I have stayed away from Kickstarter for a little while recently. The avoidance isn’t any kind of “protest against their business model” or a stand against the notion that everyone and their brother has a Kickstarter. No, it’s that I would get too excited about things that I shouldn’t be buying. This surge of ideas and funding in the gaming community (and beyond) make it difficult to hold onto my money. But, as I’ve said before, if I can’t financially support a good idea, I can at least spread that idea around for others to see.
Most recently, Fred Hicks and Evil Hat Productions took my money (and the money of quite a few others). Although, for what I got for my money, I feel like I robbed him in some fashion. You can expect to hear more about my thoughts on the Fate Core System in the future. In the meantime, we have the final novel in Alana Abbott’s fantasy trilogy, some remarkable 28mm miniatures for the Torn World from Center Stage Miniatures, and my thoughts on the developments with Tabletop Forge and Roll20.
I got to know Alana Abbott through mutual friend and fellow freelancer Andrew Schneider. Each of us has contributed to the digital pages of Dungeons & Dragons Insider and I always like to keep up with my “co-workers,” trade ideas, and talk shop. Alana is currently Kickstarting the third novel of her trilogy, Regaining Home. For a taste of her writing, the previous two books in the series, Into the Reach and Departure are currently available on DriveThruFiction.com and (as of the time of this post) they are on sale!
I always try to support fellow freelancers and I’ll point out that Alana has also enlisted Shawn Merwin (another freelancer I met through my work on D&DI) for editing duties. Whether it’s true or not, I always equate money to writers as food on the table (but that’s probably just me).
Torn World 28mm Miniatures
Center Stage Miniatures has launched their second miniatures Kickstarter with a line of figures in support of the Torn World setting. This setting has a lot of potential and more preview art has appeared throughout the past few months, along with the promise of a Kickstarter of their own. I’m impressed with the look of Center Stage Miniatures’ sculpts and, if I have one complaint, it’s this:
Why didn’t anyone tell me about their demon miniatures Kickstarter?!? Seriously, you guys. Nobody thought to point that one out to the guy who’s all about demons? Fine, then I won’t tell you that several forthcoming articles I’ve penned for D&DI could have put those miniatures to serious use!
I have to say, though, if those demon sculpts are any indication, combined with the amazing art style and wild vision of the Torn World, these figures have some strong potential, either in their native setting or for some incredible NPCs in your homebrewed game. (And I remain morbidly curious about the blindfolded Little Red Riding Hood with the hatchet and the excessively locked picnic basket. I am concerned for Grandmother’s health and safety, and not because of the large wolf population around her woodland cottage.)
Tabletop Forge/Roll20 News
Quite some time ago I backed Tabletop Forge, a virtual tabletop intended to function through Google Hangouts. I liked the concept, there was a strong vision, and the artwork rewards alone made it worth it. But, as with all Kickstarter projects, there was risk. Tabletop Forge was unable to deliver on its original goal due to changes (and what sounded like losses) in personnel. However, the Kickstarter did not leave backers out in the cold or out of the loop.
Not only did Tabletop Forge maintain excellent levels of communication, when the project was at its end, backers were directed to Roll20.net, another VTT platform (after being provided with their art resources) and given permanent backer status on this other platform. If there is a model for failing and leaving a happy customer behind, this is it!
The process for transferring was explained well and included further instructions for those who might have odd exceptions (such as backing the KS with one email, but using a different email for a previously existing Roll20.net account, as was my case). Within 24 hours of sending my email that explained which email addresses were used for what, and which I wanted associated with my Roll20.net account, the switch was done. Flawlessly.
I’m more than happy that the “last man standing” from the Tabletop Forge project is joining the team at Roll20.net. My first experiences with the VTT give me a lot of confidence in their product and I’m looking forward to exploring “virtual gaming” (something I’ve always turned up my nose at) in an experiment in 2013. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted.
And, if you’re contemplating a VTT, I highly recommend Roll20.net.