Saturday, December 10, 2016

Kickstarter - Traveller Customizable Card Game

Huge thanks to The Tavern's Community for bringing this to my attention - I may have missed it otherwise.

There are so many red flags with the Traveller Customizable Card Game. Let us count the flags, shall we?

1 - First created - zero backed. Never a good sign.

2 - Its Traveller. Please point me to a Traveller Kickstarter that wasn't fucked up.

3 - The video is pretty well produced, yet there are no credits at the end. Not a huge flag, more of a question. Just who produced the video? (host and music are indicated at the bottom of the page - I'm more interested in who produced - because, you know - history)

4 - How many fucking add-ons does one project need?

5 - See that site travellerccg.com? Its a placeholder. It links back to the Kickstarter.

6 - Where are the actual cards to this game. All I see are computer art mockups. Where's the
prototypes? Ah, see, we haven't even gotten to the art stage yet. Its still be ing playtested but will ship in July 2017. Yeah, right.

7 - Horizon Games apparently doesn't have a website. How can the publisher of the game not have a web presence?

8 - Two collaborators, they've backed 6 projects between them and have essentially no bio. Heck, this was even mentioned in the comments of the project's page.

Yeah, too many flags for me. Like any classic LBB Traveller character, lets see if this dies during creation...


  1. Glad you post these types of PSAs. Saves me from having to do the research before I back some stuff. Thanks for watching out for the community.

  2. Yes, I am following this kickstarter but I do not expect it to hit funding. A lot of red flags indeed.

  3. Eric ... I would add this to the list:
    8) Person talking about the game is a paid actress and not actually part of Horizon Games

    When you cannot front your own company in the video that is a red flag to me.

  4. I like the concept of the game. I asked some basic questions in hopes to see what responses they can give.

  5. Funny how they throw another KS under the bus as s misdirection. That's a no-go in my book. Besides, Robotech Tatics was fine until the players started pitching ideas to Palladium and then like any kid with ADHD, they drifted off plan.

  6. I'm the creator of the project in question, so I appreciate the opportunity to address some of these concerns. We're working to do so in a more general manner, but I thought due to the hostility here, it was a good idea to reach out first.

    1 - We created a brand new profile for the campaign. Here's my personal Kickstarter profile. While I am by no means a superbacker, you'll see a history of backing gaming related Kickstarters:


    2- Traveller has had a difficult time in KS, especially with TravellerTV and Ken Whitman's "exploits." But at the same time, it's largest projects, Trav5 and Agents of the Imperium, did launch.

    3- We didn't include credits because that hasn't seemed to be the standard practice for Kickstarter videos. And it would just be a list of names you wouldn't know. I hope you'll understand that re-editing and uploading the video just to add credits is more work than it is worth, but I will include a full credits list on the KS page, where the host and music info are now.

    4- I'm sorry you don't like the number of add ons. I just thought about the kinds of products I use for the card games I play.

    5- We bought a domain name and basic hosting, but didn't see the need for a full on site until we knew whether or not there'd even be anything for a site to host. Maybe this was an oversight, we're happy to consider making the site more substantial.

    6- It's still being playtested, and always will be, but that doesn't mean development started yesterday. We've been working on this game for a while already, progressing through internal playtesting of basic concepts, then specific sets, then specific builds and specific cards. Then pushing that process out to external playtesters, first in the local gaming scenes and then to the online community at large. We're playtesting future cards, to see how they interact with current ones, and current ones to see how they can be made better and clearer for release.

    As for the lack of art assets, we're upfront about not having an in-house artist. That's why we need the money. We have a game. We have mechanics. We can play the game and test mechanics with slips of paper. But to turn them into cards, we do need art that currently we don't have.

    7- See 5.

    8- See 1.

    While I wish the tenor weren't so immediately hostile, I do understand that there are factors about our campaign that may give rise to some concerns. Some of it is due to our inexperience with managing a Kickstarter campaign, something new to us.

    We're looking to find a general way to address some of these issues. I appreciate your taking a look at our campaign. If you care to stay tuned and see if it develops, perhaps we'll have the opportunity to earn your support.

    1. Answers are always appreciated.

      As for the credits, any video on KS that looks and sounds professional seems to have half a minute of credits at the end, with everyone trying to get their name in. Just seemed off that one of the most professional videos I've seen on KS lacked such.

      As said by others, thank God he who shall not be named is not affiliated with this ;)

      As far as add-ons go, I think there is a saturation point where it becomes more noise than signal. Others may disagree.

  7. Cool. I think what a lot of people want to see is just a blanket statement saying Whitman isn't involved in any fashion. He's had a habit in the post of using front people to work behind.

    That said, good luck.

  8. Jolly,

    I can definitely understand that. We aren't affiliated with him in any way, something I did make clear to the Not Another Dime people yesterday. I don't know him, never met him, never even seen him on The Walking Dead, even though that's apparently one of the few things that are true.

    Also, I'm sure you get this all the time, but I love KotDT. We actually met briefly in 2000 at Origins. I was doing the Longest Role-Playing Session contest they were holding (104 hours!), and we had this sign up. People started signing and drawing on it. You came by and did a did a quick sketch of Brian.

    I wish I had a photo, but 16 years ago there weren't smart phones everywhere.

    1. good to hear. Again good luck. Ah cool - lol. Yeah small industry. BIg Traveler fan here.

    2. Totally missed the letter on Not Another Dime. Thumbs up. Yeah I think alot of the concerns was KW might somehow be involved. Do did well making it clear he's not.

  9. @Jeffrey Yin ... I can see from your posts here and on the Updates ... you guys have a lot of fire. Reading your bios ... I can tell you are very new to the game and it shows which is why you are seeing the negative comments. The errors made in setting up the KickStarter make it look like a scam. You could have avoided ALL of this by posting a link to your project to the Facebook group KickStarter Best Practices and a group of the most experience KickStarter CREATORS out there would have given you a massive amount of advice to make your project a success.

    You are rapidly approaching the 72 hour wall and I'm not sure if you'll reach the 50% point ... I hope you can ... but it looks like it will be uphill since you launched on a Friday which a big error for 1st time projects based on a ton of data research on how KickStarters succeed. Tuesday morning EST is actually the prime launching time for success. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday should normally be avoided if you want to succeed. Those first 3 days are so massively critical that you want to launch to capture the 3 days most active on KickStarter which is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

    Anyway ... you got the negatives because of the way the project was designed. The good news is that you have legitimate passion and if this project does not work ... you can regroup and launch it again avoiding the problems that this one had with some advice.

    My biggest advice point at this point ... you should never be discussing NDAs to see the rules for a game that you are trying to fund on KickStarter. By the time you launch you should be so close to production that you should be able to put up a free PDF of the rules as part of the project OR a detailed play-through of the game. Not having that on Day 1 might mean you don't reach the 50% 72 hour mark and might need to regroup and try again. But I do think that if that happens ... you'll be okay as I think this project could fund if built correctly.


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