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    Posted March 9, 2014 by
    Federal Way, Washington

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    Kickstarter Campaign for the MazeScroll Series is a Disappointing Disaster So Far, What Now?

    While there are still twenty-four days remaining for the Kickstarter campaign for the MazeScroll Series, the reality is that the first four days of the campaign have been a disappointing disaster. Only 10% of the campaign funding has been raised and almost all of that has been raised on the first day. Since then, the campaign has crushed into a concrete wall.

    This is especially significant because the first few days are the key to a successful Kickstarter campaign project. Generally, I think that at least 1/3 of the funding has to be raised within the first few days. If it is not, the project gets buried in static, and like a shark that does not constantly swim, the campaign drowns in indifference and sinks to obscurity.

    To be honest, I am not only very disappointed by such a cold reception for this project, I am also shocked by it. I think the MazeScroll Series is an original, amazing project that adds something new to the world. And I stand by that belief. The MazeScroll Series is not just another derivative card game, board game, puzzle game , or video game. It is unique.

    That obviously does not mean anything. And, of course, I could be wrong. I could be like a mother who thinks her new born baby is the most beautiful in the world. I have seen a lot of ugly babies. Creators are blinded by their own vanity and blindeness. But whether it is my bias that has made me blind to the project's value does not matter, what matters now is one important question and one important concern. (Of course, I have not given up. I will continue to try to bring the project to the attention of as many people as I can.)

    The question is how close is how well does the "Kickstarter Nation's" opinion reflects the real world. Do people who back the various projects on Kickstarter are an accurate representation of the consumer for that product? What I mean is just because Kickstarter backers are not interested in pledging for the MazeScrolls does that mean that people outside of Kickstarter will not be either?

    After all, the vast majority of people don't buy things through Kickstarter. The vast majority of people don't back projects. Most people buy stuff through Amazon or through local stores. And of course, there are the vast number of impusle buys that are not always easy to predict.

    So, the most important question that I have to answer is whether the MazeScroll puzzle games are a viable, profitable product. Can the MazeScrolls generate a profit if they were to be available on Amazon, and in Barnes & Noble and other stores?

    Of course, the answer to this is not so simple. It could be that the current versions of the MazeScroll puzzles are not a viable product because they are too complex and detailed for children, and adults (at least not enough adults) are not interested in maze puzzles. But what if rather then using abstract art and architecture as inspiration for these maze puzzle, I use Disney, children's book illustrations and children's animated cartoons as inspiration for the graphics. What if I recreate the MazeScrolls by making the puzzles simpler and more "realistic". What if I depict paths that are like roads, add trees, buildings, figures, etc.? What if a make the MazeScrolls into scroll maze treasure maps? What if I add color?

    Is it possible that a change in style and subject (it is a small change since I can create abstract art as easily as I can create children's illustrations) can potentially take the MazeScroll Series from what is turning out to be a failed Kickstarter project to a successful product that can help me survive and prosper as a creator? That is the most important question raised by this campaign.

    This leads me to the important concern. Have I been too transparent with my ideas? Have I shared my ideas on my blog and on my website to my own detriment? Business is not a honest profession. Businessman, publishers, toy companies, entrepreneurs, artists, illustrators, designers, creators, etc. are not above scavenging for ideas, tweaking these ideas, renaming them, and making a lot of money from that theft. Copycats proliferate in any business. Unique creators creating unique products are rare (and they should and must be supported).

    My only defense at this point is that a maze puzzle, any kind of puzzle, any kind of "board game" in the form of a scroll created by anyone but me should be identified as a theft simply because this is such a unique, original idea that no one has ever thought of. It would be without doubt that if Random House, or Simone & Shuster, or Mattel or any other company came up with a game in the form of a scroll, it would be because they stole my idea. Or rather that the creator whose game they published/manufactured, stole my idea(s).

    I know that a scroll is not my idea and there are many different games that can be created that do not bear any similarity to my MazeScrolls or StoryScrolls. But there has not been any. And if some come out in the next few months and/or years it will not be a simple coincidence. The scroll is a little known format, forgotten and used only by Asian artists to create landscape art. Printers are not used to printing this forms (I know from my own experience in searching for printers to manufacture my MazeScrolls.) Any product coming out in that format has to acknowledge my influence and suggestion. But an acknowledgment does not help me pay rent or buy breakfast. And I certainly would not be satisfied with an acknowledgment.

    Unfortunately, America is not the mythic land of opportunity that it likes to portray itself as being. The rich get richer, and the poor, no matter how creative and brilliant they may be, stay poor if they do not have the resources to turn their ideas into products, and use those products to generate an honest income. (Or the poor get in debt trying to get out of their poverty and are essentially enslaved. Be careful that in trying to improve your life, you don't ruin it. I write this from experience. Many companies pray on your hopes and dreams and desires to attain a better life.)

    [Here is the link to the project if you would like to check it out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/maciekjozefowicz/mazescroll-babies ]
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