Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Quarterly Kickstarter Update

It's been three months or so since the last update, so here's where things stand, now:

Newly Arrived
Cortex Plus Hacker's Guide - The print copy of this arrived in February. I ... I think I'm done pre-ordering books from this publisher. I'll wait until they're available and will grab them from my FLGS.  Realistically, there is no reason they should be Kickstarting books.  The Hacker's Guide, BTW, is pretty good. But I'm a fan of the system.

Emperor's New Clothes - I'm done backing Game Salute projects. I was only into this for $5 or so, but I have friends who backed for more. This took way too long for what it was. Really. And they couldn't get their story straight, either. A few weeks ago, they commented that the delay was because the boxes were being printed, because they needed barcodes and logos and such. The point of the project was that these were going to be blank boxes and blank components, so including barcodes and logos made people very unhappy.  Of course, then they arrived, and they didn't have barcodes and logos. So there was an internal communications breakdown at Game Salute. And this seems to be typical of their projects.

Atlantis: The Second Age - By contrast with Game Salute: Any time Jerry puts a project up, I will back it if I can afford it. He always delivers in a timely manner, and the quality of the finished product is never disappointing.

Knight's Quest - I have to admit that I was disappointed by this one. It's basically an Uno variant with better art. The problem is that every card has a special ability. And not all of those cards (or abilities) are spelled out in the rulebook. And some of the rules are unclear, to boot.  All in all, it's a first product from a first-time publisher, and it shows.

Corporia - I really liked the concept of this one.  I still do, actually. I'm a sucker for Arthurian legends and games, though. The setting is a bit WoD-ish, with its "secret world" feel surrounding the magic of the setting, but it definitely goes in another direction.

Freshly Backed
I've slowed way down in my backing. And I'm backing fewer and fewer board games, too. I think Miskatonic School for Girls was the opening salvo in my broader disappointment with some of the mediocrity I've received. Thankfully, most of what I've received hasn't been bad. It's just been nothing special. In fact, I'm only backing board games that have sample rules available for me to check out in advance. I'll still get a few duds here and there, but this will keep the worst of them away. So I've only backed eight projects since the last time I posted an update.

Running Behind
These projects are late, but I'm not concerned (for the most part), because they have been keeping us more-or-less updated.

Dragon Kings - Due April 2014.

Tianxia - I have the PDF, but the print copy is a bit late.

Atlantis Geographica - I have the PDF, but the print copy is a bit late.

Tales From The Floating Vagabond - Lee spent some time in a coma. This delay is completely acceptable.

The Whispering Road - I think the two month target for shipping was overly optimistic - and I thought so when I backed, too. And he's kept us updated. So I'm not concerned.

Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine just gave us an ePub version of the rulebook.

Alas, Vegas - My lack of concern with this project boils down to I Trust James Wallis. He has always been a class act. When he wound Hogshead down, he paid off all his bills and helped his authors find other publishers.

This next batch is projects which are late, and I'm starting to worry a bit. I know I'm going to eventually get the stuff, but I'm afraid I'll have lost interest and/or excitement before they arrive.

Ortus - interestingly, there are multiple game projects with this name.  The one I backed is the board game, and he hit a bunch of stretch goals which have - to no surprise - slowed things down. I have a few concerns about the delays on this one, but nothing major.

Call of Cthulhu - It became clear during the campaign that Chaosium had no idea what they were doing with the campaign. So I knew this was going to run late.  It's been six months and ... no PDFs.  I'm glad I only backed for PDFs.

Tunnels & Trolls - They are doing an ... okay job of keeping us informed.  They could do better, but it'd mean periodic "nothing to report" updates, and I understand that a lot of people hate those.

The Morrow Project - I got my PDF (which is no longer for sale on DTRPG). And apparently hardcovers are shipping to backers and non-backers alike.  But they're having some sort of issue with the printer for the softcovers (like I requested).

I Give Up
These are projects about which I've just stopped caring. I'll get my stuff or I won't. And, when I do, I suspect I'll have a hard time being excited about it.

Powerchords - This is my longest-outstanding unfilled project.  It funded October 1, 2010. I know I like Phil Brucato's work, which is why I backed this. But I didn't expect four or more years of waiting. Or the pages and pages and pages of pointless updates. Or that he'd take time off and go write another game in the meantime.

Far West - This one is infamous. It really is.  Again - I like Gareth-Michael Skarka's work. I like his other games. But he needs to stop giving us release dates. Because it's always more work than he expects, I think. And other things keep popping up. I feel bad for the guy - he's even been hospitalized - but it's hard to be terribly empathetic when the hospital would have been a non-issue if the project had been anything even resembling on time.

Witch Girls Book of Shadows - Expected delivery October 2012. No updates since June of 2013.

Synnibarr - I knew when I backed it that this would be effectively throwing money away. Raven McCracken has a (well-deserved) reputation for eccentricity, and this project has not been a disappointment in that respect. Updates on Facebook instead of Kickstarter, odd punctuation and word choices. This has been a roller-coaster ride and a terrifying view of Raven's perspective. On everything.

The +5 Food of Eating Cookbook - I got my PDF. And it sounds like that's all I'm going to get. This is a less well-known post-funding collapse. And the project creator was fairly open about the collapse, too. Open and honest and - importantly - didn't shift blame or whine about it.  So the backers were not aggressive or angry about it. Most of us just shrugged and went on with our lives.

They Became Flesh - I'm only waiting for a set of dice on this one. There are backers out there who still don't have their books. And this shows up at conventions for sale all the time.  I'm not angry about this one, but I'm disappointed.

Top This! - Apparently due soon. They've been updating.  But is it too late for me to care?  Probably.

For a complete list of what my household has backed, you can check the complete list here.


  1. How is adamant still even in business? They haven't had (to my knowledge) anything hit a store shelf, digital or otherwise, in years. Are they just living on pre-orders?

    1. He's been publishing a bunch of stuff by PDF. And revising stuff previously published.

      As it is, people are pretty angry with him for several projects.

      Far West, of course.

      But he's also taken pre-orders for the Buckaroo Banzai RPG for several years, now. And there is no sign of it.

      And then there's Icons Team-Up. He's taken pre-orders for that for a while, too. The PDF dropped a few months ago. And, about two weeks ago, he cancelled the print version. If you pre-ordered the print version, then he'll give you the difference in price between print and PDF as Adamant Store Credit. That credit, of course is worth almost as much as money from the Confederacy was in 1872.

  2. I thought his company lost the rights to ICONS a long time ago, or was that someone else? I remember someone was taking too long and it was pulled. Don't forget the Warlords of the Apocalypse mess as well.

    1. He didn't lose the rights. He either sold them back to the designer or just returned them. But part of the deal that returned the game reserved the right to do Team-Up.