Jump to content

Archived

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

Epiphanis

Kickstarter Politics

Recommended Posts

The shift to a crowd-funded publication model has some interesting implications I don't think have been fully grasped yet. It is a zero-sum game. Support given to any particular project is support taken away from another. This is true on both the consumer and production side. Obviously, consumers have finite cash to spend to support projects; I think everyone is aware of this. Less obvious is prioritizing the limited resources of the producers.

 

As I've stated elsewhere, I would prefer to see Steve Long write and publish the long-discussed Profit and Purity supplement for Champions than the currently-floated Mythic Hero Kickstarter project. Its not that I hate the idea of Mythic Hero, in fact I'd almost certainly buy it if it were presented as a fait accompli. But I'd rather have a good, Steve Long-written Profit & Purity supplement. For what I am sure are valid reasons of his own, Steve has placed a higher priority on Mythic Hero. It is very likely that a majority of the Hero System fan base agrees with Steve on that prioritization. Under the traditional publishing model, my input into that decision was negligible. Long after the priorities were decided I either paid the flat-sum price for the finished product, or I didn't, which might contribute slightly to evaluating similar prioritization issues in the future but does bupkuss in deciding the issue I originally cared about.

 

Crowdfunding throws a different spin into the process. I now not only have an interest in the project I most want to see succeeding, I have an interest in every other prior project failing! obviously, I can add the money I don't spend on MH to the support I could potentially throw to P&P, assuming the latter project returns to the table. And if the MH project succeeds, I am guaranteed that Steve WON'T work on P&P for about four months, where he otherwise might. In that time a great many things could happen that would make P&P even less likely to happen than it currently is. For instance, Steve, who has now returned to freelancer status, could be hired by another outfit to work on other properties full time--while it has always been a possibility, we must be aware that there is a heightened chance that any given Hero project may be his last.

 

Consequently, even though I have nothing against the Mythic Hero project in the abstract, and even though I would probably buy a copy once it is successfully completed, I'm not inclined to support it in advance, and actually have cause to hope it flops. Sorry, but true. Don't interpret my lack of support for one specific project as a no-confidence vote for future ones!

 

Although I illustrated this point with my personal preference for P&P over MH, there are plenty of other issues in which crowd funding politics enters the mix. I almost never buy hard copies of books, especially game books, where electonic versions are available. With crowd funding, this pits the interests of people like me, who get more out of cheaper, faster, and potentially smaller and more numerous, modular publications against those of hard copy collectors, who would dictate more expensive productions with higher page counts and longer production times. In other words, crowd funding is going to drastically change the publishing-editing process, and everybody should be aware of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Kickstarter Politics

 

Yeah, I think you don't really understand too well. If Mythic Hero fails as a KS project, it makes it LESS likely you'll see something like Profit & Purity as a KS project(or in any form), because it becomes less likely that any Hero KS project above a certain threshold will succeed. It's not like Steve's going to say, "oh hey, looks like I couldn't get funding for Mythic Hero, Stormlords, Cyber Hero or Legendary Hero, so I guess I'll move on to asking for funds for...oh, Profit and Purity." At that point, 6 months have gone by, nothing's gotten funded, and KS is an apparent failure, and not viable for funding new Hero product. You of course still have the option not to contribute, but I don't see where withholding funds in the hope the project fails will get you the result you want. If anything, it'll make it impossible to get the result you want.

 

If you want to make it more likely that P&P will get published at some point, kick in a small sum(10 bucks is an option level) for every project and PM Steve to ask him about putting it back on the agenda late this year or early next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Kickstarter Politics

 

It is possible you are correct, but If so I think it is only because of the possibility that the concerned parties are stuck thinking in a traditional publishing model that doesn't really apply. Yes, maybe the failure of any given project could lead to a conclusion that Kickstarter funding is a failed experiment, but that would be a poor conclusion to make.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Kickstarter Politics

 

I think the gist of your post Epiphanis is more about the issue of change, rather than the specifics of crowdsourcing or otherwise. In your situation, with your set of preferences, I can see how this would not be a welcomed change.

 

I'll make a general observation about resources however. Steve Long is only capable of writing X words per month. Now I know his X words are volumes greater than most, but it is still, contrary to legend, finite. So, Steve isn't any more likely to work on his next project now than he would otherwise.

 

However, from my perspective the opposite is true. Rather than waiting around for one book or another to be printed, and maybe buy it or not (a few recently I haven't bought). With this model, and additional incentives, I have contributed more than I would have for those projects, significantly more, and I am motivated to help ensure the project gets completed. It allows me to feel more part of the process than ever. If a project comes along that I'm not particularly interested in, such as Profit & Purity, I would still contribute 10-20 bucks to help make sure it gets done for those that are really interested in it.

 

I think the model makes a lot more sense for a small market. I think it is far more ideal when you have a limited set of resources to ensure that those resources are applied to the most popular projects.

 

As for hard copy vs. ecopy. I think that is a debate/discussion/argument that will fade in time. While we transition to ebooks, there is of course turbulence, but even with my current preference for PDFs I am growing weary of their lack of interactivity and am already looking forward to the next evolution to something more dynamic than print or PDF.

 

I for one welcome our new Kickstart overlords. Especially if it allows Hero to continue publishing the quality books they have been.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Kickstarter Politics

 

It is possible you are correct' date=' but If so I think it is only because of the possibility that the concerned parties are stuck thinking in a traditional publishing model that doesn't really apply. Yes, maybe the failure of any given project could lead to a conclusion that Kickstarter funding is a failed experiment, but that would be a poor conclusion to make.[/quote']

 

Since a significant part of the funding goal comprises the author's compensation a failure to fund one means the author doesn't get paid to write that month. Obviously two or three failed projects in a row means the author will have to find another source of compensation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...