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All Kolossal and Maple Games Kickstarters shut down

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24 Apr 2019 15:58 #296009 by Vysetron
My issue isn't with Kickstarter. I'm on record saying that I think Kickstarter is a net good. The issue is when it's used as a means of generating risk-free capital by large companies time and time again with no regard for the rules or the stated intent of the site. It's evident that customers will buy nice looking objects as long as they're provided and it's their prerogative to do so, but I take serious issue with companies like Kolossal or CMON headbutting the money button every couple weeks.
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24 Apr 2019 16:04 #296011 by fightcitymayor

Space Ghost wrote: I find the entire anti-kickstarter position interesting. At some level, agitating against kickstarter can be seen as advocating for:

- corporate control of artists
- suppression of designers salary, etc.
- inherent limiting of choices, which decreases competition, which slows down board game innovation

You're mischaracterizing much of the anti-KS sentiment, then using that mischaracterization to construct (three) strawmen.

Here's my take: I'm not anti-Kickstarter, I'm pro turning KS into an actually honest platform for actually honest transactions that are presented honestly. I just want to stop being lied to.

FIGHTCITYMAYOR'S FIVE STEPS TO A BETTER KICKSTARTER TOMORROW! (not featuring Chow Yun-Fat, but that would be nice)

STEP 1: CALL IT A FUCKING STORE
KS is a big, bold, bastardly pre-order system where established publishers give me a menu of shit to buy & put a dollar sign by each thing. That is called a store. Let's call it a store. Let's be honest. Let's do that. I don't care if KS breaks off the boardgame portion and starts up its own splinter website ("Boardgamestarter") but stop lying about "crowdfunding." It's lame. And old. And fuck you to the enablers who keep saying "Well, we all know that, don't we?" because that sort of hipster attitude is how we end up with expensive cable companies, shitty healthcare, and Donald Trump.

STEP 2: I DIDN'T SET YOUR STUPID DEADLINES, YOU SET YOUR STUPID DEADLINES
So dear project creators: Live up to your own deadlines, THAT YOU SET. Don't tell me "Fulfilled May 2019" if you aren't 99.9999999999999999999999999999% sure you can deliver. Save us all a lot of fucking irritation and accusations of being scammers. And spare me the whining over someone somewhere not getting something done. It's called Project Management, look into it.

STEP 3: YOU BLEW YOUR OWN DUMB DEADLINE? I GET THE OPTION TO TAKE MY $$$ BACK!
Pretty simple. And more incentive for publishers to get their shit together with the Chinese factories they let run roughshod over them.

STEP 4: BI-WEEKLY UPDATES, YOU'RE DOING THEM
Every schmuck who's ever had a corporate job gets paid every 2 weeks. So, consider that "every two weeks" the day that we (the backers) have paid you, and would like an update for what in the blue hell is going on WITH OUR MONEY. This isn't tough. And once again, incentive for getting your shit together as a creator and making real progress. ("bUt WhAt HaPpEnS iF tHeY jUsT LiE aBoUt StUfF?!?!" Good, then we can identify the scam earlier.)

STEP 5: THE ACTUAL KICKSTARTER PEOPLE MUST GET THEIR HANDS DIRTY ONCE IN A WHILE
As bad as lazy/crooked publishers can be, the realest kick-in-the-ass might be the suits at KS who simply sit back and watch the whole maggot-infested enterprise decay. Because again, we're back to INCENTIVES. If lazy creators have no reason to expect a fire being lit under their fat, pasty ass, then it's no wonder we deal with multi-year delays and completely disinterested customer service. Someone has to start treating CUSTOMERS like CUSTOMERS and not like braindead chattel with more money than brains. And it starts at the top.

So if designers love KS, I say GREAT! Make that paper, boy/girl! Let's have choice! Let's have "creative control!" I am 100% on board for such things. All I ask is that the entire enterprise stop being founded and based on a fundamental lie of "it's crowdfunding!" Because it's not crowdfunding, it's a really shitty store. Put the power where it belongs: With the backers. Unless you're a fascist nincompoop.
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24 Apr 2019 16:34 #296014 by Space Ghost
I know everyone know this, but the simple answer is: don’t give them money.

That sounds like me being a smartass, but I don’t intend it that way. From an outside perspective, this allows consumers what they want in the most efficient way.
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24 Apr 2019 16:42 #296016 by ubarose
Another thing I find interesting is the growth of specialized, professional services for board game production that has grown up around the Kickstarter model. You can now essentially pull together the equivalent of a Fantasy Flight Games type organization on a project by project basis. In addition to the obvious manufacturing and fulfillment companies, we are starting to see the emergence of professional play testers, professional rules editors, professional board game marketing companies, even professional board game social media managers. How long before we start seeing artists form studios, so you can contract out and get art direction, illustration, graphic design, box art and rules layout from one studio.

As much as I love the old one-man-show publishers of the past, if we are honest with ourselves, much of what they published a decade ago doesn't measure up compared to some of what is being produced by today's small publishers utilizing these service companies.
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24 Apr 2019 16:51 #296017 by Space Ghost
I think it is going to continue to become better and better. More targeted, and more efficient. More print runs that are tailored to just the number of backers + some small percentage
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24 Apr 2019 16:52 #296018 by ubarose

Space Ghost wrote: I know everyone know this, but the simple answer is: don’t give them money.

That sounds like me being a smartass, but I don’t intend it that way. From an outside perspective, this allows consumers what they want in the most efficient way.


LOL. I guess I have less of a problem with Kickstarter because I have backed almost nothing. I see it as a pipeline to retail. I let the Kickstarter enthusiasts be the "investors." If something is really good, it will eventually end up being available at retail.
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24 Apr 2019 17:02 - 24 Apr 2019 17:03 #296019 by ubarose

Space Ghost wrote: I think it is going to continue to become better and better. More targeted, and more efficient. More print runs that are tailored to just the number of backers + some small percentage


It's not + some small percentage. For publishers that work with distributors it's number of backers + the distributor commitments. So it is more like #of backers + #of backers X 5.
Last edit: 24 Apr 2019 17:03 by ubarose.

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24 Apr 2019 17:26 #296020 by Space Ghost
Whoa. I had no idea it was that big

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24 Apr 2019 20:47 #296027 by Sagrilarus
The industry is big enough now for specialists in particular skills to earn a fair wage solely doing this instead of moonlighting. That's fine, as long as the music doesn't stop. I can't decide if we're currently in a fad, or if everyone is getting back to normal, when we didn't all play videogames by ourselves in our rooms.

I buy used, so not much of this matters to me. I haven't bought any kickstarter games used, because most of them don't appeal to me. But that's not on Kickstarter. They attract titles that are too big for me, or too small. I'm never happy.

But I'll agree, it's time to call Kickstarter what it is, a pre-pub system. I joke on Reddit by posting links to "kickstarter projects" (small k) that are links to GMT's P500 games. I've been lectured that it's not the same, Kickstarter is supporting and GMT is purchasing. I thank them for clearing that up.
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24 Apr 2019 23:40 #296030 by themothman421

Vysetron wrote: My issue isn't with Kickstarter. I'm on record saying that I think Kickstarter is a net good.


Can I go on record saying it's been a net-negative for the industry? After reflecting on some of the points brought up in this thread I honestly think Kickstarter was a mistake and we'd be better off without it.
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25 Apr 2019 08:45 #296036 by Vysetron
I'd be curious as to why. Companies abusing it doesn't take away from the fact that we've had some genuinely remarkable stuff get made that otherwise wouldn't. It's contributed significantly to the overall increase in game quality that we've seen. Having a crowdfunding option available to small indie publishers is valuable. I just don't like seeing it abused.

It's also worth noting that KS is used as more than just a board game store with really far out shipping dates, but that's not entirely relevant.

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25 Apr 2019 09:49 - 25 Apr 2019 09:51 #296041 by Sagrilarus

Vysetron wrote: . . . doesn't take away from the fact that we've had some genuinely remarkable stuff get made that otherwise wouldn't.


You can decide for yourself if the masses on the crowdfunding sites are providing appropriate wisdom, taking the industry in truly innovative directions. There was a lot of innovation between 1995 and 2010 that hit the market without crowdfunding in the picture, and I'm suspicious there are a lot of ideas out there that aren't getting picked up.

Granted, a designer can throw their own campaign up onto one of the sites, but campaigns are slick now, videos, music, CAD-CAM images, the whole nine yards. A designer needs a front man for that stuff now, didn't used to be the case. These sites have become the new gatekeepers, the up-front cost is no longer printing the game, it's creating the campaign. The channel has matured into a significant expense of time and money.
Last edit: 25 Apr 2019 09:51 by Sagrilarus.
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25 Apr 2019 09:54 - 25 Apr 2019 10:00 #296044 by Sagrilarus
By the way, not meaning to flood the thread, but does anyone know if there are tax implications to the whole "support" vs "purchase" part of this PR pitch from Kickstarter? I haven't been closely related to a campaign, and I'm curious what the local jurisdictions think of the $250,000 that just showed up in your bank account, money that presumably is not associated with a sale when no product has been delivered in return. Is the reason for the careful tailoring of language an effort to put that revenue into a different line of peoples' tax forms?

From Kickstarter -- "In general, in the US, funds raised on Kickstarter are considered income. In general, a creator can offset the income from their Kickstarter project with deductible expenses that are related to the project and accounted for in the same tax year."

So, bumping your annual income up by half a million dollars in a given year and not having significant expenses to bill against it makes things a little more interesting. That could mean a third of all revenue is lost if you can't pay up front for services associated with delivery in the next calendar year.
Last edit: 25 Apr 2019 10:00 by Sagrilarus.
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25 Apr 2019 10:04 #296047 by Shellhead

Sagrilarus wrote: You can decide for yourself if the masses on the crowdfunding sites are providing appropriate wisdom, taking the industry in truly innovative directions. There was a lot of innovation between 1995 and 2010 that hit the market without crowdfunding in the picture, and I'm suspicious there are a lot of ideas out there that aren't getting picked up.

Granted, a designer can throw their own campaign up onto one of the sites, but campaigns are slick now, videos, music, CAD-CAM images, the whole nine yards. A designer needs a front man for that stuff now, didn't used to be the case. These sites have become the new gatekeepers, the up-front cost is no longer printing the game, it's creating the campaign. The channel has matured into a significant expense of time and money.


Fantastic points. To me, it looks like the masses have a stupid fondness for masses of unpainted miniatures associated with unoriginal settings and derivative rules. It looks like an irrational boom that may be headed for a devastating bust the next time there is a recession.

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25 Apr 2019 10:48 #296049 by Vysetron

Shellhead wrote: Fantastic points. To me, it looks like the masses have a stupid fondness for masses of unpainted miniatures associated with unoriginal settings and derivative rules. It looks like an irrational boom that may be headed for a devastating bust the next time there is a recession.


On that I completely agree. There's a shitstorm a brewin' as far as the board game bubble goes. It's not sustainable.

I'm not saying that KS games have even been good on average. I'm saying they lead to games being made without compromise or investor oversight, because everyone on that website wants to buy the ridiculous thing the creators are pitching. For better or worse they don't cut or trim ideas, they "yes and". Sometimes neat things come out of that. Usually not. But sometimes.
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