Seriously, what is wrong with you folks?
As many of you know, I am a huge fan of tabletop roleplaying games, especially those of the “Powered by the Apocalypse”-variety. I have also been known to back many, many such games on Kickstarter, because this tends to be how a lot of these games enter the market.
Now let me tell you the tale (thus far) one one such TTRPG: Fluxfall Horizon.
“Fluxfall Horizon” is a science fiction RPG, in the vein of the television shows “Sliders”, “Quantum Leap”, and “Stargate SG-1”. It is a multiverse sort of game, where characters travel to other versions of Earth, collecting knowledge, technology, or to battle against multiple hostile forces, that are also ‘lancing’ between different realities. It has a quite interesting premise, and is written by an experienced TTRPG creator, Dave Thaumavore.
This is the sort of project that was, in my opinion, a ‘no-brainer’ to back. “Fluxfall Horizon” looked like a sure bet to get funded, and – not surprisingly – achieved that goal in a day. So, everything’s all wine and roses, right?
Well, not quite.
You see, while there has been growth in the backing of FH since that point, it also hasn’t really caught on like many would have expected. In fact, the project is certainly doing well, but after over halfway through its time on Kickstarter, it is just a tad under 200% of the initial goal.
This is not horrible, by any means, don’t get me wrong. But there are many such projects that have grown significantly faster at the same point of their Kickstarter run… and those are projects for significantly inferior TTRPGs, mind you.
Now then, no KS project is ‘owed’ a certain amount of backing from the community, regardless of the bonafides of the creators, or the apparent level of quality of the game. But it never fails to disturb me when I see a project like “Fluxfall Horizon” seemingly stall out after a short amount of time. Will it have a surge in the last week? Almost assuredly, as this seems to be when many potential backers who are ‘on-the-fence’ jump on board, often at the very last minute.
Why, though? The game is already past its goal, the project is moving forward with or without their support. Why wait until the last week or so to jump on board? Unless it is a money issue, which isn’t really an excuse, since we know when the money will be pulled out from Backers, being December 1st.
Furthermore, as I said before, it isn’t all about people being just on the fence. Unfortunately, it appears some people just overlook, or never quite find some high quality games (like “Fluxfall Horizon”), while other such projects seem to rake in the money!… Often without much merit, comparatively speaking.
I am not going to name names, mind you, but I have backed a lot of TTRPGs on Kickstarter. Some have been better than others, obviously, but for some reason many of those inferior games get way more backing than some of the higher-quality ones. It literally makes no sense! The only thing I can think is that some of the inferior games just had better social media presence, better advertising in general, or they dropped some of their own money into it, to boost the apparent outcome artificially?
Again, not making accusations here, I’m just saying it is weird as heck. Also, I don’t like it… not one bit!
Now then, I know I’ve been talking a lot about TTRPGs of Kickstarter of late, either on the blog or the “Loot Mechanics” podcast, and that won’t be stopping anytime soon. But that said, I am not trying to push folks into backing “Fluxfall Horizon”, although I did myself, and believe it is going to be a quality TTRPG. I believe everyone should make their own decisions on such things, after all.
But, I simply cannot fathom nor abide it, when some TTRPG projects are overshadowed by other TTRPG projects that can’t hold a candle to the former. It really makes me question whether or not Kickstarter is the right platform for launching games like this? It also makes me wonder about the sanity of many in the TTRPG community, but that’s neither here nor there.