Kickstarters: Rivet Wars, Realm Works and Wild West Exodus

I feel like I’ve been bombarded by a number of gaming related Kickstarters I’ve been interested in lately.  It’s a much different way to get involved with a game, but I’m still having fun with it.

I have purchased a number of games that started off as Kickstarters, Cards Against Humanity, Zombicide, and Evil Baby Orphanage.  They all ended up great and we could have gotten more stuff, gotten the game earlier and gotten it cheaper if we had backed.  This makes me want to back anything that looks interesting, which may end up poorly.

Last year, I backed the Relic Knights Kickstarter quite a bit.  Enough to get 3 forces including all the extras.  Even though I was a little put off by some of the models, the rules were interesting enough and there were enough clothed models that I could play that it was okay.  They did a great job of making the stretch goals add to everyone’s backing, rather than only rewarding those top tiers.  You seemed to be getting many of the models at just above cost, which is I think how it should be.  Backers get a great quantity of stuff for cheap, and the company basically gets all of their infrastructure paid for.  The molds for plastic models can be very expensive and Kickstarter is a great way to get those pre-paid for while giving the backers a great deal.

The next one that came across my way was Rivit Wars.  This was also by Coolminiornot, which did both Zombicide and Relic Knights which adds a bit of confidence.  The gameplay video they did looked quick and fun, and the models were really cute.  Based on how Zombicide went, it seems like that for both this and Relic Knights, if I end up not liking the game, I can sell it on Ebay for a profit, so there’s not much risk.  I don’t think it will be a problem for either game though.

Now I’m backing 2 additional Kickstarters, both ongoing.

One is Realm Works, which has presented me with an interesting choice.  It is an RPG management tool which allows you to automatically link the people, places and things in your campaign and show only what you wish to players.  It seems pretty cool, and I love Hero Lab by the same company.  One of the big deals for the Kickstarter is the cloud service that the program will use.  They will allow cloud storage of all campaign material which will then be sharable online with your players.  This seems great especially the ability to mark exactly what your group learned in each session and have it be searchable.

The question I have for myself is backing level.  I was going to do the $35 level and just get the software, but then I noticed the level where you get a lifetime subscription to the cloud service.  I totally see myself using the cloud service, but monthly subscriptions are odd when I won’t necessarily be using it every month.  Only problem is that level is $250.  I’m pretty sure the company will stay up and running for years, but they haven’t released their future pricing structure yet.  If they charge ~$10 a month, this will be worth 2 years of cloud service.  I think that’s worth it but it’s a lot of cash to drop.  I’m leaning toward it, but we’ll see before it ends.

The last one is Wild West Exodus.  The biggest reason I’m backing this one is that Craig from The D6 Generation has been writing for it.  The models are cool and the theme is kind of neat.  I do have a lot of skirmish games though, and I’m not sure who I’ll play with, but I was still down with it.

Recently though, I’ve been a little put off by the way they’re doing their stretch goals.  It seems like everything they add is either for the $400+ reward levels or something you have to pay extra for.  And most of the extras they’re charging you ~80% of retail, which is worse than a vendor would get, which kind of peeves me.  It may just be me, but I feel that Kickstarter is for getting a venture up and running, not for making money itself.  It allows backers to help get your funding.  As I said, plastic model molds are expensive, prohibitively so for many small companies.  By doing the Kickstarter, they can get the large startup capital they need, and in return give backers the models at close to cost.  Everybody wins.  I just don’t see why I should back them when I can probably get things at around that rate from an online reseller.  Hopefully they realize this, but I’m seriously considering dropping my backing.  We’ll see.

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