Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Tale of Two Kickstarters

Ten years ago, I started hosting game night at my apartment.

Well, nine years and eleven months.

At the time, I had Settlers of Catan, and a few other games.  Not much of a selection at all.

Then the FLGS owner put this paper envelope in front of me. The front said it was called Kill Doctor Lucky and warned us that we'd need to supply our own pawns for the game.

I remember thinking to myself, What kind of publisher is so lazy that they don't bother including pawns?

Other games in the line required the addition of dice. Or of decks of normal playing cards.

It was ... weird. But that's how Cheapass Games did it. After all - which of us doesn't have a dozen or so games with pieces we can raid for use as playing pieces?

It was a good idea, once you got past the weirdness of buying a DIY set. And the games ...

None of them was especially deep, and there were a few I didn't actually like. But very few - and I didn't mind.  Because it was five bucks. I think I have about a dozen of them.

James Earnest had one goal with Cheapass: Get the games into the hands of gamers. A worthy goal, which I support wholeheartedly.

And then he found a job elsewhere, and Cheapass slumbered.

Until now.

They have a Kickstarter up for a new edition of Unexploded Cow, which was one of their later productions, and one of their most fun.

It's already at 150% of goal. And there is time left.

At the other end of the spectrum, I haven't talked much about 13th Age here. Yet.  It's a game that feels like it's destined to become one of my favorites. We have the pre-order PDF, and it's very, very good.

And now - for a game that isn't even out, yet - there is a supplement being Kickstarted.  This is a tougher sell than Unexploded Cow.  For one, the campaign started during a time in which the vast majority of your target audience is watching Indianapolis for news.  For another, the target is ... it's not low.  I don't think it's unreasonably high, but they definitely have their work cut out for themselves to hit this goal.

And - finally - it's a supplement for a game that isn't even out yet.  This, alone, makes it a difficult sale.  It's like trying to sell someone dessert before the entree has arrived. No matter how many times you tell them how good your chef is, they won't fully believe it until they've tasted the entree.

But, in this case, I've had a taste.  I've snacked on 13th Age and it's tasty, with a number of bits that I can easily steal for other games. And you know I like Jonathan Tweet's work. And Rob Heinsoo's work (although I'm less familiar with his stuff).

All in all, I don't envy Fire Opal Media their Kickstart - but my household did back it. Because it looks awesome. And you should buy 13th Age and then back this one. Or back this one first and then buy 13th Age.

No comments:

Post a Comment