Published on January 5th, 2015 | by Nicole Jekich2
Presents to My Future Self
Why I Advocate for Kickstarter Games
I’ve spent the greater part of 2014 connecting with indie designers and reviewing their games. We’ve covered nearly 40 indie games on AtBG and many of them were tied to first-time Kickstarter campaigns. Around the board game community there are a variety of opinions on using Kickstarter as a means to fund games. Each time you fund a campaign you have to weigh the risk of losing money to a lemon or possibly nabbing a copy of the next hot game on Board Game Geek.
I want to share my thoughts on the benefits of funding a future game that may not be apparent at first. I’m talking about the surprise and joy of receiving a game on your doorstep at a time when smiles are hard to come by.
A year ago, I had a very different life. I had a full time day job that left little time for creative pursuits. The weekday evenings were reserved for game nights with friends, our regular gaming group and supporting our local game stores. The weekends were my anti-social days. I started with a pot of coffee at 8am and feverishly wrote about games, answered emails and scheduled tweets for the week ahead.
Saturday evenings Luke, myself and a couple of close friends would discuss game ideas and casual game testing over a couple beers. I often dreamed of devoting even more time to making games, meeting with designers and attending gaming events. In the spring of 2014, I took up part time work and devoted more time to making games and working on my art.
Flash forward to fall of 2014, and I was a bit less cheerful and motivated. Without getting into a details, we had some unexpected hurdles in our lives that took time away from our hobbies and projects. One noticeable difference was the lack of spending money towards new games and funding Kickstarter campaigns- a habit that I had enjoyed, and which helped AtBG stay on top of gaming trends and finding new designers.
We were restricted to a Christmas without any board game shaped presents, among other luxuries. We grimly planned for Christmas to be just another day in the week–that’s when the packages started to show up.
Then on Friday, Game Salute’s Loot box arrived filled with new releases from Kickstarter including many games that I hadn’t heard of before.
A week later, before ringing in the new year, six little card games from Dice Hate Me Games arrived. This ‘Big Games for Small Pockets’ featured the top 6 card games that came from their 54-card game challenge.
These games were a much needed surprise of cheer and hope at a time where I needed it most. Without knowing it, by funding those Kickstarter projects I was buying presents for my future self! So this year we had a very merry Kickstartermas, and I hope we will be able to continue this new holiday tradition into the future.
Beyond the campaign exclusives and shipping promotions, Kickstarter is a great avenue for designers to turn their side project into a product and their weekend pursuits into a business and career. I cannot stress it enough that supporting Kickstarter campaigns, even at $1, helps get games made that otherwise might not have seen game shelves. Now get out there a support some designers! Your future self will be happy you did.