Kickstarting and Screaming


Yeah, to be clear, that was more just sad anecdata rather than an attack against the platform’s enormous benefits.

Esp. since I might try to tap into those in a year or two for an RPG project i’m working on :)


No, I don’t intend my experience to be a counterpoint to your, or anyone else’s experience. If things had gone badly for projects I had backed I’d probably be a lot more down on Kickstarter in general.

I actually like Kickstarter as an idea, there’s a spot it fills well. It’s like those micro-lending companies that were big a decade ago, sometimes you just need to go directly to your audience and work out a direct arrangement. Or to put it another way, I think the world would be a little less interesting without Kickstarter in it.


Maybe it’s just that I’ve backed around 300 projects and less than 5% have failed to deliver, but I feel like it’s pretty possible to get a sense of whether a project is a good back or not.


To clarify my position - I’m not really talking about the types of projects you back @divedivedive. Smaller and less risky projects make a lot more sense to back even if they’re from unknown dfevelopers as long as you always acknowledge the possibility of losing the money you donated.

I was just extrapolating off of the headphones which just failed - a much more expensive, a much more technical, and super risky endeavor promising something that no one else has done before.


Wow, poor guy. That’s worse than a few dollars wasted. No matter what they say about starting a business being the bees’ knees, it can be tough on the soul. All those people that feel entitled to something, the fact that you’re also letting your baby down and all that psychological bullshit about never giving up… yuck.


What was worst for RJ, I think, was the announcement of Starfinder, which more or less did exactly what he was trying to do, but with the full force and financial backing of the Paizo empire, creating an “official” ruleset for scifi play that his little “Pathfinder compatible” product would never be able to stand up against.

Mind, he was already majorly behind schedule by the time that happened, but it basically sucked all the air out of the room and left him gasping. The project never really recovered from that.

AKA, as another possibility for @LMN8R’s rhetorical “why hasn’t anyone ever done this perfect and obvious solution to technical problem X?” question, perhaps one of the majors in the field is getting ready to do exactly that three minutes after your KS launches :(


I’m willing to take the bad beats. I wouldn’t back stuff at the levels I do if I wasn’t. I’m not whining, I’m not mad. Some projects simply don’t work out and there is clear evidence in advance that creators are making a good faith effort to do all they can.

That’s not what happened with Ossic. They burned $3m plus while posting positive updates along the way. They didn’t budget for production and those dollars all went to the top end of the project. They ate fat for years then said “sorry, not sorry. Fuck off”


I’ve backed maybe a dozen things if that. Probably less.

The only one I can remember now is 7 Continents. I have a pristine copy in England. Might sell it.


Dead Matter - zombie shooter which got delayed for a year, (supposedly backer alpha in Dec) has produced a “Teaser Trailer”:


I’ve backed a number of things and all but one were fully realized. The one ‘failure’ was Robotech RPG Tactics which successfully delivered about half of the minis they promised before announcing failure earlier this year due to loss of license. This one has mildly ticked me off because:

  • The project claimed to only need $70k to fund but wound up collecting nearly $1.5M
  • The creators split the game into two ‘waves’ and after delivering the first, they then proceeded to string along backers for 3 years before capitulating
  • As near as I can tell, one of the biggest reasons for the failure was a dramatic over-production of the first ‘wave’ box set. Rather than the initial funding being used against Kickstarter deliverables, it was clearly used to fund a production run numbering into the tens of thousands – which subsequently failed to sell at retail. So the creator rolled the dice to get rich rather than meeting his obligations.


Yeah, that project was kind of a shitshow. Here’s the thing: Palladium is infamously poorly run and struggles just to run their RPG business. They have zero previous experience with miniatures games. So those are red flags right there. They did at least realize that, having zero experience with miniatures games, they could use help from people who do minis professionally…but they contracted Ninja Division. And that wasn’t really a red flag at the time, I don’t think, but since then they have apparently had no end of problems and unprofessionalism laid at their doorstep so, y’know, probably not a great choice there either. And then that relationship dissolved (and while it’s probably impossible to tell exactly whose fault what was, it seems like Palladium and especially Kevin Siembieda, who owns Palladium, have a lot of fault they’ve tried to offload onto Ninja Division). So, yeah.

I’m actually kind of amazed they shipped anything.


I’ve never been a fan of Siembieda, but a chance to have some cool Robotech minis convinced me to ignore my misgivings and back it anyway.

In hindsight the red flags are copious, but at the time of the Kickstarter they sold it very effectively as a completed product that just needed manufacturing funds. I don’t doubt that Ninja Division dropped the ball on a few things, but regardless of how severe those ball droppings were, they don’t hold a candle to the crap that Palladium proceeded to pull over the next five years.

The business about using Kickstarter funds to dramatically over-produce wave one content for them to subsequently flip is what annoys me the most.


Oh, backed that! Looking forward to trying it.


I thought hard about backing Robotech but decided against it at the last minute. The minis seemed to be a huge pain to put together, etc, so I definitely lucked out. The concept as a whole looked amazing though. Would love to put together some destroids someday though.


Jeff Vogel (owner and primary operational member of Spiderweb Software) was talking about maybe doing a Kickstarter for their next new RPG franchise and lo and behold, here it is:

I was kinda hoping for something a little wilder and weirder (your Geneforges or even Nethergate, though that game didn’t do well enough for a sequel, much less a spiritual successor), but regardless, for Spiderweb I am there day one with bells on.


That Scroll of Absolution is a pretty great idea for a backer reward, methinks.


Queen’s Wish made it’s funding already, which is great to see.


I slowed down in my Kickstarter backing but I somehow still have a big list that I’m currently waiting on:

Kitchen Rush - Piece of Cake - looked like a fun game that I could play with my girls in a year or two
Fireball Island - never played the original but looks like a fun family game, especially with the marbles!
Unbroken - solo game for me
Sweet Mess - err, another fun good game to play with the girls when they’re ready
Deadwood 1876 - hoping this will work out in our very small game group
Chronicles of Crime - one to play with my wife since she really liked Sherlock Holmes
The Little Game Master - a kid RPG storybook, to try and increase nerd factor on our girls
Tiny Epic Zombies - I really enjoy the few games of this series that I have
Masque of the Red Death - looked like a fun game that my wife would play w/ our group
D-Day Dice: 2nd Ed - probably more for solo play
Root - looked like a fun game that the girls might like at some point
Too Many Bones: Undertow - I really like the original so wanted more
The 7th Continent: What Goes Up, etc - playing the original game w/ my wife right now
The Networks: Executives - the base game went over really well w/ our group
Reaper Minis 4 - lots of minis for cheap, we backed the 3rd one too
Founders of Gloomhaven - backed mostly to keep supporting him
Diceborn Heroes - looked like a really fun dice co-op game
Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5 - I went nuts on the original but scaled back a bit for this, still love the design
The Ninth World - older one, will probably just sell it when it comes as I’m not as interested now

Whew, quite a list still. I’ve cut back to only checking once or so a month to see if there’s anything really neat that I’m missing.


I try really hard not to browse Kickstarter. Just backing new projects from people I have already supported tends to mean 2-3 backed projects a month and I have threads like this to tempt me further. I don’t need the pure straight-to-vein hit of the main site.


Yeah, even if I go browse through my list of Kickstarted items I have to be careful not to look at their recommendations of things I might be interested in, because I probably would be.