Manifest, a board game designed in New Zealand about delivering passengers and goods around the world in the 1920s, is finishing on kickstarter in three days' time, sixty-nine hours to be precise. For anyone who doesn't know about kickstarter it's a place to try and get funding for your project. You load up the details: videos, photos, testimonials, anything you think might help, and then you set some prices for a finished good or service. Punters lodge funds and should there be enough to meet the funding goal then the money goes to project. If not, it doesn't, simple as that. If you're lucky there might be 'stretch goals' to incentivise over-funding, this can be interesting although sometimes I'm a little uncertain as to the value of these.
You might want to be careful and do a little due diligence before you back. Just who are you giving your money too? There are some stories of rip-offs but generally it seems to work well. I've backed twenty-two completed projects to date. All board game related, eighteen full games, three expansions and one to support a video reviewer, Joel Eddy. I collected four of these at last year's Essen, the World Board Game expo in October. So far all projects have delivered, most comfortably on time, all impressive in their communications, and no problems suffered. I'm looking forward to receiving another nine games over the course of this year! I've also backed three projects on different 'crowd funding' platforms; Pledge Me in New Zealand - yes the same NZ, indeed, the same company with an earlier game, Granny Wars, it's ace, trust me! then a German game throughSpielschmeide and a book of poetry through Wefund, a UK based company.
And that's not it. I'm in for a further five ks projects at the moment including my second non-game, a bit of plastic wizardry that's going to help me with my iPad, the 'plinth'! Plus another bit of support for a video reviewer, Rahdo. The man makes the greatest videos of board game run throughs. You really get to understand the rules, the set up and how it's going to play. When you're wondering if a game is going to live up to the marketing copy you can be sure to get a good look at what the experience might be like through Rahdo. He's cost me more than the family ever have done.
For me, it feels exciting to be supporting fellow enthusiasts in their goals of producing board games. Each project is different obviously but there's a camaraderie established with fellow backers and the project leaders during the thirty days or so of the campaign. I can honestly say I have garnered a couple of good friends through one particular campaign. (Not sure how they feel of course!) It's exciting when the project looks as though it might be stalling or struggling, trying to find ways to help without simply throwing more money at it - the family do need some food, clothes occasionally too. Like when I first stumbled into ebay and would be constantly refreshing with seconds to go to try and time my winning bid as late as poss (snip.pl, i am indebted to you, really). Adrenalin buzz, etc.
So there you have it. Whilst writing Manifest has moved another couple of hundred New Zealand dollars closer to being funded, hurrah! Now, let's see if we can hit that stretch goal to get a dual sided map, would love that!