Kickstarter might be the biggest phenomenon of 2012. Early on we started seeing crowd-funded projects that were HUGELY popular - going thousands and sometime hundreds of thousands of dollars above what they initially needed. For those who aren't familiar, Kickstarter is basically a reverse-investment project; someone pitches their idea and you pay them for products you'll eventually receive. Kickstarter has protections in place for your cash. If the project doesn't get entirely funded you never pay a dime.
Lately it seems that many Kickstarters have become greedy. See Penny Arcade's half million dollar venture to not have ads; many new minis Kickstarters are selling things at 'retail' prices and bonuses are only bought. I feel like if I'm helping you start a business I should get a deal. Buyer beware, I suppose. I've Kickstarted about 6 projects now so even though I have a strong opinion on it there ARE projects worth crowd-funding.
Then there is the whole possible effect that these projects will have on your FLGS. The Reaper 'Bones' thing was hugely popular among e-nerds because they could get skeletons with shields and flame elementals for 50 cents. Should a hobby shop carry the Bones line after the entire internets has gotten into that Kickstarter? Probably not.
Now that I've gotten down off my soapbox, I'm here to share with you a GREAT Kickstarter project that is worth your cash. The funding amounts this gentleman has sought have been humble and his project is truly worth funding. For those who don't know, I'm a massive Western fan. I have seen every spaghetti western and I am in the process of watching ever Duke movie there is.
I've never really played a Wild West minis game before, although there are a few. Necromunda takes a lot of its experience from Wild West. Now we have Blackwater Gulch. Friend of the blog William Stewart helped start this project and created art for the Bloodwolf Tribe. I picked up those guys in the initial Kickstarter. They should be arriving soon.
There is a lot to like about this game. I interviewed Tim Kline, creator of Blackwater Gulch.
Blackwater Gulch is a tabletop skirmish game based on the Wild West. Form your gang from the variety of miniatures available and use them to fight for fame and fortune. Whether it’s a showdown at the corral, a brawl in the saloon, a dust-up in the mines, or a chase through the outskirts, Blackwater Gulch is action-packed, fast, and fun.
Q: Can you tell us a little about Blackwater Gulch and what the product is?Blackwater Gulch is a skirmish game based on the WIld West.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for this game?
Q: Can you tell us about the creative process? We have a friend of the club named William Stewart who helped draw some of the gangs.
Q: What were some of the inspirations for the different gangs? (mention the Tranquility gang for props!)
Q: How much focus have you put into the rules? Would you say it is a tight ruleset?
Q: Can you describe your initial experience using Kickstarter to begin your project?
Q: Why did you choose Kickstarter?
Q: It seems like you were one of the first Miniatures companies to use Kickstarter. Can you describe the challenges you've had?
Q: Many players who Kickstarted the first project haven't received their minis and might be questioning the quickness of another Kickstarter project. You're almost funded with two weeks to go. What would you say to those people?
Q: What is the new Kickstarter for?
Q: What are your future plans for Blackwater Gulch?
Q: When will players be able to purchase the models individually? This author really wants Wayne Duke, Doctor Kilmer, The Norwegian, etc! (Although I believe I got The Norwegian from the first Kickstarter)
Q: Will you be at any major conventions coming up?
Q. How do you think your product will get into hobby shops? One question that many hobby shop owners have had in the past is whether or not these Kickstarters will help / hurt them in their endeavors. I'd love to see these models in a hobby shop, but perhaps the market is already saturated for those who would buy them just from the Kickstarter?
That's one of the reasons I went with Game Salute for publishing & distribution. They do a lot of Kickstarters and also have a lot of great programs for game shops that want to support their products .. the owner of Game Salute also owns a bunch of game stores so it's really all geared toward selling in stores. I'm hoping I can get to the point where I don't need Kickstarter at all and can just release the new models I want to when I want to and release them the old fashioned way. But right now Kickstarter is just the best way to go when you have no budget to start with :)
Q: Do you have anything else to tell us? Thanks!