Let's talk some more about Kickstarter exclusives
Hey there, residents of Gloomhaven!
First of all, I'd like to apologize again for not being present in the comments and on BGG yesterday. I spent the day down in Indianapolis play testing stuff and didn't get back until late. Tests went well, though. The Cragheart needs some tweaks, but it's coming along.
I joked with Travis and Nick that the Kickstarter may crash and burn in my absence and there'd be nothing left but fire and looting when I got back. Obviously that didn't happen - we've unlocked the $150,000 stretch goal and are barreling toward the next one - but there does seem to be a bit of an altercation brewing, especially over in this BGG thread, about Kickstarter exclusives.
Somehow this project has become the center of the Kickstarter exclusives debate and I can't help but feel that there are a lot of people out there who want me to give something tangible as a reward for backing this game on Kickstarter. To some, killing a skeleton in a video is not enough, nor is the idea that contributing towards stretch goals makes the game very tangibly better for everyone.
There is a desire for something to serve as a thanks to all backers who have made this possible. Not exclusive content, of course, but just some non-content related component upgrade to make the Kickstarter copy of the game feel special.
This is all a fair point. Good arguments have been made on both sides, and I feel I have been significantly swayed to give you all a bigger "Thank you" for being the best backers anyone could hope for.
To be totally transparent, I'd like to copy and paste my sincere stance on this sort of business that I posted in the comments a few days ago:
"I understand supply and demand, and I understand that I could get more people to buy into the game if I offered exclusives, or that if I offered you guys an exclusive extra character for $15 a lot of you would buy it.
"Unfortunately for me, I guess, I think the whole notion is horseshit. It in no way helps the end user (unless they're looking to resell at a profit, I suppose). My whole philosophy is to make and sell games exactly the same way that I would want them to be made and sold to me.
"Maybe I'll make less money, but I'll respect myself, and I'll know that everybody who opens a box of Gloomhaven will have the best experience possible with it.
"Okay, sorry, done ranting. No exclusives."
I cussed because I was serious. But how do I reconcile how I'm feeling now with those statements? Well, first of all, it wouldn't be exclusive. It may be available at cons in a limited supply, but it is something that wouldn't be in the retail box. It in no way improves the content of the game. The game will be just as good with it as without it.
Most importantly, though, I'd like to emphasize that this isn't a cash grab. This about saying thank you to you guys in a real and tangible way. It's about encouraging you guys to stick with this project that you believe in so that you can follow the updates and feel like you contributed in some meaningful way to making the game better.
I want to build a community of awesome people who play awesome games, but I realized that I didn't give any of you decoder rings so that you could feel like a real part of the club. I feel like maybe you need decoder rings.
Okay, I'm not actually proposing decoder rings. That's a silly metaphor. What I am proposing is an extra miniature in the box. A miniature of the first boss in the game, the Bandit Commander. This guy:
Not really much of a spoiler I hope since he's the guy you're chasing after in the first scenario.
What I am proposing is that I will drop a miniature of this guy into every game box, standee and miniature version, purchased on Kickstarter. I know it doesn't make a whole lot of sense in the standee box, but I want to thank everyone who backs the game, and you standee people can just put him on your nightstand and say goodnight to him before you go to sleep or something if you want.
This wouldn't be a stretch goal. This would just be something that happens if you all agree.
Also, as I said before, this isn't an exclusive - it just won't be in the retail box.
Keep in mind this is just a proposal, though. I want to thank you guys for backing this game and making this Kickstarter more successful than I could have hoped for, and I feel this is the best way to do it. If you don't feel this is a good way, please let me know in the comments. This will only happen if an overwhelming majority of you want it.
So please let me know how you feel.
Before this update ends, though, we've got something else to talk about: that stretch goal we're barreling towards!
What the heck are "Town Records?"
Well, they are an extra booklet that will come with the game. It will be sealed, but you can unlock it when you retire your first character. In it will be pages to commemorate those who have retired and moved on, so that you can always look back on your old heroes and reminisce about that time Scarborough the Scoundrel opened up that door to the boss room prematurely and nearly got us all killed.
In addition, when you unseal the book, you will also gain access to a written story involving the clerk of the town records that will lead you to uncovering the history of Gloomhaven and the human civilization on this continent. And you'll gain access to more pieces of the story as the town's prosperity is increased. It's sort of like those extra bits of lore you can find in a lot of great RPG video games - bits of information you can read if you'd like to get a richer sense of the world, but they're not necessary to play the game.
I hope that sounds cool to you, because I'm pretty excited about it!
And, once again, please let me know your thoughts on the added miniature!