Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Quarterly Kickstarter Update

As threatened a few months back, I plan to do this quarterly.

I'm not going to discuss every single project I have backed - only the ones which are notable in some way, either because I'm very excited about them or because they have become a travesty.

So here's the update:

For the first time since I started backing projects, I have no unfunded projects on my account.  Seriously.  It's a weird feeling.  Of course, since I started Kicksnarker, I've become more and more picky about what I'll back.

The Good
Since the last update, I have received the following products or they are ahead of schedule.

The Morrow Project (Digital version) - the print edition seems to be on-track.

Adventures Dark and Deep Player's Guide (Digital version) - this arrived more than a month ahead of schedule, and it looks like the print copy will be similarly early.

Dreadball - not all of it, but all of Season One.  Mantic is apparently starting to ship Season Two now.

The +5 Food of Eating (Digital version) - After several long breakdowns in communication due to upheaval in the creator's personal life, this one was starting to become a concern.  There are some very tasty-looking recipes in here, however.  I can't wait to try a few of them.

The Battle of Red Cliffs - The rules could probably have used a hair more polish, but I do really enjoy this two-stage set collection game.

Shadows of Esteren - We backed the prologue at the level that got us the first book, too.  I haven't had a chance to read it, yet, however.

Crokinole - We now have a Crokinole set.  It's one of the third-generation Mayday sets, and it's actually pretty good.

City of Iron - Due in June, as of two weeks ago, they had been printed and were on the boat.

The Neutral
These are projects which are running either on-time or are late with good communication.

Race to Adventure - This game is currently about four months behind, but Fred Hicks has done an excellent job of keeping everyone informed as to its progress.  The last update from about two weeks ago indicates that it's on its way to the warehouse prior to shipping, so not much longer on this one.

Tenra Bansho Zero - I have a PDF of this, but it's not the final DriveThru PDF. They are limited to about 500 per month, apparently, so it'll take four months for all of the backers to get their DTRPG versions.  The physical game itself is on a boat which - as of this writing - is in the Mediterranean.

Psi-Punk - Communication on this has been a bit uneven.  It's currently about three months late, and, based on updates, it's due for a mid/late May delivery.

tremulus - Another game with uneven communication.  We have a draft PDF, but not the finished product. As of a week ago, they were waiting for the printer's proofs.

Motobushido - communication has been very good, here.  We were informed this week that the product was going to be a bit delayed because the creator had the opportunity to work with a skilled and experienced editor and a skilled and experienced layout artist. IMHO, this is an acceptable delay.

The Bad
These are past-due with poor communication or other issues.

I say "these," but really, there's only one project in this grouping.

Mobile Frame Zero - It's clear that this project has been a learning experience for the team behind it.  They sold copies at PAX East, and gave backers who were present their copies. Copies for the rest of us should be on their way soon - but there is an issue.  They don't have a good list of who picked their copies up at PAX East. So they're relying on the honesty of backers (usually a pretty good bet with gamers) and are waiting a few so that folks who have their copies can let them know.

I'm waiting to buy a bunch of Lego pieces until I know my books have shipped.  I have a spreadsheet with a list of parts.

The Ugly
These are all a year or more late.  Communication has been uneven, and in a few cases, I just don't care anymore - which is a tragedy, really.

They Became Flesh - For most of the gaming internet, this has become the poster child for Kickstarter Fiascos. I have most of what I ordered, but I am in the minority, here. And, even if I didn't have my stuff, this still wouldn't be the worst for me. Communication has been spotty at best, with one update every few months which promises shipment "this week," or "soon," or similar.

Oh My God! There's An Axe In My Head - I'm beginning to believe that this game is cursed.  They are on their third publisher, which is why they decided to Kickstart it.  In December 11th, they updated telling us they'd hoped to have it shipping by early March.  That was their last update.  The prior update - in August - said that printing had started. But, by early March, it wasn't printed yet according to the printer.
UPDATE: Three hours before this post went live, we got an update.  As it was 2am locally, I didn't get it until this morning. Apparently the card size chosen for the project won't work, so the cards needed to be redesigned, which caused a redesign of the board to fit the new cards, which meant a new box, which meant adjusting the box art ...

Far West - this is the game that is often a runner-up in the Kickstarter Fiasco discussions. I've received a few things (the fiction anthology, for example), but not the main item I want (the game itself). We have been getting weekly updates, which, I think, is why this isn't the fiasco that They Became Flesh has been.

Chronicles of the Void - they lost their artist a year or so ago.  As of late February, it was in layout.  There have been several long gaps in communication.  The game itself looks cool, but it's past the point where I am excited anymore.

Powerchords - Funded, then a few regular updates, then a month or two of silence, followed by a bizarre comment about having been logged into the wrong Kickstarter account and that was why there were no updates.  Then, for over a year, we had weekly updates. Then he told us, "I need to finish this quickly, because I have to go write Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition.  Within two weeks it was done with writing, and we have had radio silence since.

For The Lolz
These are products I backed just because they amused me.

Emperor's New Clothes - Great show, guys.  This was a brilliantly-run project from start to finish.  Even if I wasn't getting a bumper sticker, it would have been worth the $5.  If you have some time, I heartily recommend going to Kickstarter and looking this one up.  Read through the updates in order.  It's worth the time.

Synnibarr - I have first and second editions.  This particular game is legendary for being the most gonzo kitchen sink setting ever designed.  It's ridiculously over the top.  Where Kevin Sembieda hit the brakes on Rifts, Raven c.s. McCracken stomped on that gas pedal.  And the system ... to give you an idea, each sense has its own rolls.  Want to sneak past a guard?  Be prepared, he might SMELL you!

I have the draft PDFs, and they are everything I expected them to be and more.  To give you an idea, the rules say that players need, among other things, a calculator.  For play.  The metric conversions are comical in their uselessness, too:
0.39 inches = 1 centimeter
3.2 feet = 1 meter (100 centimeters)
.62 miles = 1 km kilometer (1,000 meters)
62 mph - 100 kph (kilometers per hour)
2.2 lbs = 1 kilo
Yeah.  It's like that.

... and that's a good note on which to close out this update.

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