Risk and Renders: "Kickstarter is not a store."

Store Closed. Found Love.
Many view Kickstarter as a new pre-ordering system. However, Kickstarter just updated their guidelines to reinforce their position that they are NOT a store. Towards that end, they've made two major changes to their guidelines. Here's how they affect game projects.


RISKS

Today we added a new section to the project page called "Risks and Challenges." All project creators are now required to answer the following question when creating their project: “What are the risks and challenges this project faces, and what qualifies you to overcome them?”

The intent of this change is to allow backers to judge the creator's likelihood of completing the project promised. This also forces the project creator to acknowledge the risks inherent in any project. For a board game or role-playing game, these risks are:

  • Delays in production
  • Delays in distribution
  • Rules errata
  • Staff changes
  • Margin of error in estimated costs
  • Components that are different than shown in early promotion
  • Different specs than initially promised

And any number of other unforeseen circumstances. If you're doing your project right, you should already be aware of those risks. Now Kickstarter requests that you be public about those risks with your backers.


RENDERS

There are also several changes to the Hardware and Product Design categories.

Product simulations are prohibited.
Product renderings are prohibited.
Offering multiple quantities of a reward is prohibited.

These changes do not yet apply to other categories, like games. So you can still show component renders and example box art in your Kickstarter promotions. In all honesty, you should have example of play videos with real people anyway. The more accurate a representation of your play experience the better.

Hardware creators are understandably crying foul at this restriction, though. Why can books and films show trailers, but hardware can only show their prototypes? Expect some fallout from that complaint.

And as for the quantity restriction, games are still unaffected by that new change. However, games are affected by another recent change: No bulk product orders. That means you're not allowed to set up a tier where backers can get more than ten of the same product. For most game creators, that's okay since few local game stores would order more than ten anyway. Still, it's a restriction to keep well in mind.


How else will these changes affect how you approach Kickstarter? Does it fit your perception of their service? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.