Friday, May 11, 2012

Kickstarter Craziness

If you've been following the world of boardgames recently you would be hard pressed to have missed the craziness (aka awesomeness) on Kickstarter between Steve Jackson Games' Ogre Designer Edition and CoolMiniorNot's Zombicide.

Both companies set modest $20,000 funding goals. Both companies have brought in considerably more than they asked for, and probably more than they expected.

If you are not familiar with Kickstarter, a) where have you been for the past year? and b) it's an online crowd funding site for creative projects of all sorts. And, I mean...all sorts. Ideas that might never have seen the light of day are finding their shot via Kickstarter. Generally, prospective entrepreneurs present their project on the site, set the funding goal they need to achieve to be able to go into production on whatever their project is and people all around the world have 30 days to back the idea with their hard earned cash.

Zombicide, a co-production between CoolMiniorNot and Guillotine Games, is a boardgame of the Zombie apocalypse. The funding window for the game closed 4 days ago (as I type this). They needed $20,000 and received a whopping $781,597!

Go ahead. Pick your jaw off the floor. That's pretty amazing, ain't it? Nearly $800,000! Now, you may be wondering (again, if you are one of those few unfamiliar with the juggernaut that is Kickstarter) what are they going to do with all that extra money? That's where "Stretch Goals" come in. Stretch Goals are set for funding levels over and above the minimum funding needed to advance the project forward. For example, in the case of Zombicide, there are a host of extra miniatures being offered at various funding levels. It seemed to me that the sweet spot was to back the game for $100. The game is expected to retail for $89. But, at the $100 level they were offering a whole boatload of really cool stuff. It was killing me that I didn't have a spare hundo laying around to toss their way, or else I would've!

Zombicide looks really, really cool. And, that is coming from someone who is pretty much sick to death of the zombie theme in games (not to mention other media). Check out the information on their Kickstarter page.

Another boardgame that is going gangbusters on Kickstarter is the new edition of Ogre from Steve Jackson Games. I remember first playing Ogre sometime in the late 1970s. A neighbor around the corner had the first edition of the game. It was a tiny thing that came packaged in a little ziplock baggie. The game was played on a small hex map with cardstock counters representing the various units. I honestly don't remember much aside from simply playing, and enjoying, the game. But, I do remember it!

Then, a couple years back at the Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio,  I saw a table set up in the Miniatures Hall with some folks playing the Ogre Miniatures Game. It instantly awoke some nostalgia in me and I wanted to pick up the game. Unfortunately, it was out of print. The Adventure Retail booth, which houses SJG product at Origins, was selling boxed sets of the minis - but not the main ones. They were long sold out.  Upon returning home I did some research online and found that Steve Jackson was in the planning stages for a new edition of Ogre, and had been for sometime. So, I thought, I'd wait.

And, then the Kickstarter campaign launched....and, boy, did it launch! As I mentioned, they were looking to raise $20,000. As of this writing there is 6 hours remaining on the campaign and they have raised $851, 243! This game is going to be massive. And, as a result of the incredible success of the campaign Steve Jackson Games has committed to an expansion, bringing back the miniatures and giving another SJG classic, Car Wars, the deluxe treatment as well! Fantastic!

The Kickstarter campaign has garnered a lot of attention for Steve Jackson Games. They were profiled by Inc. magazine, among others. Many in the business world were praising them for how they ran the campaign. There's been a lot of controversy regarding Kickstarter, especially in the gaming community. Is it a good thing? Is it a bad thing? Well, for Steve Jackson Games it certainly appears to be a good thing. And, for a lot of gamers who have been wanting a new edition of Ogre (like me!) it is a great thing! I cannot wait to get my hands on this massive game!

I only wish, again, I could have backed it at a higher level - but I threw my $1 into the kitty so I would be able to order a T-shirt later. Now I just need to save up for the game itself which is expect to clock in at $100!

So, fellow gamers, it looks like we've got two fantastic games headed our way soon! Keep your eyes peeled for Zombicide from CoolMiniorNot and Ogre: Designer's Edition from Steve Jackson Games!

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