Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Nearly 2 Years Late - Where is the City State Kickstarter?

I've been inundated recently with requests to look at the nearly 2 years late City State of the Invincible Overlord Kickstarter. If you read the current comments at the KS page, backers have started reporting this project to Kickstarter itself.

Exactly how much cash did the City State raise? Over $85k from 965 backers. It's certainly not small change. Heck, I'm in for $145 myself ($60 plus stretch goal maps)

So, what went wrong? Why are we nearly 2 years late to completion and no updates since September 2?

Yes, its "Backers Only" - No links, nothing secret and nothing since
Could it be stretch goals? I'm putting the large bet on minis, which has been the death toll of many a Kickstarter.

Then again, there are the endless maps. All of which are being redone by one man.

As of September the book itself wasn't laid out.

It's impossible to pin the blame on one aspect of this project as it seems all aspects are behind.

That being said, silence is not golden when it comes to Kickstarters. No, silence is often seen as the death knell, when backers start to worry that the monies they put forth in the hopes of receiving a product that excited them seems to be disappearing into a Bag of Devouring with nothing coming in return.

I've seen comments comparing this project to one of Ken Whitman's boondoggles. That's unfair, as that requires premeditated malfeasance. I don't see that here. I see overwhelmed by success, which can be worse than not funding at all.

I hope there is an update on the project soon, one that is accurate and honest in its assessment. Its the only way to stem the tide, if there is a way left at this point.


  1. I don't mind waiting, but please do keep us up to date.

  2. I was in on this at the beginning but as the unwise stretch goals nobody wanted started piling on I cancelled. It had fantasy heart breaker written all over it. I raised my concern while the KS was still running but got howled down. What can go wrong I was told... all the words have been written for decades.

  3. If I were in running a crowdfunding site, I would consider it a Pretty Neat Idea to have some sort of crowdfunding simulator that could show the effects of stretch goals on the bottom line. Your cost assumptions could still be wrong, but at least you'd have some. A lot of folks that do this stuff have absolutely zero business or finance background, so it's very easy for creators to get caught flat-footed. It might also inhibit the "death-by-success" thing if there was an option for a cap of some kind. That way you could write a proposal along the lines of "I need $50,000 to make 500 copies of my dream game." Known cost, known quantity talking to printers, nothing happens without the required funds. Like real business projects.

  4. There was an update early this AM and minis are going out mid December. These guys had some health issues that surprised them as well I believe. I'm hopeful because I already have PDFs of many maps and because of that I know work is actually getting done.

  5. The sooner I get errata the sooner I can get my end done. Also note that I drew the entire wilderlands as one giant 5 foot by 8 foot map. Then I crop out the 18 individual maps.

  6. I think the biggest problem has been their failure to make this their number 1 priority in their lives. Its obviously a "when we get around to it" kind of priority, except when it comes to the minis and the maps getting done. So I pretty much blame Bob Bledsoe for what should have been such a great positive experience being a great big worry.

  7. That is one BIG map, Rob. A monumental task! And it looks spectacular for the pieces I've gotten.

  8. I'm not going to blame BobIII for making his family his number one priority, but it's clear that two serious mistakes were made: not cancelling the minis when East Front demanded $15K up front, and then deciding to expand the CSIO book (and thus increasing layout time and printing cost) instead of sticking with the existing material. Imagine if the Bobs had laid out the book in 2015 instead of writing new material?

    We'll see if a lack of communication becomes a third serious mistake.

  9. Its more akin to nick logue's razor coast. Collected a bunch of money, but in over his head.

  10. This is a shame. They have done an awful job on this.

  11. They were putting a bunch of their old stuff on DriveThru, but dropped off there, as well. I didn't back this one, but I remember it.


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition