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Doomsong & The brutal razor of kickstarter

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  ced1106 7 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    Cult of Games Member

    Hi, I had almost forgotten the forum existed with the discord existing.

    You may have noticed I made a game (free PDF at We are going to kickstarter in October to publish a core rule book, a massive epic adventure, and i guess try to make the future of this fledgling company a little less precarious. Which is honestly, all really really scary, and ‘marketing’ makes me physically uncomfortable.

    I have actually run kickstarters before, just never for my own company, and never a ‘real’ kickstarter. What i mean by that is that when running kickstarters in the past the company was just using kickstarter as a preorder service, breaking down a product into fake stretch goals. and sadly, it works, I just feel dishonest doing it.

    So what makes the difference for you guys between a kickstarter you back, and one you don’t? Asking for a friend :p


    Cult of Games Member

    It’s changed for me, over the years.

    Back in the day, I used to be all about those giant Kickstarters with tons of miniatures and expansions and stretch goals. The CMON-type stuff. I was looking for lots of stuff, good discounts, and the like. The past few years have really put an end to that. Not only did my house flood with tons of stuff I’ve never gotten around to playing, but I was starting to get really annoyed at all the nasty surprises that would pop up years later. $80 custom fees here, $40 extra shipping fees there. This is particularly brutal for Canadians like myself, but you’re always looking at some kind of twist that leaves the whole thing with a bad taste in your mouth. I broke my own rules to get the second Duncan Rhodes paint line Kickstarter recently, and got smacked with $100 of fees on a $120 pledge, not including shipping, with no help in sight from either the shipper or the company running the Kickstarter. Even though the product itself is excellent, the whole experience feels crappy.

    The worst were the Mantic TerrainCrate Kickstarter, and one of the recent Reaper Bones ones. After all was said and done, the shipping + customs nonsense meant that I actually paid more for the Kickstarter than I would have paid if I’d waited and bought the stuff retail. Those were the straws that really broke the camel’s back.

    I’ve cut my Kickstarter use down by about 90%. Now I’m looking for truly unique products, or ones that make sense to actually back, from an economic perspective. On a personal level, I want something truly interesting, from an actually small company. My two latest Kickstarters were, for example, Jon Hodgson’s miniature photography books, and a little mega-dungeon ‘zine called Tomb. Monte Cook’s “The Darkest House” was also a really unique Kickstarter product I’m really glad I backed. No more mass-produced retail stuff full of random ‘bonus’ crap like plastic tokens and stuff for me, personally.

    Economically, it just has to make sense. I can’t keep affording to roll the dice on shipping and brokerage, especially when I have no control over when those extra fees pop up. For an RPG project, my best recent experiences have been tiers with all-digital rewards, and the ability to print-on-demand.

    As examples, Low Fantasy Gaming and The Metallic Tome were two RPG products I backed. I got a PDF-tier with everything digital, as well as a voucher for a print-on-demand service (one was DriveThru RPG, I forget the second…) to get the book ‘at cost’. I know a print-on-demand book isn’t as nice as a bespoke hardcover, but they’re honestly pretty good, and for something I use at the table it was more than adequate. It also meant that I could play the game and read the PDF, printing the book when my group and I were ready and excited to play. Snail-mail orders also avoid all the crazy shipping/brokerage fees that come with some large UPS fulfillment, so it was just win-win-win for me.

    Your game looks awesome, and I would definitely buy into it. I just wouldn’t back it if the only option was a $100 hardcover pledge that I know is going to mean an extra $40 in shipping and $50 in customs down the line, if that makes sense. Look into a print-on-demand, if you can! Both companies who ran those Kickstarters were I think literally 1-2 people, so it’s got to be possible.

    Sorry for the potentially long-winded reply. I hope some of that’s at least decent food for thought. Good luck!


    Cult of Games Member

    So what makes the difference for you guys between a kickstarter you back, and one you don’t? Asking for a friend :p

    I’ll put this into a list. It’s more efficient:

    • cost of basic reasonable level to pledge. ie a board game that starts at 150€ is a no go.
    • time of delivery. If it’s too far way I don’t bother
    • potential import fees, taxes and shipping costs. The total number for the pledge
    • “Kickstarter exclusive content”. I hate it and it drives me away.
    • “KS exclusive project” Not going to retail? I’m out
    • Is available in my language? Nice! Please have some money.
    • overall impression on the Kickstarter. Reasonable funding goal, not to much “stretch goal bloat” and a time frame that looks sane is not made with “crunch”.




    My first priority is usually UK only projects. I used to import, but shipping gone nuts.

    I prefer it to be made in the UK, not in China for same reason.

    It must be something I really want… or really need…

    My last 4 ks have been 2 Crooked Dice Feature Packs and 2 Freeleague One Ring projects (including the recently launched Moria).

    Before that it was Blacklist Fantasy Series 1 which was very late.

    And before that it was 2018 when I backed.

    KS is too unreliable now and feels like beta testing in a lot of cases.


    Cult of Games Member

    Some very interesting points, alot of food for thought. Thanks


    Cult of Games Member

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    Cult of Games Member

    For me I want the product finished, at least most of the way, and ready to go to print before you start the ks campaign.  That doesn’t mean everything has to be 100% done but at least have the vast majority finished and ready to show off on the ks page.  For minis this means most should not be renders but prints of actual models.  For books I want a good sized preview that is easy to dl without giving all my information out, one-click dl from dtrpg is fine for this.

    I also don’t want a ks that starts as one product that catches my eye, for whatever reason, then test packets or whatever come out after they have my money, four backers decide they don’t like parts of the product and all of a sudden things get changed for the very vocal super minority and the product is no longer what I backed.

    A ks doesn’t have to be unique, good luck making something that is, but it does have to be interesting.  If it is something normal but with a twist I’ll at least give it a look, probably save it and think on it for a while.

    Good luck with your ks, hope it performs beyond your expectations.



    Doomsong is an RPG, and my gaming backlog is so great that I’m not backing RPG’s or boardgames. The pandemic broke up our gaming group, and I’m into solo skirmish games (and painting miniatures). Still a sucker for the mini’s, though. 😛

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