG material.

All these KS items popping up on ENW remind me somewhat of the d20 glut in the early OGL days. I imagine there's going to be a similar quantity/quality ratio issue with KS as then.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I have no regrets so far, but I don't tink I'll be going that way much more, unless I really like the products I get this way.

I think that's the point of them. Were you supporting things you didn't really like? If so, you may have been doing it wrong. :)
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
All these KS items popping up on ENW remind me somewhat of the d20 glut in the early OGL days.

Y'know, that's exactly the analogy I was going to make, but didn't simply because a lot of EN World's readers are new in the last few years and woudn't get the reference. But yes; if I needed a catchprhase for the subject it would be "Is Kickstarter the new d20 glut?" [in fact- I'm gonna edit that into the title; I figure enough people will get it].
 

Stacie GmrGrl

Adventurer
I'm really picky about joining and pledging on Kickstarter but I like seeing them as news on here. I wouldn't really know about many of them without them appearing on here, which then gets me to look further into various KS's like Obsidian Apocalypse, which I did pledge. Them releasing their free document about the setting sold me on it. I'll also be doing Werewolf 20A and Exalted 3rd edition Kickstarters when they become available.

Generally I only pledge if the person or company has a proven track record. :)
 



ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
I think a lot of people are blurring the line between investment and donation. Sure, if I put money into something with some expectation of return and it's all gone, I'd be upset. But with kickstarter you're funding someone's effort, not his product.

I'm not sure about the distinction you're making. If someone posts a Kickstarter project, they almost always post different "levels" of what you can expect if you donate that amount of money. That is, if they post that for $50 I'll get a print copy of a book, then I don't think it's unreasonable to expect to get a print copy of a book. If I don't, then I don't think it's unreasonable for me (or whoever) to be angry about that. I've seen some that make a distinction for small donations, saying, essentially, "thanks for the donation!" and that's all you get for it. Even if they simply say "give me $50 and I'll work on this game," then yeah, it's on me to understand that I shouldn't expect anything. Thing is, many of the ones I've looked at specifically promise an actual, tangible product in return for certain donation amounts. Any that don't, I would never support.
 

ahayford

First Post
I think aurance phrased it poorly...you are donating toward the production of a final product...but there is nothing (currently) legally binding about those price points you are donating at. I think all it will take though, is for one high profile kickstarter to go belly up before we see that challenged as fraud in court.
 

ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
I think aurance phrased it poorly...you are donating toward the production of a final product...but there is nothing (currently) legally binding about those price points you are donating at. I think all it will take though, is for one high profile kickstarter to go belly up before we see that challenged as fraud in court.

You and aurance are right; nothing prevents someone from simply taking the money and giving nothing in return. That's a good point. That's why I discussed how important a track record is for someone who posts a Kickstarter. Someone who has a name and reputation they don't want ruined, or someone with a body of work already established, is a much better risk.
 

ahayford

First Post
And at the end of the day, when you make that pledge, you have to say to yourself...I am prepared for the eventuality that I'm just farting this money away.
 

ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
And at the end of the day, when you make that pledge, you have to say to yourself...I am prepared for the eventuality that I'm just farting this money away.

Well, yeah, depending on whose Kickstarter you throw money at. When Steve Jackson started the OGRE Kickstarter, I don't think anyone expected it to come to nothing. They probably fully expected to get a product for the money, just as they do when they order from Steve Jackson Games.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I think a lot of people are blurring the line between investment and donation. Sure, if I put money into something with some expectation of return and it's all gone, I'd be upset. But with kickstarter you're funding someone's effort, not his product.

That may be technically correct, but really, that's not the expectation. In a marketing sense, "Pay me to give it the good old college try" is apt to be a non-starter.

"According to the research, only about 25 percent of projects ship on time, and the more a project exceeds its goal, the more delays it faces.

I'm going to guess at one of two dynamics to explain this:

1) they get more money, and figure they can expand the scope of their plans without really doing their homework, and then stumble on the hastily-planned larger project.

2) Getting overfunded is a sign that you're either really good at selling the idea, or you got amazingly lucky in the internet-meme game. Neither one is indicative of actually being able to execute the project. Good execution is usually done by good bean-counters, not exciting front-men.
 

scourger

Explorer
I think it's interesting, and I've contributed to a few on kickstarter and indiegogo; but I have yet to receive the first product. There have been sporadic updates, so I feel reassured that the books are coming eventually. I probably won't do as much in the future. Whoever said that you have be discriminating is exactly right. I only back projects I would otherwise be interested in, and I am usually looking for perks like signed copies or books with fiction I wouldn't get elsewhere.
 

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