Hubris and Hyperbole
This post is pretty much the greatest post you are going to read today. I wanted to start out humble, but I simply cannot contain how awesome it is that I will be using whole words and phrases in orders and ways you probably have never seen before, I…
I can’t do this. I can’t keep up that level of egotism for long. Not because I’m incapable of it, or I don’t enjoy it or anything but because if I keep it up, I might get stuck that way. It’s like what your mother always told you about your face sticking that way if kept it up too long. Really, what I want to talk about today is a trend I’m seeing on Kickstarter more and more, and why you shouldn’t do it.
Show don’t tell is one of those archetypal rules in writing. Don’t tell me that the house is creepy, show (describe) the house to give the impression of creepy. It is far more authentic and effective, and advice given by… everyone, really. So why are so many people bucking the trend, and taking a walk on the wild side? I understand that to stand out on Kickstarter, you have to toot your own horn to some extent, but some people are getting carried away.
Yesterday, a new board game was posted, their brief description was “A Board Game combined with a Collectible Card Game as never done before, we bring an epic game of…” they went on further in their description to add plenty of details, though the only one that has never been done before is the legally questionable ability to use Magic the Gathering cards in liu of the deck the game that it comes with. Is this the most effective way to make me back your project? Shouldn’t you leave it to your backers to say things like “OMG this game is so good I can’t believe no one has ever thought of doing [random mechanic] before!”
Another board game to launch this weekend said of itself, “You will find a sense of satisfaction when you play [name of game], and you will want to play it again and again. … If you lose a treasure to an opponent, you will find yourself trying desperately to get it back. If you succeed and play the treasure as your own, it will be the talk of the game. When the game is done, you will sit with your friends and family, and everyone will want to share their experience of the game.” Again – this seems like putting several carts in front of the horse here. As a frequent and experienced board game player, I have rarely felt the need to “share (my) experience of the game” with everyone in most cases.
Both of the above quoted games have raised a great deal of money to date, and will in all likelihood succeed in spite of their awkward phrasing and over-promised mechanics (a 16 player expansion to a world conquest board game, really? How long do you imagine each round will take?) I think that a better pitch could help these, and many other projects out though. After all, in the increasingly crowded field of crowd funding, one needs every edge if they hope to succeed.