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Kickstarter failures and moral/financial choices.


odinsgrandson
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4 hours ago, odinsgrandson said:

I get the impression that video games fail much more often than board games.  I get the feeling that the Kickstarter platform makes it really easy for a game designer to turn into Peter Molyneux.

Honestly, I think that game designers spouting off grand ideas on KS is easy for both board games AND video games.   The big difference is that for a board game, it's easier to put together and deliver something that looks pretty, and can even play OK.    Even if the rule book is poorly written, as long as someone can figure out what the designer meant, then they may still have a playable game.   But if a coder can't properly tell a computer how to make all those elements interact, then you may not even have anything you can show off. 

And that's probably the biggest difference as to why video games fail more often than board games do. 

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I didn't back starfinder except for the one dragon (so I wouldn't be out much..)

Backed a few couple games

Battletech by Harebrained Schemes (quite a success)

Lost Ember (they're doing private beta now - i wasn't selected but there's gameplay videos out there)
Both had high - but not unreasonable claims. The latter I have good hopes for still.

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12 hours ago, kristof65 said:

Honestly, I think that game designers spouting off grand ideas on KS is easy for both board games AND video games.   The big difference is that for a board game, it's easier to put together and deliver something that looks pretty, and can even play OK.    Even if the rule book is poorly written, as long as someone can figure out what the designer meant, then they may still have a playable game.   But if a coder can't properly tell a computer how to make all those elements interact, then you may not even have anything you can show off. 

And that's probably the biggest difference as to why video games fail more often than board games do. 

 

Also, if a boardgame is shown to not be playable, you can just publish revised rules.   

 

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5 hours ago, Gadgetman! said:

 

Also, if a boardgame is shown to not be playable, you can just publish revised rules.   

 

Good point - plus your community can even help you revise those rules.   For software, though, it's all on your development team. 

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Board game that delivered on its promises of cool minis but had unplayable rules that were taken by the community and revised extensively... you're talking about Dark Souls, aren't you?

 

 

 

The Dark Souls rules made for a REALLY awesome demo, but the game is pretty awful unless you heavily revise it.

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52 minutes ago, odinsgrandson said:

Board game that delivered on its promises of cool minis but had unplayable rules that were taken by the community and revised extensively... you're talking about Dark Souls, aren't you?

 

 

 

The Dark Souls rules made for a REALLY awesome demo, but the game is pretty awful unless you heavily revise it.

This equally applies to "mercs recon" unplayable as written. But quite fun with unofficial fixes.

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6 hours ago, odinsgrandson said:

Board game that delivered on its promises of cool minis but had unplayable rules that were taken by the community and revised extensively... you're talking about Dark Souls, aren't you?

LOL - actually, I can't recall ever hearing about Dark Souls, so no, I wasn't talking about it - but if the shoe fits.     

I was just thinking about my own difficulties and experiences in designing games and looking to get them printed vs what I know about software and coding.    Writing a cohesive rule book is the hardest part of designing a board game, IMO, but it's still easier than writing a relatively bug free program at the level of complexity needed for even a simple game. 

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On 1/16/2019 at 9:52 AM, Cyradis said:

Well now I want to know on that - Sir Cyr got the Dark Souls board game (not KS) and we need to play it still! 

 

I'm sorry.  Ok, it is off topic, but here's how it went down:

Steamforged didn't have a finished game when they did the Kickstarter.  They did have a finished demo- boss fights use AI cards similar to Kingdom Death, and other monsters use pre-set AI commands.  The combat was really fun, so the game generated quite a bit of buzz.

 

When the game hit, there was a huge wave of disappointment.


You see, Steamforged didn't manage to string the combats together properly, and that's where the whole thing falls apart.  The game simulates the way that the videogame respawns your character over and over again to fight the exact same fights.  It doesn't work- the game takes five hours to play, and seriously overstays its welcome.

Other issues-
-the mini boss is kind of a nice climactic battle, and going back to fighting grunts is a downer (makes the game feel like a long slog)
-the Dancer's AI is super wacky- it behaves really dumb, and makes for a pretty easy boss fight.

-any character death is treated as a party wipe- and this encourages heavy handed quarterbacking

 

 

There are community fixes for all of these problems, and other things that I did not find to be problematic.  I would encourage new players to use the official "Classic Dungeon Crawl Variant" which gives you greatly increased rewards, but only allows you to fight each battle once.

 

 

 

I guess this ties into the initial topic in an odd way.  What do you do if your Kickstarter is super disappointing?

- Steamforged try to ride an odd line with Dark Souls.  They seem to insist that the game is fine as is, but they also have been supportive of community fixes.

- Studio McVey released an official errata to fix their rulebook (I've heard that the fixed rules are good, but not a lot of people tried them out).  They also disavowed the quality of the second wave of miniatures- and before they did miniatures with Guillotine, they did a test run of plastics with a new manufacturer- and even sold one of them in plastic before going back to Kickstarter.

 

- I've definitely seen other creators fail to acknowledge the problems with some of their deliveries, and I think that's the more standard way to go (even if they fix those problems for their next project).

Edited by odinsgrandson
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SO FAR, I've only had one Kickstarter I've been in on that didn't have successful results: Drake II. That was a cluster from the moment it completed. The minis were pretty cool and the game sounded fun, but man did that guy run with the money. If a company is still communicating after they had issues, and make SOME sort of attempt to get rewards to people, then I have a tendency to be a bit more forgiving of any issues. Drake II creator went through over 100k USD of funding, tried to get further funding, and then just basically gave up... Just glad I only spent about 50 bucks on it, there were a LOT of people who spent way more than that and basically got shafted when he disappeared.

 

I've got 2 aside from Bones 4 that are in the state of having been completed, but haven't been fulfilled yet. Hoping those turn out well (Time of Legends: Joan of Arc for the dragon and Volfyirion). I've had good luck, although aside from Drake II most of them have been reputable companies I've dealt with. Only odd one was a local comic store wanted to do a local Comic-Con, and he was able to get one set up in the city by doing a kickstarter. That was pretty cool as I got a signed Deadpool comic by Tony Moore (Deadpool, Walking Dead comic artist) and a shotgun shell signed by him.

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So there's an interesting thing going on with the various Soda Pop Miniatures Kickstarters right now.

- For those of you who haven't been following, Ninja Division spent most of last year in silence as bad news seemed to eek out about why their Kickstarters were not being delivered.

 

Recently Ninja Division has begun to communicate with backers.  They are now open about being out of money, and are presenting their plan for eventual delivery.  Their plan is:
- Create resin miniatures, and use the profits from those to pay down smaller debts, and get their KS stuff moving (they're starting by paying off some of their resin casters).

- Sell PDF files of some of their older games via Humble Bundle (revenue will go toward KS fulfillment).
- Present themselves and their business plan to investors.

 

And in the mean time, they're phasing out some of their older products (presumably, this will make their business look more appealing to retail stores, possibly to potential investors, or at least make it easier to maintain their inventory).


Realistically speaking, this plan isn't the best in the world (there certainly isn't any guarantee that it will work).  But after such a long period of silence, having them openly communicating (and being optimistic) has really changed morale over there.  While many backers are not rallying to their cause, quite a lot of them are (albeit with varying degrees of optimism).
 

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I received an email from them last week outlining this plan.  I'm not a backer of any of their Kickstarters, but their plan for the new resins hit all my buttons.  I'm a sucker for limited edition and chibi, so I bought the two models they released last week.  Shipping was quick and the quality was excellent.  If they can keep this up, I will share in their optimism and continue to pick up their new models.

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Reports across the board say that they are shipping promptly since they started restocking their resins.

 I believe that they said they only had 200 of the new minis ready to ship, so the other orders would be delayed until they got more in stock (like how Kingdom Death does their resin runs).  But just being open about that will help out a lot.

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I was so on the hype train for the StarFinder Minis, i went all in, AND the dragon, and then..well, you know know the rest. That was a huge waste of almost 500 dollars. i wanted so bad to believe it would work, SF was a new entity, i had a group interested in playing, it was all set. 

the only sort of consolation is..wizkids is now going to be making the SF minis, i don't care painted or unpainted, i'm getting them, and my game will rise again! 

 

I at least learned..more or less, to actually research the companies before pledging, I'm not going to make that mistake again for that kind of stakes.

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