On Sponsoring the Numenera Kickstarter Project

While the concept of Kickstarter* is still new and unproven, there are several projects that have had a lot of attention.  Many established artists and companies have been able to interact with their audiences and be able to fund projects that publishers would have typically not invested in.  That last sentence stands alone as a topic, which I will not be discussing in this post.

Today the Numenera Kickstarter closed, surpassing its funding goal by greater than 2500%.  The project was initiated by Monte Cook, who I best know for his work on the Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide, and as an advisor to the Pathfinder RPG.  It is a far-future science fantasy game based more around challenges and exploration than about combat and tactics.  The game setting is billions of years in the future, after the ninth great civilization has fallen and humanity is struggling in the shadow of a legendary culture.

I consider myself fortunate to be able to support this project and look forward to the game’s release next summer.  It’s interesting to be involved in supporting a project and to have a choice in how invested you become and what your reward is.  It bears some similarity to patronage, with some people supporting the project at the $1000-$2000 range.  This project had more value than most for its investment:  For $60 you got the main book in print, eight books in electronic format and a variety of aids in electronic format.

The concept is still being proven and more established blogs publicize these projects in a method akin to word of mouth, but once this kind of marketplace becomes established it will be interesting to see how smaller projects or lesser known artists could benefit from direct interaction with interested people.

* For more information on what a Kickstarter is, I direct you to their “What is a Kickstarter” FAQ entry.

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