Kickstarting Eminent Domain

by Michael on October 18, 2010

I was struggling with the length of this post.  If it is long, then I will lose interest before I get to the punchline.  However, if it is too short, then people that want to know more will be left out.  So, I attempt to deliver to you the best of both worlds…

The Short Version

Why is Tasty Minstrel Games going to use Kickstarter to fund Eminent Domain?

  • Without up-front support, there is insufficient monetary capital to move forward immediately.  I turned off the faucet to my wallet…
  • Eminent Domain is at least a full-year away from coming out.
  • I believe in letting the market make decisions, if you want it early, then you can help make it happen.
  • Despite my original skepticism of the idea, not trying and testing kickstarter would be irresponsible.

Here is the promo video that we will be using initially for the kickstarter project when it goes live:

Of course, please feel free to share the video with others.  Also, if you would like to get notifications by email about the project, please enter your information in the ugly form below.

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FYI, if you signup for this, I will only ever email you about Kickstarter projects that we have going, and nothing else.

Now that the short version has been handled, if you want to know more and participate, then please read below…

The Long Version

Seth originally came to me about utilizing Kickstarter to bring Eminent Domain out several months ago.  I admit, I was very skeptical at first, because I was worried that a failed Kickstarter project would essentially destroy the Intellectual Property value of the game.

Since then, I have realized that there are ways to prevent this, and that my fears were out of line.  Lets start with the basics…

What Is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a place where you can find funding for any creative project.  They only have one catch; you should not be using Kickstarter if you actually have funding for a project.

You are not however soliciting donations in exchange for nothing, but are enticing support for the project by providing rewards.  These can range from the super simple and cheap (like a sticker or button) to the super awesome and expensive (like a private appearance of a band at your party).  Prices can be $1-10,000 for any given reward.

How Is Kickstarter Different From A P500 System?

When you pledge your support for a project on Kickstarter, you are making a conditional purchase.  Only if the funding level is reached by the pre-determined time will you be charged.  For example, if the desired funding is $25,000, then you will not be charged for your $25 or $100 purchase unless the total pledges is at least $25,000.

Also, Kickstarter is a respected 3rd-party that facilitates the entire process.  If I were to have my own system, and charge people when they bought, then there is an obvious reason to mistrust.  Lots of people have paid for games and waited up to 2-years for it not to come out.

Additionally, if anybody takes funding for a project and then fails to deliver the promised rewards, then Kickstarter will pursue legal action on behalf of their users.

What Rewards Will Be Offered And At What Prices?

This is currently a subject of fairly intense debate behind the scenes at Tasty Minstrel Games.  In keeping with my general philosophy of letting you choose, here is a list of the things we are considering:

  • Copies of the games (at various quantities).
  • Limited edition cover of the game which would be digitally numbered and signed by the designer and artist.  Either 100 or 250 of these available total.
  • Promotional Eminent Domain T-Shirts – my current favorite ideas are: “I <3 Eminent Domain”, “I <3 ED”, and “Eminent Domain for President”.
  • Tasty Minstrel or Eminent Domain Polo Shirts.
  • Poster of the box art.
  • Name in the rules at various supporter levels, such as bronze, silver, gold, etc.
  • Tasty Minstrel Games sponsored game night.  Expensive and Awesome!
  • Shipping outside of the USA.  This would be to cover additional costs for sending things outside of the USA.
  • Your name on one of the Tech advances.

In addition to this, we will also be having a contest for one person to have their name or their likeness on the game box cover.  You will get entries for this, by spreading the word about the project on Kickstarter.

Please comment at the end of the blog post about what rewards are intriguing to you, or with any ideas you have for rewards that could be done.

Time Frame If Successful

We will likely use a 30 day time period to raise the desired funds.  Once the that number is achieved, we will put all of the balls into motion.  With conservative time estimates, I expect that you would receive your copies of the game within 4-6 months.

  • 1-3 months for artwork
  • 2 months for manufacturing
  • 1 month for shipping

Help Make An Amazing Game Become A Reality

One of the best aspects of the experience will be helping to make a great game into a reality.  I have played Eminent Domain a lot.  It is fairly simple to learn, it plays quickly, and the strategic depth is amazing.

I am of course biased towards the games that Tasty Minstrel Games is expecting to publish, but Eminent Domain is as good (probably better) as any other game we have published or coming out shortly.

Be a part of the exclusive club to make it all happen.  You should fill out the ugly form below and sign up to get emails about our Kickstarter projects.

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This email will only be used to let you know about what we are doing on Kickstarter.  FYI – There will be no pre-orders or special deals on Eminent Domain, so make sure that you sign up.

If nothing else, you will be informed about the various updates which will be including lots of neat stuff!  There are probably lots of questions, so please ask away in the comments below.

Related posts:

  1. Kickstarter – 28% Funded for Eminent Domain
  2. Eminent Domain on Kickstarter – Some Backer Stats
  3. TableStar Games Uses Kickstarter
  4. Kickstarter – A Brief Mid-Project Analysis
  5. How-To Build Your Blog’s Brand; An Extensive Guide

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