I’m a Backer: Rivet Wars
January has had a flurry of projects. Starting on the second the volume spiked up significantly in a post holiday boom. Unfortunately, the last two weeks have brought me almost nothing I want to support. The majority feel rushed, derivative or uninspired. Fortunately I found a single project to back. This week I am a backer of Rivet Wars, and I can’t wait to tell you what a great looking game it is.
Want to know why I gave them my money, and why you should give them yours? Read on!
Rivet Wars, to quote its creators is a “miniatures boardgame that springs forth from the warped imagination of Ted Terranova - set on a world that never quite left World War I but with crazy technology like walking tanks, diesel-powered armor, unicycled vehicles and armor-plated cavalry!” From the game play videos, and there are plenty, this seems to be a fair assessment.
The game seems relatively fast paced, and fun to play. It involves spawning new troops on a regular basis, and running them into the no mans land at the battlefields center to capture strategic bunkers while your opponent does likewise. Just like the real WWI this tactic has a very high mortality rate, but thanks to the wonderfully stylized art style, it remains light-hearted. Game play resolved around rolling six-sided dice, and seems relatively easy to pick up.
There are two very good reasons back this project: to play the game, or to get your hands on the miniatures that come with it. If you buy in at the $90 level the minis are currently running $1.73 a piece, and if you buy in at the $150 level they are $2.88 (though they will fall to $1.97 a piece at the next major stretch goal, $20k from now.) I’m not sure what else one would do with these minis, but I love the style, and I’m sure there are other uses to be found.
Enough about the game though – what about the project? The quality of this project, like so many CoolMiniornot projects is top-notch. The starting video really sells the project, and I can’t imagine a way it could be improved. The other videos associated with the project, including the 45 minute game play video are also very good. The above, combined with comprehensive written descriptions and details present on the project page clearly spell out exactly what you are getting.
Both project and product are great; for once I have no criticisms about either. This time, the only question I am left with, is does the project really NEED my money? While this is not a part of everyone’s crowdfunding worldview, it is a part of mine. To date the creators of CoolMiniornot’s projects have made 3 million dollars, which probably ranks them pretty high on the charts. In the end, this is a question that readers will need to decide for themselves. I mean, EA or Ford could launch a Kickstarter but for variety of reasons, they really shouldn’t. Kickstarter is not a store, and as such is not a mechanism for pre-orders so much as a platform for funding projects that would not have happened otherwise.
I’d love to hear from the rest of you on this subject.
I had a chance to sit down with the creators and ask them a couple of questions:
Rivet Wars is a really interesting idea – where did you come up with it?
Rivet Wars started as a single sketch of a steam punk tank. Then the world was built around that image. The style of the rivet soldiers is actually inspired by the cross-section of a riveted piece of WWI armor.
Rivet Wars has already achieved its funding. Any idea when we can expect to see more “sides” in the spectrum of stretch goals, as you elude to in the main video?
Rivet Wars: Eastern Front focuses on the conflict between the Blight and Allied forces. These two factions have a multitude of vehicles and soldiers which have yet to be revealed not to mention the possibility of aerial combat. Of course there are several other factions in this world and we can never rule out the possibility that one of them might join in the fight!
Your main reward tier is at $90. Is this what you expect to sell the game for after you fulfill your backers?
The MSRP for the game is planned for $100 – 50+ high quality miniatures, game boards, tiles, tokens and lots of plastic objectives and bunkers.
Kickstarter seems to be a key part of your business model. Do you see this continuing as you go forward?
It’s certainly a good way of validating games and testing if ideas resonate with gamers. Our campaigns have become a little like extended focus groups that pull in lots of different voices from all over; the feedback has been very valuable. We have published one successful title, Super Dungeon Explore, before using Kickstarter, but Kickstarter has greatly simplified our production planning as well as allowing us to reach large numbers of gamers much more easily. It seems that the industry is changing around what is a very new marketing approach.
Coolminiornot has had some spectacularly successful projects. What do you think the most important thing a creator can do to be successful in the crowd funding world?
It depends on your definition of success – for me it extends beyond simply raising a lot of money and goes all the way to pleasing backers and delivering the promised rewards. Don’t make them regret supporting you. With that in mind the most important thing is be sure you’re ready. The product, or the at least the idea of the product, needs to be as fleshed out as possible – the less pie in the sky, the better. You need to be ready to communicate your ideas effectively, with your team members in place to answer questions and tweak your campaign as you go. Your base, your core of fans, needs to be ready to back you up when you launch your campaign. Your product costing and logistics needs to be worked out in advance as far as possible. You need to be completely together; don’t take the money unless you are – it doesn’t matter if you raise a million dollars only to realize you’ll need two million to keep your word.