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Monday, January 19, 2015

Kickstarter Do's and Dont's - Part 2 - Cardboard Boobies and Endless Stretch Goals do Not Build Castles

Everyone has their favorite train wreck. 4thWar Equipment - Wargaming Table is mine. Where to start with the dont's?

Bad English - not just spoken but in the subtitles. At the very least get the subtitles right. Although the hot chick is adorable when she messes up the English words, which is just about every one.

While it's great to know that even your "chubbiest friends" won't break the cardboard tables or stools, it really doesn't sound like a selling point when put that way.

Also, unrealistic funding goals. They wanted $99,000 and hit $57,000. Wisely, when they rebooted, they asked for $13,000 and hit $35,000.

What about endless stretch goals? Appendix N Adventure Toolkits  fell victim to that. With a goal of just $1,000 for spanking new DCC RPG adventures, it hit nearly $19,000 on the back of numerous stretch goals. In the end, 5 extra adventures, a GM Screen and a gaming box were promised, with the projected completion date of July 2012. Now, 2 1/2 years later, most backers, even those that kicked in extra to help with shipping costs, have nothing but PDFs to show for it. Sure, it raised over $17k of extra funds, but the number of backers waiting on stuff and adventures promised, let along a box to put the goodies in, did not keep pace.

The other problem? Shipping costs. The longer a project takes to fulfill, the greater the shipping costs incurred. BTW, this is shipping in waves apparently, so multiple shipments to each backer. More money wasted.

Oh, and then there's the "retail avenues when backers still haven't gotten theirs." Always something that gets pushback.

Nystul. So much to say. So much has been said already.

Don't use a Kickstarter's funds to fulfill a previous Kickstarter's obligations.

Don't try and fund an Indiegogo Project (Nystul's Castle) to fund Kickstarter obligations.

Don't use your Kickstarters' funds to form a company and hire staff for projects that you haven't even started yet.

Don't blow your Kickstarter funds on an unrelated "Dwarf Con."

Don't promise add ons that you never intend to / or are incapable of delivering.

Don't piss on folks that are doing your work for free.

Shit, just do the very opposite of Mike and maybe you'll be OK.

You can read up on the Nystul Madness here at The Tavern and at Boardgame Geeks.


  1. Wow...surprised you didn't put Nystul at the top of the list. Either you are slipping (not likely) or are just changing things up because you need to.

  2. There seems to be a small subset of game designers who misinterpret success in a Kickstarter as "my backers are so enthused about me!" when it's really "my backers are so enthused about what I have specifically promised!" Mike N. seems to have fallen into this category.

  3. The Nystulian "Method" as you describe above is curiously similar to common corporate practice. Push money here, subdivide there, bury in earmarks (okay, now the government is racked-in on the Method) draw on good faith and credit, call in favors and call out contributors, downsize to puff the income statement, and when all else fails call it a Speculative Venture. Take your perf bonus and claim a tough year.

    At least the corporate sharks have to face a boardroom of majority shareholders once in a while. Nystulian Potion of Evaporative Performance and Distracting Creative Tragedy.

    Save versus Reality.


  4. Shame, because "dwarven roleplaying" sounds cool and the picture is nice.

  5. All this kick starting makes me want to try it. I've got a game almost done. It plays well but it looks crappy. Also: nobody really needs another 0e clone. Even so, I may just try it.

  6. Don't forget that Nystul also sent people to attack me on my blog for criticizing him.

    1. Pat, do you have a link for that - either the call to attack or the attacks on your blog side.

      I missed this the first time around - or don't recall it - I have no problem adding kindling to the Nystuian Bonfire ;)

    2. I deleted most of them. My impression is that Nystul linked to my open letter and referred to me as a stalker and then these fuckers would show up and accuse me of stalking him - you even commented on one of them here http://nerdwerds.blogspot.com/2013/08/an-open-letter-to-mike-nystul.html which I preserved

      I decided to stop deleting and start confronting them after this exchange http://nerdwerds.blogspot.com/2013/10/mike-nystul.html but then it never happened again

    3. why yes i did :)

      Mike is endlessly entertaining, at least if you enjoy never ending train wrecks in an endless loop...

    4. My only consolation is that several people who have worked with him in the past have told me that I assessed his personality and work habits perfectly. He's a train wreck only because his whinging online is so utterly transparent to anybody with an ounce of skepticism.

  7. What?!? You mean her boobies are made out of cardboard? I've got to be honest, with her pictured there, the whole post was like blah blah boobies aren't real! blah blah blah. ;)

    1. I'm more partial to "A" than "T" myself, but it looks like she has that covered as well.

  8. Every time I see you mention the 4th War Gaming Tables I am reminded that those actually look pretty neat, and I'd probably buy one if I didn't have cats and a Target with sturdy folding tables in stock two blocks away.

  9. I almost stopped after the video...
    Any how I think part of it is everyone has some game written some where that they think could be kick started, but not every one has the wherewithal to follow through they get in over their heads and ruin their reputations. Once that happens that's it, they end up here sitting at a cad-board table,

  10. "While it's great to know that even your 'chubbiest friends' won't break the cardboard tables or stools, it really doesn't sound like a selling point when put that way."

    It also doesn't sound like they've met that many actual Americans. I know plenty who could break that thing no matter what it's made of.

  11. And where's this hot chick you mentioned?

  12. The funny thing was I watched the videos at work without any sound and I could still tell how badly she was mangling the English words.

    Although... I do have to give her credit for being game enough to dress in a tight outfit and do a spiel in a language she clearly doesn't speak well. I wonder how many of us would be willing to do that (I sure as hell wouldn't).

  13. My wife had some choice words to say about wayward kickstarters and I thought I would share them here: "I don't understand why it's okay for someone to pretend they didn't just take thousands of dollars and have nothing to show for it."
    Me neither.