Guest Starring on Funding the Dream!

My recent articles about Kickstarter got me noticed by hobby game industry analyst Richard Bliss (aka The Game Whisperer), who was kind enough to invite me to join him on the most recent episode of his podcast, Funding the Dream.  I had a great time talking with him (before, during, and after the recorded part of our discussion), and hopefully I don’t sound too very stupid. 

He shared with me that on the same day, he had already spoken with Richard Borg, Tracy Hickman, and Dan Yarrington, so obviously, he was going out with a whimper talking to me, but I was still honored to even be on the list.

If you’re interested, head over and take a listen!


  1. That was fantastic Chris. You put a lot of hard work into your Article about Kickstarter. Its nice to see you get some recognition for it.

  2. Chris Norwood

    Thanks!  It was so fun that I’m starting to have more ideas about that sort of thing…

  3. I’m glad you were on the show. As a cautious observer of the whole Kickstarter phenomenon, I’m of two minds about it. On the one hand, I’m very excited about this creative use of new technology (Internet, social media) to find financial support for smaller scale creative projects–ones that the pre-established institutions for publication & distribution don’t serve well.

    On the other, though, I share many gamers’ concern–perhaps an unreasonable one–for the niche hobby community as a whole. I don’t think Kickstarter is bad for the hobby industry, but I do think it may lead to a wave of disappointed hobbyISTS. Perhaps like other artistic endeavors, we see that boardgaming often has more enthusiasm and ideas than it has sound business sense. Companies go under, game stores close…and sometimes gamers shell out a lot of money for exciting projects (or even to “help the industry”), and then suffer a backlash of buyer’s remorse when the products underwhelm.

    That’s my fear, as well as my prediction: a year or so from now, gamers will be much more jaded about Kickstarter projects, realizing their hit rate is worse than the best publishers (e.g. Hans im Gluck, Days of Wonder). Then they may take a “wait & see” approach, which undercuts the entire funding mechanism.

    But that may be a healthy development. Then only the most trustworthy Kickstarter projects will get funded, the hit rate may improve, and we’ll have a vibrant, sustainable new system for funding innovation & startups.

  4. Chris Norwood

    Thanks, Mark!  That means a lot coming from you.

    I definitely think that there will continue to be an “adjustment” on Kickstarter funding that may relate to people having both more experience with it, some of which may be relatively bad.  But as I said in the show, I already see a big learning curve among the top tier Kickstarter campaigns to provide greater information, reviews (by giving prototypes to well-known reviewers prior to the campaign), rules, and continued follow-through all during the process. 

    I’ve been very careful in the projects I’ve backed so far, and to be honest, I think that my Kickstarter games are some of the best quality games (both components and gameplay-wise) that I’ve gotten in the last year.

    And as for your comments about companies closing and game stores going under, I actually feel that the Kickstarter model will do more to prevent that sort of thing than the traditional “pay for the game production up front” model where both publishers and game stores have to make assumptions about what games they think will be popular.

    Whatever the case, it’ll be interesting to watch.  I personally believe that even with maybe some growing and changing, Kickstarter is here to stay in the hobby game market.   

  5. Keith

    I finally read the articles and listened to the show.

    I am happy to see Kickstarter come into play as someone who saw so many attempts in the early ’80s at self publishing run afoul of having to pay the money up front without having any way to guage the market. Enthusiasm for one’s own design leading to a financially critical overestimation of the market for their game, saving accounts tapped going for that print run level one (or two) levels too far, and lots of money tied up in left over inventory and never even breaking even.

    Kickstarter adds spice to our hobby by allowing ideas come to the market that might not otherwise make it. There may be a gold rush of sorts now that Kickstarter has so much mind share. There may be some fallout if enough speculators/participants feel they got burned in the rush to market. So what. I expect the fallout would be a pull back from overall Kickstarter particiaption levels, not a collapse of Kickstarter. Even if there was a collapse of Kickstarter our hobby would not suffer much. Our hobby would lose some of its spice but it is not like we would go hungry. There will still be plenty of quality games coming out through traditional through traditional professional game publishing.

  6. Thanks for post. It really informative stuff. I really like to read. Hope to learn a lot and have a nice experience here! My best regards guys! Tuff. I really like to read. Hope to learn a lot and have a nice experience here! My best regards guys!

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