County Rolling Stock are running a Kickstarter for a Mermaid Ballast Wagon in N Gauge. This will be a ready-to-run model, to be manufactured as a special commision by Dapol.
Crowdfunding started in the niche music scene, and has spread across many creative hobbies including the gaming world. Revolution Trains, ironically born out of a Kickstarter campaign that fell tantalisingly short of its very ambitious target has popularised crowdfunding in the British N gauge scene.
They and others could potentially transform how models are commissioned and sold. It’s a logical extension of the special commisions by major retailers and the N Gauge Society, except that rather than businesses and societies taking the financial risk, it’s up to the customers to prove the demand is there by pledging their money.
I wonder if Marillion realised what they were starting when they launched their pre-order campaign for “Anoraknophobia” some 15 years ago. And as I write this, I’m listening to “Essence” by Panic Room, another album funded by a successful kickstarter.
Dave Foster, guitarist for Panic Room, Mr So and So & The Steve Rothery Band has launched a Kickstarter campaign for his second solo album, to be titled “Dreamless”.
His first solo album, 2012′s “Gravity” was excellent, largely instumental but also featuring a wonderful guest vocal contribution from Dinet Poortman. The new album is likewise going to be a mix of vocal and instrumental tracks, and Dave Foster is promising ‘an array of guest musicians’, the identities of whom are yet to be announced.
If you like the sound of that, go and pledge now!
Mike Hale and Ben Ando are running a Kickstarter for an N-gauge Virgin Trains Pendolino.
Love them or hate them, they’re the signature train for the electrified west coast main line, which cannot be realistically modelled without them. The model will be produced by the Canadian manufacturer Rapido Trains.
The model will be available in 9 or 11 car versions as per the prototype, in DC or DCC with sound. For those without the space for a full-length set (A 9-car train is just short of 5 feet), there is also the option of a shortened 5-car set. The price for the basic 9-car set without DCC is £255, which compares very reasonably to Bachmann’s 6-car Midland Pullman.
The above photo is a tilt-shift image the prototypes at London Euston, by Stuart Axe.
Singer-songwriter Howard Sinclair is running a Kickstarter campaign for his second album “The Light Broke In”, a followup to his début “The Delicious Company of Freaks”.
Howard Sinclair ought to be familiar to fans of Panic Room having supported the band many times. More recently he’s played keyboards for Also Eden and appears on their album “[REDACTED]“.
The new album will be full band project, now including former Morpheus Rising drummer Paul “Gibbo” Gibbons on drums alongside Patrick “Patch” Sanders on lead guitar and Becky Baldwin on bass. It features cover art by Mark Wilkinson, known for his iconic artwork for Marillion and more recently for Fish.
We’ve already seen kickstarter-funded board games fail to deliver. Now it looks like the same has happened to a festival.
As reported by Metal Hammer:
The inaugural event in Kettering, Northampton, was to take place in just over two weeks – on the weekend of August 15-17. Headliners included Fields Of The Nephilim, Marilyn Manson and The Cult. Also lined up were Gary Numan, Killing Joke and over 170 others.
Manson tonight updated the gig listings on his official website and on Facebook, with Alt-Fest now marked as “cancelled”. Other acts due to play, including Cradle Of Filth, have also reported that they have been told the event is off.
While there has been no confirmation by the organisers, this slow-motion collapse seems very reminiscent of Memories of Woodstock back in 2009, when an over-ambitious promoter bit off more than he could chew, booked a lot of big-name bands and then failed to sell enough tickets to cover their fees.
With the way news is leaking out via the bands while the organisers have merely promised some sort of announcement on Monday, I’m seeing a lot of recriminations flying online. It’s very difficult to imagine the festival actually taking place.
In retrospect, the whole thing looks ridiculously over-ambitious, with 170 bands across seven stages in an already saturated UK festival scene.
Update: Altfest have posted on Facebook confirming the festival is cancelled. As suspected, lack of ticket sales is the reason, and reading between the lines it looks as though poor financial planning played a part. It does look as though the organisers lacked the necessary experience to put on a festival of that size.
Mantra Vega and former Sound of Contact keyboard player Dave Kerzner has launched a Kickstater campaign for his solo album “New World”, with an impressive array of guest appearances.
I’m Dave Kerzner, also known by my nickname “Squids”. “New World” is my first solo album after splitting with award-winning Progressive Rock band “Sound of Contact”. My new Prog record brings classic rock elements of the 60s and 70s into a modern musical soundscape. New World is a concept album done in two versions, a standard edition with over 70 minutes of music and a deluxe double disc extended edition with over 140 minutes of theatrical, rich and picturesque music to dig into! The subject matter of the storyline deals with the journey of human emotions from the darkness of facing your demons to rising above the obstacles that hold us back in life.
All of the lyrics and music are written, produced and sung by me and I am joined by some amazing special guests such as Steve Hackett (Genesis), Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd), Francis Dunnery (It Bites), Nick D’Virgilio (Tears for Fears, Big Big Train), Jason Scheff (Chicago), David Longdon (Big Big Train), Fernando Perdomo, Heather Findlay (Mantra Vega, Mostly Autumn), Adam Gaynor (Matchbox 20), Ana Cristina and more!
The album has a projected release date of October, provided the project reaches the funding goal of $17000.
Congratulations to Morpheus Rising for hitting their Kickstarter Target for their long-awaited second album with nine days to spare.
Morpheus Rising have launched a Kickstarter campaign for their second album.
This project will enable us to finish recording, mix, master, and manufacture the long awaited second Morpheus Rising album.
We’re a British twin guitar based rock band, currently working on our second album. We’ve been busy writing, arranging and recording a new batch of songs for this release, and we’re ready to mix, produce, master and manufacture it ready for you!
We recently signed with an independent label in the US, but the days of massive advances to pay for albums are long gone. So we need to fund this ourselves – and we’re well on the way! The new songs sound fantastic so far and we’re very excited!
The new song certainly sounded impressive when the band played them live supporting Panic Room back in July. This will be an album well worth investing in.
So the Kickstarter for The Doom That Came To Atlantic City has gone pear-shaped amidst accusations that Forking Path had used most of the kickstarter funds to fund the founder’s living expenses rather than on the development of the game.
It’s a reminder that backing any crowdfunded project is a risk which funders need to assess based on how nuch they trust the people behind the project to deliver. Sadly it’s also likely to be used by people with vested interests in the old-fashioned big-publisher driven model to discredit the whole concept of crowdfunding.
I’ve backed a lot of Crowdfunded music projects over the past few years, including Marillion who pioneered the whole concept a decade ago yet seldom seem to get the credit for it. I’m happy to pay £25-£30 months in advance for the deluxe edition of an album from the likes of Marillion, Mostly Autumn or Fish because I trust those artists to deliver. It’s the same with games; I trusted the Evil Hat crew to deliver on FATE Core, and they did.
Traditional publishing (or record companies) are not going away. But neither is crowdfunding, especially for things that have a lot of fan support but seem too risky to appeal to the bean-counters.
Arguments rage over whether Kickstarter is a pre-order mechanism or more like an investment in a startup. Certainly the bands I’ve mentioned above have all sold their projects as pre-orders. But, as the failure of TDTCTAC shows, there are elements of risk and trust involved. Back enough projects and you risk getting burned occasionally. But provided enough of them do deliver, I think it’s a risk worth taking.
Posted in Games
Just as crowdfunding has revolutionised the independent music sector, it’s been having a similar effect on the world of roleplaying games. Most recently, Evil Hat Productions‘ Kickstarter for Fate Core has been a runaway success, reaching it’s initial target within hours, then hitting stretch goal after stretch goal.
Fate has to be one of the most revolutionaly pencil-and-paper game engines to be developed over the past decade or so. It grew out of Fudge, with “Aspects” as a very elegant mechanic improving on what I felt were Fudge’s weaknesses. Games such as the two-fisted pulp action Spirit of the Century, the hard-SF space opera of Diaspora, and the licenced monster-mash urban fantasy of Dresden Files built on Fate’s core engine adding new mechanics and game tools to support many genres and styles of play. It developed the so-called “Fate Fractal”, in which everything from equipment to an entire nation can be modelled as a character. Fate Core aims to be an improved and streamlined core engine on which the next generation of Fate games can be built.
Pledge just a quid (although most people seem to have pledged far more than this) in order to get the finished printed book), and you can download the current laid-out version of the core rules. No art, and some details may be tweaked for the final release, but it’s a complete game.
If Fate is your sort of game, and you haven’t contributed yet, what are you waiting for?