PDA

View Full Version : Kickstaster Overcommit Strecth Goals?



hammer
08-31-2013, 12:38 PM
I listened to the recording on thehexvault.com of the The DragonCon panel "Kickstarting Videogames" at 12:26 Cory Says they probably did overcommit on some of their stretch goals and that they are probably going to see the impact later and that this is one of the biggest risk in terms of overfunding is what you throw in to keep that excitement high.

There were lots of really interesting points specifically about the hex kickstarter raised in the panel discussion, but I wonder which stretch goals that Cory felt were overcommitted (the year 1 drafts for non pro $250 tier?) what else do you think Cory was referring too?

Falaris
08-31-2013, 12:44 PM
They've already acknowledged that the Pro Player tier was an overcommittment (which people agreed with since they picked up all the Pro Player Tiers quickly). My gut is that Grand King is the best tier for the value.

MugenMusou
08-31-2013, 12:49 PM
As you said, draft addition. Also throwing in so many additional booster packs would definitely change ecosystem of Set.1 cards compared to any other future expansions. Other than that, I am not sure if they would be losing much more money e.g. tablet support is something they should have done from get go (and probably had planned anyways), cut scene thing is only for opening which should not cost them that much additional money (definitely not to the level they made extra). Story writer? Not sure how much they are paying for the person, but should not be that much either.

Overall, I think it was great move on their part because not only that they got such successful funding but also it also sets high standard to all the future games. There are some dTCG that catches my eye on the kickstarter right now, but the issue is after seeing HEX kickstarter, none of those seem to be a good deal (not even close). So may be unitentional, but they can think of the overcommitment is partly affecting/paying back themselves with blocking future dTCG.

Grumph
08-31-2013, 12:54 PM
Getting hex working on mobile platforms and hexcon were probably the biggest and most costly commitments made. Those would be my guesses for stretch goal over commitments.

funktion
08-31-2013, 12:59 PM
Actually on their end I wouldn't be surprised if it was the collector tier that ends up costing them. Sure the pro-player is lost revenue in a way, but I imagine a lot of those players will still also be paying for drafts as well (I know I will), and that doesn't even take into account that if you don't play your drafts one week then they didn't really miss out on anything.

With the collector tier though... there's only 1733 people who have that reward, but the art has a very real cost. Sure, it's a promo but it's one that will be in very limited supply.

All of the stretch goals you mentioned are something that everyone who plays the game potentially benefit from, so it's definitely a gain for the game. With that said, I don't really have any clue how much any of that stuff costs so I can't really speak to that.

Edit: oh yeah... forgot about hexcon...

MoikPEI
08-31-2013, 01:02 PM
I really think it's tablet support. The device ecosystems, and resulting compatibility problems, are deceptively deep.

BossHoss
08-31-2013, 01:28 PM
I think it has very little to do with money and the true overcomittment being time. It's easy to throw out ideas that people come to expect and the time it takes to implement it expands faster than the cost

lucedes
08-31-2013, 01:38 PM
Adding 1 year of drafts to the $250 tiers was not an overcommitment in any way. it made the dungeon crawler and raid leader tiers worthwhile in terms of the boosters available, where before that you would've honestly gotten more value buying two kings.

probably the issues are tablet support and hexcon. i was honestly hoping they wouldn't reach hexcon because it might be better for the overall health of the game.

Rycajo
08-31-2013, 01:39 PM
I agree BossHoss. The time commitment to deliver additional dungeons at lunch, Keep defense at launch, etc is where I expect the over commitment issues originate.

Hopefully the Hex community can deal with any disappointments in timing and simply enjoy the game as it develops.

zadies
08-31-2013, 01:45 PM
They said stretch goals not tier rewards. It was likely the replay system, additional content at launch aka dungeons&raids that were planed out for pve progression that are now there originally during lainch thus pushing the pve timetable up hexcon and tablet support.

Xintia
08-31-2013, 01:45 PM
Yeah I'm thinking Cory was probably referring to things like the tablet support and HexCon. Sure giving away free drafts is "lost" revenue in a sense that the packs are created without being purchased. But at the same time, this does not "cost" CZE anything in terms of effort to produce. And I would argue the lost revenue is probably offset by other gains. Pro Tier and other players are likely to be spending money on other things too. Things like tablet support, art assets, and physical conventions like HexCon are all significant additional expenses above and beyond the production of the game.

Grumph
08-31-2013, 01:47 PM
I'd imagine they would have gotten a significant investment even if they didn't have any of the stretch goals as the tiers and the original goals were well worth the price. As a backer I wouldn't be mad if they didn't have all of the promised stretch goals in at launch, as long as they eventually put them in.

MoikPEI
08-31-2013, 02:02 PM
As a backer I wouldn't be mad if they didn't have all of the promised stretch goals in at launch, as long as they eventually put them in.

Same. About half of them don't feel launch-essential to me. If Crafting, Primal Packs, and VIP are up at launch, I'm fine. Guild Tournaments would be really nice, but I'll have a bunch of PvE to keep me busy.

ossuary
08-31-2013, 02:25 PM
I highly doubt he was talking about tablet support or HexCon, as those in particular and a bunch of the "extra feature" items they stretch goaled were all said by Cory to be things they wanted to do all along, but couldn't afford... having the extra money meant they could get the people they needed to add in the crafting earlier, to support tablets at launch (not beta, launch), to add extra graphics / artwork guys so they could have two cities per race, etc.

The stuff that he considers an overcommitment would definitely be all the extra packs, and the expensive kickstarter rewards that they'll have to keep paying for over time (like the custom artwork), the potentially lost future earnings from free drafts, etc.

Also, I agree with the above people that I would be totally fine with some of the rewards or features being delayed for awhile if it means the core game comes out sooner, as long as I know we'll still be getting the delayed items within 6-12 months.

MoikPEI
08-31-2013, 02:29 PM
I don't think Cory is thinking in terms of "Oh man, we aren't going to be able to get as much money as we want. Totally botched the stretch goals. I wish I was giving them less, so they would pay more often and sooner." His comments on F2P during the MMO design panel run contrary to that.

I feel it's an exaggeration to say it would "definitely" be that scenario to the exclusion of all others.

ossuary
08-31-2013, 02:31 PM
Fair enough... but I wasn't talking about it in terms of "oh man, we won't get as much money." I would never accuse CZE of that - their actions plainly speak out against that kind of thing. I more sort of meant it in terms of "yeah, we committed to too much."

zadies
08-31-2013, 03:39 PM
Yes but making them stretch goals and indicating that they would be available at launch when they were planed as future content would likely have at the very least messed with the launch schedule.

hex_colin
08-31-2013, 03:49 PM
Yes but making them stretch goals and indicating that they would be available at launch when they were planed as future content would likely have at the very least messed with the launch schedule.

Hell has frozen over... I agree with Zadies! ;)

More seriously, this is exactly why Cory said they had "overcommitted" - there are too many features that they promised by launch. It has nothing to do with anything they gave away as tiers, digital extras in stretch goals, etc.

Zomnivore
08-31-2013, 04:04 PM
I think Hex con is pretty 'people' expensive and if they're hurrying and rushing hardlong into launch it can be pretty tough to manage I'm sure.

Its not like it isn't important to encourage community growth, but its more like one of those things of 'keeping' and 'highlighting' icons in the community, I think this early into the communities development you're probably not getting as much bang for your buck.

Its an excellent time to get started though if you want to be in that communities groundwork.

Xenavire
08-31-2013, 04:28 PM
hardlong

I had some kind of comment to add before I saw this, then I wet myself laughing and forgot everything. I am so very immature, and easily distracted.

dogmod
08-31-2013, 06:51 PM
Eh I think it is unlikely that HexCon is delaying anything as they stated that the date was TBA and not at launch. Tablet, dungeons, features, all of these I can see.

Deathfog
08-31-2013, 08:07 PM
So long as the base game minus the more advanced stretch goals is completed, the remaining features can be finished up or beta'd themselves as time goes on. I can't wait to play on my Galaxy tab 2 but I'd rather have the game sooner rather than wait a few weeks for full support.

Gridian
09-01-2013, 03:58 AM
Well, I'd be cool if the more time-costly stretchgoals got introduced post-launch.
Then again, we'll be playing soon enough - so for us it does really not matter what happened with the launch schedule. Also, it does not matter for anyone who's ready to buy a Slacker Backer (which, in terms of TCG's, is well priced in my opinion) for they are going to join with us whenever they choose. :-)

zadies
09-01-2013, 10:39 AM
Unfortunately they can't "release" the game officially until all the kickstarter goals for in game items are there otherwise some smart ass might sue them for breach of contract. Best to hope for is an open fully functioning no wipe open beta be well before the actual "release".

TheKraken
09-01-2013, 10:49 AM
Unfortunately they can't "release" the game officially until all the kickstarter goals for in game items are there otherwise some smart ass might sue them for breach of contract. Best to hope for is an open fully functioning no wipe open beta be well before the actual "release".

They didn't sign any contract. The stretch goals were created as incentives to drive up the campaign to make it as successful as it was but they are not legally obligated to fulfill their promises. I have full faith they will, but some of the stretch goals will probably be fulfilled way after launch.

I rather have a robust game lacking in a few features at general launch than a full featured game full of bugs, errors, and poor design.

zadies
09-01-2013, 10:59 AM
It is an implied contract and would definitely tie them up in court a number of the stretch goals do indeed state at launch, so they can't launch until it is ready why cause bad press if you can avoid it?

Complaining about bugs errors and poor design while they have already stayed they are vastly extending the alpha period from initial estimates so if you want to play the game immediately you can and if you want to wait until it is a feature complete package you can. So you exclusionary comment is contradictory they just can't say the game "launched" which may cause a delay in getting the second set.

They are giving both accesses as quickly as they can while avoiding the bad press of launching a game that is less then what was promised the few people that would be upset about the arrangement are much less then the PR nightmare that providing nothing or launching an incomplete package would be.

MoikPEI
09-01-2013, 11:06 AM
but they are not legally obligated to fulfill their promises.

Do not underestimate the lawsuit-crazy US Legal system for leaving openings.
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Promissory+Estoppel
TL;DR - Imaginary contracts based simply on social conventions exist and rule over common small exchanges such as restaurant meals.

I wouldn't action it, but I expect shady class-action type lawyers would try.

ossuary
09-01-2013, 02:01 PM
People throw around the "they aren't legally obligated" thing all the time about Kickstarter. They are absolutely wrong. Kickstarter pledges represent a legally binding contract. A person who is not provided with the rewards they pledged for is legally entitled to a refund. However, there is no set time limit associated with the kickstarter project, all times given are clearly labeled as estimates. The rewards WILL be handed out, just not necessarily exactly when the company originally estimated / planned based on the information they had available at the time.

Anyone who asks for a refund prior to the date the company in question decides to / is able to release their rewards, that request is entirely at the discretion of the company. Only if the company completely fails to deliver is there any kind of legal recourse.

All that aside, actually trying to sue over $100 is an entirely different story (good luck with that). :)

Shadowelf
09-01-2013, 04:16 PM
They knew even during the KS or suspected that it will be hard to deliver everything promised in time. So it's not like we haven't had an advanced warning. This is form update #11

HEX will not be finished at launch!

Now before you panic, let me explain what that means. When I first started outlining all the features I would want in HEX as a gamer, I really let my imagination go wild, I approached it with the thought, "what is the game I want to play?" I didn't hold back and in the end I walked away with a HUGE feature list and a great place to start crafting what HEX would become.

We have been in development for two years, and as we get close to the beta, I look at the game and I am blown away by what the team has accomplished. Each and every team member has contributed to what this game is and brought unique insight into the invention of HEX, making the ideas I had actually work and adding dozens of their own.

I love HEX and could not be more excited to launch the beta and get you playing, but if you were to ask me if the game will have every feature I wanted from that first wish list at launch? Not even close. The game will never be finished for me, and thatís what I meant by the game not being finished at launch. We have a huge list of features we will be adding to HEX in the future, and thatís on top of the features we have already talked about. With the amazing things we have already announced we're offering more than any competitor out there today!

So why am I rambling on about this? I wanted to make it clear that our stretch goals are just that, a stretch. We will be attempting to pull in some features and get them closer to launch, such as Primal Packs and the AI deck builder. This stuff was always in the plan, but much further out. And so, we are in the position of deciding what to promise you now to keep the excitement rolling, but not over commit and force ourselves to delay the launch. Because the absolute last thing I want to do is delay getting you into the game, the sooner you have a chance to actually play HEX, the sooner you will realize just how amazingly fun this game actually is.

zadies
09-01-2013, 04:54 PM
Having a statement like that doesn't cause bad press to go viral. It is much much safer to have an extended alpha and then a soft launch called open beta where we have a feature incomplete but pretty bug free fame then to set a hard public launch date that is feature incomplete compared to what was promised to be in at launch legalities aside.

Public opinion of the game will be formed by did the deliver what was promised yes or no.

Doing a hard launch with an incomplete product makes the answer to that no which calls into question every other statement and lowers the amount of trust people will have in cze.

You are looking at it from a backers perspective not from the perspective of someone who did not back the game because they lacked the faith that they would deliver the product as promised.

Facilier
09-01-2013, 05:28 PM
Do not underestimate the lawsuit-crazy US Legal system for leaving openings.

Can't blame the yanks here. The promissory estoppel doctrine goes back to the House of Lords in Britain, back in 1877:

http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKHL/1877/1.html

And in most respects is actually a nod from the legal system towards reality, as without it society would be pushed further towards requiring a signed contract for any little business interaction.

Would actually be interesting at this point to get a Friday article from them defining what they envisage the Alpha and Beta to be, as these terms have become inconceivably fluid over the years. Would give people clarity and something specific to look forward to (or plan around if the experience outlined in either is not what people want to partake of).

Malicus
09-01-2013, 06:20 PM
Having a statement like that doesn't cause bad press to go viral. It is much much safer to have an extended alpha and then a soft launch called open beta where we have a feature incomplete but pretty bug free fame then to set a hard public launch date that is feature incomplete compared to what was promised to be in at launch legalities aside.

Public opinion of the game will be formed by did the deliver what was promised yes or no.

Doing a hard launch with an incomplete product makes the answer to that no which calls into question every other statement and lowers the amount of trust people will have in cze.

You are looking at it from a backers perspective not from the perspective of someone who did not back the game because they lacked the faith that they would deliver the product as promised.

No one would play an mmo or tcg that was complete at launch or at least not for very long, iteration and development is key in both of these genres so also crucial in an mmotcg. public opinion will be formed based on are they delivering what was promised, as long as the game is moving forward people will generally be happy.

Hard launch or soft launch are actually largely irrelevant to many people being trumped by available or not available.

zadies
09-01-2013, 06:28 PM
There is a difference between finished all development and what was meant as complete in terms of having all promised features included.

People are complaining because to fulfill all promised features the out lined testing time is possibly going to make the first set stale in their eyes.

To the people up in arms over the proposed length if alpha/beta it is realavant saying it is only relevant to a portion of the population when that was the portion that was being addressed due to them having raised concerns is not attacking me but those who raised the concern in the first place.

I personally am quite happy that they seem now to have gone in the direction of treating the alpha as it was originally defined.

Zomnivore
09-01-2013, 07:02 PM
I think the idea that its just 'a donation' has been pretty outdated for a while now. Yes to some extent we're donating money, but we're not getting a tax credit, we're not supporting a charity...we're supporting projects, projects that the person making them, has committed to doing with assistance/funding.

You don't just ask for assistance/funding and then not do what you set out to do. There's a very real consumer relationship here and while it may be about creating a platform for funding a project, we're also being promised a piece of the out put of that project.

Its not like we're getting a stake or a stock, we're asking for a bit of the product made, as part of the risk we take that thing made can fail, but its still gotta get made. We still should receive something produced from that endeavor we funded.

Its not charity, even though the funding can come from a very uplifting well meaning place.

x78089
09-02-2013, 08:03 AM
It is an implied contract and would definitely tie them up in court a number of the stretch goals do indeed state at launch, so they can't launch until it is ready why cause bad press if you can avoid it?
.

Nope, it is not. You need to re-read the KS terms of service. You are not entitled to diddly squat. You made a "donation" in the hopes of receiving a prize in the end. but, there is no guarantee of anything. This type of suit would fall part as soon as CZE got it in front of a judge, and this is assuming you could find a lawyer willing to try a surefire loss.

Kroan
09-02-2013, 08:13 AM
Nope, it is not. You need to re-read the KS terms of service. You are not entitled to diddly squat. You made a "donation" in the hopes of receiving a prize in the end. but, there is no guarantee of anything. This type of suit would fall part as soon as CZE got it in front of a judge, and this is assuming you could find a lawyer willing to try a surefire loss.
Or maybe you should read it?


Is a creator legally obligated to fulfill the promises of their project?
Yes. Kickstarter's Terms of Use require creators to fulfill all rewards of their project or refund any backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill. (This is what creators see before they launch.) We crafted these terms to create a legal requirement for creators to follow through on their projects, and to give backers a recourse if they don't. We hope that backers will consider using this provision only in cases where they feel that a creator has not made a good faith effort to complete the project and fulfill.
http://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/kickstarter%20basics#Acco

Vorpal
09-02-2013, 09:06 AM
In terms of adding a whole new burdern of logistics and planning, I would think hexcon and novel would rank pretty high up there.

Xenavire
09-02-2013, 11:47 AM
Or maybe you should read it?


http://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/kickstarter%20basics#Acco

It does not mention stretch goals, only what is initially offered. So they can tiptoe around the 'at launch' stretch goals, as long as they prove that they are very close to completing them (or have evidence to show why they are behind.)

Whatever was paid for must be deliviered, but stretch goals are not technically part of the 'bought' package. I don't even know if Kickstarter itself has policies on Stretch goals - it seems like something completely up to the person trying to kickstart the game.

EDIT: Clarifying here - I am saying that so far, CZE has not made any indication to show that they are going to fail to deliver the main package (despite a small delay of certain portions, the delivery is starting on time.) And the stretch goals are not part of the main package, but there is no direct indication that they are unable to fulfil those either, but if they can't for some reason, they are safe from lawsuits - it would hurt the community and trust would be broken, but legally they would be in the clear. (From what I understand of kickstarter.)

Kroan
09-02-2013, 11:54 AM
I never said they did. Just that the idea that kickstarter doesn't come with any kind of legal obligations by the company running the KS is very false.

I have no idea how stretchgoals are handled.

Xenavire
09-02-2013, 11:59 AM
I never said they did. Just that the idea that kickstarter doesn't come with any kind of legal obligations by the company running the KS is very false.

I have no idea how stretchgoals are handled.

Yeah, I realised how vague my post was - I think they would be liable if they did not deliver something by the end of september, (if someone chose to take action,) but so far they have only delayed a portion of the rewards. It might not be Beta, but it is access to the game, which is all any of the backers actually wanted (as all the other rewards are only really useful when we are close to launch.)

The stretch goals could go either way, but I expect CZE are holding themselves accountable and are doing their best to deliver. They don't seem the type to turn around and take things away.

zadies
09-02-2013, 12:49 PM
I think your reading my post differently then intended. I don't care when the official we are launched date is, am quite happy with alpha/beta lasting a year.

A Long alpha/beta creates less bad press then saying we are launching now it is official before having completed all stretch goals that this will be in at launch especially thing like tablet support.

RanaDunes
09-02-2013, 11:24 PM
I have no problems with launching the game without most of the stretch goals included (feature and content related stretch goal) as long as we get a stable and efficient core game with some decent PvE content. Patching those promised features every month during 2014 is fine by me. But prioritize Replay and Guild features :p

falc
09-03-2013, 02:38 AM
I really felt that the HeXCon thing should not have been announced. It just seems that 300k is not enough money to host an event of any reasonable scale and it will not benefit 99% of the supporters.

Generally about kickstarter: Why can't developers just go without stretchgoals from a certain point on and say fck it - we have all the stretch goals we really want to put in to the game and still meet original products deadlines - if you want to give us more money to buy a ferrari or just higher more people to draw more "orc feet" per day, so game release date can be pushed up then fine. But the game is going to be this many pieces and that's all.

I feel there is a general sort of "fear" or "feeling of cheating somebody" i guess if they accept more money, but don't offer "more" for it. I don't think that should necessarily be the case.

But then again that is my 2 cents. And i'm just a commentater on some forum or other :)

hex_colin
09-03-2013, 05:51 PM
I really felt that the HeXCon thing should not have been announced. It just seems that 300k is not enough money to host an event of any reasonable scale and it will not benefit 99% of the supporters.

You really think only 200 KS backers will attend HexCon? ;) There were more than that at GenCon, and all of those people had less than a month to make those arrangements.

Also, any mercs, sleeves, AA cards from HexCon will go to all backers because of the stretch goal - that's not insignificant, and was the reason a large number of folks were happy about hitting the stretch goal.

Finally, many of the actual costs of HexCon will be offset by those who will have to pay to attend (i.e. anyone who didn't back the KS) - it's unlikely that anywhere close to $300K of KS money will be used to support HexCon. If that's not the case, the game will have been earning money for say 9-12 months by the time HexCon rolls around - I'm sure our booster purchases will be able to support a good party at that point! ;)

knightofeffect
09-03-2013, 07:14 PM
I also thought Cory was referring to all the features and functionality that was promised at launch. However, the "see the impact later" part makes me wonder if he wasn't also referring to some economic impact (possibly gleaned from the newly hired economist) that could rear its head a little while after launch. It just doesn't seem like a phrase that would fit to a timetable slippage unless he was alluding to some specific timing issues around set releases and feature support (IE tablet). I guess he could have been talking about something like HexCon instead, but the reference didn't seem that specific.

You would know better than anyone Colin. What was your take?

hex_colin
09-03-2013, 07:37 PM
I also thought Cory was referring to all the features and functionality that was promised at launch. However, the "see the impact later" part makes me wonder if he wasn't also referring to some economic impact (possibly gleaned from the newly hired economist) that could rear its head a little while after launch. It just doesn't seem like a phrase that would fit to a timetable slippage unless he was alluding to some specific timing issues around set releases and feature support (IE tablet). I guess he could have been talking about something like HexCon instead, but the reference didn't seem that specific.

You would know better than anyone Colin. What was your take?

I see it as a combination of:


Additional stretch goal features taking longer than expected
A desire to include significantly more community feedback than they originally anticipated (guild ideas, etc.)
A change in naming strategy - Alpha running longer to get more features in and tested, a shorter Beta as a result. Remember, Beta was originally going to be pretty bare bones, whereas now it sounds like it'll be reasonably feature complete (albeit with a small sample of PVE content initially).
Additional overhead caused by the popularity of the KS (more Cons, more customer support, etc.)

Personally, I'm not particularly worried. We'll get access to software very, very close to where we were promised. And i'm sure they'll still release some time in 2014 to make HexCon somewhat of a huge launch party!

ossuary
09-03-2013, 07:51 PM
I really hope I can find a way to make it to HexCon, since I wasn't able to attend GenCon. Hopefully by the time whenever it's going to be rolls around, I'll have enough vacation from my new job saved up that I can afford to take the time without sacrificing our family vacation. ;)

falc
09-04-2013, 04:38 AM
You really think only 200 KS backers will attend HexCon? ;) There were more than that at GenCon, and all of those people had less than a month to make those arrangements.

Also, any mercs, sleeves, AA cards from HexCon will go to all backers because of the stretch goal - that's not insignificant, and was the reason a large number of folks were happy about hitting the stretch goal.

Finally, many of the actual costs of HexCon will be offset by those who will have to pay to attend (i.e. anyone who didn't back the KS) - it's unlikely that anywhere close to $300K of KS money will be used to support HexCon. If that's not the case, the game will have been earning money for say 9-12 months by the time HexCon rolls around - I'm sure our booster purchases will be able to support a good party at that point! ;)

Let's hope you are right about the cost. I guess they can save a large chunk if they host it at the same town and the size can indeed in the end be decided by how much $$ you have left and want to spend on the project. However looking at how much stuff costs these days / people / entertainment etc - 300k doesn't seem that big of a "budget" all of a sudden, that's where my train of though was rolling anyway. But then again it's all relative. Also didn't know the stretch goal information about the cards, sleeves etc - good catch.

Anyway i really am also just concerned about possible problems they have been hitting due to strech goals and was just wondering ways they could alleviate their possible financial issues. However if it's more workload due to too many features promised at launch then it's a different kind of issue altogether.

Zomnivore
09-04-2013, 05:37 PM
I guess maybe it was more time commitments and delivery dates like @launch n stuff.

Its not like anyone's ever delayed something they wanted at launch.

Still launch state, is something that is also resource consuming and its good to have the basic stuff hammered out before you turn the lights on so you can have an incentive to iterate on it from the onset.