Monday, December 31, 2012

Breath Again Magazine Interview

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I’m joined by the creative force behind Breathe Again Magazine, Terrell Culbert.  Thank you for joining us today Terrell!  

Creative force! Well thats sounds pretty darn awesome, and no prob! Thanks for the cool intro. (Laughs)

So what is Breathe Again Magazine?

To be quite honest, BAM is a fanboys brain just "exploding"! I have been a geek my entire life and there has never been a moment when I was not thinking about comics, toys, cartoons and girls! Not necessarily in that order…at least I don't think so. Anyway this magazine is all those things I just mentioned because "hell", thats pretty much all I still think about! Except the girls part, my wife don't play. No really, I want people to see the cosplayers, artwork and the other cool stuff that might get missed at conventions. So in a way I suppose I want to contain some of that excitement stylize it and put it into my magazine.

Fate Core Interview

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am joined by Fred Hicks of Evil Hat Productions creator of the Fate role playing system.  Today he is here to talk about his third Kickstarter Fate Core, thank you for joining us Fred.

It’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me!

This is your third successful Kickstarter campaign, what do you think is the secret to your success?  

There’s no secret to Evil Hat’s success with Kickstarter. Shock! But it’s true.

We show up to each campaign with an existing audience that we’ve done everything we can to make sure trusts us and is at least interested in trying out whatever our next crazy idea is. It took us the better part of the past decade to build that audience.

Once we have that audience paying attention to us, we put ideas out there that we’re excited about and where we can communicate that excitement effectively. We build our Kickstarters like they’re tiny little short-term businesses with business plans and everything (however vaguely articulated) -- we know our entry points, our market, our plan for talking to that market, and our exit strategies (you’ve got to plan for at least three exit scenarios: project didn’t fund, project did but just barely, project did and by a big margin -- and know what you’re going to do in each case with your result). Spreadsheets were made. Trajectories planned.

As a general rule, I don’t think “we did the work and built the audience in advance” is much of a secret, so... there you have it. If there’s a “trick” in how we build our Kickstarters, tho, it’s about what I call value compression. Typically we have some kind of tier, fairly entry level, that’s inherited by the higher level tiers as well, where the more stretch goals the project hits, the more folks will get for the same amount of money. While we do pair this with upgrade options that encourage existing backers to increase their pledges (which is a good practice too), the whole value compression thing tends to encourage more people to pile on the more successful the campaign gets, which is a kind of snowballing thing and very good for creating excitement. Excitement is an essential fuel for any kickstarter campaign. You want folks to be jazzed enough that they’ll talk about it, a lot, on their own, in public.

The dollar side of a kickstarter campaign is great, and it’s absolutely what you’re angling for in order to make your vision a reality, but for us the real end product is the creation and support of an ever-growing audience for our games. Because once you have an audience, you’ve got future success wrangled as well as present success. And that’s how you create something sustainable. Something kickstarted.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Pathfinder Online Interview

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am surprised to be bringing you Mr. Ryan Dancey the CEO of Goblinworks Inc to talk about his company’s Kickstarter Pathfinder Online.  Thank you for joining us today Mr. Dancey it’s a pleasure!

Glad to be here! I love talking to those who want to know more.
This isn’t your first time to the Kickstarter rodeo as it were, the last time you brought Pathfinder Online to Kickstarter you ended up raising six times the goal amount.    This time however you’re asking amount is twenty times your original goal as well as “returning to the well” as it were for the same project.  How much has your prior experience with Kickstarter helped out with the launch of this latest one?  Do you think having multiple Kickstarters for the same project hurts your funding at all or does having well defined “goals” for each of those individual Kickstarters alleviate any feeling of “double dipping?”  

We worked very hard to make sure people understood that the first Kickstarter was for the Technology Demo; basically a small project that demonstrated our team's ability to use all the tools and middleware necessary to develop the game.

That Technology Demo allowed us to secure the funding we need to put the game into production.  But if we can raise additional money, we can make the game bigger, better, and faster than we are currently able.

The second Kickstarter is a chance for fans to help us do exactly that.  Reaching our million-dollar funding goal will knock a lot of time off our current production schedule, and we have even more chances to accelerate the timeline once we meet the initial goal and are hitting stretch goals.

No one has ever funded an MMO on Kickstarter at the scale that we're attempting.  Nobody knows if the platform will be able to marshal the necessary support for the project.  We're hopeful that the success of our first project is an indication that there will be enough support to succeed with the second.

2012 Top Ten Great Games

At this time of year everyone has lists, and I’m not an exception to “the list” syndrome.  This is 2012’s “great games” list for me.  As with all lists this is very subjective so I hope you take it with the grain of salt it’s supposed to be taken with.

Number 10: Mass Effect 3-----------
At number 10 we have Mass Effect 3 which caused quite the stir earlier this year when they turned all the excitement and adventure of the first two games and narrowed it all down to three choices by a “star kid.”  The game caused such conflict here in the Yee household that it was traded away as soon as we saw the ending.  

Ending to the saga aside the game itself was a great continuation of the series.  The multiplayer, while it felt a little tacked on was a lot of fun and still worked in the universe.  Now that the “Leviathan” DLC is out (and earned the Giant Bomb award for “PLEASE STOP”) the game sounds “complete” which might help those who waited or have never played the whole series (like PS3 owners) but for me the story is over and it’s all academic.  Even though I’m torn on the ending the game itself is still number 10 on my list.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

An interview with CJ Draden

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  
Today I am joined by a very talented artist, a one CJ Draden who was recently interviewed by the great Stan Lee.  He has recently launched an intriguing kickstarter called “CJ Draden’s Pinocchio.”  Thank you for talking with us today Mr Draden.

Thank you for the opportunity to talk to your audience. 

What made you decide to bring your project to Kickstarter?  It sounds like you’ve done the convention circuit and even landed an interview with Stan Lee what can Kickstarter provide for you that you haven’t done already?

I chose to launch a kickstarter campaign primarily because the content, subject matter and writing style I have inhabited that represents myself as an artist best is not conventional. I gain emotive inspiration by classic literary masters such as H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe and William Shakespeare; these are not contemporary ways of expression we convey in mainstream storytelling or in our modern ways of communication. Works from these artisans are more poetic and emotional ways of expressing one's inner desires and demons. Many artists and visionary contemporaries may appreciate the works of such masterpieces written by these icons, however I want to revive that specific ideal way of self-expression that I feel it’s more applicable to the stories I want to portray.

I entered the convention scene as a fine artist; I love to paint on glass. I never had a love for comics or a desire to be a comic artist but felt I must keep current with the times and just manipulate certain aspects of the “contemporary ordinary” of storytelling to more of the romanticism that would fit my passion within the “contemporary ordinary”. I believe that is what Stan Lee found so attractive about my work. Even my medium is an expression of myself; I’m an emotionally transparent person (hence the glass). Regardless of writing and illustrating graphic novels, I am not trying to be a comic book artist, I am not trying to mimic techniques of already established artists and comic book artisans, I am simply trying to find and express “CJ Draden”. I don’t want to pigeon hole myself into a category of being labeled as a specific artist because that’s not what art is about. I like the idea of artists being known as philosophers. It’s our job to push the boundaries of capability and provoke thought with new ideas from the psychedelic subconscious. Sure, I’ve been acclaimed by several industry professionals; actor Tony Todd (Candyman), actor Doug Bradley (Hellraiser), author Clive Barker (Hellbound Heart), that offered me beautiful gratitude in great length during conversation, but I don’t feel it’s who we are accredited by that makes a good artist.

Good art is about raising questions in order to achieve self-discovery, “self-discovery”, that’s where the war on originally is being waged. The majority of people openly throw around the statement that “originality is lacking in storytelling”, but I find that to be not true. There is an ocean of originality locked in individual consciousness, all one has to do is turn a blind eye to the mainstream and follow thy heart. I like the convention scene because it has allowed me to establish a career on the primary principle of “following my heart”. Kickstarter breaks that same paradigm away from many industries in a few ways; it allows the individual to present (without industry bias) their passion to the people with equal opportunity for success without conviction from the so called industry professionals dictating the worth of a person’s passions. Therefore it’s not about what I (or many others) haven’t accomplished, it’s what were about to accomplish. Kickstarter is a brilliant in this way.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Super 3D Dungeon Boards Interview

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today I am joined by Tyson Koch, the inventive mind behind Super 3D Dungeon Boards. Thank you for joining us today, Tyson.  

Thank you. I am happy to be here.

Let me start off by asking, “Where were you when I was single, young, and had the money to buy these things!?”  Seriously, as a married father of two young rugrats your wonderful product can only be drooled at by the likes of me.  Is that why you brought it to Kickstarter?  To tease us old married gamers?  

Ha! Well, I was probably painting miniatures and dreaming of why someone had not made something like this, too! I brought this to Kickstarter to get a measure on the interest. A project like this will require a significant investment in hardware and materials to do it correctly, and Kickstarter helps mitigate this along with keeping me from going bust if no one ends up wanting it. And hey, did you ever think of justifying buying a board, or two, by calling it a toy for the whole family? Just think of the adventures that could be had by My Little Ponies or little green army men! Super 3D Dungeon Boards are fun for the whole family!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Telepath Tactics

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  
Today I  am joined by Craig Stern of Telepath Tactics, thank you for joining us today Craig.  

It’s good to be here James.

Well your tag line pretty much sums your project up for me, “Imagine that Fire Emblem and Disgaea had a baby, and that baby turned out to be a prodigy...”   How would you describe your game to those who don’t know of Fire Emblem or Disgaea?

Telepath Tactics is a strategy RPG. Imagine chess, but instead of controlling generic pieces, you have armies made up of individual characters with their own stories, personalities, skills, strengths and weaknesses.

So why come to Kickstarter with such a great looking project?  Why not release it directly to the people now through your own site?  I see you are on Steam Greenlight isn’t that enough?  (Full Disclosure: I have voted up this game on Greenlight and back at the $10 level as of this interview)

I'm running the Kickstarter to help  with the costs of getting the game completed and polished. Telepath Tactics is currently playable, but it still needs more sprites, more tilesets, attack animations, an improved interface, a full soundtrack, sound effects, and so on. That stuff costs money, and so this Kickstarter is designed to make it so I can actually pay for that.

Steam Greenlight is not a funding platform, so clearly it's not going to help on that front. Greenlight is more of an investment for the future; once Telepath Tactics is done, I'd quite like to be able to sell it on Steam.

Dicecards Interview

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  
Today I am joined by the clever creator of Dicecards Ian Millington!  Thank you for joining us today Ian.  

Nice to be virtually here. Thanks for talking to me about the project. 

You’re quite welcome, we’re glad you came! So earlier this year I was hit by a novel dice concept and now here you are with another!  Care to describe the concept behind Dicecards and how it all got started?  

Yeah, I was doing some 3D work on a game, where each card had a different random occurrence. I was having to balance the probabilities, when it occurred to me it could be done with dice. Within an hour or so I had a mockup (dice are pretty easy to model in 3D), and sent it out by email to my gaming buddies. Next morning in my email was a whole bunch of suggestions. In particular, on close friend and I worked on ideas for the next few months, until they looked roughly like they do today.

Now if these are such a great concept as I think they are why are you producing them through Kickstarter?  Couldn’t you just sell the concept to some big dice or card company?  Why crowdfunding?  Why Kickstarter when there are other options?

If you’d like to introduce me to some big dice or card companies, that would be cool!

Initially I had a few decks printed for my and friend’s use, and continued to tweak the cards in spare weekends here and there. But when folks see them I often get asked about them, so I hoped there might be a market. I didn’t want to set up a whole business doing this, building the distribution and wholesale relationships needed to get it into stores, taking booths at trade shows, and so on. So putting up $6000 for a print run is a big risk, Kickstarter seemed like an ideal way to remove that risk: if people like it, they get it, if not, nobody is out of pocket.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation!  Today the creator of AMERICAN UBUNTU has joined us to talk about her project.  Thank you for joining us today Lenore.

You’re very welcome -- thank you for your interest in my project.

Reading how you created the story of AMERICAN UBUNTU and how it’s grown over the years it seems like Kickstarter was a perfect fit.  So why do you come to Kickstarter now instead of earlier?  You seemed very crowd focused from the word go.  

That’s a great question. I have been backing others’ Kickstarter projects for the last couple years, since attending a 2-day seminar on crowdfunding in London in 2010. This just seemed like the perfect moment -- the funds are needed to go forward, themes in the film are in the popular consciousness, I understand how Kickstarter works -- and I’m finally ready to go more public with my project. Kickstarter really puts you out there, you know!