From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
“Shipping Scythe has been exhausting, draining, and discouraging. I could not be more eager for this process to be over.”
So what happened? The Scythe project on Kickstarter was massively successful, with over 18,000 orders received for the game. This is where the problems began.
If you are a game designer using Kickstarter, you don’t get to spend a lot of your time on game design. Everything is your responsibility, from finding boxes that fit, commissioning art, ordering all the parts, and overseeing manufacturers and fulfilment centres. Oh, and responding in a relentlessly positive way to any criticism that comes your way.
Everyone has their limit, and with Scythe it looks like Jamey has reached his.
From his closing remarks, it is likely that we won’t see many future Stonemaier Games projects using Kickstarter. It some ways this is a sign of progress, with the company able to transition to supplying their product to distributors and focusing on design and marketing of their games to achieve the sales. The business behaves more like a business allowing the designer more time to design.
There are many lessons you can take away from this depending on where you see yourself.
For customers, if you participate in a Kickstarter project and you enjoy the result, taking two minutes to write to the project creator to say that is worth your time. Very few people bothered to do this with Scythe.
For designers, you need to keep in mind that Crowdfunding is more about fulfilment than design. The game doesn’t matter if you can’t get it produced to the right specifications and actually in the hands of the people who want it in a timely manner.