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Posts posted by odinsgrandson

  1. On 6/20/2019 at 2:37 AM, Gadgetman! said:


    That is a plan, yes..  

    Usually known as a Ponzi scheme...





    With Kickstarter, I sometimes feel like it is easy for a company to start an unintentional Ponzi scheme (they run out of money to fulfill one KS, so they start a second one which pays for the first, and a third one that pays for the second, etc).

    In general, I feel like most Kickstarters that get any real attention are legitimately trying, and are victims of their own miscalculations and enthusiasm.  You know, "Don't attribute to malice what could be explained by incompetence."


    With this one- I'm not sure that you can do the math honestly and screw up that much- especially when you've got dozens of backers telling you.  That, and the way that Chaosium, Petersen Games and Asmodee all seem to have lost a lot of money to these guys, it just doesn't seem entirely honest.

    On the other hand, allowing backers to drop their pledges isn't a Ponzi move.  So I'm not sure.

    • Like 1
  2. The game has been very well received overall, and they're jumping into Kickstarter again to create "Parts 2 and 3" of the story- as well as a second print run of all the game.

    It looks like prices have gone up, but not in a completely crazy way like Kingdom Death.  

  3. 1 hour ago, kristof65 said:

    I would tend to agree that it's at a discount, but do you really think it would be that significant?

    The distribution discount is typically calculated from the MSRP, which SD is pegging at $1350. 

    If MM is getting a standard distribution discount based off the already discounted 499 Euro price, then that's yet another sign that SD really has no idea what it's doing. 


    I agree.  From what SD is telling us, I think that $500 is the price before distribution and retail take their cuts.

    MM recognizes that the set is limited, and are probably in a position to get their copies first (which will increase their potential sales value).  Especially if they have a rather standard retail arrangement of payment on delivery (since SD will almost certainly need that influx of cash if they want to continue delivering to backers.

    Actually, I feel like I'm starting to see an escape plan for SD.  I mean, I don't think they can deliver everything at the prices they have, but they can get started and deliver some of the metal boxes.

    And they've already got a plan in place to leave orders open, but raise the price at arbitrary points.  Maybe they are hoping that new orders will surge when the first set of backers start receiving their pledges, and so forth.

    • Like 2
  4. This project reminds me a lot of the Planet of the Apes Kickstarter.

    - Licensed property that everyone knows, but isn't exactly a slam dunk
    - Lots of renders
    - Poor skills at English and/or communication in general
    - Rulebook in Google English(TM)



    I don't doubt that they have the license, actually.

  5. Well... ok.

    I suspect that Miniatures Market doesn't have to pay them until Sans Detour delivers.  That's a really good deal for Miniatures Market.

    If those sales are net positive (at $560 each for $254 pewter minis) then it is a good deal for Sans Detour as well, and will definitely help this project actually deliver.

    I'm still worried that the Celebration Boxes are net negative at $500 each (there are a lot of big minis, and they weren't optimized for the increased price of tin).

    • Like 2
  6. This is a cake topper that I made for a couple that met through playing Call of Duty: Zombies. Naturally, they wanted their cake topper to be fighting zombies wearing World War 2 uniforms.

    Couples like this make me so happy.

    I had a lot of fun researching the uniforms for the topper. I posed the one on the right to be climbing from a lower level of the tiered cake, so in this presentation he looks like he’s doing an awkward dance.


    • Like 19
  7. I think it is interesting how much like Hero Quest everything here looks.

    I think I have less nostalgia, because I tend to prefer dungeon crawlers that are a bit farther away from that aesthetic.

  8. I agree that the math is bad, but Sans Detour are either outright lying or they're doing their math very wrong.

    Here's what they said in upate 56:


    As we’ve pointed out in the previous news update, “the cost per miniature of each metal figure is much higher than in plastic”. In fact, we’re making almost no money on the boxes already sold during the Kickstarter. 

    So- they believe that they have costed out the price of the metal miniatures at the $299 Euro price, and end up with a small profit.  So they believe (or at least say) that producing those 254 miniatures in metal will cost a little less than 299.

    If they think that 'a mini' costs $1 (which is a low average for human sized minis) then that works out.  They could even pay as much as $1.30 per mini and it would still work out in their favor (at least at the current exchange rates).  $1.30 probably isn't a bad average for a human mini.  They'd still need to take a hit on the molds and shipping (I presume that's what the new deal is for).

    They definitely don't figure that a wolfen is four times as much pewter as a normal human mini, and aren't accounting for the MANY very large models that we're looking at.




    They claim that the value of the box is "over" $1350- which works out to an average of $5 each mini and is WAY below MSRP for the set (MSRP would probably be triple that number).  Part of me really wonders how they got this number.  

    • Like 2
  9. 1 hour ago, WhiteWulfe said:

    Wow.  That's... A lot sooner than I would have expected.  I was expecting a few weeks at least. 


    For me though, it just doesn't feel worth the risk, especially with the price increase. 


    And wow, they're actually talking refunds for those who wanted the plastic...  Colour me curious, with a raised eyebrow, but there's just waaaaay too many red flags already for me to contemplate a buy-in at this point. 


    Do I want it to succeed? Yup. But man, those glaaaaring red flags.... 



    - This update is making me think that this project is more about incompetence with an unhealthy amount of safety netting than a true scam with criminal intent.

    If they intend to deliver, then offering refunds is a great idea.  Seriously, it will cost them significantly more to produce and ship a pledge than it will to refund the 300 Euros.


    The trouble is that I suspect it is still net negative at $500 (they're still only charging $2 per mini).

    I can imagine how they did their math.  They called up their caster, the caster told them how much "a mini" usually costs on average, they assumed that all of their minis were average, multiplied by 254 and viola!

    • Like 3
  10. 1 hour ago, Maledrakh said:


    the plot thickens...might it be possible that all the KS money already is gone down the drain and they need a cash influx to keep up appearances?


    I have read about a couple of cases in the US, was it the Attorney General (or some other official) in the state of Washington that went after a KS undelivered scammer that was the first one? I also believe I read about a case in Italy last year? Might have been Germany. Sorry I have not saved notes on the specifics.



    There have been a few cases in the US where an attorney general of some state has taken a Kickstarter creator to task.

    The first one that I remember hearing about was for the board game "The Doom that Came to Atlantic City."

    There was a single backer who took Star Citizen to court, and was awarded a 'refund' of sorts (he had given Star Citizen a LOT of money).

    The Coolest Cooler campaign went to retail, and it seemed like they intended to ignore their backers for a while.  A court ruling made it so that the backers got their coolers.

    On the other hand, attorney generals have also dismissed cases- like with Super Dungeon Legends (the attorney general said that the evidence indicates that said Kickstarer's failure is not criminal, and indicated that backers were free to pursue the mostly broke company with a civil suit).

    So far, all of the examples I know of are in the US.

    • Like 3
  11. 11 minutes ago, kristof65 said:

    it could very well be a combination of both.  One bad actor surrounded by incompetence. I've noticed that bad actors often surround themselves with incompetence. 

    Yeah- after what Paizo said, I'm convinced this is what happened with Ninja Division.

    I could see the same thing going on at Sans Detour, but the incompetence has to be even more egregious here.  

    • Like 2
  12. -

    Ok. I want to do some math.  Here's the math that I think Sans Detour is doing:

    I'm going to start with real figures that significantly underestimate the cost of this project.

    To cast a human sized character will cost around $1-$1.50 each.  If somehow those 254 minis could average $1 each, then it only costs $254 to make a set.

    A box of 250 metal minis is extremely heavy.  Shipping a box of that much pewter is going to cost about $60 on the low end (probably a LOT more since they're shipping world wide).

    Look at that- they're able to make and deliver a single box for $314.  They got about $310 per set (convert $299 to dollars and subtract 10% for Kickstarter).   So with some serious blinders to reality, they're just barely pulling it in the red.  If we account that they charged a bit for shipping, they're just barely in the black.

    This matches their claim that the Celebration Boxes cost to produce are barely lower than what they charged.

    Of course, that doesn't account for the 60k that they'll need to spend on molds, it figures that the terrain, dice and books are free, and it assumes a very low estimate on what each mini will cost (have a look at this graphic and tell me if you think these minis will average $1 to produce).



    I didn't do a count, but I feel like a LOT of those minis are significantly bulkier than a normal human sized mini.  I mean, there are a lot of big guys in there
    - bulky dwarves, goblins and orcs,
    - really big Wolfen, Demons, Ogres, Ophidians and Minotaurs, and
    - huge trolls, and a griffon
    - quite a bit of cavalry- including that massive Orc.

    If they are making new molds (and they say that they are) then any of these that are more than one piece will add to that cost (there are a lot that are one piece minis, but a lot of them are four or more pieces).

    Seriously, I'm not sure that they'll be able to make a profit at the $600 price tag.

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  13. NEW NEWS!

    Sans Common Sense have graciously reopened the pledge manager and WILL ONCE AGAIN BE OFFERING THE CELEBRATION BOX!

    This is for all of those poor folks who didn't get it because they'd preferred metal.  Well, isn't that nice of them?
    It will, of course, cost more than the Early Bird price that everyone on the Kickstarter got.  It will cost 500 Euros at first, then in a couple of months, it will bump up to $600.

    In a move no one expected, it seems that they will be offering refunds to backers of the Celebration Box (since there are some folks who don't want the metal miniatures).  This is undoubtedly a net positive, since it will cost them more to produce a single box than it will to give out a refund.

  14. On 5/20/2019 at 10:58 AM, kristof65 said:


    I generally feel that most of the bad in the world is related more to incompetence and over optimism than true maliciousness, and that definitely applies to Kickstarter as well. 

    But even if that's the case, there are people who don't deal with their own failure well.  That's what many of these KS issues look like to me, especially when it's related to cascading failures from the same creator over multiple projects - a lot of "this time we'll get it right AND fix the issues from the previous one!" without learning anything (or as much as they need to).  After awhile, that looks to be as much of a scam as a true scam. 



    So, I'm wondering exactly what the right thing to do is.

    Normally, I'd say that owning up to your screw ups is the right thing to do, but I get the impression that admitting that a project ran through its funds will hurt your chances of pulling enough money together to actually fulfill.  Clearly, there's a point at which this is a legitimate business strategy, and at some point it is an unintentional Ponzi scheme.

    But I feel like it is hard to tell exactly when the one turns into the other, you know?

    • Like 6
  15. On 5/20/2019 at 12:21 PM, IgwanaRob said:


    Interesting as SFG have just posted their own terms for their current kickstarters, and they appear to be in that downward spiral of using one campaign to fund another, while making sure they cover their rears with a separate set of terms for backers to be aware of.


    That's what it looks like- and the comments and funding numbers show that this is what the backers believe.

    However, Steamforged recently got an investment of $9 million into their business.  If they had screwed up their finances, that is (probably) enough money to get them back on track.


    • Like 2
  16. The way that Steamforged brings up the investment news when people claim that they're using new KS money to fulfill previous obligations makes me think that they're using the investment money to fulfill previous obligations.

    However, they have never indicated that they're out of money for any of their projects.  While I think that it is possible, it is also possible that this is not the case.

    It does make me wonder when Kickstarter started up their "Cannot run a 2nd or 3rd campaign before previous ones are done."

    But the concerns that kept the funding levels low for Devil May Cry were:

    - Previous unfulfilled obligations seen as red flag that they may not fulfill.
    - Previous delivered games have serious criticisms.  Dark Souls made a fantastic demo, but the finished game has serious pacing issues (there are fan mods, and even two official mods to fix this).  Resident Evil doesn't have gameplay criticisms, but some folks really hated on the board design (because it was very dark).  



    I kind of feel like Steamforged need an unqualified hit from one of their Kickstarter games in order to get things back on track.

  17. On 5/15/2019 at 3:10 PM, ced1106 said:

    While miniature costs vary, I'm seeing 27 different sculpts, including expensive ones, but the funding is only $230,000. Molds can cost 5K to 15K+ for a single sculpt.



    Your numbers there are a bit off.  Basically, they would absolutely never put a single sculpt into a mold here.  Rather, models that share a SKU can share a mold (meaning that the price per sculpt/mini goes WAY down for the board game full of minis, but if you want the same quality sculpt sold individually, it will cost a great deal more).


    Fairly early in the days of Kickstarter, CMON learned not to split SKUs in Kickstarter bundles (doing that caused a mess for Relic Knights and Wrath of Kings).

    Kickstarter exclusives will also share molds with one another, bringing the cost per sculpt down quite a bit there as well.  In the end, I think Devil May Cry is not unreasonable.  I just worry that they went way over budget on Dark Souls, and won't be able to finish delivery there anytime soon.

    • Like 1
  18. On 5/6/2019 at 2:47 PM, kristof65 said:

    That's really the reason I asked.


    On one hand, future backers should be warned.  On the other, not all projects are deserving of the negativity those warnings can provoke.



    It seems to me like the awareness that "Kickstarters sometimes fail" has grown, but the reasons for failure have not.  Many projects are decried as scams- sometimes for almost no reason.  I was really surprised that during the delivery of one game (while people were receiving it) that there were a LOT of backers talking about how it was a scam and that they had given up on ever receiving their rewards.

    I see a lot more people warning backers against certain companies, but a LOT of the warnings I see have no basis in reality.


    I've seen very few Kickstarters that look like real scams.  I mean, if you're a con artist, you don't want to work very hard for your money.  Getting together art, renders, 3D prints, a professional looking rulebook with appealing rules, a prototype board and a decent video and front page pitch is a lot work.

    - The only way to get that kind of work into a scam is if the game creators are also victims (ie- one partner runs off with the money while others are left holding the bag).


    Generally, I think that mismanagement is the culprit when a Kickstarter fails to deliver.  There are warning signs to look for, but it is harder to predict.  I do worry a bit that Awakened Realms and Steamforged are biting off more than they can chew (like Ninja Division did) but I'm not concerned that they don't intend to deliver.  But Sans Detour only had to photoshop some of the old Confrontation photos for their Kickstarter, so I think it is far to think that one might be a real scam.

    • Like 8
  19. I got a few minis from their Alastoran Kickstarter, and I've been super happy with them.

    I agree that Greebo is currently doing some of the very best fantasy football minis (even though Games Workshop really stepped it up, and Willy are doing some nice things.

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