Kickstarting and Screaming

It’s worker placement season on Kickstarter.

New edition of Pret a Porter:

Dinogenics reprint + inveitable expansion:

Decided to go through my still pending release Kickstarters, here is what I am still waiting for:

Still look good:
ASYLUM: From the designer of Scratches (ongoing , 2020 release?)
Witchmarsh (ongoing , 2020 release?)
Ray’s the Dead (ongoing , 2020 release?)
BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION (ongoing , 2020 release?)
DARKSIDE DETECTIVE S2 (ongoing , 2020 release?)
Nighthawks - The Vampire RPG (ongoing , 2020 release?)

Dead, money lost…
The Mandate (DEAD)
That Which Sleeps (DEAD)
Limit Theory: An Infinite, Procedural Space Game (DEAD)

After backing a few dozen games between 2012 and 2015… I didn’t back any games in 2016. And only 1 game in 2017, backed 2 games in 2018, and 2019 is half over with me not backing anything new.

Still coming…eventually?

  • SpaceVenture


  • Last Life
  • Coolest Cooler
  • Outerlands documentary??

This is a useful exercise to do every now and then, and a good reality check!

I still back occasional projects on KS, three this year so far. Probably because my success rate overall has been pretty good, and the ones that released have been mostly satisfying.

So, in my current wait queue…

Supraland 2 (I only just backed this, it’s funded, campaign has another two weeks, estimated 2021)
Prodeus (active development, core game is solid, building levels, on for 2019 and seems likely to hit at least an EA release)
Silk (active development, quiet devs but it’s still on for 2019, seems reasonable)
Beautiful Desolation (active development, Chris’ twitter shows plenty of progress, 2019 still seems possible)
Lost Ember (nearly done, they just pushed the release back a few weeks for polishing, so another couple of months seems likely)
System Shock (remake) (regularly monthly updates although progress isn’t that rapid, still showing off level concept art; at least a year off)
Saurian (fairly active development, in EA but I haven’t checked it out in ages, less hopeful about this going the distance)
Star Command Galaxies (I assumed this was dead but they did release an update in May, it’s just glacially slow, but as they changed direction over their KS plans I’m not exactly hanging out for this one)
Drifter (another glacially slow project, but it’s one guy doing it in their spare time so it’s very much original concept Kickstarter; was a release last month so maybe one day).

Dead or zombie-state…

Bit Odyssey (formerly Tiny Trek) (in EA but 4+ years since last update, dev “still working on it” as of March 2018, but unlike Drifter above you get the sense they’re not really trying so I’m calling it effectively dead); at least it was only 5 bucks
Limit Theory (damn, I’d forgotten about this one, what a shame)
Star Citizen (you know what? I don’t even want it at this stage, its reputation is shot; it’s not even getting the bold font treatment, but the more ignominious italics)


Oh, look. A gigantic open-world MMORPG in the style of a GTAV roleplaying server asking for a little over $78k as the goal. Totally doable with a teeny indie crew, with some team members just out of high school, right?

Blew past its funding goal and hit $193K, because people are gullible.

Suspended by Kickstarter.

I confess I don’t understand why anyone believes a good MMO can be made on a Kickstarter budget.

A couple new coop boardgame Kickstarters that may be worth a look:

From the Tainted Grail/Nemesis/Lords of Hellas/This War of Mine (boardgame) etc people and the designer of Neuroshima Hex. Looks cool, is doing gangbusters. Still a little while as of this writing to get the day one bonus if you’re so inclined.

A new expansion for Dice Throne (which I love so far as a light dicey PvP game) that turns it into a randomized dungeon crawler compatible with all 16 season 1 and 2 characters, along with a production upgrade for season 1 characters to match season 2, and 2 print and play characters officially printed.

Of the two, I’d back Dice Throne for sure, but as a sucker I also backed Etherfields.

I’m interested. The way the campaign sounds ‘fluid’ interests me a lot, not to mention the artwork, etc. And I do like that there’s a miniatures-less ( or at least fewer) version.

On the other hand, Sleeping Gods (the next game from Ryan Laukat, in the vein of Near & Far) is supposed to start in the next few weeks. And do I need another adventure game?

I think I posted a video preview of that one in the boardgaming thread and it looks awesome. If I’m going to spend any money on a board game KS this summer, it’s going to be that one.

Yeah, I saw that video, thanks! I watched it even though I hate watching videos about games and such.

But the draw for Etherfields remains strong.

I wasn’t into game videos either, but the production standard of boardgaming videos has gone up so much in recent years that it’s nearly like having a boardgaming show on in the background. So I often have a channel running on my second monitor. That’s how Sleeping Gods caught my eye.

I’m not sure about Etherfields.

I look at this kind of pre-production picture on BGG:

And it makes me think I don’t need yet another tile laying crawl game with overwrought miniatures.

But maybe there is more to it than meets the eye. I’ll have a look to see if anyone wrote a good preview of the game to tell me what it brings to the table. I think I glimpsed a Man vs Meeple preview that did nothing for me.

EDIT: Found this preview by someone who played it at UKGE where Awaken Realms chimes in on concerns about randomness and replayability:

I didn’t realise it was aiming more towards the 7th Continent experience. Must have been distracted during that preview. But then again, I haven’t played 7th Continent. So I don’t know whether I’d enjoy that. So many games, so little time.

Minis are more of a turn off for me than a selling point at this point, but Tainted Grail and Etherfields both have a pretty minimal set of minis in the actual game box and put most of them in an optional addon. I’d have put all the minis in the addon, but this is at least enough of a de-emphasis to keep me interested.

Holy shit that video was over the top. I hesitate to think how many hundreds or thousands of man hours went into making that alone.

Using licenced vehicles was never going to fly, but the C4 corvette at the end was a nice treat.

I like it when a Kickstarter goes smoothly.

I backed Vindication at the end of January, and today we got this update:

Remember how we estimated fulfillment in October? Yeah. To heck with that.

How about we move that forward a bit. As in - production is finished, games have already crossed oceans (miraculously dodging: storms, pirates, tariff threats) and are now in warehouses where they are being prepped to head to your front door months earlier than originally forecast.

Let’s reiterate this magnificent point: Fulfillment will be beginning before the end of July - 3 months ahead of schedule!!

Some nice component pictures (including the new solo adventures stuff) in that update.

Works for me!

A Kickstarter that fulfills early? Crazy talk.

I’ve had a tiny handful of over 350 projects backed do that. I was starting to think Greater Than Games had their shit together enough to do that consistently, and then OblivAeon ran like a year plus late. Oh well.


I mean, seven years is a long time.

I couldn’t even buy 50 actual finished Steam games in a year. That’s one a week.

Then you aren’t trying very hard.

But I haven’t backed much in the way of videogame projects since like…2014 maybe? When it started to become clear that I didn’t care about supporting most random smaller projects (particularly because the genres I most care about are no longer lying fallow in general), nostalgia pitches were dubious prospects, and most of the time when stuff funded I’d get the same results for less by just waiting for it to go on sale or get bundled after launch. Also, while in general very few of the projects I’ve backed have outright failed, almost every single one that has has been a videogame project.

What I do back a lot of is small dollar PDF pledges for tabletop RPGs and/or supplements for same (though not D&D supplements, D&D will be fine without me), expansions for boardgames I already own, and sometimes cheapo small box games like The Shipwreck Arcana or, you know, Small Box Games games. Along with larger pledges at more like one every month-ish, preferably less often although it’s hard to resist.

It’s really hard on the wallet when we get clusters like Dice Throne, Etherfields, Middara, and the near term arrival of Volume 3 of Hexplore It. :(

After the recent issues with Golden Bell asking for more money (voluntary donation) to deliver Unbroken, they have managed to mismanage funds again for their next campaign about to be delivered:

The poster backed the game for $35 with free shipping within the US. Then got this:

Quote from their update: " Here is where we are with the project. The game is finished and ready for manufacturing. We are on a VERY tight budget due to the increases MOQs, costs rising in china, and shipping charges. We will be charging roughly $25 for US Shipping and slightly higher for overseas for the game."

One of the replies to the post lists other issues with Golden Bell Kickstarters. Definitely not the kind of company I plan to back in the future.