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Chaosium Kickstarter: Horror on the Orient Express Box set

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#981 Cearlan

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 12:41 PM

Boy, ain't THAT the truth!  There were a lot of pretty annoying aspects to this whole thing.  All in all, I'm thinking Kickstarter may not be an ideal fit for Chaosium's business model....  *sigh*

 

While it is annoying ... I think the problem lay more with the fact that Chaosium CHOSE to release the HotOE boxset to general retail before looking after those who backed it. Stretch goals notwithstanding.

 

I still think crowdfunding, either through Kickstarter or some other means is a viable method for Chaosium to raise the cash. I mean - the Kickstarters they had were both funded within hours. What they did after that is where the wheels came off a bit imvho.


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#982 Pugwash

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 02:08 AM

In theory it seems that Kickstarter is well suited for a product like HOTOE, where the production costs of such a premium item would make normal publication prohibitive (assuming you factor realistic shipping an add-ons).  You can imagine that, for example, the limited edition run of Masks might have also been a good opportunity, with a short print run of premium edition books used to fund a regular print run that you sell via normal channels.

 

However, using Kickstarter for something like the core rules for a new edition of the game seems much less like a good fit.  You want the core rules readily available as they spur interest in all your products, and can be used by licensees (thus driving further sales). You could subsequently kickstart a premium edition of the rules later (like Green Ronin did with M&M 3e) but you need the basic edition of the new rules out there in the world in a much more dependable way first. Regrettably the 7e kickstarter became more of a pre-order service, which has made this process very awkward when deadlines were not met.

 

There is a part of this process that makes me think we're now just more privy to what has been a long-running business practice where the distance between having a solid concept and early draft, and a finished product has always been particularly elastic for some companies (Pulp Cthulhu for example).


Edited by Pugwash, 04 August 2015 - 02:31 AM.

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#983 jlynn

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 06:15 AM

I still think crowdfunding, either through Kickstarter or some other means is a viable method for Chaosium to raise the cash. I mean - the Kickstarters they had were both funded within hours. What they did after that is where the wheels came off a bit imvho.

 

I guess my point is that the "what they did after" seems to BE the problem -- and is based on how they customarily do business.  That being the case, Kickstarters may not be their cup of tea.  They seem to lack the management and communications skills to effectively deal with a major paradigm shift.  Historically, they've designed in-house, taking as much time as they needed and only teased the customer base with pre-ads when they were pretty close to delivery.  In the case of Kickstarter, they launched at an early stage of development, counting on the money to help them do a better job, but then lacked the "stamina" (for lack of a better word) to manage their audience's whetted appetite and keep them informed.

 

Now that's not to say that the new, new management can't do a better job in the future, but in my personal experience, there tends to be a certain "corporate mentality" that tends to keep organizations operating in roughly the same way.  For example, when I was in the USAF, we used to joke that in STRATCOM (or SAC, before that) everything was "managed by checklist," whereas in Tactical Air Command, everything was "managed by crisis."  The same people could switch between the two different organizations (and frequently did), but the organization they worked for at the moment always seemed to force them into the path followed by that particular organization.  I've seen it elsewhere in both military and civilian life.  My point?  Kickstarter clearly has the ability to raise a lot of money quickly for them.  But handling the entire process after the campaign closes will require some honest self-appraisal and thought, since the path they followed the last couple of times actually hurt them more than it helped in many ways.  For starters, they should probably have things a lot closer to finished on the writing side of the blanket before they launch a Kickstarter, and they should have a firm grasp on what the extra money can bring in terms of improved production quality vice product quantity.  They should also have a very firm structure in place to manage the finances, ensure project flow, and enhance communications with the supporting community.  Finally, they should do their research BEFORE the KS launches and make sure they have a grip on shipping, production and operational costs that the project will create prior to committing to do it (which will also give them a much more realistic idea of the actual timelines involved -- two years past projected delivery date is a failure in anyone's book).

 

Anyway, that's what I think.



#984 Cearlan

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Posted 08 August 2015 - 10:15 AM

I guess my point is that the "what they did after" seems to BE the problem -- and is based on how they customarily do business.  <snip>  Anyway, that's what I think.

 

Cannot agree more with what you say jlynn. Just two different way of saying the same thing I reckon.


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#985 carpocratian

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Posted 08 August 2015 - 04:20 PM

I no longer back rpg Kickstarters unless they indicate that the writing is complete, and that the Kickstarter money is only to add art, do some additional editing, and print out the final product. 

 

There are a few Kickstarters that I backed that still haven't delivered the final goods two years later.  There is no reason that a backed Kickstarter for an rpg should take that long to deliver.

 

I definitely won't touch Kickstarters from any company that has a history of not delivering on them, management change or not.  If the new management of Chaosium does more Kickstarters and delivers them in a reasonable amount of time, I might consider backing another in the future, but they're going to have to do a pretty good job on several of them to win my trust at this point.



#986 jlynn

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Posted 08 August 2015 - 05:34 PM

Cannot agree more with what you say jlynn. Just two different way of saying the same thing I reckon.

 

Yep.  I think we're actually in violent agreement, here.... :-)


I no longer back rpg Kickstarters unless they indicate that the writing is complete, and that the Kickstarter money is only to add art, do some additional editing, and print out the final product. 

 

There are a few Kickstarters that I backed that still haven't delivered the final goods two years later.  There is no reason that a backed Kickstarter for an rpg should take that long to deliver.

 

I definitely won't touch Kickstarters from any company that has a history of not delivering on them, management change or not.  If the new management of Chaosium does more Kickstarters and delivers them in a reasonable amount of time, I might consider backing another in the future, but they're going to have to do a pretty good job on several of them to win my trust at this point.

 

That's a sound policy.



#987 littleo

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Posted 08 August 2015 - 05:58 PM

Goodman games, Golden Goblin, and Cubicle 7 have my continued support for future COC kickstarters. They have delivered within a reasonable time frame. The common theme in all these- doing their best to avoid project bloat, and reasonable updates about the progress. Everyone else I have supported has been way over the mark, including some non COC related rpgs.

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#988 gazza567

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 11:14 PM

Looks like everyone has got theirs now except me. I am getting very poor responses from them. Last time it was I will get you the information asap. That was over 10 days ago. Feeling very annoyed

Edited by gazza567, 28 August 2015 - 06:36 AM.

dulce decorum est

#989 dce

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 06:51 AM

I got an interesting surprise in the mail today ... no, not my steamer trunk filled with HotOE, and not even my contributor copy of HotOE (both have still yet to arrive). No, the unusually enormous but suspiciously light box that I received today was the piece of Chaosium history/memorabilia that I was due as a Orient Express KS backer at the limited "Ancient History" pledge level.

 

For those that are curious, the "piece of history" is a sample of a page or two from orginal proofing drafts for the 1st edition Orient Express (complete with hand-written scribbles and corrections), all mounted and framed. My framed display includes the proofing draft of page 1 of the Zagreb chapter as well as an illustration of the Cathedral car. Overall the display looks pretty neat.

 

One of the curious things about the lengthy fulfilment process for this KS is that ... literally I had forgotten that I was due to receive this unusual item. So it was literally a (pleasant) surprise. The only down-side is that, contrary to several statements on the KS page this historical item did not actually ship with a certificate of authenticity. Not really a big deal, but it would have been nice to have.

 

I am hopeful that this means that much more of the Orient Express goodies will soon make it to me here in Aus. I am expecting most of it to be a surprise :)

 

 

Dean (from Adelaide)


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#990 gazza567

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Posted 23 September 2015 - 12:49 PM

I am getting really annoyed. Nothing from this Kickstarter and it's been twenty days since I got a response from chaosium. They said they would check to see when it was sent. That was all.
dulce decorum est

#991 PoC

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 09:56 AM

A new update on this crowd funder.
 
Chaosium are winding down the fulfilment to the Horror on the Orient Express Kickstarter which now includes The Empire of Death by Mark Morrison, a scenario set in the 18th Century that fits into campaign.
 

Empire of Death is a new historical scenario for Horror on the Orient Express. It uncovers hitherto unknown secrets from the back story of the Orient Express campaign.
 
Empire of Death is a playable version of an existing handout in the campaign's Paris 1923 scenario, concerning the raid on the estate of an infamous aristocrat of the court of Louis XVI in June 1789. The player characters are French soldiers who investigate an atrocity at a printing press and uncover a conspiracy which brings nightmare to Paris.
 
This additional scenario was made possible by super backers Jason, Thomas, Tom and Travis, the original players of it at Gen Con 2013. It has since been expanded to include six pre-generated player characters and has been playtested in Melbourne and Seattle.
 
Empire of Death contains the background and guidance necessary for running the scenario in the 18th century setting, and is being written to the standard of the other historical scenarios in the campaign.
 
This decadent scenario can also be played as a stand-alone Call of Cthulhu adventure, without reference to Horror on the Orient Express.

Empire of Death will be formally released at Gen Con 2017, and will be available in both print and PDF.



#992 sasori

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 02:23 PM

This Kickstarter is just the gift that keeps on giving! I was not expecting anything else, and then another adventure! Nice!



#993 jlynn

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 07:38 PM

I must say that it does seem that Chaosium is doing their utmost to restore their reputation as a class act. This is just another very nice gesture towards all of us who suffered through this whole process with them. I have a much better attitude towards them now than I did a year ago. I'd probably even back another Kickstarter from them, as long as they were pretty close to finished with the product, and kept a firm grip on the stretch goal issue.

#994 Afraid of the dark

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 03:15 PM

Well I received my Clandestine game case today, forgot all about it! Very nice indeed.
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#995 jlynn

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 10:27 PM

Well I received my Clandestine game case today, forgot all about it! Very nice indeed.

 

Well, what do you know -- only just over three and a quarter years late...  :?

 

Still, it's nice to hear that they're finally closing the books on this one!
 



#996 nclarke

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 09:03 AM

Think yourself lucky you didn't back Far West.



#997 jlynn

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 11:55 PM

No, I've got that beat -- I backed Ben Patey!

#998 Mawdrigen

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 09:21 AM

No, I've got that beat -- I backed Ben Patey!


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#999 PoC

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 10:10 AM

Discussion of 2017 Masks Props Kickstarter moved to its own thread:

 

Masks Props Kickstarter: London and Cairo (Delphes Desvoivres)



#1000 PoC

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 01:24 PM

Seems appropriate for the 999th post in this thread.

 

Chaosium have announced that they're running low on print stocks with a only few copies remaining in their US and UK warehouses.

 

Horror on the Orient Express: the Journey is about end

 

No reprints, but perhaps another edition in the future (2037)?







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