Likes and dislikes

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GODofwar
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Re: Likes and dislikes

Post by GODofwar » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:27 am

Forar, this is a great idea. One of the values of stretch goals in KS1 and 2, for me ast least, was the expansion of base pieces by stretch goals.

I like this.

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Re: Likes and dislikes

Post by Forar80 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:18 am

Talistran wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:36 pm
DevGuy wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:43 pm


The stretch-goal system is only a marketing gimmick:


We know it all the better because we do it ourselves. Today stretch-goals are already included in the campaign financing plan and serve only as an adjustment variable. They are stretched or limited according to the sums collected, but they are never "gifts" offered to the backers. Whatever its outcome, you will have more or less the same value in stretch-goals at the end of the campaign. We might as well be done with these marketing gimmicks and instead present a straightforward offer, improved by the value of these stretch-goals, from the start.
I agree, almost 100%.

There is a way to use stretch-goals to induce people to pledge more. You simply provide INDIVIDUALS with extra "stuff" for INDIVIDUALLY pledging more money.

Stretch goals can also work as a metered gate for "add-ons". The company knows that they have priced things so that they have a 20% margin (I made up a number). They can afford to make a new mold for a new add-on once they reach a certain total value of pledges, maybe $500,000 (which gives them $100,000 margin, which means they can now risk another $10,000 mold). if that Add-on is a good one, they'll sell plenty and make their money back. if it doesn't sell so well, the margin of $100,000 covers them from losing money. Once they offer it, they have to make it, so I really think stretch goals work here as a metered gate for introducing new sculpts.

I have seen no other ways that stretch goals do anything positively in theory or in practice.
I do see one way, and it might get some side eye from a few, so I'm going to try to explain myself in depth;

Actual extra pieces, similar to how earlier DF KS's did things.

Yes, yes, I know, boo hiss we'll never get those deals again, I get that. But part of the problem (as I see it) is that so many of these stretch goals seem to just be one off bits here and there that A) are already expected to be within the set (and occasionally eagle eyed backers notice them in videos and pics), and 2) require new molds to be produced. Especially with the first 1.5 million or so worth of goals essentially feeling like they're just filling out the sets to what they would've otherwise been, it does strike me as more of a marketing thing, a bullet point for the updates and front page about 'passing ___ stretch goals' along with being at "x000% funded".

Which isn't bad or wrong, but it comes across as simply an expansion of the product line based on funding promised. Which is fine!

But it's a different thing than actually seeing a tier of pieces go from 40 to 50 or 60.

Now, I don't know DF's business, nor do I claim to, but I have to imagine that Economy of Scale fits in somewhere. That, like many fields (whether calendars or challenge coins or something else), you have a rather fixed cost on the molds, and then materials and labour are factored in, with breakpoints where a deal can be found for making 10,000 instead of 9,000, in the 'per piece' pricing. So if a stretch goal were actually tied to something that involved achieving the next breakpoint and some of those savings could be passed onto backers with pieces, that'd be great!

And now to kneecap my own argument, to save others the time of doing so; yes, I recognize this would impact shipping costs. Having a fixed size and weight for each encounter helps understand the costs that should be involved in shipping them, especially around the world. If there's too much variability present, a risk grows that a handful of extra pieces will bump a package up a box size or weight class, and disproportionately affect the cost of shipping it. I recognize that some of those savings found in Economy of Scale breakpoints (if they're even working in numbers large enough to hit them, granted) might already be earmarked as protective padding against higher incurred costs in other aspects (possibly in ways such as the Burrows not selling as well as originally anticipated). I get that there could very easily be reasons why the KS1&2 style raw piece increases aren't being used anymore, and may never happen again. I'm certainly not doubting the business acumen of a team who has raised over ten million dollars in pledges over 6 campaigns.

But, as a customer, and someone who contributes what he can of a (compared to the average) modest budget, it's something I can notice and lament. That the cavern entrance, an encounter that seems to be underpriced (as a typo or intentionally as a hook, whichever) comes out to something like $6.5 US per piece, and while respecting that not all pieces are created equal (big 2x4 footprints with LEDs built in and magnets and swap-able bits, but contrasted with some also being little 1x1's, so there's some averaging out all the same), it's hard not to notice that the price per piece and square foot keeps going up faster than my discretionary income has (work has thus far declined to give me a raise based purely on what I want out of DF KS's).

So, it's a complicated thing, and we don't have the full picture. I know Nate in particular has explained this topic in the past, and I respect that KS6 includes a truly staggering number of options to help make budgets go further and let people cherry pick the exact pieces they want and are willing to exclude. It may prove more efficient for me to skip an encounter altogether and just get a few core bits and other add ons, and we're seeing new info daily on those prices and options. But it's also an annual series of 'oooh, ahhhh' mixed with hard choices.

I'm simply trying to reflect on the notion of stretch goals, and the massive air quotes that seem to hang around them these days. With the way the community demolishes the first million+, it feels almost perfunctory. Performative "stretch goals", less about enhanced value and more about simply returning to the encounters things that were already supposed to be in them, like Day One DLC stripped out of a game just to have something to put back in later, free or for a fee.

And to not end on a negative note, I do love what DF does, look forward to swinging by their booth at Gencon, and will likely continue to back as long as they're running campaigns. I respect that I can't and won't ever be able to 'catch 'em all' in a given campaign, and that's fine. I've long come to terms with that notion.

So my comments are less a scathing indictment, and more a view from the sidelines, of someone who has been a fan for well over half a decade, even if my aggregate contribution to the company in that time is a mere fraction of what some folks will drop in a single year. :-P

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Re: Likes and dislikes

Post by nielsene » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:51 am

Likes:
The aesthetic, the artistry
The evolution of the pledge tiers/organizations of add-ons that tries to be both newcomer and returning customer/collector friendly.

Dislikes:
The actual execution of the universal/core packs.

To give the more complete picture of how that last like and dislike are related:
I love, love, love, the idea of organizing the KS by encounters rather than just "core packs" (ie KS5&6 veresus KS1-3.. KS4 sorta became encounter based midway, but not to the same degree).
I love the realization that building N out of M encounters at a time is often "enough" for a lot of pledges and cheaper and piece efficient than buying all M encounters individually. Historically with the Resin sets, I wound that three sets was often required for the versitilty to build what I wanted.
I love that the chase/adventure pieces were broken out into easy to buy add-on kits.

It all _almost_ hits the perfect sweet spot in my opinion. Where it falls down -- too many custom pieces in what's considered core. Existing KS2 collections can NOT swap in to replace universal core sets or encounter core sets in useful manners.

The encounters were not designed around having any ks2 (or ks2 equivalent new scuplts); the encounters were designed to show off the new pieces. This makes sense, but it still shows a place that the current pledge/add-on breakdown design can be tweaked for better utility in future KS that return to a given concept (dungeon, cavern, city, castle, burrows, etc).

Universal core set 1-3 is basically "Advanced Cavern Builder" Universal core set 4-6 is "Add-on 1 to Advanced Cavern Builder" etc. They are sets that don't make a lot of cohesive sense outside of the uber-pledges they are in. (Which again makes sense, it a 'bucket' for "what's left over/needed after we subtract out things that had a cohesive bundling")

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Re: Likes and dislikes

Post by kitenerd » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:21 am

icestormganon wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:17 pm
Hello! This is my first time posting and this is also my first kickstarter with Dwarven Forge.
Welcome Icestormganon, pleasure to have you on the forums!

We get a little sidetracked with our passions, but we all love our toys

Back on track:

Likes:
Bridge
Boat
Passage pieces - a return to the gorgeous chunky resin style pieces - these are sweet
Many Small packs
Hags Den - great selection of what i want ;)
Stairway to Violence - just plain cool
6x6 floor - WOW!
Convex Corners

Dislikes:
No KS2 Style Water
Trifecta - love the versatility, but i doubt my ledges will ever find their walls once they get absorbed into the Dwarvenite Borg
Waiting for packs to complete before being able to plan pledge
No Free Shipping - more fair for RoTW but i am spoiled and this was a huge part of the savings
Seeing Stretch Goals far in advance
"Miniatures?, sure sign of a petty mind!" - 'The Women' 1939

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Re: Likes and dislikes

Post by Talistran » Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:36 pm

DevGuy wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:43 pm




The stretch-goal system is only a marketing gimmick:


We know it all the better because we do it ourselves. Today stretch-goals are already included in the campaign financing plan and serve only as an adjustment variable. They are stretched or limited according to the sums collected, but they are never "gifts" offered to the backers. Whatever its outcome, you will have more or less the same value in stretch-goals at the end of the campaign. We might as well be done with these marketing gimmicks and instead present a straightforward offer, improved by the value of these stretch-goals, from the start.
I agree, almost 100%.

There is a way to use stretch-goals to induce people to pledge more. You simply provide INDIVIDUALS with extra "stuff" for INDIVIDUALLY pledging more money.

Stretch goals can also work as a metered gate for "add-ons". The company knows that they have priced things so that they have a 20% margin (I made up a number). They can afford to make a new mold for a new add-on once they reach a certain total value of pledges, maybe $500,000 (which gives them $100,000 margin, which means they can now risk another $10,000 mold). if that Add-on is a good one, they'll sell plenty and make their money back. if it doesn't sell so well, the margin of $100,000 covers them from losing money. Once they offer it, they have to make it, so I really think stretch goals work here as a metered gate for introducing new sculpts.

I have seen no other ways that stretch goals do anything positively in theory or in practice.

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Re: Likes and dislikes

Post by marcoreds » Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:34 pm

Anyway:

Particular likes:
- All the big pieces. All the passages, the Corner Entrance, the 6x6 Floor, the Convex Curve 4x4, the Double Doors, the 6x2 Entrance Wall, the Curved Natural Bridge base, the Natural Bridge Pedestal (and I hope they add a "bridge" to connect the last 2), the Stairway to Violence. I love big pieces. I plan for big spaces to move minis, so having a lot fewer pieces to put down is a very big plus for me. I like to use smaller pieces only to link big pieces of fill their intersection (that's why I love resin caverns). I hope as many of these as possible will be available as addons for reasonable prices, to complement the resin caverns.
- The banks. They are the most natural way to transition from tiles to a Terrain Tray or a gaming mat - which in turn allows building big spaces for cheap. I'll surely get some of those.
- The new 2x2 designs. I aim to get at least a few of each, to use mixed with the "few" KS2 sets I have, to add variety.

Don't like very much (for my tastes and use):
- All the fiddly bits, 1x1 and 2x1 base pieces, and the pieces that are aligned and built on one another just with gravity.
- Ice. They are beautiful, but I have nothing ice, so I'll completely skip these.
- Trifectas. Mind it, I like each of their parts separately, and those I will get, I will use separately (as ledges and standing walls). I find it too fiddly to keep track of what goes with what, I'll just consider them separate pieces.

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Re: Likes and dislikes

Post by dice4hire » Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:26 pm

I think the problem KS is having is SOOOOOOOOO many projects effectively doing the same thing. In my sphere, there are multiple mini Kses, Boardgames with mini KSes, 3D printing terrain Kses, and PVC terrain kickstarters going on all the time.

Too many ways to spend limited money.
A pretty decent Docent of Valoria

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Re: Likes and dislikes

Post by Kryzsko » Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:19 pm

DevGuy wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:43 pm
Monolith’s recent post on how they have used Kickstarter thus far, and how they intend to use the platform moving forward, is rather topical. Their commentary on the use of stretch goals is also interesting, also topical...


Re-establishing the risk factor at the center of the model


MONOLITH FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2018


As you know, Monolith has always had the ambition to use Kickstarter not as a tool for protection against risk, but as a tool for better value distribution between players and publishers. As such, we have systematically used the platform to carry out projects that would not have been profitable in an intermediated circuit, due in particular to their huge investments in development and their material content (often excessive). Up until now our offers have always been extremely advantageous for our pledgers in return for the risk that they accept (long delivery times, delay risks, errors, defects…). With time and experience (lessons learnt from previous teething problems) we have considerably improved, especially via the use of specialists for each of the key positions of the edition (at the forefront of which are Game Design and Testing, but also production and logistics: basically all these positions that remain in the wings and do not feature central stage during a campaign, but which are essential to the successful completion of a game). Strengthened by this experience and the cash flow released by our previous projects (Conan, Mythic Battles, Batman...) we have decided to take an even bigger risk by assuming everything, while maintaining an unbeatable offer for our pledgers (a value saving of up to double that of a store-bought game from an intermediated network). To do this we are going to experiment with a new model that is the result of what we have been trying to achieve since the creation of the company.


How are we going to proceed?


It is very simple. At the moment we are using our cash flow to not only develop, but also to produce and deliver boxes of Claustrophobia 1643 to our hubs (5000 to our US hub and 5000 to our European hub), without any backer or distributer having previously ordered them (so without the guarantee of selling them as is usually the case in a classic circuit or on Kickstarter). Obviously we have met with the Kickstarter officials to make sure that this is not a problem for the platform. As such, our pledgers will neither have to advance cash nor wait a long time before being delivered, or even fear that there will be a difference between what is being shown during the campaign and what they will get once they are delivered… because all the games will already be waiting for their future owners in the warehouses of our local partners. Many of our supporters will be able to play and manipulate the final product even before the campaign and all will be delivered within the six weeks that follow. There will be no post-campaign pledge manager and we will just use a KS online survey to collect pledger details.


How are the savings made by the disintermediation going to be shared?


Here again it's very simple. Today, in the traditional market, more than 60% of the value of a game is retained by intermediation (distributors + stores). We simply propose to our pledgers to equitably distribute this value between them and us. By doing so, we will be able to consolidate our margins, control our prices and ensure that we can continue to invest heavily in the development of our projects. At the same time, without having to wait or take any risk, you will get, each time, a much better bargain than anything you would get in a store.


Why change a model that works?


Several reasons:

Crowdfunding has evolved


It would be unrealistic (or perhaps denial) to not see that Kickstarter and crowdfunding in general have become markets in their own right where fierce competition prevails. Monolith has always had the ambition to be an innovator in these markets and especially not a follower (The micro campaign Conan: The Book of Set was a test. We simply underestimated the demand. With 10,000 copies of Claustrophobia 1643, each will have had time to decide). If we want to stay at the forefront of these markets, we must continue to innovate.

Let’s talk more about the game and less about money:


Over the past years, we have seen forum discussions gradually shifting away from the games themselves (their systems and universes) to their performance in terms of funding. We ourselves have participated in this movement and today we regret the relegation of fun and playability to the background. The game needs to be put back into the center of the conversations.

The stretch-goal system is only a marketing gimmick:


We know it all the better because we do it ourselves. Today stretch-goals are already included in the campaign financing plan and serve only as an adjustment variable. They are stretched or limited according to the sums collected, but they are never "gifts" offered to the backers. Whatever its outcome, you will have more or less the same value in stretch-goals at the end of the campaign. We might as well be done with these marketing gimmicks and instead present a straightforward offer, improved by the value of these stretch-goals, from the start.

Attracting new pledgers:


Everyone will have noticed that, campaign after campaign, the rate of new pledgers is dropping, to the extent of being ridiculously low today (often under 10%). This is due to the proportionally increasing number of "regulars", but also because the pool of new backers ready to pay more than a year in advance for a game with hypothetical qualities is drying up (while at the same time the number of new projects is exploding). If we want to return to higher rates (in other words bring new blood onto KS), we must attract a less "adventurous" population onto the platform, those who are ready to accept drastically reduced delivery dates and very little risk (of delay, non-compliance ...).


The future


If our experiment proves conclusive, we will reproduce this model whenever our cash flow will allow it (obviously if we fail we will abandon it, but at least we will have learned from our failure). We have no doubt that if we do succeed; it will be rapidly copied by others and could even become the norm, attracting a whole new population on the platform. In any case, it is obvious that it will be some time before we are able to replicate this model for our « Blockbuster » projects, as they are big cash consumers. But who knows, maybe one day...


source: https://m.facebook.com/notes/monolith/r ... 807267231/
I love this idea BUT it will only take one or two failures to tank a company.

Also they run the risk of under or over producing. If fact you would almost be guaranteed to over or under produce.

I get what they are saying. I have become much more risk averse and now back far fewer projects. If a game was already produced and finalized and reviewed I would be much more likely to back.

It is not even so much that the KSs I backed failed to deliver, although that is a part of it, but I have backed several where the game itself sucked or the quality was bad.

I look forward to seeing how this works out.

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Re: Likes and dislikes

Post by marcoreds » Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:01 pm

In short, kind of using KS as an order collection system, an online shop…

I think KS really doesn't care; so long as it gets its share, and it doesn't have to take the risk of the sale itself, anything is a go.

For users this is surely an advantage, with the reduced delivery time.
The risk is for Monolith, who takes upon itself the risk of not selling what it has produced. And after this decision to practically break with distributors, I doubt it could place any remaining copy to them.
Also, what if a campaign goes super-well and they need 50k copies? I guess the rest would be fulfilled with the normal longer times…

The bad is that you'll never see their games in shops. They'll never become "classics" that you can always find around.

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Re: Likes and dislikes

Post by DevGuy » Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:43 pm

Monolith’s recent post on how they have used Kickstarter thus far, and how they intend to use the platform moving forward, is rather topical. Their commentary on the use of stretch goals is also interesting, also topical...


Re-establishing the risk factor at the center of the model


MONOLITH FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2018


As you know, Monolith has always had the ambition to use Kickstarter not as a tool for protection against risk, but as a tool for better value distribution between players and publishers. As such, we have systematically used the platform to carry out projects that would not have been profitable in an intermediated circuit, due in particular to their huge investments in development and their material content (often excessive). Up until now our offers have always been extremely advantageous for our pledgers in return for the risk that they accept (long delivery times, delay risks, errors, defects…). With time and experience (lessons learnt from previous teething problems) we have considerably improved, especially via the use of specialists for each of the key positions of the edition (at the forefront of which are Game Design and Testing, but also production and logistics: basically all these positions that remain in the wings and do not feature central stage during a campaign, but which are essential to the successful completion of a game). Strengthened by this experience and the cash flow released by our previous projects (Conan, Mythic Battles, Batman...) we have decided to take an even bigger risk by assuming everything, while maintaining an unbeatable offer for our pledgers (a value saving of up to double that of a store-bought game from an intermediated network). To do this we are going to experiment with a new model that is the result of what we have been trying to achieve since the creation of the company.


How are we going to proceed?


It is very simple. At the moment we are using our cash flow to not only develop, but also to produce and deliver boxes of Claustrophobia 1643 to our hubs (5000 to our US hub and 5000 to our European hub), without any backer or distributer having previously ordered them (so without the guarantee of selling them as is usually the case in a classic circuit or on Kickstarter). Obviously we have met with the Kickstarter officials to make sure that this is not a problem for the platform. As such, our pledgers will neither have to advance cash nor wait a long time before being delivered, or even fear that there will be a difference between what is being shown during the campaign and what they will get once they are delivered… because all the games will already be waiting for their future owners in the warehouses of our local partners. Many of our supporters will be able to play and manipulate the final product even before the campaign and all will be delivered within the six weeks that follow. There will be no post-campaign pledge manager and we will just use a KS online survey to collect pledger details.


How are the savings made by the disintermediation going to be shared?


Here again it's very simple. Today, in the traditional market, more than 60% of the value of a game is retained by intermediation (distributors + stores). We simply propose to our pledgers to equitably distribute this value between them and us. By doing so, we will be able to consolidate our margins, control our prices and ensure that we can continue to invest heavily in the development of our projects. At the same time, without having to wait or take any risk, you will get, each time, a much better bargain than anything you would get in a store.


Why change a model that works?


Several reasons:

Crowdfunding has evolved


It would be unrealistic (or perhaps denial) to not see that Kickstarter and crowdfunding in general have become markets in their own right where fierce competition prevails. Monolith has always had the ambition to be an innovator in these markets and especially not a follower (The micro campaign Conan: The Book of Set was a test. We simply underestimated the demand. With 10,000 copies of Claustrophobia 1643, each will have had time to decide). If we want to stay at the forefront of these markets, we must continue to innovate.

Let’s talk more about the game and less about money:


Over the past years, we have seen forum discussions gradually shifting away from the games themselves (their systems and universes) to their performance in terms of funding. We ourselves have participated in this movement and today we regret the relegation of fun and playability to the background. The game needs to be put back into the center of the conversations.

The stretch-goal system is only a marketing gimmick:


We know it all the better because we do it ourselves. Today stretch-goals are already included in the campaign financing plan and serve only as an adjustment variable. They are stretched or limited according to the sums collected, but they are never "gifts" offered to the backers. Whatever its outcome, you will have more or less the same value in stretch-goals at the end of the campaign. We might as well be done with these marketing gimmicks and instead present a straightforward offer, improved by the value of these stretch-goals, from the start.

Attracting new pledgers:


Everyone will have noticed that, campaign after campaign, the rate of new pledgers is dropping, to the extent of being ridiculously low today (often under 10%). This is due to the proportionally increasing number of "regulars", but also because the pool of new backers ready to pay more than a year in advance for a game with hypothetical qualities is drying up (while at the same time the number of new projects is exploding). If we want to return to higher rates (in other words bring new blood onto KS), we must attract a less "adventurous" population onto the platform, those who are ready to accept drastically reduced delivery dates and very little risk (of delay, non-compliance ...).


The future


If our experiment proves conclusive, we will reproduce this model whenever our cash flow will allow it (obviously if we fail we will abandon it, but at least we will have learned from our failure). We have no doubt that if we do succeed; it will be rapidly copied by others and could even become the norm, attracting a whole new population on the platform. In any case, it is obvious that it will be some time before we are able to replicate this model for our « Blockbuster » projects, as they are big cash consumers. But who knows, maybe one day...


source: https://m.facebook.com/notes/monolith/r ... 807267231/

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