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RQ6 Kickstarter

posted Jan 09, 2013 12:05:13 by JonathanGeere
[Stepping]

Having seen how some Kickstarter products developed (or not) during their promotional period I wonder how a RQ6 promotion should be structured. From what has been said, so far the intention of a Kickstarter is to:

1) "secure the funds needed produce a good quality hardcover, fulfill backer demand, and hopefully print enough hardbacks to satisfy post KS demand"
2) "incorporating errata"

Excellent! But with the right spectrum of Stretch goal and Pledge levels it may give the opportunity to upgrade the book's art and layout, and hopefully widen its appeal.

The question from the other thread is: are people willing to accept the delay this may cause in RQ6 hardback release and any delay in subsequent books this year?

And, I guess, is there anything else that you feel a RQ6 Kickstarter promotion should achieve and that you will fund?
[Last edited Jan 09, 2013 13:09:10]
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11 replies
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BruceMason said Jan 09, 2013 12:51:35
With the caveat that I suspect that there is no way to make this work what I would like personally is a boxed set. Hardback I can take or leave because I use PDFs as my working documents. But a box set could be something special. I would almost certainly back a hardback RQ6 KS, just because, but it wouldn't hugely inspire me and I suspect the hardback would sit on my shelf unopened.

As for stretch goals. What I would like to see are
'celebrity' booklets; scenarios, mini-settings, adaptions and so on by well-known game designers.
RQ6 quickstart. Again that is something that could work well with a boxed set but I would love to see something like the Pathfinder beginners box set for RQ6 with cut-down mechanics, pre-gen characters and so on.

I fully realise that I said previously that doing these kinds of things inevitably impact on Loz and Pete's ability to do other things. The only way I can see round that would be to hand-over part of the 2013 publication schedule to another author so the KS funding would need to factor that in. Personally, I would not be impressed if other projects got delayed in order to re-layout RQ6 without something significant in additional content making the delay worth it.
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lawrence.whitaker said Jan 09, 2013 14:51:08
Kickstarters need to be VERY carefully thought through in terms of their deliverables and stretch goals. Some recent RPG Kickstarters have fallen-foul of ambitious stretch goal promises that have impacted hugely on the deadlines for delivering even the basics.

As this will be our first Kickstarter, we will stay realistic and focused. If we're intending to produce a very nice hardback (which won't be a coffee table book - more a prestige version of the core rules) then that's what we'll stick to, with stretch goals aligned to this objective.

As Pete has noted on the BoQ Cover thread, changing or updating the core rules with new layout, art and so on is a HUGE undertaking. We will not be doing that. Commissioning artwork is a process that takes months, not days or weeks, and the process of re-indexing also takes a lot of time. If we built this into the stretch goals then I can guarantee, right now, that our supporting books, like the Mythics and Arkwright, will slip considerably. I'm not going to jeopardise our plans, which we've managed to stick to, for the sake of a Kickstarter.

We also have to meet a business plan submitted to Issaries as part of attaining the license agreement. This has a particular schedule and particular expectations. That business plan did not include a KS project, but I know that Issaries don't have an issue with one. What will cause an issue is something that impacts a revenue stream and injures our cash-flow projections.

I can understand why some people might want a fresh edition with updated art, different layout, a box, and all the glossy stuff that is hugely appealing, but I have to consider a much wider picture, and at the heart of that is sustaining RQ as a growing system. All the gloss doesn't necessarily grow the market, and if it impacts our ability to produce promised supplements, according to plan, the risk vs reward just doesn't stack up.
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lawrence.whitaker said Jan 09, 2013 15:52:16
Bruce writes...

The only way I can see round that would be to hand-over part of the 2013 publication schedule to another author so the KS funding would need to factor that in.


This isn't something we'd be comfortable doing. Not because there isn't the talent out there, but because it necessitates a different kind of control which would, inevitably, impact on the release date. Pete and I know what we can easily control given our planned releases and these have to take precedence over everything else. So we wouldn't structure a Kickstarter that would change the way we've planned to meet our objectives.
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Thalaba said Jan 09, 2013 16:06:35
I certainly don't see any need for 'upgrading' the illustrations wholesale or layout. I do have a soft spot for boxed sets but I'm having trouble seeing what to put in a boxed set at this point (several flimsy little books? Dice?). I do like the idea of adventures by different authors (though 'celebrity' status isn't as important as good ideas), especially if designed for play in a single 3-hour session. These could be PDF and released afterward, so needn't delay anything.

I would keep the hardcover KS very simple. Keep the meat and potatoes at the lower levels of investment (ie. the book itself) and save vanity stuff for higher levels. Nothing turns me off a KS faster than when the level I want to buy at (usually a hardcover level) includes a lot of fluff and vanity (posters, signed postcards, special mentions in the book) that I have no use for.

Stretch goals might include having a limited edition cover done (just to help make the hardcover feel more like a limited edition) and possibly dividing it into 2 hardcover books (player book and GM book) without major layout changes.

[Last edited Jan 09, 2013 16:22:13]
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JonathanGeere said Jan 09, 2013 16:30:09
Thanks for the further info Loz on the business plans with Issaries etc., it makes things clearer as to what's going on.

It will be interesting to see what the Kickstarter brings.
[Last edited Jan 09, 2013 16:30:28]
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Afon y Bydysawd said Jan 09, 2013 17:31:38
I don't see a need to upgrade the art and layout. I like the look and organisation of the book as is. I'm of the opinion that the new releases (Mythics, quests, etc.) should take priority over any Hardcover version of something we already have.

On his podcast, Robin D Laws talked about his experience with the Hillfolk kickstarter, and that during the campaign, running the KS was a full-time job - managing all the stretches and add ons, answering questions, preparing updates, calculating costs vs benefits, and so on. So any kind of complex KS for RQ6 is going to eat up a lot of time that could be spent preparing new material.

Kickstarting a new project? Of course it's worth the time investment. Kickstarting a different printing of something available, I wonder... Maybe just make it really simple: here's a way you can get the hardcover, but that's gonna be about it.
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lawrence.whitaker said Jan 09, 2013 17:57:23
Yes, running a KS with mounting (and ambitious) stretch goals is a full time task. I've already spoken with Rick Meints about the Guide to Glorantha KS, and he learned a lot of important lessons - even though, from my POV, that was a well-run project.

I do think its great that people want to see RQ6 do well: in fact, its wonderful to have such passionate support in such a short space of time. We don't want to injure any of this by failing to manage, meet, or deliver on expectations!
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RudyBoe said Jan 09, 2013 19:35:21
I'd go ahead with a nice hardcover. Just the errata would be great. But it's not a priority.
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SergioMascarenhas said Jan 10, 2013 00:43:17
To be honest, I'm not going to participate in the kickstarter since I'm not buying hard copies of rpg products these days (finances, bloody finances!). But let me say that I have a lot of appreciation for the way you Loz and Pete are doing things. My management side thinks your approach to business is impressive. If just I would see a similar attention to detail and honesty in most ventures I see around me or with which I have to deal, some of which are much, much larger than yours... I would be a lot happier.
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lawrence.whitaker said Jan 10, 2013 00:46:37
Sergio, many thanks for such kind and encouraging words. Having had a shitty kind of day, this has cheered me up a lot!
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jujitsudaveps3 said Jan 24, 2013 02:13:15
Loz, you and Pete make the finest ruleset I've ever dealt with in 24 years but enough buttering up.

Have you heard of Mariusz Kozick? This guy makes magnificent artwork and is what I use to wallpaper my PC. A fantasy with a historic flair kind of art.
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