Friday, May 18, 2012

Kickstarter is new for Pinnacle, but not Savage Worlds

Pinnacle Entertainment Group used Kickstarter for its latest project: Deadlands: Noir.  A very active support base pushed the project well past it's $8,000 goal in a matter of hours.  Kickstarter fits well in with the close community feeling of Savage Worlds.  While this is a new direction for Pinnacle, it's certainly not new for others in the Savage Worlds family.

I am no longer a Kickstarter newbie.  I've supported 6 projects and enjoyed them all. I have, however, started to see some interesting differences in the various approaches. With Pinnacle entering the fray, I'm both excited and a bit quizical.

Note: This blog is only concerned with the gaming projects on Kickstarter with a special focus on Savage Worlds projects.

About Kickstarter: For those just learning about Kickstarter, it's an interesting twist on the patronage model. With the twist being ANYONE with an Amazon account can be a percentage patron of a project, not just folks with money and altruism. Crowd-funding is the popular term for the funding mechanism for Kickstarter Projects.

Projects have:
  • a project description - usually a pitch video 
  • a funding goal 
  • a time deadline for pledging
  • graduated pledge levels
  • rewards for those pledge levels. 
  • Stretch Goals! - When funding levels exceed the initial goal, often Stretch Goals or Bonus Goals bring extra rewards, quite often for all participants.
Pledges are not processed unless the funding goal is met within the time allotted. There is a very high trust factor on the part of the patrons and an excitement of being part of the new project. Each project has a varying set of rewards from a simple "thanks" for a $1 pledge to amazing trips to visit designers, in-game statues, characters, or even whole towns based on your desires for the gaming project. Most support rangers from $10 to $50 which usually entitles the patron to copies of the product and some very cool swag.  It reminds me of the packages you get when pledging support for NPR.

Speaking of NPR, there's an excellent interview of Yancey Strickler, Co-Founder of Kickstarter giving the whole interesting story of how Kickstarter came to be.

Savage Worlds Projects funded in Kickstarter
Kaiser's Gate for Savage Worlds  My first SW Kickstarter project set in an alternative WWI with fantasy elements. As soon as I read British Golem Squads, I knew $10 was a small investment in some Savage fun. For my $10 pledge I get my name in the credits and a PDF of the final published setting. With all the Bonus Goals, I'll be getting several more rewards that weren't even offered when the project initially went up!
    • BONUS GOALS: There were 7 bonus goals because funding reached 632% of goal:
      • $1,500: Group Archetypes Book
      • $1,750: Kaiser's Gate Soundtrack by Tree Dweller studios
      • $1,850: Additional digital format of choice in addition to PDF. .mobi, .epub.
      • $2,000: Wall Map of Europe for KG Missions by Steffon Worthington
      • $3,500: Exclusivie Kaiser's Gate anthology in PDF, .Mobi, .Epub
      • $4,000: Kaiser's Gate Figure Flats
      • $4,500: Exclusive Kaiser's Gate novel by Daryl Mallett
Double Spiral War RPG Art Project - a SF setting based on Warren C. Norwood's Double Spiral War Trilogy. Funded: $821 was 164% of goal.

Welcome to Mortiston, USA, An All American Zombie Apocalypse -  A Zombie Apocalypse project with a finished manuscript and art but needs help publishing. Funded: $1,786 or 188%.

Streets of Bedlam - A modern urban setting full of despicable people doing awful things in the name of God, money, politics, or to pay off old debts. The stories shine light on the dark places of the human heart but it's about finding diamonds in the rough, about good people in bad situations.  Funded: $10,267 or 342 % by Jason Blair, who brought us Little Fears.  All four Milestones (Bonus Goals) were passed and he revised the rewards levels for $45, $60, and $100+ levels

Low Life - The Whole Hole: A Gadabout's Guide to Mutha Oith  - A large and pictorially heavy project by the wonderfully wacky Andy Hopp. His Low Life setting is an early Savage World setting that is truly original and fully brought to poopy life through his award-winning illustrations. Funded: $13,885 or 173%.  His project hit 2 of his "Overflow" Goals!
There are some other gaming projects that exceeded a million in funding. A Shadowrun Video game based on the original pencil and paper game cleared $1.8m, Wasteland 2 cleared $2.9m, and Double Fine Adventure cleared $3.3m! These are video games but, all near and dear to our gamer hearts.
I have also supported Machination: A Game of Evil Genius, illustrated by Cheyenne Wright,  Building an Elder god and Spirit of the Century: Dinocalypse Trilogy which turned out to have alot of bonus rewards!!  Fair warning: Kickstarter can be addictive.  

So, what is Pinnacle looking to do?  They're extending the Kickstarter experience to us loyal fans Savage style. I can't wait to see what stretch goals they come up with. 

Stay Savage.

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