Saturday, February 25, 2017

Kickstarter - 400+ RPG Maps: Dozens of Themes! VTT, Digital & Printed

Alright. I THINK there is a good Kickstarter behind this mess, but its going to take some sorting out.

First - You really need a better title for your Kickstarter than 400+ RPG Maps: Dozens of Themes! VTT, Digital & Printed. Believe it or not, KS is very much about branding, and there is literally no branding here. (note - see below)

Second - Video - I know some say every Kickstarter needs a video. This video is both WAY to long and the music is annoying as hell. Note - some people don't like techno. If I want a headache I can drink myself into one with something much more enjoyable. That being said, watch the video for about 30 seconds. I want my readers to share the pain ;)

edit: notice the video refers to Meanders 2? Well, I guess that is the name of the project. Would be nice if it were actually used as the name of the project. 

Third - Information overload - Yes, folks want to know what your KS is about. This is way too much info. I literally gave up after scrolling through less than a quarter of the page. The words became a blur. I don't have that much time to read a KS page.

Even the "simple summary" is confusing
Fourth - 25 Support Levels - WTF? Much like above - simply too much to digest.

Fifth - This applies to pretty much every Kickstarter - having a video is fine but it is not a graphic that blogs and other websites can easily use in a post. You really should have some splash art that looks good on its own that relates and identifies with your project.

Shit. I mean, there is some dame good looking tile art for a VTT here but there is simply too much to digest. Sometimes less truly is more and more isn't always better.

Perhaps someone with more patience can break this down into manageable bites...


  1. I backed his two previous Kickstarters. The last meanders project was very good with super high quality maps. He delivered on time (a little early, actually) and was available to take suggestions and added art based on backer requests. For a site that has an axe to grind about people who take the money and run, this Kickstarter is the opposite.

    Since you use Roll20 a fair amount and play a lot of OSR, that means hex crawls and wilderness wandering is a big part of the experience. For $10 you will get 60 very nice maps for a variety of terrain.

  2. I appreciate you need to source 'problematic' kickstarters to post about, Eric - and you may be right in terms of standardization and Ks user trends and expectations, but - it is my sincere belief that my approach to things is what makes my creativity interesting. You cannot please everyone and no matter what I'd done I would expect someone to disagree, and that's OK pro tip - the video works on mute too. Love your site, thanks for the review, I got this far being a reasonable rational guy who doesn't expect one side of things in all things, and I hope you will consider that slick marketing is not what kickstarter was supposed to be about.. Its just what its become

  3. That said, I'm going to take this onboard and see what I can do to improve the campaign, and thanks for the feedback.

  4. I don't think he was calling it out as a problematic Kickstarter, Kris. I think this was more of a "Hey, this is there but the presentation is a bit frenetic and overwhelming." When he calls a problem Kickstarter out it isn't gentle. I would take this more as constructive (and very direct) criticism.

    I backed it on Michael's recommendation and after your post on the Fantasy Grounds boards. I'm looking forward to the end result but I was a bit confused when I read your update this morning. It might be worth considering that the backer levels and information on the campaign page could be a bit more succinct and direct. That would be my feedback as a backer.


  5. Hi, that's why I put problematic in air-quotes. If you put certain terms in the header it picks these up when you search for them - that was my main concern - but I've modified the heading and blurb, and I'll have another go at the content of the page :)

  6. I thought Kris' title actually worked well because it had the items people will be searching for. If they aren't in the title, the KS search doesn't find them. Branding is a lovely marketing idea but key words are essential for finding things.

    MCC, DCC and Cthulhu KS's put the game system right in the title. They do a good job of ensuring that people can find them.

    FGG KS titles on the other hand are great examples of how not to do it (IMNSHO). They don't identify PF or 5e or RPG or S&W so finding the FGG stuff on KS isn't easy. They brand them nicely with Lost Lands but that will never get found by anyone that isn't already in the know.

    The body of Kris' KS though could use some editing to really nail what you get, what are the add-ons and what are the stretch goals. A simple chart maybe. I didn't back because I couldn't figure out what I would get within 5 minutes. It didn't hook me.

    1. Thanks for the comments Steve, I'm sorry it didn't hook you - it can be difficult to find the right balance of what works to convey a message and I think I have found a happy medium. I've made more editing and hope you will have another look and tell me if it's an improvement.

  7. @Eric - the reason I had so many pledges, is in my last campaign I had backers unsure how to pledge manually - so I set these levels up to ensure backers wouldn't have trouble allocating their budget to a given reward.

  8. In some regards, what I've done, I've done based on previous experience and suggestions/advice from backers, observers and peers... that can be a minefield. But I've made several changes and would be interested in your opinion as to whether it has improved. Thanks :)

  9. No? No review of the changes? No constructive feedback? Just kick it it the shins and move on eh? Thanks. A lot.


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