Humble Bundle

Friday, October 13, 2017

Kickstarter - Frank Mentzer's Worlds of Empyrea Fantasy Setting to Reboot on Monday, October 16th



Worlds of Empyrea had a fairly strong start to its funding, but compared to its lofty goal of $250k it was fairly apparent it was most likely to fall short. This, it was announced last night that the Kickstarter would be rebooting this coming Monday - 10/16/17. Strangely enough, the current Kickstarter is still open for new pledges.

Some things that need to be addressed in the reboot IMHO:


  • More details of the actual project - looking at the preview page, this has been done.
  • Actual updates - first update was the only one in a week and a half and that was last night announcing the reboot.
  • Generate excitement ON the Kickstarter page itself. Social media and interviews are fine, but a lively Kickstarter page draws in backers. This means frequent updates with meat on the bone and lively and timely responses to backers on the comments page.
  • The list of Legendary Guest Artists is impressive and extensive. What we need is some sample art from those listed.


I'm far from a Kickstarter expert. I've never run one. I do, however, follow them closely.

We'll follow up on Monday with the Reboot Announcement.


28 comments:

  1. Whenever I read the original announcement, the people involved and the lofty goal, my immediate thought was 'too much, too fast'. Boiling the ocean never works. I hope that Frank and company have taken a hard, long look at what they're intending to deliver and reset the Kickstarter in the right way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, the lofty goal just made me think that the project would alienate Mentzer from customers. Start small and move forward with reasonable goals.

      Delete
  2. Yes, it is an interesting kickstarter, I hope the reboot makes me want to pledge next time around.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I honestly doubt they will be able to reach $97,500 either. Funding had stalled at a little over $60,000 on the first KS, so I don't see them taking in 50% more on the second one, at least not without major changes. But I guess we'll see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's not unreasonable. Most KS seem to make half of their money in the finishing days, not all on day one.

      Some qualifications apply - you need appealing stretch goals, for example, to attract the fencesitters. And a good intro package (like one PDF or all as PDF) to lure in more backers.

      Delete
    2. "Most KS" are structured better than this one.

      We'll just have to wait and see who's correct. If nothing changes in the presentation of the new KS, I don't believe it will be able to meet even the new funding goal. If it does fund, I think it is virtually guaranteed to ship very, very late. This one has a lot of red flags. If people want to back it anyway, that's their business, and good luck to them.

      Delete
  4. Lofty Goals, explosive goals, not staggered goals. Frank wants things done a certain way. That won't happen in this business any more as PDF's have come to be the way to get things done. Reducing the overall goal to where the KS needs as a bottom line then make stretch goals and add-ons to fill in the rest. This is why Reaper succeeds. They only need a small amount to get started then they keep adding on and throwing more in the mix, 7th sea too. Hell FGG only wants enough money for most of their products to cover a small print run and mostly PDF's. From there they scale up massively as they cross boundries.


    $100k will never happen and if it does I pray this doesn't become another City State of the Invincible Overlord...

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't have access to the update, but man, this whole thing smell fishy to me. They originally planned 250k, betting that a list of names would suffice to attract lots of people. From what I gather from Frank's comments (delivered by Mike Myler), there is not even a rough draft and most things remains to be written; the LBBs are planned, but they don't even know what they want to put inside! The project itself is gimmicky (10 systems!), super vague but with some bad art... Still, they plan to deliver a fully realized boxed set in about eight months! Plus, a significant chunk of the day 1 funding comes from a handful of super high pledges (1x10K and 4x1000, about 30% of the funding if I remember correctly), which may of course be totally legitimate pledges, but could cripple the whole project later on if the backers decide to drop them.

    And now, 10 days into the KS, they annouce they'll reboot it with a 97 500$ goal. Looks like they tried to get as much money they could, but quickly realized they asked for too much, so they adjust it using the data they now have (the goal is more realistic but still quite high, so I'm not sure it's going to fund. Will they reboot again if it does not?) I suppose it took at least multiple weeks to plan the original project, but no more than a couple of days to plan the reboot reaching for 40% of the original?

    That's way, way too many red flags. I mean, the only reason it's being taken seriously at all is the fact that Frank Mentzer is behind it. So even if I was super hyped by the project, I would convince myself to wait and buy it once it's on the market.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Playing devil's advocate, one of the red flags for me is when a goal is too low. If I see a $500 goal, it tells me that either it never needed to be Kickstarted in the first place, it's run by first-timer who just wants to make sure it goes over, or it's just garbage. I thought they looked at the money established game designers using Kickstarter were pulling in (cough, cough *Monte Cook Games*) and put out their estimates from that, and I wasn't convinced it was too far out of range. Obviously, however, the folks at Loxley overestimated the draw of the participants in the current gamer society. The whole shouting matches on forums probably didn't help things either, but I doubt they had a significant impact.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Si I dropped 1$ to have access to the update. If you go there, you'll find the reasons for the reboot. I'll simply say that the only concrete way given to explain why they need less money is "alternate printing sources".

    You'll also find a link to the preview of the next KS project, where you can suggest stuff. At this time, the description of the project and pledge levels are definitely clearer and better, the 100$+ pledge levels are a bit more interesting, but the entry-level pledges are pretty much the same.

    I'll respect their intention of keeping it somewhat private, even if I don't understand that decision... All you have to do is pledge a buck (that won't be charged) if you want to read the whole thing and get the link.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I was thinking about pledging but was waiting to see how it did. The original goal seemed attainable but not necessarily what you’d want as your minimum starting value. I like the fact that they’re giving the whole project a tune-up.
    I’ve pledged for KS that delivered years late, and I for KS that are still plugging slowly away after five years trying to deliver all their pledges (and then there’s Pencil Dice). Too much success and/or too little knowledge of what the KS will require have both been big issues with the slow-to-fulfill campaigns.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  10. These guys may have had experience in the large scale end of the business in the 80s and 90s, but it looks like they still have some learning to do on how things work in the 10s when you don't have a behemoth of a publisher at your back.

    I didn't back to begin with due to pricing, but this has lowered my confidence even more. Way too many red flags for a kickstarter. And their experience from previous decades is no indicator to me that those flags should be overlooked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know. Experience usually gets books written and delivered, because these people had to deliver to become experienced when it was still all writing on commission or deadlines.

      If sufficient money comes in, I would have more trust in some veterans delivering, honestly. Now, their KS-Fu sucks. You might want to review ten successful similar KS in the least before going for this scale. That's pitiful on the business side of things.

      Delete
  11. Yeah, the tiers still suck. Still no stretch goals, still very little in actual content, still no concrete plans for LBBs, still no layout work (or anything) in advance, still no guarantee it'll ever be finished. Still a mess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And still no art that isn't crap up to and including the logo.

      Delete
    2. Art doesn't concern me as much as the "shipping" date but I doubt i will back it. Between this and the Marmoreal Tomb I've had to stop and ask myself do I really need this considering the amount of good material out there published by people with good track records. It's really awesome to see contributors from back in the "good ol days" but now I have to wonder why people with the history have to resort to do it themselves rather than go with say Frog God or Legendary Games for example. It also boggles the mind how they can do this without anything really started. I dunno I am not a businessman and don't the complexities but these two projects just seem wrong...

      Delete
  12. The whole presentation of this kickstarter looks very Amateurish and the art sucks IMHO.
    Compared to the already mentioned Monte Cook this project is worlds apart.
    Even small press publishers like Greg Gillespie look more professional than this.
    I want to like this project but I won't spend money on what I see at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The entry price was too high for me. I like Frank, and I want to see his work published, but the campaign was aimed at selling PDFs, and that is not what I look for in a Kickstarter.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Frank is an old hand, but I think we should keep in mind this is a new company. The art and graphics are just preliminary and I'm guessing will be much improved in the final product.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I disagree with some of the views given here, in that many criticisms are not necessarily valid. (Like how the rebooted KS will not be able to make 100K when the original was able to make 60K in no time. Double the initial amount seems possible and likely in most projects.)

    But I do agree with all who said that a project where no part is written is a liability. I have spent at times years, up to a handful, waiting on unwritten projects. These are the slowest to deliver. The most likely to get into trouble. The ones whose updates you start to hate after a while.

    At least some basic text should be written. KS money would then pay for layout and art. And stretch goals might add more text to be written. This should be pretty much standard these days...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep in mind that the first day saw a 10k backer. That skews the numbers a lot. Plus, there are no stretch goals, so unlikely to draw a lot of people in the end (like the first Numenera did, for example). The goal is not laughably high like the first one, but it's far from a done deal.

      And for the reboot, assuming the 10k backer is still on board, the first day is probably going to be higher than the first time around (because most people that backed after the first day will back on the first this time), while the second day will see a bigger drop in pledges. So I would not put my hopes up too soon. I'm no expert on KS, but unless some major stuff happens to draw lots of people during the campaign (say Matt Mercer says his next game will be set in Empyrea), I think that we can safely assume that it's going to fund during the last days, if at all.

      Delete
  16. This train will wreck too. Frank has no idea what he's doing.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The new kickstarter has a more attainable goal, has added more to some of the pledge levels and made the stretch goals more easily met as well.

    The argument that there are too many systems, is an odd one to make as a potential consumer. Especially since there is not much real difference between many of them, to the point it might result in delays.

    Now if it were argued that some system should be included, that I could understand. I personally would like to see MYFAROG or Swordbearer included.

    I'm pretty sure the kickstarter will meet the goal.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Unless it's something where I can thrown in a buck now and add on 2 months before scheduled release I am no longer interested

    ReplyDelete