kickstarters

A few weeks ago, I tweeted about the worst Kickstarter that I backed (more on that later), and it made me think about all of the various projects that I have received. To start my new blog properly, I thought that I would briefly review each of them.

I discovered Kickstarter at the same time I was getting into modern boardgames, as a lot of people were using crowdfunding to publish their own games, so the first two are card games.

A Duel Betwixt Us
August 2013 – $35
I was sold purely on the artwork for this game. It arrived about six months later than expected, which in KS terms isn’t too bad. The actual product is very high quality (except for the giant box) and uses good card stock. Unfortunately, the game isn’t great and so I have only played it once. A deck building game that drags on far too long, and once one player takes a lead, it seems very difficult for the other to catch up.

THE AGENTS – A Double-edged Cards Game
August 2013 – $30
I backed this at the same time as A Duel Betwixt Us, but this time for the concept rather than artwork. Each card has two actions, so when you play it, your opponent(s) will receive a reward. It sounded very clever, and it turned out to be quite good even arriving on time. However, the quality of the cards isn’t great. They decided to go for a plastic card stock which just isn’t very nice and has notches on the top/bottom of the cards. Like A Duel Betwixt Us, I’ve only played it one but I can see it being played again in the future. The one disappointing aspect of the game play was that it can end quite suddenly without the winning player even realising. It may be that someone has revised the rules to fix this issue though.

Tribesports: Revolutionising the sportswear industry
September 2013 – £16
Running tops are/were surprisingly expensive so I treated this Kickstarter more as a pre-order rather than a crowdfunding. The top arrived on time, along with a little sweat towel. I chose a medium top, a size that is fine in most other brands, and it’s a little bit tight. Since no one wants to see the contours of my chest, I only wear this under a long sleeve top.

Update: It’s actually a large top :/

Coin Age – A PAY-WHAT-YOU-WANT area control microgame
December 2013 – $5.69
What could possible go wrong with such a cheap game? Well, the publisher (TMG) decided to fund numerous games at the same time and clearly spread themselves too thin. Months went by without updates, and the game arrived about half a year later than expected. I have yet to play this game, and it took me a while to find it for the above photo. Fortunately, it was only cost a few pounds and to be fair, it seems to have been well produced.

After backing Coin Age, I decided to wait a while until I received the above before I backed any more.

LUPO – Find, Secure & Control your Bluetooth devices
March 2014 – £18
Here we are with the reason for this article; my worst Kickstarter project. I backed this purely for this feature:

Lupo Lock: Lupo can securely lock your computer screen and save power when you walk away from it. Be it at the office or at a cafe, Lupo helps ensure your data is always safe.

I thought this would be a very useful gadget to save me having to remember to lock my screen when working from an agency’s office. I received the dongle about 18 months ago, and unfortunately it didn’t do anything that they had promised. In fact, I couldn’t even connect it to my phone. I promptly put it in a drawer and forgot all about it until a couple of weeks ago. I had hoped that in this time they would have add all the advertised functionality. I changed the battery in the Lupo, but can now actually connect it to my phone. Alas, still no lock screen app. The device is basically a glorified key finder, and to be honest, I’d prefer one where you whistle.

TOKAIDO – COLLECTOR’S EDITION
March 2014 – $45
Tokaido is a great game for those whose only experience with board games is monopoly. The winner is the player who has the nicest journey on the “East sea road” . I backed a level to receive some enhanced components for the original game.

I would rank this as my second worst KS. It was delivered over a year later than expected. Project updates were scarce and often pointless. Funforge even tried to use the Paris attacks as an excuse in one post. I’ve yet to play with the add on, and to make matters worse, It is now available in shops for less than I paid. It’s very unlikely that I will buy anything from Funforge in the future.

Coup Reformation – Kickstarter Edition
April 2014 – $38 (Two copies)
Coup is another game that I quite liked however by the time that this expansion had arrived, it had got a little stale. I bought two copies as a friend wanted one, and it worked out a lot cheaper to buy together. I have yet to open mine so if anyone would like a brand new copy, let me know.

Draughts: London’s first board game café
August 2014 – £10
I treated this as a donation, and was not expecting to get anything in return even though I could have got a bag if I had made it to the café some time last year. Since I no longer live in London, getting over to Hackney is a bit of a shag. Hopefully I will visit one day, but I have heard it is very good and always quite busy.

The Stupendous Splendiferous ButterUp
September 2014 – $21AUD
Er, yes, I backed a butter knife. I thought it would be perfect for summer months, when it is too warm for butter to be left out the fridge, but that makes it hard to spread. Unfortunately it doesn’t work very well. Moving on…

As I had now started to receive my previously backed projects, and was by in large disappointed with them, I decided to quit KS soon after the butter knife.

Meteor 2.0! A Real Time, Co-operative Card Game 1-5 Players
November 2015 – $27
SU&SD gave this game a great review, just as it’s second edition was up for crowdfunding. So I came back to KS for this one rather than waiting for it to appear in shops. It arrived a couple of days ago and I have yet to open it.

Update: I’ve played it a few times as a solitaire game and it’s a nice game (pretty difficult). I look forward to playing with 3 or 4 players.

A more RESTful WP-CLI
December 2015 – $100
My final KS is a little bit different. WP-CLI is a great tool that I use all the time, so I was happy to help fund the ongoing development.

In hindsight, I wouldn’t have backed any of these projects with the exception of the last two. I quickly came to the conclusion that if something is good enough then it will be available in shops eventually, and may even be a superior product by the time it is available. I’m also aware that my Kickstarter experience is actually quite good in comparison to a lot of others. For one thing, I have actually received everything that I have backed, and “quit” relatively quickly after just nine projects. How does your KS experience compare? Better? Worse? Tweet me @davewardle.

Thanks for reading, hopefully my next post will be a bit more interesting, and apropos of nothing, here are a couple of articles that I have found useful recently:

https://10up.github.io/Engineering-Best-Practices/php/
https://deliciousbrains.com/refactoring-php-code-better-readability/

Or if you would like to find out a bit more about me then you can read about my current hosting setup, and recent work. Thanks again.