Breadmaker Games: Would You Use a Tabletop Game-Specific Crowdfunding Platform?

29 January 2018

Recently I was invited to try a new crowdfunding platform (not yet launched as of 1/29/2018) called Breadmaker Games. I don’t use crowdfunding as a product creator anymore, so I politely declined, but I asked Larry–the founder–if he would participate in a no-holds-barred interview. He agreed.

I told Larry up front that I was going to ask some difficult questions. I have a lot of respect for innovators, but I certainly had some major doubts about a creator using anything but Kickstarter, and I wanted to give Larry the chance to address them. I think he did a great job.

The interview–which is edited for clarity and brevity–is below. I mostly dug into information that isn’t readily available on the Breadmaker Games website, so if you want to take a look there before or after this interview, it’ll definitely help.

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Can you summarize the key ways you differentiate Breadmaker from other crowdfunding platforms?

  • Clear Focus on Tabletop: We’re focused specifically and solely on tabletop games and accessories, which allows us to standardize visual information like player count, theme, etc into the platform.
  • Accountability: We’ll vet every project and creator to see if their product is ready.
  • Retailer Support: We’ll facilitate pledges from both individual consumers and retailers, with retailers receiving regular notifications with all eligible, active products to make it easier for them to pledge to a variety of projects.

One of the great things about crowdfunding is building community. However, Kickstarter’s comment system leaves much to be desired (i.e., the lack of nested comments), and toxic backers can really sour the community. How does Breadmaker Games approach community?

We recognize that not every decision a maker chooses will be agreeable with everyone, so we’ve enabled a reporting function for those who prove to be exceedingly toxic. We will review comment reports on a case-by-case basis and will message reported users separately regarding course of action. We have no tolerance for hostile or abusive comments that add no value to discussion and will take appropriate actions toward communicating, warning, and suspending accounts if needed.

The commenting system at Breadmaker Games does allow for nested comments so users can keep track of conversations more easily.

On a lighter note, there is also a built in messaging system which allows makers and bakers to communicate back and forth to work out issues or special requests at any point in the campaign.

While I’m intrigued by the idea of Breadmaker ensuring that a game is ready to go to print before the campaign, it doesn’t leave room for backers to have a positive impact on the game. Is there any flexibility there?

This concept is more of a mindset and an approach rather than a process. We will do our best to work with makers to be sure that the necessary components are in place before the campaign is in the oven. But if there are variables that need to be weighed in on by the community, we want to be sure that makers are ready to deliver.

We’ll be conducting phone calls/emails with our makers prior to their campaign launch to find out what their goals are for conducting, implementing, and fulfilling campaign rewards. We’ll attempt to follow up with the particular vendors that makers are planning to use for the main components of their products. The goal is to nearly have some type of purchase order or pre-order for components of their games from each vendor in their supply chain.

This way they’ll be as ready to fulfill their rewards as they can be before their campaign is in the oven. And now during their campaign, they can focus more on community, engagement, and marketing since much of the planning for production and fulfillment has already been done.

Will Breadmaker have built-in systems for stretch goals and add-ons?

Breadmaker Games will have a built-in stretch goal system. This allows makers to specify rewards that will only unlock for viewing once a certain fundraising amount has been hit. These will automatically unlock once the amount has been met.

There is no built-in add-on system at this time.

One of the huge benefits of running a crowdfunding campaign is that it brings a lot of attention to a project that may have otherwise flown under the radar. Kickstarter has accentuated this through their “follow” feature, allowing backers to get alerts for a steady stream of projects that other people are backing. How do you compete with this?

So there are a few points to this question I’d like to make. First about generating buzz. We have your standard sharing tools on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Email, and an RSS feed for the site overall. You can even embed your campaign badge into another website you’re promoting on.

We do also have a “Follow” feature to follow specific makers on their profile page. We are using a third-party email client to send out alerts to a maker’s followers when they have a new campaign in the oven.

I’m really intrigued by the idea of directly engaging retailers, as Kickstarter creators have to find creative ways to bypass the 10-unit pledge maximum. Can you explain it in detail?

The FLGS Whole Grain Program simply enables retailers to pledge for a bulk quantity of a reward while the campaign is in the oven with rights to sell the rewards at MSRP in their stores.

For example: At the beginning of the month, Games4You FLGS receives an email from Breadmaker Games to a link that looks similar to this where they will be able to “lock in” what they would like to pledge.

After the lock-in deadline, Games4You FLGS will receive another email with links to each corresponding campaign’s contribution page where the designated amount will already be filled in for them. All they need to do is pledge the dollar amount. If the campaign is successful, Games4You FLGS receives their bulk orders of pledge rewards along with the other bakers of the campaigns.

I have talked to a few FLGSs in my own area, and they have told me they’d like to be notified of crowdfunded game availability and the ability to sell them to draw more traffic into their stores. They’ve also expressed they don’t want to have to do the work of combing through the site to find them though, which is why we’ve put together this system that operates mostly out of email with a few link clicks for confirmation and payment. I’m confident this will be a valuable system to generate buzz within stores while contributing high dollar pledges to campaigns involved in the program.

Will Breadmaker have a built-in pledge manager system?

If a baker would like to adjust their pledge amounts or reward choices, they are able to visit their profile, cancel their pledge, and re-pledge for their new amount or reward. This is a process we’re working to improve, but upon launch this will be the procedure to adjust your contribution to a campaign.

At this point, we are lacking a robust post-campaign pledge management system as is familiar today. We have been in talks with third-party pledge managers to help integrate something more substantial into our platform, but a more fully-featured system for this will not be available upon launch.

What are some other competitive advantages that Breadmaker faces (especially in comparison to Kickstarter), and for each of them, why do you believe game creators should try out your platform anyway?

Well the elephant in the room, and our biggest hurdle to face, is the amount of traffic Kickstarter generates compared to a startup like Breadmaker Games. Clearly, you do have a higher volume of traffic that hits larger crowdfunding platforms, but the quality of the traffic you’ll see at Breadmaker Games will be much higher. Breadmaker Games will specifically attract the tabletop audience–they won’t be distracted by products in any other category. As such, they’ll convert at a higher rate, and that conversion is likely to stick as a long-term customer as a result of a well-run campaign.

In addition (especially early on), we’ll be actively advertising each of our campaigns that are in the oven. When you’re successful, we’re successful. Because we’re focused on one niche, Tabletop Games, we are involved in our community without having to manage other niche communities as Kickstarter must, and you’ll have our full attention.

How much will you charge creators, and when can creators start to use your platform?

You and your bakers will only be charged if your campaign reaches its funding goal. Fees are 5% of successfully funded dollars + payment processing fees.

If you would like your campaign to be accessible to the members of our FLGS Whole Grain Program, you’ll instead be charged 7% + payment processing fees.

We’re looking to partner with makers pre-launch to have their campaigns in the oven and ready to take the heat of crowdfunding when we go live. Any maker who chooses to launch their campaign with us prior to site launch will have a reduced rate of 3% + payment processing fees. Our platform will be launching toward the end of February 2018.

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on launch and partnerships with makers prior to launch.

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Huge thanks to Larry for answering these questions! If you have any follow-up questions for him (or any constructively worded feedback), feel free to mention them in the comments.

62 Comments on “Breadmaker Games: Would You Use a Tabletop Game-Specific Crowdfunding Platform?

  1. Hi everyone, this is Larry from Breadmaker Games. Feel free to ask me any questions you have about Breadmaker Games, and I’ll do my best to address your questions. Thanks for reading!

  2. On Kickstarter, it’s not always so easy to discover new campaigns. We have to wade through a lot of useless listings (like decks of playing cards or dice) to find some hidden gems if they’re not deemed a “Project We Love” by Kickstarter. What features will Breadmaker Games have for discovery?

    1. Hi @ulkeshkosh, thanks for your comment.

      So as you’ve probably seen, you can sort on the left hand side by “type”. Board Games, Card Games, Accessories, etc. We plan to add in the “Recently Launched” or “New” campaigns option there as well once we have a few campaigns in the oven.

      In addition, we have an advanced search feature in the top menu (click on the magnifying glass) that allows you to search by name, number of players, theme, age group, and play time to really hone in on what you’re looking for.

      We’ll also be “featuring” a number of campaigns that are picking up traction, similar to the “Projects We Love” function that KS has. These will be in a specific “Featured” filter after we have some campaigns in the oven as well.

      We think this mix of searching/sorting is a great improvement to discovering new games.

    1. Hey, thanks for reading! We’re very excited about this opportunity.

      We like to think of it as “Baker” mentality. ;)

  3. Larry: There was a great question on Twitter about how deep into the tabletop game category you’ll accept projects for Breadmaker Games. For example, will you accept game accessories and furniture?

    1. Jamey: That’s a good question. We do accept accessories that are geared towards tabletop usage. E.g. – Game Tables, Deck Boxes, Dice Towers, Dice, Card Sleeves, Playmats, etc.

      As long as it’s for tabletop, we’re excited to help you launch it.

      Thanks for the prompt Jamey.

  4. Another interesting read, and one more option to investigate prior to the relaunch of my campaign later this year. Also, recently I came across another Kickstarter alternative geared specifically towards board games, RPGs etc based out of France that some might find worthwhile taking a look at. The website is https://www.gameontabletop.com/

    1. Hi Raymond, thanks for your comment.

      We’ve seen this site, but upon further inspection we personally felt a bit underwhelmed by it’s functionality and design and thought there were some areas we could certainly improve upon. We recognize and appreciate competition, but we’re confident that our support, functionality, design, and overall branding make us more than worth considering.

      Additionally, we’re a US-based company operating solely on the power of freshly-baked bread. So there’s that to consider, as well.

      1. Can’t argue with the power of freshly baked bread! :) You certainly have some of the same features that they have, but there is something to be said for working with someone more local to me (Manitoba Canada) than France.

        I did have one questions that I wasn’t able to find an answer to on the site – how much control do I have over the look of my campaign page? Do I get a full WYSIWYG editor that supports advanced HTML and CSS, or is it more like Kickstarter’s? I think this is on place where you can really shine and separate yourself from your competition.

        I look forward to seeing where your platform goes.

        1. Great question. You do have access to a full WYSIWYG editor. You’ll be able to “code” your html if you wish and it will render your tags appropriately on your page. Embed youtube videos, insert imagery hosted on other sites, brand the page with your own styles with CSS if that’s in your wheelhouse.

          And of course, we’ll be working very closely together prior to your campaign being put in the oven to make sure everything is set up just how you like it.

          Thank you for your comments, and I hope you’ll consider becoming a Maker on Breadmaker Games.

    2. Is Game on Tabletop a full-on crowdfunding platform or is it just a pledge manager with a late pledge feature, akin to some projects going to other platforms to run an second campaign after running a first one on maybe KS or Indiegogo (I think Indiegogo gets used more for that than the other way round though). I only ask as I only became aware of GOT as they were selected as the pledge manager for a project I backed and they provided a very useable Pledge Manager.

  5. I have the following concerns with crowdfunding.
    I’ve backed a more than 30 games and stumbled into the following hiccups such as disappearing creators, especially foreign creators, and products that are too raw.

    How will Breadmaker address the issue of disappearing creators after the campaign closes? At this point, I’m only backing games from those who have fulfilled previous campaigns successfully.

    Will Breadmaker assist creators find resources for production, shipping, etc?
    I’ve noticed many aren’t really prepared for the post-campaign procedure and encounter many issues with prototypes, component quality, misprints, errors, shipping, etc. By the time backers get all the replacements or the sort, retail is already selling second print.

    How will you address complaints about changing campaigns?

    For example, I once backed an item that promised a tracking device with no subscription needed. After the campaign closed, the creator changed the terms and notified backers that if they wanted to continue using the tracking device, they had to subscribe. Turned out it was a fraudulent campaign. I reported it to the crowdfunding campaign, with evidence, but I was brushed to the side.

    1. Hi Anjanette, thank you for your comment.

      This is a big issue with crowdfunding right now, maybe the biggest. You asked a few different questions, so I’ll do my best to answer them accordingly.

      Re: Disappearing creators
      We will be doing our best to vet each and every one of our Makers prior to putting their campaign in the oven on Breadmaker Games. Our approach is simple and this is our rule of thumb:

      By the time a project reaches BreadmakerGames.com, all components for execution of a successful campaign and its associated rewards will be in place. Basically, the Maker simply needs to know “How many of X, Y, and Z, do we need?”

      While we can’t control exactly what makers do with their funds after their campaign, we feel that doing our due diligence in making sure that they are prepared essentially with purchase orders from manufacturers and distribution channels before as much as possible before they even hit our site.

      Re: Changing campaigns
      Once again, we cannot necessarily control the actions of a company and we will do our best to set everyone up for success prior to the campaign launch. We will assist bakers of insufficiently fulfilled campaigns with support for any disputes or chargebacks they have to the best of our ability. We rely on responsibility from all sides of this relationship to bring successful games to market.

      I talk a bit more about Accountability in my recent blog post on our site https://breadmakergames.com/blog/the-perfecting-of-crowdfunding. This may explain things in a bit more detail as well.

      This is a huge topic, once again, and we’re trying to take the most responsible approach to crowdfunding we can with all parties maintaining a healthy a careful approach to researching and funding a campaign.

      Sorry if this sounds “fluffy”, but there are a lot of components to this discussion.

  6. Great interview! I’m am now very much looking forward to Breadmaker Games. My #1 problem with Kickstarter is that because they manage so many different categories, most projects that end up there are unfortunately half-baked and it’s just a slog to go through and find good projects. Hopefully a dedicated tabletop crowdfunding site can curate a little better. I’m really curious as to the quality of titles that end up on Breadmaker. If I had a game ready to go I’d for sure sign up. The fact that you see what is missing from Kickstarter (integrated retailer support, etc.) really shows that you are listening to the community. I’m excited to see how the platform develops.

    Peaking around your site I didn’t see a category for RPGs or war games. Is that intentional? Do RPGs or war games have a home on Breadmaker? What is your limit of the word “tabletop?”

    1. Hi Mike, thanks so much for your comment.

      We feel the same way in regards to other crowdfunding platforms vs. a niche-focused platform like Breadmaker Games. For the record, we want each campaign to be “100% Baked” on our site. ;)

      So we implemented a lot of different “themes” and “categories” on our site. We may have overlooked putting a specific RPG or War Game category in, but we can certainly add that filter no problem. We welcome RPGs, War Games, any type of new role-playing system that’s looking for its next campaign release.

      We host Tabletop Games and Accessories. Any product type you’d typically find at your FLGS including accessories are eligible for Breadmaker Games including accessories like gaming tables, deck boxes, dice, dice towers, playmats and other gaming “aids”.

      Thank you so much for your comment, let me know if there are any other concerns I can address for you. I hope you’ll consider being a Baker on Breadmaker Games.

      1. That’s great. Kickstarter lumps in RPGs and miniature war games in with the board and card games. Which means I have to mentally filter all that stuff out to focus on the content I really want. It’d be great to have a filtering feature where you can select which categories you want to show up. Like if I’m interested in Board Games, RPGs, and accessories I can just check all those boxes and scroll through all of those campaigns in one page.

        As far as being a Maker, I’d love to experience that campaign process but the level of knowledge you have to have about manufacturing, freight, shipping, fulfillment, taxes, etc. is intimidating. I think a step-by-step guide to all that on your site would be a big help to potential makers. I know no two projects are alike, but most board game related campaigns need to follow the same steps to get to customers’ doors. (Marketing -> Manufacturing -> Freight -> Fulfillment -> Shipping). Being focused solely on tabletop campaigns you are so uniquely qualified to provide this kind of information.

  7. There seems to be a moment of panic at the end of KS campaigns when the creator begs for backers not to cancel at the last moment. How will Breadmaker Games deal with backers who chronically abuse this mechanic?

    1. Hi Shawn, thanks for you comment.

      This is an issue that Makers face, and there are many reasons for it. Some just want to be in on the “Updates” and be notified with any developments. We do have a “Remind Me” feature on each campaign where users will be reminded about important updates to the campaign without needing to contribute.

      But for those who are abusing the cancellation mechanic, I’m not sure we’ve identified a great way to curb this behavior. We can look through user data to find these patterns, but it’s important to us that we not stifle the ability to cancel a contribution. I don’t think we’d need to implement a “lockdown” feature 24 hours before the campaign ends for this reason.

      I know there are differing opinions on this, but if we identify behavior that is consistently detrimental to campaign success for the sole purpose of being detrimental, we’ll certainly look into measures of avoiding this type of behavior.

      Not trying to skirt around the topic, but there are a lot of mechanics and stakeholders to consider in implementing some type of control like this, as you can imagine.

  8. I honestly think it’s time for a tabletop-focused crowdfunding platform. While Kickstarter has been tremendously influential to the tabletop industry (and done a fantastic job), it has remained project-agnostic owing to the fact tabletop is not the only market it serves. So there may be specific needs we have that KS may not always address. We’ve also grown up in the KS ecosystem and thus do things the “Kickstarter Way”; it’s the only way we know. But who’s to say this is the best approach to crowdfund a boardgame? Breadmaker may let us (as an industry) explore new methods we wouldn’t otherwise be to try.

    Of course, there’s a real chicken-and-egg scenario here as addressed by the second to last question. I’ve long-held that if you want someone to do something, make it so easy that it’s harder to do something else.

    So if you want publishers to come to Breadmaker, make everything from campaign creation to social media and marketing (most of us are terrible at this) to customer communication to everything else, very easy. How about some real innovation like getting involved with one of the biggest headaches of crowdfunding fulfillment, international shipping. Breadmaker is a good idea, but Breadmaker packaging and distribution locations in key parts of the world is a great idea. That way publishers and purchasers know the people shipping out games “get it” and stuff does not arrived damaged, and it gives small publishers a more turn-key approach.

    If you want tabletop purchasers to come, give them tools not available on Kickstarter. Use the BGG advanced search filters as a guide, and let people search the site and subscribe to notifications that meet their particular gaming desires. Maybe figure out or negotiate a way for deeper integration with boardgamegeek like a “back now” button on the game page for games with active campaigns.

    I think there is also definitely room for a platform that provides alternatives to the short-lived, shock and awe style campaign. I’m picturing something like GMT’s P500 that I suppose is more of a long-campaign that’s only end date is when the number of backers is realized.

    1. Hi Jonathan, thank you for your comment.

      We completely agree that while KS and other platforms have been instrumental in the success of this model, we think it’s far from “perfect” in that way. Check out my latest blog post where I talk quite a bit about that here: https://breadmakergames.com/blog/the-perfecting-of-crowdfunding

      Regarding your comments about integration with other sites, platforms, and easing the process of international shipping. This is all something we’d like to eventually address more in-depth. We want to really embed ourselves in the tabletop industry, and we feel that’s a big difference between us and KS. Tabletop is really just another add-on to KS’s portfolio in this regard.

      More importantly we want to make sure the main mechanics and concepts work correctly and are proven successful before we incorporate other partnerships like you’re mentioning into our model.

      In short, we want to make sure our oven works and that Bakers can get freshly baked bread before we start focusing on offering bread delivery or setting up a Breadmaker Games kiosk at the mall (this is a very crude example, and I’m so sorry if that’s cheesy, haha).

      As we get started, we’re looking to implement our platform into other avenues of functionality. I think we’ve begun that by offering the FLGS Whole Grain Program as an example of partnership opportunities we’re looking for with this platform.

      Thank you once again for your comment, I think we’re on the same page, and I hope you’ll consider baking on Breadmaker Games.

    1. Hey Matthew, thank you for you comment.

      If you’d like to chat more about putting your campaign in the oven on Breadmaker Games. I’d love to chat with you. You can email me at Larry@breadmakergames.com and we can get a bit more in-depth on your timeline and goals for your campaign.

  9. While I see the high level of focus on tabletop being great for euro games, or games that would be more likely to hit the ‘top 10’ on BGG, how well do you see your platform working towards family games or casual games? Our last campaign, we had 55 first time backers, along with almost 500 backers who found our project directly from Kickstarter. The pure ‘eyes on the site’ of Kickstarter definitely brought a lot of backers our way, and was a major help.

    If a game is looking at a casual audience or market, do you think a smaller platform will be able to generate an increased backer count?

    1. Hi Tucker, thanks for your comment.

      The “eyes on the site” topic is definitely our largest hurdle to overcome. With the way your game is positioned, you may benefit more from our FLGS Whole Grain Program than others.

      Just as a brief synopsis of the program, it allows FLGSs and other retailers to basically “bulk-pledge” for a campaign. This means you’d be sending them a bulk number of your games, and they would, in turn, have rights to sell them in their stores. I think this would give you a bit more of the exposure you’re looking for when it comes to casual gamers or those looking for family games.

      Certainly, there are gamers who have families or are looking for something lighter who will be regulars on BreadmakerGames.com, but I understand your concern in this regard. The target market of Breadmaker Games is definitely geared toward the more integrated hobbyist than anyone else. You can check out a bit more on the FLGS Whole Grain Program here: https://breadmakergames.com/pages/flgs-whole-grain-program.

      Thanks again for your comment.

  10. Hi Larry,

    I’d like to ask about international ba(c)king . A previous answer seemed to imply a focus on the US market. But us good ol’ chaps from the olden lands would like their games too! And I could imagine that there are even boardgamers in other parts of this beautiful disc we call earth.
    So are there any mechanisms or features partners in your site that help creators with shipment and fulfillment to international destinations? Maybe external partners, fulfillment centers etc.?

    And what about international creators? Will they be able to get some bread into your ovens?

    1. Hi Brandigan, thanks for your comment. This is a great question.

      At this time, the only restriction to making or baking on Breadmaker Games is the use of our payment processor, Stripe. We attempted to work with Paypal, but they’ve been rather difficult, as seems to be characteristic of them from my research. So at this time, we’re only supporting contributions through Stripe.

      Regarding your questions about fulfillment and international shipping assistance, we currently do not partner with anyone to streamline this process, but the maker will receive the list of every baker of their campaign along with their associated email address and physical address. In addition, because we vet each maker and their campaign prior to launch, we require a line of communication to check and verify different aspects of the campaign and the maker associated with it. As a small company, we’ll need to be able to communicate in English to accomplish this process.

      We are based in the US, but we can support any maker or baker who can use Stripe at this time. We’ll be looking for partnerships of the type you’re describing in the future, but we want to make sure that the meat (dough) of the operation works correctly, focusing on our main functionalities, before we move onto more complicated endeavors such as international shipping and distribution. But it is certainly something we are considering in the future.

      Thank you again for this question, since I’m sure many gamers supporting crowdfunding platforms are located outside the US.

      1. Can I just say ‘bleh’ to stripe? Had to work with them before and never liked the experience. Unless they’ve drastically changed in the past couple years, I’d keep looking for another provider.

        1. Hi hrothgarshoard, thanks for your comment.

          Stripe is one of only a couple that support the crowdfunding model. We have attempted to work with Paypal and Braintree (a company of Paypal), but they’ve declined to give us merchant accounts. It’s the catch-22 really, can’t be approved without reliable history, can’t have reliable history without being approved.

          On the contrary, we’ve found Stripe to be very easy to work with in this regard. Unfortunately, this is our only option for pre-approved payments as long as Paypal declines our application.

  11. After reading through, I see Breadmaker’s focus shifting away from the individual backer of the KS model, and on to the bulk retail market. BG becomes a distribution hub as much as a funding platform. Is your intention to innovate the supply chain?

    1. Hi Shawn,

      I wouldn’t say we’re shifting focus away from bakers. Rather, we’re expanding access to gamers who may have missed out on the campaign and allowing retailers to continue the buzz around it by having crowdfunded games in their stores to sell. They’ll receive their games around the same time individual backers receive theirs.

      We’re not distributing any games ourselves. We are allowing makers to tap into a resource of retailers for additional access to funding in exchange for rights to sell their games in their stores. If the retailer pledges for 50 units of the game and the campaign is successful, the maker will be responsible for shipping 50 units to that store.

      Innovating the supply chain in other ways is something we’d consider in the future, but at this point, we’re simply opening up a “Retailer Pledge” program. I’ve seen many projects on Kickstarter create their own retailer pledge reward. We’re essentially doing that, but making it more noticeable and accessible to these retailers.

  12. I have a couple questions:

    1. Do you have a shipping module in place? I’ve run a number of smallish KS campaigns for game accessories which generally gets between 50 and 200 backers: too small to consider fulfillment options. I have had to use either the USPS site or the PayPal module for shipping neither of which integrates with KS (at least as far as I can tell). Is this going to have a way where I can do shipping directly from the site, or will I need to continue to use USPS/PayPal?

    2. Is this strictly for new products, or can it be relaunches/re-release of products that have been on the market in the past?

    1. hrothgarshoard, I replied to your comment a couple comments down. It looks like I just made it a regular comment instead of replying. Just pinging you here. Thanks.

  13. 1. Is it open to international makers/creators and international customers/pledges?

    2. Does “actively advertising” mean twitter and facebook posts or does it mean Breadmaker will be spending a few hundred dollars advertising on boardgamegeek etc?

    1. Hi there, thanks for your comment.

      The only international restriction we have right now is through the use of our payment processor, Stripe. We have attempted to integrate other payment processors into our platform, but our applications have been declined due to lack of a history of transactions and our funding model. So Stripe is currently our sole payment processor.

      “Actively advertising” includes normal Twitter, Facebook, Reddit posts along with a moderate amount of paid advertising. We’re a small, self-funded company. So if we have a couple dozen campaigns, advertising costs will tend to pile up rather quickly. It just depends on the number of campaigns we end up launching with. If you’re one of 10, we’ll likely be spending a bit more to make your campaign a success. Of course, once we start having successful campaigns, we can reinvest the money coming in from those toward making more campaigns successful through advertising.

      Short answer, we’re planning to do some paid advertising for every campaign that starts with us early on. It just depends on how many that is.

  14. Hi again hrothgarshoard,

    1. We do not have a shipping module built-in to the website at this point. You can obviously charge your bakers for shipping as an additional fee, but shipping and fulfillment will need to be handled outside the Breadmaker Games website as it stands right now. You’ll receive a list of your bakers and their shipping information at the end of your successful campaign. We’re looking to integrate better with vendors along the entire supply chain in the future, but we’re focusing on our core competencies at the moment.

    2. Generally, Breadmaker Games supports campaigns from those who are looking to make their product into a reality. However, if you’ve run a small KS project before, or if your project was unsuccessfully funded on another platform, we’d be happy to consider your campaign for our site. These instances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but looking at your products off the top of my head, I wouldn’t see a problem with launching them on BreadmakerGames.com.

  15. I had a friend who had to crowdsource on IndieGoGo and later put his campaign up on Kickstarter. On KS it seemed to get 10x exposure (and orders) until it was canceled by KS due to being a “repeat” campaign. 2 questions in this regard: 1) how will you allow second run campaigns for low-capital publishers and, probably more importantly from a publisher perspective, 2) how will you create publicity, buzz, and visibility to rival KS? Based on my friend’s experience, I would be reluctant to do IGG (and perhaps anything NOT KS) just from the marketing impact. Even Dice Tower returned to KS even tho IGG provided better terms for DT. How will you convince publishers that their efforts will get the same reach as with KS? Personally, this is the battle you have to win because everything else you look to offer sounds awesome.

    1. Hi Ben, thanks for your comment. And this is an important topic for us. You asked a couple questions here that I’ll address.

      1. How will we allow second run campaigns for low-capital publishers
      So this will be done on a case-by-case basis. Certainly, if a campaign has tried and failed on another platform, we can allow them to use Breadmaker Games; we have nothing prohibiting them from that. The main idea is that we want to enable makers to bring something to life through a method of fundraising that allows bakers to enable it. You don’t always “get it” on the first try, and we understand that. That’s why we work closely with our makers prior to the campaign going in the oven to make sure they’re as ready for success as they can be.

      2. How will we create publicity, buzz, and visibility to rival KS
      You’re correct, this is the largest hurdle we will need to overcome. Sheer volume of visitors is a huge draw. You asked another question, “How will you convince publishers that their efforts will get the same reach as with KS?” I’ll say that they won’t get the same reach, they get better reach. Clearly, not in terms of volume at this point. But the quality of each visitor to their campaign will be incredibly high. We require buy-in from the community that there’s a better way to do things. Sure, what we’ve done has worked, but it has its flaws, and it can be done better, more perfectly. Crowdfunding hasn’t seen a big evolution at all since its mainstream inception 8 or 9 years ago. I write a bit about this on my blog here: https://breadmakergames.com/blog/the-perfecting-of-crowdfunding

      This is why we’re aggressively looking for early adopters to publish with us. Those who are willing to put themselves out there to push the boundaries of this funding method with us while we more deeply integrate ourselves within the community to bring great games to gamers. It’s an incredible hurdle that we are working daily to overcome all the while preparing the website for launch.

      Thank you for your question; this is a very important topic. And I hope you’ll consider baking on Breadmaker Games.

  16. Hi Larry,
    Sorry my comments will be a bit rough but English is not my native language and I can’t put as much convolution as I would like.
    Although I think having a tabletop-dedicated crowdfunding website is a really good idea and I have two immediate concerns:

    1. You launch your website and you have a wonderful advertising through Jamey’s blog that will lead heaps of people to your website to see… nothing…
    I find quite strange that you have not been able to convince a couple of project creator to join you and have their campaigns ready to be showcased for your launch.
    This is not really giving me much trust in you, and the serious and ability you will have to deal with creators of the boardgame community.

    2. This feature of you “controlling that a project is serious, ready to launch and not just tabletop-equivalent of vaporware” is a really good one, but there is nothing on your website that tells me who you are and what is making you competent in judging and approving people’s project (I am not saying you are not, I am saying you have to give people evidences if you want them to throw money in your platform).

    Thank you.

    1. Romn: Just to clarify, Breadmaker Games hasn’t even launched yet. That’s why you don’t see any projects there. Though I think that’s good feedback that maybe the landing page should make it very clear at the top of the page that the site hasn’t launched yet.

      1. Thanks Jamey, it is indeed something I missed. You may want to edit the 1st line of your post, because saying “I have been invited to try this new platform” lets people think this new platform linked is on.

    2. Hi Romn, thanks for your comment.

      Hopefully Jamey’s answer addressed some of the questions you have about Breadmaker Games, but I just wanted to follow up.

      Of course, the site hasn’t launched yet. This will explain why the site is so empty at this point. I agree, I could probably make it a bit clearer that the site is in beta at this point. I’ll look into this.

      As far as my qualifications and competencies: I’m nobody special really. I do, however, love our community and respect the time and effort publishers put into formulating, testing, producing, marketing, and delivering great games. I’m a member of our great community who loves games and is trying to add something of value using my skillset.

      A bit more about me professionally, I’m a Web Developer, Digital Marketer with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business, and a confirmed “kind of a nice guy”, but I’ll let you be the judge of that if you’d like.

      At the end of the day, we really want our makers to take the most responsible approach to crowdfunding, and that’s making sure (most of) their ducks are in a row prior to launch so that we can avoid the crowdfunding horror stories we’ve heard about and experienced.

      I hope this has addressed some of your concerns, and I hope you’ll consider baking on Breadmaker Games.

  17. Hi Larry

    It sounds real interesting to get a tabletop focused crowd funding site. I think that the promise of control and minimum level of readiness sounds great.

    But…

    Aren’t you afraid of putting in a lot of work trying to monitor and help every project with the risk of getting nothing back? When I read your interview and your website I get the feeling that you will help people shaping up their projects so that they can be crowdfunded. Isn’t that a service that you need to get paid for even if the projects fail?

    I also miss some references/backgrounds on your site:
    – How many successful crowd funding campaigns have you and your team accomplished? –
    – How many projects have you and your team backed?
    – What is your experience in the area?
    As it is now I don’t get any sense of crowd funding experience and I have no clue if it’s a one man operation or if there is a team behind this.

    You say yourself many times in the comments that Kickstarter has a huge following, so to compete with that I would need some background to convince me that Breadmaker Games can do the job.

    To compare: If Jamey and James Mathe started a new crowd funding site I think that no one would doubt that they would bring a lot of experience in the field.

    I wish you the best and I really hope that your oven heats up and starts producing bread. Because it really feels that you want to make crowd funding a better experience for us table toppers.

    /Magnus

    1. Hi Magnus, thanks for your comment. I’ll try to answer your questions as best as I can.

      Regarding helping our makers prior to their campaign launch: We want to make sure they’re ready. Because of this, we ask that makers come to the table with as many components of their game ready for production as possible. The audience may change some plans along the way based on feedback, but we want to make sure that the maker is ready to make those changes rather than scrambling to find a solution. We aren’t necessarily managing their campaign as much as making sure they are approaching crowdfunding responsibly. Of course, we will provide any assistance needed using the interface or setting up their campaign.

      As far as my experience and my team’s experience. Honestly, this is mostly a one-man operation, however, I’ve called upon many experts in the crowdfunding space (not just in tabletop crowdfunding) to guide me and help shape some of the goals I have for the platform. Take a look at the Crowdfunding Professionals Association to see some of the resources I’m tapping into. I’m passionate about gaming and love how the crowdfunding model has shaped our industry over the past several years. I’m simply using my skillset to develop, market, and deliver a platform that I think can be valuable to all members of our community.

      Being able to get the job done: The platform works as it is intended. Anyone can create a campaign, raise money, have the funds and baker information delivered to them for fulfillment. Many of these other integrations and services will be implemented once we can get some momentum going.

      I’m really attempting to carve out a corner in this model for Tabletop Gamers. We’re all getting started somewhere. At the end of the day, Jamey and James are some guys passionate about gaming. They got their start somewhere and were successful when others chose to believe in them. What I’m looking for is the same, others to have the same excitement about Breadmaker Games, to be willing to collaborate, to be willing to improve the model with me so that we can bring a better process for better game to our community.

      I hope this answers your questions, please let me know if there’s anything else I can answer for you. I truly appreciate your commenting on this topic.

      1. Larry, I admire your passion and hope that you succeed in your quest! When I need a crowd funding platform I will be sure to check Breadmaker Games out.

        I wish I had some connections to give you some help. The least I can do is share your site in my social feed to that people can at least check it out!

        1. Magnus, thank you for the kind words and the support. Looking forward to bringing you some great games to bake on Breadmaker Games.

  18. Really interesting idea. And you have answered many questions so I have only a suggestion.
    Since you are using the bread analogy so heavily I would suggest you make that even more evident.

    In Sweden, where I live, there is a saying “från ax till limpa” the meaning is from beginning to end or from start to finish. But the words mean from grain to finished loaf of bread. (ax is the ear from an ear of wheat).

    That is the whole concept I saw before me seeing the name and your use of all the baking bread analogies here and on your site. You seem to already have some thoughts about more support for the end of campaign stuff delivery centers and such.

    But right now, using the bread analogy, it looks like you make sure the creator have all the needed ingredients to make bread and then they can launch a campaign i.e. start baking. Which is all kinds of good.

    I however think that being there even earlier in the creator process would be better. I would fill an important part of the market. I.e. being the place from the ear phase to the ingredients to the finished bread phase.

    I understand that such an undertaking might be daunting. But as a maybe creator one day it would be awesome to be on at platform even before being ready to launch the campaign. And then just getting your approval and continuing my journey towards completed bread.

    An incubator of sorts if you will. Nothing fancy at first and not to expensive maybe 50-100 USD for the creator to have a place and a framework to find playtesters to test games, to find people who would like to comment on their aspiring creations a place to upload text, prototypes and such for critic, maybe have contests directed towards testers for winning finished game and other functionality needed.

    Maybe even an feature to create a virtual but simple gameboards with digital dice use and such. You could even have open area where anyone could try to create a game with that feature and show it of for comments over a weekend. You could have know game creators/makes come in and comment.

    Mostly light curation from your side though. Same goes for time managing that part.

    Maybe you could call it something like the Tasters program or something. The cost should be high enough so that the creator/s would see it as an investment and be incentivized to create something once they have paid. But leave space for other ways in. Of course creators should be able to choose how much they show and to whom.

    Lots more could be written about it. But in short a play, test and discussion area for future campaign creators.

    1. Hi Michel, I really appreciate this comment, and I’m going to save the contents for future reference, because I think you have some really great ideas and points here.

      We would love to be able to include some of these more integrated features. I could see a prototyping app of some kind built-in with support for feedback from the maker’s followers, resources to help generate ideas and get an idea of costs associated with different components of board games. There’s a lot of potential to really bake (sorry) these kinds of features into the site for true end-to-end support.

      At this point in our development, we’re looking to make sure that our core competencies work smoothly and that the most integral part of our offering, the crowdfunding mechanism, works as it should. This is why we’re asking publishers for early buy-in to share this vision with us as we grow. Once we have some momentum, I want to explore deeper integrations with well-known community resources to truly support makers and bakers from start to finish. We’re in discussions with some of these types of groups at the moment, but deployment of these features, in my mind, is secondary to making sure our main functionality works flawlessly.

      I hope this addresses some of your points, and know that I’m completely on board with many of your suggestions. At this point, we want to execute the pieces that will give us public credibility (compared to KS), and as that’s happening, we’ll be looking to build more features into the site for a fully-rounded experience.

      Thank you again for your comment.

  19. Well, I’m impressed. You called for future support and instead got put in the spotlight, all before you were ready for release. I think you have handled yourself brilliantly, and more importantly, honestly. Thank you Jamey for thinking about us up and comers and our interests, getting information we need to reach our goals. Breadmaker is definitely on my radar. Great read, and judging by all the feedback, interest is piqued.

  20. This looks like it would be great for my first project! Too bad it’s not going to be anywhere near ready by late February (still in the early playtesting stages). But I’ll make sure to consider when my game is ready! :)

    Regards,
    Fynn

  21. Thanks for the interview- this was definitely interesting to me, and I love the idea. We are working on our first game, and were considering Kickstarter, but am definitely willing to give you guys a second glance! I will definitely check out your site later today. As a new designer/ creator to crowdfunding, what can you offer/do that can help me succeed? In the sense of setting up the campaign and making sure that I am ready for success, as you hinted at above?

    Thanks

    -Austin

  22. Hi
    I think this is both ambitious and potentially exciting. Some things I think you might find challenging though are the fact that Kickstarter is creating a specific Tabletop section and promoting more and more since tabletop kickstarters are about 60% of it’s revenue. They won’t go down without a fight, but that is a good thing. Competition is always good for any market.

    Something else though is this:
    “By the time a project reaches BreadmakerGames.com, all components for execution of a successful campaign and its associated rewards will be in place. Basically, the Maker simply needs to know “How many of X, Y, and Z, do we need?””

    It sounds like you are essentially going to be involved with the publishing from a supply chain validation and prep perspective. So what happens when you wind up a supplier, they get all prepped with the components for the game, and it doesn’t fund? That manufacturer / supplier will be left with lots of bits, they can’t move if they were too bespoke. They’ll only let that happen once. Then they won’t do it again until they know the project funded.

    How will you deal with that?

    1. Hi Rocky, thanks for your comment.

      I think there’s always room for a few competitors within any market. KS has been at the top of the market for quite a while without really specializing in this way, and we think it’s time to start the next transformation in crowdfunding for Tabletop Games.

      So our approach to validating preparation is an approach rather than a strict process. We just want to make sure that the publisher is as prepared as they can be. This doesn’t mean they need to have the manufacturer on standby at any moment to produce their game once it’s successful, but we want there to be some work done on the part of the publisher to research and plan what a successfully funded campaign means for them.

      I hope this answers your questions a bit. I explain a little more above in the actual interview on our approach to campaign makers in regards to gaining community feedback during the campaign. Thank you again for your comment.

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