Running a kickstarter is pretty interesting, I've learned a lot and I'm sure that there's a lot more to learn! I'm going to try some exciting things in the coming weeks, but thought I'd take a moment to reflect on how things have gone so far.
On day one (Sep 9th, Sep 8th is on the graph to be a zero point) I was elated that things had gone so well, but wasn't reading too much into it. I'd heard about the initial rush and knew not to get my hopes up or to trust kicktraq's trend that said we were looking at a £300k kickstarter. On day two I started seeing fewer names I recognised and many more new faces, which made me hopeful that the level of progress would be constant and the days that followed didn't do much to persuade me that wasn't the case.
The first weekend (boxed) was horrible; I thought that the campaign had turned out to be all initial rush with no staying power. I worried that we wouldn't even reach the goal, that each day would see less and less progress until we flatlined. I'd been told before that weekends on kickstarter tended to suck, but I didn't realise the magnitude of it at first. The second weekend wasn't much better because I had to spend the whole thing worrying about whether the Friday before was a blip or whether it was all going wrong.
In the second week I ran a puzzle campaign on twitter. It was loads of fun and some of the backers got really into it. I'm not sure if it brought it many new backers, but I thought I'd highlight the period where I was doing it as a point of interest. I'm doing another next week so that might tell us something.
Ricky Royal of Box of Delights posted a gameplay video on the 17th, which turned out to be an exceptional day. I'm not sure how much of what happened was the video and how much was passing the 100% mark and the confidence that creates. I'll never launch without a gameplay video again. (Yes I was warned and should have known better.)
This week has been pretty good. It started with a video on Rahdo Runs Through, which is still driving bits of traffic a week later. I then did an ask me anything on reddit, which despite the relatively small number of questions seemed to do some significant good I've not got that much to add this week, but I'm hoping that the new puzzle next week will be awesome.
Most of the sources here are somewhat expected. Kickstarter inflates its own numbers with its broken referral system, so let's ignore it as an entity. BGG and Facebook are the biggest contributors, I hear that this is fairly typical but I still enjoy seeing them there. I like discussing this blog on BGG and a lot of the early facebook backers were friends of some sort
I didn't expect kicktraq to be so big, I did the day one kicktraq thing mostly because it claimed to offer better projections. I like being able to see the future so I thought that was great. I didn't anticipate that it might drive much traffic so that's a pleasant surprise.
Somethingawful is a surprise entry, I haven't logged onto that in almost a decade! I'm going to go there once I'm done with this post and work out what's going on. I may regret learning the answer, we'll find out shortly.
1d4chan is run by a friend who put the 404 banner up as a favour. It's cool that it's put in a noticeable chunk, I shall have to get him some cake or something If you want to advertise it's not a bad spot and the regular prices of his banners are pretty reasonable since they're all project wonderful based.
This has been a little disjointed, but I hope it helps to give you some idea of the surprises and oddities in store if you're running a kickstarter. I'd say my biggest surprise was how bumpy the ride has been, looking at other people's graphs I saw a lot of smooth curves (kicktraq somehow makes them look that way compared to the kickstarter dashboard) so I wasn't really ready for the somewhat wiggly line that 404 has taken. Then again, if any game was going to go about its business in an unecessarily arcane way it makes sense for it to be this one!
Also: Join the campaign if you haven't already