The Top 3 Mistakes I Made on the Scythe Kickstarter (and a Few Things I’d Do Again)

16 November 2015 | 67 Comments

Scythe_BOX_render03102015I recently ran a Kickstarter campaign for a game I designed called Scythe. I’ll delve into the stats in a post later this week, but in short, the project was successful, raising $1.8 million from 17,739 backers and garnering (to date) 17,968 comments on the main page. We did this without early bird reward levels or Kickstarter exclusives.

After the dust settles for any of my campaigns, I write a postmortem blog entry about things I learned from the project, particularly mistakes I made that other creators can avoid. This isn’t meant to be overly negative–overall, I’m very pleased with the Scythe campaign, and I’m honored by the ourpouring of support for it.

Mistake #1: The Daily Goal System

This is the one big thing that I wish I had done differently, because I really believe it would have worked if I had made a few small–but important–tweaks.

Here’s what I did: I revealed 5 stretch goals on the first day of the campaign, with a note that I would announced 1 new stretch goal every day for the duration of the campaign. It would be based on an attainable amount for that day; like, if the previous day ended at $200,000 and the project was averaging about $15,000 a day, I would make the new goal $215,000. The idea was to give backers a fun reason to check the project page on a daily basis and to give new backers a sense of contributing to something specific that day. Plus, it gave me an opportunity to feature Jakub’s art with a big reveal every day, not just a tiny thumbnail in the stretch goal chart.

The final Day 1 stretch goal was $158,632. I think we reached that within the first hour that day, maybe even faster. By the time the first 24 hours had come to a close, Scythe had raised a little over $650,000. So I set the Day 2 stretch goal as $675,000.

I had explained how this was going to work on the stretch goal chart, but it wasn’t until backers saw the huge gap between $158,632 and $675,000 that it really hit them. A small but legitimate number of backers voiced their dismay and anger on the comments of Update #1. They felt like I had disregarded their pledge since it hadn’t “counted” towards any stretch goals. Some backers pulled their pledged or reduced them to $1, vowing to increasing their pledge every day until we reached that day’s goal, then reducing their pledge before I determined the next day’s goal.

There was a lot of negativity in the comments that day. It was unexpected and disappointing, to say the least. I had tried to pack the game with tons of custom, beautiful components at a great price ($59–including a $15 shipping subsidy–for a game that would have an $80 MSRP [even more if you want the promo content post-Kickstarter]). But it didn’t seem to matter. All of the attention was on the daily goal system instead of on the myriad of other cool things we could be talking about.

So I changed it to the traditional stretch goal model. I filled in the gap with a few achieved goals and restructured the remaining goals. I still just revealed one goal at a time, though, to maintain that element of daily discovery I was originally aiming for. We actually ended up reaching about goal a day for the next week, at which point I revealed all remaining goals and their funding amounts.

Here’s what I should have done: It should work a little bit like those holiday calendars with the chocolates behind cardboard doors. On Day 1, showcase a graphic displaying the funding amounts for every stretch goal. However, the goals themselves–the new cards, upgrades, etc–would be hidden. I would reveal one goal each day, even if the funding amount for that goal had already been reached. The chart would also include a spoiler link where backers could click through to see ALL goals. That way they know I’ve actually planned everything out.

The nice thing about that system is that gives you a fun reason to feature goals over the entire project instead of bunching them together at the beginning and the end. You might reach the funding amount for the last goal on Day 5 of 20, but you would still have a sense of progression throughout the project thanks to the daily reveal.

Mistake #2: The Campaign Was Too Long

Now, before I talk about I mean by this, I want to say that I greatly enjoyed the Scythe campaign. It was a lot of fun, and the sense of community was truly awesome. I’m not saying the campaign was too long because it was a drag or anything like that.

Rather, I’m saying the campaign was too long because it didn’t need to be 24 days to achieve what we set out to achieve. Everything we did in 24 days we could have done in 12-16 days instead. I think we would have raised the same amount from the same number of backers, we would have had great conversations during and after the project, we would have time to fix little things early on in the project, and it’s still enough time for new-to-Stonemaier folks to discover the project. We would need to make sure that we released the PnP of the game (and Tabletopia) before launch day, though.

Note that I’m not advocating that every creator run 12-16 day projects. Pick the length that’s right for you.

Mistake #3: Getting Caught Up in Negativity on BGG

The vast amount of chatter on BoardGameGeek during the Scythe campaign was positive, constructive, or collaborative. Which makes it more of a shame I let a few negative threads get under my skin. I spent too much time and energy reply to them instead of engaging on the other threads.

I had a healthy chat about this with my co-worker, Morten, during the project. Morten is good at identifying when I’ve let something get under my skin and aren’t responding as well as I should. He pointed out that I didn’t need to be the one to reply to those threads, especially when the project is so close to me. That was really helpful for me to hear.

A Few Little Mistakes

  • It’s hard to coordinate proofreading for a game’s rulebook AND run a Kickstarter project at the same time. Proofreading (and incorporating changes from other proofreaders) requires undivided attention, and during a Kickstarter campaign my attention is divided all over the place.
  • I communicated to backers a number of times that there would be no pledge manager–backers couldn’t add stuff to their pledge at the KS prices after the campaign. However, what I didn’t do is clearly communicate to newer backers what a “pledge manager” is. I got a number of messages asking about that.
  • At one point in the project I sent a message through Kickstarter to all backers. I assumed that all backers would receive that message. However, there is a flaw in Kickstarter’s messaging system (they’re looking into it) that seemed to randomly pick some backers to get the message and not others. Next time I’ll spot-check a dozen or so backers to see if the system works.
  • Due to backer demand, I added an add-on option for wooden resources (some pledge levels offered the realistic resources but not the wooden ones). However, I made a cardinal mistake when pricing it: I priced it exactly the same as another add-on ($10). It’s not a huge deal, but as I’ve now spent about 20 hours going through the backer survey results, I can say that it sure would help to figure out some of the incorrect surveys if those prices were even slightly different.

A Few Things I’d Do Again

I’ll talk about some of these things in the stats post later this week, but here are a few that aren’t stats-driven:

  • I started talking about Scythe in December 2014, 10 months before the Kickstarter launch. Some have said this was too early, but I’m really happy with the results. It gave people the chance to follow Jakub’s art for a prolonged period of time leading up to the campaign. It meant that there were tons of eager playtesters when the game was ready for blind playtesting. It meant that Scythe was one of the most sought-after games at Gen Con and Essen, even in prototype form. And all that excitement resulted in an immensely successful campaign. I’d much rather have people be excited about one of my games far in advance of the Kickstarter launch or game release than to leave them in the dark (plus, it helps people budget in advance).
  • I must admit that I was disappointed when Rahdo said he wouldn’t do a run-through for Scythe (he was worried about the direct-conflict aspect). I really value his opinions, and I designed Scythe to appeal to couples who don’t enjoy clashing with each other as well as people who have fun with direct conflict. But from that rejection sprung an opportunity: Instead of leveraging Rahdo’s large following, I would use Scythe to bring some much-deserved attention to some lesser-known reviewers whom I hold in high regards. It’s awesome to see that the Forensic Gameology video review has nearly 13,000 views and the Bower’s Game Corner video has over 21,000 views.
  • I got a full night’s sleep almost every night of the Scythe campaign. I made this a priority, as I was spending nearly every waking hour at the computer running the campaign. I was able to switch off every night because of Morten, our ambassadors, and backers knowing the answers to questions as well as I did.
  • The comments on Scythe were a bit daunting for users to navigate, simply because there were so many of them. One thing I did to try to help was that whenever someone asked a question, I would try to quote the question in my response before answering it. That way something didn’t have to read the answer and then scroll down to hunt for the question. I like that method and would do it again.

One final note (added 12/6/15): I would probably call this a mistake, but not in a way that suggests that things will turn out poorly due to this. Basically, for many months I had it in my head that Scythe’s MSRP would be $70. Based on the quotes we were getting from Panda, that was a bit of a stretch, but I was confident it was fine. So I determined and announced the Kickstarter price ($59, with $15 shipping built in) based on that MSRP.

However, as we got closer and closer to the campaign and I continued to enhance certain components, I realized that I was putting the long-term viability of Scythe at risk by keeping the MSRP at $70. So I consulted with a few people and decided to increase it to $80. At that point I didn’t feel comfortable increasing the Kickstarter price to $69 (as it would have been if I had known earlier that the MSRP would be $80), so I decided not to change anything. I guess the lesson here is to not announce the prices any earlier than necessary? It’s tough to do, because some people plan their Kickstarter budgets well in advance–you might be surprised how many people asked for the KS prices 5-6 months in advance of the campaign.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments!

***

Also read postmortem insights from my other campaigns or my live-blogging lessons written during the Scythe campaign:

If you’ve read my crowdfunding book and have some opinions about it, I would be honored if you shared them in the form of a review or rating on Amazon. This is a great way for you to spread the messages of community, generosity, creativity, and selflessness I talk about in the book.

67 Comments on “The Top 3 Mistakes I Made on the Scythe Kickstarter (and a Few Things I’d Do Again)

  1. Another great game, I was not able to back the KS, but look forward to retail. I also love your post KS blogs as you really get into the chaos that is Kickstarter. Thanks again, I have enjoyed your previous games and will be looking forward to this one in the future.

  2. Excellent write-up again, as usual. It’s always beneficial to hear about mistakes made, even on mega-successes like this one. But I was wondering if you could elaborate on mistake #2. You mentioned that the campaign could have been made shorter, but it’s easy to look back on a huge successful campaign that funded the first day and conclude that the campaign would have been as successful with fewer days, but if a creator is about to launch a brand new project, what would lead them to make the same conclusion before they’ve actually launched the campaign?

        1. I would argue with Jamey’s past success that the timing was too long. Similar to how I felt the Timing was to long on Cool Mini or Not’s The Others.

          Once you get established enough to have largely funded games, and communicate decently far in advance like Jamey did(10 months in advanced, and later with launch window).

          I’ve seen others go down to 18 day campaigns. If this were his first campaign, I would argue the 28+ day campaign.

          1. Sean: Exactly, that’s a key factor there. We made sure that people were aware of the game and the campaign well before launch, and at the time we had an e-newsletter list of about 12,000 people. For a new creator who doesn’t have as much attention yet, a longer campaign is really helpful to give people time to discover it.

  3. Mistake #4: Didn’t send Daniel a prototype for review. lol jk

    It was great having you on for an interview for this project. You had some really in-depth answers to my questions and my readers absolutely loved the chance to look at a candid view of the man behind the mech robots. Let’s do it again for the next campaign.

    – Daniel

  4. A little comment on #3!
    I do agree that it probably isn’t too healthy to get mixed in with too much negativity when you are dealing with everything that surrounds kickstarting a project.
    But replying to everything reflect very well on you, the company and the project. It is not uncommon for the thougher questions to get left by the wayside or ignored because they raise issues or are tough to answer.
    So, I am sure you realize this, as you mentioned you didn’t personally have to answer it. But I do feel it is a good idea for even those things to be adressed by someone who is directly connected to it. And you might be the most connected to the project, so comment will weight the hardest on you, but your words will also carry the most weight.

    1. Arno: Absolutely, I agree that even the toughest of questions should be answered by either me or Morten (Morten works for Stonemaier, so it’s a direct connection). Some of the threads I saw weren’t looking for feedback from me, though. They were more along the lines of, “Scythe looks like it sucks. Why does anyone care about it?” That’s a losing proposition for me to get involved with. :)

      1. For those, I think all that can be done by anyone is people who are backing to say why they’re backing, and for all sides to acknowledge that not every game is right for every person. And definitely agree that you and Morten are probably best both not getting involved in that sort of discussion, and preferably making like a duck towards it, and letting it just run off of your feathers rather than soaking into them, unlike “Why does this mechanic work in this way rather than the way my instincts tell me it should?” style comments, where your input is often useful, at least if you can – as you said in an earlier blog – keep it to just the facts, since that’s a direct question about the design process.

      2. I can imagine those posts are really aggravating. The bright side, for what it is worth, those controversial threads keep the forums active and the game high on the hot list.

  5. You paved the way and showed what can be done in a mega board game campaign with few miniatures on the side. Congratulations on you and Jakubs’s epic success. You have raised the bar very high for other kickstarter creators and really shown more than every before that there is a new pathway to incredibly deluxe game development.

    Its so exciting, Thanks for the humble sharing as ever.

  6. You did a great job! I watched the campain and its a huge sucess! The game looks awesome and its a shame that i lost it because i lost my job. Keep going and do more games like that!

  7. I think you could have given away the prototype versions with a little more notice. Maybe restrict it to people who pledged before the campaign was halfway through ;) I think some of us were quite a bit more excited than others at the possibility of getting a playtesting prototype.

    1. I’m going to talk about that in the stats entry. :) But as a general rule, I don’t do anything that partitions backers during the campaign–you’re all early adopters, whether you’re there on Day 1 or Day 24.

    1. Sheldon: I had high hopes, and I was prepared from the manufacturing and fulfillment end of things for a campaign that wildly exceeded my expectations (just in case), but my upper-range projection was around $1 million, not $1.8 million. :)

  8. Jamey, thanks for the interesting and thoughtful review of the campaign. My favorite sentence was this one: “I got a full night’s sleep almost every night of the Scythe campaign.” I sometimes worry about people burning themselves out. It’s good to know that you pace yourself, have cultivated a team to cover for you in various ways, and have the good sense to rely on that team.

    1. Andrew: Thanks! That’s something I learned hard way during my Viticulture campaign 3 years ago. I didn’t sleep nearly enough, and I got sick near the end of the campaign. I’d rather have a healthy body and a clear mind so I can give of myself fully to backers rather than be half asleep at the wheel every day. :)

  9. Stretch Goal Structure – I’d be curious why you went with the structure you went for (Both the initial attempt at the daily stretch goal idea then the more traditional stretch goals), rather than the structure that, from this backer’s perspective at least, seemed to work so well with Three New Treasure Chests of the achievement system. That isn’t my saying it was a mistake for you to go with the structure you went for, or the way you’d try the daily stretch goals again if you went with them again, I’m just curious as to the reasoning behind that decision, when you seemed to be indicating that the Three New Treasure Chest structure was a dry run to see if that would work with a small campaign before you tried it with a large campaign. If the goal of Daily Goals was to make the stretch goals a bit more fun, then I think the ‘earn tokens based on achievements to unlock stretch goals’ idea is more fun than (And not actually mutually exclusive with) the sense of mystery daily reveals create.

    It’s not that I dislike the ‘daily reveal’ or the ‘reveal one or two stretch goals in advance only,’ even if I consider the way you set it up in the campaign to have been a perverse incentive – assuming you still stand by https://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter-lesson-101-momentum-breeds-success/, and want backers to back early to help generate momentum. (Which would be entirely fixed by your ‘set the goals, make it clear the goals are set, and unveil one at a time even if later ones have been met’, even without the spoiler link… Though, honestly? The presence of temptation to cheat and open all the doors at once would make it even more like an Advent Calendar) – That creates a fun sense of mystery and exploration, even, it’s just that you stated that you wanted to create a sense of fun for backers with the stretch goals, and for me, at least, I got more of a sense of fun from the Three New Treasure Chest stretch goals than I’ve ever gotten from any campaign that unveiled stretch goals slowly rather than all at once (Even if the way the picture goal worked didn’t quite go how you envisioned, with most of the 100 coming from 2-3 backers (Though I think I contributed a couple towards it – A stack of index cards for ‘prototypes’, Forbidden Desert, and maybe a third), but it was just fun seeing them on my twitter client (I set up a panel just for that hashtag))

    1. Stephen: I did consider the achievement system, but I think it works best when stretch goals are repetitive but limited, as they are in the treasure chests. I would definitely use that system again in the future for a treasure chest campaign. That’s good feedback, though. The achievement system is a lot of fun. As I think I mentioned on that project’s postmortem, it might even work best if there’s something really small linked to each achievement (like, an extra resource token or something like that) and then several achievements equals a big goal. I say that because some of the feedback I got was that the individual achievements felt a big empty because they didn’t mean anything until they were combined with other achievements.

  10. are you going to bgg con? maybe coerce rahdo to sit down and play this if so. I’m not sure i agree with #2, length of the campaign, though, i’m sure you’ll explore the benefits. I think the largest bonus for doing a 24-31 day project is that it increases the chance of awareness, but I also I could see it increases the number of pledges that cancel.

    1. Jason: Unfortunately, no, I won’t be there, but feel free to try to get Rahdo to play it. :) let me know how it turns out.

      As for awareness, I think that applies to some campaigns, but when you talk about the game far in advance of the campaign and have an established audience, it’s much less of a factor.

  11. Jamey,

    As you know, I came late to the party as I review KS Projects once per month, despite knowing of Scythe well in advance of its launch date. To that end, I’ll address two separate items: First, shorter campaigns and second, discussing them early.

    I believe shorter campaigns are essential, especially if you know your community of interested Backers. I, too, learned from my first campaign that a 60-day campaign was far too long. Even a 45-day campaign can seem like an eternity when you experience the ennui associated with that mid-period between the initial interest and your last minute folks.

    Having said that, if you do run a shorter campaign as you mentioned (one even shorter than Scythe, at 16-18 days), you must advertise well in advance, as you did, staring back in 2014. I recently had a discussion with two of my designers, and maybe because I’ve run KS projects and nearly read your entire book, but you cannot start talking about your project early enough or more precisely, you cannot have other people talking about your campaign early enough. You must attempt to reach your goal as close to Day 1 as possible.

    Anyway, great write-up, as always!

    Cheers,
    Joe

    1. Joe: Thanks for your comment! I completely agree that a short campaign must come with plenty of advance notice and marketing. People should not be hearing about it for the first time on launch day. I think that’s the case with any campaign, as you said, though with new creators, even if they’ve been talking about it for a while, people still may not have heard about it. So for them it’s better to run a longer campaign (28-35 days at most–45 to 60 is a long time! :) )

  12. Jamey, I enjoy your commentary and insight so much. It’s part of why I finally chose to back Scythe and it’s also why I just ordered your book. :-D

    Great post; I will say I think your proposed rewards system that discloses all the $ goals on day 1 sounds flawed to me. Pre-projections are a bitch and I believe a significant amount of momentum in campaigns comes from those stretch goals. There’s still some alchemy in it, but if you could do “map with prices for first 5 goals” on day one and then mid- to end- of day 2, fill in the remaining prices with the benefit of day 1 numbers. You’re far more likely to have a campaign that maximizes the number of backers and dollars if potential backers are engaged by some locked items popping every day than if on day 5 of 12, everything’s done or worse- you’re at day 11 and you have 60% still locked because of a bad guess the other direction. You’re the expert, but from the outside looking in, I perceive a MASSIVE advantage in projections with 24 hours of data over projections with 0 hours of data; 24 hours in you can figure with 80+% accuracy where you’re headed and plot way-points accordingly. The form of each campaign is similar, but the amplitude can be radically different. No?

    1. Xenothon: Oh, I completely agree. You can have a much more accurate projection after the first 24 hours. I think the key to the daily idea, though, is that its inherent structure is that there’s something to look forward to every day, even if you’ve already hit those goals. I think it wouldn’t hurt to have one “golden goose” stretch goal that far surpasses any of the others–that way you always have something to reach for.

      Alternatively, you could wait until after the first 24 hours to reveal the funding amounts for all of the daily goals.

      1. Ah!! I suspected I was missing something. Sorry, I’m up too late after finishing October in Pandemic Legacy tonight. ;-) I didn’t process, “I would reveal one goal each day, even if the funding amount for that goal had already been reached.” That sounds pretty solid, particularly in conjunction with the golden goose possibility. Looking forward to the book!

  13. Again you show your knack for being honest when you look at your work. I think it’s what allows you to improve.

    Thoughts:
    – 10 months was great. It was agonizing (in a good way) as I chomped for every new detail, every new reveal, every new painting. But it was an exciting 10 months and when I told my wife I’m spending $100 on a new game, she did say “well, you’ve been looking forward to this since last Christmas”.
    – You hit spot-on with the complaints about the daily goals. you anticipated $1 million, your goal with the stretch goals is engagement and giving the community a sense of accomplishment, so it makes perfect sense to list them out ahead of time, maybe leave a few at the end at ?? levels (and I think most backers would it very fair to allow leeway in the levels in the last week of the campaign).
    – Bravo on sleep. Bravo on focusing energy on what matters. Bravo on leveraging Morten – think he’s a good candidate for Employee Of the Year?

  14. I think if it had been a shorter Campaign you might have got fewer backers as some folks would not have had time to save up the money to buy the game. I was disappointed that your Stretch Goal idea didn’t work and hope to see it implemented again in a future Campaign. Congratz again on a well run Kickstarter and the backer toasts where as funny as always :-)

    1. James: I understand what you’re saying, but I think if a campaign does a good job of talking about the campaign well in advance, that gives people plenty of time to become aware of it and save up for it. An extra 5-10 days during the campaign is a very small window compared to 5-10 months of awareness.

      1. If you’re paid monthly, it can make a big difference for relatively expensive items. It’s still an impulse purchase for me, but only if I’ve not made too many other impulse purchases that month! At the length you ran, most people would have a pay day between the start and end of the campaign, which means you never run into that issue.

        And yes, if you advertise in advance it mitigates that somewhat, but most people wouldn’t be making their final back/don’t back call until the KS is live, they can see the full prices, what they get, etc.

  15. Jamey, you’ve mentioned before that putting Scythe on Tabletopia was surprisingly beneficial – do you get stats on how many people played it there, and is there any way you can correlate the Tabletopia release with Kickstarter pledges?

    I’m guessing that this will be an increasingly popular option for tabletop Kickstarter projects, so even some woolly estimates as to the benefits would be interesting.

  16. I agree that the campaign felt pretty drawn out, and I think part of that was the stretch goals system – when you knew they were going to be hit, it kind of felt a bit arbitrary.

    If you move to a shorter campaign next time, can I suggest making sure it crosses a month end boundary? That way people who have a monthly fun budget can have two months worth of spending to pay for the kickstarter.

    Congratulations again!

  17. I really like your idea of an advent calendar for stretch goals. My only issue would be if the reveal was within kickstarter itself. It might be good to make the reveal image link to a static image somewhere else, not sure.

    I have been also thinking of ways to improve the kickstarter experience as the comments system is unfortunately lacking. Have you thought of opening up a forum specifically on stonemaiergames for your fans? Maybe have a forum open where you can have stickied posts and conversations could be followed with ease?

    1. Sean: I was picturing something that looked a little like an Advent calendar, and I would just update the image once a day. As you said, backers could also click through to see the fully revealed calendar (akin to opening the calendar and eating all the chocolates on Day 1).

      The comments/conversation thing is tough. You’re right, Kickstarter’s system isn’t good enough, but I’m not sure it can be adequately replaced on another platform, as people are still going to use the Kickstarter comments quite a bit. That could potentially double the work for the creator (I’m already managing conversations on Facebook, Twitter, BGG, and Kickstarter during the campaign). I really think that Kickstarter just needs to improve their comments system, and I bet they’re working on it.

  18. Another interesting read as ever.

    Mistake #1: gamers Min/Maxing a system, never happen :) Nice idea but definitely needed refinement, the new variation seems like a better plan. Tying in with that, the acheivement system that was tried on the treasure chests, the recent Battletech computer game KS had something similar as well as standard stretch goals
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/webeharebrained/battletech/description
    They had what they called Mission rewards and were designed to engage the community, some of the rewards added small details to the game such as specific named enemies, others added stuff unrelated to the actual improvement of content of the game such as interviews with interesting people from the history of Battletech, as you can see if you scroll down, only one of those was missed at the end. Clearly that was made easier by the wealth of background out there for a game about 30 years old but it was interesting that it is the second campaign I have seen using this.
    Mistake #2: I agree it seemed like it was a week too long, with 7 days to go I was logging on thinking it should be finished.
    Mistake #3: Easy to do, hard to avoid when you are so passionate about something, thankfully you seem to have a great support team.
    I agree with Sean that the KS comments are rubbish, they need at least to add a decent search facility, which might remove a proportion of the repetition of questions, however I would add some downsides to his suggestion of a forum external to KS. Although not a bad idea there are just pitfalls with it in my opinion, certainly until delivery of the KS goods.
    As Jamie says, it is another place that the creator has to keep track of, or, and this is worse by a country mile, it becomes the only place a creator keeps track of because they feel safer there, they can lock threads they don’t like, moderate what goes on. Updates become less frequent or disappear entirely and so for the silent majority of a campaign nothing seems to be happening, they get frustrated, and/or annoyed and lose interest in that which they backed.

  19. Thanks Jamey. That’s a great… autopsy? :)
    I get a strong feeling that most KS are run for much longer than they should.
    It’s the lead-time/awareness time that can run for a while (as you said) but I believe that the KS duration should be timed specifically match the number of pre-planned Stretch Goals.

  20. With regard to the campaign being too long, let me add my two cents: If it were any shorter, I would not have pledged. The financial commitment was high enough and the game ambitious enough, that I wanted to be certain it would be worthy of my gaming dollars (yes, even given the money-back guarantee). The only way to do that was to try it. By the time I coordinated with others to produce the print-and-play and find a day we could all try it, it was the next-to-last day of the campaign. After playing, I pledged that night (and so did one of the other players).

    1. Sam: Just curious, had you heard about Scythe before October 13? It is true that I didn’t make the PnP available until launch day, so that’s something I should do in advance for a shorter campaign.

  21. This may be the first Kickstarter project I backed that I did not read through all the Kickstarter comments.

    So I used a two prong approach.

    I read the comments on Kickstarter to participate in the excitement and get that “in the room with the fans and the designer” feeling. There were SO many comments for Scythe which posted so quickly that when I wanted to research a question or find out what was new I turned to the threads on boardgamegeek.com

  22. This is the first Kick Starter I got into and I have looked at a lot of them. You did a great job of it, and made it the most interesting one to follow so far, you have set the bar high. Rahdo he got it all wrong. In games when you block a player from taking an action, or take something from another player because a card said you could that is conflict. All games are conflict winners and losers, that’s life and you are a winner in my book.

  23. It’s fun to follow along with the comments section on KS but when a project becomes as large as Scythe was and comments appear so quickly it’s nearly impossible to follow along the next day. I understand the sense of community you always strive for but KS’s comments system is clearly not up to the task at all. Hopefully in the future they might revamp the comments section completely, it would often crash my browser the first few nights of the campaign.

  24. Hey Jamey,

    I’m curious about your experience with the printed book – do you feel like it was a good decision? Did the decision have more to do with the fact the Jakub had a lot of previous art already made? Would you consider doing it again?

    I would also be interested in any information you would be willing to share on the logistics side of that decision ie where did you print the book, quirks it may have added to the fulfillment process, etc.

    I’m considering doing something similar for my upcoming campaign and am trying to get as much information as I can so I can have all my ducks in a row :)

    Thanks for all you do.

    1. I’m glad we did it, but I think Scythe is the rare exception where the art book is a precious commodity. Panda has a book printing press, so it was easy for them to make and easy for me to ship. I probably wouldn’t do it again unless the art for a game generated the amount of buzz that Jakub’s work did. Oh, and almost all of the art in the book was made specifically for the game.

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