Which do you prefer? a little of a lot OR a lot of a little

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Re: Which do you prefer? a little of a lot OR a lot of a little

Post by period3 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:06 pm

I want them to do whatever they need to make the product cheaper. Maybe that means less selection. Maybe that means less complex pieces. Maybe it means internal reorganization. Who knows, that's DF's business.

I guess I am the opposite of zenako: I am at a point in my life where if I want something, I can't afford it. (But beyond this kind of stuff, there's nothing I really want). I have acquired very few tiles, and have a hard time getting more when nothing is in stock.

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Re: Which do you prefer? a little of a lot OR a lot of a little

Post by zenako » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:08 am

To actually answer the original question: I prefer DF work on what they have a passion for. I personally am at a point in my life where if I want something, I get it. If it just costs to much, oh well, I pass. I have acquired a LOT of tiles by this point (once the current KS delivers I will have a LOT of Cities, Castles, Dungeons and Caverns/Forest) and only really be looking for new stuff to compliment those settings. I would probably just prefer smaller more focused campaigns where you can also pick and choose (perhaps like a 5 encounter subset of this just finished campaign). 3 or 4 of the encounters on one theme and 1 or 2 encounters for other themes or add-ons to previous settings.

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Re: Which do you prefer? a little of a lot OR a lot of a little

Post by Rabbit Burner » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:38 am

None of the hivemind are bankers or have any professional finance or indeed production experience.

But the sunk costs are still there with less sculpts - they still need labour, prototypes graphics etc. In fact it may cost less per individual sculpt the more sculpts you have, the economies of scale.

DF have found they cannot scale up as far as they have with the team they have got without workforce burnout and so are looking to potentially scale back (paraphrasing Nate there).

So what we are saying it is that smaller scope may not mean cheaper prices.

Don't get us wrong we would love cheaper prices :)

They could be made cheaper without LEDs, metal, magnets and simpler sculpts - but that goes away from what DF are trying to do.

Give you the coolest terrain to put on your table, though not necessarily the cheapest.

Pretty confident the DF will find a business model which will allow them to continue doing what they do best and stay in business for a fair while longer :)

We also feel that although Castles missed Stefans target goal of 2 million, we are pretty sure they got that and more in the PM.
We also also feel that if Castles had been run like the last two kickstarters then they would have been up around 2.5 million.
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Re: Which do you prefer? a little of a lot OR a lot of a little

Post by AnimeSensei » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:36 pm

While I understand the points being made, what about the sunk costs of labor (sculpting, graphics, etc) and prototype manufacturing for a wide variety of scope like we've had going forward? I'm not saying prices will go back to KS1-KS2 prices; I get things get more expensive. I'm talking about risk to the company of over-preparing should we have another KS4 type of scenario.

Maybe I focus on these things because I am in banking; specifically troubled loans in 2008/2009. I saw companies fail because they didn't plan for a hiccup. I had a company that bought a failing competitor's inventory at dirt cheap prices, but because sales slowed down over the winter, he lost his business due to the cost of storage on that inventory and the new debt he took out to get it. He didn't plan for the slow winter, even though he got a screaming deal, and lost it all. I saw people gamble putting all of their savings in one property and have it sit vacant for years until they lost it. The deal was too good to pass up so they went all in and it just sat and lost them their entire savings. I just don't want to see DF have such large upfront costs where they HAVE to have the kickstarter be over $2 million (or something) to fulfill and then they can't. I'd rather have the old model of stretch goals that unlock new pieces because at that stretch goal now it's affordable. The way it's been lately with all of the upfront sculpts, we don't know what the break-even is, but imagine if KS5 or KS6 only brought in $1.5 million in pledges. They wouldn't have been able to even pay for the molds for the stuff in the initial offerings, most likely. I don't claim to know for sure, but I hope the idea is presented well enough for my reason for concern.

I would prefer to have DF play it safe and I get a few less sculpts each year for the higher probability of the company not overpromising and going bankrupt or have to cancel a kickstarter and have their reputation tarnished. It also goes back to my point of needing new customers; they help recession-proof the company just due to an increased purchasing base. I want DF here long-term instead of burning bright for a few years with a lot of offerings and then it burns out. I'm thinking long-term over short-term here, which in my personal opinion, is the crux of the question.
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Re: Which do you prefer? a little of a lot OR a lot of a little

Post by lostpict » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:52 pm

AnimeSensei wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:52 pm
I would like smaller, more focused kickstarters that bring the cost per piece down. This would entice the new customer, the customer with little storage left, and those who think DF has gotten too expensive. Do maybe 2 per year with different themes. I realize there is the risk of complacency or burnout with that many kickstarters though.

I think DF did an excellent job going from a "rich person's D&D toy" to "gaming for the masses" in KS1 and KS2. Since then, the perception has come back full circle that DF is only for the affluent. I wish prices could be such that more people can actually use DF products.

It doesn't matter how good your product is if no one is using it. As always, my sticking point is fresh blood. We need new backers/buyers. You will always have attrition and you need to replace those customers faster than they are lost. The way we have been headed, if we have another global recession, easy cash will dry up and these mega kickstarters with high sunk costs could really hurt the company if the pledge levels just aren't there. In my outside opinion, making smaller kickstarters with less fixed costs helps to insure against a large loss should we have a money crunch. But this is coming from my business brain, not my gaming brain.
I wonder what a KS1 or KS2 base set would be priced if the components were drawn from KS5 or KS6. I expect the answer is substantially higher since these pieces share the higher overhead of the fancy, multi-part, LED encrusted, magnetic parts. That's the simplicity that you have to design out to drive the cost model. Another factor is that China is not nearly as cheap a place as it used to be. Lots of their industry is trying to relocate to cheaper labor markets such as Africa.

As to me I want lots of what I like. In my book you cannot have too much CBS. It would be easy to overload on ice terrain, swamps, more generic dungeons, etc.
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Re: Which do you prefer? a little of a lot OR a lot of a little

Post by zenako » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:01 pm

The challenge with something like the ice cave example, is that a little goes a long way. I suspect that there are fair number of folks who would go for an ice cavern or two, but not a whole complex in ice, just too niche for the masses, so there would not be the massive economies of scale that KS1, etc could work on. Same story with other niche settings, many folks want a little, and do not need a lot, unlike basic parts of Dungeons, Caverns and Cities, where it is hard to have too much. (and when you do have that much, you clearly know it and are hopelessly out of this conversation about limited purchases...)

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Re: Which do you prefer? a little of a lot OR a lot of a little

Post by Rabbit Burner » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:30 am

AnimeSensei wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:52 pm
I would like smaller, more focused kickstarters that bring the cost per piece down.
...
Not convinced of this, don't think a KS just for say just ice caverns (or any encounter in CD) would necessarily result in cheaper prices.

Unless the word simpler is stuffed in ;)

We can see simpler sculpts could bringing the cost per piece down.

We assume that your implying due to the lack of variety of sculpts there will be cost reduction due to the increased volume of production of those offered sculpts - like the fabled KSI we have heard about ;)

This assumes that more of the same piece would be bought per backer.

So maybe a little more convinced, other than the fact DF will not produce simpler sculpts.

Also having been spoiled for choice in previous Kickstarters will us DooFers really buy more of the same sculpt?

Don't know the answer to that other than 'maybe' ;)
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Re: Which do you prefer? a little of a lot OR a lot of a little

Post by AnimeSensei » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:52 pm

I would like smaller, more focused kickstarters that bring the cost per piece down. This would entice the new customer, the customer with little storage left, and those who think DF has gotten too expensive. Do maybe 2 per year with different themes. I realize there is the risk of complacency or burnout with that many kickstarters though.

I think DF did an excellent job going from a "rich person's D&D toy" to "gaming for the masses" in KS1 and KS2. Since then, the perception has come back full circle that DF is only for the affluent. I wish prices could be such that more people can actually use DF products.

It doesn't matter how good your product is if no one is using it. As always, my sticking point is fresh blood. We need new backers/buyers. You will always have attrition and you need to replace those customers faster than they are lost. The way we have been headed, if we have another global recession, easy cash will dry up and these mega kickstarters with high sunk costs could really hurt the company if the pledge levels just aren't there. In my outside opinion, making smaller kickstarters with less fixed costs helps to insure against a large loss should we have a money crunch. But this is coming from my business brain, not my gaming brain.
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Re: Which do you prefer? a little of a lot OR a lot of a little

Post by Rabbit Burner » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:59 am

With d4h on this :)

One thing about a DF KS is that they cater for the new customer, so if they decide to expand on a theme they will provide new sculpts that allow a new customer to buy a village, castle, dungeon or cavern.

So with that in mind we prefer large sets, so we can choose the lot or cherry those bits that compliment what we have.

The problem with that is the environment scope will be more limited. A smaller KSVI would have meant - no forests, Ice or underdoom and a lot less interest from us :(
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Re: Which do you prefer? a little of a lot OR a lot of a little

Post by dice4hire » Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:45 pm

I do not care much what size Ks\Ses DF does as I don't really have a lot of problems leaving stuff on the table.

Overall I would like to get more or a little though, because then I have all the options to play with. I don'T have to look at builds and say "Don't have that. or that or that" I suppose there is a bit of collector in me, but DF has trained me not to expect to get everything. In KSI I guess I did get most of what I wanted if I ignore multiples, but from KSIII on that has not even been close to possible with my funds.

Also especially in KSV and VI with all the chase pieces that has been less possible. With KSI to IV with the stretch goal setup it was possible to get a taste of most everything. No longer with their stretch goal setup now.

I guess I am ignoring the question about "sets" a bit as I see "sets" being part of a big KS. In this last Ks we had at least three sets and arguably more. Dreadhollow, Crystal and the basic set of caverns. To me underdoom and Ice are just paint jobs though underdoom does have a few unique pieces.

I would prefer smaller KSes that were only one set. .
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