What Has Kickstarter Ever Done For Us?

What have the RomansWith DeadZone live on Kickstarter I’m dealing with a lot more KS comments than usual and reading a lot more forums about it. Well, Deadzone plus pledging on a couple myself recently.

One thing I came across this morning was a comment that said, in essence, that Mantic was too big to need Kickstarter. On the face of it that might sound reasonable, but I think it falls apart when you look closer. Of course, I do freelance work for Mantic so you might think me biased. On the other hand my thinking applies to everyone, not just them. Even GW 😉

I’ll give you an example as illustration of what KS does. Mantic’s Goblin army release was 1 plastic tool and a bunch of metal releases. That was without Kickstarter. Their Kings of War Kickstarter campaign funded 22 new tools. Notice any difference? For Mantic customers this is great because they get a bucketload of models at very good prices. This is what people usually focus on. However, equally importantly, the funding means that the models get done years ahead of when they would have been made, if they would have ever been made at all. Partly this is a question of cash to pay for the tools up front, but crucially it also takes away the risk. A company that would have had to take a punt and hope that the tool was going to sell can find out in advance if it’s popular enough through Kickstarter. If nobody backs the campaign then you need to think again. That’s what happened to Gates of Antares – they started well and then began to lose money and backers so they cancelled it. I’m sure it will come back later when they’ve thought about what went wrong. And that’s a good thing. If we assume their £300K funding level was right they might have been in a bit of a mess if they’d spent that on their own and then got little support and sold only a third of what they needed to to even get their money back, never mind a profit.

With one-man-band operations this is where you hear of people losing their houses. They take out a second mortgage, convinced they have the next Monopoly, Settlers or whatever only to find out that the market disagrees. Kickstarter allows them to find out without having to live in a cardboard box by the canal if they’re wrong.

This principle applies to larger companies as well as one-man-bands, just on a bigger scale. I recently pledged on a new edition of the brilliant Uncle stories. He wanted just £7K and got lots more. That worked out very well for him and he’s ecstatic. Going back to Gates of Antares for a moment, their costs were vastly higher, so that amount of money is not going to let them do anything. They actually had £100K pledged, but that was only a third of their target…

So I don’t think that size of company has anything to do with it. There is always a level of risk for a self-funded project, and the proportional damage this could do if it fails to come off is just as bad.

For the customer, the flip side of all this is that they get to see projects which would probably not have been attempted at all, certainly not in the form they will now get them.  Overall, I’d say that KS means three things:

  1. More cool stuff gets made that would otherwise have happened. Things like Secret Weapon plastic terrain boards are the sort of thing that might fit in here. Was Mr Justin ever going to fund them out of his own pocket? He made a brilliant start, but all of it? Seems unlikely, and if he did then we’re still looking at number 3 and possibly 2 as well.
  2. What gets made can be done with a higher spec than if it was self funded. This is reflected in the quality upgrades you get during a KS campaign. Not just the quantity, but also sometimes the quality of components can be improved. For example, my Uncle books will be on higher quality art paper than originally specced because the KS did well. Usually this improved quality is reflected in any eventual trade launch too, so it’s also good for those who don’t pledge.
  3. Stuff that does get made can be done faster. I pledged for the very handsome looking Heroes of Normandie and I’d be amazed if they could have produced all the stuff they are now going to get to us in the next 6 months within 2-3 years without KS.

So, products you’d never have seen with better quality components and lots of free goodies in less time than otherwise possible – and all from companies that are (thanks to KS) more secure and can go on making the toys you want for longer.

Is any company too big to benefit from KS?

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58 Responses to What Has Kickstarter Ever Done For Us?

  1. G says:

    I’m inclined to agree and I said pretty much the same thing in my mention of the DZ KS on FSOG the other day. Ultimately, I think this is the age old ‘you can’t please all of the people all of the time’ adage in action. Or more accurately, some people will complain whatever you do or don’t do.

    Myself, based on what you told me about it, and the kick-ass models you had on display at Salute, I poppped my kickstarter cherry and pledged for an early bird recon set. And having never been involved in (or ever really having understood) kickstarter before, I am getting pleasantly caught up in al the excitement as I watch each goal get reached and see all the extra goodies that I am going to be able to look forward to. 🙂

    • Quirkworthy says:

      A question for you. Having seen the Enforcer captain in person at Salute, do you think that the photos do him justice? I’ve seen a few comments that people don’t like him, which I find surprising. Obviously tastes differ, I’m just wondering if he’s just not photogenic.

      What do you think?

      • G says:

        I’ll be honest – I fell in love with that mini in particular at Salute (him and the big Strain fella anyways) but I did look at the pics on the KS website of him and went ‘hmmm – doesn’t look quite as I remember’. Not sure if the pose has been altered from what I saw at Salute (can’t see how, as I assume it’s the same mini) Looking at the pics I took, I think its an angle thing – if you have a picture of him from the kind of half profile angle that the KS has, it doesn’t give the full effect of the pose, nor the level of detail in the miniature 🙂

        That said, they got the perfect angle of the stage 1 Strain – that guy looks amazing 🙂

        • Quirkworthy says:

          To my knowledge, there is only one painted Enforcer Captain, so yes its the same figure.

        • That´s a problem that often arises with Mantic minis (but also with other minis sometimes) that the picture or paint job does not do them justice. But even GW does have that problem that some minis look butt-ugly from one angle but fine from another. Mentic needs to improve pictures and paint-jobs sometime up the road. Hopefully the KS money does help also in this department.

  2. There was a shift many years ago in the video game market wherein the highest point of anticipation for a game wasn’t when it was released. But a few months before it actually shipped. I wonder if kickstarter is shifting the board game niche in a similar way. As the aforementioned one man band type, yeah. The KDM project would not have been possible without kickstarter. I would have been able to continue releasing the more boutique resin figures and slowly plodding along, but scale would always have been out of my reach.

    It’s an amazing time to be a miniature fan right now tho. I just wish I had time to play everything.

  3. sho3box says:

    The approach taken with running a Kickstarter is a very big factor that blurs the line between good product and successful Kickstarter. The Antarres Kickstarter failed in my opinion because they made a complete balls of running it – they basically just let it sit there and waited for money to rill in. Similarly, who knows how much Mongoose could have made from the Rogue Trooper KS if they had run that Kickstarter like Mantic run theirs?

    Maximum manufacturing capacity, staffing levels all sorts of other bean counting issues factor in behind the scenes of course, but nonetheless I am regularly stunned at how ham fisted the approach taken by some Kickstarters is. Antarres “Just give us £300k and we will get back to you” approach displayed a shocking lack of research into how successful Kickstarters work. It certainly wouldnt fill me with confidence about how they would spend any money that they might get in future.

    Although Mantic is smaller than Reaper and probably smaller than CMON, the company has watched how those companies ran their record breaking Kickstarters and learned from them. I wish Mantic every success with Deadzone in part at least because they are showing some sort of business savvy and giving the customer what they want, whether its miniatures and rules, or less tangible, but just as desired things like regular updates or a feeling of involvement. The Antarres Kickstarter was insulting.

    Considering the glut of miniatures Kickstarters these days, its telling that Mantic have managed to stand out from the crowd and have such a good start with Deadzone. I hope that it continues. I dont begrudge them the use of the KS platform in the slightest, considering that they are using it so well.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Thanks sho3box. I think that you’re right about different companies using KS very differently. It’s a learning curve, like everything else in business, and it looks a great deal easier than it really is. The guys at Mantic put in an enormous amount of work behind the scenes, and though they don’t get it all right they critique their own mistakes and try their best to do better next time. They also listen to the comments, and boy are there comments. Everyone is really excited and there have been (checks site…) 2,400+ comments in less than 3 days. All have been read and replied to as appropriate. Busy? You betcha!

      • Ben says:

        The kindest thing you could say about the GoA KS was that it was naive. And I don’t say that with the benefit of hindsight as it was obvious from day one it was going to fail. I’m not sure I’d then make the leap that I wouldn’t trust DSC with the game as the people involved at least have a track record for producing rules and miniatures. I’m not sure I could fault their marketing either. They got out in front of it, everyone knew when it was going to start, they sent out regular updates, were highly active on the KS pages and the DSC forums, and they did loads of interviews all over the internet. They just didn’t understand how to raise money on KS.

        • sho3box says:

          There were many problems with the GoA KS, but you are of course correct, they did do a few things right. “Naive” does sum it up, in an understated, sympathetic sort of way 😉

          Its not really that I would fear that the people associated with that project would abscond with the loot or anything, its just that rightly or wrongly, the naivety inherent in their underpants gnomes approach to Kickstarter didnt fill me with confidence that their other business decisions would be dealt with well, despite their industry experience. It gave me a these-guys-are-disconcertingly-out-of-touch feeling.

          It was peculiar to see a project with creative weight and decent promotion behind it publicly falling at the first, very basic hurdle. As you say, it was immediately apparent that the GoA KS would fail. After the Fantacide KS (featuring a lot of the same folk) being a damp squib too, its mind boggling to me that the GoA effort wasnt planned better. Weird.

        • Ben says:

          I think if nothing else it demonstrates that marketing a successful KS campaign is a separate skill from running a successful minis company (which Warlord seems to be). CMoN and Mantic seem to have it down pat and no-one should ever fail on the scale of GoA again given the example DSC have set.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          People will though. Those humans never learn.

        • And especially among TT-companies there are many that repeat mistakes of others as many dead companies prove.

          But I have to disagree it wasn´t obvious from day one that GoA would fail. Maybe after the slow news after two weeks, but only then. Their approach was naive, but it was also quite a new one and at least they tried it out and now we know better. You have to take risks, even with KS and you might fail, but with KS the landing is softer.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          My initial assumption was that they would succeed. It was only after their initial buzz faded, the campaign faded and they clearly couldn’t get it back on track that I became fixated by watching Kicktraq. When they’d been losing money for days it was clear that something dramatic had to happen. Pulling it made sense. They can always try again.

        • Ben says:

          This is a verbatim forum post I wrote on the day of the GoA KS launch –

          “The most successful Kickstarters tend to be ones that start out with modest targets that are easily achievable and build up to the actual amount they need by adding stretch goals. It makes the initial goal easily achievable and generates momentum and interest as more and more stuff is added over the course of the campaign. Starting out with a target that big and relying on a large number of backers to come in and slowly eke their way to it is very likely to fail. Had Rick’s name not been on this there’s no way it’d get anywhere close to it. Throw in the fact that they’ve commited another KS cardinal sin, having no actual product yet, then the project seems doomed. I hope I’m wrong, I’d like to see Rick get his new game launched properly, but this might turn out to be the project that flopped on KS which could make it a toxic brand even if it does eventually get released. ”

          The amount of money they wanted just to hit the initial funding goal would have made it the second most successful minis-game KS launch after Relic Knights, and comfortably in the top ten of any minis-related KS. A close look at how all of those other big minis KS succeeded would have shown this couldn’t possibly succeed. The one bright spot is that there does still seem to be goodwill towards the project and if DSC take the time to build it properly it can still succeed.

  4. Ben says:

    I’m an enthusiastic supporter of what crowdfunding can do for the gaming industry and have written lengthy defences/rebuttals of accusations that it either kills local gaming stores or is a glorified pre-order system. Like any investment tool it needs to be used correctly, project proposals need to well developed in advance, funding goals need to be realistic in terms what the market will bear, and the funds raised need to adequately cover the costs of the fundraiser and the project. If all three of those boxes are ticked then crowdfunding will definitively demonstrate whether a project has a market and will allow many that do to come to fruition when they otherwise would not, would have done so in a reduced form, or would have taken much longer.

    I think anyone who believes Mantic is too big for KS not only underestimates what crowdfunding can do but likely also overestimates how large a company Mantic is. I was at the very first Mantic open day back in late-2009 when the Mantic staff outnumbered the customers, by which I mean me and a friend I dragged down with me, and their product consisted of a few elf sprues and some undead three-ups. It’s incredible to see how far Mantic have grown since then, and a great testament to them, but they’re still very much a growing company. More to the point, they’ve been able to accelerate their growth by several years thanks to the KoW and DB campaigns.

    I don’t see GW going to KS anytime soon as they’re a company who very much likes to do everything in-house. If they did then could benefit from it though unless they needed to make some radical changes to their production methods I don’t think they’d need to go onto KS to get projects off the ground. It’s best use for them might to take control of the direct market that they’ve surrendered to online discount retailers. Each move they make to claw that ground back mainly serves just to generate negative publicity for them. A KS campaign that offered a new 40K army at a discount (yet still generated them more income as there’s no middleman) would likely acheive this and generate goodwill instead of vitriol.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I think it would be fascinating to watch GW try KS. I agree that I think they could do themselves a lot of good with it, if handled correctly. Don’t expect to see it though. Not anytime soon.

      • Sami Mahmoud says:

        If GW were to use KS then the most appropriate thing would be niche/nostalgia stuff that they aren’t confident will get a return on general sale eg Genestealer Hybrids and such like. Alternatively they could use it to fund replacing “mainstream” finecast/metal/hybrid units with full plastic sets or core sprues showing their age (High Elves I’m looking at you) – units that non-public companies can choose to bring to market even if they won’t blow the doors off, but GW can’t because they think it will be (too far) below their average gross margin/damage other investor metrics.

        Another alternative would be to relaunch specialist games (I read they got their last rites today, though I didn’t check myself) through a similar method to Deadzone ie Core Rulebook + 2 faction starter box and stretch goals for more races, or further KS for supplement + more races (like Hell Dorado Inferno).

        Another (general) use of KS might be to restock a game/supplement etc where demand is uncertain. This stops a company being left holding the baby if their last run satisfied most of the demand in the market.

        • Ben says:

          I don’t think lack of resources is the issue that prevents GW pursuing projects like this. If GW wanted to relaunch their specialist games they could do so. Likewise they could reintroduce old products for collectors or re-sculpt old minis if they wanted to. They don’t because it doesn’t make good business sense for them. I stand to be corrected by anyone with a better knowledge of the business decisions GW makes but I believe these to be issues related to the dollar ratio of input/output. GW policy is to maximise this to the Nth degree. Specialist games and oop product hinders their maxmisation.

          GW do not want anyone to be faced with the choice of buying a specialist game or Dark Vengeance. They want you to buy Dark Vengeance. They don’t wany anyone to be faced with the choice of buying some “classic” Space Marines or the current Ultramarine battle box. They want you to buy the current Ultramarine battlebox. Any diverted resources to these other projects, even if they turn a profit or (re-)attract customers, only hinder their core business and prevent them from maximising output.

          Re-scultping old minis for current use is a little different as that doesn’t hinder their current product lines. Nor will it generate them much revenue, even with the KS, compared to what they could direct those resources (concept artists, sculptors, packaging, marketing, release schedule space, etc.) to.

          At least that’s how I sees it.

        • Graeme says:

          Specialist games still seem to be alive (or at least, undead).

          Here’s the BFG stuff, for example.

          http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?catId=cat480005a&categoryId=6700003a&section=&aId=21500018a

      • Hipcat says:

        I agree with Ben’s comment about KS redirecting GW’s potential revenues away from core. Another reason for GW not to consider KS is the lack of control over crowd opinion and comment. This seems to be VERY managed currently, with little deviation from the corporate line. Allowing gamers and hobbyists to make constructive criticism in a crowd-sourced model? Not really GW’s style.

  5. G says:

    Then the Enforcer Captain looks gorgeous, but the people at Mantic maybe need to hire a different photographer 😉

  6. Gareth says:

    Do you think that a large amount of established companies using KS, could lead to the decline of “start up” companies?

    I have been pondering lately the effect that campaigns like Kingdom Death and Reaper will have on the perspective of the consumer. Personally, the more polished a project appears, the more likely I am to be interested in it. It is my first response (whether good or bad 🙂 ) If we see many projects from companies that have ready access to concept artists, sculptors, etc, then that could affect the true start ups…

    • Gareth says:

      I forgot to add… In addition to polished, the amount of freebies that are offered also has a large effect. Are new companies again at a disadvantage here?

    • Ben says:

      That implies that Kingdom Death never was a start-up company themselves. If Adam reads this I’m sure he can give precise information but I believe there were several years between the first KD and the KDM KS.

      KS has never been suitable for “start-up” gaming companies to raise more than a moderate amount and those companies still can. The larger amounts have always and will always go to companies with a well-developed product.

      • Ben says:

        *between the first KD mini and the KDM KS

      • Gareth says:

        Yeah, I am not sure on the details, I just mentioned KD:M as it was a large product with I think, some great bonuses for free minis? It also seemed quite polished in its presentation. Good point about it being a start-up company itself.

        It is just an idle thought for the possible future. Since people have a finite amount of money, I just wondered if the money might go to the established companies and we may see less and less (as time goes on), going to brand new companies as they do not offer the same excitement or “bang for your buck” that an established company is able to offer. Sometimes I feel like Kickstarter is becoming the new Groupon. 🙂 Whether that is a bad thing or a good thing, I don’t know. I guess it depends on what you think Kickstarter should be for. Although, considering it is a system governed by consumers, it will develop into what the greater majority wants anyway.

        • Ben says:

          It’d be interesting to see the amounts raised by mini-gaming crowdfunders pre- and post-Zombicide. Only Dark Potential seemed to raise a large amount of money as “start-up” and even that didn’t reach six figures. Most of the rest didn’t get out of five figures, if they even made that.

          I suspect the increase in crowdfunders probably makes it more difficult for the larger companies than the smaller ones. There’s an audience been created for these big budget gaming KS that didn’t exist a year ago. A few companies had it to themselves initially but now more and more are getting in on it and creating more competition. The people who would have backed a start-up in the past still will and it might even be the case that people who were introduced to crowdfunding only by the big campaigns will start picking up on some of the smaller ones too.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I think the smaller companies will do fine if they want a smaller amount of money. The ones I mentioned above we’re all very happy to have an amount of money that have them the wherewithal to do what they wanted. Without the marketing experience and resources to push their product far and wide, a smaller company is likely to struggle simply because fewer people will find it. Struggle, that is, If they decide they need a huge sum.

          Uncle raised over 400% and Heroes of Normandie over 500% of their funding targets. Not bad for a smaller enterprise.

      • Kingdom Death started as a very humble side project, with plans for about 12 miniatures total. I was very pleased to keep it small and make manageable releases every few months while minting my full time job. It’s a bit ironic that I left my “start up” job to focus on Kingdom Death full time about two years ago. I did not plan on using kickstarter to fund the board game until after the original zombcide campaign, wherein dozens of emails would flood my inbox everyday from fans.

        I’d get emails like, “hey, have you heard about kickstarter?”

        Planning for the kickstarter took about 4 months and it was an intense amount of work. Including lining up art assets, managing sculptors, writing the script for the video, shooting the video and getting designs up to snuff for showing the public. My background before all of this, was as a graphic designer and I think my presentation level is pretty good. (It’s not perfect and I’d love to get better at it.) I think sometimes the project gives the impression of it being much larger then it is, but really its just myself, a rotating cast of artists and a very supportive lady whom is great at keeping me organized! ( also coding, she wrote our pledge manager, while I designed it )

        The team has grown a little since the kickstarter, but not much. It’s very hard to introduce new people into such an intimate process and I found it was taking much longer getting people up to speed then just doing the work myself.

        The other very real “reality” is that after costs, shipping and taxes. The amount left over is looking like… about my salary if I had kept my full time job for the last two years! HA!

  7. Gareth says:

    That’s a good point, perhaps the larger project will serve as a gateway to the smaller projects. More difficult for the larger companies… I hadn’t thought of it that way, interesting!

    Would you consider Arena Rex as a “start up”? (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1596689756/arena-rex-gladiator-combat-in-a-mythic-age-0) I was surprised at the amount it made. So perhaps it is a good indication that more and more people will become involved with “start-ups”. Then again, it could just be the snazzy art. 😀

    • Quirkworthy says:

      The models looked good too and the game was slickly presented. The whole thing was slickly done and graphically appealing, to be fair. I wasn’t surprised that it did so well.

  8. Ben says:

    As far as I’m aware this is their first product and nor are they backed by a larger company so they would seem like a start-up. I suspect if they’d launched this 18 months ago they’d have raised a fraction of the amount.

  9. Jake, good post. What I wonder about with KS is how this changes the product cycle and if that’s good for games.

    Most games take years to build a fan base and grow (ie Infinity, W40K, WHFB, Warmachine, etc). Doing this lets the game steadily evolve around a fairly strict release schedule. With KS, you are getting games to come out fully baked and in some cases and a year or two of releases in the hopper (look at your own Dreadball).

    I wonder if we are going to see a KS backlash at some point because there is too much stuff that nobody uses, the games are not as strong, or there is little innovation or need (I think terrain KS’s are good examples of this where you only need to get ship corridors once or a board to play on).
    Essentially, KS asks you give a lot of money upfront with a lot of reward but what we haven’t seen is if consumers will really want it that way once they start getting all their goodies.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I look at DreadBall all the time, believe me. Season 3 at the moment. But I digress…

      The problem of having too many games to play is one I have always had. Buying them is the easiest part of the process. Painting the models (if it’s a miniatures game) and finding the time to play have always been much harder. So no, I don’t think KS is causing a real issue that we haven’t seen before.

      Your idea about only needing one of things assumes a couple of things. One that the audience remains static. The other that gamers are not magpies. Both seem unlikely to be true. On the one hand the audience cycles, with some people seeing one batch of KS and an overlapping but somewhat different group seeing the next. Companies market to slightly different demographics and in different venues. People who missed one may be more inclined to look for the next. You get the idea.

      The other hand is gamers being very likely to buy many of the same kind of thing. Most of the gamers I know have a favourite period or type of game and have multiple variants around that theme. I used to collect Ancient Greek naval warfare rules, a friend had dozens of ACW board games, another had half a dozen dungeon crawls, etc. I think the market has room yet.

      Didn’t we talk about this the other day?

      • Well there will be a KS-crash quite soon, but in my opinion it will hit mostly the half-baked approaches to KS. Companies that do fine right now will not be hurt that much, but companies with virtually no reputation will have a harder time getting money. So, new companies starting on KS need to polish up their representations.

        In the end this will be quite good for us gamers.

  10. grantdyck says:

    I would like everyone to check out this one. Seems like some kid, and only £111 to make his dream come true. Why not?

    I have nothing to do with this one. Think of it as a throwaway!

  11. James D says:

    I wonder how much KS helps as just an advertisement, too. There are products I wouldn’t have looked closely at that I follow in KS just to see how they do. I may not jump on the bandwagon and buy them now, but I am definitely aware of more product and companies because of their KS. I ponder what God of Battles would have looked like as a KS? Would more people have seen the release? Could a starter set for a each particular faction have garnered more interest in a very good ruleset?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I’ll assume that wasn’t a typo and say thanks 😉

      GoB as a KS would have been nice. Can’t see Foundry doing one of those for a while though. It would certainly have given it more fanfare than it has had, and that would have been good. KS is a form of advertising as you say.

  12. Zweischneid says:

    You are asking the wrong question.

    Is any company too big to benefit from Kickstarter? No. Noone ever said that.

    Are the benefits big companies draw from Kickstarter at the cost of the smaller Kickstarter-drives?

    Yes (and don’t just take my word for it: http://mashable.com/2013/04/29/has-kickstarter-lost-its-way/)

    Just because the wealthy guy can buy up the entire ice cream van with all its contents to keep himself cool on a hot day, doesn’t mean it isn’t a tragedy that all the pre-school kids will have to go without ice cream.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      “Are the benefits big companies draw from Kickstarter at the cost of the smaller Kickstarter-drives?”

      Well that blogger thinks so, but KS say not. Their view is that the big splashes attract people to KS who then go on to fund other things. I know that’s what happened with me. I started looking at one thing and drifted into pledging for others. The bigger the thing that attracts, the more people look so the larger the audience there is for everyone. I think the issue here is about the search engine within KS itself and whether they give equal prominence to small projects.

      Another issue is that the less professional ones can be mistaken for jokes. The example listed by grantdyck above is a case in point. Whilst I don’t agree that the mere presence of a large project is a bad thing as such,. I can see that their presence will raise standards and expectations so that very small projects may struggle to look good. But if they only want a handful of dollars…

      • Ben says:

        I read that blog assuming we’d get some stats about the decline in funds towards “smaller” projects. Instead we didn’t even get so much as a circumstantial single project failing. My (circumstantial) experience is that gaming projects across the board raise more money now than they did 12 months ago, considerably more so.

  13. Peter says:

    A very well written blog post… It was a pleasure to read and you showed very nicely how Kickstarter is a great thing for everyone…. Thanks 🙂

  14. OldNick says:

    I actually think mantic have got the idea, pardon the pun, right on the money. I’d perhaps go a step further and suggest that as long as mantic use kickstarter to fund and launch their products it’ll ‘keep them honest’ and encourage confidence in their customer base.

    If you look at the alternative (and I’ll be frank here) GW should be paying close attention to the effect that KS is having on their industry. The GW policy of keeping the precious hidden from everyone until THEY are ready just doesnt promote interest. People want to know what they can expect in a release and budget in advance. Funding aside this is where KS gives added benefit by enabling a seller to tell people what they can expect to get from their investment, this in turn also means that to get funding a seller has got to get the pitch right and this means commitment to future releases when talking about wargames.

    To coin the phrase, size doesnt matter. If youve got a nice concept then let the pubters decide whether you roll into production because, as I’ve mentioned, the alternative is the evil empire of lenton dictating rather than serving.

  15. Stacktrace says:

    I think your points are spot on. I have been becoming a big fan of Kickstarter, the ability to follow along with a project as it is under development, as well as having a sense of ownership is tremendous.

    I have to admit however that while I was initially interested in the new DZ kickstarter by Mantic, I was rather dismayed with the lack of actual information about the game on the kickstarter page itself. Any chance you would (or have and I just missed it) provide any information on how the game plays itself? From the KS page, it just looks like yet another future minis game, no indication on what makes it stand out from the others, and why should I choose it.

    I am also really into modern-future wargames that include or acknowledge the use of weapons fire to suppress the enemy, and would be much more interested in a game that had such mechanics.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Have a look at today’s post then come back. I’ll wait…

      So yes, there will be a playable Alpha set by the weekend so you can have a go yourself. It includes suppression among other things. It’s not called that, but the effect is in.

      Why should you back it? Your choice really. You might like the miniatures, the terrain or the game. In lieu of knowing the rules some folk have said that they backed it just because I am designing it, which is very flattering. But I completely understand if you want to play it first. I tend to do that too. My concern (and the delay) about the rules is because I don’t want people to play the Alpha and decide that it isn’t good enough. It’s an Alpha so of course it isn’t finished yet (see my earlier posts on what I mean by Alpha and why it isn’t a Beta yet). The problem is that people get confused. Anyway, it’s currently being fun for me to play and teach others to do the same, so it’s going up in a few days when it’s had final approval from Ronnie and been laid out all purty.

      • checkmarkgames says:

        Thanks! I look forward to your design theory posts to come. I guess for me, I am more interested in the rules themselves than the miniatures. I do give the fact that the game has been designed by extra weight, as I have really been enjoying Dreadball. So certainly keeping an eye on this game. And regardless, wish you nothing but the best of luck with the project.
        The possibility of a campaign game is also promising, especially if it is similar to the one used in Necromunda, one of my all time favorite games.
        Thanks for the reply, and will keep an eye on your future posts.

  16. Pingback: Do Big Kickstarters Hurt Small Kickstarter?

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