It’s December and I should have gotten all of my Kickstarter products by now. But that’s not exactly what happened. Every single one of my Kickstarters was late except the one I had the least faith and relationship with – Random Encounter’s Let Me Tell You a Story.
I Fight Dragons – Project Atma (music): Holy COW! This band – my first Kickstarter – nearly disbanded over the Kickstarter! I thought they were the surest bet. They’d self-published their first few albums and they had rented a studio and had a producer and everything. However, they clashed over the direction the producer was taking them and almost broke up.
….and matters finally came to a head on Monday when the rest of the band called a meeting and confronted me. I still insisted that we had no choice, that we had spent the money for the producer and studio and we had a schedule and we had to stick to it, no matter what. I argued that backers had expectations, and that I didn’t want to be one of those kickstarters that let people down. They obviously disagreed strongly, arguing that the real backer expectations were for a great I Fight Dragons album, and that I was the one letting fans down by insisting we move forward on the path we were on. Tempers flared, words were said in anger, and while we were smart enough not to make any decisions in the heat of the moment, no one backed down and the way we left it that night was that I Fight Dragons was likely done.
They ended up firing the producer and losing the recording space which cost them the money they were going to use to produce the documentary. It was the reward I was looking forward to most after the record itself so that bummed me out. The latest update says we won’t be getting the album until next summer. In the beginning we were getting a lot of bonus tracks and that was awesome. Nothing for a while now and, to be truthful, I’d rather not hear demos of most of the songs (especially the song cycle) before hearing the finished thing. I wouldn’t mind getting some B-sides ahead of time, though.
Jonathan Coulton, Greg Pak, and others – Code Monkey Save World (music and comics): Greg Pak has created three or four other comic Kickstarters and JoCo is no newcomer to the world of self-production. Still this comic has had its share of delays. It was supposed to be ready for Christmas so we got an update recently in which they gave us vouchers to give to people who were supposed to get it as a Christmas gift. This was being delayed hasn’t hurt as much as the IFD album being delayed because while I did put in at the level to get the trade paperback when it is done, we’ve been getting the individual issues along the way on Comixology. Those have still been late, but it’s not too bad. Also, the last update said the book was being sent to the printers so it seems unlikely too many more delays could creep in.
Branwyn – Cyborg Like Me (book): I honestly thought there was no way this would end up delayed. Dude is taking essays he’s already written and then writing forwards and/or afterwards to bring us up to speed with what’s happened since then. The book is mostly a collection of essays about being there when the Internet and other techie geek culture stuff happened so I was most interested in seeing how we went from a Gibson-esque view of the future to what we have today. However, the money was essentially to support him writing full time and it ran out before he could finish the book. So, I think we’re supposed to get it in January now. Least updates of all the Kickstarters. However, updates are text and so is the book – so, unlike the others, it might be tiring to write more words when your product is words.
Random Encounter – Let Me Tell You A Story (music): As I mentioned above, it was the last one I did and I’d never heard of them. But it was the only one on time. The music was good. Some songs were even great. Overall, I really enjoyed their covers/reinterpretations (their Purple Haze/Sephiroth reinterpretation sounds pretty great) and was a little less on board with the original stuff. Still, I’d certainly keep them on my radar for future projects.