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odinsgrandson

Kickstarter failures and moral/financial choices.

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23 hours ago, odinsgrandson said:

There's a lot of speculation to that end, but the other Kickstarter projects didn't show any progress either...


Il have to correct you on that one, as a EU/ROW Rail Raider Infinite backer we were lied to about 16 or 17 times that your games were on a boat leaving China to their ports, it was about 6-8 months after the US backers got their games that we got our games, BUT the really funny thing is the day the Starfunder KS money went into $PM/ND bank account, we got the final real update that our games are on a boat , i called them out then for being nearly bankrupt and running Ponzi schemes and even had an argument with John Cadice(or whatever his name is) on FB about it and guess who was right in the end, John is a lying piece of scum in my books!

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6 hours ago, Arkady said:

 

To be fair, Stone Skull is a special case. The entire KS was one giant red flag from a business perspective, but it was possible while the campaign was live to verify this was really a hobby project by an overoptimistic guy throwing all caution to the wind.

 

Chances are the percentage of backers who really only went in with money they absolutely don't need, fully expecting this would take forever to fulfill (at least partially, i.e. without the absurdly generous stretch goals), is somewhat higher than usual, which probably helps stave off negativity.

You nailed my perspective in regard to Stone Skull. There were so many red flags on this one it wasn’t funny. I backed it at the $29 level, fully expecting not to get what was being offered for that pledge level as what he was promising as a one-man, first-time Kickstarter was obviously way too good to be true.

 

I figured that some of the stuff was pretty cool, so if he did somehow come through with the goods, I’d end up with some cool furniture at a fantastic price. If it all fell in a screaming heap (which I thought was a 90% chance of happening when I backed it), I was ok with losing $29. So it was definitely a calculated gamble on my part for that Kickstarter. I never would have backed it at a higher level than that, simply because it looked super risky, right from the very start.

 

To the guy’s credit, he has kept plodding along with it, whereas many other creators would have given up long ago. So I think that has contributed to why most of the comments on that Kickstarter are positive.

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Ones I would not have backed had I been gifted with the ability of telling the future:

 

Dungeons and Dragons Documentary 

The Gallery

Teramyyd

Itar's Workshop (I actually got my stuff, but many didn't)

Tome of Horrors (this was my biggest crash and burn)

The Phoenix Project - City of Titans (and likely never another video game) 

Ice Age Mammals

 

Of that list, Tome of Horrors is probably like 2/3 of the money I have lost. This is out of my 173 Kickstarters. I have others with delays, but none that I am worried about. That means I am happy that I backed 166/173 or 96% of the projects. That is a pretty decent rate.

 

My heaviest pledges belong to Reaper's Bones KSs, Dwarven Forge, Cthulhu Wars, Myth, and DeepWars/ShadowSea. The quality of communication varies quite a bit among these. Myth is the most absurd of these, by far.

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I didn't back any of the Kickstarters on your initial list, however IMBRIAN ARTS has left me with such a legacy of distrust that I don't back very many Kickstarters from names that I don't know or trust already. Jody Siegel is a gifted artist but is a total flake, and complete failure. He is a miserable excuse for a human and is a thief.

 

To juxtapose, Tre Manor via Red Box Games has run tons of Kickstarters and while he's had problems along the way, he's always delivered. I back Tre's Kickstarters fervently.

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Tre keeps the BS to a minimum and shoots straight with you if there are issues.

 

That Ice Age Mammals thing... I thot about getting stuck in, read the comments, and thot, "Geez, this creator isn't big on straight answers and gets shrill when there are hard questions. Perhaps I will pass. "

 

Sure enough...

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On 1/3/2019 at 11:19 AM, odinsgrandson said:

There's something REALLY wrong with that.

 

Because people are greedy and don't want to hear when they're wrong.

 

Good post. The only thing I'd add to it is how competent and trustworthy management is, as well as how much integrity it has and what evergreen products it has to support a money-losing project. It's not hard to find a handful of such companies (eg. Reaper, CMON), but there are *many* projects that deliver which only have some of these qualities.

 

I'm also looking for bargains, of course, and noticed I only backed three projects in 2018. Dungeon Alliance expansion (boardgame) was only $25 with shipping, supported by retail sales of the base game, and the creator has high integrity on the BGG boards. Killer Rabbits (miniatures) was under $50 including shipping, was a good price, and I really liked the unusual miniatures, so took an affordable risk. So Rampage (terrain) was the only $100+ risky project I took during the year. I used to back more CMON (and Monolith / Mythic (?)) projects, but they seem to be running more KS, so funding isn't as high, so they're not offering as many mini's as I would have liked.

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Per @ced1106 I have backed other projects at much smaller values than I might have previously b/c of my experience with Imbrian Arts. For instance, I'm a huge fan of the work done by Juegorama in "The Adventurers" Kickstarter they finished up in November. However, I tempered my enthusiasm and only shelled out $25. I'd of loved to have gone bigger, but experience has taught me to temper the enthusiasm. 

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On 1/4/2019 at 5:33 AM, Glitterwolf said:

I tend not to back at the slightest signs of trouble or copyright infringements.

 

Also, temper your enthusiasm when a license in involved! (:

 

An advantage of owning your IP is that, well, you don't have to pay anyone for it! Also, your license has no expiration date, and the other party won't change the terms unexpectedly at a later time. For backers, this means more money to the project goes to the product itself, and the risk is lower.

 

Aliens vs. Predator : While I don't like Prodos / Archon's management, I don't like how Fox delayed approvals, resulting in cost overruns. If there's a party in the project who doesn't care about the backers yet has control over it, don't back. Unfortunately, printers and manufacturers can screw over creators, leaving backers without rewards.

 

Walking Dead, Evil Dead 2, etc. : Also, don't let the license blind you to the creator. The Walking Dead KS run by Cryptozoic was run by a company with a negative reputation on KS from their Ghostbusters campaign, and Evil Dead 2 was run by a company without miniatures experience. 

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On 1/3/2019 at 12:31 PM, odinsgrandson said:

Adam Poots almost never updated- so when he published one of his grand mega-updates, all the backers would be content long enough that they could forget about the project (rather than being angry at it).

 

I think updates and creator comments are a matter of setting user expectations. This happens often in professional sales and other client-oriented jobs. It doesn't, however, happen in conventional retail, where the distributor and retailer were (originally) there to *separate* the manufacturer from the consumer as much as possible. I'll add that sometimes. you'll see some backers get antsy when a creator is particularly active in the comments *during* the KS, then doesn't respond after funding. CMON backers are even used to it by now... 

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On 1/4/2019 at 7:08 AM, Arkady said:

The thing is, when you look at it that way, CMON's reputation should've been at -1 or -2 after their early debacles that were Sedition Wars and Relic Knights; instead, they managed to get the blame pinned rather firmly on their partners in each case (though people quickly forgot about even that in the case of Ninja Division). But that didn't hurt CMON's reputation with potential partners, either. And afaik, indeed, they never completely screwed up again...

 

As such, CMON pretty much all by themselves prove that in terms of reputation/trustworthiness, Kickstarters never even had a book that you could throw out to begin with. 

 

On Sedition Wars Studio McVey actively took the blame for a lot of the issues themselves, so CMON didn't have to do much to shrug of the fault with anyone other than the people who got actively burned. Relic Knights with Ninja Division/Soda pop was definitely messier.  A lot more people were taking sides with one or the other. If CMON hadn't had Zombicide with Guillotine Games sitting at the front to point at as a partnership that worked right they probably wouldn't exist today. The huge amount of money they made off Zombicide (they said at one point it's retail sales were many times higher than the kickstarter sales) to cover their other losses probably also didn't hurt.

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1 hour ago, cmorse said:

 

On Sedition Wars Studio McVey actively took the blame for a lot of the issues themselves, so CMON didn't have to do much to shrug of the fault with anyone other than the people who got actively burned. Relic Knights with Ninja Division/Soda pop was definitely messier.  A lot more people were taking sides with one or the other. If CMON hadn't had Zombicide with Guillotine Games sitting at the front to point at as a partnership that worked right they probably wouldn't exist today. The huge amount of money they made off Zombicide (they said at one point it's retail sales were many times higher than the kickstarter sales) to cover their other losses probably also didn't hurt.

I lost a lot of respect for the folks at Studio McVey for the way they handled Sedition Wars minis sculpt scale variance and quality issues.

 

And Zombicide is a game that I see at most LGS that I go to. Unlike most games funded on Kickstarter it’s still a steady seller at retail.

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I was dumbfounded at how bad the figures for Sedition Wars were. They looked like something out of a 1970's Hong Kong Christmas cracker. Having eagerly bought everything I could lay my hands on from McVey's Limited edition Resin figure range I just could not believe that this was the same company.

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On 1/3/2019 at 1:19 PM, odinsgrandson said:

But the worst of all of this is the success story of Archon/Prodos. 

The funny thing is supposedly the miniature production for some of the ND/SPM Kickstarters is being halted/not shipped by Archon/Prodos due to lack of payment. I assume this specifically affects Relic Knights/Starfinder/Way of the Fighter miniatures in which the models are supposed to be resin. 

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On 1/4/2019 at 8:21 AM, kristof65 said:

The ones that get me are the "successful" ones that fund despite so many warning signs. The Defiance Games one still amazes me - DG's own supporters on their forums were telling them not to do a KS, that they didn't have the track record or reputation to successfully pull one off - and they went ahead and did it anyway. Not only were there so many red flags for that project before it launched, the the people behind DG **knew** there were, and totally glossed them over.  Just from that alone, it's hard not see it as a scam, but what happened afterwards with the MA Attorney General's office made it easier to think it was a scam from the beginning (short version - the MA AG arranged a settlement between backers and DG that involved sharing the digital files for the sculpts.  But someone leaked the settlement terms, and the settlement was scuttled because it was supposed to be a secret settlement.  My opinion is that DG probably never paid for those files and didn't have the rights to share them.)
 

 

Yeah, this surprises me with the Starfinder miniature kickstarter that Ninja Division ran.  Lots of folks took $1 pledges so they could warn people in the comments, and the project still funded $457K.  And now people are really upset at finding out that the people warning them were right, and they're posting to Paizo's forum about how the failure of this is turning them off of Starfinder as a game, and Paizo to boot.  Paizo's really got egg on their face with their reassurances to their fans that this kickstarter would deliver.

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53 minutes ago, John Fiala said:

 

Yeah, this surprises me with the Starfinder miniature kickstarter that Ninja Division ran.  Lots of folks took $1 pledges so they could warn people in the comments, and the project still funded $457K.  And now people are really upset at finding out that the people warning them were right, and they're posting to Paizo's forum about how the failure of this is turning them off of Starfinder as a game, and Paizo to boot.  Paizo's really got egg on their face with their reassurances to their fans that this kickstarter would deliver.

 

I actually can see why that may happen. I think a lot of people don't read the comments section on Kickstarters. For simple ones, and a few reliable ones, I haven't bothered. I only got on the Bones IV comments after some instigators from these forums pointed me to it. I've backed some Slugfest Games stuff, never looked at the comments. I don't think I did for the Dark Sword kickstarter, or some pins, or for art/comic PDFs from decent sources. I hit the comments if I have a question about it that I didn't think was addressed, or if I have something specific to add or suggest. That doesn't always happen. 

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