Gamers have a love/hate relationship with Kickstarter. I personally have 1 KS that never delivered their things (Which is of course one of the bigger pledges I’ve made to a campaign.), and another that I backed because they pledged an Android version of a popular board game after hitting a pledge goal, and they never delivered that, but the campaign was for an iOS app, which they did make, and I’ve heard is pretty good.
But while there are horror stories (And mine are definitely NOT horror stories, just something I lost out on.), there are many huge successes.
So what is Kickstarter? It’s a site where someone can have an idea, and pitch to get funding for their idea. THere is a HUGE range of things this could be. I’m obviously going to focus on what I am most familiar with, tabletop games.
And even the tabletop game part of this has a large range. I’ve seen RPG’s that only want $100. And there are miniature games that as for 100K+.
Some campaigns try to put in a level to get this base item. Then you can add this bonus item. Then you can add on these deluxe pieces. And then an expansion pack.
I won’t even consider those. While I am working on my need to have all expansions, many of these items will only be available through the Kickstarter campaign. And that means I won’t ever be able to get everything if I don’t buy it now, and that turns me off.
I want a simple batch of pledge levels. I prefer cheaper items, but I understand that many people have more to spend on these things than I do, so while I won’t pay $120 for your game, many others will. And that’s fine.
I’ve backed several games over the years. Not all have been winners, but I do tend to still own most of them, so I have been pretty good as knowing what I like. It sucks to order these and have to wait months, but as long as I know it’s going to be awhile, I’m good with it. Although I’ll warn folks that in my experience, they rarely ship on time.
Here are some of the games I’ve backed:
Mutant Meeples – Fun Ricochet Robots style game with meeples having powers to help reach the goals.
Fate Core – This one was crazy. I backed the very popular RPG core rules, and was still getting additional content 2 years later, all was promised as stretch goals. I have some great stuff from this one.
Wok Star – A really fun, but very intense, co-op recipe making game. Fulfill orders to earn money. Simple to play but difficult to do well.
Tiny Epic Galaxies – A fantastic little game that plays like a larger board game. By far my favorite of the Tiny Epic games, although I’ve only played a couple of them. This is the game in the title pic.
Roll to the Top! – A new roll & write game, I haven’t played it too much, but it’s got some interesting ideas. You basically keep moving up the map with matching and higher numbers till someone completes there sheet.
Eminent Domain – One of my favorite deck builders, helped by the fact that occasional contributor Eric J Carter did some of the wonderful art. But his name being on it isn’t what makes it a good game, it’s a bonus for me.
The Not So Good
For the Win! – Here is an example of where Eric couldn’t help it. The game was just really dull, and I typically like abstract games. I think I sold it to someone.
Heat – Another one I wanted to like, and didn’t enjoy. Just wasn’t what I wanted it to be I guess. I think I traded this one, but it may have gotten sold also.
Tiny Epic Defenders – I love co-op games, and this seemed like an interesting one. Joe and I played it once, and it just didn’t do anything for us. It has gotten an expansion, so maybe we just didn’t get it, but I traded it away almost immediately.
I like that Kickstarter exists. It genuinely helps games get made. It also helps reduce the commitment a publisher needs to make to create a game that people may not like. I’ve become a lot more discerning in what I purchase, so my more recent games are almost all successes for me.
What’s your take on Kickstarter, especially for board games? Do you have any games you are really looking forward to? Anything you’ve really liked or disliked? Do you back any non-board game projects? Let me know in the comments.