Kickstarter Round-Up

Over on the G+, some folks have been posting about their late-delivering Kickstarters, whether they’re still excited about the rewards, etc. It’s tough when you back a project and, a year later, you realize that you just aren’t that into that style of game anymore. I backed Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls, but I’ll probably never play it– the past 2 years have shown me that I’m just not a dungeon crawl player (GM, yes– player, no).

Anyway, I have backed 185 projects, most of which successfully funded. Here’s a current roundup "state of the KS" post. For reference, I don’t do much with IndieGoGo or GoFundMe.

I’m not going to link to all of these projects, but you can see them all in my Kickstarter profile. I will admit to having backed a project primarily to fill out the categories pie chart… but I love the project I backed (an apron inspired by Snow White).

Stuff I’m currently backing and why I’m excited about it:

  • Wee Beasties (Jun 7 end): Plush owlbear! Need I say more?
  • This Just In from GenCon (May 24 end): A game con podcast from a bunch of my G+ brethren. Worth kicking in $5 to support some good folks (and it’s in the Journalism category… one more slice of category pie, thanks!)
  • Fall of Magic (May 31 end, due Oct 2015): Looks gorgeous, and my Google+ crowd is confident about this game.
  • Perilous Journeys (May 24 end, due Sep 2015): The creator delivered a quality project on time previously, so I have confidence.
  • Heartmob (May 15 end, due Jul 2015): This is a "support pledge," a $1 kick-in because it’s a good idea.
  • Interaktiv (May 11 end, due Jul 2015): This is a cool music thing that I found on G+ and decided to back. The creator is very talented and I hope she goes far with her music.

Out of 157 projects that have ended successfully, I have received all the rewards for 100 of them. 20 of the projects are not yet late. 6 are "no reward," meaning I backed to support with a $1 pledge but don’t expect anything in return.

There’s also good number of projects that are less than 6 months late, or have posted frequent updates. I put these in the "not worried at all" category. Also, a bunch of projects that delivered their main reward, but are slowly trickling in add-ons, extras, and stretch goal rewards. I don’t mark these as "complete" yet, but they’ve essentially kept their promises.

Then there are a handful with a rocky middle, where they failed to update and fell behind. They’re back now, posting regularly, and that has restored my faith in their projects! Some examples (though not exhaustive):

  • Pirate World (Apr 2014): About 6 months passed with no word, but the creator is back to updating and the fans are hopeful.
  • Baker Street (Aug 2014): Infrequent updates, but they’re supposedly shipping now.
  • Bump in the Night (Oct 2014): Silence for a year, but they’re back now, I think? This was a $10 pledge.
  • Arkham, Lovecraft, Cthulhu for Fate (Jul 2014): 10 months behind, but they got back to updating regularly.

That leaves just 6 projects which ended, were funded, are past their deadlines, and for which I have more or less given up (including one that I am foolishly optimistic about):

  • V is for Villains music video (due May 2012): I backed this to support a friend of mine who is in the project. I don’t know if it was going to take off or not, but it’s 3 years down the road, and I haven’t seen anything from it. $5 to support a friend is well worth it.
  • Your Art Card Sleeves (due Aug 2012): Oh, this was a train wreck of a project. Every so often, the creator of the project pops in to post an update that makes little sense, usually about a family emergency causing a delay, or some technical aspect of the project that failed. I don’t think anyone who backed this has any hope of getting their card sleeves. I paid $20 for a pack of 60 sleeves with my own artwork on them. I won’t be seeing that money anymore.
  • Pulse Fate/Fudge Dice (due Oct 2012): A heartbreaker of a failed project, because we have photos of the actual dice, but the creator won’t send them out. Last update: "Now shipping from the warehouse." In January, 2014. $15 down the drain.
  • Precision Machined Metal RPG Dice (Jun 2013): Another dice heartbreaker. $20 for a d20. Looked super awesome. I should have done more research– apparently one of the creators has a history of conning people. Alas– buyer beware! $20 I won’t get back.
  • Goblins: Alternate Realities (Dec 2013): Alas! If you haven’t followed Thunt’s saga of this one, it’s a tragic story of a webcomic creator who loaned his name and intellectual property to a con artist! In the middle of the professional and financial disaster of the project creator disappearing, Thunt himself had a mental health issue which drove him offline for about 4 months. He’s back, now, in one of the most amazing comeback stories I’ve ever witnessed. Recently, he’s fought with Kickstarter over trying to fulfill the broken promises of his former partner, but with little luck. $37 I’m unlikely to see again. If Thunt came out with this game and wanted another $40 for it, I would pay in a heartbeat. He has a lot of goodwill among his fans.
  • The Midnight Clock (Nov 2013): Every month or so, he posts an update that vaguely suggests the clocks, initially all handmade but now being made by an outsource company, are still being manufactured. I backed for 2 clocks, at a cost of $150 total, so this was a bigger risk than I’m used to. I still hope, possibly foolishly, to receive my clock, but no longer plan on giving the second one as a gift for any particular event.

Finally, there are two projects that delivered sub-par rewards, and one that succeeded against all odds:

  • Visionnaire Writing Pen: $37 for what was supposed to be a high-quality fountain pen. Raised $324,000 and delivered a $5 thing from China with a decent body, but the nib is crap and the whole thing clogs all the time and doesn’t write. $37 rip-off.
  • Letterforms Dry Erase Notebook: $30 for the dry erase notebook that was supposed to include a bunch of extras, including both red and black pens (these pens are about $5 apiece, retail), plus some post-it sized dry erase sheets which were a stretch goal. Delivered the base book and single pen, but none of the extras. I don’t feel too burned by this one– the book itself is magnificent. But I really wanted the post-its and the extra pen; I’d say overall, I feel like I overpaid by about $5, which, considering shipping, isn’t so bad.
  • Rusty the Rust Monster (above and beyond!): A plush rust monster based on a webcomic, this project ran into a trademark dispute with you-know-W(otC)ho. Amazingly, the project delivered its rewards, and the plush is now available in the webcomic’s store!