It’s nice to see that after a summer break, the numbers for Kickstarter campaigns are right back where they should be. That, plus the reported rise in overall funding total, says that KS is in a healthy place, despite the end of the world.
Or maybe because of it.
Speaking of money, the Wymwood gaming tables are currently at over $7m, which I find a little bogglesome. This is vastly more than any of their previous campaigns, though their consistent slick productions over the years make this feel like it was all building towards where they are now. I have zero interest in their offerings, but hats off to them for a massively popular campaign. What is of interest to me is that they may be on track for taking the crown off Frosthaven within a few months of the coronation. It’s harder because they’re making handmade stuff and the amount this slows them down by is hard to gauge. Possible though. Watch this space.
Alongside this unstoppable juggernaut, it’s worth noting that there are tiny projects like Moon and Stars. This is ostensibly the sort of thing that Kickstarter was designed to support in the first place, and I do enjoy watching them. Sadly, it’s not a game I’m particularly taken by, though I should note that it’s the gameplay rather than the aesthetic that puts me off. Happily, he has found enough of an audience to fund it without me.
Another smaller project that has yet to find enough of an audience is one of two that I’m currently backing: Final Act II.
What I like about this is a couple of things. Firstly, I do rather like the handmade toy vibe to it. It looks like they’ve put a lot of care and thought into the presentation and it has a smidge of nostalgia for me even though I’ve never played it. Nicely done.
Secondly, having watched Marco’s excellent review of it, I can see a very clear audience and definitely imagine playing it. The toy-like quality of the pieces acts as a perfect Trojan Horse to sneak this one onto the table with people who would balk at accurately rendered tanks. And, once so snuck, you can play a game which masquerades as a trivial piece of family fun whilst actually having some serious tactics puzzle inside. Sure, it’s no Drang Nach Osten, but not every game can or needs to be. This offers me a chance to play a game with a friend who might not be up for playing something more obviously wargamey, and allows us both to enjoy a middle ground.
Finally, the mechanic that most caught my eye this week is in a Japanese game called Izayoi. The sweet touch to a simple game about influence is in having each player paired with a master, and then penalising players for embarrassing their masters by doing better than them. Very Japanese, and a lovely touch. I can see that making a very interesting game. That’s why it’s the second one I’m backing.