The question has been asked: why did I choose to put PULL! on Kickstarter instead of print on demand? Way back when I introduced PULL! on the site, I mentioned the limited market for this game. Truth is, it’s very difficult to find publishers that would be interested in publishing a trick-taking game. It’s even more difficult to find a publisher that would approach a game about trap shooting. Put those two things together, it’s nigh impossible. I also laid out a plan for the future of PULL!: an official print and play release coinciding with a print on demand release through thegamecrafter.com and drivethrucards.com.
I made that plan nearly four months ago and some things have changed since then. The game has gone through significant revisions thanks to the awesome community that supports my efforts. Many people have stepped up and helped me refine the rules and the game play. Playtester notes have been invaluable in shaping the direction of the game and Twitter has been the perfect sounding board for graphic design decisions. This game was born of a crowd-sourced idea. It’s been shaped by crowd-sourced decisions. It is a crowd-sourced project, through and through.
All of that doesn’t answer the question, though. Why did I decide to abandon print on demand in favor of Kickstarter? Well, there are many factors at work here:
I’ve been thinking about running a campaign even before I started work on PULL!. I have many questions about the process and I want to be able to provide quality content and answers about Kickstarter and I can’t do that without knowing more about it. I’ve backed quite a few campaigns and learned a ton from watching other producer’s processes, but I want to explore the process from the inside.
Print and play is an excellent option for designers like myself who make games with a limited scope. It allows me to produce my games with little to no overhead and offer them to anyone that’s willing to spend a little time making their own set. PULL! is and always will be available as a print and play. I want to reach as many people as possible with this game. I’m never going to require you to spend money to play it. That being said, running a campaign on Kickstarter will hopefully allow me to reach many more people… and hopefully they’ll try the print and play before pledging! Yes, I’m willing to take that chance because more people playing the game will only help make it the best game it can be.
Print on demand is an awesome option. I’ve been a proponent of thegamecrafter.com for many years now. Their services have allowed me to make some awesome projects that otherwise I would be unable to share with the world. Games like Leathernecks ’43 and Tuesday Night Tanks are perfect for their service because they would be extremely difficult to print and play. A simple card game like PULL! is a different story. Sure, there are some people that would rather order a printed copy than spend time making 72 cards… but the cost is prohibiting on these services. PULL! would cost nearly $20 shipped to your door and that is a lot to ask anyone to spend on a little card game. With enough Kickstarter support, I can bring the game to your door for $15 (USA).
Lastly, exposure. Exposure is a coy word that people use to sound less greedy. Truth is, that word means money. Believe it or not, I would like to make money from this adventure. I didn’t form a company this year because I want to be altruistic. I formed a company so that maybe in the future I will be able to devote myself to this hobby full time. Right now, that’s a pipe dream… but who knows where all this leads? I’m willing to go for it. Putting PULL! on Kickstarter offers me an opportunity. Truth be told, I stand to make very little money (if any) from this campaign. All printing and fulfillment will be handled by thegamecrafter.com which is significantly more expensive than an overseas printer. What The Game Crafter offers me, however is scalability. I can set an extremely low funding goal, and if I just break that mark, great; everyone gets their game, and I break even. If we blow that goal out of the water, even better. I make some money, everyone gets a great product, and I can order extras for direct sales through my site and at trade shows. It is a very low-risk gamble for me which is an important factor in my decision to do this. I don’t want to leverage my house to make a publishing company.
Kickstarter affords me the opportunity to expand my reach. I have a loyal following of awesome individuals who engage me daily. I love all of you very much. Seriously. You make every ounce of my effort worth it. Running this campaign will hopefully let me cast my net a little further. The more people I can get involved in my efforts the better future projects will be. Yes, there will be future projects. I can’t say what or when… mostly because I have no idea… but the more people I can engage on Twitter, Facebook, and here at cheveedodd.com means I have a much broader audience to try my games, read my rules, and help me make future designs exponentially better.
Without this awesome community, Chevee Dodd, LLC doesn’t stand a chance. Thank each and every one of you that has helped me make it this far!