Kickstarter Roundup

It’s been an interesting few years for me with Kickstarter – here’s where I’m at with all of my backed projects.

Order of the Stick Reprint Drive

This was my first Kickstarter, and is still outstanding. The reason for that though is clear – the sole artist and writer of the saga damaged his hand pretty badly shortly after the Kickstarter, and has been fulfilling the bonus content as and when he can since then. It should be noted that the core pledge – books – were delivered on time without problem and I’ve received all the physical goods I ordered. The remaining things are mostly digital short stories, and I can wait for those to drip in slowly for another couple of years. I trust Rich to be able to fulfil the Kickstarter promises, and in theory all the bonus content will actually make up half of an extra book – if the promises made don’t mandate exclusivity, of course. I’m not hung up on exclusivity myself, but I know some people can get really irate about that sort of thing.

Broken Age

It’s been an interesting project, given that the whole thing has been relatively public on video since it’s inception. I’m getting a bit itchy since finishing Act One, and the pace of the videos has slowed down dramatically, and before too long they’ll be going dark for Amnesia Fortnight again. Hopefully, there’ll at least be some more AF videos this year even if the Broken Age ones are slowing down.

Wasteland 2

An entirely complete project! I only put in for the game itself, and no physical rewards, so I’m absolutely thrilled with the final result. The only problem is that my aging graphics card finally gave up and packed in. I’ll need to get a new one before I can play any more modern games.

Broken Sword

I was a huge fan of the original Broken Sword games, I remember getting awfully stuck on the first one (the goat…) with my cousin on the Playstation. I still haven’t completed BS4 yet, but the control system was just too unpleasant to deal with. I’ll try and get back to it one day, I expect. This Kickstarter delivered on time, and it delivered an awesome game. Not as hard as some of the older games, but not a pushover either.

Satellite Reign

This is possibly the riskiest project that I’ve backed – it is by a studio I’m not familiar with remaking a game I loved but was no good at. It’s still ticking along, and I’m aware of the long lead time in games (looking at the finished or nearly finished projects that I’ve backed, that’s clearer to me now) and their work in progress has been encouraging so far. They’ve also just released keys for Steam Early Access, which is a relief!

Torment: Tides of Numenera

I backed this because I was so confident in the team to deliver Wasteland 2, and because I know people who loved Planescape: Torment. I never got that far into it, and was playing it years behind the times when UI conventions had changed a lot (2d to 3d, no zoom, etc) and it makes some games age poorly. At the time, I could have loved it but interface and resolution had come a long way and I didn’t like the feeling that I was dying too much…

Cirque du Mort

The latest project that I’ve backed, on a recommendation from a friend. It’s a comic book that by KS prices comes out pretty cheap – definitely worth a shot to see how it goes.

DreadBall and Xtreme

These two projects really hit me hard, I fell for DreadBall bad during the Kickstarter and bought almost everything (figuring I could sell it on later at a profit if I wanted to). When Xtreme came around, I just went for the “one of everything” pledge to make it easier, rather than keep adding stuff on. To this day, the only thing I’ve had to buy for DreadBall separately is the Azure Forest expansion.

I picked up the Xtreme game at the Open Day, and look forward to getting the first Season Four bits in the new year! It’ll be great to finally play with them, but I’ll have to get cracking on the painting…

Mars Attacks

This one didn’t interest me until it added a DreadBall team add-on. That’s all I went for, so I was surprised when I was sent the digital rules as well. Turns out that the rules for the DB team are hidden somewhere in one of the expansions – hopefully, they will be available to the world at large sometime afterwards.

As far as I’m aware, it delivered on time for me. I know some things were delayed but only by a few weeks, so it shouldn’t have been too big a deal.

Dungeon Saga

So I’m becoming a bit of a Mantic fan. This looked like another good, quick game to play and also a good introduction for older children to complex games. As a bonus it’s co-operative and multiplayer, so it could be brought out for a games night (full campaign in a day?) with the option of pitching it at “out of the box” mode for new players or “analysis paralysis” for the keen roleplayers amongst us. I went in for one of everything again… whoops.

Kings of War Second Edition

Oh dear. Another Mantic project. I only wanted one model, but with postage added it was only a little extra to get the rulebooks as well… so I went in at the low level, no upgrades, just to get the Blaine miniature. It might be easier to get a large fantasy game in as well since the rules are faster than Warhammer.

The Underground: A Sam & Fuzzy RPG

This one I backed on a whim. It looks like a silly, cartoony RPG much like the comic it’s based on. It might be a good game to play between our (no longer regular) regular RPGs, which are always planned as pretty serious and straight stories and then meet the players.

First Games Night of 2013

Our first games night of 2013 was a success! Not that I was expecting a failure, but the previous one (almost a whole year before) had two guests. This time we had four, meaning we could fill out the full six players in some games! We were expecting another (so we could have filled out an entire crowd for Kill Doctor Lucky) but for some as yet unexplained reason he chickened out.

We played a few games – started off early in the day with the keenest players, with a quick round of Toy Story 3 Yahtzee with Fred. I don’t think he realised that people were coming round just to play games, but he was telling everyone that they were his best friends and thanking them for playing his game nicely so that was cool. We were thinking about having a demo game of Warhammer earlier in the day, but I haven’t read the latest rulebook in a long time and haven’t had a chance to get it back from whom I lent it, so revised that down slightly to a demo game of Gorkamorka or Necromunda, but a cock-up by Homebase means that our study is filled with a bath until I get time and assistance to fit it. The bath conveniently blocks off all access to scenery, models and rules so that’s completely removed.

Before the main event I managed to teach Chris and Mark how to play Dreadball, as I threatened before – I spectated/refereed and taught the rules as they went along although by the end of the game they were only really checking numbers with me. I got to play against Mark the following day, and although it was only his second game he was only asking me “is it this many dice and that number for success?” and was usually right. He’s even considering picking it up to play against his brother, since it’s so quick to learn and play and as a veteran Blood Bowl player he’s already keen on the small-team miniature games. I think it also helped that he won both games, and managed to make the Forge Fathers succeed every speed test they had to take! Chris too was keen to come round and give it a try again someday. When I’ve got the models painted, I’ve now got a total of five players willing to join in a one-day-league (including myself). It’s just a shame that I only have four teams to go around until Season Two!

As much fun as Dreadball is, it’s only a two player game and I can’t teach everyone to play at the same time so we played a couple of rounds of Thunder Road before more guests turned up. Thunder Road is a fun and fast game based on a Mad Max style race through the desert on the straightest, longest road ever created. It’s really quick to pick up – although the helicopter mechanic was a little bit strange and took a while to grasp before I really understood it, it wasn’t complicated and once I properly grokked it there was no confusion at all. It’s a great four-player game and I’ll definitely request it be brought back another day. The Wikipedia page has the rules available for download, if you want to take a look. I’m not sure whether the game is available anymore, but maybe it’s somewhere on eBay.

I had to duck out to keep putting the kids to bed (and Jen was pretty much unavailable the rest of the night with more of the same) so I missed a couple of childless games of Toy Story Yahtzee, and resolved that the next games night will absolutely 100% have a babysitter. It wasn’t nice that Jen wasn’t able to play in most of the games of the evening, and we had originally planned a babysitter but there was a last minute change of plans.

ultravioletdragonFinally, we started to play Order of the Stick with some of the Shortening rules. I put in Wandering Xykon but left out Backstories, since I couldn’t remember the rules well enough to want to put in even more mechanics. I figured that we’d get Xykon out early and see how that worked. Unfortunately, we all had big and nasty monsters so the first level was entirely unworkable for the whole of the game. For an example, the first monster out was an Ultraviolet Dragon (roll a D12, add your defence of 1, and hope that it somehow gets higher than 18). Other dragons, big Ogres, and named NPCs filled out the rest of the first floor.

It took a while to remember and relearn the rules as we went, and it seemed to take too long before we even started trying to attract Xykon. I wonder if I got some of the rules wrong in the skim-reading, I’ll have to check that later. At some point we decided to just start the dungeon collapse and end the game without Xykon. When that happened the game finished fairly quickly, so next time I think I will assign a time limit and start the collapse at that point. Another reason it may have taken so long to get to the Xykon stage is because we had 5 ½ players, so obviously each person has less time to get at monsters and gain experience.

Everyone enjoyed it, even the ones unfamiliar with both roleplaying games and the Order of the Stick comic, which is always a bit of a worry to me with really niche games like that.

For the first time in a long time, we didn’t play Kill Doctor Lucky – I noticed that we were expecting another player, and it was one of the only games we have that advertises up to 7 players (and still optimistically expecting Jen to be able to join in) so I put that aside until they got to us. They never turned up and Order of the Stick ran on so long (I was enjoying it too much to notice that it wasn’t really any shorter a game…) so Kill Doctor Lucky remained on the sidelines.

Next time, as I mentioned before, we’ll definitely be organising babysitters. I think I’ll make a shortlist of games to bring out for the evening (Zombies!!! hasn’t been out for a while, nor has Talisman) and read the rules in advance. If I put Order of the Stick in again, I’ll really have to read the rules first so I can be more helpful with it and try the Shortening rules properly – I’m sure I missed something or got things wrong. I’m aiming for the middle of April so we can try and attract some people who always seem to miss our games nights.

All in all, an excellent night and I look forward to the next one!