This will be my second “Quickstarter” — the previous being the first edition of Gate Watch, which was was a success on Kickstarter in 2019.
I love the creative power of constraints, so like last time, I am attempting to embraces the following ethos:
- Quickstarter is about thinking small and simple.
- Quickstarter is keeping it fun & “Do It Yourself”.
- Quickstarter doesn’t take over your life and is not a job.
To this end, I am following these Quickstarter Rules:
- Plan it in three months or less.
- Campaign for less than 20 days.
- Funding goal under $1,000.
- Rewards under $50.
- A short & sweet video or none at all.
- No PR or media outreach (unless contacted).
- No paid ads on social media.
- No stretch goals.
- Ship quickly.
- Keeping the Price Low, the Shipping Simple
Fulfilled by DriveThruCards
Also in the spirit of a Quickstarter, this game consists of just poker-sized cards in a simple tuckbox, delivered PoD (“Print-On-Demand”) by DriveThruCards. This allows me to offer a full game to my US customers for under $20 for Gate Watch, under $25 for Twilight Road, or under $38 for both!
As before, your pledge here on Kickstarter is only a partial payment that gets you a code to order from DriveThruCards At-Cost (meaning at the printer actual cost for printing, currently ~$8.17 for Gate Watch, or ~$10.27 for Twilight Road) plus your Shipping Fee. You’ll pay this to DriveThruCards after you receive the discount code, so that you can handle your own shipping and address information at that time.
In the US, shipping is ~$5.00 for Gate Watch, or ~$6 for Twilight Road, but only ~$6 for both! However, if you’re somewhere outside the US, shipping is more expensive. In Canada it starts at $12 and it only goes up from there. See the DriveThuCards Estimated Shipping Costs page for more information.
Table: Kickstarter Cost + DriveThruCards “At Cost” + US Shipping = Total Price The advantage of this approach is that it allows this Kickstarter to be lean, quick, and simple, so that I can easily offer more story games like this in the future. It also has the added benefit that I don’t have to inflate the prices to cover any potential production or postage hikes, so I can offer the best possible price!
$5,000 Stretch Goal:Tableau text & templates available CC-BY-SA as a Free Cultural Work!
Free Cultural Work 1.1
I am going to break one of the above Quickstarter rules. However, I believe doing so still meets the spirit of of a Quickstarter. There is one, and only one Stretch Goal:
If this Kickstarter receives pledges in excess of $5,000, I will make this entire Tableau game system and both of these Playsets available under the Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike License, aka CC BY-SA 3.0, making it a Free Cultural Work. I will make the Tableau trademark free-to-use if you agree not to infringe on other peoples’ intellectural properties (e.g. no Star Wars playsets unless you have permission!). I will make all of my templates for both the cards and the DriveThruCards tuckboxes available as well, in an easy-to-use Apple Pages and Apple Keynote format (though feel free to create your own templates!)
What does this mean? It means that anyone can make their own Tableau cards, do their own Quickstarters, sell their own Playsets 🎞 deck designs, and innovate new storytelling game designs based on these rules, provided that they give credit and share their own work to the community in the same way. I hope that together we can create a movement toward a new style of collaborative storytelling play!
Risks and challenges
Every Kickstarter has its risks, but I’ve designed mine to keep those risks to a minimum. I have also been involved with a number of other game & book related Kickstarters, and this is my second Kickstarter of this type of game, so I have a good understanding of the challenges. Both Playsets are already written & complete, have been playtested with both roleplayers and non-roleplayers, and only need final editing and fine-tuning. The card and tuckbox design has been polished & tested with trial runs. The cards will be produced by PoD publisher DriveThruCards, who has a fully automated production cycle, from digital design to manufacture of packaged decks of cards, and has been delivering cards and games for many years. All that is left to do at the end of this Kickstarter is for me to give DriveThruCards your email address; they will send you a code to redeem the physical cards, and you pay them directly for the actual printing & shipping. I’ve believe that I have anticipated everything I can, and kept everything as simple as possible. This campaign is low enough in budget and I have enough contingency both in terms of time and funds, that I’m confident that I can cope with any unforeseen challenges.