The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Here are some interesting facts: It has been reported as of January 2014 that just under a mere 44% of KS campaigns are successful at reaching their target goal. A recent analysis of Indiegogo’s site showed a somewhat lower overall success rate of 34% if only projects that received more than $500 in funding are included in the analysis – and that rate drops to less than 10% if all projects are included (source). For most it’s a hardship waiting to happen if planning and preparation are not tight as a drum, and even then that doesn’t guarantee you success. That being said, on with the show.

Battles of Telnarus

Another campaign I think was scripted to succeed. What do I mean by that? Well, look at the number of backers per tier and tell me what seems odd. For that many people to go with the second highest tier versus the scrapings in all the other nominally priced tiers had me thinking. Having the majority of your backers already pre-sold on the game is your greatest weapon. I don’t think it’s by any chance that this project did so well. Everything  they did was bang on and if you read further down the page they tell you straight up that KS was chosen as a venue for offering early supporters fantastic incentives. Kudos folks. Great use of the platform.  The ‘deal delivery’ method of using KS worked well in this instance. Must keep that in mind.

Set up is good, info is good, presentation is good (neglected to use a video though). They also used an incentive my friend had mentioned to me before — Coming to meet and hang with creator at convention. Not sure how much of a draw that would be for the casual backer, but for a fan I think that’s fantastic. And speaking of fantastic, the effort in artwork and materials looks top notch. Overall great template campaign to reference.

Amazing Bingo

What a great concept. The video has it all, and the game itself is a platform for many other great things. I wished him luck. He’s obviously been doing this a long, long time so it’s no big surprise to people in his community. I don’t know if this project had a general attraction to anyone outside of the bingo community though. That being said there are so many people who are in the bingo community, how could this project actually fail? I don’t know! Here are all the factors he had going for him;

  • He had 4 tiers. 3 of those tiers didn’t include the game which is fine in most cases, but again I don’t think this was a particular problem.
  • He had several videos outlining the game play, the project and providing interest.
  • Lots of info. Very upfront with his needs and goals. Outlined how the money will help and provided reviews and testimonials.
  • Possibility to go digital with multi-player online gaming.

This is what’s so incredibly amazing yet frustrating about Kickstarter. Projects you expect to succeed usually do. You can see it, you can feel it. There are also the cases where one would think ‘ so what’s the big deal’ yet it blows up over 200%. Then there are ones like this where you’d THINK backers (like bingo lovers) would just clamber for something unique in the game genre they love so much. You’d think, with a community so large that if he were to even promote this at 10 bingo halls that 10 percent of the people would be interested, share with their friends and have this thing blow up. I’m not a bingo fanatic by any means but this seems to be a hella more fun than standard bingo. The board game itself adds a whole new aspect on the game. But in the end only 3 people backed this? Where’s his family and friends support? I say for any project you run at least 1 friend and 1 family member should back it. But only 3?! I’m stumped this didn’t do better. $25K is a lot to ask for but I thought it would have done better.

Train Heist

Cool Game. Done! And funded. Another project that was scripted to succeed. He worked 3+ years on it. It’s probably gone through play testers like pigs go through slop. It has the makings of a mainstream game. Congrats to dude. Can’t say enough. He covered all his basis and his largest audience is from which is were it actually matters! Gamers happily anticipating the launch of something cool. They’ve played or watched play through and it excited them. Heck, it excited me. I never got a chance to get on that train though. I know this isn’t much of a review per se. More of a snippet of emotions than a thoughtful write up. Well, that’s how it is. Success was earned with this one and kudos to the developer and the community.

Top This!

First off I have to say I can see this game as an addition to almost every gamer’s shelf of after-dinner entertainment. Very cool game and very simple game. He basically reworked crokinole and gave it a purpose beyond sinking the center. For those not familiar with crokinole, read up on it and check out tournament videos on YouTube. It’s actually quite interesting. I like it, and I think people will like it regardless if you’re a fan of dexterity games or not. I’m working on a dexterity game as well but mine will include magnets.  I’m IN LOVE WITH MAGNETS! Imagine the cost on that one?! I’m actually afraid to see what a vendor will quote me on it. But enough about me. Top This! is an easy to learn game with fun for all ages. This is another example of a game I can see in a box store. Indie mainstream games seem to be cropping up more and more on KS the further I research. It’s nice to see these quality of games make it through the development stage into official first runs. Congrats to the UniForge Games team.


Cool minimalist game. So what’s the issue you ask? It’s lacking… lack of information and lack of backing options would have single-handedly crippled this project. The write up isn’t terrible but it lacked actual information about the core component(s) of the game. No game play images or videos were provided. I  up on the campaign presentation. No video and no images of how-to play the game. Not even a sell sheet explaining how the game works. He did build a little intrigue with his write up though. I’ll give him that. He also left minimal options for backers. 1 of the 3 tiers is for $3000. Not sure what to make of that. Just poorly planned to say the least, and that’s too bad to. I was willing to invest in a game like this. So much so that I had to send the publisher a note through KS to investigate more about the game (More details in my closing notes). He never met his $20K goal, understandably so, even with all the play testers he said to have demoed the game to. Frustrates me to see interesting ideas flop like this.


Closing Notes

I had contacted the creator of Tai-Jii, Richard, directly about the campaign and tried to learn more about the game. The conversation was casual and I provided him my opinion on where he could have focused on attracting more interest. He stayed vague in response and clearly expressed his apprehension of sharing the game’s details because he is afraid someone will take it and be first to market with it. I understand, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the gaming audience does. In the end I hope I left him with things to contemplate and hopefully put into use. He’s contacted me offline to share his game concept, and for that I’m appreciative of the type of community I’m in.

KS Campaign Round Up has just started, but don’t miss a beat on this and other KS related posts here today at ADLi.

Disclaimer: The purpose of these reviews is to share an first impression critique based on expectation received and presentation provided. It is not to demean, demoralize or flame the creators and/or their games. Just sharing my honest point of view on the project’s success or failure as a fellow game designer.