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Kickstarter Epidemic...

Michael Mindes
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How Epidemics Spread

Many factors determine how an epidemic will spread, concentration of populations, percentage of afflicted in a group, contact with other groups, duration of infection, and so forth.

To help a game spread and become an epidemic (in a good way) then there are 2 main areas in which you can and should concentrate:

1. Percentage of afflicted in a group.
2. People that cross over many groups.

If a game is popular in an area, then it is likely that more people in that area will buy the game, especially if lots of people already own it. At a game night in Utah, I learned that already 6 people own a copy of the new Star Wars RPG: Edge of The Empire (core rulebook). I am close to being influenced to buying one myself.

Then you have people that cross over many groups. I see 2 different types of these people.

The kind that influences many regional or location based groups within a larger group. Such that UndeadViking or Tom Vasel might convince many different locations within the "hobby gamer" or "BGG" community to get a game.

The you have people that have cross-over influence. Somebody like Jerry Holkins from Penny-Arcade who has influence with Video Gamers, Webcomic readers, and so forth. Or somebody like Wil Wheaton who has influence with Hobby Gamers and Video Gamers.

An effort to work with these folks that can spread a game is good, but it is also important to target distinct areas. For example, what if you could get a local game meetup group with 100+ attendees to be consistently playing your game? What if 30% or more were constantly playing it?

It would spread.

Why Do Games Pre-Sell On Kickstarter?

I am sure that many of us could go on at length about cynical reasons why games pre-sell on Kickstarter. In my experience though, it comes down to a handful of things:

* Incentive
* Trust
* Presentation
* Interaction
* Visibility

Let's start with visibility, as this is the easiest. Nobody can Kickstart your game without seeing it. It is beneficial to be able to send lots of people over to Kickstarter to check out your game no doubt. Without a built up reputation, then you will need to buy this.

I suggest building up a reputation in advance. I already have one thanks to TMG, and through this series of blog posts, I am getting people to opt-in so that when Paradise Game Labs launches some things that it has visibility.

Interaction is how involved or interested a backer is in your project. Sure, somebody that shows up and backs is great, but somebody that comes and backs, comments, returns to see other comments, and reads updates is even better.

As they spend more time with your project they will become more emotionally vested in the success of the project. With Dungeon Roll, TMG was hitting on all cylinders for interaction.

Presentation is all about how a project looks. If it looks like crap, then it is more likely that a potential backer will think the final product will be crap. And people don't buy crap. Unless it is sold on TV, cost 80% less than its "value", and you get 2 of them.

Trust is critically important. People need to believe you will deliver and that it is as awesome as you are showing them it can be. You can earn this over time, but if you are short on time, then you can borrow the trust of others and get 3rd party verification of awesome. This is called sending out review copies or making print and play available.

Incentive is all about the reason to back a project (or share it) now and not wait. Do you have discounts? Do Kickstarter backers get exclusive stuff? Once you pass your funding goal, is there more stuff to earn through stretch rewards? Is the game a good value?

Combine all of these, and you have a potentially great success coming.

Next time, I will talk about how to build an audience and build a relationship with that audience so that when you launch your Kickstarter project you have a core group of supporters that will be interactive and there from the start...

Remember, I am starting a new game company on a budget of $999.

You can sign up for email updates at Paradise Game Labs.
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Tue Aug 6, 2013 3:00 pm
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Doom! To Kickstarter and the $999 game company.

Michael Mindes
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Greetings,

This was going to wait, but with the failure of "The Doom That Came To Atlantic City!" to the tune of $122,874 of backer's money, the time seems to have come to me. In the update "Terminus" the creator describes part of the failure as a result of "forming a company" and "I left my job" among other things.

So, I will show through example how one can create a game (and through it a game company) with less than $1,000. The budget in fact will be $999 total. I spent $12 today to register a domain, so there is $987 left in the budget. What are some ways you would spend money on a game company pre-Kickstarter?

Why?

Not just because it can be done, but because in the course of running TMG I have come across some great games which do not fit for TMG for one reason or another. Right now, there are 3 games. One game which would be best to show as a potential drinking/gambling game. Not acceptable for the TMG brand.

One game which would require more POD style manufacturing. Using lasers to etch things like dice and cut things like wooden boxes. Additionally, the play style of the game is too mass-market and not gamer-centric enough. Not for TMG...

And another which due to the amount of components could not be the correct price. If TMG did it, and it sold in retail stores, it would need to be at least $29.99 which would be a horrible price point for the game. However, $20 direct should work, and I can't sell direct only with a TMG product.

Thus, Paradise Game Labs is created. And it will only use a budget of $999 to start. Of course, revenue and profits from the first Kickstarter project would allow the continuation of the company.

And $122,874 of pledges would certainly be many times what is needed on the initial funding.

To make sure that you keep up with how things are going, and if you want to be notified of newsworthy things for the company, signup to receive emails at:

http://paradisegamelabs.com

We will be starting with a dice game by Scott Almes, designer of Martian Dice and Kings of Air and Steam. It is fantastic, requires 24 custom dice, cards, and some more stuff. And we need to target a price point of $20

More to come, including a print and play...

http://paradisegamelabs.com

Cheers,

-Michael
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Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:05 pm
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Publisher / Developer Diary : DUNGEON ROLL

Michael Mindes
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It all started at BGG.con 2012 when one of my friends, Chris Darden, said he wanted to show me his quick dungeon delving dice game. Awesome. I love dice! We set a time to meet when I could bring my friend Steve.

Steve and I played through Dungeon Roll once and saw that the dungeon delving theme was well integrated. The game had potential, even when there was just the hero/dungeon dice and you scored points per level cleared and treasure obtained.

We noticed that the roll of the dice dictated game play, information was too public, and there could be more done with the theme. It needed development work.

Steve suspected that treasures with variable point values would improve the game, so we made some after the first game and played again right then. Much better.

Needing to grab treasures from somewhere, we decided that it should be from the game box, which should look like a treasure chest. Dungeon Roll began to embrace the theme after those first 3 plays.

Dungeon Roll Is Signed

By the end of BGG.con 2012, treasures with variable powers were added, and I decided to sign Dungeon Roll for TMG to develop further.

When we sign a game for development, the game will not necessarily get published. We want the game to be the best it can be, then we make a decision. We have had several games over the years drop out of development and be cut.

Since I am very happy with Martian Dice (TMG published in 2011), I am always looking for a good small dice game. The $14.95 USD price point seems to work well for that size and style of a game, and dice games appeal to a wider market. The trick is to get those dice games to appeal to TMG’s ideal market, the hardcore gamer.

Having a dice game appeal to the hardcore gamer is all about having an ongoing slew of interesting decisions punctuated by one or two agonizing decisions.

Extensive Development Begins

The way Dungeon Roll was at this current stage, there were 6 hero dice and proceeding to the 4th level of the dungeon was always an obvious choice. The Dungeon Lord could have rolled well for you in which case you go, but if the roll was average, then you did not proceed on. So, we tested adding a 7th hero die, and the agonizing decision materialized since players now often had barely enough resources for the 4th level.

Now, the dice still dictated game play, but that was disappearing. Also, the treasures were over-powered, giving current abilities and points at the end of the game. Before it was all about finding potions, now it was about opening treasure chests.

Dungeon Roll was as fun as it had ever been. You did tons of stuff, interesting stuff. But it was all about opening treasure chests. Looking to bring the dungeon clearing points up to the treasure points, I proposed that party leaders be added to Dungeon Roll.

Very quickly, Chris designed the first leaders, and their rules. IMPORTANT NOTE: Game designers that want to find success should work closely and flexibly with your game’s publisher.

If this was not promptly attended to by Chris, many things would have happened differently, and Dungeon Roll would probably not have gotten the immense and focused attention that it grew to deserve.

Party Leaders. We added them and tested them. They were wild and crazy and awesome. The treasure chests were still over-powered, but less so. Progress toward game balance was made while introducing something incredible to Dungeon Roll.

Some of the treasures were ridiculously powerful. These effects got moved to some party leaders, and those treasures were removed from the game. More progress.

The potential extra point value of the treasures was lowered. No more 3 pointers, and fewer 2 pointers as a percentage. More progress, but treasure was still over-powered. So, we nerfed some more treasures. Not quite there, but almost.

Then, Seth Jaffee proposed the fix, “Treasures should be worth points or their power, not both. If you use it, you lose it.” Having just smashed Seth with an abundance of treasure, I resisted. But we tested it, and he was right. The balance was struck and Dungeon Roll kept all of the improvements made along the way

Awesome! Now Dungeon Roll was firing on all cylinders and officially upgraded to a top priority at TMG. The structure of the game was mostly finished, it was time to add more awesome and remove the confusing.

Begin The Polishing Of Dungeon Roll

At this time, I knew that Dungeon Roll would be published and could be HUGE for TMG, so I emailed several groups of people to brainstorm a launch plan. I wanted the largest pool of crazy ideas to be able to pull from and finalize a launch plan to be executed.

If Dungeon Roll were to become HUGE, then I would need to give it every chance of success. If it were to jump the chasm to the mass market, then any confusing pieces of the game had to go.

The party leaders were confusing... They had a once per delve ability indicated by rotating the card and a once per game ability (which came back after leveling up). Even veteran gamers were getting this confused, so it had to be improved.

Enter the new party leader structure. Now they all have a static ability and a once per game ability (which comes back after leveling up). Confusion reduced, possibly eliminated.

At this stage, my excitement for Dungeon Roll was off the charts (unless on a log scale)! Even Seth lost some of his skepticism. It was clear that the game play was as interesting as Martian Dice while trading off some elegance in exchange for more choices, strategic depth, and a popular well integrated theme.

Next we sent a Dungeon Roll prototype to folks at TMG’s fulfillment house, PSI. They became excited too. Commentary came back quickly, player aids would significantly improve the experience, and experience tokens were needed instead of pen and paper.

Stuffing The Box

The PSI guys were right, but here came the component creep. Dungeon Roll started as a game with similar components as Martian Dice but with 2 molds, grew into a game with 14 dice, 12 cards (8 with illustrations), a treasure chest shaped box, 6 punchboards, and it could grow further.

At a price of $14.95 USD, I could sell through an initial print run of 5,000 copies and still lose money. All of a sudden I was looking at 3 options, none of them good:

1) Raise the price to $19.95. BOO! This is out of the impulse buy range that Dungeon Roll could greatly benefit from.
2) Split the game into a base game and expansions. DOUBLE BOO, THIS SUCKS! I like to publish complete games, and the current incarnation is what the excitement is for. A first expansion doesn’t matter if the game fails in the first place.
3) Increase the print run size to tens of thousands and hope that a good launch will get it sold through. No way, no how, I have never done this without Kickstarter.

Kickstarter... Hmmm...

Kickstarting small games is very difficult because of high shipping costs. So, I did not consider that at first... But if Kickstarter could work, and I could print 10,000+ copies, then I could keep the price at $14.95 and include all of the bells and whistles.

I don’t like charging full MSRP on Kickstarter, but shipping costs are too high. Shipping should cost about $6.25 per copy in the USA.

I talked to Steve about the timeline to be able to deliver Dungeon Roll to Kickstarter backers far enough in advance that we can also sell it at GenCon.

On January 22nd, 2013, I decided that Dungeon Roll needed to be kickstarted.

We realized that we had 4 weeks to prepare the Kickstarter project and about 7 weeks to get all of the artwork done. It was time to roll up the sleeves and get moving. We did Martian Dice is about as much time.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Treating those that you work with right is incredibly important. If I had not treated Rob Lundy, Ryan Johnson, and Eric Carter right consistently, then the artwork for this project would have never been done in time.

I don’t think that I have ever run a really good Kickstarter campaign, and that the TMG strength on Kickstarter is a result of the good relationship that we have with so many gamers.

It was time for one to be run exceptionally well, and only having 4 weeks of prep time was daunting. Especially when we would need so many backers to accomplish the ultimate goal of printing 10,000+ copies without requiring out of pocket funds.

To be able to fully fund a print run of 10,000 copies, then there needs to be about 5,000 backers. Which is almost 3 times as many backers as we had for Ground Floor.

NOTE: This was written prior to the launch of the Dungeon Roll project on Kickstarter, which is now at $122,758 of funding with 5,711 backers. So, it can be done, now I wonder if we will be able to get more than $250,000 of backing...
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Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:51 pm
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On the 9th day of Dungeon Roll...

Michael Mindes
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We were mentioned in a Project Eternity update, and the contest went live on Board Game Geek.

So, I have some interesting data to show:

From gallery of DrMayhem


Kicktraq is showing that while today is not yet over, it is almost our best day for funding. Yet, it is still far away as the number of backers are concerned:

From gallery of DrMayhem


And of course, the trending line is changing course and increasing. At least for today, and hopefully for longer.

From gallery of DrMayhem


I do however think that much of this increase is a one-time spike as opposed to a system increase or benefit.
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Wed Mar 6, 2013 8:29 pm
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Designer Diary: Dungeon Roll

Chris Darden
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I’ve been playing games all my life. I remember long days of playing Conquest of the Empire and Dungeons & Dragons with my cousins, discovering my local FLGS and joining a Blood Bowl league, Tornado Rex and Fuzzy Heroes with my younger brother, and then Magic: The Gathering. During my Magic days, I had some success locally in tournaments and built up store credit In prizes. When I left Magic I realized a couple of years later that I still had some of that store credit and I should do something with it. I stumbled upon BoardGameGeek when researching information about RoboRally (one of the games I collected and played while playing Magic), and saw the number one game was something I’d never heard of: Puerto Rico. I placed an order, brought it over to my friend’s place, we loved it, and the rest is history.

Since that moment, board games have become a large part of my life. I’m one of the organizers of Geekway to the West, go to plenty of other cons, and believe in advocacy for the hobby in general. I’ve had aspirations to be a game designer for nearly as long, and have tried out various designs with various levels of failure and success.

Dungeon Roll began its life in June of 2012, when I read a thread here on BGG about a company wanting a press your luck dice game. I began thinking about that very topic and started playing around with various ideas in my mind. I enjoyed games like Martian Dice and Zombie Dice, but was looking for a few more decision points within those games. It was at that point that I came up with the idea of having opposing dice pools: two separate colors of dice, one representing the game and the other as the player. I grabbed two sets of six siders and set about testing out ideas.

The first thing that emerged, and is still present in the game, is the idea of canceling out dice in the game’s pool with dice from the player’s pool. I then needed an advantage for the player, and thought of the dungeon delving theme. Thus, 1s became Fighters in the player’s pool, and 1s became Goblins in the dungeon pool. And Fighters will be really good at dispatching Goblins, so it only takes one Fighter to take out any number of Goblins on the other side. From there, I developed the three other classes (Mage, Cleric, and Thief) and their counterparts (Oozes, Skeletons, and Chests).

As you can see, this is very much a game where the theme grew out of the original mechanic. I find I typically design in this way, I think of something that will work well as a game, and then try to marry that with a theme I really enjoy. I find working out of a restraint helps me design. I operate in a much better environment if I have parameters, rather than telling me I can do whatever I want. However, I feel theme is absolutely integral to the enjoyment of a game. So even though I find the designs I work on are often born out of a mechanic, the theme comes along very early in the process and the rest of the game is inspired out of the integration with the theme.

So I had my four die faces, but needed to fill six slots. I realized I needed a few things: A way to reroll dice, a way to bring dice back, and a big creature. The Scroll became a way to reroll either side of the dice, potions were placed on the dungeon dice to be a way to bring back fallen party members, and I put an Ogre on the other side, making it require two heroes to defeat. That wasn’t exciting enough and was quickly scratched and a Dragon was put in instead.

Putting the Dragon faces to the side, to represent the noise and disturbance the adventurers were making in the dungeon, and a countdown timer to when the Dragon would appear worked really well in playtesting. When three Dragons were set aside, you had to face the Dragon (which required, at the time, one of each class to defeat).

With one face remaining, I decided to put a wild (The Champion) on the adventurer dice, to give the player more options. At this point, the game was simply roll your party up, and then roll a number of dungeon dice for the level you’re entering and go for as long as you can, or until you can’t win. Points were given for opened Chests right away, and if you left successfully, you got the number of points equal to the last level you successfully beat. Also, if you beat the Dragon, you got a token worth 3 points that other players could steal from you once they beat the Dragon. Rather quickly, the Dragon token felt out of place, and I thought it should just be points that the player gets to keep.

At this point, I playtested a lot more (really easy solo, and the game is quick enough to get others interested in trying it), and brought it with me to the St. Louis Board Game Designers meetup group. We’re fortunate here in St. Louis to have such a group, as well as two members who are already published designers (Aaron Belmer and Mark Sellmeyer). I showed it to them and others in attendance got some feedback and a few things to chew on. Aaron was very helpful in providing feedback and promptly asked me for the files and created a set himself to take to GenCon and play with his buddies there. I kept hearing great feedback from him and decided it was probably time to shop it around.

Being involved with Geekway has given me lots of great contacts in the gaming industry, especially among publishers. We get tons and tons of support for our convention from lots of great people, especially for Play and Win. So, I leveraged that relationship and arranged a meeting with Michael Mindes of Tasty Minstrel Games at BGG Con 2012. We sat down to play it with Steve Carlson and I think Michael saw something there immediately. Steve wished there were actual treasures to draw when you opened Chests, and Michael was looking at the box I had used (a small box for sleeved Magic decks that opened on top), and suggested the box could look like a treasure chest. Right there on the spot, we tore up pieces of paper, put various VP amounts on them, and threw them in the box and played again. After tossing around a few more ideas, he asked me if he could keep that copy of the game, and not to show it to anyone else until he had a chance to show it to a few more people. I worked on adding treasures into the game and saw it change quite a bit. It made the game more exciting, and also allowed for more decision points and the opportunity to press further into the dungeon.

A few weeks later and some exchanged emails, I had a contract waiting for me in my inbox.

At that point, more game development began, which Michael will cover in more detail in his developer diary. That development process is really a whole other chapter in the making of Dungeon Roll. I started with an abstract design built around a mechanic, and saw it turned into a very thematic and dynamic game. It now has magic items and Heroes, which give the players a different game experience every time they play. I’ve been involved in the entire process, seeing the needs that arise and coming up with solutions, implementing them, and then working with the TMG development team to revise, test, and work out solutions when they arise. Our focus has been fun above all else, and I think we’ve succeeded. I’m very happy with the team that’s worked on Dungeon Roll, and I’m excited to see it on Kickstarter!
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Mon Mar 4, 2013 4:06 pm
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THEORY: Kicktraq, The Trending Line, And Reversing It's Freefall

Michael Mindes
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So, I have a large number of theories. Most of them end up being crap, especially when first devised. At the same time, many of them are often in the correct direction so to speak.

Now with my new fascination with Kicktraq's trending line, seen here for Dungeon Roll, I have some new theories.

Facts:

1) The trending line will equal the final funding at the end of the project.
2) The trending line will be the absolute highest at project launch without some HUGE outside traffic input. This could be an early mention from a large blog or being included in a Kickstarter email.
3) The calculation for the trending line is to basically take the current average pledge per day and multiply it by the total days of the campaign. This calculation means that the trending line should drop precipitously after the initial burst.

Knowing these facts, I have become obsessed with slowing the precipitous fall of the trending line. Most of these charts that I have looked at (very successful projects) start extremely high, drop off very quickly, scoop out of a bottom, and might take a sharp increase at the end.

It seems that regardless of the scale, many projects have this shape for a curve:

From gallery of DrMayhem


From gallery of DrMayhem


Doth Kingdom Death: Monster (46 days) and Sedition Wars (37 days) got significant trending boosts due to the larger number of days in the project, and then had a longer scoop out process before they got a boost toward the last days of the project.

From gallery of DrMayhem


Now, Ground Floor has a horrible trending chart. The funding was long, and the scoop in the middle was gigantic! Thankfully at end end we got a mention from Penny-Arcade and a scramble from backers to get Skyline which pulled the project out of a SERIOUS funk. Whoever ran that project needs some improvement...

From gallery of DrMayhem


Now, Ogre has just about the perfect looking chart. It starts very high, drops quick for about 4 days, and then starts to scoop out. The trending line at 6 days is almost on where the project ended at, which is exceptional.

People were excited upfront, and buzz begat buzz, and funding begat more stuff, which begat a need to back now. Ideal.

From gallery of DrMayhem


The chart for compounded also seems ideal much like the one for Ogre, but just on not as grand of a scale. I know I was watching this from time to time as it was funding, and it seemed like they just kept adding more and more stretch goals which really made the project irresistible to certain people at the end.

A situation of back now, or don't get as much awesome stuff if you want the game in the future.

From gallery of DrMayhem


Now Boss Monster's chart is quite interesting to me. In many ways the front end of it looks much like the front end of Dungeon Roll's. On day 3, somehow they managed to really stall the quick drop of the trending line, and I think that they had a HUGE benefit as a result. Of course, day 4 had a quick drop, and then they started to flatten and scoop out.

By the end, they funded for what was at about day 6 of the trending line.

Now, lets look at Dungeon Roll's trending cart as of 12:04 (just after noon) on day 4 of funding.

From gallery of DrMayhem


Dungeon Roll like with Boss Monster slowed the quick drop on day 3. And if there was no more backers today on day 4, the drop would be at a slope that isn't as bad as the day 1-2 change, but not as good as the day 2-3 change.

I was hoping for a little bit more sharing enthusiasm coming out of a new stretch reward announcement, but that has been a little bit slow.

We are picking up a decent number of backers on an increasing basis from the Kickstarter referrers of:

* Home Page Popular - So we are one of the most popular projects on Kickstarter right now, and picking up backers as a result.
* Search - Which means that people are hearing about the game from elsewhere, like word of mouth or podcasts, and coming to search for it.
* Discover Games - Again, we are quite popular on the site, so we will show up here more often.

But I am running out of ideas to help turn around the dropoff. I would like to get the scooping out started as soon as possible...

It would be great if most of the 1,800 backers sent out 2 emails to people that they know that might be interested in the game. That would bring a large result...

I suppose that it doesn't hurt to ask, or does it?

Anyways, what do you think of Kicktraq data? I have become fascinated by it.

Cheers,

Michael
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Fri Mar 1, 2013 7:17 pm
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I Now LOVE Kicktraq. Check out how Dungeon Roll is Kicktraqin

Michael Mindes
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Hey, I understand that the likelihood that Dungeon Roll funds for $333,000 is low (which is where it capped out yesterday), but even today after funds continue to come in, it is showing a trending number of $234,237 and will continue to increase until Kicktraq determines the day is over.

I have grown to Like Kicktraq so much that I had this image made...

From gallery of DrMayhem

The Kicktraq site

In some way, it is just nice to see the kind of trajectory we are currently on, and to visualize the potential benefits of keeping the excitement about the game as high as possible.

Also, since when before I started the Kickstarter campaign, I was personally hoping that Dungeon Roll would attract at least $75,000 of funding, I am glad to see that this is quite the possibility!

Anyways, feel free to use that image to direct people over to the Kicktraq if you want.

Here is a copy of their mini-chart as it is right now:

External image
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Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:06 pm
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4 Days Of Ground Floor Kickstarting

Michael Mindes
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So, it has not yet been a full 4 days that Ground Floor has been on Kickstarter, and the funding continues to come in at a very healthy pace:

Day 1 - 175 Backers = $10,811
Day 2 - 44 Backers = $2,780
Day 3 - 53 Backers = $3,343
Day 4 - 20 Backers = $1,720 (Thus far @ 1:48 PM PST)

That makes for a total of 292 Backers @ $18,654... This is VERY good for a TMG game on Kickstarter. To compare here is the Kings of Air and Steam numbers:

Day 1 - 100 Backers = $5,497
Day 2 - 23 Backers = $1,381
Day 3 - 32 Backers = $1,586
Day 4 - 21 Backers = $1,161
Total after 4 days of 176 Backers and $9,625 of support

And For the Win:

Day 1 - 558 Backers = $5,643
Day 2 - 185 Backers = $2,374
Day 3 - 25 Backers = $765
Day 4 - 18 Backers = $432
Total after 4 days of 786 Backers and $9,214 of support

Now for an analysis on why I have more support right now at this point in time of the project... The list as I see it:

* Growth of TMG's brand and presence
* Growth of Kickstarter as a platform
* Pre-project preparation for fans
* Better project presentation

In the moment that you launch a Kickstarter project, you will have no control over how well Kickstarter is doing as a platform. So we'll ignore looking at that. Additionally, in the moment, there is little that can be done about the exposure and presence associated with your game publishing brand. So we'll ignore that too.

Now, to concentrate on areas that we can exert significant control over. The pre-project launch preparation and presentation.

Admittedly, with Ground Floor, I was scrambling to get much of this laid out. Thankfully due to my previous Kickstarting experience, additional supporting labor, and preparation, the scrambling was not incredibly bad.

Pre-Project Preparation For Fans

This was a fairly simple and straight forward process which brought great results. I invited people to get special notifications about the Ground Floor Kickstarter project. Then I gave them the following:

* Rulebook and PnP files 2 weeks prior to project launch. This allowed for choices about the game to be made in advance of launch, and queued up some reviews/session reports.

* Preview of Kickstarter project 4 days prior to launch and an opportunity to provide feedback. This allowed me to provide a special personal message (that go a little long winded... Sorry) and find out more about what fans wanted. This led to some changes to the project. Some minor, and some major!

In the process of making a purchasing decision, in my experience, most people will not buy something on the initial exposure to it. At least when there are significant quantities of alternatives (like with board games). A knowledge about the product MUST come before a decision to buy.

This process allowed multiple opportunities to become more knowledgable about what Ground Floor is, which allowed for my support on launch day.

Better Project Presentation

This comes down to an overall better execution on the project page on Kickstarter. Including:

* Video - The intro to grad attention leading into the splash page is critical. Watch the intro for the Kings of Air and Steam video, and then imagine how many people were lost in that 30 second intro...
* Rewards - Fewer rewards which are clear, concise, and intuitive. Providing too many decision suppresses response (think of it as real life AP). Unlike with board gaming AP, people just don't pledge and leave. The only decision is, do I want this? After that it is, "Do I want to get my friends in on it to save us all money?"
* Headings - Thematic image headings keep the project pages from looking like a wall of text, which for many people (myself included) leads to not reading it.
* Story - Everybody loves a good story
* Rules video - For those that want it.
* Rulebook & PnP files - Shows confidence in a game, and allows this interested in learning more to do so. It also allows an easy platform for people to spread the game and gather more backers.
* Testimonials - Reviews & Session reports...

Much of this stuff above was actually added to the project after we went live. Mainly the headings. I could have delayed, except that I had already announced Tuesday as the launch day.

Then again, there is always an opportunity to delay, so set a date, announce it, and then stick to it (because you announced it).

I hope that was helpful, and I just thought I would share.

Check out Ground Floor on Kickstarter
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6 Comments
Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:48 pm
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