Helo welcom 2 my websight
Since I first discovered Kickstarter not even a year ago, I’ve backed 11 projects ranging from books to video games and movies. Recently some of these projects have been completed, and their rewards arrived on my doorstep. I thought it’d be fun to go through the projects I backed and take a look at whether or not they were worth the money.
Project Eternity was the first Kickstarter project I ever backed, and I backed it HARD. I threw $160 at this project promising to bring me back to the Golden Days of RPGs that I miss so much every day. Since the game won’t be completed for the foreseeable future, I can’t tell you if the rewards were worth it, but I can say that being given the opportunity to meet video game idol Chris Avellone in person and being able to interview him was already totally worth the price of admission.
Plus I got these games signed by the legend himself:
Those of you who know me also know what a giant whore I am when it comes to signatures. I’m not even exactly sure why, but looking at a signed item makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and I’m always on the lookout for something signed to add to my collection. Usually however I look for things I know for a fact are awesome..in the case of The Shadow Cabal, I didn’t.
I thought it’d be fun to back a movie so I could feel like I actually contributed to the creation of something I could show to others easily so I trolled through Kickstarter’s Movie projects. There was nothing there except for failed film academy projects and LGBT documentaries no one could care less about, but one movie looked at least kind of interesting. They said it’d be a D&D-like fantasy film and the special make-up shots they’d shown looked pretty good. Plus, you could get a signed bluray for only 30 bucks so I decided to take the plunge..
Needless to say, it was immediately the last time I ever casually backed something without being sure I’d enjoy it. When the movie finally came it (months off schedule, as seems to be the norm for Kickstarter projects) it was a terrible turd of a film with a script that appeared to have been borrowed from a 14 year old on DeviantArt and actors that might’ve been better off doing fanfilms on YouTube. The same could be said about the director by the way. The only thing remotely decent about the movie was the special effects makeup. Due to the budget of course mostly everything had to be done through practical effects and they looked pretty good.
To make matters worse the bluray didn’t come with any subtitles (not even English) and was signed on the plastic instead of on the cover.
The only extra The Shadow Cabal came with, was a bunch of updates with ‘Please back our next project’ from the creators. The worst thing is that they’re really good at making good posters and trailers, so you’d almost be tempted to actually back another one.
I guess you could see the fact that we received a ‘Kickstarter Special Edition’ of the bluray an extra too. It contains some bloopers, some behind the scenes videos shot with a cellphone and trailers for the other movies this rival of The Asylum has put out.
All in all, not impressed.
The bluray came signed by key members of the cast and the director, which would’ve been cool if the movie wasn’t so terrible. That in itself would be worth the full 5 stars though, since having a movie signed by the main actors and director is pretty cool. Personalization wasn’t an option though even though I did ask and the director did say he’d do it, so a star does get docked for that. To round things off Arrowstorm had the marvelous idea to just sign the blurays directly on the plastic instead of on the inlay, so the signatures are bound to wear off over the next few years.
Tears will not be shed.
My third Kickstarter adventure was even less of a success than my second one. It all began well enough as I ran into a beautiful looking project on the Art section of the website – a project offering a set of awesome prints of Avengers artwork by someone who’s style was very close to one of my favorites Joe Madureira. $30 for three signed posters wasn’t all that bad, so I pledged. Then after a while the project had to be cancelled because Marvel’s lawyers came down on the guy for making money off of their stuff. However, luckily the project was continued outside of Kickstarter so I could still get my prints. Months and months of waiting later however (we’re talking 3 months past the supposed due date) I was still without any posters, even though they had already all been printed months ago. When the project lead posted on the private forum created to update the backers on the progress of the prints saying that he was gonna take some time off for shipping since the holidays were coming up, I’d kind of had it and posted asking how shipping a couple of posters out could take so long and if they shouldn’t throw in something extra for the people who had been waiting for so long. I was rewarded with a ban and no communication whatsoever and given my money back. At the risk of sounding butthurt I can honestly say I can understand why this guy got fired from his job and I don’t think he’ll be very successful professionally if he thinks this is the way to treat his fans and customers.
My reward was literally nothing, so it’s hard to give any stars for that.
The only extra I got was a long internet argument.
I guess I did get quite a lot of personal communication with the artist and his social network guy but..in this case that wasn’t really something to be happy about
Okay, yeah, I only just talked about not backing movies anymore but this one is different I swear. From here on out, everything’s going to go well!
You might not know Iron Sky, and if you don’t you really should get acquainted. It’s a brilliant movie about Nazis living on the dark side of the moon launching an invasion of earth. From the same guys that brought you Star Wreck, the SFX extravaganza on a shoestring budget, Iron Sky was hilarious, looked great and had a bunch of awesome actors. Director Timo Vuorensola really showed that you don’t need a huge budget as long as you have a love for the material. When he came to IndieGoGo to fund his next film, of course I was right there with him. Although, to be fair, at the beginning the rewards were extremely crappy and that’s probably why he didn’t bring in a whole lot of money on this project. It wasn’t until they offered the signed Dictator’s Cut (hehehe) of the first movie as a reward that I actually got off my ass and made an IndieGoGo account to pledge to it.
A Limited Steelbook Edition of the Dictator’s Cut (hehehe) of Iron Sky, signed by the director..what’s not to love? Okay..so you can get that same bluray right now for €17 on Amazon.de but that’s not the point. The film is still as awesome as ever and now even comes with additional footage and a very nice making-of featurette and a lovely little concept art book.
Being an IndieGoGo campaign, no stretch goals or free extra’s were added. The added bonus of being able to follow the project as it develops is also negated by the fact that this is literally the only project I’ve ever backed on IndieGoGo so I’ll never look at the updates there and I’ve already forgotten my password for the site.
This is where my extra dollars really shine compared to the Amazon purchased bluray! I guess it might not have been worth it for everyone, but for me having an awesome film like this signed by the director and made out to me is a small slice of heaven.
Ryan North is the writer behind my second favorite webcomic Dinosaur Comics. So when I learned he was going to write an entire book, I was pretty much already on board. When I heard it would be a rewrite of Shakespeare’s Hamlet I was kind of confused, but when I saw it’d be a Choose Your Own Adventure version of it with dozens of ways to get killed, meet the woman of your dreams, invent central heating, become a pirate, haunt people as a ghost or tame ghost dinosaurs I was pretty much back on board again.
The main reward for my measly 35 dollars was a 740 page book of comedy of the highest caliber. That’s right; seven-hundred-and-forty pages! Not only did backers get the physical book, but also an epub and pdf version to read on tablets and ereaders. Choose your own adventure books are perfect for that since you can just use the links to switch between pages. The book is as funny as you’d expect from Ryan and the myriad of possibilities makes it fun to read over and over to see all the kinds of stupid stuff you can pull. In spite of its 740 pages the quality of the paper and print are very high, and almost every ending is fully illustrated by artists ranging from extremely good to kinda-okay-I-guess-but-I-can-tell-you-usually-do-webcomics. The only disappointment I have in this regard is that I didn’t go for the more expensive hardcover version.
The extra’s for this thing were off the charts. Since TBONTB overshot its goal by..oh..only 2905%, and Ryan is a pretty cool guy, a lot of money was spent on extra’s for the backers. The smallest extra was a set of Dinosaur Comics temporary tattoos. Unfortunately I seem to have misplaced them so I can’t say exactly how great they were but considering they included a picture of a T-Rex saying ‘Sup?’ I’m gonna assume they were in fact pretty great. You’re gonna need to do better than that to get a 5 Star rating though, and man did he ever. The biggest extra was a whole separate book(let) called ‘Poor Yorick’, which depicts the history of Yorick – the guy who’s skull Hamlet finds in the play. This small 35 page book is also written in the Choose your own adventure format and fully illustrated. Then there’s the really awesome but actually completely useless Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-Bookmark in the shape of a skull. The idea is that you can bookmark multiple pages at the same time but I must be retarded or something because when I do that I can’t actually turn the pages anymore… ANYWAY if you thought that was all you’d be mistaken, because there’s more. Another two extra books written by Ryan were included in digital formats – FOR FREE!
Mr. North had to sign over 15,000 books by hand, so I can forgive the fact that he didn’t have time to think about making one out to me personally. However, I’m also totally not called Bea so what good does this do me????
Some of you might remember American McGee’s Alice; the 2000 action game that gave a morbid little twist to the classic tale of a girl who enters a magical wonderland. Perhaps more of you will remember Alice: Madness Returns, the not-that-great sequel to that game. In my opinion American McGee is a bit of a genius when it comes to setting and design, so I was happy to help him gain enough funds to start his new project – a full length animated film set in the same Alice universe. The project was very ambitious, and I would love to see it come to fruition. This does indeed mean that it hasn’t been finished yet, but I have received all the rewards I pledged for.
The main reward of the project – A DVD of the finished film – was priced a little too high for my tastes. $50 is a lot of money, especially for a DVD which is a medium that shouldn’t even be in production anymore nowadays, let alone on an animated film. Everything lower than that was digital only, and I will never pay for something that I can’t even touch. Still, I wanted to pledge to this project to support American, so I decided to get a limited edition Lithograph signed by the artist from the Madness Returns game, which was an addon. The print (is it really a Litho? What is a Litho anyway?) is beautiful and the art, of course, is too – which is why I selected it in the first place. In the end though..what should I do with it? It’s a fancy poster basically, and I should’ve thought about it better. It’s big though so it would look great framed if I had my own place, but I don’t so at the moment it’s just sitting around in its tube being sad.
The main extra here is what was also the main extra on The Shadow Cabal – I can keep up to date on American’s running projects and progress on this project. Where I didn’t care for the begging of Arrowstorm, I am very happy to keep up with how Otherlands is progressing and reading other information about the future of Alice, so it’s not a bad thing.
Being a fan of American, of course I wanted to get my poster signed by him as well. Unfortunately since he’s running his studio Spicy Horse Games in China and the Lithos were cumbersomely shipped from the US that would’ve cost nearly $50 extra according to his spokesperson, and I couldn’t justify spending 100% of my pledge on shipping for an extra autograph. The Litho itself is signed and numbered though, and I do love my numbers.
Since I found out about Kickstarter, I’ve been looking around the Comic Book section searching for something that deserves to be on there. There’s a huge amount of generic action and superhero crap here, or codification of webcomics, or literally the worst things you’ve ever seen, but it’s rare to run into something I actually want to read. I often complain about the current state of the comic book industry, which is much like the current state of all entertainment industries except for basically everything coming from Japan in that they don’t embrace originality and especially not my niche of cute-things-for-adults. Because yeah, I love reading about cute things or cute people doing cute things or cute things happening to cute people, but it’s like no one but Ted Naifeh even bothers to write about that sort of stuff! So when I ran into Nenetl I was pleasantly surprised. The wonderful watercolor-like art caught my attention and the whimsically cute story caught my dollars. We’re only up to part 2 out of 4, so I’m absolutely sure I’ll be coming back for more.
The main reward here was, of course, the actual finished comic. I had stupidly missed the Kickstarter for the first issue (I don’t want to fully blame my lack of comic reading friends, but..I kinda do) but luckily it was possible to get both issue 1 and 2 as a reward. The price was a bit high ($18 for two $6 comics) but I decided it was worth it to support a project such as this. Actually, all of the prices have been kind of confusing me on this project. Usually Kickstarter prices are lower than retail price because the creator wants to thank the backers, but in the case of Nenetl the Kickstarter backer actually pays more than someone who ends up buying the comics online. The extra perks do make it worth it, but you’re still paying quite a bit for two short comics.
As for the comic itself, the art is absolutely breathtaking. I almost wanted to up it to four stars just for that. Laura paints as if every panel is an artwork in itself and every page forms a beautiful whole. The story is very intriguing, and I’m actually kind of disappointed that this will only be a four issue series. After two issues, the story is only just getting up to speed, so I wonder if Vera will be able to keep the relaxed pacing up in the next issues too. Maybe they’ll be a little thicker? One can only hope.
As far as unpaid extra’s go, I surprisingly received a super cute sticker in the mail a few days before the books came in. Obviously a sticker isn’t a huge star magnet, but it was very nice to receive something extra that wasn’t announced in any way. In that same vein I should mention that the creator of this comic, Vera Greentea (I’m still not sure if that is her real name or not), is an absolutely wonderful artist. She’s extremely polite, friendly and forthcoming to her backers and gladly (I hope) answers any questions you might have and listens to your comments. Even when talking about the price issue that I talked about above here, she staid friendly and professional (unlike some other guys) and I never got the idea that she was wishing I’d shut up about it. This was by far the most pleasant experience I’ve had on a Kickstarter project.
As for paid extra’s, most of my pledge went to adding on a print by Laura Müller, the artist of the comic. The prints haven’t been completed and shipped out yet, but judging by Laura’s previous work I think it’s fair to say that it’ll be beautiful.
As I mentioned, Vera is a great person to be running a project and she kindly signed my comics on the cover the way I requested and even made one out ‘To Richard’ which is pretty much my favorite thing ever. If I remember correctly the print will also be signed, so that’s like a full combo of awesomeness.