Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kickstarter(Board and Card Games) + Me = 6 Backed Games in 24 hours

I try my hardest to resist internet fads. I don't like them. They seem derived and silly. The only reason I am on Facebook is because Chelsea told me how cool it was... and then told me that I could not join for another year because I was in High School (those were the days....). I have avoided twitter (way too egotistical for me), I actively make fun of Gwyn and Pinterest (I was pronouncing it way wrong in my head for soooo long... she makes fun of me for that. All is fair in love and war), and I detest instagram (way to hippster for that).

I heard plenty of things about Kickstarter. About this e-ink watch, and this 3d printer and a bunch of video games. For those of you who do not know about 'crowd funding' or 'crowd sourcing' it is the idea that the internet brings people together. I know! It is all cute and cuddly. So some guy gets this great idea, but he needs money to do it. In this day and age, there are so many people who are awesomely creative that there are not outlets, not enough venture capitalists (good ones at least) or just simply enough people around them get the support the idea needs. This is where crowd sourcing comes in. Some people (dating back to the 1990's) decided that they would just appeal directly to fans/supporters/interested parties for funds. The idea is that one person giving you $10,000 is awesome, but convincing them to give you that money is kind of hard. But 10,000 people giving you $1 is not as hard (sometimes). This is where a plethora of websites come in. Kickstarter is one of them. Check out the previously mentioned projects to get a scope of how much money a group can raise... those up there, they are all in the millions of dollars. The Pebble, the watch, they had to stop letting people back, because the interest in their product was 10,000% greater than they expected. They were looking to build a modest 300 - 400 watches. Then the internet got hold of it and demanded more than 86,000 watches. Another awesome crowd sourced project was this tribute to a museum for a oft forgotten scientist (lol, Let's Build A Goddamn Museum).

Ok.. so I avoided all of the above for excusable reasons. But then I (unfortunately) found a link on Board Game Geek (another recent obsession) to a game called Zombicie. Turns out this sweet looking game had its humble beginnings at Kiskstarter. Until it raised $761,597 more than they planned on. So I decided to take a look around the 'Board and Card Games' section of the site. Oh. My. Goodness. What a wonderful thing.

So here is how I have gathered it works (specifically for the board and card game section).

A game designer gets an idea for a game. They build up the details, you know game mechanics, rules, balancing the gameplay, the story (if needed). Then the designer comes up with a rough business plan, including funding plans (more on that later), production plans (both publishing and artwork) and shipping/distributing plans. They then fold this all to a Kiskstarter page, most notably the pitch video where the creator lays out the game, basically a sales pitch.

At this point they know how much it is going to cost to publish and distribute the game. So they have an idea of how much funding they need to make the finished product. So they set a goal, give it a time (a month. normally) and let the internet in. People can back the project for whatever dollar amount they want. If you want to give a dollar to the project you are more than welcome to, but in most cases (and particularly in the game domain) after a certain point of backing, the designer will send you the product, in this case the game (or two or three depending on the pledge). Often times the designer will add incentives to get people to fun a little more, like if you back a certain amount, your likeness will be used in the game, or you will also receive the original art for the game... or the game designer will fly to you and play with you (if you really want to throw down the cash).

The most important thing about Kickstarter is that if the goal is not funded (which happens 56% for Kickstarter over all) then the money is not collected. Nothing happens. But if the goal is met, then the backers credit cards are charged, and the creator gets the money to start in to production. In a lot of cases, when funding is well over the goal, the designer will enhance the product because of the increased interest. This can take form in expanding the game. Or higher quality parts. Or another game altogether.

 Ok, so up there I said that I backed 6 game projects. That is very true. And they all look sweet. I cannot tell you about all of them, because some of them are going to be gifts! Take a look at some them for yourself:

With only 54 hours to go: Lost Valley
Well funded, already established game (this is a re-print for the US). This also means you get all of the stretch! But it is almost over, so get it now!

A very interesting looking logic style game, along the same vein as Clue, but much more involved, and based on the very historic Salem Witch Trials. One of the ones I am most excited about.
Mom, Chelsea, take a look. I think you will find it interesting.


A simple, yet amusing card game. And for a great price ($6 at the moment).
If you mention me when you back, I could get a free deck! And you know that I will just end up giving that to someone else!

I am sure that I will find more awesome looking games and post them here... it is inevitable at this point.

1 comment:

  1. I have supported a Kickstart project too! See this link:

    Bryce is roger and Teresa's son, next door.