Ogre...Kickstarter...you in?
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TOPIC: Ogre...Kickstarter...you in?

18 Apr 2012 20:43 #123265

Re: Ogre...Kickstarter...you in?

It's mildly interesting, seeing people flounder when they try to grasp what Kickstarter is. 'It's an investment!' Well, no, it isn't - the 'investors' often aren't expecting anything back, and when they are, it's almost invariably a discounted product. 'It's a loan!' Well, no, it fucking well isn't - loans must be paid back. I mean, that's the very definition of a loan, right?

The basic economic system has become so naturalized that it's not only become impossible to think outside the box, people can't even imagine a slightly different box. We have people trying to argue that, because reputation can at times be a flawed economic model, that reputation doesn't matter (can we apply the same rules to the basic consumerist model?). Or Barnes arguing that because those one people that one time fucked up their business plan a little that the whole KS enterprise is doomed (because, in the history of traditional capitalistic enterprise, that's never happened before). KS undercutting grassroots anything? Really, gentlemen? Really?

The notion that this is a threat to FLGSs is more on-point, but honestly, there isn't much that isn't a threat to traditional retail nowadays. In major first-world cities, many, if not most, B&M stores cannot compete on price and convenience. They need (much like artists in the digital age) to offer more to stay afloat, and those that survive are going to be the ones who adapt. KS is such a small factor in all of that compared to, say, Amazon.

Kickstarter is the very tip of something quite new, or (if you consider it crowdsourced patronage) new again, and it's very much in flux right now. Is it a way to fund cool things you wish would happen but have no direct benefit from? A way to fund art and artists? A way to encourage the creation of media forms whose fans are current being under-served? A way for entrepeneurs and inventors a chance to receive seed funds? And, just recently, a way for established companies to float more risky ventures? The answer to all of this is 'Yes.' Will there be bumps, pitfalls, false-starts, will KS be more and less what we thought it was? Also, yes. Welcome the future.

Personally, I'm loving it. I've helped fun three video games that the gatekeepers in the hobby decided shouldn't be made because they wouldn't sell 2 million copies. I've funded a film, and an LP. I've helped Locus Magazine archive their collection. And in all cases, my own personal liability has been 1-2 trips to McDonalds. Fucking brilliant.
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19 Apr 2012 00:03 #123273

Re: Ogre...Kickstarter...you in?

Kickstarter and P500 is chalk and cheese.

Both are expressions of interest. However P500 I pay for the house after it's been built. Kickstarter I pay for the house off the plan.

I think kickstarter is great for things like Realmcoins - simple, uncomplex projects where someone has an idea, knows how to do it, but needs a mass of orders in order to make it financially viable. That's what kickstarter is great for.
But games? Really? No fucking way I'd back that. Why would I? I must work harder for my money than you guys obviously.

Anyway good luck to kickstarter but I don't see it lasting. Fact is beyond some feel good bullshit - which won't last once the newness/hipness wears off - kickstarter offers nothing to the end consumer. Once a couple of high profile collapses happen (pretty much a certainty with the video game projects especially) people will sour off it.
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19 Apr 2012 01:08 #123275

Re: Ogre...Kickstarter...you in?

wolvendancer wrote:
Kickstarter is the very tip of something quite new, or (if you consider it crowdsourced patronage) new again, and it's very much in flux right now. Is it a way to fund cool things you wish would happen but have no direct benefit from? A way to fund art and artists? A way to encourage the creation of media forms whose fans are current being under-served? A way for entrepeneurs and inventors a chance to receive seed funds? And, just recently, a way for established companies to float more risky ventures? The answer to all of this is 'Yes.' Will there be bumps, pitfalls, false-starts, will KS be more and less what we thought it was? Also, yes. Welcome the future.

Personally, I'm loving it. I've helped fun three video games that the gatekeepers in the hobby decided shouldn't be made because they wouldn't sell 2 million copies. I've funded a film, and an LP. I've helped Locus Magazine archive their collection. And in all cases, my own personal liability has been 1-2 trips to McDonalds. Fucking brilliant.


Microloans in India have been big for a long time, and it's the same model. Those cats are building a fucking nation on this concept.

But I digress. I think the idea of kickstarting for altruistic reasons as you've noted..that's the magic here. Becoming the gatekeepers. Giving consumers the power.

The problem, as I see it, is when the large companies start attempting to take advantage of this emerging model, because it clearly IS in their interests, that's when it chaps my ass a little. They have the means to go traditional routes, and them using crowdsourcing to simply reap more profit while potentially fucking over the very people they're relying on to crowdsource the project (such as selling at X to early adopters, then selling through normal channels afterward at a discounted rate, as noted earlier) pisses me off.
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19 Apr 2012 01:08 #123276

Re: Ogre...Kickstarter...you in?

Damn DP.
Last Edit: 19 Apr 2012 01:08 by SuperflyTNT.
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19 Apr 2012 01:20 #123277

Re: Ogre...Kickstarter...you in?

Funding a Steve Jackson Kickstarter project is a pretty safe bet compared to most, but I'm startled by the high price that people are willing to pay for a stagnant old game that will be fancied up with a bunch of cardboard. I bought Ogre first edition and played it about three times before I got bored, and I was a huge Steve Jackson fan back then. I think that Secret Service raid broke something inside Jackson, destroying his creativity and reducing him to churning out Munchkins expansions like bags of Cheetos.

I see a link betweeen this Kickstarter thing and the vapid reviews that are so popular over at BGG. The hobby has changed, and not for the better. The Cult of the New is focused on shallow novelty, and the Cultists are happy to buy a new game after simply looking at pictures of components and skimming a summary of the rules. It doesn't really matter if a new game is good or not to the Cult, because they are only going to play it about twice before moving onto the next new game.
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19 Apr 2012 02:34 #123279

Re: Ogre...Kickstarter...you in?

Well, that's not quite fair, Shellhead. It's not going to be 13 lbs. of vanilla OGRE. From the sounds of things, it's going to at least include Shockwave, and probably most of Battlefields.

I agree with you that the original was a pretty good $3-$5 game, and that's it. GEV is about in the same class, but with the two expansions, the game is fleshed out quite a bit. You get more rules for missile fire, intercepting missiles, personnel carriers, buildings, combat engineers, towing, and probably other things I don't remember at the moment. Plus, the scenarios get more involved in the supplemental stuff. I just happen to have my VHS box sitting right here, and I've got:

About 500 counters, and there are something like 20 different combat units and 5 different kinds of building, plus a bunch of miscellaneous shit. So, you've got a large number and variety of stuff you can use. 7 maps, though it looks like there are only going to be 4 in this version, it also looks like they're going to be more modular. Around 15 scenarios, with a few different variations for each one.

If you're getting more content than that for your $100, I'd sure like to know where. That's just what I have with the game and printed expansions. I never got the OGRE book, or any of the slew of semi-official stuff people have been adding to the game for years. From the sounds of things, there's going to be a good chunk of that in this version as well.

Now, I'd prefer Jackson wasn't using Kickstarter for OGRE, but it's clear he's bound and determined NOT to lose money on this game. Honestly, I'm not sure I blame him for that. It's his baby; he's obviously proud of it, and he kind of built his company off of it. Sinking a bunch of capital into a lavish new presentation only to have the game tank on you is going to sting more deeply than when your other games don't sell. On the other hand, it's clear he wants to do a lot more with this edition than he could if he printed just what he knew for sure he could sell. Kickstarter just happens to be a pretty convenient preorder mechanism, and it allows him to get a bunch of stuff into the game that wouldn't be worth adding if he was going through the traditional channels.

The game isn't for everybody, but from the looks of things, the final product is going to offer you a hell of a lot of game for your Benjamin. For one thing, there's just a ton of shit that's going to come in the box. For another, you can go from ultra-low to moderately high complexity, depending on your mood and taste, without too much fuss involved, and the game plays consistently well on both levels. Also, you can play a 15-minute, 2-player pickup game, or go all out and play a huge battle for a few hours, and with multiple players. Again, it works about as well either way.

From where I'm sitting, that's not too shabby a prospect. Compare this to the new Space Hulk. For the same price as this game, I got a box full of awesome looking toys and that's about it. With a few exceptions, the scenarios in the box have the shelf life of a head of lettuce. I'd make my own, but I'm limited by what they put in the box for miniatures and map tiles, and that's only half of what was originally produced for the game. The result? Our group still plays the 1st edition. Doesn't look anywhere near as nice, but we have the shit we need to do what we want with the game.

So yeah, hopefully this Kickstarter deal allows SJ to get this edition as close to what it's become after years and years of growing as possible. I'll put the $100 up front for that. I could be doing a hell of a lot worse.
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19 Apr 2012 04:33 #123283

Re: Ogre...Kickstarter...you in?

Not to mention that many games are never actually played, Shellhead. Bought, rules consumed, chortle of clever understanding and self-appreciation chortled, and off to the OCD shelf it goes.
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19 Apr 2012 12:13 #123299

Re: Ogre...Kickstarter...you in?

The game isn't for everybody, but from the looks of things, the final product is going to offer you a hell of a lot of game for your Benjamin.


The first clause in this sentence is where I'm standing right now. The amount of material in the box means that this is a lifestyle game instead of a casual play, and I just don't think that's going to be an option for my buddies and me. So for me it's likely a no-go.

One of my buddies just asked if he should get it. I told him I played Ogre in the early 80s at a Star Fleet Battles session and the thing I remember asking at the time (keep in mind that hundreds of 1980-dollars worth of SFB material was on the tables around me) "why are we playing SFB when this thing is around for ten bucks?"

These days I'd love to play a bunch of my games 100 times each but it's not going to happen. I'm an adult now. So the only way I'm going after anything over $100 is if its aftermarket value is going to stay up there so I can sell or trade later. It would help if the box was a shippable size as well.

If anything I'll get a copy used. It sure looks like there's going to be more than a few of them around.

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19 Apr 2012 12:15 #123301

Re: Ogre...Kickstarter...you in?

Hey -- check out BGG's page for it. There's a kickstarter widget advertising the pre-order. The assimilation has begun.

S.
For he to-day that throws his dice with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
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19 Apr 2012 13:17 #123309

Re: Ogre...Kickstarter...you in?

SuperflyTNT wrote:

Microloans in India have been big for a long time, and it's the same model. Those cats are building a fucking nation on this concept.


I was pretty excited about microloans at first, too, but sadly their track record is not good:

blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2011/06/10/after-microcredit-loans-businesses-owners-are-worse-off-than-before-study-finds/

Regardless: I'll point out again that KS isn't a loan system, it's a crowdsourced funding system. But yeah, I do see the similarities.

I agree with you (I hope I'm not misstating your position) that the closer KS gets to traditional business models, the more it has the potential for breaking down. For pure charity, it's amazing. Niche products and small inventors and indie artists? Still pretty great. If BP starts crowdsourcing oil rigs, I'll reserve judgment, but it would be interesting if nothing else.

I'll make another point that I haven't seen made: KS users are, by and large, educated and engaged. Company X may sell shitty products in Wal-Mart and be somewhat removed from fallout due to layers of distribution, but woe unto the company that screws over a large KS base. It's simply a more engaged economic model by its very nature. I suppose that consumer base could be diluted by a huge influx of new users, but I'm hoping that, instead, new users are slowly socialized and educated. We'll see.
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