Kickstarter has become a phenomenon with video game developers, but it has become even bigger with board game developers. I asked Michael Mendes, founder of Tasty Minstrel Games, about his Kickstarter experiences and his newest endeavor Dungeon Roll.
Nope. The game came from the designer rolling 2 different dice pools (with standard 1-6 numbered dice) against each other and then imagining a theme that made sense for the game that he made. From their we added treasures, heroes, and such.
The biggest challenge would have been making the mechanic, but fortunately for TMG that was already done when we signed the game. In fact, it is the reason we signed the game. Other than that it has been choosing which “broken” aspects of the game to fix and which to leave. Not that we are leaving anything that is broken, but there is a fine line between allowing randomness to happen and letting it get out of control.
It might be a little bit more expensive, but we did not do a cost comparison. I like to do what is right for the game, and then see how we can make the cost work with the target price. For Dungeon Roll, it meant that we needed to utilize Kickstarter to be able to justify a larger print run to reduce the per unit cost. Thankfully, this seems to be going quite well.
I lose track sometimes. 8. 2 of which were unsuccessful, one which was for a children’s book and one for a game that really requires people to play it in person.
There are many keys, I think the most important are in order:
- Having an existing audience that trusts your judgment and that you can contact in a reliable manner. For me, this means having an email newsletter for TMG that we send monthly to fans.
- A generous offering. This is more important for TMG than many other tabletop game publishers because our games will be sold through distribution and people can and will be able to get them later. With other publishers, you might not be able to get the game later.
- A concise and clear project. Including the video and the reward tiers.
It really depends on when you and and in relation to what, but here are several:
- The funding level all flows to the pocket of the project owner and they are swimming in a pool of money. For example, if Dungeon Roll funds for $75,000 then I will be able to deliver all rewards and have an extra 5,000 copies to sell into distribution without taking money out of pocket. The revenue from selling those 5,000 would likely be put right back into making more product and supporting Dungeon Roll.
- International Shipping should be cheaper. Actually, I charge a lot for it, and I should charge more. I costs a fortune to ship boxes all over the world.
- If you put it on Kickstarter, then you will find backers. NOT TRUE.
- All games on Kickstarter are not tested. At TMG, we put a lot of effort into discovering and signing good games and then developing them to be the best that they can be.
- Kickstarter is bad for the game industry. Queue the debate, more choice for gamers is AWESOME.
- The design of a game is up for debate. Maybe others want to crowd source their final product in the design area, but not us. Influence can be made but if we have a game on Kickstarter, that is because it is ready to go.
Dungeon Roll was fully funded in a single day, and considering that the game is $15, that’s not a bad deal at all. I highly recommend going to the Dungeon Roll Kickstarter page to find out more about Dungeon Roll and possibly back it yourself.