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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:49 pm 
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Agreed. This is not just being late and I felt Joes comments made light of the customers who put their money up front for this.

The facts are this nonstop pushback, delays, excuses, lost emails, po screwups, etc has been going on for years with BHP. Appendix N, Delving Deeper, and previously Whitebox, where I learned my lesson to never give BHP anything up front (several months late, prouct poorly packaged and thus damaged during shipping and also one booklet was quite obviously damaged before it was ever put in the white box, let alone the "packing materials"). I was so frustrated I simply decided to never give BHP another cent and let my WB sit on a shelf unused until I sold it a month or so ago.

John seems like a good guy, but I guarantee so are the rest of us. We have jobs and families, and likely we value every penny we make. When we give it to a stranger in good faith, and that trust is broken time and time again by the stranger, I do not see how any backers of BHP products are wrong or need to be more patient and trusting. John no longer deserves it. He has to earn it back.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:38 am 
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The way I see it, Joe walked a very careful line between supporting John and supporting those who want their money back.

I've done some work for John Adams, and he has always treated me fairly and paid me promptly. I know that some people have received print copies, because Tenkar's Tavern reports receiving them. As a result, I don't think that any deceit was intended showing things going out. Things did go out. Just not as much as should have.

My impression is that John is a stand-up guy who, yes, got in a bit over his head, and also, yes, had a bit of bad luck that compounded it. But he is also a guy who is working hard to make it good, and that, in the end, is what I care about. I have paid for the print modules, too. I am also waiting on mine.

I just have no doubt that I will get them, or that I will be happy with them when I do.

Elements of the Kickstarter/Indiegogo model make it difficult to rely on POD technology, unless you planned to go that route all along and announced the same. I know that this affected the Dragon's Hoard patron book project, and it got out the door later than we would have liked. So it may be that I feel a bit of kinship with some of John's difficulties, even if I wasn't directly involved with printing or shipping Angels, Tomb, and Mulmo.

Please don't think I am trying to make light of anyone's economic situation. I live paycheque to paycheque myself. I understand. If I do work, and I don't get what I planned for in return, it can cause problems. If I order something, and it doesn't come, I am not happy. But in this case, I know that the product is coming, and while I haven't gotten everything I signed up for yet, I have gotten the primary text and have actually run some of the adventures. No matter what else you may say here, John has supplied adventures. It is just the print format that has proven difficult.

Predicting things is a perilous business, but I do honestly think that John will get on top of this and make it good. And I do believe (and hope!) that he will be putting out DCC support material for a long time to come. But, like I said, I have done some work now for John (work he commissioned to increase the value of the print products, and try to make you happier when you get them), so I have a (scant) economic motive for hoping he succeeds. But I supported him before I had that motive. And I would support him if that relationship ended.

No one is wrong for feeling differently. No one is wrong for wanting to pull out of the deal. There have been serious delays, there has been goodwill lost, and beyond a doubt, circumstances or no, the fault sits in the lap of the man in charge. I haven't seen John deny it. Quite to the contrary, I know he feels like he's let people down. I also know that he is making strong efforts to fix it. While he may not answer every email in a timely fashion, I personally would rather that he was spending time fixing things rather than sitting on Hotmail or playing on Facebook.

I don't want to see this community turn on itself. John has put out good materials. The print versions are coming. People have been hired to that purpose. Joseph has offered to finance refunds with full confidence that he can work it out with John. At this point, I am not sure what John can do that he is not already doing - namely, assembling materials and putting them in the post as fast as he can.

That's my 2 cp, for whatever it may be worth.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:24 am 
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The DCC backers did not cause this situation. If there is any ill-blood, then those who gave John their money 14 months ago are not to blame.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:43 am 
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Not trying to suggest that the backers are to blame.

"No one is wrong for feeling differently. No one is wrong for wanting to pull out of the deal. There have been serious delays, there has been goodwill lost, and beyond a doubt, circumstances or no, the fault sits in the lap of the man in charge."

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:40 am 
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It seems to me that Kickstarter is part of the trouble and peoples lack of understanding of what kickstarter is.

Kickstarter is NOT a store.

It is NOT a safe bet.

Kickstarter is for people who have a idea they want to pitch in the hopes of getting people give them money to get it done. There is no guarantee they can/will do what they say.There is no guarantee they even CAN do what they say. You take a look at the kickstarter and sometimes if you can even find a track record that as well and decide how much you are willing to gamble.

Kickstarter is for people looking to gamble that they can get Great Deals or otherwise unavailable product. You place your money on the table as sure as if you had let it all ride on Black.

It IS a gamble. You might just be throwing money down the tube. If something goes wrong you are NOT getting your money back. It's not even possible for the creators to give back all the money because Kickstarter has already taken their share out.

Now it works GREAT for this. I have gotten more GREAT rpg product this way,that I would have never been able to afford than I can count.

Yes,I have backed people and had it blow up and my money is just gone.

I'm not upset about it though, I choose to take that gamble. I wouldn't rant and yell about it any more than I would when my wife buys weekly lottery tickets (ok well maybe I grumble about it because I have no choice,she buys even if I say I don't want any). That DOES mean there are people and companies that I will NOT back. It's just not a good bet.

Now I don't mean all this as a way of telling anyone to shut up or anything like that. I understand being peeved about something and wanting to vent and perhaps warn of someones perceived dishonesty.

I just think people need to realize when they slap money down for kickstarter, even if its from Goodman Games or Reaper miniatures.....you are placing a bet and could lose it all with nothing to show. There is no real guarantee that you will walk away with product in your hands or if you do,that it will be anywhere even close to the time frame originally thought.

Gamble only with what you can afford to throw away.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:33 pm 
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And that's a nice rant and all, but has nothing to do with the matter at hand. This project isn't Quantum, or Dwimmermount or They Became Flesh (well, maybe the latter).


RC - I appreciate your post and your viewpoint. I just have a hard time syncing with the notion that John is doing "everything he can". If he was doing that, he would have shipped those modules that are sitting at my FLGS right now to me and other backers, instead of to the store. There is absolutely no way to deny or skip around that fact.

And FWIW, I was only partially fine with the delays - even with the year long string of "its shipping, really really really really this time I swear" posts. But when it wasn't shipping (for the Nth time), and we discovered it wasn't shipping because the modules we were told had been shipped to us were, in reality, being shipped to retail outlets, well, that's when he lost me.

Lets be clear: I don't mind delays. I've backed any number of projects with delays and been plenty happy with them. In fact, another DCC Kickstarter - Tales from the Fallen Empire - funded at the same time, and has had similar delays, but instead of making monthly (obviously false) promises, he's been clear about where he is in each step of the process - edit, layout, etc. And he was pretty clear early in the process about why things were going to be late. I have zero frustration about that project, and I don't sense any from other patrons in his comments, either.

The frustration with BHP is not solely the delays, in fact, I would even say that's the main reason. It is the stream of (well-documented) misinformation that have incensed me (and other backers). That is what pushed me over the edge and from what I've read, other backers too.

Some people have chosen to look past the misinformation - and that's totally cool. I understand people have history with John, and want to give him the benefit of the doubt, that's totally cool, too. But please understand and appreciate what the complaint is here. It is lack of ethics, not lack of timeliness.


I will give John credit that he fully refunded me, and I appreciate that. It slightly salves the bitterness I have towards this project - and who knows, maybe because of that I'll go buy one of his modules from my FLGS some day in the far future.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:42 pm 
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I came here from BHP's kickstarter page. I was a backer at the $20 level. I haven't really said much about the whole issue on the KS comments page because. However, I feel like I need to chime in here.

Kickstarter is only like a lottery ticket in the sense that you are exchanging money for a promise. In the case of a lottery ticket, the promise is that you will have a chance to win some amount of money based on the rules of the lottery. In the case of kickstarter, you are exchanging your money for whatever is promised on the kickstarter page.

If a person picked a losing ticket, but lost according to the rules of the lottery. Then the promise was kept.

If a person picked a winning ticket, but the lottery refused to pay. That's a broken promise. People would be upset.

So when Kickstarter creators don't do what they promised on the Kickstarter page, people get upset in the same way. The difference between a Kickstarter and the lottery is, I've never seen a Kickstarter page where the creator said something like "well, maybe I'll create a RPG supplement, or maybe I won't. There's a CHANCE you'll get a RPG supplement." Every single Kickstarter page I've read, including BHP's, promised that the creator will do and deliver. Sure, there's a chance of unforeseen delay. But the promise is that the creator knows what he or she is doing and that he or she will do it (whatever it may be.)

That's why people are upset, it's because the promise has not been fulfilled.

Yes, we all know sometimes promises are broken. And if the promise was broken for reasons that the promisor could not have foreseen, then most of us are likely to be forgiving about the broken promise. The problem here is that, despite Mr. Adams' personal troubles, the reasons given for the delay do not seem unforeseeable. It is also inexplicable that products are hitting retail shelves before backers despite his promises to the contrary, and that is after some people have paid additional money at Mr. Adams' urging.

I don't know John Adams personally, so I won't make any sweeping remarks about his character. I have read that he has suffered some personal tragedies and troubles, and those I know can affect a person's work life. So I don't agree with the name-calling some of my fellow backers have engaged. And I am fortunate in that $20 is not a lot of money for me, so I am not that attached to getting the print product.

However, please don't tell us Kickstarter backers that we don't know what Kickstarter is just because we expect the promises of the creator to be kept.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:05 pm 
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Promises of lottery proceed money going to schools might be broken in the process, however, but I really just wanted a chance to chime in on this thread again :)

C'mon John! I'm rootin' for a raging comeback! :)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:53 am 
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That's why people are upset, it's because the promise has not been fulfilled.

I feel the same way each week that my wife tells me we are going to win and then we don't.

EVERY Kickstarter that ever didn't work out left promises unfulfilled. 95% of the Kickstarters that DO work out leave promises unfulfilled.

No Kickstarter ever is going to make it that starts off......You may not get anything,we will do our best but frankly we don't know what the hell we are doing

I can't help what you expect.

How did your expectations turn out so far? My guess is not so good.

Next time you back a Kickstarter expect to perhaps lose your money,expect to add a year or more the time table if you do get the product. You will be happy those times that you don't!

There is NOTHING you can do if a Kickstarter makes but you never receive a dime. It's legal in every way for them to promise the world and not deliver. Now im not talking about BHP here because although he is still very late I think you will eventually get your product.

There are kickstarters I have backed (especially at the start) that took my money and left me wondering what just happened. Yes I was angry,yes I vented,yes I understand completely.

What my goal with this post is to get you to see your view of what Kickstarter needs to change. Once it does you might not risk as much money and when/if you do,you will be less upset by things not working out. Also perhaps more happy when it does!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:11 am 
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Gameogre wrote:
Next time you back a Kickstarter expect to perhaps lose your money,expect to add a year or more the time table if you do get the product.


Should I also expect the publisher to take my money (and the extra money he requested later for shipping) then sell the manufactured product to other people without sending me anything?

This isn't a case of lateness and/or inability to meet demand. The publisher has deliberately taken money from customer A and sold the already-paid-for-and-manufactured product to customer B (at a higher profit margin, I'll wager). So he's made double on any product sold via retail. In fact, since customer A (who's been stiffed) technically paid for manufacturing and production, any money made from a sale to customer B at this point is pure gravy.

Galling.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:28 am 
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FWIW, most of my crowd funding experiences (50+ on Kickstarter, and 3 on Indie GoGo) have been good experiences. Most have been late. Some have been a year+ late. No biggie. But all of my good experiences have fulfilled their end of the bargain by delivering what they promised, and many have over-delivered, which is always nice, but never expected.

However, I can't let this pass up, because <facepalm>

Gameogre wrote:
There is NOTHING you can do if a Kickstarter makes but you never receive a dime. It's legal in every way for them to promise the world and not deliver.


Wow, really? Where do you get such misinformation? This is not just idiotic, and also patently untrue. Of course customers have a legal right to receive what the project creators promise. Since you obviously haven't bothered to read them, allow me to repost what the Kickstarter Terms of Service says on the matter:

  • The Estimated Delivery Date listed on each reward is not a promise to fulfill by that date, but is merely an estimate of when the Project Creator hopes to fulfill by.
  • Project Creators agree to make a good faith attempt to fulfill each reward by its Estimated Delivery Date.
  • For all campaigns, Kickstarter gives to the Project Creator each Backer’s User ID and pledge amount. For successful campaigns, Kickstarter additionally gives to the Project Creator each Backer’s name and email.
  • For some rewards, the Project Creator needs further information from Backers, such as a mailing address or t-shirt size, to enable the Project Creator to deliver the rewards. The Project Creator shall request the information directly from Backers at some point after the fundraising campaign is successful. To receive the reward, Backers agree to provide the requested information to the Project Creator within a reasonable amount of time.
  • Kickstarter does not offer refunds. A Project Creator is not required to grant a Backer’s request for a refund unless the Project Creator is unable or unwilling to fulfill the reward.
  • Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill.


Not just that, here is a snippet from the Kickstarter FAQs, available here: http://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/kic ... egory#Acco

Is a creator legally obligated to fulfill the promises of their project?
Yes. Kickstarter's Terms of Use require creators to fulfill all rewards of their project or refund any backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill. (This is what creators see before they launch.) We crafted these terms to create a legal requirement for creators to follow through on their projects, and to give backers a recourse if they don't. We hope that backers will consider using this provision only in cases where they feel that a creator has not made a good faith effort to complete the project and fulfill.


The bolding in the above is mine, just in case you missed the salient facts.


I get that your (apparently misinformed) opinion is that creators are free to fail to live up to their obligations, and that for some very odd reason you feel like backers are, in the end, owed nothing and have no rights, but the fact is, no matter how often or how loudly you repeat it, you are flat out wrong. I will grant you that some project creators may be effectively judgement-proof in the event of failure (*cough*Mike Nystul*cough), and others may not be worth pursuing simply based on small funding amounts and individual backer pledges. Also, at the moment it appears that small claims court is the place to take Kickstarter failures, based off the Doom That Came to Atlantic City (at least in Oregon, to be exact). But none of that is the same as not having a LEGAL obligation to fulfill the posted rewards (much less an ethical one).


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:52 am 
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That is fancy Amazon LCA speak for "Ooops our original agreement had no such provision and we don't want to be liable for the refunds folks are demanding for failed projects and pyramid schemes"

At what point does the "Estimated Delivery can be whenever" clause contradict with the "Seller will operate in good faith" clause?

I guess I wouldn't go as far as calling it legally binding, more legally complicated with the exception of what is crystal clear, Amazon doesn't want to take any responsibility (which if there was even a minimal amount of vetting by amazon, you could reduce this problem to a trickle).

In this case, I believe John is operating in good faith, and Joe has come out to fill the gaps for those that have reached the limits of their patience.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:14 am 
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Look, it is not unreasonable to be upset that something is late, especially when revised dates have been given, and missed repeatedly. No one is wrong for being upset. No one is wrong for wanting to pull out of the deal. Anyone who is upset has every right, and good reason, for being so.

But it doesn't therefore follow that John is a crook who is trying to swindle folks. I am, personally, absolutely sure that John Adams will make good on all promises except time frame, and I am well aware that I have gotten good material in pdf format already. I fully believe that he feels responsibility for that failure, and that he feels it keenly. I know I would. I think my estimation of John Adams is pretty accurate.

But that doesn't mean that my estimation should convince anyone else. I can tell you what I think; I can't say that you should therefore think the same.

I do know that there is a refund offer on the table, in this thread, and I don't hear anyone saying that includes giving back or losing access to the electronic copies. So, if you have run out of patience or trust, you can still come out of this a winner. I personally feel that I'm already up on the game with the pdfs - they are a good value IMHO - and will have gotten well above my money's worth when the print copies get here.

And I believe that they will get here, sooner rather than later. I'm not ready to give up on BHP yet.

But (again) that's where I stand. I understand that not everyone has patience or trust left. In that event, I certainly hope that they don't let unwillingness to join another BHP kickstarter prevent them from buying the product from RPGnow or a POD service, where to buy is to receive PDQ. After all, I have been asked to do some work for BHP....and I hope that it will be worth picking up!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:33 am 
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You know what? I was about to post a snappy reply about yadda yadda Kickstarter is funding idea and the facts as I knew them,ie your wrong even if there propaganda has changed but decided to go research my Kickstarter info as it had been a while.

I take it all back! The last time I had checked was longer than I realized and since that date several Kickstarter creators have indeed been sued and forced to give money back(well actually none did but they had to declare bankruptcy) and several more are being dragged into court now!

So I stand corrected(happily so) and offer my apologies for the misinformation. You guys are right and I am flat out wrong!

I still would promote the Better off to risk only what you can afford to throw away method,but at least now someone could sue if they received nothing.(not that I can afford to sue the two projects I backed that failed to hold up there part in any form.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:58 am 
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GameOgre - fair enough.

RC - Two things:

1) I don't think I said that John was a "crook" (I'm not sure I saw anyone say that, but I haven't read everything on this topic). I did absolutely state that I believe he acted unethically, that is to say he did not "conform to accepted standards of conduct" (per Webster). I don't think this is debatable. I know his supporters want to keep glossing over this, but the fact is that he purposefully misinformed his backers to the point of falsifying visual evidence. He showed us pictures of modules and claimed he was shipping the items in those pictures to his backers. He then knowingly shipped them to retailers, while still claiming he was sending them to backers. He didn't mention anything about retailers to his backers until his backers - those same folk that were shown the pictures, recall - discovered that fact on their own. Only then did he admit to his actions. This is unethical behavior. Now, that doesn't make John a "crook", but it sure doesn't make him trustworthy or someone I'd want to support. Obviously, on the last point YMMV.

2) In the interest of fair disclosure, when John supplied me a refund, I deleted all of the PDFs that had been previously provided. Fair is fair, after all. I would hope that anyone else who received a refund would do the same, but that's on their conscience, not mine.


Anyways, don't want to beat a dead horse overmuch. Obviously we disagree and I doubt we sway each other. I hope John gets it all together, does indeed supply all the promised rewards to his backers. And I hope those turn out to be awesome. I know there a bunch of folks who are still really energized about receiving the final product, and good luck to them. I just won't be among them.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:29 pm 
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SavageRobby wrote:
GameOgre - fair enough.

RC - Two things:

1) I don't think I said that John was a "crook" (I'm not sure I saw anyone say that, but I haven't read everything on this topic). I did absolutely state that I believe he acted unethically, that is to say he did not "conform to accepted standards of conduct" (per Webster). I don't think this is debatable. I know his supporters want to keep glossing over this, but the fact is that he purposefully misinformed his backers to the point of falsifying visual evidence. He showed us pictures of modules and claimed he was shipping the items in those pictures to his backers. He then knowingly shipped them to retailers, while still claiming he was sending them to backers. He didn't mention anything about retailers to his backers until his backers - those same folk that were shown the pictures, recall - discovered that fact on their own. Only then did he admit to his actions. This is unethical behavior. Now, that doesn't make John a "crook", but it sure doesn't make him trustworthy or someone I'd want to support. Obviously, on the last point YMMV.

2) In the interest of fair disclosure, when John supplied me a refund, I deleted all of the PDFs that had been previously provided. Fair is fair, after all. I would hope that anyone else who received a refund would do the same, but that's on their conscience, not mine.


The printed modules that went to retailers combines the first two Appendix N adventures into one book. Is that what you saw a video of being shipped? My understanding from seeing other forum/blog posts was that a few backers (maybe only super vocal ones) _have_ received the printed version of just the Ruins of Ramat. Maybe the videos you saw were genuine footage?

The contracts made with retailers and distributors are also probably not as forgiving about missing deadlines as the nebulous amazon-kickstarter items quoted above. Being a program manager for a variety of complex projects I have seen this sort of thing happen based on shipping delays from one vendor to another and just prioritizing tasks. It sucks sometimes, but it should have provided more impetus to make sure the others were shipped right away if the product is truly on hand. I dunno if I would call it unethical or crooked, but it certainly has resulted in an unsavory circumstance.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:30 pm 
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I don't see it necessary that Kickstarter be used for a print project. The project can be ready to send to the printer and can solicit pre-orders from direct customers and retail, and then that amount can be printed. In terms of non-printing production costs, well Brave Halfling was able to produce before Kickstarter. The amount of wait time before the project was completed and ready to go to press wouldn't matter since everyone's money wouldn't be tied up it it.

Sometimes the old ways are the best. I like the concept of kickstarter, but in most cases it should not be considered.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:42 pm 
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Joe Franke wrote:
I don't see it necessary that Kickstarter be used for a print project. The project can be ready to send to the printer and can solicit pre-orders from direct customers and retail, and then that amount can be printed. In terms of non-printing production costs, well Brave Halfling was able to produce before Kickstarter. The amount of wait time before the project was completed and ready to go to press wouldn't matter since everyone's money wouldn't be tied up it it.

Sometimes the old ways are the best. I like the concept of kickstarter, but in most cases it should not be considered.


I totally agree, Joe. That is exactly the type of model I was talking about early on in this thread called "P500". Basically it is the model small wargame companies have used for taking pre-orders for their games and once they get enough to make it possible, the game is produced and printed. Take a look at GMT Games or MultiMan Publishing for examples that have worked well over the past decade+

The attractive part of kickstarter is the default advertising your project gets with them. But, for niche communities like ours, it seems like the forums, social networking, and blogs have really pushed the project o ver, not kickstarter advertising...


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:28 pm 
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And...he's called it quits.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/17 ... ts/2426285

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