Red Markets

Created by Caleb Stokes

Red Markets
2f2650ea14d672ece42cd4b5643aa271 original
1,448 backers pledged $72,248.00 on Kickstarter

Red Markets is a game of economic horror, where the world has ended and the rent is still due.

Raised in Kickstarter
$72,248.00 / 1,448 backers
Raised in BackerKit
$20,557.00 / 1,555 backers

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Finish Line?
about 2 months ago – Mon, Dec 04, 2017 at 10:11:49 PM

It's not a finish line, of course. There are still a number of stretch goals to go and a novel I've yet to finish. We're working on them: I just sent out a few more freelance contracts today to get things rolling again on the stretch goal front, for instance.

However, I'm finally confident enough to say that most of the Red Markets books and dice have arrived. 

If you haven't received your copy yet and filled out the BackerKit surveys before the deadline, don't freak out. We're well within the busiest shipping period of the year. If nothing arrives by January 15th, 2018 (or if it arrives damaged), contact me and I'll make things right. Sending replacements now might see an extra copy arrive after your previously shipped one or, worse, the replacement lost in the same holiday postal mess as the first. 

If you didn't fill out the BackerKit survey before October 3rd, it's on you to contact me. I was very clear (across multiple platforms) about the survey due date and the requirement for paying shipping. If you didn't utilize that opportunity at the time, the tough news is that I no longer have an international shipping service under contract, and I will not be paying money out of my pocket to ship a book back overseas, then again to ship the book to another country. International shipping costs for latecomers just jumped up A LOT because we're back to the 'shipping out of the US' prices.

If you're late to the game filling out BackerKit surveys and live in the US, you still need to contact me. I'm not going to check that platform every day like I have for the last six months. It's on you to let me know you finally got around to filling in an address and credit card. I'll get it the mail when the check clears and I have spare time. 

Speaking of shipping, now that the endless fiasco is mostly over, I've recorded a Game Designer's Workshop episode on the subject. It's a more detailed breakdown of the whole process, beginning-to-end, than any of us have time to cover in text. Suffice it to say that the recording is NSFW. Your podcast wouldn't be clean either if you'd been through what I've been through...seen what I've seen.

(long pause)

(thousand-yard stare)

But I got through it. Thanks to supportive backers. Thanks to the intelligence, patience, and kindness of the Red Markets community. Thanks to the hard-work of the diligent contributors to this great game. Thanks to our fantastic, conscientious vendors and distributors. Thanks to selfless reviewers, raters, and purchasers at IPR and DTRPG. Thanks to all those people, the book is out there in the world now. People can buy it, read it, and play it. It can stand on its own, finally. 

That's an enormous achievement that I'm very proud of, and frankly, if you had any part in it, you should be to. It's a game some people love, and I think it says an important thing at a time when we all need to be saying something. I wouldn't have invested so much of myself into it if I didn't believe that were true, and I'm forever grateful and in the debt of all who helped me bring that vision into the world. Thank you.

Hit me up if you have questions, or DM me if you need help with something specific.

Anyway, back to work.


P.S. Again, the more detailed explanation of the whole shipping timeline can be found at RPPR Game Designer's Workshop Ep. 16.

Red Markets Arrives and Dice News
2 months ago – Thu, Nov 09, 2017 at 08:32:53 PM

Hello all,

I'm endlessly gratified to see Red Markets books arriving around the world. Seriously, those unboxing photos give me life right now. Thank you.

If you haven't received your books yet, they are on the way. We'll make it right if something goes wrong, but it's a couple of weeks before we need to start getting worried about that eventuality. The workings of international post are mysterious. Have faith, and I'll let everyone know when it's time to worry if books haven't arrived.

Regarding dice, there have been some...issues. Needless to say, I've had to put off the RPPR Game Designer's Workshop episode detailing the shipping ordeal yet again. It's still a topic lengthy enough I would rather just talk it out than type everything here; god knows I've composed enough words in email resolving the issue. The damn novel would be done know were it not for the reams of text I throw into cyberspace every day. Ugh.

For the time being, suffice it to say that not every dice pack got shipped out with US books, and no international dice have been shipped yet. They will be shipped very soon. We haven't forgotten about dice level backers, but I'm having to arrange some workarounds. Those take time.

Everyone will get their dice, and if they don't, I'll make things right with a refund or a reship. I'm just going to need some patience from everyone until then. Remember: we're still a month early on the main reward. It'll be okay. Promise.

In the meantime, I would very much appreciate it if everyone who has read the book could throw up a review (preferably positive) on any and every web platform available to them. The Kickstarter got around by word-of-mouth, and that will be how the game survives and thrives as well. If you like the game, let everyone know so you have more Takers to play it with. 

Thanks again for your support. If you have questions not covered by the above, y'all know how to get in contact with me.

Enjoy the book!

Books Are Shipping
3 months ago – Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 01:16:54 AM

Hello all,

I'll be honest: the last month has been harrowing, to say the least. But, thankfully, the short version of that story ends with "...and everything worked out alright." I'll probably record an RPPR GDW about the shipping struggles soon, but let's keep it to essentials in this update.

Due to delays, books arrived both in the US and UK late last week. I've paid the shipping, labor, and packaging costs in full. Packaging of the individual shipments has begun. 

Hardcover packing
Hardcover packing


Softcover packing
Softcover packing

Books and dice should starting hitting the post sometime late this week. So when does that mean you'll be getting the book?

I have no idea. Any guess I could make would be so uninformed as to be a lie. There are over 50 different national postal services involved in international shipping alone, and the US postal service isn't exactly smelling like roses. There are just too many variables.

I can say with some degree of confidence that (excluding stretch goals) the Kickstarter is delivering on time, and books should arrive early for the majority of backers (excluding the inevitable damages and postal screw ups some of you are bound to experience; if that happens, message me and we'll work it out). I recognize that's a lot of caveats for what is very positive announcement indeed, but since this project entered the shipping stages, it has done nothing if not reinforce the value of caution and skepticism.

So hold yer casualties, folks. The books are literally on the way.

Regarding Sales

Pre-order customers and Kickstarter backers might get rightfully irked if some rando got a copy before them. However, the reality is that, if I opened the book up for sale on IPR today, quirks in the postal system would make it possible for some Johnny-Come-Lately to beat loyal KS backers to the punch. I don't want that to happen.

I value the contributions of those that have supported me early in this project more than words can express. I won't be opening the book up for general sales until it seems to me as if the overwhelming majority of current customers have their books and can start playing. If all goes well with shipping, the core book should be up on IPR in the next few weeks.

Other Progress

School definitely slowed things down, but the shipping struggles stopped us dead in our tracks. Over the last couple of months, I went from thinking I'd have slightly less money than anticipated to fund stretch goals, to thinking I'd have no money for stretch goals, to thinking I'd be deep in debt, to thinking I'd be full-blown bankrupt, before going back to having more than enough money for stretch goals. It's been a roller-coaster and, as you may be aware, it's really hard to type anything on one of those.

As I mentioned, the full story is far too long for a Kickstarter update: I'll cover everything in a podcast soon. For now, suffice to say that my newfound financial peace of mind has been an enormous relief for me, and I'm hoping it will get us back on track fulfilling additional rewards.

In Conclusion

Expect a book on your doorstep...soonish? That's the best I can say. As always, thanks for all your support. Hit me up in the comments or shoot me a DM if you have a question.

Have a great Halloween,

Finalizing Shipping Addresses
4 months ago – Mon, Oct 02, 2017 at 10:29:33 PM

I have received notice that the books will be arriving to the warehouses slightly earlier than expected. As I don't want the books collecting dust when people could be playing with them, I need to finalize addresses and get the shipping information to the distributors. In response, we're pushing up our timetable a bit.

I will be finalizing addresses tomorrow, October 3rd, by 10PM CST. 

If you have already responded to your survey and paid, no further action need be taken. 

If you've yet to fill out a survey, enter credit card information for a shipping charge, or enter any address changes that may have occured, please do so IMMEDIATELY.

After tomorrow at 10pm CST, all further sales of Red Markets will need to be carried out through Indie Press Revolution. From that point on, the BackerKit will only be used for the distribution of digital rewards (stretch goal scenarios, novel, etc)

To be clear, this does not mean everyone should start expecting a book "any day now." We are still at the whims of over 57 national postal services. However, I'll finalize shipping addresses tomorrow so Kixto and IPR can have packaging waiting and ready to go once pallets arrive. 

Thanks for your patience. Have a good day. 

Update on Shipping Timetable
4 months ago – Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 10:34:21 PM

By Przemek Lech
By Przemek Lech

All the books have left Hong Kong. The current timetable has books arriving at the US fulfillment service around October 10th. The international fulfillment service should get a pallet by October 15th.

Please keep in mind that these are not dates to expect a book at your house. These dates indicate when warehouses will start packaging books, dice, add-ons, and pre-orders into individual packages and sending them out to personal addresses. Don't  expect a book on the doorstep until November. It's not as early as I'd hoped to get the product in your hand, but it still beats the deadline by a month. 

This means I will be finalizing addresses on Saturday, October 7th. I've already charged cards and finalized surveys, so don't worry about running to check your BackerKit unless you expect to be in a new home by November. If you are moving, you can still change your mailing address by 10/7/17 and receive your book. 

For Those That Haven't Done Their Homework

I've already charged cards, so if a charge for BackerKit has appeared on your account, you are good to go as long as your address is accurate. However, as of this moment there are a few people that haven't given me what I need to provide their books.

  • There are still 26 backers with credit in their account from the Kickstarter that haven't completed surveys. They've ordered physical rewards, but I don't know where to send them and haven't received the promised shipping cost.
  • There are 2 Backers who have had their credit cards declined.
  • There are 6 Preorder backers who have had their credit cards declined.

I have sent multiple emails to all of the people on that list. If you haven't received one, you are good. This is just to say (again) that I will not be providing refunds for a failure to answer the survey or pay promised shipping costs, regardless of circumstance. We're are currently past 20 reminder emails across multiple platforms and announcements on multiple social media accounts and websites. If you made yourself impossible to get ahold of, I won't be paying for it. 

Stretch Goals and Rewards

All other Red Markets' projects are on hold until I receive billing from the fulfillment services. 

While I am extremely grateful for the generosity of backers thus far, it is entirely possible that I've miscalculated on the new shipping fees and will have to pay more out of pocket for the reduced shipping costs than anticipated (sorry; I never claimed to be anything but new to this). This means that pre-order profits and tip jar funds might get eaten up by shipping costs...just like the depleted stretch goal budget they were meant to replace. 

Let's be clear about what this means. Firstly, I'm not complaining; it was my mistake to offer international shipping when I was unprepared for its challenges, and I'll pay for that mistake. Nor am I cancelling any rewards or stretch goals; I'm at peace with running this as a zero-profit venture, and I can fund promised stretch goals and rewards with future sales if demand stays steady. Most importantly, I want it understood that I'm not asking for more money or passing the hat here.

What I am saying is that stretch goals and the novella reward will certainly be late. I can work on writing because I don't have to pay myself, but I can't risk contracting out work to necessary, talented freelancers until the shipping bill is completely paid. I need to make sure I have the funds to pay them before promising work. That may take time as I work to promote the game, sell books, and wait for quarterly payments/conventions to arrive. 

If I calculated shipping correctly, there should be funds left over from the add-ons, preorders, and generous tips from BackerKit. In that case, I'll get started immediately on the next reward once the last bill clears. But I have screwed this up before, and I need to plan as if it is possible I will do so again. I hope you all understand and bear with me as we work to get the project completed as fast as possible. 

As always, thank you for supporting Red Markets. Let me know if you have questions in the comments or in a message. I'm here to help.

Otherwise, I'll be signing off on updates for awhile; I know it must have gotten tiresome over the summer. I'll keep quiet until the books arrive in their warehouses.

Have a good day,