a hand-drawn adventure game of petty politics, flimsy alliances and overall backstabbery!
goal: $11,000 / ends: wednesday, january 15 2020 10:52a pst. / created by austin lopez
a fun, whimsical medieval-fantasy-esque board game featuring hand-drawn art, possibly water colored or in that style. the tile art, used to depict the map of the game, is by far my favorite. i think it best captures the artist’s unique style, and the color palette, with a few exceptions, is concise and thematic. i’d like to see the art better utilized on some of the event cards, or the text at least reworked to better use the space, but this is their first game.
the rules, available to peruse freely as pdf, are conversational but easy enough to follow. further editing could definitely help tighten it up, and i’d definitely recommend a quick-start reference guide and some diagrams of the game board fully setup.
overall, i think this looks like a fun, kid-friendly, euro-inspired-but-very-american board game. the kickstarter is well put together, though not noticeably changed from their initial launch, but i think the funding goal is still too high for a first project (much better than the $36k originally asked for!). if it does fund, the biggest red flag is found in the “risks and challenges” category.
quick segue: a successful kickstarter is made up of many disparate components. they all come together to give the “crowd” a reason to “fund” the project. this requires selling a story, not a product. this bit of wisdom is lost on a lot of people, but you are never selling a product. ever. we have more products than we could ever know what to do with, as a planet. what we crave is narrative. artists we can relate to, depicting characters we can empathize with, showing us glimpses of worlds that illicit new emotions. it is the basis of all imagination games, and thus, the basis of all games. it’s how books create images in our mind’s eye. the brain is wired to produce, interpret, and crave stories.
anyway, one of these disparate parts of a kickstarter can always be found right at the very end: “risks and challenges”. amateur crowdfund creators often overlook this category as trivial, unnecessary, or don’t take it seriously. as a crowdfunder, i make this recommendation to you: always read the “risks and challenges” response thoroughly, then read it again before you pledge.
if this section comes off as an afterthought: red flag. if there are typos or it doesn’t scan: another red flag. if the creator tells you there are no risks: huge red flag.
so, what should you be looking for? a well-thought response, not to the question, “what are our risks and challenges?”, but to “how will we face the inevitable risks and challenges?” because, of course, as with all artistic…no, with all endeavors, there are obstacles. period. minimizing this truth either means the creator is unaware, which makes them a risky person to give your money to, or they are aware and have not put the time into their answer, which makes them a dangerous person to give your money to.
look for kickstarters where the creators outline a few things that they anticipate will go wrong, and listen to how they will respond. there’s a reason this category is at the end of every kickstarter: it is the final piece of information to give you insight into the future of the project.
back to QUESTICUS: as i said, this is the creator’s first game. it is a relaunch from a few months ago, with few changes made to the project other than intro text and the funding goal. they were right to bring their goal down, but should have stepped back further. they’re hovering at $6k currently with 9 days; $5-6k would have been reasonably amibitious, to be blunt. the only real red flags i see is the obvious blindspots to what production of this game is really going to look like. for all the thought put into the rest of the campaign, as a backer i have (informed) fears that they don’t know what it will cost to make and ship. who’s printing it? who’s shipping it? what does the box look like? this is information a more seasoned kickstarter would have posted, because they know that experienced crowdfunders are looking for it.
my last comments: i think this is a very well done first game, and look forward to the creator learning from it.