Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ogre crush! Kickstarter ends at over $900.000!

The Ogre Kickstarter project was simply an amazing episode in the history of the hobby.

For those who don't know, Ogre was a small, pocket-sized game first published in 1977 for, I think $2.95 -- which is about $11.17 in today's dollars, according to the CPI calculator.

The basic premise of this classic game is that warfare of the future features, besides tanks, hovercraft and power-suited infantry, these enormous robot tanks called Ogres. The basic scenario pits one of these against a more conventional force ina classic one-against-many situation. Sequels called G.E.V. (for Ground Effect Vehicle -- what the hovercraft are called) and Shockwave added more units and maps and scenarios.

Later editions included a deluxe version and a miniatures game, but all of it has been out of print since the late 1980s as Steve Jackson moved on to other projects such as GURPS, Illuminati and, most famously, Munchkin.

People have been pestering Jackson for years to come out with a  new edition and  he finally decided to move on the project this year after years of development work and running the numbers. Notably this was always going to be a real "deluxe" or "designer's" edition with lots of extra stuff in it, including basically all the material from the base Ogre plus GEV and Shockwave. Jackson's game company doesn't have a pre-order system set up and so, in order to gauge the level of interest, he used the Kickstarter system.

Kickstarter is a cloud financing system geared mostly toward creative projects that has been used by some game designers. Probably the most well-known before Ogre was D-Day Dice.

Jackson was thinking he could sell 3,00 copies at $100 dollars apiece. In order to create a pseudo-preorder system he set a  goal of $20,000 to get the project going with what are called "stretch" goals in Kickstarter for additional  "swag."

By the end of the 30-day drive the Ogre project had more than 5,500 backers and raised more than $925.000!! Wow.

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