Steve Jackson's Ogre Kickstarter - "A lot of win and a lot of fail."

In his own words in the annual Steve Jackson Games stakeholder report.

In the following months, like many other popular Kickstarter projects (not that that’s an excuse), we found that we had not planned for enough success. In retrospect, the enormity of the printing job absolutely ensured that unexpected things would happen. In fact, several did, the latest and most frustrating being a series of errors in creating the plastic counter trays. That wasn’t supposed to be the hard part! Because we are testing and re-testing at every stage, a lot of problems have been caught and fixed. We only hope that we are catching them all, because this will be an amazing project when it comes out, and we want it to be as near perfect as possible.

Additionally, Steve Jackson talks about the success of bringing Munchkin to Target and a re-skinned version of Zombie Dice, called Trophy Buck, in Walmart.

The Zombie Dice to Trophy Buck strategy even got an article in the PA Report.

This sort of thing is popular in mainstream board games, and I’ve lost count of the variations of Operation I’ve seen on the shelves of toy stores, but hunting, zombies, and dinosaurs are themes, not properties. There are no licensing fees. No need to create a new game. Just a way of getting that same game into the hands of players who may not be interested in walking into a comic book or game store and picking up a package with a zombie on it.
It’s also interesting how much a simple change of aesthetics completely messes with the feel of the game. In Zombie Dice you were a zombie trying to avoid shotguns and eating brains. You could tell each other little stories about what happened in each roll; there was a metagame in there if you wanted to find it. In Trophy Buck you’re a hunter trying to shoot deer while avoiding spooking your prey. The game is exactly the same, but the movie playing in your head is completely different.

That was an awesome link, thanks a ton for pointing it out to us. I’m going to plow through the prior years tonight; that’s some good reading!

Steve Jackson’s annual reports are always interesting reads. And I can’t wait for OGRE to finally be released though I do want them to take the time to make it as near to perfect as possible. I’ve still got my older copy to play with in the meantime.

I supported the Ogre Kickstarter. Although I am annoyed that they are running almost 10 months behind, I have been pretty pleased with the level of communication that they have provided. The correctly identified the risks a fair time ahead, and pretty much every single one of those risks came to fruition.

It’s a pretty good example of how telling your customers what the hell is going wrong (even if it’s your fault) as it happens can buy you some goodwill… as opposed to trying to cover it up and having it come out later anyway.

Amen, Tin Wisdom. While I’ve been quite familiar with SJGames all the way back to the Hacker era (which buys them a little extra goodwill from me), the communication has been clear and I’ve been pretty much okay with it all even though it is well delayed.

I’m a little bitter about SJG biting off way, way more than they could chew (some bitterness self-directed by my backing the KS even when realizing that SJG has never, ever done a big box game … ever) – but the thoughts of a box of game that weighs as much as a bag of kitty litter showing up at my door one day takes some of the sting away.

I suffered through the ‘Glory to Rome’ kickstarter so I’m not feeling very bitter. Like Scharmers, I feel the size of the box will mitigate its delay.

SJG needs to hurry the fuck up with Ogre so they can get to work on Car Wars.

I’ve gotten physical rewards from maybe five Kickstarters. I’ve backed well over 100 at this point (since February of last year). Only a couple more of those Kickstarters have released their digital product. Given that, OGRE’s delays don’t seem particularly exceptional, and unlike some of those projects, I know exactly where Ogre stands and can rely on it arriving eventually. (Now, granted, I haven’t backed for physical rewards very often, a lot of the videogame projects have been in early development at best, and I’ve gotten PDFs from most of the RPG kickstarters, though many of them are pre-release non-final versions. So I don’t feel like I’m wasting my money, either. The only one of my backed projects that’s clearly in “disaster” territory is Haunts, which at this point seems a dubious proposition for release even as an open sourced community version.)


I wish I could get excited about that much cardboard. That much plastic? Shit, yeah, I’d have been all over a version with plastic minis. Unfortunately, while I think the improved counter art is nifty, and I have a lot of fond memories of the game, I found the cardboard minis unabashedly ugly. The 3D aspect wasn’t enough to get away from how crude they look in the photos.

I’m still glad the Kickstarter happened, since it got Steve Jackson thinking about something other than Munchkin.

I got my Car Wars t-shirt. Now I want this:

$300,000 - GOAL ACHIEVED! We are now committed to releasing an Ogre computer game, for some platform or platforms, by the end of 2014. It might very well be a lot sooner. This is totally separate from the record sheet app, which will be free and come out before the boardgame ships. This is not an addition to any current reward levels - this is just something that your support and feedback has convinced us to do.

That goal was the best part of the kickstarter. I had the original computer version, and it was pretty good.

The goodies that came with the Origin OGRE game were awesome. I had the “Radiation Detection” badge until a few years ago. That means close to 20 years :)

Speaking of SJG, have you seen their PDF stuff lately? ( I didn’t know they were reprinting ADG stuff (like the old Battlewagons game… good lord I played that a teenager back in '85) and other fairly neat stuff as well, like the 1990 version of basic Car Wars. A little pricey, though.

How the hell did they end up with all that Task Force Games stuff? And isn’t the Commander’s Edition of SFB outdated? I have that, but I vaguely recall they went through another revision after I stopped playing.

The Commander’s Edition is the old-school, OCD SFB.

Federation Commander is the “streamlined”, less OCD SFB that ADB fired up in 2005. I have a copy of FC: Klingon Border and it’s not bad. It’s still SFB, but less painful.

If you want to annoy an SFB grog, just let them know that FC is the “new version of SFB”. There will be spluttering and throbbing neck veins.

I had it for the C-64. I still have the rad badge, but all of the stick on dots are bright red now. I must have gotten a massive radiation dose somewhere. Anyway, I never intended to buy a $100 game that nobody would play with me. But I am all for a PC version of the game. Or an iPhone version.

Oooh, you and your “rationality.” I didn’t need a reason to buy 5 sets of translucent polyhedra dice in colors from blue to red. It’s not like I’ve played a face-to-face RPG in decades. I didn’t need a reason to buy two (2!) sets of the Reaper miniature kickstarter. I wanted those things, and so I bought!

I dunno, they look good to me:

And that’s with EXTRA units (the “sponsored sheets”)! So… many… units… Pogue Mahone, are you still receiving around here? Looks like we might actually make a Qt3 OGRE situation happen someday!

Hell yes man! I am trying to temper my stokedness since it’s still kind of far away but I am pretty fired up to play some cybernetic nuclear-armed tank warfare!