With one week to go, Ogre Designer’s Edition has charged in the lead as the front runner for the prestigious award of the most successful boardgame kickstarter campaign ever. Currently sitting at $500,000 (to help our readers visualise this, 500k worth of 1 dollar bills would weigh just over half a ton) it shows no signs of stopping. To discuss the tremendous success of this classic game, Steve Jackson creator of Ogre, Car Wars and Munchkin has graciously taken a bit of time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions.

Currently almost $535K, but who’s counting? Oh, wait . . . a LOT of us are counting . . .

Steve, thank you so much for speaking to us, first of all did you have any idea about how successful Ogre would be? Did you imagine it to take off like it has done?

In a word, no. I knew we had strong support but I didn’t expect it to be so very deep. I would have been delighted to hit $200,000, which was why that was where we set the “two boards become four” stretch goal. When we blew past $400,000, I was just beyond bogglement.

Currently, Ogre stands at 2,500% of its original campaign value. Why do you think that this reprint of the very first game you ever designed back in 1977 has been so successful?

Well, if I say so myself, it’s a good game. And its original release came during a period when a lot of people were just entering the hobby. They enjoyed it and played it over and over. And, from the mail I am getting, that’s why so many of them are ordering it now. It’s a good part of their memories from 20 or 30 years ago, and now they’d like to play it again, but with the type bigger so they can still read it . . .

If you had not been able to use Kickstarter or a similar crowd funding service, what would be the fate of Ogre now?

We were going to do it anyway. We were going to print 3,000 copies, with a lot less stuff in the box, and we didn’t expect ever to do a supplement. Given the enthusiasm we are seeing, I expect we would have sold those 3,000 pretty quickly, been faced with requests to reprint, and not felt able to do it. So this is all around better.

Now the support for Ogre is so encouraging – what is in the future for our colossal, intelligent mega-tanks?

We have already committed, based on hitting stretch goals, to a supplement, a number of extras, SOME kind of digital game, and a re-release of the miniatures. We all have to hang on and see what’s next.

Some smaller game designers and publishers might say that Steve Jackson Games is already such a successful and mainstream company. What would you say to those that feel that Kickstarter should be a place only for smaller companies and more unknown talent?

I’d say to them “You’re wrong.” Maybe even “You’re very wrong!” There’s a very good article here: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/2012/05/01/kickstarter-2/   that talks about this point. It wouldn’t surprise me to see some of the world’s top entertainment talent using Kickstarter soon.

I should also point out: If Kickstarter were to become a protected garden limited to small projects and unknown talent, we’d instantly see the emergence of a “Big Kickstarter” to meet the needs of higher-profile creators . . . and that “Big Kickstarter” would soon get all the viewers, and the hopeful beginners would move to the place with the bigger audience, and the original Kickstarter would wither. As it is, though, Kickstarter is very democratic. Every project gets the same amount of space to fill with its appeal. Supporters read that appeal and judge for themselves.

Now you have seen the success of Ogre’s reappearance via Kickstarter, what would you say to your fans that are very keen for a similar rerun of your other classic games like Car Wars?

I don’t think they will be disappointed  :)