Sunday, December 2, 2012

Correcting an RPG Kickstarter Perception - Most of Mine Are Late, But No Failures - Yet

There is a thread going on over at TheRPGSite dealing with Kickstarters. Actually, I don't think that was the thread's initial topic or direction, but Stuart Marshall (P&P) linked to my Kickstarter posts when he mentioned how he felt Kickstarters were going to be detrimental to the hobby.

I agree with him to a point, as many publishers / would be publishers / one man bands seem to see it as a quick and easy way to raise money for projects that are little beyond the conception phase in many cases. That being said, I personally have yet to support a project that I feel will totally crap out ("e20, which I suspect is virtually dead, was not supported by me).

Are some projects unconscionably late? Yes.

Far West, The Quantum RPG, The ACKS Player's Companion, Dwimmermount, Appendix N, Myth & Magic Player's Guide and Champions of Zed are small sampling of projects that are taking way to long to complete when you look at the initial estimates. Do I think any of these will completely fail to deliver? No. But their lack of timeliness is certainly a disappointment.

Still, Stuart's post is a bit disconcerting to me, as he is either following a different list of crowd source funded RPG projects, or he's misinterpreting my list (he links to The Tavern here), or something in between:
I hate the amount of money buyers are being charged; and I hate the default-to-kickstarter mentality where you sell a promise and collect the profit before you start work (and then, more than half the time, fail to deliver); and I hate that formerly-thriving free products, like Footprints on Dragonsfoot, are shutting down and closing up shop. None of that was what I intended and I view it with a frown. (emphasis mine)
It's not a failure to deliver. It's a failure to deliver in the promised time frame. Sometimes long after the promised time frame. It's unprofessional, especially when the people behind the projects "go dark" and fail to update their customers on progress.

Kickstarters in our hobby tend to not deliver on time. I'm doing what little I can do to draw attention to that fact and have it corrected in the future. There aren't too many total failures (I can possibly think of one beyond e20).

BTW, I don't post to theRPGSite. The atmosphere is a bit too "caustic" at times to my taste. I'm more than willing to take criticism on my own blog (which others in the blogosphere are apparently no longer willing to do, even when valid) but I have no need nor desire to post on a board "generally unfriendly" to outsiders. It can be a good read tho ;)

1 comment:

  1. The thing that always strikes me as interesting though, is the 'hobby' if you will, doesn't delivery on time. Almost every year I've been to Gen Con for the last 20 years there was a missed expansion, a air flown in shipment or something of that nature. If these 'professionals' can't get it together when their liveliyhoods are depending on it, people who honestly expect it to happen for the "Wish and a Dream" via Kickstarter are worse off them me. And I'm a sucker for a good marketing line. (Shakes fist at Dwimmermount's promise.)


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