Today must be the day for setting KS reminders.Cheesy video aside, this seems neat, and I like the look of the previewed rule cheat-sheet.

That said, I find it a little weird that the goal amount ($40k!) is just to create an “Agent’s Handbook”, and creating a complete DG game with GM content is a stretch goal. I mean, they’re going to hit it (more than halfway there already), but the idea that I’d be dropping $50 for less than the full monty is a little off-putting.

The difference in economics between indie KSs (Fate Core’s goal was $3,000; Dungeon World was $4,000) and these mid-tier publishers (which seem to never start lower than $20k) is just bizarre to me.

8 thoughts on “Today must be the day for setting KS reminders.Cheesy video aside, this seems neat, and I like the look of the…

  1. I suspect there’s a few layers to the cost difference.  The biggest ones I imagine are art/color costs, size/format, and expected wordcount. 

    I’d be curious to also see how much the mid-tier folks are padding in stuff like “costs to print additional copies” and “designer wages already accounted for”, “costs to travel and promote at conventions”, whereas a lot of the smaller indie folks basically rely on long-tail sales to really make any extra profit and expect to simply eat the cost.

    It’s really unfortunate that these companies never do the cost post mortems like some of the smaller publishers.  Being able to see exactly how much above board they ride (or, under the line) would be useful. 

    Based on most of what I hear second hand from people who freelance for a lot of different mid-tier companies, it sounds like most of the companies still barely cut it or fall short and make up the difference by simply not paying or late-paying their freelancers.  (I haven’t heard anything about Arc Dream, so hopefully the higher KS goals also means everyone’s getting paid upon completion of work.)

  2. Chris Chinn I also wonder if there’s certain expectations these mid-tier folk feel need to be met, e.g., lavish color layout, or else they feel that the game will less marketable.

    I mean, I would think that the rational starting point would be “the full game, in back-and-white softcover”, and go upwards from there. The idea that color layout trumped providing the full game is just weird.

    I guess I look at it with the bias that KSs like these show how unrealistic the traditional publishing model is. Needing to target $40,000 just to put out a book of game rules seems crazy. But I guess you have an army of people working on this who all want their usual rates (for which I cannot blame them).

  3. Oh definitely traditional expectations raise the cost considerably. Add in that they’re probably focused on print version as their primary product and not half with the PDFs. There’s probably also some idea that since some kickstarters go way over, that asking for 120,000 is reasonable…. But few KS really go that viral.