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Do Not Want (sort of)


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If only my own feelings on this matter were as simple as yours, Doc.


Kickstarter... where to begin? What a great idea... on paper. What an abomination it has become in practice. What awful end must this flood of product into our collective hobbies portend? Can't end well, fellows. This is a bubble. A big, conflated and swelling one. You know how bubbles end.



I started off being very excited over Kickstarter.... after being burnt a few times (and having received a truckload of minis etc) I'm now more cautious.



That's the problem and the correction together.  I think Kickstarter will eventually level out into something useful, but it will be dominated by trusted names with fewer indies.  Regardless of whether people feel that is the right or wrong direction for Kickstarter, it is the inevitable result.  Even a democratic one.


I mean, let's say right now two Kickstarters start.  One promises a big massive pile of cool things by Reaper.  One promises a big pile of things from some no-name start-up.  Which do you back?  If you're being selective, and not just backing all and sundry, you'll pick Reaper.  You know them, you trust them, their track record is good, no worries.  Safe money. 


This is what will happen with KS.  People will gravitate towards knowns.  Heck, I think that pinball arcade Addams Family table is the first Kickstarter link I've ever shared, and then only because I'll have my own money put into it.  I didn't share prior ones because I wasn't in as a backer (unresolved xbox issue, might never get the pledged for tables).   I pre-vetted it, and I'm pretty stingy, so by the time I got around to posting the link I already knew the company would deliver (this being table #4 through KS), what the deal was, where the pledged money was going, and deemed it worthy of my support.  And only after all of that was I prepared to stick my name to it by posting a link. 


Now I was admittedly skeptical of Kickstarter anyway, and still am, and unfortunately some projects have proven this out.  None I've backed so far (except maybe the feminist action figure one, I haven't heard anything on that for a while) have gone too wobbly.  And I'm only in for a buck with no reward on the action figure one anyway (which is why I haven't bothered to check in on it).  So my personal track record remains pretty good.  2 Reaper Bones, and tomorrow when my card is refreshed the Addams Family Pinball.


Although, to be fair, I may actually be the only pinball fan on the planet who doesn't care about TAF.  I'm backing it because, well, more tables = good, but mostly because successful license kickstarters will breed more of same, and there's some stuff I really want to see made later.  Also, I'm hoping maybe Farsight might decide to broaden their KS a bit and give us one for a bunch of older electromechanical tables.  A lot of people don't like that idea, seeing it as using KS as a preorder system for tables Farsight can already afford.  While I agree up to that point, the fact remains those older (but good tables) are not the most commercially viable ones because people prefer to purchase the ones with flashy gizmos.  So that leaves me with either none at all, ever, or Farsight saying "well, hey, if you guys want these then pledge for this pack and we'll make 'em".


It works for me, because I get classic tables with excellent play value for my money that won't get made otherwise.


It works for Farsight, because it's not a risk or waste of effort without knowing if they'll move many of them.


And it works for the mission statement of the game:  to preserve pinball.  Not just pinball from 1990-up. 


What's wrong with that?  Given some of the other stuff on KS, I think that's a swell idea.  I mean, it's not like it's potato salad. 


Given that choice, gimme the kickstarter. 



Edit to add:  I Am Elemental seems to still be on track, and nobody seems to be complaining about it.  Delivery is a ways out anyway. 

Edited by buglips*the*goblin
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I'm pickier about what I back.  Mostly due to tight personal finances, but also because I've learned that backing unpainted is pointless, cause it'll never get painted (well maybe eventually), I don't need more books, maybe 1 or 2 more games... you get the idea.


There's a bunch of nostalgic stuff that I jumped in on (and look forward to).  The only other stuff I'll back now (other than nostalgic stuff), will be stuff to help out another small company that has product that I like - and even then, I can only finance so much.  For now, I've also slowed down for those two reasons.  


I still feel that KS is bringing fantastic things to the market (like the Hover Bike!), and is a valid venue to get products made that might otherwise never have seen the light of day.

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People will gravitate towards knowns. 


Works for us! :)


You and I have found KS projects that are both known *and* so-called "indie". Frex, I'm currently backing the MegaMiniatures Salvage Crew KS. MegaMiniatures has been in business for 15 years, so it's definitely not the mythical first-timer on KS. Yet, it's not a "big" name like Reaper, and certainly they can't fund their own project with their own funds. And, even though gamers refer to "big" and "small" companies in the hobby industry, compared to other retail companies, and certainly compared to Hasbro, they're *all* small companies. A handful of wrong business decisions and no more small company. I think even Reaper, a "big" company in the hobby industry, was really helped through crowdfunding for the Bones metal molds. By shouldering more risk, backers have a greater selection of miniatures, games, and products available to them. 


And, while if two creators offering the same items, backers will choose the better-known company, in practice, companies aren't often doing that. Impact Minatures had a project of Big Lebowski miniatures, Stonehaven Miniatures of pop-up papercraft terrain, and other small companies are putting out projects that big ones are not. Also, with KS's limited purchasing window, and projects taking a year or so to complete, and cash flow, there's more opportunity for one company to offer a product similar to another one. For example, if you missed Dwarven Forge's KS, Itar's Workshop and Mythical Lairs offered somewhat similar tiles. KS even argues that it's these "big" names that draw in crowdfunding backers who will later back "small" company projects. As much as I wanted all the Reaper offerings, I only had so much money for the time. Once I had this money, the KS was over, so it went to other miniature projects, by less-known companies.


I still wish these mini's would paint themselves! :D

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