During the seemingly endless lockdowns during the pandemic I spent a lot of time on Kickstarter, drooling over new board games. The girls and I would pore over the graphics, read through the descriptions and watch the videos. And then I would decide which games to back. We decided to invest our pennies into Birdwatcher, City of the Great Machine, Honeybuzz, Mythwind, Roll Camera and Verdant.
For those of you new to Kickstarter, it's a platform for designers and creatives to source funding for their projects. It allows them to raise the money they need to pay for the printing and production instead of having to take out a loan or use their savings to do so. Although projects aren't guaranteed, the pay off for a backer is, hopefully a shiny, brand new thing. Cos there's also books, cameras and just about anything you can think of.
It's a super clever platform with projects having stretch goals and Kickstarter exclusives to get backers excited and spending their money to back the project. Stretch goals generally improve the quality of the components for a game when a certain funding goal is reached. For example a linen finish on cards or screen printing on meeples when $10,000 has been pledged to the campaign. Kickstarter exclusives are game bonuses that only folks who back the original game on Kickstarter can get. I'm still wishing I'd known about Coup when it was on Kickstarter so I could have got the bonus cards.
When you back a game, you then receive emails and behind the scenes updates as the game is brought to life. And you know how much I love hearing about the creative process. My favourite email updates so far have been from Malachi Ray Rempen of Kean Bean Studio when I backed the Roll Camera expansion, the B-Movie Expansion. He was super funny and I love his graphics.
The other great thing about backing games is you can often buy other games by the same publisher. Sometimes you can even get the Kickstarter exclusives you missed out on in an initial campaign. When I backed Verdant I grabbed the opportunity to get Calico with the bonus content and Cascadia. By backing the B-Movie Expansion I could also get the original Roll Camera plus the travelling card game, Itchy Feet.
The only problem with backing games is the time you have to wait before they arrive on your doorstep. A lot can happen in that time. Like your kids deciding that they've grown out of games and not wanting to play any of them any more! It's okay, Birdwatcher, Roll Camera and Verdant can wait until they're ready or I decide to host a games night. Now that they're here, they're not going anywhere. And I still have the excitement of City of the Great Machine, Honeybuzz and Mythwind arriving on my doorstep to look forward to. Future me is going to be very happy indeed!