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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I Weep for Lost Innocence - Kickstarters That Fail to Deliver, Repeatedly

Strangely enough, this is not directed at a single project, so don't get your panties in a bunch if you think this post is a reflection on you. It probably is, but you have esteemed company.

So, lets see what we have:
A project that has pushed it's release date back by years, has repeatedly promised a PDF "in your hands next month, next week, tomorrow" and has yet to deliver. 
A project that has repeatedly claimed to have shipped, had a pissing match in the comments section of it's project page and has apparently only shipped to big mouth bloggers and the like. 
A project that is overwhelmed by what it promised via stretch goals and it creator historically has been late with just about every product that's been offered as a preorder - the Kickstarter just upped that a notch. Big mouth bloggers received some of their stuff late but others still have nothing. 
A project in which the project creator quit (but not before going dark for months), leaving the folks fronting the project holding the bag - and the backers waiting on something that may or may not be what they expected when they backed the project. 
A project that tried to run a second Kickstarter before the first was even written. Now the creator is broke and there is doubt that it will ever release in PDF, let alone print. 
Projects by a creator that funneled the monies not into the projects themselves, but into creating a company and hiring a staff. Now there are no monies and no releases. 
Those are just the chronic failures I've backed.

It's not so much my innocence that was lost, but the creators above that thought they found the secret to success before learning the gold path they walked upon was actually pyrite.

Well, I also weep for the monies I pissed away, but that's a whole 'nother issue ;)


  1. Many of the dubious kickstarters can be spotted by applying the adage "if it sounds too good to be true it probably is". At least I've been lucky there.

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  3. You're so vain, I bet you think this song is about you...

  4. A new Kickstarter pet peeve: The project runner who you have to chase down and bludgeon for the occasional update on a project reaching the 2-years-late stage, but who seems to find time to make multiple posts on Facebook, G+, and Twitter on a daily basis.

    1. That's precisely what started me from being a Mike Nystul fan to now having complete faith that his projects will never finish and ship.

  5. I notice you've written about Kickstarter projects a lot before (watching the RPGBA feed), and that you've had some bad luck in the past, evidenced by your post above. I don't know, maybe this is the wrong time, the wrong place, or the wrong idea -- but I was wondering if you'd be interested in my Kickstarter campaign?

    Looks are free, of course. :)

    I've been trying to work up the nerve to share my project link here, and I basically wouldn't have if not for the fact that I've made a daily webcomic. If it's the sort of thing you'd be interested in, I hope you'll take a look and share the link. :)


    1. I'll give you credit for the brass...

      Not the type of project I would back.

      In the future, use the contact form on the right, so I can let you down in private ;)

    2. I appreciate your comments, but I think it's probably more desperation than brass. My project got off to a good start but it's looking increasingly unlikely that it will fund. The majority of people I've contacted have ignored me, so I really do - actually - appreciate your acknowledging me here in the comments. ;)

      Keep on blogging! :D


    3. If I could offer some free advice...
      #1 You haven't backed any projects yourself Nick. This is, to me, a big red flag. I'm less likely to fund a project if I see that a creator hasn't actually contributed to other projects. There are exceptions to this, but those exceptions are usually people who are established in some other way, which brings me to
      #2 Who are you? If I have never heard of you, then when I first click on your kickstarter I should be introduced to who you are and the work you've done. But when I look at your website you've got 33 comics under your belt and the page looks like something I could cobble together in html. It doesn't speak to professionalism or competence, maybe both.
      I'm not saying you aren't professional or competent, but to the average person just clicking through links this is how it's going to look. First impressions are a big thing. Which leads to
      #3 My first impression is that this doesn't appeal to me. I like webcomics and I like 8-bit games, but I don't have enough time to play all the games I got from Steam last year and the only reason I have enough time to follow all of the blogs and webcomics I already read is because my wife tends to read the same things alongside me. If you want to grab people into your project then you need to really impress the average person if you're not already playing to your established audience.

      It looks like you have quite a few people who already support your work, seeing as several people backed you at $25 or more, and regardless of whether you succeed or fail you should use that knowledge to your advantage in the future. If it succeeds, you know the early adopters believed in your vision, and if it fails, you've got a couple of people that you could still make webcomics for and they would continue to support you. If I may, take a look at a few other comic projects that have both been successful and have failed, you might learn what not to do from some of them. In the future, don't talk about stretch goals in your rewards section, those of us who backed things like Axes & Anvils are not impressed by stretch goals. It just sounds like grubbing for money with empty promises.

      On a personal note, I have only ever backed two comics, neither were webcomics. One was a pet project where I just wanted to see the guy succeed regadless of what the work looked like ( and the other looked really amazingly good looking ( I had not heard of either creator before I clicked on their kickstarter links.

      Finally, after all of this lecturing, I will say that I admire your earnestness, so I'll throw you a couple of bucks. Good luck!

    4. Thank you for your advice. Your words sting like tough love in a way that doesn't make me feel happy, but I do feel like I learned something. I appreciate it.


    5. I suspect I've probably backed more projects than most people too. I've definitely backed more than any of my friends, so I would assume I know a little of what I'm talking about just from personal experience.
      My credentials =

  6. Being unemployed for four years . . . I weep for the money you've "pissed away" too!


  7. Dwimermount is the only Kickstarter I have backed. Not sure why I haven't backed any since then...

  8. I like the minigame of guessing which Kickstarters you're referencing above. Sadly, that is about the only "game" that will come out of many of those Kickstarter failures.

  9. No insult meant, Tenkar, but do you ever think that you devote too much of your time to writing about Kickstarters?

    (to which the inevitable retort is "No insult meant, Rachel, but do you ever think that you devote too much of your time to writing about trying to force clerics to make sense?")

    1. ...and all of the Kickstarters are RPG related.

      Actually, judging from my blog statistics, I should be doing more Kickstarter posts, not less - they are popular, though maybe not with you ;)

    2. I'm just saying, they seem to make you fairly unhappy a lot of the time (and justifiably so).

  10. All of my kickstarters have delivered or are close enough to delivering that I'm not sweating it yet. There is one that has half delivered and I am not really encouraged by the lack of work being applied to finishing it. I'm hoping some sense of duty will strike this individual soon.



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