Monday, November 5, 2012

Cool Kickstarter, Annoyingly Confusing Pledge Levels - Shadows of Esteren

I'm on a Kickstarter kick. I'll freely admit that.

Why is it? Because much of the coolest stuff going on in our hobby is happening on Kickstarter (and Indiegogo to a lesser extent).

Case in point: Shadows of Esteren - a medieval roleplaying game with horrific and gothic influence. Holy shit but if it actually hits those sweet points this game could be a killer!

Actually, it probably hits those sweet points, as this is the second Kickstarter for the game (the first wrapped up in the end of July, and I was way too invested back then in way too many Kickstarters). The first Kickstarter raised over $55k against a goal of $3k. This one? $35k against $3k with 21 days to go.

Yep, it's funded and will fund more before it warps, probably more than the first round.

My issue with the Kickstarter is not the product, but the needlessly confusing Pledge Levels.

Here's an example:

I'm sure it looked really good in the concept phase, but when you drop a dozen or so of these on the page...

Still, it looks like a cool game. You can actually get the PDF of Book 0 at the Studio2 website for $5 before committing to the Kickstarter.


  1. Ultimate Psionics had a similar problem. I suggested they put it in a table with pledge levels across the top, reward contents down the side, then mark which bits fall in which reward. As I recall the add-on price was either another column or with the item name. It straightens this stuff out pretty well.

  2. Yeah, once your page starts getting cluttered, you're hurting yourself

  3. The first project even shipped on time! It promised an August delivery date, and I had my tracking number by the 28th, and it was in my hands on August 31st!

  4. @James - that's a HUGE selling point in my book.

    How is Book1 BTW?

  5. Well, it funded with slightly over $65K. I bypassed the pledge level confusion by kicking in at the "Farl Collector" level, which appeared to translate to "get most of our stuff without confusing add-ins".

    I was greatly impressed by the first English "Shadows of Esteren" release, and love medieval fantasy horror, so this seemed a natural extension of that orientation.

  6. Well, it funded at just over $65K. I was greatly impressed by the first English "Shadows of Esteren" release, so this seemed like a logical extension. I've always loved medieval fantasy horror, so I bypassed the confusing pledges as much as possible by kicking in at the "Farl Collector" level, which appeared to translate to "get lots of our stuff without extra expense".

    French to English can be a bit touchy in translation, to say the least. Under the circumstances, they've done a great job! I lived in Belgium for several years as a kid, so I speak from experience in this matter.


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