25 votes

What have you crowdfunded, and how has it turned out?

What things -- big or small, successful or not-- have you put your money towards in hopes of bringing them to light? Tell us the story of why you chose to support them and whether or not you feel your contribution was worth it to you in the end.

17 comments

  1. MimicSquid
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    I've crowdfunded a number of videogames from small developers (larger than indies) and always eventually got a game for my money, years down the road. I'm glad to have helped make the Wasteland...

    I've crowdfunded a number of videogames from small developers (larger than indies) and always eventually got a game for my money, years down the road. I'm glad to have helped make the Wasteland and Divinity series possible. I've helped fund games by indies, and it's been shakier, with entirely broken promises, but also some really cool stuff that wouldn't necessarily have seen the light of day otherwise. I'm really glad to have Cultist Simulator and Pathologic exist, even if I couldn't manage to actually play Pathologic without panic attacks.

    I crowdfunded the first and second edition of Numenera, because I was really into Monte Cook Games' worldbuilding, and I'm glad to have supported smaller roleplaying game developers, though I've soured Monte Cook due to his inability to make coherent rulesets. The rules and the flavor are so intermingled that crucial elements of the rules are mentioned offhand in unexpected places, and that's terrible for actually running the game when you need to refer back to how the game actually runs. The Numenera computer game was actually quite good, because you got the world without having to memorize the rules.

    7 votes
  2. CALICO
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    I think I've only ever crowdfunded two things, both of which were successful. One was a limited run of an artbook that a friend was featured in. I got a dope hardcover (real legit printing,...

    I think I've only ever crowdfunded two things, both of which were successful.

    One was a limited run of an artbook that a friend was featured in. I got a dope hardcover (real legit printing, construction), some stickers, and a keychain. My friend, and their collaborators, got their art printed in a cool medium and some bragging rights.

    The other one was a little bigger. Have y'all heard of Iron Sky?
    Original Teaser, 2008 Cannes
    Once I saw that I had to help make it a thing. I threw in maybe $100–200 over a few donations, I was working my first part-time job and had few bills. In 2012, it became a thing. It's so camp. I love it. If you like cheesy, bad-good movies, this might be your shit.

    Thanks to their Quarantine Relief Program, you can watch it for free.

    7 votes
  3. skybrian
    (edited )
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    I paid for a couple things this year. It's too soon to say how they'll turn out: Inkplate 6 uses a recycled Kindle display for a wall-mounted picture frame. Daisy, an embedded platform for music...

    I paid for a couple things this year. It's too soon to say how they'll turn out:

    Inkplate 6 uses a recycled Kindle display for a wall-mounted picture frame.

    Daisy, an embedded platform for music looks like it might be an alternative to Teensy for my accordion synth project.

    A while back I bought the first-generation Romo, which added wheels to a cell phone. It did work but was disappointing; I had hoped it would be useful for videoconferencing but it's too limited.

    I also funded two music CD's this way but I didn't like them as much as I'd hoped.

    And I also bought the first-generation Lytro, which was an innovative camera that was unfortunately too low-resolution to be all that useful. Being able to refocus after taking a picture is neat but not all that practical by itself.

    4 votes
  4. Apos
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    I've backed two games so far. Both made by different friends of mine. Both aren't released yet, but they are coming along nicely. The first one is Zombiotik:...

    I've backed two games so far. Both made by different friends of mine.

    Both aren't released yet, but they are coming along nicely.

    The first one is Zombiotik: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/totemastudio/zombiotik

    The second one is Lazr: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lazr/lazr-a-cyberpunk-clothformer

    I'll always be happy to support my friends.

    4 votes
  5. monarda
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    I did once in 2012 and got ripped off as far as I can tell. It was for a permaculture thing, and it's been so long I don't even remember what exactly. It got funded and then nothing. No updates,...

    I did once in 2012 and got ripped off as far as I can tell. It was for a permaculture thing, and it's been so long I don't even remember what exactly. It got funded and then nothing. No updates, no delivery of perks, nothing. I really tried to not let it affect how I felt about crowdfunding, but it did. I think in general crowdfunding is a great idea, I'm just not sure about its implementation.

    4 votes
  6. hamstergeddon
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    I've crowdfunded two things. One was Joking Hazard, a Card Against Humanity clone that from the creators of Cyanide & Happiness. Each card is a panel of a comic, rather than a phrase or term. It...

    I've crowdfunded two things. One was Joking Hazard, a Card Against Humanity clone that from the creators of Cyanide & Happiness. Each card is a panel of a comic, rather than a phrase or term. It succeeded, I got my game, and they seem to still push expansions for it. I've played it maybe once?

    The other was a game called Castle Story, which was ...hell I don't even remember what it was originally supposed to be. But they diverged from that greatly and the result was a buggy mess beta release...idk if they actually finished it or not. It basically put an end to my crowdfunding interest.

    4 votes
  7. NaraVara
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    I've backed several things that worked out well. All durable goods: Fidget Cube: I got it. It works exactly as advertised. I'm sad for the makers because a bunch of shitty knockoffs hit the market...

    I've backed several things that worked out well. All durable goods:

    • Fidget Cube: I got it. It works exactly as advertised. I'm sad for the makers because a bunch of shitty knockoffs hit the market before they could even get their product shipped. Pirates completely stole their idea. That said, I'm not sure it's actually that great. It does what it's supposed to do, which is give you a bunch of little things to fidget with. But it lacks a certain purity of purpose that you would want from a great desk toy. I'm actually debating buying a mechanical switch tester instead. . .

    • Mobile lapdesk: Also shipped. Also great. I still use it to this day even though the mousepad part of it is all grimy now and the modern phones have gotten too chonky to comfortably fit into the phone holder.

    • A wallet: Also a surprisingly good wallet. I still use it 4 or 5 years later. I've tried other ones for brief spurts, but keep coming back since it's so small and unobtrusive.

    • A weighted blanket. Also shipped. This one I'm a bit disappointed in. It serves it's function well, but the weighted beads inside tend to shift and get lumpy, and since it's so heavy you can't really shake them out. There was a definite design flaw here. It is pretty cozy if you can shuffle around and distribute the weight properly though.

    And there is the one kickstarter project I did that didn't go well. Just read the saga in their 39 updates to see how it's unfolded. It's been about 4 years now and they still haven't shipped. And then, right as they claimed they were about to ship. . .BAM! COVID. I'm not that mad to be honest. For the most part I tended to stick to kickstarters that are fairly simple to produce and seem to be run by people who know how to manage a project or business. In this case I suspected it was not going to be an easy road for manufacturing and I could sense that the people weren't quite sure what they were doing so I went in knowing it was probably not gonna work out. BUT I figured it was worth a gamble in case I get a really cool measuring spoon out of it.

    4 votes
  8. Greg
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    I've never had a campaign fail to deliver, which seems fairly fortunate right off the bat. Top of the list by far is the Sansaire immersion circulator, which I got 5+ years ago and most recently...

    I've never had a campaign fail to deliver, which seems fairly fortunate right off the bat.

    Top of the list by far is the Sansaire immersion circulator, which I got 5+ years ago and most recently used just this afternoon. Mine's got a stuck row on the display and a crack in the plastic, but it's still holding up - and while it's a bit bulky and was expensive by 2020 standards, it was literally half the price of its competitors at the time.

    I tried out the Biopod Aqua, which sadly didn't live up to expectations for me. App pairing was near unusable, build quality was kind of there but with some serious rough edges (both figurative and literal), and for me the overall design just didn't deliver as promised. That said, I have seen some very impressive things done with them, so my experience is by no means universal - although the company does seem to have stopped manufacturing after the first batch or two.

    I also backed Torment: Tides of Numenera on the basis of a resounding recommendation from a friend who loved the original Planescape: Torment. Embarrassingly, three years later, I haven't actually had a chance to play it yet; it looks like it was well received, so I'm quite looking forward to finding time for it now that I've been reminded!

    Similarly, I got Ravine based on my enjoyment of Spaceteam and have had it in the back of a cupboard ever since. I'm happy to have backed it, now I just need to remember to get it into our gaming rotation.

    3 votes
  9. Wishkah
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    Mostly boardgames and Reapers mini figure Kickstarters.

    Mostly boardgames and Reapers mini figure Kickstarters.

    3 votes
  10. eve
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    I've only done a handful of campaigns, but none particularly new. Hyper Light Drifter - backed dis Beach and it took 2 years? I think? To come out but I really enjoyed the game and was super happy...

    I've only done a handful of campaigns, but none particularly new.

    Hyper Light Drifter - backed dis Beach and it took 2 years? I think? To come out but I really enjoyed the game and was super happy when it came out!!

    Ava's Demon Book - a web comic by Michelle Czajkowski! I've been reading the comic for a very long time lol so I was able to back the project and got a printed, hardback version of the first book, alongside stickers and prints! The book is also signed. It was great to get it!

    Boxer Hockey Frog - okay is this niche? Either way, the webcomic Boxer Hockey by Tyson Hesse is a sports comic and the ball in the game is genetically engineered frogs. They're very cute and derpy and so he did a Kickstarter in order to fund a plush version of it!! So I have a cute derpy frog from that and I love it.

    Tales of Alethrion - they made a whole animated season. It was originally a short! Speaking of shorts...

    Little Witch Academia - also started as a short, and they did a season or movie Kickstarter (I can't remember, very sorry) so I have some misc. Like wallpapers from that.

    Ladies of Literature - an art zine about well ladies in literature. There are a couple other zines I backed.

    OKAY SO that's more than I thought initially, oof. But generally I've supported creative/art projects because they were something I wanted to see be done! I love creative projects and love seeing what people want to make and so that's mainly why I've supported campaigns. Also I've gotten some pretty cool stuff over the years and I love that! From large to small bits, I definitely treasure the things I've gotten from the campaigns.

    3 votes
  11. Akir
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    The only thing I have ever crowdfunded was a card game called Legendary Showdown: Machines and Magic. I'm a huge fan of Gunnerkrigg Court and I really wanted the stupid backer reward, which was a...

    The only thing I have ever crowdfunded was a card game called Legendary Showdown: Machines and Magic. I'm a huge fan of Gunnerkrigg Court and I really wanted the stupid backer reward, which was a silly pewter coin with reliefs on each side inspired by the art in the comic. I love playing board games, so I considered the game to be a kind of bonus. But the coin was what I really wanted.

    I really like the game, but for the life of me I cannot get anyone else to play it with me. Most people can't even seem to wrap their heads around the rules, even though I think they are quite simple.

    There have always been other crowdfunded projects out there that have caught my eye, but for everything else I have waited. I got this one because there would be no other chance to get this item, but there hasn't really been any bonus in other crowdfunded project that I would consider to be a necessary collectable. I don't see any reason to absorb a random company's risk.

    3 votes
  12. callmedante
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    I've crowd funded two projects, both of which have long since missed their initial proposed delivery dates. The first is the EOMA68 computer card. Originally scheduled to deliver in March of 2017,...

    I've crowd funded two projects, both of which have long since missed their initial proposed delivery dates.

    The first is the EOMA68 computer card. Originally scheduled to deliver in March of 2017, the latest projected date is the end of September 2020. The idea of an "Earth-friendly computer" built with open tech really appealed to me. My interest in the project has waned to practically nil, so whether it happens or not doesn't matter to me.

    The other project is the Mycroft Mark II. Original shipment date was December of 2018, currently it's anyone's best guess (but confirmed no shipment in 2020, and that was pre-pandemic). I still want my Mycroft, and I've avoided buying any kind of smart speaker because of it. I hold out hope that someday I'll see this device.

    3 votes
  13. envy
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    Troll Bridge - it took ten years, but they delivered.

    Troll Bridge - it took ten years, but they delivered.

    2 votes
  14. Autoxidation
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    Cosmic Frontier: Override This one is recent and it's a recreation of one of the foundational games of my childhood: Escape Velocity Override. Many hours were sunk into the Escape Velocity series...

    Cosmic Frontier: Override This one is recent and it's a recreation of one of the foundational games of my childhood: Escape Velocity Override. Many hours were sunk into the Escape Velocity series of space exploration games.

    The Stomping Land. That one didn't turn out. :/ Real bummer because the framework was really neat.

    Star Citizen. This one is... Notorious? For the being the highest crowdfunded game of all time. It's still seeing active development but slower than promised (and what I expected) but oh well. I still give it a play a few times a year to see whats new. It'll be done eventually.

    This wallet in 2013 that I still use to this day. As far as I remember everything was on time. Solid.

    2 votes
  15. Grendel
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    The first thing I ever crowdfunded was a book a few years ago. The author had written a series on No Sleep that was amazing and wanted to write it as a full novel called Stolen Tounges. I actually...

    The first thing I ever crowdfunded was a book a few years ago. The author had written a series on No Sleep that was amazing and wanted to write it as a full novel called Stolen Tounges.

    I actually backed my second project just yesterday!

    The son of one of my coworkers is working on releasing his first ever comic book, called Triston. The description is

    In Dark Ages Britain, a young boy aspires to become a virtuous knight in a world that is anything but virtuous.

    It looks pretty awesome and I hope it gets backed because I'd love to read it.

    2 votes
  16. feigneddork
    (edited )
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    I've crowdfunded quite a lot of things: The AVGN Movie ($30) - this was way back when I was a massive fan of James Rolfe more so than the actual AVGN character. I saw his videos about how he...

    I've crowdfunded quite a lot of things:

    The AVGN Movie ($30) - this was way back when I was a massive fan of James Rolfe more so than the actual AVGN character. I saw his videos about how he approached making videos and wanting to make a film one day, and I remembered being incredibly inspired by it all. So when he decided to crowdfund his film, I chipped in - 1) for the movie, and 2) for this signed photo of him.

    If you've seen it, then you know how the film went. Honestly, it's kind of embarrassing looking back at how I spent $30 on a film I didn't even get a chance to see (once it was released, James Rolfe's stance was you had to pay and see it, which is really different to how crowdsourcing is done nowadays) and I ended up pirating, watching, then immediately deleting it off my hard disk and avoiding Rolfe's content for a while.

    I go back and watch AVGN episodes from time to time, but it isn't the same.

    Carmageddon: Reincarnated ($25) - yeah this seemed like a no-brainer at the time, but once I got the game, it hit me - why wouldn't anyone just get any GTA game over this? Even the cheapo GTA 3 series games have better violence and carnage (as well as vehicular carnage) than that game. Add on top the fact it was woefully optimised made me realise that the franchise would have to be a really good racing game with violence to even survive today's market.

    Sir, You Are Being Hunted (£10) - I loved Rock Paper Shotgun, so when one of it's writers said it was going off to make a game, I was incredibly pumped. When it came out I found it incredibly boring and dull. And it's now called Carmageddon: Max Damage? They must've essentially renamed it due to how poorly it was rated.

    GTFO: A Film About Women in Gaming ($10) - This was really good. No regrets.

    Neverending Nightmares ($15) - Honestly brilliant. It's short but it packs a great punch. From what I heard from the guy who was the main project leader behind it, he went off to work for Google. Good on him - the game was based on his experience of suffering from poor mental health, so he made a game and got a well paying job out of it.

    Dropsy ($10) - Phenomenal. Everyone should play this game at least once, especially if you are into point and click shooters.

    Dead Synchronicity ($10) - Never got round to playing it. I think it was an impulse buy that I didn't really care for.

    STRAFE ($15) - Oooooh so this is an interesting game. Incredible marketing. Questionable game? The devs talked a lot about knowing how to make a great FPS game, but when it came out, the first level really gave the wrong impression. It's sad - it was easily the weakest level of the game but was the first level. I think it's just the nature of development - as you work on stuff and get a feel for things, you understand what works and doesn't. However, the game as it is now is a lot more better, has better enemy variety, and the soundtrack is incredible. The guns are initially weak and weak sounding, but as you progress they get better and sound very solid. I'd recommend it if you want a roguelike FPS shooter.

    System Shock ($30) - This game was meant to come out in December 2017. Still hasn't come out, but what's even more pathetic is that every now and again, there is chatter from these guys about artwork and concept designs they want to share. Every. Single. New. Post. Without a doubt I regret backing this game and quite honestly I've written it off in my mind. If it does come out, I probably won't even bother playing it.

    Hypnospace Outlaw ($10) - Given how much I loved Dropsy and how much I love the old nostalgic Windows OSes, this should have been an easy win. However, I backed it years ago, and they kept communicating while saying "the game is still being made" and after a while it was hard for me to keep staying hyped. I ended up playing a bit of it, never got round to finishing it. Watch the trailers, see if it's your thing, and get it based on that. I can't recommend nor not recommend.

    Bangle.js (£76) - I've got the watch, got the puck. It's sitting on my table doing nothing. Not because I hate it, but I've yet to find the time to hack on it like I wanted to back when I backed it.

    2 votes
  17. annadane
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    A crowdfunding website. Wait, fuck.

    A crowdfunding website.

    Wait, fuck.

    3 votes