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What do you want in a Patron? What's a must? What's a nice?

 

For me:

 

1. Supports. I remember before they were 'standard'. I'd rather not go back even though some slicers are getting good with the auto supports.

 

2. Distribution. It doesn't have to be MMF. It doesn't have to be Gumroad. But it needs to be somewhere and it needs to be forever. As there grew to be more and more patrons, I stopped supporting those that don't offer anything but a dropbox and a promise to give it to you if you lose it or they make an update in the next month you're not a patron but they promise to update you anyway.

That's pretty much it for the 'must'.

 

Nices?

 

1. 28mm scale or maybe multiple scales? Some of the guys are doing stuff in like 35mm or just no standard scale so every miniature has to be scaled and if you're pulling from 35 down to 28 with supports already in place, even with lychee it's problematic. It annoys me that many of the ones I directly support are deliberately aiming at me as a consumer because they're making D&D models. No ifs, no and, no butts. It's a D&D model. But then they don't use the standard scale.

 

2. throwback. Again not a make or break but I do like it when companies put a throwback up. Mind you if you've been with a patreon for a while they're not useful to ME personally but they're good for others to have. Cast & Play is a good example of this.

 

3. Show what you're selling. This is an edit because I didn't think it needed to be said but someone was like "This dude has an awesome Patron and I went to the page and it's apparently all locked behind the paywall. Seriously guys and gals,, you need to show what you're selling.

 

4. Supportless Models: This is another 'nice'. Fat Dragon, Rocket Pig Games, and Vae Victus often have these models. Arbiter has Kickstarted three of them like this now and I like these models because I can scale up or down usually without worrying about supports failing eh? This was another edit as I forgot it.

 

5. Partnerships. This is not necessarily with another company but with say a Youtuber or something along those lines. Having someone actively out there painting and sharing your models is a huge thumbs up. Several guys doing KS know this and hire people like James to do Twitch streams painting their miniatures. Again, another nice but not mandatory.

That's about it.

 

There are some 'nice' things that I don't want to say I don't care about but they're not a make or break for me.

 

1. Welcome pack. Most companies don't update their welcome pack so if you were a member a year ago, it's the same stuff. It's nice the first time but rare it's not going to get me to come back.

 

2. Loyalty Program. Some companies have some great models in ye old loyalty packs. Again, not a make or break for me.

 

3. Discord. I'm unhip. While I do suggest for engagement companies hit up all the social media they possibly can, I'm personally not into it. I see several channels that are VERY busy which is a great tool for engagement. Might be something I'll have to toe-dip into later. I know Instagram is popular as well.

 

4. Crossovers. Again another 'Nice' but not something that's going to make me jump into a sub.

 

How about others? What are you looking for? What is your must-have, nice to have, don't care about or actively dislike?

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@JoeGKushner

 

My Patreon preferences.

 

  • Providing Unsupported files as well ( nobody can provide presupports that will work with every printer/every resin and I like to align the mini myself choosing either quality or saving resin.).
  • Good pics of the minis or very good accurate renders. And I agree with you, don't hide it behind the paywall, if I can't see what you have I won't join.
  • Reasonable pricing
  • A theme I like and need ( I will drop and change when I don't feel the theme)
  • Discount in their store or MMF
  • Preferably MMF based so we can always get access to the files when it's over.
  • 28/32mm is my to go to scale but a nice big scale model can also appeal to me.
  • A good download system.
  • Provide the files in time and not at the last moment.
  • Good communications, interact with your patreons, answer the questions etc etc.

 

I also like a nice loyalty model, welcome packs and throwbacks.

But these are not dealbreakers for me.

A nice loyalty mini could get me to stay for a less interesting theme though.

 

 

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So here's a few things.  I add and drop patreons quite a bit though there are a few I keep most of the time and I follow several favorite groups.

 

1. Communication.  I love to see the WIP posts that get me hyped about what you're working on for the month, reply to comments and generally engage their community.  Lee at MiniMonsterMayhem is a good example.

 

2. Rewards at my pace. I think others have said it, but it bears repeating.  If you post your monthly models near the end of the month, and then kill the link on the first, and I have to message you to get a new link to download the models, this doesn't work super well for me.  For that matter, most months for most of the patreons that I support, I usually only get really pumped about one or two items in the collection, and some of these patreons are putting out files that are multiple gigs per model, and aint nobody got time to download the entirety of the set on the last day of the month.
I do agree that I don't much care HOW the distribution is done as long as it's something I can access at any time.  MMF, Itch.IO, Gumroad, some leave the google drive links active permanently which is fine too.  I'm also ok with ones like Mia Kay or Capsule Chibi, where your membership is access to the entire back catalog, and there are very few if any 'limited time only' downloads.

 

3. Know when to edit the release plan.  I tend to support patreons because I like the theme or I really like the sculpting style or something about the artist.  Generally, there's only ever a handful of items in each monthly release that are the selling points for me.  I see several here recently who keep trying to do more each month, and they get bogged down in trying to make Too Much Stufftm. Then the quality suffers, and you end up with things like archers who are covered in juicy details, but are holding their bows in grips that are not just bad, but are actually anatomically impossible, and their sculptors have no time to fix it. (not calling anyone out here. In the last 4 months I've seen 3 different cases of this exact example from different studios).  I'd rather have fewer, well refined, models than more bad ones.

4. Pre Supports -  most of the time I'm going to do my own because so frequently the presupports I get aren't well quality tested.  Please be sure if you're releasing pre-supported you're either releasing with and without, or as a .chitubox or .lys file that I can remove or adjust if necessary.  It's not a selling point for me and for the few that offer two tiers, one with and one without I'm going to be on the one without most of the time.

 

 

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For me, it just comes down to whether the sculpts are just plain amazing.  I don't collect mini's to game anymore, so I don't need models to fill encounters.  I want cool models that I'll be excited to paint and will enjoy looking at in my case.

 

I see the rest as quality of life items.  This will go a long way in building my loyalty so I will stay subscribed month after month, but at the end of the day I need to feel love for the sculpts themselves.   

 

Edit:  I will add one more nice-to-have that hasn't been mentioned yet.  Naming Conventions.  Would it really be that hard to name your folders something more than the month and year?

Edited by Clearman
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On 5/3/2021 at 12:53 PM, Glitterwolf said:

@JoeGKushner

 

My Patreon preferences.

 

  • Providing Unsupported files as well ( nobody can provide presupports that will work with every printer/every resin and I like to align the mini myself choosing either quality or saving resin.).

I've gotten to the point with Epic that I prefer to do my own supports.

 

His can be pretty dodgy.

Quote
  • Good pics of the minis or very good accurate renders. And I agree with you, don't hide it behind the paywall, if I can't see what you have I won't join.
  • Reasonable pricing
  • A theme I like and need ( I will drop and change when I don't feel the theme)
  • Discount in their store or MMF
  • Preferably MMF based so we can always get access to the files when it's over.
  • 28/32mm is my to go to scale but a nice big scale model can also appeal to me.
  • A good download system.

Hate hate hate Google Drive. Sync crashes more, but we can usually recover without starying over. MyAirBridge is awesome.

Quote
  • Provide the files in time and not at the last moment.

Vae Victis. <_<

Quote
  • Good communications, interact with your patreons, answer the questions etc etc.

 

Not a Patreon, but there is a KS creator that I will never deal with again. Everything was always the backers' fault.

 

Quote

I also like a nice loyalty model, welcome packs and throwbacks.

But these are not dealbreakers for me.

A nice loyalty mini could get me to stay for a less interesting theme though.

 

 

Love Artisan Guild's loyalty rewards.

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'What are they making' is the biggest one. When I first hopped in I was initially interested in getting stuff to print for tabletop, but things have changed (even before all of... *gestures vaguely* that) and I don't game in person much anymore. I always like the painting side so lately I have been gravitating to Patreons that give me interesting things to paint. 

 

Also related: Value. How much am I paying for what I get. This is a bit more abstract since it's not about X number of files for Y price. But it's basically, is the offering worth the asking price?

 

Ease of Access: This has been less of an issue for me, but seeing some stories from people I can totally understand the concern. I do have one Patreon in particular that can be a bit slow on the release, but they do have post-month access options like MMF and itch.io, so I'm not too worried. Another one I just has you request access to the Google Drive folder. They then have to grant access and the folder is shared with you. Regardless of it being Google Drive or not, I can only see that becoming an issue if/when they grown significantly in size.

 

Responsive and Helpful: There's been a handful of times where I have had an issue that meant I needed to reach out to a Patreon to assistance. With the exception of one, the responses have been generally good. The one has left a bad taste in my mouth and does lead me to second guess backing them, even if I am interested in the product.

 

Presentation: Good renders, like good photos of physical mini's, can make or break the sale of mini. Also showing off the printed and/or painted sculpt. But give me still shots! Stop making fancy videos and just show me what you have made! Or at least do some still shots along side the fancy video...

 

Somewhat Related: Teases and WIP posts. It's cool to the see the process of the sculpt(s) coming along or to have an idea of what is coming up in the future.

 

Presupports: Mostly because I am lazy. Lack of them isn't a guaranteed deal breaker, but having someone else to the lions share of the work and I go in and tweak it for my own needs is really appreciated. Side Note: That said, one of the best feelings I have had since starting 3D printing is doing 100% of the supports myself and having the print come out perfect on the first try. 

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Tops:

  • Looks cool.
  • Looks like something I would want to paint.  There are a number of figures I see every month that look well sculpted, but I know I'll never want to paint them.
  • Some way to redownload if needed. 

Nice:

  • Consistent scaling through the product line.  I don't really care if the default scale is 28mm, 32mm, 35mm, because I can scale it. That said I'd rather be able to take a company and know every hero gets printed at 90% rather than having to check each figure/base individually.
  • Separate downloads for supported files.  Sure I can download a batch and delete the pre-supports, but I'd rather just not get them in the first place.
  • Monthly previews. 
  • Do a good job with said previews. Making a video where everything constantly pans does not qualify.
  • Show off some prints. Painting a render in photoshop does not qualify.
  • Discount code for prior releases.  If the patreon uses MMF this isn't as big of a deal considering I can wait for it to go on sale eventually.
  • Welcome pack.  They generally aren't updated, but it is still nice that first month.
  • Cross promotions.  A free mini here and there can be good advertisement.

Don't care:

  • Loyalty rewards.  I drop and add patreons so I almost never get them.  So far none of them have been so awesome I'd stick around for another month just for the reward.
  • Initial delivery system.  Sync gives me the most problems, but even it comes through eventually. 
  • Painting videos.  When I watch a painting video it is to hopefully learn something, not just watch someone paint a mini.  Potentially a miniature patreon could manage this, but if you are producing legit instructional videos it might be worth its own patreon.

Deal-breakers:

  • Lack of QC.
  • Quantity over quality.  The more minis I collect the more true this has become.  30 generic elves won't tempt me, but half a dozen really well done elves could snag my $10.
  • Unresponsive (I've not had this issue yet, but there's always someone...)
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A couple of the biggest things for me are: 

      1. Theme - is it something that I would have either an immediate use for, or something I plan on doing in the near future. I would love to see more Victorian/Prohibition era patreons that cover not just characters, but other things like modular buildings and vehicles.

      2. Modularity - interchangeable hands, weapons, heads, etc

      3. Naming of the file/miniature. It is very annoying to have multiple files of "model 1" or "Adventurers)"

What I would like to see:
      1. Include images of each of the files, grouped by type - Characters, Terrain, Weapons, etc., and name the folder appropriately

      2. Stop hiding images of upcoming releases behind paywalls - I won't back a Patreon if I can't see what they are producing. I know this doesn't happen with all of them, but it happens more than it should.

      3. Consistency in scale for the miniatures - pick a scale. Either 28 mm, or 32 mm. 

      4. I'm not concerned about supports, but offer both for those who prefer to do their own, and for those who like presupported files. 

 

Couldn't care less about/don't really matter to me:

      1. Chibi style patreons, or anime style. 

      2. Loyalty rewards don't matter to me. I will stay with a Patreon if I like the offering, not because of an "incentive" to stay

      3. Images/renders/test prints of "low poly" files. 

      4. Bases - Include files that have bases attached, and files for minis with no bases. Themed bases are a very good idea, as are just generic ones.

 

These are the ones for now. I'm sure there will be other things that come up. 

 

 

Reverend Shartan

Edited by Reverend Shartan
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A style - Artisan Guild, as an example, has a style that is unique to them - maybe a bit World of Warcraft. Avatars of War has an old school vibe going, which has made us happy.

 

Chunkiness - resin isn't that strong, and filament isn't great at fine detail - so don't go for properly scaled arms and legs - cartoonish is better than broken.

 

Value for money - knowing that a sculptor can hit that price point, every time is a plus. (Megan has pulled out Vae Victis - who started strong, but have been falling behind schedule, and the value is dropping, or at least so it seems.) Epic provides value through sheer quantity. even if we only use a quarter of them, each month, we are getting our money's worth - even with the sometimes dodgy supports.

 

Themes - when we jump onto a Patreon, it is not always going to be forever - sometimes we will grab a month here or there - and it is almost always because of the theme for that month. We have been on the verge of dropping out of Heroes Infinite for months... but their monthly themes have been keeping us. Archvillain not only supports a theme in each release, they have an accompanying adventure at the upper tier.

 

Supports... if you are going to do them at all, do them well. Some are consistently good (Artisan Guild) others are more hit or miss (Epic). Megan does a better job with supports for the Epic miniatures than Epic does.

 

So, yeah - have both with and without supports.

 

The Auld Grump

 

 

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1) Some way of buying individual models that doesn't involve me signing up to a subscription service. I don't have the resources to be paying ten bucks a month to ten designers on the off-chance that I might want something they've sculpted in the last month.

 

2) the ability to actually see what you're offering without signing up to Patreon.

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4 hours ago, MojoBob said:

1) Some way of buying individual models that doesn't involve me signing up to a subscription service. I don't have the resources to be paying ten bucks a month to ten designers on the off-chance that I might want something they've sculpted in the last month.

 

2) the ability to actually see what you're offering without signing up to Patreon.

1.) That's typically My Mini Factory - the thing about the Patreons is that you are spending a lot less, but buying a pig in a poke.

 

It sounds very much like you neither want or need a Patreon, so don't bother - just wait for the models to hit release on MMF or any of the other services. (Gumroad, CGTrader, MiniHoarder, Cults3D.)

 

The whole point of Patreon is that it is a subscription service.

 

The Auld Grump

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On 5/5/2021 at 9:03 PM, TheAuldGrump said:

1.) That's typically My Mini Factory - the thing about the Patreons is that you are spending a lot less, but buying a pig in a poke.

 

It sounds very much like you neither want or need a Patreon, so don't bother - just wait for the models to hit release on MMF or any of the other services. (Gumroad, CGTrader, MiniHoarder, Cults3D.)

 

The whole point of Patreon is that it is a subscription service.

 

The Auld Grump

Even as someone who likes the subscription model, I can see where he is coming from. There is are more than a few patreons that are bad about post-patreon retail release. There's still several things that I missed from a couple patreons that they had up 5-months ago that can't be found to buy anywhere.

 

And many patreons hide nearly everything behind a pay wall, so getting idea of what they have on offer or coming up can be difficult for a non-patron/backer.

 

Edited by Illithar
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2 hours ago, Illithar said:

Even as someone who likes the subscription model, I can see where he is coming from. There is are more than a few patreons that are bad about post-patreon retail release. There's still several things that I missed from a couple patreons that they had up 5-months ago that can't be found to buy anywhere.

 

And many patreons hide nearly everything behind a pay wall, so getting idea of what they have on offer or coming up can be difficult for a non-patron/backer.

 

Good about not hiding:

Artisan Guild

Epic

Mini Monster Mayhem

Archvillain

STL Miniatures

 

Bad about hiding:

Heroes Infinite - not a paywall, but no images until release.

Vae Victis - not a paywall, but a month behind. Still, their being a month behind gave us a chance to get the set we really wanted.

 

I don't think we joined any hidden behind a paywall. I don't think we WOULD join any.

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