“Please support my kickstarter”. Have you heard something like this from one of your friends lately? Kickstarter is the world’s largest crowdfunding platform, based in New York City. The company makes it possible for entrepreneurs, small businesses and creative individuals to raise money for their ideas or projects without having to rely on a bank loan. At the same time they can feel out the market and see whether or not there are enough people interested in their product willing to spend money for it.
Crowdfunding goes way back into the 17th century where it was used to finance book prints. Ever since Kickstarter launched in April 2009, 5.1 million people have pledged $851 million, funding 50,000 creative projects. Thanks to Kickstarter a lot of great products, games, movies and art have been created that may have never come to life. All it takes is a passionate individual with a vision and a bunch of backers who come up with the money that is needed to make that vision come reality. And Kickstarter is not the only crowdfunding site today. There are several platforms serving different causes. SellaBand for instance is dedicated to music artists who don’t have enough money to fund the production of their album. It’s probably easier to get your new music crowdfunded than scoring a contract with a record label.
The way Kickstarter works is that creative individuals or small businesses present their ideas on a dedicated page on the Kickstarter platform with enough information to get people excited about their project. The campaign owner needs to calculate the amount needed to complete the project plus covering fees for using the Kickstarter platform. That’s currently 5% for Kickstarter and 3-5% for Amazon, which is collecting all the donations for Kickstarter.
Backers are getting incentives based on the amount of their donation and often times they’ll be the first to try out the finished product. Their contributed amount won’t be charged to their credit cards until the total pledged amount for the campaign has been either met or exceeded. There are many examples of Kickstarter campaigns, that received way more money than they were asking for due to an overwhelming response from excited backers.
David Wilson Brown from Extra-Dimensional Publishing is one of these individuals with a vision, who is driven by his passion for role play games (RPG). He’s American and got introduced to the popular Spanish boardgame “Aventuras en La Marca del Este” that already has a large fan community. Unfortunately, the game isn’t available in English yet, so David took on the project to not only translate and redesign the original game, but also bring the first part of it, called the Red Box, to the U.S. market under the name “Adventures in the East Mark“. Since he cannot do it all alone, he gathered a team of like minded people around him who share the same passion and already got to work. To fund the work and production he created a Kickstarter campaign and I got to ask him a few questions about it:
David, how did you get introduced to this popular Spanish board game and what makes this game stand out?
I met one of my now partners, Pablo, while leading an early online playtest of another game, Numenera. Numenera’s reach is very international and Pablo was playing from Madrid. The playtest came out of a fansite that I run for Numenera called The Ninth World Hub that now has nearly 1,000 members.
Who is this game for and how much time do people usually spend on a single session?
The game is really for anyone who might enjoy a fantasy setting, similar to Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit. It usually consists of a party (3-6) people who are playing as extraordinary individuals in the world that you play in. Brave men and women of renown and able to undertake daring deeds to fight evil where it rears it’s ugly head.
What made you take on this project and why did you pick Kickstarter to fund it?
I recommended to Pablo, who had previously worked as a contributor to the original game that he should tell the others behind the game that they should consider launching a Kickstarter to fund a translation of the game into English as there have been other games, such as Shadows of Esteren (French) and Tenra Bansho Zero (Japanese). They loved my idea but countered and said that I should do it myself! I hadn’t really considered that, but I liked the idea of being more involved in the hobby that I love so much.
What happens after your Kickstarter campaign has successfully been funded?
Well, the primary thing is to oversee the finishing up of the translations (we’re approximately 80% done) and the editing and re-layout processes. Then, we’ll get a PDF copy to our backers for a final proofreading prior to going to print. We’ll get the products printed then delivered as soon as we can after that.
When will the English version (Adventures in the East Mark) be available to the public?
After we deliver all our product to our backers, we will make additional copies to retailers, known in the industry as your Favor Local Game Store or FLGS. There are usually many in your area and they often carry popular board games as well as RPGs and miniatures games.
At the time of this article, David’s Kickstarter already collected over $17,000 of a $21,000 goal with 5 more days to go. If you would like to support him and make sure Adventures in the East Mark is coming to the U.S. market, please visit his Kickstarter page and back him with a contribution of your choice. There are different rewards for donations from your name being listed in the game to a custom built adventure.
You see, it’s not just about donating money, it’s being a part of the process and helping to create a product that you’re excited about. And no matter if you’re an US citizen or an expat living in America, you can take advantage of crowdfunding too and bring your vision to life.