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Subject: Discussion on Rahdo Runs Through Kickstarter Project rss

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Richard Ham
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Hi everybody. Here's the dealeo: I've been doing, for almost a year now, a series of videos that run through gameplay on boardgames. It's proven to be semi-popular, and in my first year, I'll have gotten about 50 games covered. Here's the geeklist if you are interested in the vids and my approach:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/140177/rahdos-boardgam...

In the last month or so, I've lost my job, and my wife and I have decided that after 20 years of working insane crunch hours making videogames, it's time for a break. So I've entered a semi-retirement phase of my life. We're moving to a very cheap cost of living area of Gozo, Malta, and I'm going to take the next year off and see how that goes.

This is of course a good thing because it means I'll have a lot more time to make videos. In 2012 I was averaging about 1 video a week while working full time. With no job, I'm hoping to average 4 or maybe more a week!

But this is also a bad thing because my wife and I will have to go on a fairly strict budget to make this work. Which means I'll have to severely curtail my boardgame purchases. So while I'll be making more vids, they'll more and more of the games already in my collection, and no longer of the latest and greatest. This is fine for me, but I know a lot of my fans really appreciate me getting gameplay runthroughs of the newest hotness, often before they're widely available (being in Europe helps with that, especially around Essen time).

In 2012, I spent probably somewhere between $2500 and $3500 on boardgames, and I could because I had a high paying job. In 2013, I'm thinking I'll be able to afford maybe 4 or 5 new games, period, for the whole year - which again, is fine. I've got over 200 games we already love, that'll keep me and my wife occupied for years to come.

So anyway, several people who enjoy my videos suggested that I should run a kickstarter campaign, because they'd be happy to donate to a fund that would allow me to continue buying new games, with the express understanding that I would film runthroughs for these games. So to test that, I ran a poll last night. Here it is (please vote if you like):

Poll
If Rahdo ran a kickstarter campaign for his video series, I would put in...
$0 "not interested, but good luck!"
$0 "not interested, and I really think you shouldn't do this. Let me tell you why..."
$1 "happy to tip, and don't expect anything in return :)"
$5 (You get the ability to cast votes for which games get filmed)
$10 (You get double voting power)
$20 (You get 5x voting power, plus the opportunity to vote on which games actually get bought with the fund)
$30 (You get all of the above, plus a 1 time chance to choose any game in my collection to film, regardless of popular vote)
$40 (You get all the above, plus get to choose a 2nd game to be filmed regardless of popular vote, and get to choose one specific game to be bought by the fund - up to a certain price value)
$50 (You get all of the above, plus get to choose a 3rd specific game to be filmed)
> $50 (who knows... I guess more determination as to which games get bought & videoed)
      265 answers
Poll created by rahdo


Here's what I posted with that poll:

Quote:
Bear in mind, if I were to do this, and it were successful, all money I would make would go directly into buying new games for filming - nothing else (well, and maybe buying a decent camera to improve the quality of the vids - or maybe that would be a stretch goal).

So I was trying to think of what I could offer to potential backers. Other guys who've done this (Dice Tower, Rodney, Spiel) offered a bunch of physical stuff - promos, tshirts, etc. Honestly, I don't think I can go down that route, but what I figured I could offer to people willing to give me money would be more of a say in what I actually film. It makes perfect sense to me that if you're making an investment, you should have more control over the direction of the product you investing in. That's the way the real world works, and it's something that I can easily offer!

Feel free to choose the "you're insane!" choice too... just let me know why (p.s. I think it's insane myself, but I figure no harm in asking )

There's been a pretty positive response (so far, anyway ) enough to convince me I should give this a go. If Tom Vasel & Rodney Smith & Steve Conway & Dave Coleson can do it, why not me? As I said in the quote though, those guys offered real tangible rewards - real things. I'm not crazy about going down that road, hence the notion of backers getting more control over the course of the video series. Here's a bit more about how I was thinking it would work:

I would work on regular sequence on videos thusly:

A) A video chosen by popular vote all the level 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 voters

B) A video chosen by the level 3, 4, 5 and 6 voters (all the voters who have 2x voting power)

C) A video chosen by level 4, 5, and 6 voters

D) Another video chosen by level 4, 5, and 6 voters

E) A 3rd video chosen by level 4, 5, and 6 voters (all the voters who have 5x voting power)

F) A video chosen by me

G) Back to step (A)

And the schedule could be 'interrupted' by high donors using their "this is the game I want!" option.

I chose this approach because I'm constantly getting requests to do specific vids from my collection (here's my collection, btw: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/collection/user/rahdo?sort=rati...) and I figured this would be a great opportunity for people to up their chances of their preferred game being covered - thereby offering something of real value for the money they put in. And I left step F in so I could respond to the requests of folks who didn't back but still would like their voices heard.

Now, the reason I started this thread is because I'd genuinely love recommendations about other stuff I could offer. I notice that Rodney did a 'backers get to see videos before anyone else' thing, but I'm not sure that I like that. I'd rather still make everything available to everyone, but I thought I'd ask if people would be interested in that as another bonus (that would be something that *every* backer would get, even at the $1 level, I think). Can anyone think of any other good value things?

Also, for anyone who voted "please, don't do this, it's crazy!", I'd love to hear why.

Anyway, thanks in advance for any suggestions or advice given. There were so many good ideas in the "help Rahdo name his video series", I'm looking forward to what comes of this too!
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Richard Ham
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
Oh, and I did think of one physical object I could produce for really high level donors: my wife is a very talented glass artist, and this morning she mentioned producing and sending some really nice jewellery for people. This obviously has nothing to do with boardgame videos, but still, it could be a very nice and very unique thing for some people that would appreciate. She's *really* good, btw.

And if people would genuinely like to have a t-shirt with my logo on it (see this thread for details about that: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/934451/discussion-on-pot...) I suppose it's possible to get that worked out. If people genuinely want that sort of thing.

Again, any feedback would be appreciated.
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Kevin W
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
I picked the $30 option as living in Europe (with the € - $ exchange) I see that as a fairer representation of what I feel that I get out of your videos Richard, which for me is more than just the reviews, it is your passion and enthusiasm for the art(?)of board-gaming in general.

Good luck

Kevin
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Steve
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
Hi,

By the way I know you said that you're taking a year off, but look me up if and when that changes: www.stevenichollscareercoaching.co.uk (or.com if you prefer!)

Onto the Kickstarter, I'd support you as you've moved me closer to a Lords of Waterdeep purchase, and I like the enthusiastic style - I wouldn't really want you to change the overall approach that you take. It works. I have one bit of constructive feedback - I sometimes find the "words per minute count" as bit high, but maybe that's just my own level of being able to take info on board.

Good luck!

p.s. I was really worried for you when I read this, but read it out of context!!..... I've lost my job, and my wife
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Stasia Doster
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
wi1ky wrote:
I picked the $30 option as living in Europe (with the € - $ exchange) I see that as a fairer representation of what I feel that I get out of your videos Richard, which for me is more than just the reviews, it is your passion and enthusiasm for the art(?)of board-gaming in general.

Good luck

Kevin

I never thought about the exchange rates! I have no idea what kind of currency they use in Malta (I don't suppose it is Maltese Falcons? If so, that would be so cool! says the Humphrey Bogart fan) So, if I pledge at the $50 level, would Richard actually get the $50 or would the exchange rates modify the amount he receives? I do not know how that works.

Stasia
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
scdoster wrote:
wi1ky wrote:
I picked the $30 option as living in Europe (with the € - $ exchange) I see that as a fairer representation of what I feel that I get out of your videos Richard, which for me is more than just the reviews, it is your passion and enthusiasm for the art(?)of board-gaming in general.

Good luck

Kevin

I never thought about the exchange rates! I have no idea what kind of currency they use in Malta (I don't suppose it is Maltese Falcons? If so, that would be so cool! says the Humphrey Bogart fan) So, if I pledge at the $50 level, would Richard actually get the $50 or would the exchange rates modify the amount he receives? I do not know how that works.

Stasia

$50 is currently €38.43 -- source:
google

and if this website is remotely accurate:
$50 is currently ₤16.46 (Italian lira vs Maltese lira?)
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Stasia Doster
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
Thanks for the information, Matt!
 
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
If you were to put up a site which lists the games you might want to buy & review, I'd drop $1 in each game I'd like to see a review of. If enough people did that, you could buy the game, play it and review it when you've received enough tips.

That way, you don't need kickstarter, and you would also be set up for a continuous funding.
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
Wyckyd wrote:
If you were to put up a site which lists the games you might want to buy & review, I'd drop $1 in each game I'd like to see a review of. If enough people did that, you could buy the game, play it and review it when you've received enough tips.

That way, you don't need kickstarter, and you would also be set up for a continuous funding.

I love this idea. It's beautiful in its simplicity.

I did wonder about how this will work out given the 2-player focus of your game play. What happens if backers are choosing games that are really not meant to be played 2-player? Seems to me you can still exercise some control over this with a website vs a Kick Starter. I'd give a little either way.
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
You have a lot of dedicated fans, and I think the biggest reason for that is your very enagaging and personality, both in your videos and on the forums.

I think you could have success having a Skype gaming session as a reward. It might be hard to work out a good time with non-Europe bound fans, but that's something you could work around. And I think it could be a fairly high reward tier.

Also, your camera doesn't bother me, but you might get a bit more interest if you establish a stretch goal for a legit digital camera with tripod.

Thanks and good luck!!!
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Damien Cosgrove
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
I'd support - think I chose the $20 level, but how much would depend on timing and whetehr I'm back into employment myself by when the KS goes live - because your style on full walk through and character make your video unique and I'd really miss them if they weren't there.

So thanks for everything that you've done to date.
 
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Wesley Jones
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
Quote:
If you were to put up a site which lists the games you might want to buy & review, I'd drop $1 in each game I'd like to see a review of. If enough people did that, you could buy the game, play it and review it when you've received enough tips.

That way, you don't need kickstarter, and you would also be set up for a continuous funding.

This makes more sense than kickstarter.
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Christine Biancheria
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
luvmywife wrote:
Quote:
If you were to put up a site which lists the games you might want to buy & review, I'd drop $1 in each game I'd like to see a review of. If enough people did that, you could buy the game, play it and review it when you've received enough tips.

That way, you don't need kickstarter, and you would also be set up for a continuous funding.

This makes more sense than kickstarter.

Yeah. I agree. I don't need kickstarter perqs. I'd rather just have some vehicle to donate some money here and there, so you could buy more new stuff than your current budget might otherwise allow.
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Damien Cosgrove
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
luvmywife wrote:
Quote:
If you were to put up a site which lists the games you might want to buy & review, I'd drop $1 in each game I'd like to see a review of. If enough people did that, you could buy the game, play it and review it when you've received enough tips.

That way, you don't need kickstarter, and you would also be set up for a continuous funding.

This makes more sense than kickstarter.

I'd also go for this, but I'm not sure how well it would work in the longer term, say 5-10 reviews down the line, when people just assume the reviews are "incoming". KS has the advantage that the money is there up front and can be budgeted for.

Ok, on thinking more, I think I prefer this idea over KS by quite a lot, but it's going to change the pave of your reviews, in that you're likely going to need to have multiple funding drives on simultaneously and the duration will be weeks not days for each most likely.
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
I picked the $1 option, but only because it was the only one that said I expect nothing in return. Though that's not entirely true because the game play walkthroughs are what I'd be getting.

Anyway, my point is that I would be willing to throw $20-25 at the project and not expect to get anything other than more great videos. Voting on what gets done next is nice, but not necessary for me.
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Robert Lavarnway
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
Kickstart your new camera. Set up a donation button elsewhere to let people kick you a dollar (or a euro) for each video.
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Christine Biancheria
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
Too bad that losing your job means less money for games: semi-retirement is a perfect time to buy and play and make reviews like crazy!
 
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Jonatan Rullman
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
While I have never watched your videos and possibly never will, I do think this might be a viable concept.
The major hurdles have already been voiced, namely that the voting system must be solid and the donation system must work properly.

I really like the tiered model you outlined. It made donating $1 a reasonable level but at the same time made donating $50 attractive. Possibly this should accumulate and work in a slightly different way though.
Say that i donate $5 to you, why should that give me the same voting power as someone donating $1? Better give votes like BGG gives gold, one dollar is one vote, two dollars are two votes. Also, why would that be limited to one game? Why should someone donating $10 have twice the voting power? I'd much rather have two of the same voting power so that i can choose to upvote a game strongly or support two games a little.
There are also considerations about which game you pick next, the obvious way would be to start preproduction of a video every wednesday (for example) and just pick the number one game on the list when that comes, but that makes tuesdays a very good time to skew the votes in favor of one game. If two games are almost tied a single voter can upvote his game minutes before you make your pick even though followers of the other game might be willing to donate more to make that game the next one. This is the classic sniper problem of ebay. There are ways to get around this though.
Also, like I said before, donations should accumulate. If i donate $2 every month for a year I will never have a one-off donation that gives me the highly coveted reward for donating $20 (this is hypothetical), but after a year I would still have spent the same amount as someone donating $24 in januari. So donations should accumulate and I think there should be reward levels for total accumulated donations, there's so many cool rewards you could do if you play your cards right.
I don't think one should underestimate the power of very small but recurring donations.

I'd say kickstarter might not be your best option, the limited time frame will make it unreliable.

Also, keep an eye on payment options, there could be a lot of loss on that $1 to paypal or amazon or whatever.

One of the biggest problems I have with this idea is that everything is fun and games when people get something for free. If they are paying, even if only $1, people will expect quality. There has already been voices about the camera and while I cannot say anything about the production values of your videos I will say that it is vital that they are high.
There are a lot of rules to making good videos and you are probably already familiar with them. Shaking cameras in bad angles, general stuttering and what appears like a non-existent script can make me turn of a video pretty fast (like the intro video for Dungeon Roll, jesus christ!) and I would certainly not donate money to someone producing something like that.

Cheers
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
rahdo wrote:
And if people would genuinely like to have a t-shirt with my logo on it (see this thread for details about that: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/934451/discussion-on-pot...) I suppose it's possible to get that worked out. If people genuinely want that sort of thing.

Again, any feedback would be appreciated.

Reading about the T-shirt idea made me realize the one thing I would love to have is a fan microbadge. You must be loaded with geekgold at this point so this shouldn't be out of range. I know this wouldn't appeal to the folks who watch on youtube but I would love to get a free MB for my support on Kickstarter.
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
jobin13 wrote:
You have a lot of dedicated fans, and I think the biggest reason for that is your very enagaging and personality, both in your videos and on the forums.

I think you could have success having a Skype gaming session as a reward. It might be hard to work out a good time with non-Europe bound fans, but that's something you could work around. And I think it could be a fairly high reward tier.

Also, your camera doesn't bother me, but you might get a bit more interest if you establish a stretch goal for a legit digital camera with tripod.

Thanks and good luck!!!

Getting to play a game with Richard via Skype would be a super awesome reward. I would definitely be tempted to a higher donation tier by a reward like that.

Superb idea.
 
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
luvmywife wrote:
Quote:
If you were to put up a site which lists the games you might want to buy & review, I'd drop $1 in each game I'd like to see a review of. If enough people did that, you could buy the game, play it and review it when you've received enough tips.

That way, you don't need kickstarter, and you would also be set up for a continuous funding.

This makes more sense than kickstarter.

While I like the idea in theory, I disagree that it make more sense than Kickstarter. One of the reasons I have found Richard's videos to be so great for me personally is how close a match his taste in games matches mine.

I would not enjoy or get as much out of his videos if all the games he did videos for were picked by popular opinion. That is a certainty.
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
jonatanrullman wrote:
One of the biggest problems I have with this idea is that everything is fun and games when people get something for free. If they are paying, even if only $1, people will expect quality. There has already been voices about the camera and while I cannot say anything about the production values of your videos I will say that it is vital that they are high.
There are a lot of rules to making good videos and you are probably already familiar with them. Shaking cameras in bad angles, general stuttering and what appears like a non-existent script can make me turn of a video pretty fast (like the intro video for Dungeon Roll, jesus christ!) and I would certainly not donate money to someone producing something like that.

Cheers

The best thing I could hope for if I help fund Richard's videos is that NOTHING would change. I would get exactly the same thing that I fell in love with the first time I watched one of his videos.

"don't change a thing for me, not if you care for me."
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Christine Biancheria
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
niledesign wrote:
luvmywife wrote:
Quote:
If you were to put up a site which lists the games you might want to buy & review, I'd drop $1 in each game I'd like to see a review of. If enough people did that, you could buy the game, play it and review it when you've received enough tips.

That way, you don't need kickstarter, and you would also be set up for a continuous funding.

This makes more sense than kickstarter.

While I like the idea in theory, I disagree that it make more sense than Kickstarter. One of the reasons I have found Richard's videos to be so great for me personally is how close a match his taste in games matches mine.

I would not enjoy or get as much out of his videos if all the games he did videos were picked by popular opinion. That is a certainty.

I'd also rather continue to see the reviews selected from the general "hotness" list that interests you rather than by group vote.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
jonatanrullman wrote:
Say that i donate $5 to you, why should that give me the same voting power as someone donating $1?
I see pros and cons to the "one person one vote" and "one dollar one vote" approaches. I can't say which I would favor.

Quote:
There are also considerations about which game you pick next, the obvious way would be to start preproduction of a video every wednesday (for example) and just pick the number one game on the list when that comes, but that makes tuesdays a very good time to skew the votes in favor of one game.
Weekly production sounds like a level of rigidity that doesn't feel very rahdo-like. I would favor keeping it loose...but see below.

Quote:
Also, like I said before, donations should accumulate. If i donate $2 every month for a year I will never have a one-off donation that gives me the highly coveted reward for donating $20 (this is hypothetical), but after a year I would still have spent the same amount as someone donating $24 in januari. So donations should accumulate and I think there should be reward levels for total accumulated donations, there's so many cool rewards you could do if you play your cards right.
I don't think one should underestimate the power of very small but recurring donations.
I agree...and I disagree. $24 in January *is* worth more than $2 per month. But $2/month is valuable as well. Committing in advance to $2/month is even more valuable, but only if you keep your word, which not everyone will be willing or able to do.

Quote:
Also, keep an eye on payment options, there could be a lot of loss on that $1 to paypal or amazon or whatever.
!!!!! Yes! Not to mention currency exchange fees.

Quote:
One of the biggest problems I have with this idea is that everything is fun and games when people get something for free. If they are paying, even if only $1, people will expect quality. There has already been voices about the camera and while I cannot say anything about the production values of your videos I will say that it is vital that they are high.
Unfortunately true. Personally, I like the current format. Knowing that Richard is gripping the camera in one hand and flipping cards with the other just makes me grin. I feel like I'm *there*. A tripod would lose a lot of the character of the videos. Maybe that's ok, and maybe I'm just sentimental.

But undoubtedly once people start paying, they do have expectations. Whether about quality, or frequency, or whatever. If I were in Richard's shoes, I'm not certain I would want to sign up for that pressure.

I'll post another idea separately, to make it easier to quote.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Re: Discussion on Potential Kickstarter for Rahdo's Reviews
Going back to basics, I think there are 3 reasons to raise money:

1. To upgrade the video equipment. As I mentioned, I don't think this is necessary. Some people do.

2. To buy more games.

3. To compensate Richard for his time and effort.

Since I'm not interested in #1, and #3 is more difficult, I'll focus on #2.

There should be some way to crowdsource the purchase of specific games for Richard, so he can review them. 20 of us kick in $2 each so he can buy a game, do a video, and keep the game for himself (or sell it or trade it away). Kickstarter is obviously overkill for a $50 funding goal.

Maybe a geeklist with gg tips? How practical is it for someone living in Malta to convert gg into cash, or into "games delivered to Malta"? This would be by far the easiest to set up, lowest risk, and easiest for BGG users (one-click to tip).

Next best: Could we buy GC's online that Richard could use to purchase games? Maybe the minimum is $5, which would be fine.

Having said all that, if that worked, would getting free games also serve purpose #3 sufficiently? (That's a question only Richard can answer).
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