Now that it's been a while since Looney Labs has completed their successfully funded Werewolf Kickstarter I wonder if there are any plans for future Kickstarter project from the Labs? I suppose the answer to that depends on 1) ideas for Kickstartable projects and 2) the value gained from the KS platform based on the Werewolf experience.
I can't speak to #2 above (but would love to learn more from Kristin or Andy if they're inclined to share), but I do have something to say about #1. That is, based on my own desires and observations around the forums, a few KS projects that would likely (for some value of 'likely') meet with success are:
* Gray pyramids
* Chessboard/Martian Chess bandanas
* A Zendo boxed set
The first two are fairly humble projects (IMO) but the Zendo boxed set would be a doozy. That said, the buzz around Zendo in the circles that I frequent is very high. There are many programmers who would snatch up a Zendo set in a heartbeat.
Anyway, I hope that the last KS was a profitable affair and if so it points to future projects funded via that route. Our wallets await the next. ;-)
Honestly, I'd rather have a new multi-colored stash, with obvious ability to take it to 5HOUSE, for my money. It'd be a much better move, with the ability to expand the color selection, and it's going to be pretty hard to get someone to buy more than one stash if there's only one color available. Many have commented about the steam punk package, which I've been a huge believer in, and that could be a cool concept, if there was a game that could take specific advantage of it's form.
Some thoughts… There are many ways that a pyramid kickstarter campaign could be devised successfully, should LL decide that it makes sense based on demand and their ability to get a lower production order made with their Chinese manufacturer.
The first two options you mentioned could be put together into a KS campaign (as they often include items that are unlocked). However, as we have two opaque colors already, I don’t see them putting out five new opaque colors (or even five more translucent ones), as most pyramid games are for four or fewer players (there may be more of a demand here than I realize).
At the very least, I believe that there may be enough demand now for a gray set with existing pyramid players. I think it would great if they bundled a gray set with another opaque color (i.e., gold), which could be sold in stashes or in grouped trios. If they had a game using the opaque pieces designed for three or four players, they could sell them in groups of six or twelve pyramids; those wanting complete stashes could then buy an additional set or two.
Stating the obvious: Zark City exists to make Zarcana/Gnostica more accessible to players who don't have (and wouldn't buy) a tarot deck. It also happens to be easier to learn, so it's easier to get into. (I prefer its simplicity actually…) Caldera was created to make Volcano accessible without buying ten stashes worth of multi-color pyramids now that the monochrome stashes are a thing of the past. (Workaround: You can still get Pink Treehouse, and if you can't, 2x Pink Hijinks works…) As with Gnostica and Zark City, both are still enjoyed because they wind up being different games in play.
I think I agree with you that, aside from a limited run of grays, there just isn't going to be a whole lot of demand for a new monochrome stash aside from people looking to complete collections (hi!). Anybody looking for a 6th mono stash for Volcano has already gone the pink route (hello!) or found themselves five Xeno stashes (hi again!). Gray is not really required at this point, unless you want an option cheaper than a pair of Pink Hijinks sets. That's likely to continue as long as Pink Hijinks is sold, which I do not anticipate being forever—a somewhat sad subject for another thread.
Gold's an interesting idea to pair with gray and perhaps brown. Two or three trios of each, maybe. You can perhaps see where I'm going there, but I'll stop short of proposing any particular game or mechanic to keep LL out of dangerous legal waters if they decide to go forth and do it. :)
Come to think of it, I'd love to see a game or two published using two Xeno stashes as a more convenient way to package and buy them.
Yeah, I think a game designed for two opaque colors would be cool, especially if the hypothetical game is largely self contained (or maybe necessitating a treehouse set in addition, which most people pledging would already have). I imagine, if it was scalable to three or four players (with black and white pyramids), that would be cool, but it could play as is with two. It might be attractive to pyramid players who don't want to go out and buy additional Xeno and Rainbow sets, and, those of us who want to tinker with other games would pledge enough to get complete stashes.
I'm sure these scenarios have been thought of, but they might not be realistic. That's the appeal of a Kickstarter campaign though; different ideas can be put together, with some of them to be unlocked when there's enough support.
I think there's some danger in thinking of the idea as basically a group buy of something new and cool. Or not so new, no longer available, and wanted by new players.
Looney Labs is a small company, and ultimately it needs to make teh moniez, especially in this insane economy. We've been dealing now, mid-2014, with basically eight years of I Can't Believe It's Not A Depression type economic doom. Oh sure they money guys are making money. They make money on people's miseries as well as fortunes, as long as they can predict what'll happen. But this isn't the forum for THAT “little” discussion. :)
The Looney clan hasn't been too secretive about the size and scope of their operation—it's tiny! Until not so long ago, the company offices were the basement of a house bought by Alison. They lease space in a warehouse and have a small space where they prepare and palletize current orders. They have large distributors, which is how their stuff gets into larger stores and whatnot, but it seems that they handle at least some of their smaller customers themselves.
They're small enough to do something like a KS project for a new game using pyramids, with support levels for the fans and everything, but they're also a big enough operation that they've got to make sure everybody's getting paid. A labor of love, for sure, but it's no longer just that.
But owning a small business myself, I realize that no matter how much you love your work, you've got to make it sustain itself. They can indulge us only so long as we continue to help them make money. For them that means making new games, and for us it means buying, selling, and playing their games, and telling them what works and what needs more work.
Zendo cards are probably easy enough, and I know Zendo stones should be. Hmm…
I would buy in to a pyramid-themed KS, certainly. :)