Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Jason S.Walters

Third Party Hero System Kickstarter Projects: Some Thoughts

Recommended Posts

As most of you already know, we currently have a three-pronged approach to keeping Hero Games a viable, functioning concern. The first is to create books like Champions Complete, designed to give new players access to the system at a reasonable price, and to attract the interest of old players who have drifted away from the system in recent years. The second is to use Kickstarter to create high-quality, stand-alone licensed IP products like Monster Hunter International that will also expose new players to the system.

 

The third was to create a very flexible, non-restrictive license for third party publishers. There has been a fair amount of interest in this license. We've given out more than a dozen of them so far. And it has produced two successful Kickstarter projects - Champions Live Action and Narosia: Sea of Tears – as a well as a number of electronic products created by Steve Long. And there are additional projects scheduled to come out in the near future.

 

But, even though it is no less important than the other two, this “third prong” hasn't been as successful as we had hoped it would be. This is why it is vitally important that you all support third party Kickstarter projects like Blackwyrm’s Imaginary Friends. Because there are only so many projects we can reasonably get done, and this leaves a lot of room for other publishers to pursue their own ventures using the system. However, if nobody seems all that interested in these projects, they simply won’t happen. And that would be unfortunate, as our goal for 2013 to promote the playing of the Hero System in every way possible, and third party publishers could play a very large part in that.

 

So please give some serious thought to supporting these projects as they come up if you have not already done so.

 

“The Management”

 

[Note: I'm one of the owners of Blackwyrm Publishing. But trust me: it’s a labor of love, not a vast goldmine of filthy lucre.]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Third Party Hero System Kickstarter Projects: Some Thoughts

 

As most of you already know' date=' we currently have a three-pronged approach to keeping Hero Games a viable, functioning concern. The first is to create books like [b']Champions Complete[/b], designed to give new players access to the system at a reasonable price, and to attract the interest of old players who have drifted away from the system in recent years. The second is to use Kickstarter to create high-quality, stand-alone licensed IP products like Monster Hunter International that will also expose new players to the system.

 

The third was to create a very flexible, non-restrictive license for third party publishers. There has been a fair amount of interest in this license. We've given out more than a dozen of them so far. And it has produced two successful Kickstarter projects - Champions Live Action and Narosia: Sea of Tears – as a well as a number of electronic products created by Steve Long. And there are additional projects scheduled to come out in the near future.

 

But, even though it is no less important than the other two, this “third prong” hasn't been as successful as we had hoped it would be. This is why it is vitally important that you all support third party Kickstarter projects like Blackwyrm’s Imaginary Friends. Because there are only so many projects we can reasonably get done, and this leaves a lot of room for other publishers to pursue their own ventures using the system. However, if nobody seems all that interested in these projects, they simply won’t happen. And that would be unfortunate, as our goal for 2013 to promote the playing of the Hero System in every way possible, and third party publishers could play a very large part in that.

 

So please give some serious thought to supporting these projects as they come up if you have not already done so.

 

“The Management”

 

[Note: I'm one of the owners of Blackwyrm Publishing. But trust me: it’s a labor of love, not a vast goldmine of filthy lucre.]

 

I'm the freelancer writing this project. It's a labor of love. No one puts 300+ man hours of work into a single adventure/campaign supplement when they work 70 hour weeks at their day job without it being a labor of love.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Third Party Hero System Kickstarter Projects: Some Thoughts

 

I've pledged $100 to the project, and I'm pretty sure I've pledged to all Hero Kickstarters.

 

All I can do is keep pledging and buying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Third Party Hero System Kickstarter Projects: Some Thoughts

 

I've pledged $100 to the project.

 

Now, here's the thing. Kickstarter isn't really like shopping at the local gaming store, or the Hero Store. It's more akin to a whole bunch of venture capitalists putting up money for something we'd like to see made. As an Investor in a project, I'd really like to see regular status updates. I get them with the Traveller5 kickstarter, not so much with others. Really, there should be an update at least once a month, and more frequent if there's more information coming through. Long silences do not inspire confidence. And that means less goodwill to invest in projects in the future, from any source.

 

JoeG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Third Party Hero System Kickstarter Projects: Some Thoughts

 

That's an interesting comment - we get inundated with update posts on many projects while the money raising process in in progress, but once it ends (successfully, we hope), there does tend to be a long period of silence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Third Party Hero System Kickstarter Projects: Some Thoughts

 

Yeah. If people want updates beyond that point, I'll be happy to post them, but the writing of the adventure has long since been completed. Most of the artwork and maps are also done. Updates would pretty much consist of "Editing Complete", "Goes to press" and "Package in the mail."

 

I don't know that we have enough steps in the process for that many updates on Imaginary Friends, but a request is a request, and will be honored.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Third Party Hero System Kickstarter Projects: Some Thoughts

 

Yeah. If people want updates beyond that point, I'll be happy to post them, but the writing of the adventure has long since been completed. Most of the artwork and maps are also done. Updates would pretty much consist of "Editing Complete", "Goes to press" and "Package in the mail."

 

I don't know that we have enough steps in the process for that many updates on Imaginary Friends, but a request is a request, and will be honored.

 

Those would be perfect.

 

What I don't want is a 2 or 3 month silence between "waiting for funding" and the next report. I've had two projects that I've backed do that, and it doesn't inspire confidence. One of those projects is now 3 months past the estimated completion date, and (I think) is still being written. I don't hold much hope at seeing it as a real product anytime soon. The other one looks to be on track, but will most probably miss its estimated completion date (I don't know for sure, as the last contact was almost a month ago).

 

JoeG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Third Party Hero System Kickstarter Projects: Some Thoughts

 

teasers of art/character back story/write up can be be spaced out say 1 or 2 items every 2 weeks to show you are on track or at least showing you are doing something

 

 

Yeah. If people want updates beyond that point, I'll be happy to post them, but the writing of the adventure has long since been completed. Most of the artwork and maps are also done. Updates would pretty much consist of "Editing Complete", "Goes to press" and "Package in the mail."

 

I don't know that we have enough steps in the process for that many updates on Imaginary Friends, but a request is a request, and will be honored.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Third Party Hero System Kickstarter Projects: Some Thoughts

 

Please don't take the following as criticism of the sentiments expressed here, nor of Imaginary Friends or any of the people involved in it. I agree that independent licensed products are a good way to sustain and spread the game in the present circumstances; and that all things being equal, supporting quality HERO product generally, even if a particular person may not need or want one specifically, ultimately benefits everyone... provided one has the disposable income to devote to that.

 

However, the Kickstarter model functions in part as a gauge of public interest in a given project. If interest in one project, or type of project, genuinely isn't sufficient to keep garnering the required funding without large infusions from people who aren't interested, it's counter-productive to keep making more of the same. Ultimately publishing is a business, not a charity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Third Party Hero System Kickstarter Projects: Some Thoughts

 

It is likely also a reflection of the size of the player base. The projects on Kickstarter that are for White Wolf products seem to gather money like gangbusters every time one goes up.

 

The most money gathered for a Hero product is probably MHI, but that had two fan bases to draw from. That might be saying something about relative popularity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Third Party Hero System Kickstarter Projects: Some Thoughts

 

That's an interesting comment - we get inundated with update posts on many projects while the money raising process in in progress' date=' but once it ends (successfully, we hope), there does tend to be a long period of silence.[/quote']

The potential problem lies in the long period of time between pledging and receiving any stuff or even any info on the progress of the project. Even the Traveller5 project was not perfect in this way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Third Party Hero System Kickstarter Projects: Some Thoughts

 

I'd like to point out that if it isn't fully written, Jason and Dave don't even get a chance to decide whether we're kickstarting it or not. Here's how it works. I tell Jason and Dave. "Hey, guys! I have an idea."

 

They say "When will you be done?"

 

I give them a date. A couple months from the end date, production begins. So if I don't have a completed rough, nothing happens. We take that very seriously. Not done=no product.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Third Party Hero System Kickstarter Projects: Some Thoughts

 

Balabanto, I think we're talking more generally above. Your project seems unusual in that it's already written, and with 29 updates already (plus all the off-Kickstarter promotion), I think you've provided plenty in the way of updates. If the product weren't written before, I suspect you'd have progress updates much like those posted on your thread while writing was in progress. You're an example of great communication with the backers and potential backers, and I suspect Ternaugh would be more than thrilled with the frequency and content of the updates you've provided throughout the process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Third Party Hero System Kickstarter Projects: Some Thoughts

 

 

Balabanto' date=' I think we're talking more generally above. Your project seems unusual in that it's already written, and with 29 updates already (plus all the off-Kickstarter promotion), I think you've provided plenty in the way of updates. If the product weren't written before, I suspect you'd have progress updates much like those posted on your thread while writing was in progress. You're an example of great communication with the backers and potential backers, and I suspect Ternaugh would be more than thrilled with the frequency and content of the updates you've provided throughout the process.[/quote']

 

Most definitely. The two projects that I've been happiest with communications has been Balbanto's current one, and the Traveller5 kickstarter. Both seem to have a really enthusiastic person in back of the project, and the message I get is that they can't wait to share the fun with us.

 

I've been least happy with Metamorphosis Alpha (which really looks to be stuck in development), and Narosia (which, at least, does look like there will be a product, but seems to suffer from lockjaw about progress reports).

 

JoeG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Third Party Hero System Kickstarter Projects: Some Thoughts

 

But the Kickstarter didn't.

 

2,085

Backers

$294,628

pledged of $24,000 goal

 

Yeah, it was a massive success. Even I kicked in, and my Traveller experience is minimal.

 

I heartily agree with what you've said about Kickstarter communications. I'll add that I'm particularly happy with the Ultimate Psionics Hardcover gang, who have kept to a weekly update schedule well past the completion date of the project.

 

Also like you, I've backed a few projects that are well behind their release dates. Fortunately, I get progress updates from them on a regular enough basis that I don't feel like the money was wasted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I like supporting what appear to me to be interesting and worthy projects on Kickstarter, I find my enthusiasm dimmed and my caution level raised on funding any future projects based on two things.

 

1) Lack of updates post-funding: This is probably what I find most irritating about a funded Kickstarter project. You've got my money, and I now consider myself an investor in your project, not merely a purchaser of a book or PDF. At a minimum, I would like to see one update on production status every month until it ships. It doesn't have to be lengthy, but tell me _something_ is happening. If you can't do that, it shows me either a lack of professionalism or a lack of enthusiasm in your project. It also leaves me feeling much less interested in funding another project by that creator.

 

2) Lateness: I understand that delays happen, so when posting your Kickstarter project, try and build in a reasonably sufficient lead time cushion to allow for this. If you post a project promising delivery a couple of months after funding and then six months pass without finishing, frankly it irritates me. That said, I also understand that projects grow during funding due to stretch goals, perhaps increasing in page size or spawning additional supplements. If you give me regular updates, I'll be forgiving.

 

If both items 1 and 2 have occurred (a lack of updates post-funding and late delivery) the odds of my funding any future projects by a creator dim considerably.

 

If a creator wants me to keep funding their projects, I don't think I am asking for much here, just a little consideration if you hope for me to invest in future projects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
While I like supporting what appear to me to be interesting and worthy projects on Kickstarter, I find my enthusiasm dimmed and my caution level raised on funding any future projects based on two things.

 

1) Lack of updates post-funding: This is probably what I find most irritating about a funded Kickstarter project. You've got my money, and I now consider myself an investor in your project, not merely a purchaser of a book or PDF. At a minimum, I would like to see one update on production status every month until it ships. It doesn't have to be lengthy, but tell me _something_ is happening. If you can't do that, it shows me either a lack of professionalism or a lack of enthusiasm in your project. It also leaves me feeling much less interested in funding another project by that creator.

 

2) Lateness: I understand that delays happen, so when posting your Kickstarter project, try and build in a reasonably sufficient lead time cushion to allow for this. If you post a project promising delivery a couple of months after funding and then six months pass without finishing, frankly it irritates me. That said, I also understand that projects grow during funding due to stretch goals, perhaps increasing in page size or spawning additional supplements. If you give me regular updates, I'll be forgiving.

 

If both items 1 and 2 have occurred (a lack of updates post-funding and late delivery) the odds of my funding any future projects by a creator dim considerably.

 

If a creator wants me to keep funding their projects, I don't think I am asking for much here, just a little consideration if you hope for me to invest in future projects.

Agreed. This goes double for 3rd party products using Hero System because those outside our immediate community may feel it reflects badly on the system/company in general (or just not be able to tell the difference) and hurt both DOJ and other 3rd party publishers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to create a Teen Champions Campaign Source book based on two of my campaigns; COURT OF DREAMS [a msytic champions campaign based on the popular Magic Girls Anime] and TEAM ALPHA [My original superteen campaign with the flavor of X-MEN and Teen Titans Combined with G.I.JOE ]. Both are currently in playtest in Real Roleplaying.com,I'm writing up the rules,settings and scenarios for the PCs whenever i have the time to get on the computer. I'm Also Writing a COD[ Court Of Dreams] Fanfiction at Fanfiction.net,[look for it under Champions Online] I'm gonna need a ghost writer to help me put this all together for Kickstarter to invest. Any one interested in the job?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I want to create a Teen Champions Campaign Source book based on two of my campaigns; COURT OF DREAMS [a msytic champions campaign based on the popular Magic Girls Anime] and TEAM ALPHA [My original superteen campaign with the flavor of X-MEN and Teen Titans Combined with G.I.JOE ]. Both are currently in playtest in Real Roleplaying.com' date='I'm writing up the rules,settings and scenarios for the PCs whenever i have the time to get on the computer. I'm Also Writing a COD[ Court Of Dreams'] Fanfiction at Fanfiction.net,[look for it under Champions Online] I'm gonna need a ghost writer to help me put this all together for Kickstarter to invest. Any one interested in the job?

 

 

Humm...I'm not a good speller, but I am a great ideal guy. Feal free to ask me for ideals, and I'll bounce a few your way.

 

Of course, it is always helpful for you to have a copy of Champions Complete first...(I have one myself...great book).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I want to create a Teen Champions Campaign Source book based on two of my campaigns; COURT OF DREAMS [a msytic champions campaign based on the popular Magic Girls Anime] and TEAM ALPHA [My original superteen campaign with the flavor of X-MEN and Teen Titans Combined with G.I.JOE ]. Both are currently in playtest in Real Roleplaying.com' date='I'm writing up the rules,settings and scenarios for the PCs whenever i have the time to get on the computer. I'm Also Writing a COD[ Court Of Dreams'] Fanfiction at Fanfiction.net,[look for it under Champions Online] I'm gonna need a ghost writer to help me put this all together for Kickstarter to invest. Any one interested in the job?

 

 

Humm...I'm not a good speller, but I am a great ideal guy. Feal free to ask me for ideals, and I'll bounce a few your way.

 

Of course, it is always helpful for you to have a copy of Champions Complete first...(I have one myself...great book).

You may have impeccable ideals, but are your ideas any good? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably not, bigby, but I will never know till I try. I suspect the two books planed by Phantomgm are much like my book ideals, about as likely to see print as much as I am likely to find flying pigs. No offense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×