Monday, April 16, 2012

Kickstarted

I've been funding a lot of kickstarter projects lately. Which is a weird concept in and of itself, it's a bit like investing but so many people are pooling small amounts of money together it's more apt to call it micro-investing. The mediaverse has been referring to it as crowdfunding and that's just as good of a description as any. I'm beginning to inwardly call it "casting the 'Mass Beg' spell"

So... shit! A lot of kickstarters I backed have successfully ended, which means I've spent a lot of money recently on things I won't get for months. Or a year.

1.

The first one was 'Double Fine Adventure' - www.kickstarter.com/projects/66710809/double-fine-adventure - it was trending on every video game site I visit and, though I had never played Psychonauts or Grim Fandango or virtually anything else he's made, Tim Schafer's reputation as a visionary was enough for me to be interested enough in pledging money to this project.


2-5.

After backing Tim Schafer's project, I got a little kckstarter crazy and backed a couple of projects that had already met their goals, but with the intention that I would definitely get the swag offered for a minimum bid.
'This Is Not A Conspiracy Theory' documentary series, which was being created by the same guy who made the brilliant 'Everything Is A Remix' web documentary series.
'Return of the Deck of the Living Dead' which I backed out of sheer exuberance since I was about to start GMing a Deadlands game that week.
And then there was 'Farmaggedon' which I misunderstood the premise of at first, but didn't take my pledge away as the idea sounded good and I wanted to see the final product. He met some of his overfunding goals as well, so I'll end up with the base game plus an expansion for it when it finally gets published.


6.

The next kickstarter I baked on the first day it started. 'Dwimmermount: An Old School Fantasy RPG Megadungeon'. I read James Maliszewski's gaming blog because I enjoy his insights into old school D&Ding, despite the fact that he's kind of rude and never answers e-mails regarding typos in his work. I enjoyed reading his last game and wanted to help pitch in for his next project, plus if his megadungeon had been available as a digital download I probably would have purchased it already.


7-9.

A series of indie video games followed in Tim Schafer's footsteps, but none of them got the same level of media coverage that Double Fine Adventure received. As soon as I heard about them I would either go to the kickstarter page and pledge money with very little hesitation, or else I would dismiss the idea without hardly thinking about it.
'Wasteland 2' put together by Brian Fargo, the mastermind behind the original Fallout.
'The Banner Saga' is not the sort of game I might usually play, but it stuck out to me. It evoked the 1970s Ralph Bakshi era of adult cartoon movies, and I had been hearing snippets of news about it's development before kickstarter was becoming common news in the video games industry. I pledged enough to get my own banner crest in the game because I thought that was a really cool reward!
And finally, there is 'Shadowrun Returns' which is set to wrap up the storylines of previous Shadowrun video games, while also giving a throwback to turn-based strategy games like X-Com using the setting and characters from a Shadowrun world. How could I not give them some of my money? And by the way...

'Shadowrun Returns' ends in 3 days!




http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1613260297/shadowrun-returns



10.

I vowed two weeks ago to stop pledging money to kickstarter campaigns. It's too easy to get really excited for something and then spend money and be forced to wait, and wait, and wait. I haven't seen any returns yet for any of these kickstarters because the earliest one isn't set to deliver until May. And then there's 'curse the darkness - a roleplaying game'
Matthew McFarland is the man responsible for this little gem. I met him randomly via LJ a few years ago while he was offering to sell used gaming books. I bought a couple of titles from him and we befriended each other over similar interests. It was only a month or two later that I realized he was one of the hired authors at White Wolf Studios, which then left me with the constant anxiety that he might think that was the only reason I was "friends" with him.
For quite some time now he's been posting sparse details about this role-playing game he's been working on, and always made these entries with the words "curse the darkness" and they were intriguing. I was always curious to learn more about the setting, and looked forward to his entries despite how cryptic or confusing they might end up being.



Today he created a kickstarter to fund his project and I'm proud to say I made an exception to not spending any money and pledged enough money to get an example character named after myself (or named by me) in the rulebook. The project won't end for 40 days, but waiting for the rulebook to arrive will be the really agonizing bit.