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Subject: Kickstarting Info - discussions from PAX EAST rss

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Rocco Privetera
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When I was at PAX EAST, I attended the Kickstarter panel, which had the community manager from KS and a senior project manager from KS plus a few prominent Kickstarter people (the guy who created Cards Against Humanity). They discussed a lot about the process, how to set things up, and so forth.

Afterwards, I grabbed a hold of both the KS people, mostly Luke Crane, and really grilled him for a long time. Pretty neat stuff. I’m going to paraphrase what I can remember from the various talks. Those of you already familiar with Kickstarter may know a lot of these already, so apologies if so. Anyway here were my major takeaways. Some of these weren’t explicitly stated, but hinted at and if so I’ll indicate as such. I’ll preface that these are my own takeaways and recollections, and not a verbatim retelling, in case I say something that conflicts with their official policy or what someone else remembers. If you do remember something differently, please post it here! And these were also opinions – even both KS people didn’t always agree. Also – there are a TON of exceptions to the things below, so take the opinions/suggestions below with a grain of something.

SUBMITTING PROJECTS:


Everyone is looked over equally by the KS people, but people who are active in the community are “looked over more equally”. If you are submitting a project and have never backed anything the likelihood is you don’t really understand how Kickstarter works ITO (in their opinion). People who submit projects who also back projects are... they wouldn’t say “considered sooner” but the wink and tone sure suggested it.

As well, they had some metrics that said people who were active backers got something like 50% more initial eyeballs from the community than someone who wasn’t.

The first video should be short.
Most people don’t watch videos longer than a few minutes (as in two). It helps to introduce yourself and put a “face” on the person behind the project.

The video should present yourself as: Likeable, Confident, Sympathetic, and in the same niche as the potential buyer.
A guy inventing a new skateboard device who doesn’t look like a skater may not be convincing.
Long demos, gameplays, and so forth are better saved for a separate video but SOME KIND OF SHOWING OF THE PRODUCT should be there since many backers will never watch anything else.

The product should look as complete as possible – or barring that, the prototype should look as complete as possible – or barring that, the prototype should look like a WORKING PROTOTYPE that you can actually use to prove your concept, short of money. If you can’t prove your concept works however the project requires, the project is less likely to attract backers, because it looks more like a risk, and less like a “funding request”. Obviously all Kickstarters have some risk, but you want to try and show that the risks have been mitigated as much as humanly possible.

If you can get reviews, get them before you launch or during it.
This is self evident. Some other voices on the page talking about your project and how it’s awesome is good.

PROJECT CREATOR HISTORY:

Kickstarter works to a certain degree on a reputation metric. The better your reputation at finishing projects successfully, the better you will pull in new backers, keep backers, get on the front page, get word of mouth, etc. Several folks (the CAH guy, Luke, others) all suggested a plan of doing smaller projects first. If you are doing a $20,000 game project it helps to have a $4000 project completed successfully first. Not only does it show a track record of completing projects, and shows that you are professional, but everyone on the previous projects are going to be interested in backing the new ones. So if you feel you’d like to start your $20k project with an initial 100 backers to get the ball rolling, having a previous project that finished with 100 satisfied backers gives you that audience already (as opposed to mining social media). And not only are they backers but they are satisfied, enthusiastic backers who will shill and get other people in.

So when I said “So if I have a game I want to Kickstart are you saying I should come up with some other project first, just to build reputation” they clarified that You shouldn’t submit a project to Kickstarter You Aren’t In Love With just to get Reputation. Don’t submit lame projects first to just get successes. People will know and not count it towards you as a creator, and also, projects you aren’t emotionally invested in will probably fail.

However when I said “OK what if I had a boardgame project that could be funded for like $1000 that I actually do really like ,but I had started this $20k project instead. Would it be worth it to do the $1k instead?” They said as long as I was in love with it, then yeah, that’s a better plan of attack.

MORE ABOUT BOARDGAME PROJECTS


I was specifically asking about board games obviously. I brought up the fact that I had heard you can’t /shouldn’t do a Kickstarter without already having several hundred people ready to commit from social media channels. Everybody KS poo-poo’d that.

Luke told me two interesting metrics:55% (that number could be off, but it was in the 50’s) of all boardgame projects get funded and the average boardgame gets minimally funded with only 280 backers.

His point was that if a) the game is good, and b) you appear to be a competent creator, and c) you show confidence and that you’ve mitigated as many risks as possible, and d) you optionally but OPTIMALLY have a proven track record, and e) you follow through on the project during its lifecycle properly, you should be able to make a Kickstarter work and you don’t need hundreds of people already queued up (although it doesn’t hurt).

PRE-PREPARE:

They all suggested doing a lot of online prep if you don’t already have an online presence. Adding your game to the BGG database a few weeks before the KS is probably not as good as a few months; ditto for Facebook pages, public playtests, gameplay videos, etc. You want all that stuff in place already and well established before your Kickstarter. Obviously proven individuals with more followers aren’t as beholden to that but it still helps. The BGG posts of “I’m doing a Kickstarter in a few weeks, here is my game nobody has ever seen or played” is probably a bad idea.

Side note: I’ve been doing public playtesting locally and at unPubs for Ninja Dice for about 4 months now. I’ve got a few dozen people at this point who said “if you ever Kickstart it, let me know”. Having some people in my pocket like that Luke said was a good way to go. You want your community well established (but it doesn’t need to be hundreds).

Other pre-prep stuff like getting Amazon Payments set up, getting your business paperwork in order, shipper accounts, final tests from the printer, all that should be done BEFORE YOU START so that once the KS starts you can focus on the KS only.

PROJECT LENGTH:

There was some debate on this. Metrics were shown that longer Kickstarters all suffered from mid-project slump because most backers back at the start and in the frenzy at the end. Overall, they favored 30 day projects – longer than that and people tend to forget anything is happening. But they debated that a little as obviously some projects work in the longer runs. It was suggested that longer projects favor projects with a lot of stretch goals.

UPDATES:


Update often, update when something important happens. Don’t do the two extremes: don’t update constantly with no new content and don’t NOT update. There guideline was if there is new content, update. Every couple of days for a 30 days project is fine. Multiple times per day without a reason is obnoxious. No updates shows you don’t care. After it finishes, you want happy backers for the NEXT project, so continue with the updates until you deliver. Be honest about problems and delays.

SHIPPING:

We’ve already heard a ton about this, but everybody strongly emphasized that for physical projects shipping is going to be your biggest hurdle. Do your research. If you must have overseas shipping, considering spreading out funding costs so the project is covering more shipping costs for all. Over estimate by a WIDE margin. Plan for lost product, shipping delays, the final game weighing more than you planned, etc.
If you don’t know what your game weighs in its final production form you are going to probably lose money on shipping!

PLAN FOR SUCCESS AND FAILURE:

DO enough homework before the launch, if possible, to plan for failure and success. Failure in this case is just meeting your funding level when you were hoping for more. If you plan your project for 20k assuming you will make 30k and you barely get 20k, is your project funded? Can you still ship the product or is it going to be the lame “barely funded” version.

Let’s say for me my dice game in a tube (well, not anymore, but at the time of the discussion) is the question. Let’s say my plan is to run a KS to sell 300 units at 25$ apiece or so. 300 units can sit in my shitty little Bed Stuy apartment once you scoot over the cockroaches and despair (they would be about the size of a bathroom). What happens if I sell 3000 units? DO I have a warehouse lined up? Do I have shipping monies allocated?

They reiterated you need to know this BEFORE you start, if at all possible.

PLAN FOR THE RELEASE / STRETCH GOALS


The CAH guy recounted how having a stretch goal where they signed something was awful awful awful – how it took a whole weekend of people signing things. What is your time worth? If I sold 300 copies of my game, and got the game from china as boxes of dice and boxes of tubes and it takes 5 minutes to stuff, print the label, package it, that’s ten hours of my time. Not counting trips to the post office. What if I sold 3000 games? Do I have 100 hours of time? I usually have 2-3 hours of spare time a night. Say 20 hours a week. 5 weeks? What if I sell more?

So then you start bringing in other people. Do they have jobs? When can they work for you? Do they need to be paid? Do you have them committed to helping? Do you have their spouses and family’s permission to help you?

What about the goals where you are having dinner with people. Do you have the time budgeted? That sort of thing.

Also: include a $1 stretch goal. Even though you don’t need it (people can always contribute a dollar without a reward) they had a metric something like projects with a $1 funding goal had five times as many $1 funders, and of those, twice as many willing to trade up to higher levels.

QUESTIONS
At PAX EAST they took a bunch of questions. What was amazing to me were all the people who came up with questions like (these are all verbatim):

“I want to make a videogame, but I need artists and programmers, where do I find them?”

“I have a great idea for a board game, I need the funding to pay my for my time while I work on it, does that work?”

“I have a board game to Kickstart. I don’t want to show the rules, art or the gameplay because I’m afraid of someone stealing it. What else can I show?”

“How much money do I need to set aside for shipping?”

“I have a great videogame to Kickstart. I don’t have any footage, but I have some sketches, is that enough?”

“My boardgame idea is really good. My wife and children love it. I assume I’m going to sell 1000 copies so I pre-bought them. Can the Kickstarter cover all of this?”

“I spent a lot of time making this game – I lost weekends and evenings for like a few years. Now that it’s ready to be made my base funding cost should cover the costs to build it plus all the money I lost as well which I think is only fair. When I list the project’s costs do I need to outline that?

All of these were things that they grimaced at and more or less said “you need to get answers well before you start the kickstarter”.

FINAL SUM UP:

Have a tight video to show yourself in your best light. Consider spending some money on this.

Have a good video to show the project/product.

List the risks to show that you know what they are. Show confidently how you are going to deal with them.

Try and have a finished product to show (if its physical) or a super tight explanation of the project (if its not).

Show the page to friends, family, the target demo, and total strangers to get opinions.

Show the product or project as completely as possible (not counting stretch goals you create during the project). Show tangibly what people will be getting.

Have community standing on Kickstarter already if possible

Have successful projects in smaller amounts already if possible

Have all your social media, business, and plans in place before launch by a large margin

Have a web presence in place for a large margin before starting

Plan for failure. Plan for success. Plan for barely meeting funding. Plan for making 50x times the funding amount. Plan for how you are going to assemble it in all of the above scenarios. Plan on how you are going to build wacky stretch goals in all the above. Have all these plans written down.

Treat the launch as a full time job. Plenty of updates assuming you have new content.

Most of all: make a kick-ass product you love, that looks complete, and that people in the public (not hundreds but dozens) can already vouch for.






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David Thompson
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Your post was made with 100% awesome-sauce, Rocco. Thanks for the info.
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Mayday Games
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Sound advice! Well done on summarizing it. I would add that it is also valid to consider your intro video as THE PITCH that creates a reason for people to back your project. Make it entertaining and to the point and create an ambiance for the project. It needs to give people a desire to back the project.

It should also be noted that only about 1/3 of viewers even finish a 2 minute video based on our kickstarters. I'm personally against a lot of talking in our kitchen as the video, make it look professional with whatever you have to work with.

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Sturv Tafvherd
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Rocconteur wrote:
...
Afterwards, I grabbed a hold of both the KS people, mostly Luke Crane ...


My heart just stopped. Luke Crane? Of Mouse Guard RPG? You got to meet him?!?

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Nicholas Yu
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Rocco, great stuff, thank you sharing all of this in detail.
 
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Rocco Privetera
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Stormtower wrote:
Rocconteur wrote:
...
Afterwards, I grabbed a hold of both the KS people, mostly Luke Crane ...


My heart just stopped. Luke Crane? Of Mouse Guard RPG? You got to meet him?!?



Meet him and merciless grill him on Kickstarter boardgames!
 
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Stan Stanminson
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maydaygames wrote:
Sound advice! Well done on summarizing it. I would add that it is also valid to consider your intro video as THE PITCH that creates a reason for people to back your project. Make it entertaining and to the point and create an ambiance for the project. It needs to give people a desire to back the project.

It should also be noted that only about 1/3 of viewers even finish a 2 minute video based on our kickstarters. I'm personally against a lot of talking in our kitchen as the video, make it look professional with whatever you have to work with.

You've certainly demonstrated that a flashy presentation can make up for a negative reputation.
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Andy Kitkowski
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Hey all: I too was at Pax East, was at the Pax East Kickstarted Games room doing demos, but I was not at the panel.

Having said that, if folks have questions, feel free to fire away.

Admittedly, my project was a tabletop RPG project (at the time, the second-highest funded tabletop RPG ever!), but there's a lot of cross-over. My project was successful precisely because of the highlighted statement "Most of all: make a kick-ass product you love, that looks complete, and that people in the public (not hundreds but dozens) can already vouch for." I spent years running demos at conventions, getting folks interested. Many folks with KS projects already listed ask me for advice for "getting more interest" in their unfinished project, to which there's not much more than "Create a time machine, go back to two years ago, become active in game communities and run it for strangers at conventions."

One thing I'll add to the list, after having seen a lot of good and bad projects hit snags:

* Don't offer T-Shirts. Ever. The amount of time you will invest in T-Shirt research, the amount of money in T-Shirt printing and shipping and logistics (making sure everyone's sizes/quantities are matched) is just unreal, and will get in the way of you and your game. Many projects succeeded but then lost money because of the simple addition of T-Shirts.

If folks interested in your project are interested in T-Shirts, maybe long after the campaign post a few designs on Spreadshirt or whatever so they can order them themselves.


-Andy
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Rocco Privetera
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zigguratbuilder wrote:
I spent years running demos at conventions, getting folks interested. Many folks with KS projects already listed ask me for advice for "getting more interest" in their unfinished project, to which there's not much more than "Create a time machine, go back to two years ago, become active in game communities and run it for strangers at conventions."

-Andy


Andy: I've sort of observed this but some more discussion might be useful.

I'm generalizing, but it seems to me a lot of Kickstarter boardgames are along the lines of:

"I wrote a game. I've played it a few times with a few friends and 1-2 public playtests, and I feel like I'm ready for a kickstarter. I think I've got a great game here. I've done the bare minimum of research regarding making it, done no serious research on kickstarter, and have nothing to show that looks remotely close to the final game. What should I be doing?"

For me, unless game design and testing is your full time job (that is you test on nights and weekends and the occasional con), I can't imagine how a game could be ready without say a minimum of ten public playtests, 2-3 public con tests, a mailing list of a dozen strangers interested in it, and a year of development, minimum. I know - a lot of projects on KS get done faster (and get funded, and ARE good regardless) but Andy, have you observed the same thing about time to test and build community?
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zigguratbuilder wrote:
Having said that, if folks have questions, feel free to fire away.

I would, but I seem to have mislaid my AK-47.
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Andy Kitkowski
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Quote:
"I've done the bare minimum of research regarding making it, done no serious research on kickstarter, and have nothing to show that looks remotely close to the final game. What should I be doing?"


That's easy! Just add:
Cthulhu
Zombies, or
Steampunk
and watch the money roll in! Ka-Ching!

Quote:
For me, unless game design and testing is your full time job (that is you test on nights and weekends and the occasional con), I can't imagine how a game could be ready without say a minimum of ten public playtests, 2-3 public con tests, a mailing list of a dozen strangers interested in it, and a year of development, minimum. I know - a lot of projects on KS get done faster (and get funded, and ARE good regardless) but Andy, have you observed the same thing about time to test and build community?


Yeah, it's hard to emphasize that enough to new folks interested in posting a KS board game project. Unfortunately, most folks who I see (in various "help with Kickstarter" communities) already posted their KS campaign and are looking for "tips and tricks" to get more backers. Which is when I put on my Gordon Ramsey mask and yell, A Lot.

So, something that is then happening is this: Inexperienced KS backers are funding some of these games, games that turn out to be total duds in play. They get burned. Frex, my friend, an avid BG backer, learned this hardcore with "Miskatonic School for Girls". The game was delivered to him on Monday. On Wednesday he brought it to our gaming group, saying "Who wants this [expletive deleted]? It's yours, for free." I too got burned on Tsuro of the Seas (How can you F-up Tsuro? Seriously??? The answer is apparently, "Roll dice, all the time, and add total randomness to 70% of the gameplay").

But hopefully they then learn to adopt better backing strategies. My friend above will no longer back any game unless it has videos of gameplay and gameplay reviews from people who have played demos at cons (even unofficial reviews, like BGG forum talk). He's no longer backing "cool ideas". Me, too; I'm more into RPGs than BGs (though you couldn't tell by my credit card bills, yikes!), but I basically only back board games that I vet past my 2-3 really connected board game fan friends.

Thing is, that first burn stings. Plus, you've backed something that sucks, that got funded, funded by other people who were also burned. Everyone learned their lesson, but it was definitely The Hard Way.

I doubt that will change. For every "I have run demos and playtested this relentlessly at local cons and stores for years, and I just want money to make it pretty" (Glory to Rome) that gets backed, there's a "Hey! Cthulhu and Steampunk with Zombies! On cards! Amirite?" that will get backed as well.

Insulation comes in the form of:
* The creator proving the game has legs with reviews (Tom V, frex), gameplay vids, local feedback etc.
* Backers adopting a policy of "I won't back that, no matter how cool it looks, until I see substantial feedback on it".

Note, sometimes it doesn't work out as expected! I played "Escape", which is now one of my favorite real-time boardgames. I love it! Then I found out it was a KS project. I was like, "How did I not fund this???" Then I saw the page, and was like, "Ahhhhhh. I do indeed, in fact, remember seeing this project, but my scrutiny was in high gear and I passed on it." Still, it was ultimately the right choice. For every Escape I passed on (which I got later from my LGS), I dodged the bullet on 10 crappy games.

Did that help? It's a hard problem, but ultimately the market will bear out by producing more scrutiny from backers, which means that savvy creators will do more to gain trust, including the 1+ year of active local playtesting. But there will always be that "0 Projects Backed" yabbo who shows up out of left field with a pretty but ill-conceived idea that dupes new folks, even while the more savvy backers pass on it.

-Andy
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Rocco Privetera
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zigguratbuilder wrote:


So, something that is then happening is this: Inexperienced KS backers are funding some of these games, games that turn out to be total duds in play. They get burned. Frex, my friend, an avid BG backer, learned this hardcore with "Miskatonic School for Girls". The game was delivered to him on Monday. On Wednesday he brought it to our gaming group, saying "Who wants this [expletive deleted]? It's yours, for free." I too got burned on Tsuro of the Seas (How can you F-up Tsuro? Seriously??? The answer is apparently, "Roll dice, all the time, and add total randomness to 70% of the gameplay").
-Andy


I saw the Kickstarter and Dice Tower reviews for Miskatonic SFG. Weren't they up during the Kickstarter campaign? How would your friend in that case not know what the game was like before commuting? Or am I wrong about the timing of the reviews?

Yeah, I agree, a lot of games look like they are getting backed out of coolness ("A zombie game, I love zombie games!") or addiction to genres people like. I imagine that will start to taper off as more and more professionals start doing stuff on KS.
 
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Andy Kitkowski
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I'm not sure how the dates on the reviews went re that one Kickstarter (I didn't really follow it, just my friend's reaction to it). I definitely know that in the case of Tsuro of the Seas, I say "Tsuro", and it being one of my favorite games, I just went all in without really looking at videos or anything. Shame on me, and I got burned for it. :-)

But in any case, I'm not so sure that a flood of "professionals" into Kickstarter will solve anything. KS exists for people who are decidedly not professional, who need capital to get their idea into reality. On that side, though, I hope more creators do more research into successful projects; and especially back other projects, so they get a feel for the process.
(although, maybe you meant "more people getting in and acting more 'professionally'; that is having their ideas together better": In that case, yeah)

And on the other side, the more critical people are of new projects, the better:
* Don't back unless the creator proves that they've been playtesting.
* Don't back unless there's a third party that will vouch for the game (and not a paid ad; but it could be as simple as someone with history at BGG posting around their experiences).
* Don't back unless the creator has a history of backing others' projects (to understand the process from both sides).
* Don't back if the creator has previous kickstarter campaigns that they have not fulfilled (not a big deal in the BG community; but in the RPG community I've seen this be a thing, with designers kiting two projects ahead to raise the money to fulfill the game they made two projects ago).
* And be vocal about those reasons.

That will make creators better, which will make backers that much more critical, which will make the creators that much better. And so on.
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Rocco Privetera
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I think by professionals I meant "professionally-minded" people, not true professionals per se.

So yeah, as more kickstarters succeed, you can look at them and learn, and you should apply that to new campaigns. Professionally minded people do that sort of thing: instead of starting and then saying "hey, my thing's not going well, how do I fix it" I think the PM types think "I want to succeed and I want to know how before starting, time to do some research".
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Sturv Tafvherd
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There are days I wish things like this were pinned here in the Game Design forum... and a copy in the kickstarter forum. Also wish the kickstarter forum was easier to find. (I have it in my geek links)
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Andy Kitkowski
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...there's a Kickstarter forum? Where is it, I couldn't find it?
 
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Just wanted to say thanks for typing this out. There are three points I cannot stress enough to people who want to kickstart their ideas.

1) Do your research. Read, read and then read some more. Learn from as many games that use similar mechanics and similar themes as yours. Learn from as many other KS projects and publishers as you can.

2) From Travis in Indie Boards and Cards:
Quote:
If you are kickstarting your own design you are now a publisher. And being both a designer and publisher you have to do both, understand both worlds and be really good at them. I would suspect that most self designed kickstarters lose money, perhaps even significant amounts of money despite being successfully funded.


3) Playtest the hell out of your product and at all levels. By yourself. Then friends and family. Then strangers. Then strangers without teaching them (and leaving them with only a rulebook) while you watch. Then strangers that are nowhere near you and only get the game shipped to them. If it passes all these hurdles without problems, then you *may* have something worth kickstarting - and you'll have built up a network of interested people who want to back your game to boot. If it doesn't pass one of those hurdles - go playtest it some more. Why leave problems behind only to be discovered later by your backers?

I hope the OP doesn't mind me linking this post to my thread about how to run a KS campaign.
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zigguratbuilder wrote:
...there's a Kickstarter forum? Where is it, I couldn't find it?

Here:
http://boardgamegeek.com/forum/915012/kickstarter/general

I stumbled across it somehow, it's not on the forums page.
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Great thread! Love the summary from PAX, thank you.

I fear without an active, working time machine, I am in trouble on a few of the fronts on length of time getting the word out for my upcoming campaign, but at least I breath a sigh of relief that I have done a couple things correct for getting ready...



 
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Rocco Privetera
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pvaughan wrote:
Great thread! Love the summary from PAX, thank you.

I fear without an active, working time machine, I am in trouble on a few of the fronts on length of time getting the word out for my upcoming campaign, but at least I breath a sigh of relief that I have done a couple things correct for getting ready...



Here's a real serious question, because this kind of answer comes up a lot, the "I know now there's things I could have done better, and more time would be better, but I can't because the campaign is soon."

is there any reason why you couldn't put it off for 3 months? I mean a serious reason. Not "I'm tired of waiting" or "The campaign has started". Unless I'm mistaken, couldn't you just postpone or re-do it if you haven't started? If another three months would be a big deal, why not wait?

Yes I get the reason "shouldn't let the perfect be the enemy of the good" and at some point you HAVE to start. But if (for example) a few months of social media, playtests at cons, promoting, re-doing a video, whatever, would make a big difference, why not wait and do it better?
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Todd Michael Rogers
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Man this is just a great thread.

I understand the launch date thing being a way to motivate yourself to get your game ready, I made the same mistake myself. I think the most exciting thing I've done for myself lately is decide to throw away the idea of a launch date. It's so important for motivation, but after awhile it becomes pretty poisonous.
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Ian Roberts
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So more a case of "have one to get stuff done, but don't cling to it if you won't make it without sacrificing quality"
 
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Rocco Privetera
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IanRoberts wrote:
So more a case of "have one to get stuff done, but don't cling to it if you won't make it without sacrificing quality"


Yeah. For me, I had a date in mind for my own Kickstarter. I decided the following: when the game was ready I would start approaching publishers and studying how to Kickstart and how to build it, and if in 6 months I had no publishers express interest, I'd start a Kickstarter. I picked a date 6 months away (about 4 months from now) and my assumption was as a complete KS newbie and unknown game designer that would be enough time to learn how so when I hit my do or die date I'd be ready. But if I showed it to folks and they said "you need to redo this or that" I would have waited to redo it, at least another month or so.

Here's what I don't like to hear: "yeah, I guess I could have done better, and I wish I hadn't done it this way, but OH WELL, STARTING ANYWAY"
 
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Peter Vaughan
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Really Great question Rocco.

Here's why for me, although I realize everyone is different.

#1) past experience with "perfect vs good", as you mention - My first game was on fb and on Kindle Fire and it took 2 years to make. It was a tireless effort - I built an entire RPG system and game engine. And I spread the word like crazy. I wrote hundreds of press releases, spent time on forums, hosted play sessions and much, much more. It was enjoyed by those who saw it, but I never did get enough eyeballs on it. I saw Zynga release half baked after half baked game (and I know that's a David and Goliath comparison and a digital vs analog comparison), but the point is the philosophy of not holding something for longer than necessary became a goal of mine for this next simple project. My goal here was really to make something in 6 months to test if I could do so.

#2) I did in fact delay already, in order to make more time to work on game art and design notes and to gather information about manufacturing, so that I can have the most appropriate levels. I do think this is important. I've held over 40 playtests, and some in January were brutal, but I came out of those and I am happy with the game itself now. I think I can get it funded. At this point, if I waited further, it would be to build buzz and get it more overfunded, but I can't be sure that I wouldn't bore fan A by going after fan B. I've been on facebook for a few months, and I'm seeing less of that "can't wait" feeling from our loyal posters, because we're going long without a game.

#3) Is marketing $$$ necessary? I saw King of Crime not spend it and crawl to the goal, and Dragon's Hoard spend it and shoot 500x the goal. Both fb presences seemed to be about the same. The question is, do I need to spend 2000 on BGG and dice tower previews get it done, or can this thing happen with just normal word of mouth in the KS community? I'm about to find out, because I don't have that kind of money upfront. If $$$ is necessary, then it doesn't matter if I launch in May or October, I'll still need it.

#4) learning and no harm in falling down. I did write to Christian Strain, designer of "Evil Intent" and he told me, get ready, and when you think you're ready, wait 1 more month. That's April for me, but I probably could have waited another 1 and polished more, but would miss copies at PAX, which I didn't want to do. If I don't fund, I think I'll have a great learning experience anyway. Evil Intent was honest with fans and kept them around to relaunch, and I could do the same.

That's my take on it. I'm excited to launch in... GULP. 2 weeks!
 
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Peter Vaughan
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Btw, as long as we're discussing my situation, here's the info on my game, "What the Food?!"

here's the link on BGG as it's developing. (instructions pdf, video and more pics coming soon):
What the Food?!

and our fb page, which we update daily with fun and random things, game and not game related:
https://www.facebook.com/whatthefoodgame

 
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