Saturday, September 28, 2013

Coming to Your Town - Nystul's Castle Traveling Road Show

Maybe you are like me, holding out hope that at some point, Axes & Anvils will not just see a completed manuscript, but may also see print. I mean, the cover is pretty, but ain't worth squat without the words that go behind it.

Don't hold your breath on the print version, as Mike is not going to have a traditional place to call his home -

You know the Kickstarter success stories that go bad? The ones that succeed beyond initial dreams and that very success leads to unfulfilled Kickstarters and folks have lost their homes over such (or so it's been said). Mike went one better and lost (well, i think "left" is more accurate) his employment with the successful Kickstarters, and is now going nomadic, leaving his residence behind.

Without a place to live, there is no place to store physical rewards from the Kickstarter - not that I expected to see any at this point, as Mike no longer has steady employment and the Kickstarter funds have all been spent on non-Kickstarter expenses.

The upside is - Mike may very well be looking for a couch to crash on in your town (at least if you are in the Texas area I guess).

It looks like Mike is going through a soul searching stage in his life - hopefully he finds everyone's Kickstarter rewards during the search.


  1. I'm confused - in his Kickstarter update yesterday he said he was working again. Doesn't that seem a little contradictory?

  2. I think I'm pretty much done with KS. I was looking at the few I've backed and only one out of the six has delivered. The only exceptions would be Joseph above because he has always delivered and Frog God Games. I was reading through some of the updates and I became exhausted and annoyed by the excuses and reasoning that all KS are late.

    1. Thanks, Tim. It really means a lot to know people notice when things go right.

  3. Tim, that's a totally legitimate and sensible position. I am more fortunate in my experiences. I backed the Dungeonmorph Dice and got the awesome cards and font, which are much more valuable to me than the dice themselves. I got crazy good value from my backing of Paul Hughes poster; the poster is neat enough, but the DM book and the online dungeon robber game have been outstanding. My hobby efforts have really been enriched by about half the projects I've backed, and I almost always keep my pledges fairly low.

    Everything has not worked out. But I have had some great opportunities to work with people I would not have otherwise worked with, and to get some really neat materials.

    1. That was a great KS. One I wished I'd gotten in on. I think I am taking the approach of wait and see now. If they come through with the product then I will buy it after the fact. I may have to pay more, but that way I don't get frustrated with well intentioned folks. I will still support them, but only after they finish their product.

  4. It all equates with Management.

    Keep track of the successes, because those "folks" managed their time and the money well. The failures? These are people that simply can't be trusted with money. They don't know how to manage it, how to distinguish what is and what isn't "important" to the project and they no doubt "suck" at managing their time and keeping to time tables.

    A single success doesn't equate with professionalism. Who knows who may have been "assisting" in the background, but is no longer involved -- or not involved -- in the present project?

    "He who is faithful in least is faithful in much." Applicable to so many things. Remember the names and avoid them in the future. Life's lessons are hard . . . and often expensive.

    I know you fellows know all of this, I just thought it was worth repeating.

  5. All very sad. I agree with the above that it all equates with management. Good intentions and a great idea count for nothing if an effort isn't managed well. I'm a Program and Project Management consultant, and this is something I see all to frequently. "He is such a good technical lead, he really knows his stuff, he's been a resource on several successful projects in the past, we expected that he would have no trouble managing this project." Skills in one zone do not automatically translate into another.

    I still love the Kickstarter idea, but hey, this is investing its very risky. Its like being a venture capitalist, but on the scale of the scale of $1-$5 not $500k to $5M. Don't put in any money that you're not prepared to walk away and lose.

    I've been very lucky so far. After watching several KS I finally took the plunge with Numenera and was very happy with the outcome. I've been watching a few others, but nothing has made me bite yet.

    Just my $0.02

    1. You are entirely right about skills not translating from one realm to the other. It's sometimes referred to as "promoting someone to the point of incompetency."

      I happen to come from a project management background myself, so I am stuck with a mindset that thinks in terms of deliverables, deadlines, dependencies, and GANTT charts. Hell, I'm already getting people working on stuff that's due out a year from now, because if I don't it won't make my projected dates.

      But not everyone is cut out for that sort of thing. Creative types aren't always (mostly?) good at project management or business in general. "Game designer" and "game publisher" are very different job titles for a very good reason.

    2. Hail and well met fellow member of the PM Guild. :) It does seem to me that that odds are stacked against strong creatives also being good at the management side of things (and vice versa). It kinda' makes me wonder if there isn't an opportunity to provide that sort of PM service / consulting to efforts such as this...for a small but fair fee of course. :)

  6. Isn't it more expensive to pay for gas and vehicle maint. and the occasional vagrancy ticket than to get a cheap apartment or roommate?

    Or is he a backpack on foot vagrant.

    Maybe he is going to live in a cave and/or sewer and get some dwarfy field research in to benefit the KS.

    The is an old coal mine near here he can live in.

  7. The big problem with KS is that I have such bad gamer ADD,that by the time I get a book or whatever, my interest has moved on.

    Stuff goes on a shelf, and might be read in a year or two. But probably not. I have 75 SPI wargames that require attention too, plus the 3 I just bought on eBay.

    Plus the three I'll buy next week.

    It's like buying a sackful of old fantasy novels at a library booksale that never make the to read pile

    1. If you would like to get rid of some of those SPI games, let me know. I'd be glad to take them off your hands to clear up shelf space for other stuff.

    2. I will keep that in mind Joseph. I have been buying lots of S&T issues lately and fine tuning my collection.

      What are your areas of interest? Though I suspect your are just a student of history that will happily try them all out, as I am.

    3. Incidentally, you might want to goolge search the new Ares magazine, it's coming back! With games. They are looking for designers right now, check consim world.

  8. "If you live elsewhere and would like me to bring my traveling show to your town drop me a message and I'll see if I can add you to the itinerary."


    "Please let me into your house where I can sleep in your bed, eat your food, drink your grog, dirty your dishes, shower in your bathroom using your soap and your shampoo, dirty your towels, clog your toilet, use your toilet paper, mooch your internet, and avoid those annoying people who are going to be looking for me with court papers...."


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