Kickstarter Roundup: Summer/Fall 2021

Sunday, December 19, 2021

It’s time once again for a look at successful Kickstarter campaigns from recent months. They included three projects that raised six-figure sums: The Girl Genius RPG from Steve Jackson Games, Lady Mechanika: The Monster of the Ministry of Hell #1 from Joe Benitez, and City of the Great Machine from CrowD Games.

Other notable campaigns included Tesla Inventorium from Parabot Studio, Dr. Falke’s Oraculum from Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick; The Ghost Ship audio drama from Madeleine Holly-Rosing; The Shadow Out of Time pocket watches from Vermilion Concept; The Victorian Collection from Laura Meyer, We Never Lost Control from Unwoman, and Last Ride of the 4 Horsemen from Flatline Comics.

Tesla Inventorium

Creator: Parabot Studio. Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Launched: June 30, 2021. Ended: July 30, 2021.

Goal: US$6,900. Raised: US$8,419 from 124 backers.

Original news item from July 9, 2021:

Parabot Studio in Belgrade, Serbia is raising funds on Kickstarter for Tesla Inventorium, a handpainted video game with puzzle-solving elements. The game is set in two worlds: Reality, where you take on the role of Tesla and contend with dangerous machines made by his enemies, and Inventorium, a dream world where you’re an automaton seeking Tesla’s lost inventions.

The final version will be available for PCs, Macs, Android, iOS, and “hopefully for the Switch.”

More info: Kickstarter page | Parabot Studio website

Sasquatch: Klondike #2

Creator: Tardigrade Press. Location: London, ON, Canada

Launched: July 4, 2021. Ended: Aug. 1, 2021.

Goal: CA$2,500 (US$2,028). Raised: CA$2,691 (US$2,182) from 57 backers.

Original news item from July 9, 2021:

Tardigrade Press of London, Ontario is seeking Kickstarter funds for the second issue of Sasquatch: Klondike, a comic book adventure series. After moving with her parents to the Klondike during the gold rush, a young woman learns that she has “new and unwanted abilities.” Along with other families, they find themselves pursued by the legendary primates.

More info: Kickstarter page | Tardigrade Press website

A Victorian Gothic Inspired Pin Set

Creators: Meg Louise Art and The Bitter Season. Locations: Seattle and Phoenix, USA

Launched: July 10, 2021. Ended: Aug. 6, 2021.

Goal: US$500. Raised: US$1,590 from 61 backers.

Original news item from July 16, 2021:

Meg Louise Art and The Bitter Season, a pair of solo artisan shops in the western U.S., are raising Kickstarter funds for a collection of hard enamel pins with Victorian gothic themes. They’ve created three designs, dubbed the “Lantern,” “Victorian Hand” and “Moon Moth.” Each design measures 1.25 inches. The pins will feature silver plating and rubber backing.

They expect to ship the pins in October. Due to VAT changes, they say they can’t ship to the UK or EU through the Kickstarter campaign. However, they say limited quantities will be available on Etsy for overseas customers after the campaign has ended.

More info: Kickstarter page

Dr. Falke’s Oraculum

Creator: Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick. Location: Kingston, NY, USA

Launched: July 14, 2021. Ended: Aug. 13, 2021.

Goal: US$12,500. Raised: US$56,985 from 411 backers.

Original news item from July 30, 2021:

Collaborative artists Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick are on Kickstarter with Dr. Falke’s Oraculum, which they describe as “a book of images and text for augury and bibliomancy.” The artists are known for works that use photography and other art forms to create fictitious histories.

You can think of the new project as being akin to a tarot card deck, but in the form of a book with staged photos. It’s part of a series about Truppe Fledermaus, a fictitious cabaret troupe.

More info: Kickstarter page | Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick website

Bulldozer Terrain

Creator: Tom Wiggins. Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Launched: Aug. 1, 2021. Ended: Aug. 15, 2021.

Goal: CA$500 (US$399). Raised: CA$5,244 (US$4,185) from 232 backers.

Original news item from Aug. 6, 2021:

Tom Wiggins of Vancouver, British Columbia is on Kickstarter with “Bulldozer Terrain,” a set of 3D printable terrains for steampunk-themed tabletop wargames. “Wargames sometimes call for precise model placements and measurements, and 3D terrain doesn’t always make that possible,” he writes, so he designed these “with maximum playability in mind.”

These are not physical models, but digital files in the STL format, which is the industry standard for 3D printing.

More info: Kickstarter page

Cloudrunner: Fate of the Skies

Creator: Dylan Greene. Location: Baltimore, MD, USA

Launched: Aug. 11, 2021. Ended: Sept. 10, 2021.

Goal: US$1,750. Raised: US$2,355 from 77 backers.

Original news item from Aug. 27, 2021:

Dylan Greene, a writer and game designer in Baltimore, is on Kickstarter with Cloudrunner: Fate of the Skies, a steampunk-themed tabletop RPG inspired by video games such as Skies of Arcadia and Guns of Icarus.

The game is set in a steampunk fantasy world known as Escadus, in the aftermath of a war that has made the surface uninhabitable. Humans and other species now occupy the skies, and players take the roles of explorers in an airship.

Cloudrunner is based on the Fate Condensed RPG system and “emphasizes personal gadgets, airship travel, and combat,” Greene writes.

More info: Kickstarter page | Dylan Greene website

Last Ride of the 4 Horsemen: Conquest #1

Creator: Flatline Comics. Location: Fairhope, AL, USA

Launched: Aug. 22, 2021. Ended: Sept. 5, 2021.

Goal: US$3,000. Raised: US$3,820 from 127 backers.

Original news item from Aug. 27, 2021:

Flatline Comics, a new imprint from Inverse Press, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a sequel to Last Ride of the 4 Horsemen, the publisher’s steampunk western comic book series.

The original series told the story of shootist Cager Dobbin as he defended the town of Promise from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Famine, Pestilence, War, and Death. In Last Ride of the 4 Horsemen: Conquest, Dobbin leaves town “to find the source of the Horsemen and end them once and for all.”

Inverse Press publisher Kevin LaPorte returns as writer of the series, with Garrie Gastonny providing the interior art and Rifan serving as colorist.

More info: Kickstarter page | Flatline Comics website

Sky Islands 2 – Drumbeat of War

Creator: Aether Studios. Location: Grayslake, IL, USA

Launched: Aug. 31, 2021. Ended: Sept. 30, 2021.

Goal: US$500. Raised: US$18,982 from 243 backers.

Original news item from Sept. 3, 2021:

Aether Studios is back on Kickstarter with “Sky Islands 2 – Drumbeat of War,” a new set of steampunk-themed 3D-printable models for tabletop games. This set has a combat theme and includes steampunk war machines, terrains, and miniatures.

It’s the third Kickstarter campaign for the company and follows the same pattern: Set a low initial goal, get funded in minutes or hours, and then proceed to stretch goals.

More info: Kickstarter page | Aether Studios website

Steampunk Elves, Bases for Wargame

Creator: William Touret. Location: Bordeaux, France

Launched: Sept. 11, 2021. Ended: Oct. 11, 2021.

Goal: €500 (US$590). Raised: €1,199 (US$1,415) from 120 backers.

Original news item from Sept. 17, 2021:

William Touret of Bordeaux, France is seeking funds for a series of 3D printable bases for steampunk space elves used in board games. They’re available as STL files and work with FDM (fused deposition modeling) or resin printers.

Lower-priced pledge tiers include a personal license, but a pledge of €16 (US$19) or more includes a lifetime commercial license, meaning you can edit the files and sell the models.

More info: Kickstarter page

Lady Mechanika: The Monster of the Ministry of Hell #1

Creator: Joe Benitez. Location: Los Angeles, USA

Launched: Sept. 13, 2021. Ended: Oct. 13, 2021.

Goal: US$30,000. Raised: US$133,478 from 1514 backers.

Original news item from Sept. 17, 2021:

Joe Benitez launched a Kickstarter campaign for Lady Mechanika: The Monster of the Ministry of Hell, the next installment of the popular steampunk comic series. The four-issue series takes the title character back to her origins in a Victorian asylum. Backers will receive, at a minimum, a 48-page deluxe edition of Issue #1 with behind-the-scenes art plus an interview with Benitez in which he discusses his creative process as well as drawing and storytelling techniques. The 32-page retail edition is slated to hit store shelves on Dec. 8.

More info: Kickstarter page | Joe Benitez website

Steampunk & Cavern 3D Print Terrain & Wall Display

Creator: Real Game FX. Location: Ocala, FL, USA

Launched: Sept. 28, 2021. Ended: Oct. 24, 2021.

Goal: US$500. Raised: US$3,749 from 77 backers.

Original news item from Oct. 8, 2021:

Real Game FX launched a Kickstarter campaign for a set of 3D printable, steampunk-themed wall displays for miniatures used in tabletop games. The displays also function as game terrains. The set includes more than 120 STL files that can be downloaded and printed.

More info: Kickstarter page | Real Game FX website

No Little Sparrow - We Never Lost Control

Creator: Unwoman. Location: Martinez, CA, USA

Launched: Oct. 10, 2021. Ended: Nov. 1, 2021.

Goal: US$600. Raised: US$1,355 from 122 backers.

Original news item from Oct. 15, 2021:

Unwoman, a frequent musical performer at steampunk events, has a side project called No Little Sparrow featuring what she describes as a “dark ambient” sound. She released one album back in 2016, and is now on Kickstarter with the second, entitled We Never Lost Control.

She expects the album to have about 10 tracks with a total running time of 70 to 90 minutes.

A mere $1 pledge will entitle you to a download. She’s aiming for a December release. She posted the title track on the Kickstarter page but it hasn’t yet been professionally mastered. Her Patreon backers will get the album for free.

More info: Kickstarter page

City of the Great Machine

Creator: CrowD Games. Location: Tallahassee, FL, USA

Launched: Oct. 19, 2021. Ended: Nov. 19, 2021.

Goal: US$23,500. Raised: US$164,859 from 2306 backers.

Original news item from Oct. 22, 2021:

CrowD Games has launched a Kickstarter campaign for City of the Great Machine, a steampunk-themed tabletop game set in a city controlled by an artificial intelligence network. One player takes the role of the Great Machine, which aims to “suppress social unrest and complete its grandiose Master Plan to perfect mankind,” the publisher states. Other players are Heroes who attempt to thwart the machine by staging a revolution.

The game includes a modular board that can be reconfigured with different layouts, along with miniatures representing the characters. It’s designed for two to four players.

City of the Great Machine was created by Russian designer German Tikhomirov. CrowD Games is a publisher with offices in Moscow and Tallahassee, Florida.

More info: Kickstarter page | CrowD Games website

GURPS Girl Genius Roleplaying Game

Creator: Steve Jackson Games. Location: Austin, TX, USA

Launched: Oct. 20, 2021. Ended: Nov. 8, 2021.

Goal: US$12,780. Raised: US$172,756 from 2915 backers.

Original news item from Oct. 22, 2021:

Steve Jackson Games (SJG) launched its much-anticipated Kickstarter campaign for a roleplaying game inspired by Girl Genius, the popular Gaslamp fantasy comic by Phil and Kaja Foglio. The game will be available as a sourcebook containing all the resources needed to play, including characters, dramatic situations, game stats, and advice for game masters.

It’s compatible with the fourth edition of SJG’s GURPS (Generic Universal RolePlaying System), but the company says it’s self-contained and GURPS is not required to play.

SJG published a pre-release PDF edition of the sourcebook in August via DriveThru Comics and the publisher’s own Warehouse 23 online store. SJG notes that sales of the pre-release edition allowed the publisher to reduce the funding goal of the Kickstarter campaign. Buyers of the pre-release edition will receive an updated version, including the bonus comic, when it’s available.

The game is slated for delivery in May 2022.

More info: Kickstarter page | Steve Jackson Games website

Boston Metaphysical Society: The Ghost Ship Audio Drama

Creator: Queen of Mercia LLC. Location: Los Angeles, USA

Launched: Oct. 20, 2021. Ended: Nov. 19, 2021.

Goal: US$10,000. Raised: US$17,680 from 404 backers.

Original news item from Oct. 22, 2021:

Madeleine Holly-Rosing, creator of the Boston Metaphysical Society graphic novels, is adapting her work into an eight-episode audio drama, and she’s seeking Kickstarter funding to complete the project. Entitled The Ghost Ship, the audio drama is based on the first six-issue comic mini-series.

The original series tells the story of “an ex-Pinkerton detective, a spirit photographer, and a genius scientist who battle supernatural forces in late 1800s Boston,” Holly-Rosing explains. The Ghost Ship follows “our three main characters Samuel, Caitlin, and Granville as they investigate a mysterious ghost ship that has sailed into Boston Harbor, and is not only killing those who board her, but is luring children to their deaths.”

Each episode will run about 30 minutes. It will be available as a digital download, five-disc CD set, and flash drive. It’s slated for delivery in February 2022.

She’s producing the audio drama through her new company, Queen of Mercia LLC.

More info: Kickstarter page

The Shadow Out of Time

Creator: Vermilion Concept. Location: Los Angeles, USA

Launched: Oct. 20, 2021. Ended: Nov. 17, 2021.

Goal: US$1,000. Raised: US$14,365 from 229 backers.

Original news item from Nov. 5, 2021:

Vermilion Concept of Los Angeles has launched a Kickstarter campaign for “The Shadow Out of Time,” a mechanical steampunk-style pocket watch inspired the H.P. Lovecraft novella of the same name. It tells the story of the Yithians, a prehistoric civilization of extraterrestrial beings capable of time travel by projecting their minds into the future or past.

The watch is “inscribed with mysterious totems and scripts may just be the device used by the Yithians to travel across time,” the company says.

It features a self-winding mechanism with a bronze alloy-plated case.

The watch is available for a pledge of US$38 or more. It’s slated to ship in December. The company says it can ship anywhere in the world. A pledge of $80 or more will get you the “Rainy in R’lyeh” Cthulhu Umbrella, but without the pocket watch.

The company also offers playing cards in a variety of styles as well as Lovecraft-inspired pins and foil bookmarks.

More info: Kickstarter page | Vermilion Concept website

Lady Ygrayne - Steampunk 3D Printable STL File

Creator: Luis Moreno. Location: Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

Launched: Nov. 4, 2021. Ended: Dec. 4, 2021.

Goal: €200 (US$231). Raised: €391 (US$452) from 39 backers.

Original news item from Nov. 12, 2021:

Luis Moreno, a 3D sculptor and graphic artist from Spain’s Canary Islands, launched a Kickstarter campaign for Lady Ygrayne, a 3D-printable steampunk-themed miniature designed for use in board games.

He describes the character as an “engineer and soldier” and “heir to the RichmondHold crown. Exiled from her home, she now seeks revenge on those who usurped her throne with the help of a group of intrepid adventurers.”

She’s the first in a series of five models, which will also include “Leyla, the Aeronaut”; “Bella, The Navigator”; “Yazmine, First Official”; and “Merovingio, the Ornithopter.”

Backers can choose from two pledge tiers. A pledge of €5 or more entitles you to personal use of the model whereas a €45 pledge allows commercial use. It’s slated for delivery in January.

More info: Kickstarter page

The Victorian Collection

Creator: Laura Meyer. Location: Milwaukee, WI, USA

Launched: Nov. 6, 2021. Ended: Dec. 4, 2021.

Goal: US$9,500. Raised: US$10,382 from 170 backers.

Original news item from Nov. 12, 2021:

Laura Meyer, a self-described “Sartorial Anthropologist” in Milwaukee, launched a Kickstarter campaign for The Victorian Collection: Advanced Costuming Techniques, a hardcover book that will feature 15 of her Victorian/steampunk costume designs.

In addition to full-color photos, each look “is accompanied by a detailed description, references to the research or historical inspiration behind the costume, and a focus on one or more advanced costuming techniques used in its creation,” she says.

She’s planning an initial print run of 450 copies with an estimated delivery of April 2022. You can get a printed book by pledging $40 or more, or a PDF version with a pledge of $15 or more.

More info: Kickstarter page

Dice Mill: Steampunk 3D Dice Tower

Creator: Digital Taxidermy. Location: Brandon, UK

Launched: Nov. 19, 2021. Ended: Dec. 5, 2021.

Goal: £500 (US$667). Raised: £3,537 (US$4,718) from 769 backers.

Original news item from Nov. 26, 2021:

Digital Taxidermy of Brandon, UK launched a Kickstarter campaign for “Dice Mill,” a steampunk-style dice tower available as a 3D-printable STL file. Designed for use with tabletop games, it features a mechanism that causes a mill wheel to turn when dice are placed in the chimney.

Stretch goals include a steampunk-style dice box and card deck container.

The company is offering the models on a “pay what you want” basis with a minimum pledge of £1. A pledge of £60 or more entitles you to a one-year print license. Estimated delivery is in December.

More info: Kickstarter page

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