Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pay what you want vs kickstarter

I've been hearing a great deal of bad news from many tabletop RPG projects on Kickstarter. Projects not delivering on time, no posting updates, giving feedback, staying in touch with supporters or worse yet kickstarting a fundraiser to fund previous failed kickstarters. A bit like obtaining a new credit card to pay off an older one who's payments can't be met anymore. It seems that the worse of our economic system has gotten a hold of our hobby as well: speculation.

What exactly do these supporters get out of putting money into a project. Aside from the promised product itself that is. Shares? Stock options? A percentage of future annual sales?

Is there a Standard and Poor's or Moody's for Kickstarter? Who advises you, the potential investor, that a kickstarter is a good investment or not? Who's going to pay for such an analysis? You? And if not you, who? Kickstarter? Who's interested in getting good rating for it's projects? The project community who's even more interested in getting a good rating of itself?

Here's a though, game designers and artists (who take a large amount of cash due to the need and cost of artwork) put their time in for free. They develop a product and put it up for sale, if it goes well then great! Otherwise too bad for being bad at the job. Sounds too spartan a process? Here's another idea.

Put something out with a small investment. Release early and often and use the pay what you want feature to get money from those who are really interested in your product. Get some money of them, to whom you've already delivered something of use, and continue work with that. Expand your product and release updates that bring in more cash. At some point you can release the second edition of your product and get even more cash flow. Benefits are: you'll know early on what works and doesn't work with your product, you'll have shorter more attainable goals and if you're like myself, an inexperienced publisher, you get to gain some experience using your own hard earned money rather than other's load of cash.


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