Ramblings from the president of Van Ryder Games

Ok, this started off as a blog focused on Kickstarter, but of late I've been discussing more topics and thus I have renamed the blog to a more general title. I hope you enjoy my ramblings!
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Kickstarter Metrics you aren't thinking about... But should be! (Part 2)

A.J. Porfirio
United States
Thompsons Station
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What Van Ryder Game are YOU playing?
Ok, welcome to the second part of my analytic look into Board Game Kickstarter projects. These thoughts are based on what i learned during my campaign of If I'm Going Down...

You may remember in part 1 I made mention of Average $/Plege.

Average Pledge Amount is simply the Total $ Pledged divided by the Total # of Backers. Now if you are preparing your own project you have probably spent a lot of time figuring out what the reward levels should be and how much the costs will be for each level. But have you also considered what you expect the volume of pledges will be at each level?

Let's look at the Average Pledge Amount for IIGD...
Total Pledges: 186
Total $ Pledged: $10,640
Average Pledge Amount: 10,640/186 = $57.21

Kickstarter recently added some really cool features to the dashboard for Project Owners and the Average Pledge Amount is one of them! I was very happy to see this addition as most folks may not have been doing the calculation themself.

Ok great, you say, but now that we have this information what do we do with it?

The first thing we can do is look at a few projects and compare the minimum reward level to get the base game vs. the Average Pledge Amount...

A couple of things should jump out at this point...

1. These projects raised a LOT of money.

2. Success in terms of total funding does not neccessarily correlate with a higher % Overage value

Given number 2, why are we even looking at this? I am glad you asked...

Look at D-Day Dice, the highest funded game project to date. D-Day Dice did everything right it seems, having by far the most volume of backers, as well as the highest Average Pledge and % Overage! You may be thinking that is just a bi-product of the results, but I say it was excellent strategy and planning.

Other projects did a great job with EITHER attracting volume, or infusing great value into the rewards but D-Day did both! Of the remainder, Carnival did the next best job of having a nice balance.

Quickly before we get more into Average Pledge and how to affect it, if you look at Empires of the Void they ran a campaign with just a few reward levels and not a lot of extra frills... nothing wrong with that and they did GREAT! The point is, first and foremost the most important thing is to have a captivating product and presentation. Both of which EOTV had!

Now Overage % for the Average Pledge amount is directly impacted by the accessibility and perceived value of the non-game reward swag you are offering above and beyond the base game.

I say non-game, because while adding levels with additional copies of the game is good, most backers are simply just looking for one copy. This is what I mean by accessibility. Is the reward accessible to most if not all of your potential backers?

Most things that aren't the game are likely to be accessible, but are they meaningful? I would argue t-shirts and even Art prints are not that meaningful to most backers of Board Game projects. What is meaningful? How about all future expansions of the game shipped free (D-Day Dice) or a custom game mat that can also be used to transport games (something anyone who owns games can use! If I'm Going Down...). Extra promos, dice, component bags are all good too, but perhaps lack a little creativity not giving them quite the punch something new and unique would. Possibly, that is why those things make better stretch rewards.

Adding value through stretch rewards or pledge upgrades will also impact the Overage %. The more value a consumer can get for their $, the more $ they will be willing to put toward your project.

Take a look at how the Average Pledge trended by week for IIGD. Now the first week will likely come in skewed a little higher as your core friends and family naturally pledge a little more. But take a look from week 2-5... I believe this was the effect of adding value over the life of the project.

*Week 3 had a couple large International orders. I normalized by not including those in the blue bars to show a more realistic average for week 3 trend.


While it is not necessary to have a successful Kickstarter project, you can increase the effectiveness of your campaign by carefully planning your reward levels above the base game and offering a variety of things that are accessible and meaningful.

Really plan and project how many backers you think you will have at each of your reward levels and then challenge yourself to hit that Average Pledge Amount.

I hope this has been helpful, see you next time!

The Original document can be found at: http://midd.me/IoOO
COPYRIGHT 2011 VAN RYDER GAMES - May be used on your website, blog, podcast, with proper attribution
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