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August 10, 2014 / Jett

So I Backed My First Kickstarter

Off the strength of a countless number of success stories, the crowdfunding process have become a staple of the modern entreprenurialship. Thanks to services like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, entrepreneurs have an easier way of raising money for their projects while backers can receive exclusive stuff for their support. Crowdfunding successes can be found in virtually every field, from video games, movies, books, and even potato salad.

While I’m all for the crowdfunding model, and I’ve certainly purchased Kickstarter products after the fact, I’ve been reluctant to back a project. Understanding the fact that Kickstarter is not a store and that the completion of any given project isn’t guaranteed, I haven’t been comfortable with the thought of giving my money to a scam or a project that won’t make it through. However, with the release of one particularly appealing project and weeks of internal debate, I decided to put my money behind one.

The first project to earn my dollars is Yomi from Sirlin Games. This card-based fighting game won me over in a big way earlier this year. Now, Sirlin Games is adding 10 new character decks to the experience, revising some of the old decks with balance changes, new play mats and much more. A number of factors specific to this project forced my hand:

1. Sirlin Games is a proven commodity

The company is primarily run by one guy, but he’s published a few other games in the past, such as Yomi, Puzzle Strike and Flash Duel. Even before the crowdfunding era hit its stride, he was able to publish games successfully. I am confident in his ability to deliver a product, especially when the funds raised have far surpassed his original goal for this project.

2. I already love the game

As a proud owner of the first edition of Yomi, I already know what I’m getting into. This Kickstarter was simply offering me more of what I love.

3. I already tried some of the new characters

The Round 2 set of characters are partially available to play for free through the online version of Yomi. I really like the character designs and the ways in which those decks differ from the others already in play. In particular, I love Gwen. She doles out a ton of damage and has a lot of combo potential, but a crippling diseases causes her to lose health points after every turn.

4. The specific package I want to buy probably won’t be made available at retail

This new edition of Yomi is likely going to be sold in two separate configurations: in two-deck packs and as a 20-deck box. Neither of these suit what I’m looking for, which is all of the new character decks and the revised cards for the old decks. Through the Kickstarter, there’s a pledge level that gives me exactly that. With this likely being my only shot at getting the exact configuration I want, it was really hard to pass up.

Hopefully in the next little while, my Kickstarter rewards will come in and I will have helped successfully launch the next era of a game I love. Does this make me more comfortable with participating in more crowdfunding projects? I don’t know. The combination of me receiving my rewards at the end of this as well as seeing businesses or entrepreneurs with an established reputation push their projects will make it easier to part with my money should I choose to do so. Still, for those types of projects, unless there’s extras in the Kickstarter that I absolutely must have, then I’d rather just buy the finished product from a store and let others carry that risk.

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