Friday, March 11, 2016

State of my Kickstarters

I have backed a few projects on Kickstarter over the years and and to date only two of them have been fulfilled.  So I decided to look at the projects I have backed and my thoughts about Kickstarter.

1.  Arena Rex:  This was the fist KS I ever backed and was very excited about it.  I really enjoy Gladiator type games and this game has some amazing miniatures.  The projected funded and was scheduled to be delivered on Dec 2013 and it showed up on Oct 2014.  After receiving my miniatures and getting them painted I never did anything with the game because I don't really like the rules.  The game is more of a skirmish game with teams of Gladiators and not one on one combat.  Another problem is the game is not in distribution and you can only order the products form their website.  It makes it hard to promote a game a stores when the stores can't sell the product.  For what I spent on the KS I did get some great miniatures and had fun painting them. 

2. Robotech:  I really don't know what to say about this project.  It was scheduled to be delivered Dec 2014 and the first wave showed up Oct 2014 same time I received Arena Rex.  We are not in 2016 and the second wave still has not be delivered and no date has been set to deliver the second wave.  The models that were delivered in the first wave was more like real models and not miniatures.  This caused a lot of problems and negative feedback.  The company states that they are retooling the models to be more like miniatures with just a few pieces and not like models.  For me, I have written this game off and even if they produce new miniatures I have not interest in the game. 

3. Custom Dice:  This was an interesting project to make backers custom dice.  At the time I was working with a buddy creating a game and it required custom dice.  So I backed this project and it folded.  The creator failed to produce anything for the backers and just spent the funds on who knows what.  This is one of the biggest frustration backing a KS project and the creator can fail to produce anything and you have no recourse to get your funds back.  I didn't lose that much money on this project and it is part of the risk you take backing a KS.  Now the creator recently sent out a survey stating that he was going to sell off the equipment and stated he would send funds back to the backers.  I still have not received my pledge funds and don't plan on seeing anything in the future.

4.  Reaper CAV:  This was an interesting project when I backed it.  Reaper already had some of the miniatures made so they were shipped out right after the campaign closed and they did.  The second wave was scheduled to be delivered July 2015 and I just received my rewards March 2016.  Another interesting thing that happened was I received 2 backer boxes of miniatures.  I received one box on 3-5-16 and a second one yesterday 3-10-16.  Not sure why this happened but who am I to argue about a free box of miniatures being sent to me.  Now the first wave of these models were in a white plastic and it was not that good.  The barrels were bent and the hot water trick really didn't work to fix them.  The barrels would not hold their new shape.  I ended up pinning the barrels with brass rod to keep them straight.  The second wave is a gray plastic and is stiffer and much better.  Both of these boxes are just packed full of miniatures and I will paint some up one day.  I have other projects that I am working on right now and these will just sit till my time frees up to paint them.

5. Open Combat:  This is just a rule book that I backed and was scheduled to be delivered Jul 2015.  The creator just recently started sending out the books.  Even thou the book is being sent out late the creator did release a PDF copy of the rules to the backers so they could play the game.  I will wait for the physical copy of the rules and should have them next week. 

6. Loud'n Raging:  This was an impulse purchase because I wanted just one of the models.  This company allowed people to back the project even after the campaign was over and that is what I did.  I spent a bit of money on this project because the models look amazing and I will be able to use them with Open Combat.  This project is scheduled to be delivered Mach 2016 and according to their last update they will be sending out the pledge managers in April 2016.  So they are just a month behind so they are doing good.  This models look good and their first KS received great reviews and praise so I can' wait to get these. 

7.  Other Games:  I have also backed some non miniature games and these campaigns just ended or are ending so I have not real updates on them at this time. 

I still feel that KS is a great way for small companies and even larger companies to get funding to produce new products.  I feel that all, except one, of my backed projects have been failures due to the length of time it took to get the rewards.  I have stopped backing any miniature projects on KS due to the length of time it takes to get the rewards.  I understand being a few months late due to situations beyond the control of the creators but 8 months to years later is crazy.  Lack of accountability is the biggest problem with KS.  The creators can promise the world, not deliver and suffer no negative recourse from KS.   So I will most likely not be backing any future KS that have miniatures and just play games that can be purchased at local stores.