Robotech RPG Tactics, A Magic Act?

A magician wants you to look at one thing while they do the “magic.” Watch my hand and POOF the trick happens and you are amazed. I am trying to decide if Palladium Books is a magician, albeit a shitty magician, or incompetent. Yesterday was another “update” and like the last few “updates” this one barely mentioned Wave 2 (get to that in a minute). Instead of focusing on the problem, which if chatter is to be believed (I hope it is) is leading to the formation of at least two lawsuits, Palladium Books is once again trying to get backers to watch the wrong hand. What are we supposed to be looking at this time, convention exclusives.

Here is a problem, I paid for Wave 2. I did not pay for convention exclusives. What is more, that I am shown convention exclusives that are done (or close to done) and packaging, makes me very mad. Here is the update on Wave 2 (61 words out of the 500 word update), “As for Wave 2, I’m working on a big breakdown of where each and every component is in its development, but that’s going to take some time. The short version is that some have been approved for tooling, some are still pending minor changes, and a couple are being reworked to reduce part counts while preserving detail. It’s going painfully slowly.”

That sounds interesting, they have a breakdown of where each and every component is. But wait, they need time to put the information together? If Palladium Books had their shit in gear they would need no more than a few clicks of a mouse to open a file and print the results. A good project has at least one continuously updated project chart/table/form. This allows everyone involved with the project to know where each and every component of the project is in development. I know, I have done dozens. That Palladium Books did not have one for a Kickstarter Update (I am not saying they do not have one. I am saying that they do not have access to it in a timely fashion) and needs “some time” to develop a breakdown, speaks volumes to me. Not as much volume as after two years the project is not finished and shows no signs of being finished.

Yet, Palladium Books has found the time to create NEW* pieces for conventions. Sure they offered the exclusives to backers. Not as an apology-say on discount or for free-but for sale. Yes, 5,000 people are waiting for goods they paid for two-years ago, and are being informed that they can give Palladium Books more money for exclusive figures. Why would I give Palladium Books more money when they have not given me what I already paid for?

*Now, when I wrote NEW above, that was slightly misleading. In the update there were photos of an exclusive veritech, except that to me and a few other people, the figure looked identical to the Phoenix Hawk LAM figure from Battletech way back in the day. Further, let’s say the figure is “new,” there is absolutely nothing about the figure other than it is constructed out of metal and has less parts that makes it any different from the plastic figures that came with the set.

So here we are at the end of another update from Palladium Books:

  1. Wave 2 is somewhere in production, but there is no progress information that they can share for another week or more
  2. The scale “debate,” which occupied way too much gamer/backer energy was resolved exactly as expected, Palladium Books is doing nothing
  3. While Palladium Books has had two-years to complete the original product and has not, they have had the time to produce NEW* miniatures as convention exclusives and instead of doing something nice for the backers is charging them full price, which is around $20 a figure…bare in mind we have only seen photos of two of them

So is Palladium Books a magician? I ask because they have demonstrated an ability to know their customers. Not do for their customers, but know them well enough that portions (in some instances large portions) can be easily distracted for weeks at a time through the introduction of “debates,” “polls,” and “exclusive figures.” Palladium Books has not demonstrated that they do care about backers. Then again this could also be part of the misdirection, by saying nothing they let the  backers work themselves into a lather and then at the “right” moment reveal Wave 2 and say TA DA!

Like Magic.



11 thoughts on “Robotech RPG Tactics, A Magic Act?

  1. I’ve only backed a couple projects on Kickstarter and have never had an experience like that. If I did it may have disillusioned me to the whole thing… Out of sheer curiosity I checked out their Kickstarter page and reading some of the comments it looks like they’re making a name for themselves for late delivery. That sucks…

    1. Ankoku1331

      I hesitantly backed three other projects after Robotech RPG Tactics (which was my first) and all have exceeded my expectations in communication, professionalism, and delivery. Palladium Books is well known for missing their own deadlines often by months or years. At the time I backed there was another company, Ninja Division, which was advertised as a partner and responsible for the miniatures. I do not know why or when, but Ninja Division is no longer a partner and this seems to have affected miniature production, among the myriad of other reasons/excuses provided by Palladium Books.

      1. I can understand how that would delay delivery but on the same note they should have had all the specs ready to send out to a second manufacturer. It seems like they are still working on that? Someone told me once that backers like a project that is ready to produce and ship, not ones that make them wait a year or two.

      2. Ankoku1331

        By Palladium Books own words, they relied upon the expertise of other people for information. Thus, while an experienced company or a company that did proper due-diligence (research) would shift gears, producers, and plans to account for any production issues Palladium Books is doing…well, nobody but them know because they are not saying. The assumption is that Palladium Books is working with the same factory on their own. The rumor/speculation is that Palladium Books ran out of money and/or spent the money on other projects. The lack of communication with backers on the Kickstarter, Palladium forums, Facebook, and other forums is a bigger issue than problems with the game itself.

        The fastest Kickstarter I have taken part in took 6 months to complete, I believe. It was much faster than I expected. If Exploding Kittens arrives when they say it will, latest update was awesome-full of information combined with fun graphics-then it will be the fastest turn around.

  2. Dawfydd

    Well RRPGT was nowhere near my first Kickstarter, and I’ve backed many more since then (according to my profile almost 400!! How the hell’d that happen?). I have two that I backed before this that I am still waiting for fulfillment to be completed – Chris Roberts Star Citizen, the Crysis engine-powered space combat sim, and the Judge Dredd miniature game Block War campaign that I am waiting for the ABC Warriors for.
    Crucial difference though between these two & Palladium (and in fact most of the others I’ve backed) – I received part of my rewards in good time (Mongoose sent out the JD minis I’d picked that they had in stock and other minis from the freebies & add-ons have gone out as they are ready, Star Citizen they have been steadily releasing modules for backers to play and make their computers cry) and they have engaged constantly with the backers. Mongoose, for example, still interact in comments on their KS page, and have made us aware at every stage of the problems they have hit as well as how they are trying to solve them. Hell, I’ve been quite fortunate as the only other campaign I’ve backed that didn’t go as planned (other than this one) was the rather infamous Defiance minis Powered Armour campaign, but then I was only in for like $10 so could write it off.

    And if Palladium, one of the oldest gaming companies in the business, did not have the common sense to get a contract written with Ninja Division that clearly spelled out what ND would do with regards the campaign (both during & after), or if they did but just expected the Ninjas to do the post-KS work gratis then I’m sorry, but Kev & Co. have absolutely no sympathy from me. All the goodwill and excitement that was built up during the campaign has been utterly squandered as at every turn Palladium have managed to pick the route that infuriates & frustrates the backers, and a starter that should have been the perfect entry to the world of Robotech & Macross has become a lame duck…

    Sorry, rant over 😉

    1. Ankoku1331

      I understand the frustration. I have been surprised by the complete lack of clear communication with backers. I have zero idea why Palladium Books is using the Kickstarter to advertise product that is not part of the Kickstarter, I can speculate why, but I won’t. I want to know what is actually happening and I do not want to read about “NEW” miniatures until the miniatures I paid for have been completed. Until then, the only thing I want to read about is where in the production cycle they are. Unfortunately, Palladium Books has repeatedly demonstrated that not only do they not know how to talk to the backers, that they do not care-from not saying anything to having their spokes people say in replies that have been made public-“We don’t share because of the criticism.” That is child logic, “you were mean to me one time and I’m not going to talk to you.” However, until backers get organized and focused, Palladium Books will be allowed to continue waving their hands around-I would like to say I was surprised by the reaction of backers to the “scale debate and poll” and the convention miniatures, but I was not. Distraction works, not forever, but for at least two-years in this case.

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