Monday, June 16, 2014

Harbour, history, and just a little bit of emotion.

In October/November 2010, TMG took a chance on a new thing called Kickstarter. Michael Mindes and I raised $48,378 to publish my card game Eminent Domain. We had set the funding threshold at $20,000, and we were very nervous going into it that we would not succeed. No board game project on Kickstarter had made that much - the only thing close was Alien Frontiers and the $14,885 it raised earlier that same year.

Needless to say, we were taken aback by the overwhelming success of Eminent Domain on Kickstarter, and we're very grateful to the backers that made it happen. Since then, TMG has gone on to build a strong company and a strong reputation, returning to Kickstarter time and time again. We've grown our followers and fan base with each new project, and as anyone paying attention knows - Kickstarter has simply exploded with game projects - over the last 4 years, MILLIONS of dollars have been raised to print board games.

Earlier this year TMG wrapped up several quick Kickstarter projects for some microgames, and then took a hiatus to work on getting all of those through the pipeline. Today Michael launched TMG's latest Kickstarter project, a game called Harbour, by Scott Almes. Harbour is a small box worker placement game that is simpler and quicker than many games of its type, but more fun and interesting than many "microgames" out there. Rob Lundy has done FANTASTIC art for the game, bringing the fantasy harbour town to life with a cast of fun, adorable characters.

The project went live some time this morning, and right now (6:16pm) it's sitting pretty at $45,318 - and the first day isn't even over yet! A lot of factors went into such a fabulous first day of funding, but the prospect of out-funding the entire Eminent Domain project in 1 day has made me reflect on just how far TMG has come.

We started as a couple of friends that liked to play games, and here we are today with 7 full time employees, a pipeline full of games, and a whole host of terrific fans! I'm getting a little emotional thinking about how far TMG has come in just 5 short years.

So I wish a big thanks to all of our fans and backers for helping bring us to where we are today, and a hearty congratulations to Mike for his relentless pursuit of the vision he has for TMG despite any setback that may crop up. I'm proud of you, man!

... And of course, if you haven't already, you should check out Harbour on Kickstarter. It's a good game, and a good deal - well worth a look at least!


Scurra said...

And in a way you deserve your success - although I am a little conflicted that TMG is still using Kickstarter to fund stuff when it's not really the place for you any more (growing up and leaving home is painful sometimes!)
On the other hand, living in the UK, I resent your (and others) success in that it has made boardgames hideously expensive here now. Once upon a time, English-language versions of games were either printed in Germany or didn't exist (so we had to patch them together ourselves.) Shipping costs were a very minor part of the equation.
But now, pretty much all English-language games are printed in the US (well, in the US via China!) which makes the shipping costs astronomically high - I simply can't afford to back many physical KS projects any more (even with the multi-order options) since the final cost is sometimes getting on for twice the base cost of the game itself - and for that money I might as well wait for it to arrive normally (and that's without the whole customs horror to add to the confusion.)
Obviously, this is nothing to do with TMG, and it's great that the market is large enough in the US to make companies like yours viable. But... [grumble, grumble, grumble. :)]

Seth Jaffee said...

Thanks David!

I'm not sure I agree with your definition of "what Kickstarter is for" though. TMG has built a business and a following on Kickstarter, and I don't think there's anything wrong with continuing to go that route.

Nobody "needs" to use Kickstarter, people can get loans or shell out money from their own pockets like people used to do. Utilizing crowfunding allows TMG to continue to grow, hiring staff and aiming for higher and higher goals!