Daily Illuminator

February 5, 2019: Kickstarter Projects Report

We posted a report on our 2018 projects back in November, and that proved to be as valuable a tool for us as it was informative for you . . . so here we go again! With the addition of a second Kickstarter account – you're following both the Steve Jackson Games and Warehouse 23 accounts, right? – we've got more flexibility when it comes to Kickstarter and we'll continue to expand on our experience with and use of crowdfunding this year, making reports like this one more and more important as we learn.

In 2018, we ran a total of nine Kickstarter campaigns, three of which are now completely closed and added to the "done" list. So far in 2019, we've run three campaigns (two of which are active today). Here's a look at all of the open campaigns, in reverse chronological order.

Pocket Box Games of the Eighties

  • January 30 to March 1
  • 861 backers as of this writing, and still collecting support
  • We wanted to celebrate the company's past, and what better way than with a return of several of the black plastic Pocket Box games from the 1980s? The project has met its goal and is unlocking stretch goals. Best of all, there's still time for you to join in! Car Wars, Illuminati, Ogre, and more!!!

Hexagram #1, an Old-School RPG Zine for The Fantasy Trip

  • February 1 to February 13
  • 535 backers as of this writing, and still collecting support
  • Kickstarter is running Zine Quest this month, so we've taken the leap and have a retro-style TFT zine in the works. There's still time to participate!

The Fantasy Trip Adventures

  • January 2 to January 14
  • 1,375 backers and on schedule
  • After releasing a couple of PDF adventures for The Fantasy Trip late last year, we realized that we could accelerate the process – and make many of you much happier – if we took the adventures to Kickstarter. Thanks to your support, the finished book will be a hardcover and include die-cut megahexes and counters. Steve, Guy, and Ben continue to work on the book and everything is still on schedule. If you missed out, you can preorder today at BackerKit.

Ogre Battlefields

  • December 5 to December 28
  • 1,401 backers and on schedule
  • This expansion for Ogre Sixth Edition and the Ogre Designer's Edition did much better than any of us at the office anticipated, and you kept us on our toes as your support kept breaking stretch goal after stretch goal. We wrapped up our work and submitted the files to the factory before Chinese New Year, so everything is still on track to release as promised in the campaign. The only items not yet at print are the playmats, but the work is done and we'll be submitting those files in a month or so (the playmats are printed in the U.S., so we have a little more time to spare).

Munchkin Steampunk: Girl Genius

  • November 1 to November 21
  • 2,195 backers and on schedule
  • Steve worked with Phil Foglio to adapt the Girl Genius comic to Munchkin Steampunk, and then you joined in and unlocked every stretch goal that we had to offer. The game went to print and is, at the moment, in the final stages of manufacturing and expected to deliver on schedule (if not a little early). 

Illuminati Coins

  • October 9 to October 17
  • 722 backers and on schedule
  • The coins have completed the manufacturing stage and are now on a ship and headed to our fulfillment warehouse. We expect to deliver the coins slightly ahead of schedule.

Ogrezine II

  • September 13 to September 28
  • 843 backers and on schedule
  • Articles are still being posted, U.S. physical rewards have been delivered, and the international physical rewards are on their way to backers. This campaign was affected by our difficulties with international fulfillment (see Munchkin Unicorns, below, for more info).

The Fantasy Trip Legacy Edition

  • July 23 to August 24
  • 3,379 backers and mostly on schedule
  • The game is complete and on a ship. We will start fulfillment next month, and expect U.S. backers to start seeing the rewards in the last weeks of March. International rewards will ship as soon as we can manage, but the difficulties that struck Munchkin Unicorns (see below) have affected our expectations for international fulfillment of The Fantasy Trip Legacy Edition.

Munchkin Unicorns and Friends

  • July 3 to July 20
  • 2,423 backers; international delivery running late
  • U.S. rewards delivered on schedule and went smoothly. International rewards, unfortunately, have proven a challenge. We're a few months behind on delivering the international rewards, but expect to see everything in the hands of backers in March. What happened? Working to ship rewards from in-country to make delivery less expensive for international backers became a complex web of paperwork that caused delay after delay. How are we handling this going forward? For future campaigns, we're estimating international delivery at two to three months after U.S. rewards are delivered. This will better align with the realities of international Kickstarter fulfillment.

That's nine open Kickstarter projects, two of which are on the water, two at the factory and in manufacturing, two affected by international fulfillment delays, one in the final stages of office work, and two still funding on Kickstarter.

One thing that expanding our use of Kickstarter has done is given everyone a closer look at how the sausage is made; in addition to these nine projects, we have dozens more in various stages. For example, there are two Kickstarter projects on the water . . . plus another five on a ship. And as for those two Kickstarter projects at the factory, they're currently accompanied by another 16 active projects at the factory.

As you can tell, Kickstarter is a growing part of our plans, but traditional distribution is still the majority of our business. With the market always changing, we'll do what we have to in order to adapt and keep making games for a long, long time to come.

-- Phil Reed


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