Board Games on kickstarter.com (May 8)

Posted by Jim {Power Gamer} | 8-May-13 | 23 comments

board and card games on kickstarter

Below is a selection of games that stood out to us while browsing kickstarter.com.

Backing a project can be a great thing, but please do the research on a game before you put money into it. Happy exploring!

Comments (23)

Gamer Avatar
8
Rosetta Stone
Football Fan
Explorer - Level 5
Junior

Getting a few games Funded at the same time recently. I’m wondering if it’s coincidence, or if there is an increase in BG’s on Kickstarter.

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4
Gave My First Grade

I have only today joined this site (hello) and recently become semi-addicted to following / buying / pledging games on Kickstarter. I am currently in on Alien Frontiers and about 6 others.

As to the discussion about full games and games in development, it’s true I have to be careful about watching which is which… but one of the bigger aspects I look for is “bang for my buck”. I frown upon doing math on what I am buying and what the items are I am getting — and it feels like the creator is just raking in the $$$.

I like projects where the stretch bonuses are truly add-on thank you bonuses. Yes, I know that the costs for those are most likely buried in the initial cost – but when it feels like people are simply using kickstarter as a storefront, it makes things a little less interesting to me.

That said… I do love me some kickstarter.

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3
Brazil
Freshman

This is my busiest month ever on Kickstarter. I was in both Coup and Study in Emerald, and now I´ve just jumped in the Snowdonia wagon too.

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9
Sweden
Bard

@coltsfan76: Promised Land indeed looks promising. I have backed it and since I live in Europe it will be cheaper to get it shipped (for once). I hope you will find interest enough for a group order.

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9
I play blue
Football Fan
USA
Advanced Reviewer

New KS I am interested in is Promised Land. It is from the UK so I am trying to put together a group order to get costs down.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2061897488/promised-land-1250-587-bc-a-new-game-design

Gamer Avatar
9
USA
Platinum Supporter
Petroglyph
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester

@Andy I completely get where you are coming from. I’m not sure where these ideas come from on businesses owned by someone else and how they choose to run it. For instance, right now there is a contingent of Australians that are up in arms with Queen games because they have chosen not to ship Amerigo to Australia due to shipping costs. Queen has stated that they don’t want to pass the extra cost on to other backers and apologized for it. Nevertheless… people are screaming to high heaven. My guess: these people have never tried to run their own business and realized how little margins truly are.

I am just glad there are companies out there producing great games. It isn’t the most lucrative industry… so you know they do it for the love of it.

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10
Critic - Level 5
Professional Advisor
Expert Reviewer
Marquis / Marchioness

Granny

I’m in agreement with pretty much everything you’ve said. What surprises me about games that are still in development is how much vitriol I often see on other sites. I personally tend to stay away from them unless really impressed, but some comments make it sounds like they feel personally insulted such games are on Kickstarter.

That’s more where my confusion comment comes, why people get so up in arms about something they can just choose not to buy. More and more I see gamers that come across as offended if any given game is not something they want. I keep telling myself they’re a vocal minority, but it still amazes me to see it.

Teramyyd is not a game I’m all that interested in, but I am looking forward to watching how the Kickstarter beta-testing goes. I wouldn’t say I’m confident something great will come out of it, but it’s an idea that I think bears watching.

Looking back, my earlier post may not have been fully clear concerning Kickstarter camps. I did not mean it to say there are only two camps, there are clearly many, and the two I mentioned are the ones that I don’t “get”.

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8
Rosetta Stone
Football Fan
Explorer - Level 5
Junior

Several good points here, and although my opinion differs slightly, I’ll point out at the start that everyone gets to use Kickstarter the way they want. I know that sounds obvious, but that’s exactly my point. I don’t see a “wrong way” to use KS; except as the owner of a project that doesn’t get funding.

My own thoughts hover around the “should have a fully working game” principle, as far as board games. A great example is Archon, up on KS now. The first time I looked at it, I saw the huge list of pieces, the intricate board…but no rules. I bookmarked the game, but there is no way I would back a board or card game that hasn’t finished the rules yet.

They’ve since added the rules, but I haven’t had time to read them yet. If I read them, and it seems like a good game, they have my Pledge.

As Chopper Dan pointed out, another good example is Alien Frontiers, that has so many bonus stretch rewards now that it’s just a good investment if you like the game.

Finally, although I agree with Granny & coltsfan76 about games like Teramyyd where the rules seem to be up in the air, I’ll go one step further. Any game that has a “Help us design…” pledge tier is a huge red flag to me. I think it’s great when you can add your name or personalize something in a game. But I draw the line when you ask me to help you create your game.

Gamer Avatar
9
I play blue
Football Fan
USA
Advanced Reviewer

I don’t know that those are how the camps are divided. Honestly, design should be “cheap” so there is no reason why any game can’t be fully fleshed out before it gets to Kickstarter. The money is needed to hire artists, promotions, and actually produce the game. It frees up their cash flow so they can actually get it printed and the larger orders reduc costs which they typically pass back to us as “free” rewards.

My issue comes with established gaming companies that use it as a pre-order – and so much that they use it but they abuse it to a certain degree. Getting an inside look at how game companies work, it is a bit surprising to see how the money is distributed. The actual manufacturer gets about 20% of MSRP. The publisher the next 20% and the distributor the next 20%. Give or take and each game has different circumstances. That leaves the final 40% for the retailer. That is why online gaming stores can cut a game 35% off MSRP and still make 5% on it.

So the problem I have is that someone like Queen doesn’t really give a huge discount when they charge you $65 (ignoring the early bird discount) for a $74.99 MSRP game like Amerigo. Had they produced the game as normal they would get about $15 per game to pay for overhead, art, the designer, etc (and the production is already paid). Now they get 3 times that for KS it. Because they aren’t using a distributor and they are bypassing the retailer as well. So if they first $15 goes to the manufacturer, and they get their typical $15, that leaves them with another $30 profit to pay for shipping and the KS fees. Plus it is an interest free loan that they could actually be making interest off of if they manage correctly. they also reduce almost all risk and don’t have funds tied up in inventory waiting for it to sell.

That is where I have the problem. They could be passing some of that back to the “investors” and stay competitive with the online retailers. So that $75 MSRP game should be closer to $50. That still gives them the cash to pay for shipping and fees and still be making more than they would had they gone the traditional route.

So something like Amerigo I will back and see what else comes of it. They may toss in a $25 game for “free” (that only costs them $10) that helps them clear out inventory. While it may be a “deal” it still is on their terms.

That is the bigger issue in my eyes. These guys know how much it costs to produce and are milking every penny they can.

Gamer Avatar
9
USA
Platinum Supporter
Petroglyph
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester

@Andy I think some people fall into those camps, but most people who have Kickstarted multiple games start developing a set of requirements that fit their personal budget and/or are trying to mitigate disappointment. For me, I’m looking for a game with good “game design”: have the mechanics and structure of the game been play-tested or not? I don’t mind paying for a small company to create the art, graphic, and package design after they get Kickstarted, but I’ve grown wary of companies that appear to be developing the mechanics during the Kickstarter campaign. I have multiple Kickstarter games that look great and have a kernel of an awesome idea… but are pretty broken with terrible rulebooks (whether this is due to a lack of skill or laziness doesn’t really matter). Of course, some art is usually required to get people to take a game seriously.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with someone supporting a game that isn’t fully developed yet, but they are taking a chance that it will never get made… or will get made badly. I’ve backed 99 projects so far, and would say about 10 percent have been duds. Those 10 percent were mostly from the first group of projects I supported and learned my lesson. They were terrible… or I have not received them yet (and probably never will)

For those who think a larger company should not be using Kickstarter to fund a game…. I disagree. Most game companies aren’t actually very big. They have small margins, and probably couldn’t take chances on some of the games they are doing without the “pre-sale” Kickstarter provides. So, I support some of those games even though there may not be a lot of goodies associated with them. If we stop supporting them, the choices will most likely diminish. I’m not sure the naysayers get this.

Nevertheless, I like supporting smaller/new designers through Kickstarter, and hope it continues to be successful. I am just more and more wary of what I support. My guess is almost all Kickstarter fans will develop this wariness as time goes on.

As for Teramyyd specifically… the minis are cool, but the game-play has been too much in flux. I’m not sure what I’d be getting in the final product. I have spent a lot on other games recently (most notably Zombicide 2), and decided I don’t want to take a $65 chance on this particular game. It may turn out to be spectacular. I hope it does.

Gamer Avatar
10
Critic - Level 5
Professional Advisor
Expert Reviewer
Marquis / Marchioness

I get confused by a lot of discussion I see about games on Kickstarter (not necessarily aimed at discussion here on boardgaming.com)

There seems to be a large camp that says fully designed games don’t belong because they aren’t “in development”, and some people feel Kickstarter should only be for development projects.

Another large camp says that a game shouldn’t be on Kickstarter if it isn’t fully fleshed out. Only games that are complete should be on Kickstarter.

Both camps seem absolutely certain that they’re right and know how Kickstarter should be used. Then I look at Kickstarter and see something that, while they would like to help with development of ideas, they primarily want the 5% they get off the top and thus will allow pretty much anything they can get; yet people still will confidently state “this isn’t what Kickstarter is for”.

On the plus side, I think Kickstarter works great for both backers and designers for games like Teramyyd. Potential buyers are able to interact with the people making the game, get questions answered (or not), and if they like what they hear, they can back, and if they don’t like what they hear, they can put their money elsewhere.

It also seems to work for games like Amerigo, as backers that are willing to pay a premium upfront will get the game sooner (and some extras may get thrown in).

And then there are the miniature games, which have been able to turn Kickstarter into a money printing press!

Gamer Avatar
8
Gamer - Level 8
Stone of the Sun
I'm a Gamin' Fiend!
Champion

@Kaleb, re: the Alien Frontiers promos: Even if they are included later, at the rate they’re adding cards to the package through stretch goals (currently 15 cards plus 6 blank ones to make up your own, and the Relic Ship dice), the $10 pledge level is still quite a deal to get them now-ish.

Gamer Avatar
8
I play purple
Football Fan
Movie Lover

@Granny & @colstfan76 – did some more digging and I now feel the same way. Hard to resist the “shinies” (I was an early backer, too), but figured it would just sit unplayed if it wasn’t a good game. Too many like that already – better to save for something like Amerigo. 🙂

It’s also not clear to me if the Alien Frontiers promo items will be available in future expansions. We’ll see.

Gamer Avatar
9
I play blue
Football Fan
USA
Advanced Reviewer

@Kaleb: I agree with what Granny said. The miniatures look awesome. But that has been their whole focus. The developer has been very active about answering questions … except one. Who are the designers, what experience do they have, what are their influences. When you ask about design, they give great answers but then it goes back to the artistic design team and not the game designers. And even though he (Derek) keeps answering new questions, he keeps ignoring that one, though several people keep highlighting it and saying they are dropping because of a lack of that answer.

There just doesn’t seem to be a game here and they are swaying with the wind. They have something like 200 pledge levels for play testers to help shape the final product. Too many cooks in the kitchen. That isn’t how you design a solid game.

Nothing but warning flags for me. Much more I’d rather support. I have only held my pledge this long because I was an early bird and got the base $75 for $20 cheaper.

Gamer Avatar
8
United Kingdom
Advanced Reviewer
Knight-errant
Tinkerer

I only just noticed Gear & Piston today thanks to this update and wow, that looks fantastic. Right now I’m so up for games that give a decent experience in less than an hour so we can play them during lunch breaks. And this looks lovely and from what I can make out plays well. I haven’t yet tried the online beta test, but that’s a fantastic selling point: give the game a try without even having to do a print & play!

Gamer Avatar
9
USA
Platinum Supporter
Petroglyph
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester

@Kaleb I think the concern is that the combat in the original video is different from what they put in the first edition of the rules. They appear to be changing game-play as they get feedback from backers, etc. This led me to believe the game has not been play-tested by a large enough group. I’ve been burned by this before. The game may turn out to be amazing, and then I’ll purchase it… but it looks half-baked right now. I still take chances here and there… but I’m more careful when red flags pop up.

The tiny voices inside my head argue, “don’t be sucked in by the pretty little minis… but they are SO pretty and blimpy…but you just spent hundreds on Myth and Zombicide… so what’s a hundred more?…I can’t take it!!!”

Gamer Avatar
8
I play purple
Football Fan
Movie Lover

As I tend to have similar likes to Granny & coltsfan76, why the lack of love to Teramyyd? I didn’t see anything that made me worry about it being a bad game. It may not win any awards, but I’m curious if your decision was mostly $-based – bang for buck?

I’ve got Coup and am debating on Tasnia & ASIEmerald. The latter looks like a great game, but it’s hard to justify so much $ for something that looks doable as a print-and-play. Guess I’m hoping to see more production pics.

Very much looking forward to Amerigo, but until there are exclusives, I’ll wait for it to appear on store shelves.

Gamer Avatar
9
USA
Platinum Supporter
Petroglyph
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester

@coltsfan76 I just backed Amerigo as well. At least we won’t have to wait two years for a Feld game to come to the U.S. It looks like Bora Bora is finally going to get released here after only a few months… so maybe Feld’s popularity is changing things a little.

… it does look like Queen is just using Kickstarter as a selling tool. I’d like to see more innovative options for stretch goals… not just new tiles.

Gamer Avatar
3

Just funded Coup, great deal for 15$ plus the resistance promos only sweeten the deal. Looking to probably fund Galactic Strike Force next.

Gamer Avatar
9
I play blue
Football Fan
USA
Advanced Reviewer

Backing Coup – great deal (though adding on the Resistance is cheaper to go online).

Dropping Teramyyd – They just won’t answer any questions about the actual game design.

Thought about Red Dragon Inn – but like Resistance, it is much cheaper to get them elsewhere.

Probably the biggest one that already funded is Amerigo by Queen games and designed by Stefan Feld. I am always perturbed when Queen chooses the KS route since they are so established. And this one is rather expensive. I am backing for now to see what kind of extras might come with it (usually a small game) and if any exclusives. Otherwise, I will most likely drop it.

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