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kristof65

How do you feel about multiple projects being open by the same creator

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In the end, it comes down to a value vs. risk calculation.  If the second KS is something I want, am I willing to risk losing the money I am spending on it?  Frankly, this should be the attitude you go into any KS with.  You may lose your money; you may get nothing; if you cannot afford to give that money away without getting anything, then maybe you should think twice about backing any KS venture.

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Just to play devil's advocate, much of the time spent or even delays in, receiving rewards, can be caused by supplier or manufacturer issues, rather than necessarily being a money issue or a delay on the part of the creators themselves. It's probably not reasonable to ask a small creator to remain idle and do nothing while he is waiting for a publisher or caster to finish something. I would say it really does depend on the creator and their level of communication.

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I've been lucky so far to have not had any KS fail on me. I rarely back except from companies that I recognize, or that look like they're being handled by competent people who've put in the work. I have about a half-dozen KS that are currently open/unfulfilled, and I'm hoping that my streak continues. The only one that didn't really ever deliver was about $5 in contribution I'd made to the project, so I wasn't that worried when it seemed to just die out.

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As long as it doesn't look like it'll interfere with the fulfillment of the previous KS, I don't have any problem with companies running multiple KSs at once. 

However, I only back those KS campaigns where the creator puts in a lot of effort into the product page. Any spelling or grammar errors push me away, as do unfinished media. This suggests a lack of entrepreneurial foresight. I treat backing a KS as if I were being asked to be an investor in a business. I haven't had any Kickstarter fully crash down on me yet (knock on wood). I was part of one that didn't fund however. 

 

I have the same expectations of Kickstarters as I would have of entrepreneurs asking me to invest in their company. If they have shown they have the processes in place to recover from said delays, I wouldn't be worried. However, any amount of rushed media, grammatical mistakes in published material, etc, would cause me to ask questions. 

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I don't hate it,  especially where  you've got a long wait for sub contactors do stuff (eg make, pack and ship a boardgame) as there's not a lot game designers/sculptors/artists can do while they wait

 

but you have to have convinced me your on top of the existing project with good coms and regular updates or I wont believe you can manage your contactors

 

I wouldn't want to back a second project from a sculptor who hadn't finished sculpting a previous project, or a game designer who was still fiddling with the earlier game game

 

but overall it is a gamble, and if you throw more money in the pot you've got more at risk. As always with KS, never spend more that your prepared to loose (let alone more than you can afford to loose), never spend all of your fun money..... not being able to do real shopping too sucks

 

and if you feel jittery about the first project don't back the second as your just not going to have fun, and the wait will be painful even if it eventually delivers

 

 

Edited by Orlando_the_Technicoloured
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3 hours ago, kristof65 said:

So I'm backing a KS project by a creator that was supposed to start fulfillment a couple months ago, but they haven't even sent the rules to print.    I've been OK with the delays, as they've been open on communications.  But they recently announced that they're launching another KS project soon, and this irritates me. 

I honestly think that for most companies, it's a terrible idea to launch a new Kickstarter when you aren't even close to delivering on a previous one. 

Wondering how you all feel about that? 

 

 

If every company only worked on one project/product at a time, the economy would slow to a crawl with nothing being made/sold. As long as one does not interfere with the other it's a non-issue. Especially if it's an experienced creator - CMoN have half a dozen running campaigns at a time, always run into production issues, and yet they still deliver. If being part of the production process, including delays, retail releases before rewards are delivered, and other projects being started/completed that have zero impact on the one you backed are not your thing, then Kickstarter is not either. It is not a pre-order system for customers, it's an investment process for the creators to bring this to market. There are the occasional problematic campaigns, but the warning flags are usually easy to read - production delays are not warning flags, they are normal and to be expected in any manufacturing endeavor.

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3 minutes ago, IgwanaRob said:

 

 

If every company only worked on one project/product at a time, the economy would slow to a crawl with nothing being made/sold. As long as one does not interfere with the other it's a non-issue. Especially if it's an experienced creator - CMoN have half a dozen running campaigns at a time, always run into production issues, and yet they still deliver. If being part of the production process, including delays, retail releases before rewards are delivered, and other projects being started/completed that have zero impact on the one you backed are not your thing, then Kickstarter is not either. It is not a pre-order system for customers, it's an investment process for the creators to bring this to market. There are the occasional problematic campaigns, but the warning flags are usually easy to read - production delays are not warning flags, they are normal and to be expected in any manufacturing endeavor.

 

This

 

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22 minutes ago, TaleSpinner said:

In the end, it comes down to a value vs. risk calculation.  If the second KS is something I want, am I willing to risk losing the money I am spending on it.  Frankly, this should be the attitude you go into any KS with.  You may lose your money; you may get nothing; if you cannot afford to give that money away without getting anything, then maybe you should think twice about backing any KS venture.

That's exactly the attitude I go into any project with.  And in this case, I'm not even interested in the new project.  Any money I put forth in their previous project is on me, and I accepted the risk. 

What I don't like is knowing that the next guy might get screwed to take care of me.  I didn't speak up before when Defiance launched their Kickstarter, and I should have. 

 

14 minutes ago, Bruunwald said:

Just to play devil's advocate, much of the time spent or even delays in, receiving rewards, can be caused by supplier or manufacturer issues, rather than necessarily being a money issue or a delay on the part of the creators themselves. It's probably not reasonable to ask a small creator to remain idle and do nothing while he is waiting for a publisher or caster to finish something. I would say it really does depend on the creator and their level of communication.

And I can understand this.  In this case, though, they decided to basically rewrite part of the rules and add content which has delayed the project even getting to the printer.  They've been honest in their communications, but for some reason, this just set alarm bells off with me. 

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, IgwanaRob said:

... production delays are not warning flags ....

 

I disagree. I don't consider them to necessarily be an indication to avoid at all costs, but I definitely consider them to be warning flags, with the strength of the warning decreasing with the percentage of started projects the company has successfully delivered.

 

This is related to "new company" being a warning flag. If you've never done the thing you want to do now, I rate the risk of failure as higher.

 

Fundamentally, every time you send off money today for a hamburger Tuesday, you're taking a risk. There is always an implicit risk/reward calculation being made (if you're smart), with the risk of failure in the ordinary course of business for an established company being low enough that it's probably worth ignoring in most circumstances. I'm not especially worried about sending money to Dick Blick, or Reaper, or Amazon, or Home Depot.

 

But for new companies, new products, and especially ambitious ventures, the risk starts to become a serious issue in the value proposition of sending out that money. For me, at least, I will balance risk with offered reward in pretty much the way that I would at a poker table. When the reward is good and I assess the risk as reasonable for the required investment, I'll put in the money (always assuming that I can afford to lose it). When not, not.

 

Asking for money over and over again without delivering, or without fully delivering, previous projects raises the question of whether the resources to finish any of those projects are actually available. Historically, this has often been the pattern used by thieves, incompetents, and the terminally optimistic to stay alive just a little bit longer. So using pretty basic Bayesian prediction tools, this changes the risk/reward calculation for me. I assert that it should do the same for others, but do what you think works best for you.

 

As a final note, none of this is related to any specific company, since I don't actually know what company @kristof65 is referring to here. Any mention of specific companies does not directly affect this analysis, but just gives me more information on which to make my risk/reward calculations.

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@Doug Sundseth is right.  Delayed projects are a warning flag.  

But that doesn't mean that warning flag has to equate to show-stopper.  Hell, if it was, I never would have backed another Reaper KS after Bones 1.   

There are so many other factors that can be warning flags, or can erase warning flags, such as how Reaper's reputation for good customer service and being run by accountants mitigated much of my concerns over production delays. 

Kickstarter has been a great boon for gaming and miniatures in general, but the fact is that gamers running game companies are often, as Doug puts it, Terminally Optimistic, and Kickstarter has enabled more than a few of them.  And while I know we have some scammers in our midst, I prefer to assume most gamers running game companies are just overly optimistic, rather than outright fraudsters. 

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Some minor delays are to be expected, I think. That isn't really a stopping point to me. Nor is running multiple KS's sequentially, necessarily. But trust should be earned first before diving in on multiple. So yeah, Reaper, with delays, still has my trust. Bear's Head, Scale 75, and Oathsworn have my trust on delivering. It is likely that Ludus Magnus will earn my trust, but right now they're on Community Support, not Personal Trust level. 

 

Only been burned on a $15 investment KS so far, which isn't that big a deal in the scheme of things. That one (Wolfthorn miniatures) seems to have fallen off the map. My only big investment ones have been KS by groups that seem to have community support overall, or have been small low-consequence pledges until trust is earned. 

 

I would not be backing one that was lining up multiple, while poorly planned, and under-delivered. 

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If I have money in a KS that is pending fulfillment I absolutely will not give the same creator money for a new project, even if they have successfully fulfilled projects in the past.  I just won't do it. 

 

While I do see delayed projects (and, for that matter, multiple open projects) as a warning sign, in the final assessment it has nothing to do with them.  It is my decision. 

 

There are lots of projects I was considering backing and didn't for this reason (CAV, a whole bunch of Petersen Games projects) and I don't regret a single decision not to back a project. 

 

For example, I was very happy with Cthulhu Wars Onslaught one and two, and backed three, but avoided The Gods War, Planet Apocalypse, and Hyperspace, because of my personal rule. 

 

And right now I am very frustrated by my CW 3 being in an increasingly disturbing limbo while they run CW 6 (CW 4 and 5 were run earlier this season).   I would only be more frustrated if I had backed any of their other projects.

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Not all creators are alike.

 

Some companies, like Reaper and CMON, have retail presence, so I don't have any problems with them managing multiple projects -- not to mention a KS project alongside their retail business. Other creators haven't quit their day job yet, so I don't want them to take on another project. Those in the middle, I find safer not to back another project. 

 

I find, though, setting a limit on a project dependent on the creator to be more useful. Frex, if it's a smaller creator, my limit is $75. For Reaper, it's $300+.

 

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One of the things about KS is that it often meets the criteria of consumer protection laws (barring obvious timeline issues and retailers/ speculators trying to resell).

Theres a lot of similarities in North America anyways - with Quebec being an outlier for exceptionally strong laws. Europe and UK I think had fairly strong laws but I havent looked in a while.

 

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I would like to chime in as a creator. Kickstarter allows people like me to build a product line and to make big and complicated models in a single go. It would take me, at my pay level, 1 to 2 years to save the amount of money that I could get from a single campaign. One of the greatest accomplishments I am the most proud of is that I have delivered on every campaign and better yet delivered good models.

 

For any company delays are common and can come up for any reason. Using myself as an example I have had delays because of because of artists, larger companies taking my spot in line, re-sculpting of models that did not measure up, red tape, shipping from all over the world, cutting down models to prep them for casting, running out of and the reordering of supplies, I have had to wait until after Gencon to even place order for casting, this list does not even stop their.

 

One of the biggest thing that causes delays is success. Success creates a ton more work that was not in the original campaign. If a campaign was for lets say 5 28mm models that would take 3 weeks to hand sculpt, and then lets say every thing goes well at the caster it can take another 3 weeks for the whole casting process. If the campaign is successful and has stretch goals like additional models, this stretches out the sculpting and casting time needed just to get your goods too you. So unless the campaign stays small, the successful campaign you backed will be late.

 

I have done allot to speed up the production of my last campaign, I hired 5 sculptors, 3 artists, and did everything in my power to try to plan around large shows and holidays, and I still ran late.  

 

As to the second part of this question, I have not thought about running a second campaign while I still had a active/ fulfilling campaign. I have started the planning process to build another campaign when the last campaign was finishing up.

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