I think that, comprehensibly, people have forgotten how a Kickstarter campaign is different from a simple pre-order or just a normal "seller/buyer" relationship. Nowadays, big manufacturers like CMON make the rules on this platform and drastically modified the way people approach a Kickstarter campaign. Before going on, however, let me clarify that I'm not complaining about that, at all: I think that big boats raise the sea also for the smaller ones, and in fact without these "big guys", far fewer people would frequent Kickstarter halls!
However, CMON, a strong and successful industry, did transform the concept of a Kickstarter campaign and, for better or for worse, the vast majority of people nowadays think that a CMON-style campaign should be the standard in the market.
Great art, massive production, amazing deals, tons of freebies and exclusive licenses: they have almost everything a collector would wish for!
However, especially for a little reality like us, it's difficult to make people understand that we simply are not able to compete with those giants of the market: they are just on another level, and it's too evident!
For this reason, I think that many of you are not aware about the most amazing side of supporting the project of a small manufacturer like ours: you are not just preordering a bunch of miniatures at a convenient price.
You are making the difference!
Thanks to Kickstarter you, our customers, are in fact our patrons and not simply customers: it's not about "how much money I'll grab with this project of mine", but more about "how much money I'll grab TO CREATE this project of mine".
It's a subtle but crucial difference and, wether you are aware of it or not, without you there wouldn't be any range of us.
For this reason I really want to thank all of you that supported us during this campaign and the previous one, because you didn't simply buy a product of us, but you create a product with us.
For this reason, as in the previous post I wrote about what didn't work in this project, so I want to spend some lines to talk what filled my heart with joy.
•WE ARE CREATING A COMMUNITY
A lot of Iron Crows backers supported also this new campaign, and this fact made me really happy. It means that we did a good job with our first, true, project (despite, obviously. I made a lot of mistakes even in that campaign). Slowly, but relentlessly, we are creating a little community of people interested not simply in buying our miniatures (which is important), but genuinely interested in taking part to our journey in the miniatures world (which is even more important). As I wrote many times before, one of the best part of our job is the relationship with the community: wargamers, collectors, painters, they all live this hobby with an overwhelming passion and this fact helps so much us, the creators, to be highly motivated to always do our best! Seeing that many unknown people spend their time to write us supportive emails and messages and try all their best to help us with our projects, it's what really melts my little heart.
I'm really proud and thankful about that and I'm also aware that I can't take this for granted: my first goal now is to live up to your expectations.
•OUR FINAL GOAL IS CLOSER THAN BEFORE
It's not a mystery that we are designing all our miniatures with a game in mind. However, as I wrote many and many times before, to design a good game is way harder than simply create a decent range of miniatures, especially nowadays that competitors are stronger by number and quality: there are already a lot of awesome games out there, so I want to creating something worthy of being in the market with them.
Soon after our first successful KS campaign, I received many requests from various company to let them design a game based on our products, but I denied. Before thinking about producing a game, in fact, I want to be sure that we are in the right direction and above all, I want to grow up as a creator: that means, principally, to be able to manage all the technical sides of this work. At this moment, for us an average production (= 4-8k miniatures to be produced) is a great challenge, and if we want to design a proper game, we need to be able to handle higher volumes of requests.
That said, I'm happy because we have made another step towards our final goal: a new range is ready (ok, is funded!) and we are able to focus on the next project!
•PEOPLE START TO KNOW OUR STYLE
For sure, if we designed a warhammer-style-something, we would collect more funds (way more), but even if I honestly love money (like all Ligurians like me), I decided since the beginning of this journey to try a different path. I love fantasy in almost all its thousands incarnation, and for sure there are evident contaminations of Paul Bonner's design in our miniatures, but I always tried to make something that could be recognizable as "our style".
I was a bit worried when designing the Second Government range because I knew that it would have a design more difficult to fit in a random wargame/boardgame. In brief, I was aware that it would sell less than, for example, my Iron Crows. However, I think that this little "sacrifice" is worth to create a future collection of miniatures that people perceive like "Durgin Paint Forge" and not like "Warhammer alternatives".
It's not easy and I think that I still have to abandon more often my comfort zone to create more original characters (I will talk about the "M.A.S.K regret" in a future post), but I'm happy to see that people are interested about these new concepts and they want to know more.
I had many requests about a new booklet of lore and that really motivated me to keep going with the creation of our fantasy world!
•WE MADE A FREAKING IRON TITAN!!
After lines and lines of serious speech, let me brag a little about one of the best kit we ever designed: the Iron Titan!
I seriously can't wait to see it at least 3d printed, because I have a physical need to see this little (well, not so little) precious in real!
The Iron Titan is only the beginning of a long journey and I think that it has what it takes to be an evergreen of the market.
I know, this could be considered a presumptuous statement, but you have no idea about how this kit will be enhanced more and more, in the future.
To produce a big range of miniatures is not easy at all, and the next months will be really challenging for us: it really helps a lot to see that one of the many rewards of this new project, is a colossal dwarf mecha, full of alternative parts!
Isn't it adorable?!