Dark Souls Board Game Kickstarter Raises $500,000 in First Day

Dark Souls Board Game Kickstarter Raises $500,000 in First Day

The Dark Souls board game funded quickly, blowing past its $70,000 goal in almost no time.

The Dark Souls board game that we told you about last week is now blowing up on Kickstarter. It launched with a funding goal of £50,000 (about $71,000), which it achieved in about three minutes.

With 26 days still left to go, pledges are sitting right around $850,000. Stretch goals are getting knocked down at a solid clip. They've already added six new classes (pyromancer, cleric, sorcerer, thief, mercenary, and deprived), multiple new bosses, and a bunch of new models.

Interested? It sounds like they've got the Dark Souls feel down pat, if nothing else.

Each time you decide where to go, you will experience a new danger as you explore, with each new location a real risk to your hard-won progress. If you die, then you drop everything you have collected and reappear at the nearest bonfire. So do you return to the bonfire to rest and spend Souls to strengthen up, but in doing so fully reset the locations? Or do you press on and pray that the next encounter isn't beyond your capabilities? After all, the next location may contain a clue to the Boss and how to defeat them...

Combat is both fast and deadly. Dark Souls - The Board Game rewards clever players and punishes 'button mashing'. Players must learn enemy behaviors in order to fight more effectively, with classic fighting game style combat windows.

The campaign will end on May 16, so if you want in, make sure you pledge before then. It looks like this one could be really huge, as it's gained almost $7,000 while I was writing this post. You can check it out on the Kickstarter page.

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I'm so tired of kickstarters from established companies. People who donate realize they're basically paying someone to make something that they will then have to pay for again right? Besides the people who meet the thresh hold to get said item obviously. But even then they're generally overpaying for what amounts to a pre-order.

irish286:
But even then they're generally overpaying for what amounts to a pre-order.

Unless there's a fat stack of Kickstarter exclusives (glorified pre-preorder bonuses). The average Cool Mini or Not campaign will net you double your initial investment if you just turn around and pawn it on ebay after you get it. Don't even get me started on Cryptozoic, there was more content in the Kickstarter exclusives than in the main Ghostbusters board game itself. Like, 66% of the game. Of course, it seems like they're giving everyone another chance to buy in to that content with this second iteration, but that's A LOT of content.

TLDR: Kickstarter has preorder bonuses that make the average "Collector's Edition" look like a joke.

Well I think I'll put in just enough to get the game when it comes out. *Sees the price* Well never fucking mind. Too rich for my blood.

erttheking:
Well I think I'll put in just enough to get the game when it comes out. *Sees the price* Well never fucking mind. Too rich for my blood.

Models aren't cheap, and those are some pretty damn fine looking models they've got :P (Plus, from my understanding even just the basic kickstarter reward will net you all the extras that has been unlocked, so I feel the price is probably pretty justifiable. And I generally don't buy board games in the first place xD)

RejjeN:

erttheking:
Well I think I'll put in just enough to get the game when it comes out. *Sees the price* Well never fucking mind. Too rich for my blood.

Models aren't cheap, and those are some pretty damn fine looking models they've got :P (Plus, from my understanding even just the basic kickstarter reward will net you all the extras that has been unlocked, so I feel the price is probably pretty justifiable. And I generally don't buy board games in the first place xD)

Now that I got over the original shock, I'm feeling it's more worth it now that I've looked over all the extras (Though I'm kinda bummed there's no Artorias as of yet. It feels wrong that the Pursuer got priority over him) The problem I'm struggling with now is if I buy it, will I ever have enough people to play it.

irish286:
I'm so tired of kickstarters from established companies. People who donate realize they're basically paying someone to make something that they will then have to pay for again right? Besides the people who meet the thresh hold to get said item obviously. But even then they're generally overpaying for what amounts to a pre-order.

Oh yeah, an established company that has only released one game. Bandai-Namco isn't making the board game, it's being made by Steamforged Games, a company whose only commercial game release is a Blood Bowl-esque game called Guild Ball. Bandai-Namco's only part in this is art approval and collecting whatever licensing fees they get.

So if it wasn't for someone like Steamforged a game like this would never get made. And truth be told, even if the game play sucks, I'd still buy it for the minis because Dark Souls has some really great character designs.

I'm not even that big a Dark Souls fan, and I still think I might actually pitch on for this kickstarter. My pen&paper group is always looking for interesting new board games to play, and this might be right up our alley. The boss combat demo on Youtube looks promising - easy to learn, tough to beat. I'll wait and see how the kickstarter develops...

J.McMillen:

irish286:
I'm so tired of kickstarters from established companies. People who donate realize they're basically paying someone to make something that they will then have to pay for again right? Besides the people who meet the thresh hold to get said item obviously. But even then they're generally overpaying for what amounts to a pre-order.

Oh yeah, an established company that has only released one game. Bandai-Namco isn't making the board game, it's being made by Steamforged Games, a company whose only commercial game release is a Blood Bowl-esque game called Guild Ball. Bandai-Namco's only part in this is art approval and collecting whatever licensing fees they get.

So if it wasn't for someone like Steamforged a game like this would never get made. And truth be told, even if the game play sucks, I'd still buy it for the minis because Dark Souls has some really great character designs.

Doesn't matter if they only have one, they're still established. Kickstarters are for just that, kickstarting. They've already started and instead of following proper business methods they basically beg the public for help paying for what they should have budgeted for.

irish286:

J.McMillen:

irish286:
I'm so tired of kickstarters from established companies. People who donate realize they're basically paying someone to make something that they will then have to pay for again right? Besides the people who meet the thresh hold to get said item obviously. But even then they're generally overpaying for what amounts to a pre-order.

Oh yeah, an established company that has only released one game. Bandai-Namco isn't making the board game, it's being made by Steamforged Games, a company whose only commercial game release is a Blood Bowl-esque game called Guild Ball. Bandai-Namco's only part in this is art approval and collecting whatever licensing fees they get.

So if it wasn't for someone like Steamforged a game like this would never get made. And truth be told, even if the game play sucks, I'd still buy it for the minis because Dark Souls has some really great character designs.

Doesn't matter if they only have one, they're still established. Kickstarters are for just that, kickstarting. They've already started and instead of following proper business methods they basically beg the public for help paying for what they should have budgeted for.

And you've just proven that you know nothing about the table top game industry. When one of the biggest table top gaming companies, Games Workshop, won't release their last all metal 40k army in plastic because of the cost of producing the steel molds and the fear the mini's won't sell, how can you ask a company that's a tiny fraction of the size of GW to invest tens of thousands of dollars in all the steel molds needed to produce all those plastic mini's? They don't have that kind of money, nor would they be able to 'budget' that money for years.

The vast majority of table top gaming companies don't have vast financial resources just lying around. In fact, most are 1-2 bad decisions from going out of business. So for a big project like this they only have two choices:

1. Get a loan (hopefully). Produce and release base game. Hope you sell enough to pay back the loan. Then hope you make enough to produce additional print runs. Then hope it keeps selling so you can eventually start producing expansions, well after the games initial release.

2. Crowdfund. Produce and release base game and numerous expansions. Sell units not sent to backers through retail outlets to finance additional print runs. Use additional profits for new expansions if possible. If not and the game is still popular, Crowdfund again.

Crowdfunding has been the biggest boon to the table top industry. It allows small but established companies to get new games out to market much faster and with fewer financial risks. They get both the knowledge that there is a market for their game and they won't be stuck with unsold games and a mountain of debt if people aren't interested.

After seeing some of the game play, which by the way was surprisingly well hidden behind tons of "innovative features", I have to ask myself: why not play the video game instead. I really hoped they would have come up with something a little bit more distinct, rather then a mixture of Dark Souls and D&D. It is a board game, you are allowed to be playful with it.

irish286:

J.McMillen:
snip

Doesn't matter if they only have one, they're still established. Kickstarters are for just that, kickstarting. They've already started and instead of following proper business methods they basically beg the public for help paying for what they should have budgeted for.

Sorry, but I disagree. Kickstarter is for kickstarting projects, not companies. And proper business methods? I'm sorry, but when such methods include investors, denouncing crowdfunding as non-proper is illogical.

CaitSeith:

irish286:

J.McMillen:
snip

Doesn't matter if they only have one, they're still established. Kickstarters are for just that, kickstarting. They've already started and instead of following proper business methods they basically beg the public for help paying for what they should have budgeted for.

Sorry, but I disagree. Kickstarter is for kickstarting projects, not companies. And proper business methods? I'm sorry, but when such methods include investors, denouncing crowdfunding as non-proper is illogical.

It is completely logical. I have nothing against pre-orders but begging the public for money to do something and giving them nothing in return isn't right. And that's exactly what crowd funding is. Unless you plan on it not being profitable then an open investment method would be much better. It would also attract more people.

J.McMillen:

irish286:

J.McMillen:

Oh yeah, an established company that has only released one game. Bandai-Namco isn't making the board game, it's being made by Steamforged Games, a company whose only commercial game release is a Blood Bowl-esque game called Guild Ball. Bandai-Namco's only part in this is art approval and collecting whatever licensing fees they get.

So if it wasn't for someone like Steamforged a game like this would never get made. And truth be told, even if the game play sucks, I'd still buy it for the minis because Dark Souls has some really great character designs.

Doesn't matter if they only have one, they're still established. Kickstarters are for just that, kickstarting. They've already started and instead of following proper business methods they basically beg the public for help paying for what they should have budgeted for.

And you've just proven that you know nothing about the table top game industry. When one of the biggest table top gaming companies, Games Workshop, won't release their last all metal 40k army in plastic because of the cost of producing the steel molds and the fear the mini's won't sell, how can you ask a company that's a tiny fraction of the size of GW to invest tens of thousands of dollars in all the steel molds needed to produce all those plastic mini's? They don't have that kind of money, nor would they be able to 'budget' that money for years.

The vast majority of table top gaming companies don't have vast financial resources just lying around. In fact, most are 1-2 bad decisions from going out of business. So for a big project like this they only have two choices:

1. Get a loan (hopefully). Produce and release base game. Hope you sell enough to pay back the loan. Then hope you make enough to produce additional print runs. Then hope it keeps selling so you can eventually start producing expansions, well after the games initial release.

2. Crowdfund. Produce and release base game and numerous expansions. Sell units not sent to backers through retail outlets to finance additional print runs. Use additional profits for new expansions if possible. If not and the game is still popular, Crowdfund again.

Crowdfunding has been the biggest boon to the table top industry. It allows small but established companies to get new games out to market much faster and with fewer financial risks. They get both the knowledge that there is a market for their game and they won't be stuck with unsold games and a mountain of debt if people aren't interested.

Just because I don't agree with their methods doesn't mean I know about the industry. If you knew anything about the industry then you would realize small productions like this are best handled by lithographic 3d printing. Before you spout off you should actually learn about industry trends. There is also a third method. Crowd investing. That's when you take a percentage of profits and then divide it up based on what people invested in the project. Crowdfunding may have been a boon to the industry but that doesn't mean what they are doing is right. Begging when you don't need to is wrong and that's basically what crowd funding is.

irish286:

Just because I don't agree with their methods doesn't mean I know about the industry. If you knew anything about the industry then you would realize small productions like this are best handled by lithographic 3d printing. Before you spout off you should actually learn about industry trends. There is also a third method. Crowd investing. That's when you take a percentage of profits and then divide it up based on what people invested in the project. Crowdfunding may have been a boon to the industry but that doesn't mean what they are doing is right. Begging when you don't need to is wrong and that's basically what crowd funding is.

Which is the 'better' or 'correct' option seems to hinge entirely upon whether the project is a success, though, and ironically without the massive Kickstarter win in progress, I'm not sure anyone would have actually pegged a Dark Souls board game featuring cost-increasing miniatures as a super sound investment. The two options seem to boil down to;

"Okay, so you give us whatever money to help us reach our goal, and upon release, we split up whatever profit gets made with you. I mean... hopefully we do well, anyway. If the product doesn't sell well enough to recoup the investment or fund additional prints, then that's kind of going to suck for you, but you know, risks and whatnot! It'll be a fun ride! ...maybe you can buy a copy, you know, help us out? No, why would you think you get a free copy, that's ridiculous."

Versus,

"Okay, so you give us whatever money to help us reach our goal, and for this specific amount we will- regardless of whether the actual product is a retail success- send you a copy of your very own! If the product doesn't sell well, then that kind of sucks for us, but you'll still have your game regardless. (Or, in the case of the sub-tier contributions, at least the game will actually exist now, out there, within reach.)"

Again, right now we have the benefit of- very recent- hindsight due to how the Kickstarter has exploded, but considering the relatively modest goal that was set compared to the current raised sum, I don't think even the company really expected there to be quite this much interest in pre-orders. Their last update was celebrating reaching the 200,000 mark, and I kind of get the impression from their silence since that they're just crowded around the screen, gaping and probably panicking a bit. And it is pre-orders, for the mast majority; of the thirteen thousand, six hundred total contributors (last I checked) less than two hundred and fifty contributed less than was needed to pre-order a copy.

On a different subject, I always find it a bit odd when people contribute less than is needed to get any form of reward on a project that is already doing MASSIVELY well. xP I could sort of see it if they were concerned it wouldn't go through otherwise, but right now all of the non-pre-order contributors could withdraw their pledges and it would barely dent the total.

irish286:

Just because I don't agree with their methods doesn't mean I know about the industry. If you knew anything about the industry then you would realize small productions like this are best handled by lithographic 3d printing. Before you spout off you should actually learn about industry trends. There is also a third method. Crowd investing. That's when you take a percentage of profits and then divide it up based on what people invested in the project. Crowdfunding may have been a boon to the industry but that doesn't mean what they are doing is right. Begging when you don't need to is wrong and that's basically what crowd funding is.

This is way past small production. Based on current backer numbers they have sold over 14,600 copies of the game so far. That assumes that each regular backer only bought one copy and retailers only got the minimum of 6. And given the number of mini's the base game plus the stretch goals (78 mini's so far), this is way beyond 3-d printing (over 1,000,000 minis to produce). That doesn't even factor in the 7 large bosses that have to be purchased separately.

While 3d printing has it's place, in the game industry it's usually to produce master figures that molds are made from. Each of those molds will usually be designed to cast multiple copies of the mini each time, so they can mass produce a lot of them, in a short amount of time. 3d printing really isn't up to making highly detailed mini's on the mass production scale companies need, at this time. Currently, once you have the molds ready to go, every other casting option can out produce 3d printing.

irish286:

CaitSeith:

irish286:
Doesn't matter if they only have one, they're still established. Kickstarters are for just that, kickstarting. They've already started and instead of following proper business methods they basically beg the public for help paying for what they should have budgeted for.

Sorry, but I disagree. Kickstarter is for kickstarting projects, not companies. And proper business methods? I'm sorry, but when such methods include investors, denouncing crowdfunding as non-proper is illogical.

It is completely logical. I have nothing against pre-orders but begging the public for money to do something and giving them nothing in return isn't right. And that's exactly what crowd funding is. Unless you plan on it not being profitable then an open investment method would be much better. It would also attract more people.

Nothing in return? Sorry, but most people who participate in a crowdfundig take the options that include the product.

SeventhSigil:

irish286:

Just because I don't agree with their methods doesn't mean I know about the industry. If you knew anything about the industry then you would realize small productions like this are best handled by lithographic 3d printing. Before you spout off you should actually learn about industry trends. There is also a third method. Crowd investing. That's when you take a percentage of profits and then divide it up based on what people invested in the project. Crowdfunding may have been a boon to the industry but that doesn't mean what they are doing is right. Begging when you don't need to is wrong and that's basically what crowd funding is.

Which is the 'better' or 'correct' option seems to hinge entirely upon whether the project is a success, though, and ironically without the massive Kickstarter win in progress, I'm not sure anyone would have actually pegged a Dark Souls board game featuring cost-increasing miniatures as a super sound investment. The two options seem to boil down to;

"Okay, so you give us whatever money to help us reach our goal, and upon release, we split up whatever profit gets made with you. I mean... hopefully we do well, anyway. If the product doesn't sell well enough to recoup the investment or fund additional prints, then that's kind of going to suck for you, but you know, risks and whatnot! It'll be a fun ride! ...maybe you can buy a copy, you know, help us out? No, why would you think you get a free copy, that's ridiculous."

Versus,

"Okay, so you give us whatever money to help us reach our goal, and for this specific amount we will- regardless of whether the actual product is a retail success- send you a copy of your very own! If the product doesn't sell well, then that kind of sucks for us, but you'll still have your game regardless. (Or, in the case of the sub-tier contributions, at least the game will actually exist now, out there, within reach.)"

Again, right now we have the benefit of- very recent- hindsight due to how the Kickstarter has exploded, but considering the relatively modest goal that was set compared to the current raised sum, I don't think even the company really expected there to be quite this much interest in pre-orders. Their last update was celebrating reaching the 200,000 mark, and I kind of get the impression from their silence since that they're just crowded around the screen, gaping and probably panicking a bit. And it is pre-orders, for the mast majority; of the thirteen thousand, six hundred total contributors (last I checked) less than two hundred and fifty contributed less than was needed to pre-order a copy.

On a different subject, I always find it a bit odd when people contribute less than is needed to get any form of reward on a project that is already doing MASSIVELY well. xP I could sort of see it if they were concerned it wouldn't go through otherwise, but right now all of the non-pre-order contributors could withdraw their pledges and it would barely dent the total.

Where did I say investment and preordering had to be mutually exclusive? Donating to get the thing for free is preordering. What I don't like is them taking money to make something and giving nothing back. Especially if they make a profit off of it.

J.McMillen:

irish286:

Just because I don't agree with their methods doesn't mean I know about the industry. If you knew anything about the industry then you would realize small productions like this are best handled by lithographic 3d printing. Before you spout off you should actually learn about industry trends. There is also a third method. Crowd investing. That's when you take a percentage of profits and then divide it up based on what people invested in the project. Crowdfunding may have been a boon to the industry but that doesn't mean what they are doing is right. Begging when you don't need to is wrong and that's basically what crowd funding is.

This is way past small production. Based on current backer numbers they have sold over 14,600 copies of the game so far. That assumes that each regular backer only bought one copy and retailers only got the minimum of 6. And given the number of mini's the base game plus the stretch goals (78 mini's so far), this is way beyond 3-d printing (over 1,000,000 minis to produce). That doesn't even factor in the 7 large bosses that have to be purchased separately.

While 3d printing has it's place, in the game industry it's usually to produce master figures that molds are made from. Each of those molds will usually be designed to cast multiple copies of the mini each time, so they can mass produce a lot of them, in a short amount of time. 3d printing really isn't up to making highly detailed mini's on the mass production scale companies need, at this time. Currently, once you have the molds ready to go, every other casting option can out produce 3d printing.

You realize that's over 1.2 million in mold making costs alone right? For the price they could afford 20 production printers. A current mass production 3d printer can output up to 1500 25mm miniatures at a 0.1mm resolution in 2 hours depending on the size and intricacy of whats being produced and costs about 50k to purchase. Yes, it's slower. But with preorders usually done months out I think people would be willing to wait an extra few days for production. And once that initial purchase is made you don't need to make it again to start different production. In the long run it's cheaper which is why a large number of major manufacturers are switching.

irish286:
Where did I say investment and preordering had to be mutually exclusive? Donating to get the thing for free is preordering. What I don't like is them taking money to make something and giving nothing back. Especially if they make a profit off of it.

Edit: For some annoying reason, the forum converted all the symbols representing the proper monetary unit the Kickstarter is using into question marks. So I edited it all to dollar signs. xP

Because traditional pre-ordering, outside Kickstarter, isn't a viable way to raise funds. Traditional retailer pre-orders, online or otherwise, wouldn't work to fund development, as they don't require all the money until the actual product is launching, and you're able to cancel a pre-order with relatively short notice. If you try to 'Do It Yourself' instead of relying on traditional retailer pre-orders, and don't use Kickstarter, you're largely left making a Paypal account and spamming forums hoping people are really impressed by your impassioned Wordpress blog on your product. =P

I do see what you're saying, but crowd investing feels inadequate in its own ways, and in this particular case extraordinarily unnecessary. They don't NEED investors, they also clearly don't need to 'beg' to get money in exchange for nothing, as 98% of the money they've raised comes from people who are securing advance copies for themselves, and in some cases throwing in a little extra to unlock the extra figurines- which are included for all tiers.

I'm not even exaggerating there. When it comes to people who have contributed too little money to get anything, even if we rounded up that group to 300 people, (it's less, last I checked,) and also assumed they ALL contributed $79, (just below the non-limited threshold of $80) they will only have contributed about $23,700 to that 1.5 million total. In other words, 1.58%. And to reiterate, that's the biggest possible amount these people could have possibly contributed, literally can't be any higher.

What they ultimately needed was a platform where they could both a) spread the message to a wide enough audience to draw prospective contributors, and b) get the pre-order money up front so it could go directly into development and production. If another platform comes along that offers both those things and is less 'free-form' than Kickstarter, then absolutely, I'll be right there with you saying they should go there.

irish286:

You realize that's over 1.2 million in mold making costs alone right? For the price they could afford 20 production printers. A current mass production 3d printer can output up to 1500 25mm miniatures at a 0.1mm resolution in 2 hours depending on the size and intricacy of whats being produced and costs about 50k to purchase. Yes, it's slower. But with preorders usually done months out I think people would be willing to wait an extra few days for production. And once that initial purchase is made you don't need to make it again to start different production. In the long run it's cheaper which is why a large number of major manufacturers are switching.

The problem is that even 0.1mm resolution still isn't good enough. Tabletop gaming miniatures have many curves and angles and any amount of jaggedness would never be accepted. Even 3d printed mini's used as masters for mold making still have to be touched up by a sculptor. Until the resolution gets even better and affordable machines designed for production are available, the tabletop games industry is still going to rely on more traditional methods and outsourcing productions to companies that specialize in producing whatever kind of materials they need.

Also, they aren't even close to 1.2 million in mold making costs. Each mold is made to produce figures in sets, not individual mini's. The base game probably only needs 3 total molds to produce all the mini's. They could have probably gotten away with two, but it looks like the player characters will be cast in a different color plastic so they need a mold of their own. As for the expansions the player character and armor sets would be one mold each, Iron Keep could possibly get by with 2 (maybe 3), and the core game expansion is 2 or 3, depends on how many different color plastics are used (2 or 3).

 

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