How is it best used? Should established game companies invest so much time and effort into building a community through somebody else's platform, or is it even possibile to gain as much buzz with comprable effort anywhere else?
What are your favorite/least favorite kinds of stretch goals?
Is it a sin for companies to actually make money on a crowdfunded project?
As a (soon to be former) retailer, my primary issue with Kickstarter is finding a happy medium, where a game can enter the "normal" supply chain after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Too often, distributors don't pick up Kickstarter successes, or they end up with only one distributor, as an exclusive. I've been told that distributors are reluctant, as many retailers don't think they can sell a game after a big kickstarter campaign, as anyone who really wanted it already got on and got all the stretch goals.
I disagree with this, and think that if a game is good, it will sell.
However: I think that most stretch goals should eventually be reprinted, perhaps as part of the first full expansion. The knowledge that those goodies WILL be available at some point, though not as a freebie, may help sell the game better after the kickstarter ends.
These interviews with Dan have a dangerous side effect. Every time I listen to one of these I feel like, "I now know everything it would take to publish a game."
That's a compliment for Dan and yourself by the way. Andrew's input was excellent here as well. In all seriousness, I really have no plans ever to use Kickstarter for anything, but I definitely enjoy getting these insider perspectives. They kind of remind of those Holiday Inn Express commercials.
"Oh so you have experience publishing/Kickstarting games?" "No, but I listen to On Board Games!"
... Is it a sin for companies to actually make money on a crowdfunded project?
The real question may be... who actually makes any money after acounting for all the time, energy and up front cost it takes to bring a game to market other than those that can produce a game with Mini's, a large print run, or a game that catches on post Kickstarter.
BTW, I should add that at the end I don't consider KS as a bad thing, at first I was worried about missing the exclusive promos that came with the KS games, but now I don't care, maybe because there are only a bunch of KS games that I want, and for those promos are not that important, also it seems to be paying always a premium price for those, and most of the time I feel that is not worthy.
I guess it's ok having more publishing companies, and more games released.
How's Andrew KS campaing going? any link for that?
I've always thought Kickstarter was a fascinating idea that would give more breadth to the market, allowing games to be published that would otherwise never see the light of day. I definitely think this has been borne out by companies large and small.
I don't think there's a 'wrong' way to use Kickstarter (outside of scams, of course). I don't have issues with established companies using it as a 'preorder' system. As long as the game eventually hits conventional distribution, I'll still have an opportunity to pick it up if I don't Kickstart it. And the Kickstarter process allows companies to better gauge demand for a game, with the possibility of a better production when the game comes out.
I think companies should be able to make a profit on a crowdfunded project. One would hope that they still are able to fully deliver on the promises of the project. But just like any other purchase, funding a Kickstarter project is an individual's own value decision. If they feel that the proposed 'reward' for the amount of money they're contributing is a good value, then exactly how much of the money ends up in the pockets of the company shouldn't be a consideration.
Favorite? I don't know, I don't do much Kickstarting. Possibly Ogre: Designer Edition, which my brother and I went in on together for my Dad. I love that such a huge, over-produced version of that game is feasible in today's market. I don't think that game would have ever come close to what it is without Kickstarter. And sure, SJG said they're losing money on it, but from what I've read about the project they were pretty much planning on that from the start.
I think the biggest 'problem' with Kickstarter isn't Kickstarter itself, but the users who misunderstand exactly what it is. Kickstarter is the definition of 'Buyer Beware'. It's almost a gambling site where you throw some money to the wind and hope you get something worthwhile back in return. But I think a lot of users get emotionally invested and the project becomes something bigger to them. Then if things don't turn out as they had hoped they would, they're disappointed all that much more.
Contributing to a Kickstarter project doesn't entitle one to ANYTHING. You're giving your money to someone else totally on trust. I think a lot of users forget that.