27 Nov 2015

Help! I'm turning into a Kickstarter Addict!

Let me just start this by saying that I am by no means a newcomer to crowd-funding, I backed my first project back in April 2014, and for the following year and a half I only backed a handful of projects. I had a very relaxed relationship to crowd-funding as a whole, never looked for projects, they simply came to me through the fan communities that I was a part of.

Then I was introduced to the table top section of Kickstarter. It started innocently enough; someone in my gaming group shared a link to a board game campaign that was mere hours away from funding. I clicked it, was instantly wowed by the vibrant look of the game. I read through the campaign information, looked through the pledge levels and was not only pleased with the game presented, but also how decently priced it was, so I pledged and helped fund my first ever board game Kickstarter. It could have ended there, and with every single other campaign I had backed before that was how it ended - except I couldn't help but think that if this amazing looking game was on this platform - what else could be there?

So... I did the mistake of actually browsing through the table top category on Kickstarter. Now, I should point out that those who say there's a lot of garbage on Kickstarter - they are right. There were plenty of projects that just was an instant "no" upon sight. Some were the aforementioned garbage, games that just looked... bad, without going into the specifics. However, there were also plenty of games that looked really appealing design-wise that put me off for other reasons, like theme or mechanics. For instance, I'm not an RPG-er, or at least I think I'm not, I've never properly been introduced to it, and also I think that if I ever did get properly into it the fangirl in me would probably rather play fandom scenarios than something created in a Kickstarter campaign. I'm also not really a horror person, if a game with a horror theme appeals to me it's for completely different reasons than the actual theme itself.

Another thing that tends to put me off a project is miniatures. I know, I'm the odd one out, as projects with great looking miniatures tend to be the most popular out of the bunch. And I guess one of the main reasons for that is because of where I live. Miniatures may look fantastic, but they also do a great job of increasing the price, not just for the game itself, but also shipping costs. Shipping to my corner of the world is already pretty costly, and it doesn't take much before import fees become a part of the game's total cost. All in all, if a game right off the bat has a bunch of miniatures, I can wave goodbye to the chance of the total cost even being in the vicinity of reasonable.

So it's not like it's a long line of games too amazing to resist, I'm actually rather picky about what I do and do not back. I was also looking to try and avoid import fees wherever possible, so the second game I backed was a small card game that caught my attention, same with the third - although I have to admit that with the third game it was the art and price point that drove me to pledge more than the game description itself. But even though I chose to back a game that I thought seemed "pretty good" rather than "amazing", I felt like I was in control.

That didn't last long. To put it like this, that first game project I backed, which was mere hours away from funding? That was just a month ago, almost to the day, even. I've currently backed five different game projects, and I'm strongly considering a sixth (meaning I might as well back it now because there's very little chance I'll decide not to when the 48 hour reminder e-mail shows up in my inbox). To be honest the game I'm considering was supposed to possibly be my fifth and final (for a while), and then a new game was announced that became an instant must-have for me (so was its expansion). And the worst part is that even though I know I really should take a break, I keep firing up the Kickstarter app, mostly to see the updated progress on the active campaigns, but I also pour through the new campaigns and the ones that are about to finish - just in case I've missed that one gem.

There's no going around it, I'm addicted. It's a huge rush to log on and see another stretch goal has been reached, especially if it adds something significant to the game, it's exciting to look through new projects to see if they're golden or garbage. I hope for the sake of my own sanity and wallet that the rush will eventually settle and that I'll manage to be even stricter about what I end up backing in the future. Not that I believe I've made bad choices so far (well, there's potentially one hit or miss), I just hope I'll find a way to be kinder to my wallet without forcing myself to miss out on a game that I truly and utterly believe in. I can probably learn to master it... Hopefully.

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