Thursday, June 27, 2013


So, here's my obligatory Kickstarter post.  Like many others, I was pretty hesitant to jump in the Kickstarter waters, because of the usual reasons - should I really trust a brand new designer who's game hasn't been vetted by a proven company, will the quality be up to standards, etc etc.   Well, eventually I caved and jumped into the Kickstarter pool.  I mean...they sure do make it tempting, what with various "stretch goals" and Kickstarter-only swag you can get.

So, what have I "Kickstarted" so far, and why?


This game by Darrel Louder was my first foray into Kickstarter.  At WBC 2011, I had met Chris Kirkman (aka Dice Hate Me), his wife Cherilyn (aka Monkey238) and designer TC Petty III.  They were demoing VivaJava, which would eventually be Kickstarted as one of Dice Hate Me Games first published works.  I really enjoyed the game, but I didn't take the Kickstarter plunge (I eventually picked up a copy at Prezcon 2013).  In any case, I started following the DHM gang, on twitter and via the podcast, and when they started talking about Compounded, my interest was piqued.  I'm not a chemist, but I am an engineer who managed to struggle his way through freshman chemistry back in the day.  As we all know, Euro games can take on any theme under the sun, but here was one based in science.  Cool!  The campaign mentioned that Compounded was a veteran of the Unpub process, which my friend Paul Owen had experienced.  When I asked Paul about it, he relayed that he had played Compounded and enjoyed it very much, and I believe he was already a backer at that point.  Well, that was enough for me...I created my Kickstarter account and backed my very first project.  It was amazing to watch Compounded reach stretch goal after stretch goal - I am very much looking forward to opening this up when it arrives in a few months!

Alien Frontiers

So, backing the 4th edition of Alien Frontiers was not particularly a stretch.  This was the original Kickstarter boardgame darling, becoming a runaway hit when first published in 2010.  My friend Brian picked up a copy somewhere along the way, and I enjoy playing it quite a bit.  When I saw them Kickstarting the 4th edition, I knew I wanted to get in on the action.  With the true enthusiasm of a convert, I shelled out for all the extra bling, including the various expansions and "rocket dice". 

VivaJava Dice

 This one was a bit of a no-brainer, as I enjoy VivaJava, and knowing the guys putting this game out, I"m relying on another quality game from DHMG.  Looking forward to rolling the dice on this one.  My only comment on the Kickstarter campaign...they need to lighten up and have some fun...a little too serious in the video ;)

 City Hall

 So this is an interesting one...this is my first Kickstarter project I'm backing with little to no background on the game.  I'm basing my support of City Hall based solely on a number of glowing reviews I've seen from people I respect on web.  I was not completely inspired by the video on the Kickstarter site, but again...I've seen enough people praising the game that I'm taking a chance on it.  Apparently this game had an unsuccessful first run on Kickstarter, but got picked up by Tasty Minstrel Games, who is running this Kickstarter.     Unfortunately, with a little over 24 hours to go, they're slightly less than halfway to their $30K goal.  For some reason, they went with a shortened 9 day Kickstarter run instead of the normal 30 days.  Not sure on the rationale behind that decision.

Brew Crafters

 Well, I haven't actually backed this one yet because the campaign hasn't started...but you can bet I will as soon as it debuts on Kickstarter.  I had a lengthy blog post about this game after I got to try it at Prezcon this year (it was going by the name "Brewmasters" back then).  I'm REALLY looking forward to this one, and think this game by Ben Rossett could quickly become one of my favorites.

Small World 2 (for Android)

I realized as I was about to wrap this blog entry up that there is one more thing I've kickstarted...and it's not a boardgame...technically.  As an Android user, I've been a bit jealous of the sheer amount of board games that have been ported to iOS.  There's been a few on Android (Carcassonne, Settlers), but nothing like the sheer amount on iOS.  So when Days of Wonder announced that they were re-doing their Small World app and would create an Android version if they met a certain goal, I was all in.  Curiously, after all the fanfare of the Small World Kickstarter campaign, Days of Wonder quietly released Ticket to Ride on Android.  Not really sure of the different approaches there...maybe TtR is so much more popular that they knew it would be a hit?

Well, I think that sums up my Kickstartering...I don't expect I will jump willy nilly at every thing that looks remotely interesting.  I'll likely continue to back only projects by people/companies that I'm comfortable with - as it is, the one campaign that I've backed with little to no personal knowledge of seems that it's likely to fail.  And I didn't even mention The Emperor's New Clothes controversy....

1 comment:

  1. I remember seeing the City Hall Kickstarter campaign the first time around. It got a lot of positive buzz (Seth Jaffee compared it favorably to Goa), so I was really surprised when it fell short.

    I went to check the second Kickstarter effort just now, and I saw that Tasty Minstrel has decided to cancel funding for it, rather than continue the campaign (at least for now). So we'll see what comes of this star-crossed game that is nevertheless well-reviewed.