Introspective Rambling to a Backer’s Question

I think most would agree I’m pretty transparent and open. I’ve learned so much from others sharing their ideas with me and consider them as collaborators in many endeavors.

Kickstarter backers have pushed this way beyond anything I could have imagined and it’s wonderful. =)

Backers are far more than just some dollar amount – they’re the ones that decide if something is worthwhile. Without that support, a Kickstarter’s project is probably crap. o_O

This morning I read a nice message from the Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse Kickstarter and it made me focus on what’s next.

What follows is exchange between two Davids with some additions in my response:

Greetings David,

If I’ve done the math right MTMA exceeded MTP/MTA by about 400% in both number of backers and funds raised. Given the loyal following you are building it is not outside the realm of possibility that your next project would maintain that trend. That’s 12,820 backers (I would consider that the bare minimum number of games), and $234k-ish (assuming similar reward costs).

Given those numbers a couple of questions have come to mind.

  1. have you given any thought as to how you will mitigate those numbers, i.e. by having a bunch of staggered reward levels?
  2. will the delivery schedule have time built in to ensure you don’t end up divorced?

:o ;)


Looking forward to the next installment.


Hi David! That would be a great problem to have! So let’s take a look at it.

The next game would have to be as well received, or better, to surpass this one in my opinion.

Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse hits several notes just right. It’s very simple and doesn’t pretend to be anything more than it is. The secret of why it’s fun to play is the nature of a pair of d6s.

I wish I could claim I was clever but a pair of dice is a lot more than game components used as a randomizing mechanic. That’s why 1,985 books (Amazon) are written about Craps. (wiki)

I take some credit for wrapping the theme around it but can’t take credit for being original in that theme! I tried to stay true to monster, sci-fi, and apocalypse memes.

The biggest thing I can claim is getting the logistics of the game components to a point that they fit in a really small tin! =)

I think those are some of the factors that made this one successful.

To repeat that success is quite intimidating to me – the bar has been set high – that bar was set by your support for this Kickstarter.

I’d love the next game to be 4 times bigger but I don’t think it will be.

We would need reviewers like Rahdo and Tom Vasel to make that happen (and they would need to be stellar reviews). Since we are independent publishers and don’t sell through game stores, that may be a factor as far as their reviews go.

We’d love to sell through game stores and do sell in our FLGS – DiversionsPG – but since we source in the US, our game costs are higher than offshore manufactures and that doesn’t allow for enough profit margin for normal distribution channels.

The reviewers who have been gracious to donate their time, skill, and talent to our games tend to be independents like us – I am humbled by their work and value their time (so much so it moves me to tears to think about how wonderful they are – I’m hugely sentimental). =)

But . . . if the next Kickstarter did go bananas, we’d probably do something similar to the Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse Kickstarter – add a later reward delivery just like you mentioned (not more than three dates though).

AND . . . we’d hire some local folks to help make the rewards.

BUT . . . the bigger challenge isn’t the labor.

It’s the supply chain.

We bought out all inventory from Chessex twice during this campaign for the colors we used. That was stressful.

We could reduce that by not specifying colors in the final games, although that would open this up to backers wanting specific colors and that wouldn’t work for efficient shipping (because that makes the inventory issue a problem again).

Another factor that would likely keep the next Kickstarter from being bigger is the nature of its game.

Right now I’m all hyped up about Mint Tin Quest which is a solo game. That’s a smaller niche than a 2 player game.

It would also be in a normal-sized tin. While that’s still novel, we’ve done that with Mint Tin Pirates and Mint Tin Aliens.

Having Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse fit into a mini-sized tin added novelty and was a part of its success, albeit game play is the single most important factor, the diminutive size did raise its visibility and create online buzz.

Saying all of that, Mint Tin Quest could fizzle out.

At such an early stage in design, it’s easy to be excited about it but it has to end up being fun to play.

Mint Tin Villagers is much farther along than Mint Tin Quest. It has some final artwork and all the components are figured out. The label’s even done and there’s already a Kickstarter project page for it.

It was supposed to launch with Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse as a 2 game Kickstarter (like our first), but the last minute or two of game play is flat. I haven’t given up on it but there came a point where it was preventing Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse from going forward.

Dang David, this sparked a lot of introspection and I think I’m going to turn this into a blog post!

Thank you for asking and getting me thinking about it more concretely.

Thank you for the tremendous support and for being a true collaborator – you made this Kickstarter a reality and have shaped the next one more than you know!

Happy holidays David and happy gaming!



from Update#2:

the beautiful Bell Curve of 2d6


the actual probability formula for 2d6 – that’s some serious math!