Monday 31 March 2014

The Kickstarter Problem

I have a Kickstarter problem.

I don't think anyone who knows me will be even mildly surprised by this statement. I've 'properly' backed five Kickstarters, with another three on behalf of my wife for various reasons. Last week, I got my first ever Kickstarter fully delivered - which has motivated me a little to have a little talk about the Kickstarters I've backed.

(I've had an Indiegogo campaign fully deliver, but this post is long enough as it is, and I've already talked about it before.)

Oh no, wait, I haven't got all that Kickstarter yet. I just went back to the site to get the information to start putting these posts together and . . . I haven't got all my rewards yet.

So, still 0 for 5 on delivery so far...

So, the Kickstarter delivery which prompted this crazy post was the download notice for "Girl Genius and the Rats of Mechanicsburg". I pledged as a minion, so I got a shiny medal, a game, and a bunch of digital art.

The digital art is the bit I just realised I don't have yet. Not sure if it was delivered and I missed it, or if it hasn't been done yet.

The game itself? The voice acting and your little avatar are lovely and very pretty, with some nice cartoon-y artwork (it is based on a webcomic, after all). The mechanics are a bit . . . awkward at times. It's the sort of thing I'd download for free or a few pence, but not get super inspired by. I'd probably not have noticed it if it wasn't for the tie in.

I probably won't back computer game projects in the future - at least, not for the computer game rewards.

Funded: December 2012
Target Release: May 2013
Actual Release: March 2014 (ish)

Through the Breach was my first Kickstarter. I was utterly broke at the time, so only pledged for the Core Set. I do wish I'd been able to afford to go in for the full monty on this one and get All The Things, but financially, it just was not an option.

I did also pledge early, which earnt me a limited edition figure. Well, it will do when it finally ships. The entire project got delayed by Malifaux 2E, which was frustrating, but Malifaux 2E is also pretty awesome, so I'm not too narked about it.

I have had a partial delivery on this one, though. Wyrd sent the backers a PDF copy of the rules (along with a lot of beta versions along the way) as soon as they were ready. I'm still waiting on the physical copies of the books and the mini, but they will be along eventually. I have, sadly, not yet found the time to run a game.

Funded: January 2013
Target Release: September 2013
Partial Release: March 2014

Maki Games Kickstarter for plastic terrain was the first full wargaming Kickstarter I backed. It is Maki who are responsible for my unhealthy interest in collecting model shipping containers. I suppose there's worse things to be interested in.

And this is what I'm waiting for. Two of the most ridiculously "blinged out" shipping container models you will ever so. They are covered in skulls, and absolutely perfect for 40K. They suffered a hefty delay with their engineer falling ill but have been up front about that with the backers, and are giving regular updates to show what's going on. I am super excited about this one, and can't wait for the final delivery.

Funded: June 2013
Target Release: November 2013
Not yet received

I have mentioned Arcworlde on the blog before. Their website is down while the Kickstarter gets sorted, but I'm sure it will all be back up again soon enough.

I got a couple of warbands and the rulebook, so I could play with my darling wife. She's gone undead pirates while I've gone with Bayou Orcs. Their original plan was to deliver in February 2014, but they are currently running a little late.

Funded: September 2013
Target Release: February 2014
Not yet delivered

T5: Tile City was a recent Kickstarter for HDF terrain. These are pretty common at the moment, because people have realised they can buy a laser for their garage and off they go - and that initial outlay is perfect Kickstarter fodder. This one was going on at the same time as the Underground Lasers terrain Kickstarter, but for the sake of sanity and available money, after a lot of thinking, I went with T5.

Ooh, they have shipping containers. That's pretty! I don't understand why everyone doesn't find a well put together shipping container model gorgeous. However, I was incredibly strong about this and did not bulk out my pledge with some shipping containers as well as the core thing I was going in to get.

This is the set I went for - not the boards underneath, but the building. I'm getting a higher detailed version of this due to stretch goals, but it's a lovely modular art deco look that no-one else I'm aware of is really doing, and is really suited to laser cut terrain.

Funded: March 2014
Due: September 2014
Not overdue yet

In summary: Kickstarter (and Indiegogo) is a cool way to support companies who might not do something otherwise, or might not release as much. Do not pledge with any delivery date in mind. These are mostly start ups, and successful campaigns will end up getting swamped. Other times, illness or rookie errors like "forgetting to book your slot with the caster" will lead to delays.

There is another big danger. Stuff does not immediately arrive. That means that you have "hidden backlog", and the act of backing the Kickstarter doesn't necessarily associate in your brain with a big box of stuff you're going to need to assemble and paint turning up on your doorstep. Sim has more Sedition Wars models than she can count due to a runaway success. And that's before you talk to anyone who pledged on the "Vampire" level of the Bones Kickstarter...


  1. I'm waiting on some Gothic church bits from Maki. And the TGG girls are not due anytime soon.

    The bombshell babes turned up on time and were pretty kool. And Mark Mandragon's Levithian's and bits and pieces are arriving in order and more or less to schedule.

    So the problem I have with kickstarter is that I keep seeing pledges that would just be so kool. But there we go. It's supposed to be a year of just finishing existing projects, not starting new ones.

    1. Terrain Kickstarters are my Kryptonite . . . with miniature ones, I can at least tell myself that either I won't play the game, or as non GW I won't get around to using them with any of my main armies...

  2. For the record, I love shipping containers.

    To whet your cravings a little more, here's what constituted our village shop when we moved South-West:

    Sadly we now have a beautiful purpose-built shop. Bo-ring.

    1. I may put together my shipping container appreciation post some point soon, then...

  3. Does Sim have any suggestions for others who also got in on the "Vampire" level of the Bones kickstarter, the box itself as it sits there just looks intimidating.

    1. Sim has not started on Sedition Wars so I'm not sure she'll have the best advice on getting things done! ;-)

      If it were me, I'd break the models down into little groups of two or three. Put the groups into a list. Pick one of the groups you like the look of - and paint them. All the way through to being finished. Don't start another group until you've finished the ones you're working on at the moment. Kanban, if you know the term. :)