Welcome to the Crowdfunding Carnival for March! It’s a bit of a weird time, early March. ZineQuest is ‘finished’, but with campaigns starting as late as yesterday there’s still a bit of backlog to dig through. Meanwhile, the bigger, more traditional campaigns are starting to spin up, but they’re often lost in the shuffle.
The campaigns we’re covering this month reflect that reality. There are 25 Zine campaigns here, which I will do my best to sell to you in a sentence or two. I didn’t have to have a hard cutoff like in the middle of the month, but most of the Zines that didn’t make the cutoff were just material for 5e that I don’t have the energy to care about. Such is life.
Here at the beginning of March it’s also worthwhile to reflect on ZineQuest as it is now, here in 2023. Based on numbers, there’s no doubt in my mind that this year was a return to form compared to the misstep of moving the event to August. That said, there’s an enthusiasm gap that seems to have formed between 2021 and now, and it’s in large part due to what happened in 2022. The number of people tracking and providing data on ZineQuest has withered significantly, meaning I don’t have a project count, funding level, or success rate easily at hand to compare to last year or the year before. Based on our August 2022 coverage, this year was significantly better than last year’s Kickstarter’s outing, but I don’t know how it compares to the combined total of the 2022 events, and that’s important because of what happened to Zine Month.
Continue reading Crowdfunding Carnival: March, 2023 →
Welcome back to Crowdfunding Carnival! ZineQuest is all the way back in full swing this year, and I have definitively lost track of everything going on so far. According to Kickstarter there are 158 ZineQuest projects live as of this writing (live, not total, live), and sorry, but I can’t summarize all of them. I can’t.
What I am going to do is show you fifty zines that I thought looked cool. We’ve got everything here: Llamas, procedural generation, ghost porn, bowling, and of course, pirates. This group also includes all of the zines I’ve personally backed so far from this ZineQuest, so you know there’s some good stuff in here. Like I did at the beginning of the month, I’ve divided the projects into three categories. There are full games, playable on their own, supplements of note, adventures and other materials for specific systems, and system agnostic gems, which should work with either any game or any game of a relevant genre. Without further ado, here are fifty more projects of note from ZineQuest 2023.
Continue reading Crowdfunding Carnival: ZineQuest Check-In →
Welcome back to the Crowdfunding Carnival! Now, it’s Thursday, which is a little unusual. I did this, though, for you, dear readers. You see, yesterday was the first day of ZineQuest, and a veritable torrent of zines hit my inbox around the time this article would have otherwise gone to post. That just won’t do, so I held off to pick through the wreckage for you. So now we have over 40 zines, and it’s been just one day! There are some other games too, and of course our second installment of the Crowdfunding Carnival/Kickstarter Wonk fifth anniversary retrospective. Onward!
Continue reading Crowdfunding Carnival: February, 2023 →
Happy new year! First month of the year, first week of the month, that means it’s time for a Crowdfunding Carnival! We’re in the post-holiday doldrums, for sure, and between the solstice season behind us and ZineQuest ahead of us, there aren’t many games being crowdfunded right now. Fear not! I did find a few. At the same time, there’s a whole new year ahead of us, like a blank character sheet. Now seems like a great time not only to look at the games which ran out of the 2023 starting gate, but also at what I think 2023 will bring for RPG crowdfunding in general.
Continue reading Crowdfunding Carnival: January, 2023 →
And the crowdfunding feels like a Carnival!
The games draw you in like a beer
And the folks at the bar, who put bread in my jar
They said ‘this month’s intro got real weird’
It’s December, usually a low time for crowdfunding. People have shifted their discretionary budgets towards holiday gifts, holiday travel, and anything else they need for this season’s set of traditions around turning on all the lights and screaming to beat back the coming solstice darkness. Even so! There are a number of interesting crowdfunding projects on at least two crowdfunding services which are worth a closer look.
Continue reading Crowdfunding Carnival: December, 2022 →
Happy late Halloween, and welcome to the Crowdfunding Carnival! Like many of my friends, I don’t see the start of November as the end of spooky season, especially as the time of the year is still dark and creepy. On Kickstarter, it’s very much the same. Yes, there are a lot of literal horror stories (the deliberate, good kind), but overall there’s way more treats than tricks across the crowdfunding platforms this month. As it’s getting colder, and as we’re setting our clocks back soon, it’s a great time to bundle up inside with a good game, and especially a good new game from one of the many campaigners out there. There’s actually many, many good games this month, more than I could possibly cover! That said, I do think my selection is a great place to start.
Continue reading Crowdfunding Carnival: November, 2022 →
Welcome back to the Crowdfunding Carnival! It’s actual carnival season here in the northeast, with a lot of state fairs happening in the month of October due to the fall harvest. If you’re not into fair food, rickety rides, and farm animals, though, we still have plenty of entertainment coming out of crowdfunding sites as the days get shorter.
October is kind between GenCon and the holiday season, so we’re a little short on product announcements in the hobby as a whole. There’s definitely still action in the crowdfunding space though; last week I reviewed Rae Nedjadi’s Apocalypse Keys, which is being crowdfunded with the help of publisher Evil Hat as we speak. As of this writing there’s a little less than a week to go, so click through if you’re interested.
Beyond the games, there’s also some moves happening in the crowdfunding business. Some are large, some relatively small, but all worth examining. Let’s take a look.
Continue reading Crowdfunding Carnival: October, 2022 →
It’s September! A slight bite in the air, days shortening, and the kids are off to school. Quick, go look for crowdfunding campaigns now that you have a spare moment! September marks a change in the season but also a change in focus among RPG crowdfunding coverage as ZineQuest 4 wraps up. ZineQuest 4 puts the bow on what was a really messed up year in RPG crowdfunding, so I’m going to talk about that a bit. Beyond that, there are some ZineQuest campaigns which are still trying to finish off strong, and of course there are plenty of full-sized campaigns across Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Gamefound, and Backerkit.
Continue reading Crowdfunding Carnival: September, 2022 →
Welcome to the Crowdfunding Carnival for August! You know what time it is, it’s…well, you might not know what time it is, because while yes, it’s ZineQuest, 2022 is both the first and last year ZineQuest will take place in August. It’s ultimately a little confusing, which may be why Kickstarter moved next year’s ZineQuest back to February before this one even happened! Nevertheless, it’s happening, and there are a lot of zines to go through, just like every year.
Because it’s August it’s GenCon, which means that usually crowdfunding channels are a bit quiet as many designers and publishers look to the con for promotion. This does seem to be true this year, though there are major campaigns on each of the competing platforms which are worth a look.
The big news under the carnival tent, though, is ZineQuest. It is day three as of this writing, and the initial flood of projects looking to start strong on August first are already out in the world. How are things going?
Continue reading Crowdfunding Carnival: August, 2022 →
It’s July! The weather is hot, and the RPG crowdfunding is…at least a little air conditioned. It’s the month before GenCon, and that means all the big design houses have their sights elsewhere, at least for the most part. Even so, there are plenty of games around and even some worth throwing money towards!
Speaking of GenCon. The biggest crowdfunding-related news in the last month was Kickstarter’s announcement that ZineQuest 2023 would be held in February, even though ZineQuest 2022, moved to August at the beginning of this year, hasn’t even happened yet. I don’t exactly know why this announcement was made so early; if it has any effect it’s probably to take the wind out of the sails of the event that’s scheduled for next month. It is possible that pre-launch metrics aren’t looking pretty, or that the GenCon co-marketing opportunities that were purportedly the reason for the time switch in the first place didn’t materialize. No matter the reason, we’ll be here next month covering ZineQuest 2022, just like we have for the last few years.
Continue reading Crowdfunding Carnival: July, 2022 →