Kickstarter/IndieGoGo, RPGs and You

edited September 2011 in Story Games
So there's some chat here and there on the interwebs about Kickstarter being Good vs Bad for independent gaming. I wanted to get folks' thoughts in a pretty objective way, but also get some idea of how they interact with Kickstarter. Note: Feel free to substitute IndieGoGo in here as well, they're similar, but when in doubt I'm considering Kickstarter re its feature to only accept money for funded projects.

So here are my questions:
1) Have you bought into any Kickstarter projects? Sold on Kickstarter?
-- If Yes, about how many?
2) If you have bought into Kickstarter, what are your habits in regards to Kickstarter projects?
-- Do you only stick to one-off projects that you hear about from specific people/places? Do you browse other projects? Do you stay within the Games category, or do you also check other/all other categories? Just mention a little about how you use Kickstarter.
3) What has your experience been so far with Kickstarter on the projects that you have bought into (if any)?
4) What do you think about Kickstarter in relation to this little industry, from a purchaser perspective? Good/Bad, and Why?
5) Is there anything you'd change about Kickstarter if you could? (even if it's just magical wishes, like about how people interact with it)
Any other thoughts on Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, or other community patronage/groupfund projects?

(I'll post my own thoughts in a bit)

-Andy

Comments

  • I have bought into several Kickstarter projects, including Do and Mystic Empyrean.

    I don't really browse the place, I mostly just see things posted elsewhere and follow the link.

    My experience as a customer has been excellent so far.

    I think it's a great idea for those who would like to do the "ransom" model but don't have quite enough fame to pull it off on their own.
  • I've invested in two Kickstarters so far. They've been ones I've heard buzz about on SG, and ones that are from designers who have made other games that I have enjoyed. I've not really browsed the other projects, since I'm afraid I would quickly overextend my funds. Maybe if I ever get that big raise, I'd be a little more liberal about my Kickstarter investments.
    And they've worked out well, so far. Well, that is to say, I got immediate gratification from one (which I received PDFs of as soon as it was done), and expect a product later down the line for the other, though I expect it to be fun, if not awesome. Maybe not quite as awesome as the first, but hey...whacha gonna do?
    I think it's a good match for the indie game scene, though I could see it getting glutted with half-baked projects or poorly-managed dreams if not somehow kept in check.
  • Hi, my name is Peter, and I'm a Kickstarter addict... I've backed 28 Kickstarter projects, three of which have failed, and another two that might (Dinosaurs ... IN SPAAACE! and Musical Note Dice), and four projects on IndieGoGo (one of which shut itself down).

    I mostly find Kickstarter/IndieGoGo projects either here or on Rpg.net. I've occasionally browsed Kickstarter, but have only backed one project as a result.

    My experiences have generally been good. The one thing that bothered me so far is that a couple of projects I backed had print copies for sale at GenCon and I have still not gotten my backer's copy. This strikes me as a bit iffy, particularly in the case of the project that represented itself as pre-order. I mean, if I'm backing a game, presumably I want it to succeed, and having copies for sale for sale at GenCon helps that. So that's maybe OK. On the other hand, if I'm just pre-ordering, and the money that I give is used in part to print books to sell at GenCon, weeks or months before I get the copy I pre-ordered, that's just a bit tacky.

    I like Kickstarter a lot because it reminds me of making catalog orders as kid. I'd save up my allowance and order games and magazines and miniatures and such through the mail, then then try to forget about them (this was pre-internet -- I'm a fossil). Then, every few weeks or so, I'd get a package in the mail! Some of the ship miniatures I ordered from Europe would take like 8 to 10 weeks to show up, and that was fine. Backing Kickstarter projects is sort of like that, except with a slight potential risk of not getting anything ever (at least one project has closed over a year ago without generating hard copy yet, and other is coming up on a year and has produced nothing yet). Clearly, I mostly only back projects with a tangible product, although I did back a movie once.

    IndieGoGo is sort of the same, but seems less reliable somehow. Perhaps because at first I don't think it had an option to return the money if the goal wasn't reached.

    Guilty Kickstarter fact: I almost never play the videos. I'd rather be convinced in print.

    Note: I backed one of Rite Publishing's patronage projects before I encountered Kickstarter; I have not found it particularly satisfying.
  • edited September 2011
    Posted By: AndyAny other thoughts on Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, or other community patronage/groupfund projects?
    I've bought into a couple kickstarters. I stay inside "games". Experiences have been fine.

    I've also run a project on IndieGoGo, because Kickstarter is only for US residents. I'll talk about about that a bit (LEARN FROM MY EXPERIENCE, YO).

    I put Awen up for 30 days, $2k, with the setting "Refund everyone if it doesn't go"; it didn't make the mark (it's on Drivethru now, and doing quite nicely; no worries there). Here are some things I learned:
    • If you intend to put a project up on Kickstarter / IndieGoGo, use a platform you've contributed to things on, under your same ID. My lady and I have used her card and name to contribute, and it made a couple people gunshy, since I had no visible history of pitching in.
    • Use Kickstarter, not IndieGoGo, if you can: People know and trust Kickstarter.
    • Have all your perks lined up before you start. Run them past the community. Seriously; this is important!
    • Two months is not too long, unless you have a good reason why it is.
    • Once it's up, do not shut up about it, ever. But do spread yourself across a number of platforms for that talking.
    • If your project doesn't fly on IndieGoGo, there may be a delay and a strange silence before refunds appear. There was for me. Do not wig out.
    • Whether it goes or not, understand this: Anyone who kicks in is offering you money, goods unseen. This is big deal, and you should be glad for the lovin'.
  • Posted By: Levi Kornelsen
    Use Kickstarter, not IndieGoGo, if you can:People know and trust Kickstarter.
    That would be awesome advice for someone living in the US..but for the rest of the world, IndieGoGo is probably the highest profile thing we've got. (There's a specifically Aussie crowdfunding platform, for example, but I deliberately chose not to use that because the Aussie gaming market isn't that big).

    One other thing I'd like to add is that IndieGoGo does have the function to refund patrons if the project isn't successfully funded. This seems to be a new addition to their business model (probably based on customer complaints). The person setting up the project decides whether the money will be refunded on termination or not. I actually prefer this choice.

    To see my IndieGoGo project, have a look at The Goblin Tarot.
  • Posted By: vulpinoidThat would be awesome advice for someone living in the US..but for the rest of the world, IndieGoGo is probably the highest profile thing we've got.
    I know. Thus the "if you can". US crowdfunders have an edge, I think.
  • edited September 2011
    I've backed 24 projects on Kickstarter. Five of them were unsuccessful, one was cancelled, and two are still ongoing.

    The first few projects I became aware of were links that someone posted (both comics projects, rather than gaming), but now I browse the listings in certain categories every couple of weeks or so to look for new and interesting things as well as looking at projects that people link/recommend. The categories I usually browse are Games, Comics, Design, and Technology.

    Overall, my experience has been positive. There is one tech project I supported that has changed a bunch of features after completing funding, which sucks. There have been a couple projects (neither games) that ended up being of much lower quality than expected once the end product was delivered, and that sucks too. A couple of projects that I funded 12-20 months ago still haven't been completed, but the expectation of a long turnaround was communicated in advance, so I'm cool with that. Beyond these, my experiences have been generally positive and haven't differed much from a traditional pre-order type situation.

    The only thing I think that can suck about using Kickstarter for rpgs specifically is that when the goal isn't met, it feels like all the momentum of the project comes crashing to a halt and then sort of limps back up to speed at a later time, in a different venue. In those cases, I'd really rather have just been able to pre-order the book and know that it would eventually show up and not have to worry about tracking it down again if the project isn't successful.
  • 1) Have you bought into any Kickstarter projects? Sold on Kickstarter?
    -- If Yes, about how many?
    I've bought into a half dozen or so. And I've been "Kickstarter-adjacent", where projects I've been involved in have been on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, but not me directly.
    2) If you have bought into Kickstarter, what are your habits in regards to Kickstarter projects?
    -- Do you only stick to one-off projects that you hear about from specific people/places? Do you browse other projects? Do you stay within the Games category, or do you also check other/all other categories? Just mention a little about how you use Kickstarter.
    I see something cool get talked about on Twitter, and then I decide if the price for the reward level I want is something I can afford.

    Right now I'm gearing up to move across country, or I would buy into Chronicles of Skin.
    3) What has your experience been so far with Kickstarter on the projects that you have bought into (if any)?
    Good, for the most part. One has failed to deliver after a year. Another put out something slapdash, so I know not to trust or fund them in the future.

    And I am at the point where I distrust anyone who starts another Kickstarter before fulfilling the previous one -- that a huge black mark in my book.
    4) What do you think about Kickstarter in relation to this little industry, from a purchaser perspective? Good/Bad, and Why?
    It's fucking interesting. It creates buy-in, but it could also be buy-in that backlashes. Funding someone taps into stories we tell ourselves about the sort of person we are (which I talked a bit about on my blog a couple months back). And as a publisher, the further expectation created is yet additional thing to manage.
    5) Is there anything you'd change about Kickstarter if you could? (even if it's just magical wishes, like about how people interact with it)
    Make it easier for international users, naturally.
    Any other thoughts on Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, or other community patronage/groupfund projects?
    I keep toying with whether I'll do it for Mythender. It's a decision I'll make once beta playtesting is done, though. Doing it before that, man, hell no.

    - Ryan
  • edited September 2011
    Writing what I did above made me curious about the actual breakdown of the types of projects I've backed. This may be of no interest to anyone else, since the focus here is on rpgs, but here's the list in case anyone's curious.

    Art 1
    Comics 4
    Film 2
    Music 3
    Nonfiction Books 1
    RPGs 7
    Tech/Gadgets 3
    Video Games 3

    The five unsuccessful projects I backed were the two film projects, two music projects, and one video game project. The one cancelled project was an rpg.
  • edited September 2011
    1) I've backed 5 projects on Kickstarter
    2) I occasionally browse projects on kickstarter, I get their weekly email of hot projects, I mostly stick to the games section but I've been tempted by some of the design/tech projects, and I often hear about projects here or on BGG/RPGG.
    3) I've been pleased as punch with everything I've backed. There is usually a longer than anticipated wait to get rewards.
    4) I think many backers think they are buying products. I get mad when said backers complain, I want to tell them that they are patrons getting a token reward based on their donation (like an NPR pledge drive) and not customers with "customer's rights." On the flip side, I think this problem is exacerbated by companies that can afford to launch their own products using kickstarter like a third party webstore/preorder service. I like to see projects with solid plans that need backing to succeed, projects kickstarted by individuals and freshman/sophomore designs from upstart companies.
    5) I'd totally love a section at the bottom of each project that says, "People who backed this project also backed..." and listed the projects with the most overlap of backers.
  • Posted By: mease191)4) I think many backers think they are buying products. I get mad when said backers complain, I want to tell them that they are patrons getting a token reward based on their donation (like an NPR pledge drive) and not customers with "customer's rights." On the flip side, I think this problem is exacerbated by companies that can afford to launch their own products using kickstarter like a third party webstore/preorder service. I like to see projects with solid plans that need backing to succeed, projects kickstarted by individuals and freshman/sophomore designs from upstart companies.
    I think this is a sort of odd attitude on your part in those cases when the Kickstarter is to raise money to create an item for sale. Generally at a profit. And this is most cases. That's nothing at all like an NPR pledge drive. You're helping someone get a product to market.
  • 1) I've backed three or four game projects.
    2) Never browse, only go there to support something that others have posted about.
    3) All have been huge successes.
    4) I think it's great for the industry.
    5) I like Kickstarter the way it is, but some of the intro videos are cringe-worthy.

    IndieGoGo does not push my buttons. I've support zero projects there.
    --
    TAZ
  • edited September 2011
    Posted By: Peter AronsonI think this is a sort of odd attitude on your part in those cases when the Kickstarter is to raise money to create an item for sale. Generally at a profit. And this is most cases. That'snothingat all like an NPR pledge drive. You're helping someone get a product to market.
    The point is to donate money to a creative project that you want to see happen and might not otherwise. Backing a project and then complaining that the product is taking too long or that you should have just waited and gotten the product through an online discounter seems counter to the spirit of backer and more like a customer who feels they are owed something. As far as being like an NPR pledge drive, in both cases you donate money to ensure a creative project is completed with a good standard of quality (be it radio programs or a game with art) and get a token reward (be it a totebag or a game accessory).
  • I agree with Marshall. While Kickstarter has been used as a convenient way to take preorders I think that's actually a weak way of using it and a wrong way to think about it. Kickstarter is a way for me to say, holy cow that's a cool idea that deserves to see the light of day...here's some bucks. And while its true that I tend to select the funding level that gives me a reward I'm interested in and not bother with the rewards I'm not I've also funded projects without any reward at all. For me it is EXACTLY like sending money to PBS and getting a cookbook or a CD of classical music. I give them money, they put out programs I want to watch, I get to feel good about supporting something I enjoy...and I get a fun perk and the joy of belonging to an exclusive club of other people were were smart like me.

    Most of my 2 dozen or so backings have been board games and RPGs but I've also funded a documentary about the fight of moslem women in Egypt, a jewelry designer trying to set up a boutique store in Manhattan, a food truck business in Portland, and helped some urban farmer types expand their chicken coop so they could raise more chickens.

    Kickstarter is not automatic magic...you need to have the right combination of product, passion, timing, and buzz generating marketing skills to really hit a home run...like say Far West, but I think it is a huge game changer for indie publishing. The paradigm of the early Forge was "start small, use the profits to fund something bigger, and so on so your next project was funded out of the profits of the last. A good way to keep from losing a bundle, but it also keeps projects small, margins thin, and production values more on the shoestring side of things. Now with Kickstarter making the "ransom model" pretty easy to administer you don't have to be limited by your own start up funds and you don't have to surrender control to a publisher with deeper pockets than you.

    In one fell swoop you get exposure, market research, preorder management, the opportunity to afford larger print runs with better profit margins where your "break even" point is already met (or very nearly so), a mailing list of interested people to drip on in the future, and the possibility of being able to do deluxe editions or other value adds that you never would have taken a risk on before. I'm hard put to see a down side since worst case the kickstarter doesn't fund and you're left right where you started...with some valuable market data and at the very least a list of however many people were interested.
  • Posted By: mease19Posted By: Peter AronsonI think this is a sort of odd attitude on your part in those cases when the Kickstarter is to raise money to create an item for sale. Generally at a profit. And this is most cases. That'snothingat all like an NPR pledge drive. You're helping someone get a product to market.
    The point is to donate money to a creative project that you want to see happen and might not otherwise.
    The point is whatever's in the buyer's head. This is not necessarily a good thing, or a bad thing -- it's just what it is. People will buy believing whatever they want. There are a lot of entitlement issues that happen any time you take someone's money. And those can get loud on the Internet pretty fast.

    If you believe that there's a One True Way for Kickstarter, you may want to avoid using the service for your own projects. You'll run into nothing but headaches dealing with people who have a different One True Way.

    - Ryan
  • Kickstarter blew my mind

    "it was great working with you on this"

    was feedback from a man who paid 5 bucks for a paper mouse.

    but i don't think i sold him a mouse...
  • I use Kickstarter to support people and companies I believe in and help them create products I'm interested in.

    I can't understand why anyone would browse Kickstarter looking for things to fund, there are too many things to spend money on already! Maybe if I were rich.

    If you put something on Kickstarter and then don't put those funders at the beginning of the line when your project is done, you're screwing those people and every other designer who uses Kickstarter. It wouldn't take that many bad experiences to sour me on Kickstarter for good. I'm not talking so much about people who take longer to finish the game than they thought, more about people who sell at GenCon without fulfilling preorders. Yes, this probably makes sense from a financial POV but it's a dick move and this is a very small community we have.

    For those people who are comparing it to supporting PBS, I'll point out that PBS is pretty reliable when it comes to sending out those totebags and Garrison Keilor CDs. It's not commerce, it's an exchange of gifts, but that makes failing to reciprocate even worse.
  • 1) I've backed... thirty-eight projects. Holy moly. I just can't resist supporting friends and other cool people trying to put together cool things. Out of those, only four failed to meet their goal. Most of the projects that I've donated to have been games or game-related goodies, but I've got a fairly good spread of books, video projects, and other artsy things.
    1a) I just put up a card game on Kickstarter a few days ago, and it's coming along slowly but surely. If it manages to break out of my immediate circle of friends a bit more, I think it'll be just fine.

    2) I usually buy into projects that are mentioned here or by other people that I trust. I don't really browse - I just listen to people who share my interests, and it doesn't cost anything to look. Well. Not immediately.

    3) My experience has been pretty good, although some projects have taken a good bit longer to come through than others. (Mostly the ones that involve physical goods that the project creators wildly underestimated production time on...)

    Overall, my experience with Kickstarter projects has been great - if nothing else, I've been exposed to a bunch of cool things that I wouldn't have seen otherwise, and I've helped super deserving folks make their products a reality. It's great to see something like Do or Far West get ridiculously overfunded due to rampant enthusiasm. It seems like it's had a positive impact on the hobby/community/whatever so far. Again, we'll see how things settle once the shine wears off, but for now, I'm fer it.

    One comment, though:
    Posted By: Levi Kornelsen
    Once it's up,do notshut up about it, ever. Butdospread yourself across a number of platforms for that talking.
    Omigod. There comes a time - and this is something that I'm currently struggling with - to shut up about it. Maybe I'm just really bad at self-promotion, or maybe most people have a higher tolerance for it than I do, but there's a limit. I have no idea what that limit is, practically, though. This is the biggest problem I've come across so far: how do you effectively get the word out about this thing that you love, and that you know other people will love, without annoying and irrevocably turning off everyone within earshot? I don't know, but I'd love to figure it out.
  • So here are my questions:
    1) Have you bought into any Kickstarter projects?
    I've bought into about 20 on Kickstater and 5 on Indiegogo. I don't mind using either.

    2) If you have bought into Kickstarter, what are your habits in regards to Kickstarter projects?
    I've bought mostly rpgs although I've also funded a board game, some dice, a trebuchet, a graphic novel, a film and a novel. I mostly find out about these things from the rpg website I use and rarely browse kickstarter. although that's how I found the board game.

    3) What has your experience been so far with Kickstarter on the projects that you have bought into (if any)?
    Very good. I've funded projects in which I believe and have not been disappointed by any.

    4) What do you think about Kickstarter in relation to this little industry, from a purchaser perspective? Good/Bad, and Why?

    I think it's a great way of combining market research and funding, as well as spreading the word. It also, I hope, focuses the creator into becoming a producer.

    5) Is there anything you'd change about Kickstarter if you could? (even if it's just magical wishes, like about how people interact with it)

    I think they could do more of the "if you liked this, then maybe try this" for buyers and they could do a lot more to support sellers so that they can make the most of each other's skills, perhaps even going as far as having a market for skills.
  • I've funded a handful, games that all reached their funding goal and a film that didn't. I have no preference between Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, and rarely browse but rely on people posting links or talking about it somewhere.

    I have a couple of projects that might get to crowdfunding level and it will be IndieGoGo because I'm in Europe - would I choose Kickstarter if I could. Perhaps.

    Per
  • 1) Have you bought into any Kickstarter projects? Sold on Kickstarter?-- If Yes, about how many?
    I'm committed to donating to two projects currently. One has met its goal and the other hasn't yet.

    2) If you have bought into Kickstarter, what are your habits in regards to Kickstarter projects?
    I'm supporting friends with projects that are capital intensive - making card games.

    3) What has your experience been so far with Kickstarter on the projects that you have bought into (if any)?
    Other than getting spammed with updates, it has been fine.

    4) What do you think about Kickstarter in relation to this little industry, from a purchaser perspective? Good/Bad, and Why?
    As a purchaser it seems good - hopefully I'll get two fun card games at a reasonable price and help out my friends in producing complicated products at a sustainable scale.

    5) Is there anything you'd change about Kickstarter if you could? (even if it's just magical wishes, like about how people interact with it)Any other thoughts on Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, or other community patronage/groupfund projects?
    I remain dubious of the format as a pre-order tool for RPGs, which is how it is being used. We figured out how to finance print runs a long time ago, and the notion that you just can't afford to print a book has been proven false since, I dunno, 2004. To me it seems, for roleplaying games, that Kickstarter allows you collect extra money in exchange for adding almost no value to your product, or adding "value" that would be produced whether the project was Kickstarted or not. Combine this with the introduction of a third party to siphon off some of the funds and it starts to look very suboptimal to me as a consumer.
  • Posted By: Jason MorningstarWe figured out how to finance print runs a long time ago, and the notion that you just can't afford to print a book has been proven false since, I dunno, 2004.
    I'm pretty sure the Kickstarter crowd is people who do not fall into that "we", at least some of the time.
  • Kickstarter actually puts a value on a product or service, in a much more direct way than anything else, even though this is slightly distorted by the threshold. I think it's a great way of getting a clearer idea of what a product is worth and who is likely to buy it.
  • So far I've only donated to projects that already met their funding goal, so I knew they were going to happen. I've also only donated to games and products that I knew were finished (just not printed yet), not pipe-dream products that may never exist. Both of these come, I think, from my own early experiences in game publishing, where I promised people things that never came to fruition, though thank god I never took anyone's money for them. Or from watching other folks take pre-orders for books that then took years to come out (like the upcoming final version of Bliss Stage). Basically, I don't want my support to be a burden on anyone, because I've felt those burdens and they suck so bad.

    Honestly, I disagree with Jason that we've figured out pre-orders. We can do them, but not very well. They're not automated in an attractive fashion (just PayPal buttons mostly). We don't post videos explaining what the project is about. They're not connected to a bunch of other preorders for other game projects, etc. We don't offer additional rewards and ways to interact for folks who want to support the game more. In all of those ways, Kickstarter is a major step up. Generally, too, most smaller games don't pay for their full print run with preorders and, really, have rarely been viable as print products. I can't really imagine a preorder for Be Ashamed Young Prince working without a platform like Kickstarter.

    The thing I worry about most is that Kickstarter makes it easy for folks to accept funding that 1) they may not really need, for 2) projects that they really need to seriously rethink, because they aren't really ready to be sold yet. Thus it might lead to games being rushed or people accepting money and souring their reputation as a game designer or publisher when -- for perfectly legitimate reasons -- they end up not producing the promised product on a reasonable timeline. I feel like, when I was an 18-20yo who wanted to be a game designer, I would have jumped all over this, promised people incredible games, used their money to buy a bunch of artwork, and maybe not ever had a game worth selling at all. Consequently, I worry about those dangers for other people.
  • I have backed, to date, 44 projects. Of those, 16 are RPGs, of which one failed to meet its funding goal but all others succeeded, three are video games, one is a set of nerdy dice with math symbols, and the others include comics, music, movies, lockpicks, sandals, and a project where a guy's doing high-altitude edge-of-space photography.

    I check out what's on the front page, the 'Discover New Projects' page, and watch the Design and Technology sections for stuff that catches my fancy, as well as watching the Games section closely, although much less closely than I have in the past due to budgetary constraints at the moment ;) Overall, my experience has been solidly positive. I have several projects still in production that I'd thought I'd have by now, but the people running those projects are keeping their backers informed as to why, and the products I have received have been quality stuff. (I'm wearing my Bulldogs! t-shirt right now, in fact.)

    For the RPG industry/hobby, I think Kickstarter, used wisely, is an excellent tool. I've been watching RPGs on Kickstarter since Happy Birthday Robot came out, and it's been telling to see what's succeeded and what's failed. The projects that have succeeded have been ones where the person/people behind them has shown that what they want to do is cool, and that they can do (or already have done) their part. It's still early days, and people are still trying new things (like Ben Lehman's experiment with Animal Crime that just wrapped up!) but I think as a platform, it's very positive for us.
  • edited September 2011
    Posted By: J. WaltonI can't really imagine a preorder forBe Ashamed Young Princeworking without a platform like Kickstarter.
    A pre-order isn't a necessity, right? I didn't mean to suggest pre-orders are even a good idea necessarily. Otherwise I'm with you 100% dogg.
  • edited September 2011
    1) Have you bought into any Kickstarter projects?
    Yes. 85 or so, mostly roleplaying stuff.

    Sold on Kickstarter?
    No.

    2) If you have bought into Kickstarter, what are your habits in regards to Kickstarter projects?
    I read the weekly Kickstarter Round-up at Purple Pawn.

    I read the "Stuff to Watch" thread here.

    I used to do searches on Kickstarter itself, but its search tool is so awful (and my bug requests on how to fix it unimplemented) that I mostly do not bother anymore.

    I almost never watch the videos.

    I am sort of non-descriminatory, meaning I will fund at least a bit to any RPG I see. I tend to fund more (in some cases, much more) to products I really like.

    I tend to contribute more to projects that will release with open licenses.

    I'm in a mode where I'm getting rid of physical books, so I usually go for an electronic option. Sometimes I will pay as much as a higher tier would cost, but only select the electronic tier. (For example, if a project that sounds awesome offers a $10 electronic version and a $25 print version, I might select the $10 tier, but fund $50.)

    3) What has your experience been so far with Kickstarter on the projects that you have bought into (if any)?
    Generally, you can tell almost right away if a project will succeed or not. I'd say a bit more than a third of the projects I have funded meet their funding goal, though this percentage is getting better lately.

    Most projects have been good about delivery (or at least updates on why they are late). I have heard complains about being "burned" on Kickstarter, but I haven't noticed it happening to me.

    4) What do you think about Kickstarter in relation to this little industry, from a purchaser perspective?
    Some people claim that all Kickstarter is good at is turning popularity (or marketing savvy) into cash. That isn't entirely true. As far as roleplaying games are concerned, what Kickstarter does is manage risk. Essentially, it acts as a pre-order system that lets someone gauge market interest in a project in a way that turns that interest into funding for a print run. Since publishing works on an economy of scale where per unit pricing changes significantly at low thresholds (that is, you can start at "dozens" and get a better price for "hundreds", rather than starting at "ten thousands" and getting a better price as "millions"), that seems to matter a lot.

    One thing I have noticed is that Kickstarter often helps create higher quality products. For example, a project that gets an unexpectedly high response might be able to print in full color, or maybe hardback, where that wasn't originally the plan. While previously the creator might have had to just guess if he could justify a color run, Kickstarter allows him to know that he can, reducing his risk.

    Note, however, that while it reduces risk in the aggregate, one of the ways it does this is by transferring some of the risk to the backers. Essentially, the process creates more counterparty risk for the backer. The risk of not getting the book delivered is the same as if the backer ordered it on-line, but the risk that the book won't get produced in the first place is higher. Note that this risk is (or, at least, seems) much higher on Indie Go-Go, because of they don't do the "fund only if target is hit" thing.

    Is there anything you'd change about Kickstarter if you could?
    Stop using Amazon. Or, at least, allow use of someplace willing to handling payments from anywhere in the world.

    Better search capability.

    I was going to bitch about something else (the site has a history of "featuring" or "recommending" projects that are already funded, which is just stupid), but it looks like they might have fixed it.

    I wouldn't mind an API to do stuff like put a "these are the projects I'm backing on Kickstarter" on a blog. They offer one for "here is my Kickstarter project", but not a backer-centric one.
  • I know this is primarily a backer-focused thread, but I did some numbers breakdowns based on my backers for Be Ashamed Young Prince - there's graphs and everything! Might be interesting/illuminating.

    I think this thread is probably weighted towards people-who-find-things-out-from-storygames, FWIW. I got more pledges from people browsing Kickstarter than from people who saw it on Story Games, f'rex. I've heard from a couple other creators that they were surprised with how many "strangers" found their project through Kickstarter itself, as well.
  • edited September 2011
    1) Have you bought into any Kickstarter projects?

    Four of them. There is a difficulty with Amazon Payments, which makes Kickstarter a real pain to contribute to, so I tend to only have the patience to go through it for things I really want to contribute to.

    I've bought into a few IndieGoGo projects.

    I've sold on IndieGoGo.

    2) If you have bought into Kickstarter, what are your habits in regards to Kickstarter projects?
    -- Do you only stick to one-off projects that you hear about from specific people/places? Do you browse other projects? Do you stay within the Games category, or do you also check other/all other categories? Just mention a little about how you use Kickstarter.


    I do browse around. For example, I supported a film (movie) of The Music of Erich Zann, one of my favourite Lovecraft films.

    3) What has your experience been so far with Kickstarter on the projects that you have bought into (if any)?

    Good with people I know. The Music of Erich Zann hasn't come through.

    4) What do you think about Kickstarter in relation to this little industry, from a purchaser perspective? Good/Bad, and Why?

    It's great, but I'm biased, because I sell stuff.

    5) Is there anything you'd change about Kickstarter if you could? (even if it's just magical wishes, like about how people interact with it)

    I'd like to use it. I'd like to be able to contribute to it more easily. Otherwise, I'm quite happy.
  • edited September 2011
    Posted By: ndpI did some numbers breakdowns based on my backers for Be Ashamed Young Prince -there's graphs and everything! Might be interesting/illuminating.
    "Discovery Engine", yeah that's a great name for what I was trying to include above. Did you coin that or is that some official-like marketing jargon?
  • I've just had some additional thoughts about my presence on indiegogo.

    It would apply just as much if I had my project on kickstarter.

    It has pretty much been echoed by a few people in this thread, if not directly, then alluded to.

    While I have a project being crowd-sourced I have the added drive to make sure the project is actually finished and done properly. If people are paying money to see an end result for the project, then it gives me added impetus to give them value for their money.The fact that I'm offering something in exchange for that money is a secondary thing....sure I want my product to get into other people's hands, and I want there to be some interest in what I'm doing, but now that I'm halfway through a project, it's almost guilting me into producing the best possible product.

    Now that I see a vested interest in "The Goblin Tarot" by others, it gives me an added pride in what I'm doing.

    (Now it'd just be nice if a few more people invested... :P)
  • Hi my name is Patty and I spend too much money on Kickstarter (though not as much as some of you it would seem).

    I've backed 18 projects, most of which are actually comics. During the Do kickstarter, I started cruising around the site when I was taking internet breaks at work. So most of them I found that way, actually all the comics I found that way, the games I mostly followed links here. I've also seen people looking for money to print webcomic collections and while I've not backed them I added their comic to my list.

    I think what people use kickstarter for really varies, depending on what type of thing you're doing. I mean printing can really be only done with money so it makes more sense to solicit for that as opposed to some of the stuff I see in the comics section along the lines of "I have this story I've been working on and since no one is interested in my film script I'm going to make a comic book but I need money to pay artists" yeah no dude. But on the other hand I know Kickstarter does some screening because one of my projects had some comments about how they got started, and it involved kickstarter telling them to rethink and come back (and they still didn't make their goal, but they did make a recent new smaller one).

    For the most part I've been happy with what I've received so far, but a lot of them just finished recently, so I'm still waiting on product. The games so far I've been happy with all of them. I gotta say I was real annoyed with one dude who sent out a bunch of updates near the end of his project complaining about people reducing or cancelling their pledges.

    Ummm I also appear to be a sucker for preorders/deadlines in general. which may color this a bit.

    I will also point out the my husband had really wanted Misspent Youth, but it had this nebulous preorder, I think for lack of funds to cover the run without preorders, and if I hadn't noticed when Rob announced that he had enough and a date, he would've missed out. I think it might've been better off with a kickstarter since that makes everything more concrete.
  • Posted By: Valamir"Discovery Engine", yeah that's a great name for what I was trying to include above. Did you coin that or is that some official-like marketing jargon?
    Im sure it's been used before at some point in human history, but as far as I know I wasn't parroting anything when I wrote that post!
  • 1) I have supported two Kickstarter projects, and I have sold (am selling?) one on IndieGoGo.
    2) I see a thread about a new game (here, probably), and then I jump onto the project and learn all about it. I watch the video. Really, I watch the video a few times and I rarely read much of the text. Then I look at all the perks and get scared that I'm going to spend my money. I promise myself I'll come back in a few days, but then I forget. When I do buy into the project, it is on my second or third return to the site. I suppose that makes me cautious? Also, I tend to treat it like a pre-order. I know that's bad. My brother treats it like a fundraiser. Ryan was right above, everyone looks at it differently, so don't count on one true vision.
    3) I have had Great experiences on Kickstarter. Like Jason, I got sick of the updates. Spam, spam, spam. Now I'm doing it to other people. I deserve bad karma for that, I think. Note to self: stop spamming.
    4) I think Kickstarter is great for the hobby. From what I understand from colleagues in publishing, writers (especially academic writers) have been having to write, layout, promote and edit their work for at least a decade. Game designers having been having to do the same, though while academic texts have been supported by agents, designers haven't. Until now. Kickstarter does what agents used to do. You've got a quick audience, marketing research, all the stuff mentioned above and, when you compare it to the print model, it's pretty cheap. IndieGoGo only take 4%.
    5) Hey, you should know that I wasn't going to go with IndieGoGo because of the "we'll take your f***ing money, whether it's successful or not," attitude. But then they changed it. That was cool. So I went with them in the end. I'd like them to change over to that model exclusively, so people like Todd would trust it. Or else, I'd like Kickstarter to let EURO-gamers in on the action.
  • A couple people, thus far, have mentioned feeling spammed by the updates - that's totally legit. I, on the other hand, really like the updates. Part of what I'm paying for is buying into the excitement surrounding a project. The updates are often joyous moments in my week where funding has gone up and there's some new milestone/bonus achieved or a reminder from a project I had all but forgotten that I had backed (cue excitement all over again). Maybe something they could do better is having more than one option for updates, minimal vs maximal.
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