Cardboard Children – Kickstarter (Sigh)

By Robert Florence on October 14th, 2012 at 11:55 am.


Hello youse,

Having played exactly NO board games this week, because of work and Dishonored, I come to you empty-handed. I have no new board games to recommend. Your money is safe for one week. OR IS IT? I’ve spoken before about my mistrust of Kickstarter. I just feel icky and weird about it. I veer between “Fucking Parasites!” and “Oh coooool!” But my mistrust is making me feel like a party-pooper, so I’ve decided to join the rest of those idiots and back something. Join me as I take a look at some of the board games we could back right now on Kickstarter. And join me in making the leap. Let’s back a potential turkey!

SALEM

There’s not long left for Salem to reach its target, and I hope it does, because the designer looks like a lovely guy and he has a cat and a nice house and nice hair. The game’s theme really appeals to me, because we all know that HANGING IS FUN. Seriously, though, that theme is something different, and is the kind of thing that the ghouls I play games with could really get into. On the Kickstarter page, it’s been claimed that the game has been well playtested, and the rules are there for you to read. There’s a nice little video too, where you can see the dude’s cat and his sweet tattoo, and a little walkthrough of how the game plays. Hmmm…. Yeah. MAYBE I’LL BACK IT. Take a look. Yay or nay?

HEAVEN

Heaven is in here because I kinda feel like I should back something that I would ordinarily never back in a million years. I also feel like it’s in the spirit of Kickstarter to just help a person achieve their dream, if that person is passionate and the project really matters to them. Heaven seems to be a board game about travelling through Bible stuff. As the Kickstarter page says – “The cards and board tell you 90% what to do so its easy to jump in and play. Now you can have fun traveling through time in a sort of living Bible.” I’m a little bit worried about that 90%. I hope there’s something that comes with the cards and board that explain the missing 10% of the rules or we’re fucked.

Look, I’m not a religious guy. And I have zero interest in traveling through any Bible, living or dead. But there’s something so awesome about that page, and I feel like flinging some money in. This is my favourite part – “In development I was asked “why camels why not sheep” so I’ll say it here. I decided sheep were not strong enough to hold the interest of boys in HEAVEN’s age group.” Exactly. Sheep suck.

Well, what say you? Please don’t watch the video, it will give you nightmares.

SEA HORSE RACE

Wow. There’s something lovely about seeing a family’s own board game on Kickstarter. I mean, that’s what this is, right? It’s a board game that a family made for themselves to play, with all the cruelty that families enjoy. Watch the video. This game looks like a SON OF A BITCH. There are parts of the board that can have you “going round and round for the rest of the game” and squares that send you so far backwards that it’s “almost like starting over”. This game looks like hell on earth. Maybe we should back it. Do you know what I mean? Maybe this is exactly the kind of thing we should back. How weird would it be to pay money to have our own copy of some stranger’s family’s board game? Like, a game THEY probably hate playing. How cool would that be? Listen, I’m trying to get into the Kickstarter spirit. Please talk me out of backing this, because right now it seems like a good idea.

Here’s the best part of the game, according to the creator. “The best part of the game is it is never the same, you could be in first all the way through the game and end up last at the end. It could only be fifteen minutes or could last up to an hour and a half.” How honest is that? That’s the BEST part of the game? I think I NEED this.

PURGE: SINS OF SCIENCE

Hey, PC Gamers! Now we’re talking. A card game that plays like an RTS? Okay. Great art? Yes. Does it still feel like a gamble? Absolutely. Do we care? Yes, a bit. But it DOES look beautiful, and there are no fucking camels in it. The thing about card games like this, though, is that the proof of the pudding is really in the playing. These things NEED to play well. You can have a lot of fun with even crappy little combat games with cool miniatures and dice to throw, but with card games everything has to shine or you just want to fling the whole deck into the fire. This is a REAL risk, but the art is lovely, and it looks like there has been a bit of love and care put into this project. I dunno. Is this the one we back?

WHAT WE BACKING?

Yeah, I’ve just picked out a few for us to look at, but there are a lot more on Kickstarter if you want to take a look. I want to back something. Right now I’m leaning towards Salem, because the concept seems solid, the theme is nice, and the dude seems lovely. Is there anything I’ve missed? Are you backing anything? And if you’ve backed something in the past and have the game in your hands by now, do you regret doing it? How did it work out for you?

(Did you watch that video for Heaven? Holy shit.)

NEXT WEEK

If everything works out, next weekend is THE BIG ONE.

Next week – CITY OF HORROR.

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30 Comments »

  1. Meat Circus says:

    HOLY SHITFACE

  2. Premium User Badge

    LTK says:

    Robert, where do you find this stuff?

  3. andytt66 says:

    I backed Zombicide.. and I don’t regret it in the slightest. Sure, it’s not *perfect*… the “noise token” system is a bit convoluted for example, but the minis are gorgeous and it’s genuinely just really really fun to play.

    And it’s very good at producing those “oh shi- .. that was *awesome*” moments. Which I approve of.

    • Tacroy says:

      Runners extra turn!

      Half the time that’s an “oh shit I’m dead”

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    tomeoftom says:

    To quote the immortal Wint:

    cumstarter. i need 500 liters of cum to start a projec.t i dont know its some bacon blog. who gives a fuck

  5. apricotsoup says:

    I backed DreadBall, because I’m a huge blood bowl fan and having read the rules (the stuff that they released anyway, which covers the basic playing of the game but without full team details, leagues, etc.) I was pleasantly surprised.

    The kickstarter has finished now but I believe if you want to get in on it there’s an email you can find to try and get in on the action before it releases.

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    tigerfort says:

    Well, it looks as though your money would probably be safe if you backed “Heaven”, since after a month it’s still only been backed by the creator and his mum[1]. It does make a fantastic demonstration of Poe’s law, though, in addition to having possibly the most awesome kickstarter video ever.

    [1] To be fair, I don’t know that it’s his mum; maybe it’s a sockpuppet account, and even his mum doesn’t think his game deserves to be made.

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      drewski says:

      That actually makes me really, really sad.

    • skittles says:

      Looks like his dad may have backed it too now.

      Poe’s law indeed, somewhat hard to tell if it is completely a joke or not. If it isn’t a joke and that risks and challenges section is for real then this guy has serious issues. Does he actually think someone wants to steal this idea?

  7. SKapsniak says:

    Okay, now we’re talking, this is where crowd-sourcing gets real, backing stuff with cold hard cash just because you want to cherish the flickering of a dim hope/horror that the dude might actually manage make that thing and it will come to actually exist in the world (hopefully far far far away from you and your loved ones) rather than sensibly frittering it all away in development hell or that they just put up the Kickstarter to troll us.

    Both Purge and Sea Horse Race inspire in me with nothing so much as complete feeling of ‘meh’, so they’re right out. Sorry dudes.

    Salem inspires ghoulish amusement (I see what you did there with your noose counter ‘stretch’ goal Mr. Balvin) before sliding down into complete creeped outness (11 potential hanging victims are still available for custom art!).

    Heaven generates a mixture of pity, existential horror, and just enough worry that the guy behind it has a mental health problem and might need real help, to make me really uncomfortable writing this blog comment.

    So, I think you’ve stacked the deck here, especially since Salem is half-way to its $30,000 goal, whilst Heaven is sitting on $80 out of $46,500. It pretty much has to be Salem.

    I don’t have to actually choose to take a reward, if I pledge, do I?

  8. DickSocrates says:

    Before you back anything, do some research. If it’s some guy who can’t provide any evidence of being able to get things done, then perhaps you shouldn’t give him money. Such as George Broussard.

  9. Lekker Pain says:

    “I’ve decided to join the rest of those idiots and back something.”

    So, I’m no idiot then? I feel great about myself !

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      In a world where everybody is an idiot, everybody is an idiot.

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    Matt_W says:

    Oooh, the $35 reward tier for Heaven: “Collectable” Get a 2007 poster of the game. They may be some sort of novelty conversation piece as they are dated 2007 and show the original name which was Heaven’s Gate.”

    Makes one wonder what the original end-game was…

    • Premium User Badge

      sonofsanta says:

      It’s a heartbreakingly uncertain sort of reward. “may be some sort of novelty” is hardly a confidence-inspiring description :(

  11. justin1111101 says:

    Here’s the Kickstarter project for my own card game, Junk . Love to know wot you all think: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/justin1111101/junk-a-unique-civilization-rebuilding-card-dice-ga

  12. cptgone says:

    “why camels why not sheep”

    it is easier for a camel
    to enter the kickstart of heaven
    than for a sheep
    to hold the interest of boys

    (also, as long as Scott Schoen’s camels are adult and consenting, he can go through the eye of their needle as often as he pleases, as far as i’m concerned)

  13. Jorum says:

    Well Kickstarter is coming to UK by end of month, so expect a new rush of ill-judged forays in boardgame crowdfunding soon (I may well end being amongst them).

    Anyway, the biggest problem I find with Kickstarter is how terrible the browsing options are. There is no “browse category” option.
    If it’s not one of the editors picks/most funded/ending soon etc not sure how you’re supposed to discover stuff.

    How did you find stuff Rab?

  14. Strangeblades says:

    “Wot you want to say:”? How about AWESOME. I’ll never back any of this stuff but that camel-porn video is awesome. Five stars baby.

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    phlebas says:

    pthg ligl phopho popho poph!

  16. hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

    Is next week’s City of Horror post just going to be that Heaven video again? Why would you do this to me? You can’t label the big red button DO NOT PRESS. That’s wrong and you should feel bad for what you did to me. :[

  17. Shadram says:

    The tiers are really weird for Purge. $65 for the base game, but if you want the expansion too, you have to get the $125 tier which comes with a load of expensive stuff like art books, etc. $125 for an unproven card game? Yeah… no. Why not just add a $90 tier with just the base and expansion? $60 for the base and $30 for the expansion seems far more reasonable.

    • evilhayama says:

      There’s a list in the main text of individual item costs, you can add $20 to add the expansion to any tier.

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    Goateh says:

    The biggest personal hurdle for the board game kickstarters now is that nearly all are US based. Shipping big, relatively fragile boxes from the US isn’t cheap and makes it very expensive to back anything. At least PC games will give you digital copies to avoid the shipping hell; for board games you’re much better off to wait for a publisher to pick it up, or at least for a UK store to import it at a reasonable price.

    The wargame companies do similar things with preorders that are equally impractical for anyone worldwide. One of the best examples is GMT’s P500 system, which means they’ll print their games when they get enough preorders (500 was common, hence P500). I’d love to get in on those if it didn’t double the cost to get it across the pond.

  19. Ubik2000 says:

    I backed Zombicide, which I have yet to play but looks like fun and has tons of bits. You can never have enough zombie miniatures. Plus now that Walking Dead is starting up again, I suspect it’ll be an easy sell. I also backed Tammany Hall, which hasn’t arrived yet, but looks lovely.

    I considered Relic Knights, DreadBall and The Doom that Came to Atlantic City, but ultimately passed on all of them, in what I think was a powerful show of self-restraint. I also somehow missed Sedition Wars when it was happening, which is probably just as well.

    That said, I am SORELY tempted by the Lost Valley Kickstarter. Must be strong.

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    emertonom says:

    A while back, Gryphon Games, here in Chicago, Illinois, USA, did a kick starter of some Sid Sackson games. I *nearly* backed, but I couldn’t decide which to get. They were three card games. Venture sounded kinda dull to me. Sleuth sounded like Cluedo but much harder–which seemed kinda fun, but I thought I’d never manage to get anyone to play. Monad sounded weird and mathy, and possibly awesome, but I *knew* I’d never get anyone to play a weird mathy game. In the end I got nothing. But I’m still convinced they were quality games. So there is some good stuff out there. Still–skepticism seems warranted.