Last Call

It would seem that we’re not going to make the Kickstarter funding goal unless something miraculous happens. So what does that mean for The Artifact moving forward? For one, I will not be re-kicking this project. I will have to find new ways to get to the kind of product I would like to turn out. That means this will take more time. That’s disappointing but not the end of the world.

This has been an interesting ride. Some have been very enthusiastic about The Artifact and backed it accordingly. Others have been deriding, mocking even. That’s not surprising even bigger and very successful projects have had their share of mockery. It just means that the RPG community has a variety of values that differ greatly from person to person. Many who have no problem deriding others.

I’ve learned a bit about Kickstarter and what it takes to succeed in getting funded. The sad truth is, Kickstarter is mainly going to be useful only to established names in the RPG community. There are some ways around this. One is to get an RPG maven to trumpet a product. I have trouble with that. To me the problem with that is that a small group are elevated to the status of choosing what the rest of the community will see come to life. We might like and enjoy the input from the prominent names in our community but do you want them dictating all your RPG choices? I wouldn’t.

I had a small group of people say “Of course you’re not getting funding, look at ‘X’, that writer barely made their funding goal and he’s a big name.” That’s kind of a sad attitude to have. Think about it. If we relegated ourselves to only the products and writers already out there, we would be reduced to a stagnating hobby retreading the same old stories for years.

You build the hobby, your choices will either build in new voices or cement it in place to what already exists. If you’re afraid of the hobby being interesting, go ahead and cement away. If you want new and interesting choices, support the guys you’ve never heard of.

5 Comments

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5 Responses to Last Call

  1. Harry

    It was a pretty decent run! Its pretty sweet that people are willing to put in over 1000 bucks for this game. I think we would have made it if the funding goal was a bit more humbler, perhaps only a thousand or so? I wonder, what are the possibilities of getting the book published?

    • Loc

      Your right, we did do reasonably well. The campaign drew a lot of attention to the game. Setting the goal lower wouldn’t have gotten the job done though. Half of any money would have gone to fulfilling rewards so in reality we only raised $500 for the book if we could somehow keep it ( which we can’t). That would be enough for cover art but not enough for anything else.

      As to if the book will be published, it will happen, just slower than I was hoping.

      • Even when halving it, it’s still pretty good.

        To put it in perspective, Marc W. Miller raised $300k. That’s… insane, and probably the ceiling for SF RPGs. (You can’t have a bigger name than him when it comes to SF RPGs.) if it scales linearly, you’d have to have 1/60th of the distribution/renown of MWM to gain $5k.

        I’d personally be thrilled to learn there were 25 people out there who’re willing to pay – more or less on good faith, no less! – for something I design. My personal goal is to make a 1€ profit on something I made, some day, somehow.

        It’s too bad you can’t reach people who visited the KS project and decided not to chip in – would be really interesting to know why (besides the obvious “this isn’t my thing”).

        • Loc

          Tomorrow I’ll sit down and work out a post that breaks down what went well and what went wrong. I’m getting I better concept of what would be required to run a successful Kickstarter. I have some specific ideas for metrics that would tell a designer with a prospective project what would be required.

          I am very happy that there were 25 people that backed the project. In some cases I did have conversations with people that said they would not back the project. Some of their arguments are hinted at above, that they only back people they already like/know. Others wanted me to have the artist do the work, show them what it would look like and then run the Kickstarter. That really doesn’t make a lot of sense to me but paying for a small amount of art and then KS for the rest would be possible. I just don’t have the funds to do that. There is a third solution that I’ll write about tomorrow.

          • Yeah in the internet age, reputation is kind of like hard currency. Or rather, can be turned into it. – Anyway, looking forward to reading the post mortem on your Kickstarter!

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