Daily Illuminator

March 14, 2019: Kickstarter Projects, March Update

Now that we have two separate Kickstarter accounts active – Steve Jackson Games and Warehouse 23 – it's even more important that we clearly communicate the status of all active campaigns. Since our last report (February 5), we've successfully closed two projects and launched a third. Also since February 5, we've made progress on each open Kickstarter project, with two expected to complete delivery in the next month, two scheduled to start mailing to backers in the next month, and one more on the boat from China to our fulfillment warehouse.

Powered by GURPS: Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 & Game Reprint

  • March 4 to March 22
  • 670 backers and still collecting support
  • When we reviewed the overall Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game project, we found that there was still potential and – possibly – demand for this GURPS-driven RPG. After checking the costs to reprint the game, we decided that the best course of action was to create a new book of monsters and then crowdfund the new book and the game's reprint. By using Kickstarter, we'll know for sure whether the expected demand for the game is there. The project has not yet met its goal, but we know that many of you want to see this and, we hope, you're supporting the campaign.

Pocket Box Games of the Eighties

  • January 30 to March 1
  • 1,974 backers and on schedule
  • This campaign exploded – it closed out at $268,770 in support. We're now working on completing all the work necessary to reproduce over 30 classic games and expansions. We've sent another wave of originals to the factory for scanning as Gabby, Sabrina, and Susan have already finished work on the dozen pocket folders, dozen pocket journals, and the first batch of cover sheets needed to fulfill the campaign. Everything for this project is currently on schedule.

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

  • February 1 to February 13
  • 961 backers and on schedule
  • The work on the zine, postcards, and bookmark is complete, and the PDFs are with backers for review. We'll send the files to print next week.

The Fantasy Trip Adventures

  • January 2 to January 14
  • 1,375 backers and on schedule
  • All five adventures are completed, the two new pocket folders are finalized, and the book is in the final stages of review before we send the files to the factory for manufacturing.

Ogre Battlefields

  • December 5 to December 28
  • 1,401 backers and on schedule
  • The latest news: The tooling sample is expected any day now and we've already reviewed proofs of the new playmats. Once we approve the tooling sample, this Ogre expansion enters production at the factory. Then it is down to the usual course of print, assemble, ship . . . and then pack at the fulfillment warehouse and mail to supporters.

Munchkin Steampunk: Girl Genius

  • November 1 to November 21
  • 2,195 backers and on schedule
  • This expansion has shipped from the factory and is expected at the fulfillment warehouse in late April. From there, we will pack and mail rewards; we expect U.S. rewards to reach backers in May and the international packages to land in backers' hands in June/July.

Illuminati Coins

  • October 9 to October 17
  • 722 backers and on schedule
  • As our fulfillment warehouse in Michigan handles packing and mailing The Fantasy Trip Legacy Edition later this month, the Warehouse 23 team will pack the international rewards. The shipment is expected to arrive the week of March 18th; backers in the U.S. should start seeing their coins in April.

Ogrezine II

  • September 13 to September 28
  • 843 backers and on schedule
  • The UK and EU rewards are now in the UK and starting to ship out to the backers. The web articles have proceeded as planned.

The Fantasy Trip Legacy Edition

  • July 23 to August 24
  • 3,379 backers and mostly on schedule
  • The containers (three!) are scheduled to reach the fulfillment warehouse on March 15th. From there, we'll pack and ship the international rewards to our other fulfillment parters, forward the distribution needs to the Atlanta warehouse, and then ship out the U.S. rewards. U.S. backers should start to see their rewards beginning the last week of March; some may bleed over into April, meaning that we are barely meeting the expected delivery for some backers. Others, especially international, will be late. We've recently revised our estimates for international rewards; we're using our experience to refine the processes and hope to be more accurate in our estimates from this point forward.

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. The UK and EU rewards are now in the UK and starting to reach the backers. We are three months late with the UK and EU rewards (estimate was December; actual delivery is in March) and have learned from this campaign.

That makes a total of ten active projects. 

  • 2 slightly delayed projects landing in the UK and EU as of this writing.
  • 2 on-schedule projects landing at the fulfillment warehouse this month (expected delivery March 15: tomorrow!).
  • 1 on-schedule project on the boat from China.
  • 1 on-schedule project in the tooling stage and almost ready for final manufacturing.
  • 2 on-schedule projects in the final stages of proofing before going to print.
  • 1 on-schedule project in scanning at the factory as the Austin team finalizes cover sheets.
  • 1 active project funding on Kickstarter; all writing and art complete and the work in layout.

As you can see, we have a lot of irons in the fire, but this isn't anything new for us. For decades now, we've had dozens of projects active at any moment; the only change is that by using Kickstarter, we're moving some of the behind-the-scenes activity into the public eye. When it comes to crowdfunding, our one big failing has been in the mailing of rewards . . . as many of you have told us over the last few years. Fortunately, we have fulfillment partners who are making this flow more smoothly and our experience with international rewards is improving our efforts. Slowly, we are getting better at delivering those international packages.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions. We won't have every answer, but we'll do what we can to share information on active Kickstarter campaigns as we gather news.

-- Phil Reed

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