James Wallis levels with you


A week ago I put up a post talking about the just-started Kickstarter campaign for Alas Vegas, my new RPG. I’ve just written a sober description of that week for the Spaaace front-page blog, inviting analysis. But this is my personal blog, so here are some personal opinions.

1. Kickstarter is as addictive as meth, and possibly as bad for your teeth. Certainly for your fingernails.

2. Alas Vegas hit its funding goal in seven and three-quarter hours. Before the campaign started I was honestly wondering if £3000 was ambitious for a first Kickstarter. We hit that target in a third of a day. Then we blew through the first two stretch goals in the rest of that day, and knocked down the third—Yet Already, a fantastic fractured-time setting for the game’s Fugue mechanics, designed by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, in a couple of days more.

If you’re one of the people who has pledged money to Alas Vegas, thank you. Thank you more than I can say. If not, then…

3. Things have slowed down a bit now, which is a shame as we’re just getting to the really interesting stretch goals—Allen Varney, Robin D. Laws and others have offered material, but progress has got bogged down in some additional-artwork funding. Which brings me to:

4. Keep your campaign focused, don’t let it pull in two directions. Alas Vegas has a lot of people asking for an official Tarot deck. Well, that would be great, but it’s equally clear that there are a lot of people who don’t care a sou for Tarot decks one way or another, and who won’t back the Kickstarter while we’re asking for money for Tarot art. I have got a solution for the Tarot fans, conditional on sign-off from a couple of people, but as soon as we’ve cleared this stretch goal (it’s to commission the rest of the Major Arcana from the amazing John Coulthart) then the Alas Vegas campaign will be back to cool new stuff for the game.

5. Seriously, Allen Varney’s pitch for his new Fugue mechanics setting made me spit assorted foodstuffs across my laptop. It’s genius. And before that we have John Tynes promising to write a selection of Vegas-style cocktail recipes for Alas Vegas, suitable for drinking while playing the game.

6. Did I mention that this is the most fun I’ve had in the games industry for a long time? Not counting Warpcon, of course.

7. Which leads me to a future post, which I will write when I have time, about gamification. It’s been fermenting for a long time, and I think you’ll enjoy it. But it won’t happen until you have pledged more of your money. Go on! You could get the game dedicated to you.

Categorised as: funding | narrative | roleplaying games

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