Crafting an Effective Kickstarter Campaign
Anthony
United States
Lawton
Oklahoma
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I am not a publisher, I am only a fan. I have read many Kickstarter campaigns, but have only supported a few. I spent some time thinking about what makes a good Kickstarter campaign for me. Feel free to add more as I'm sure there are many more campaigns that I did not see.
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1. Board Game: Eminent Domain [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:444]
Anthony
United States
Lawton
Oklahoma
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Create and Sustain a Buzz

This Kickstarter has become one of the poster childs for Kickstarter. The campagain began with a bang and kept it up. It started with an excellent video showing off the game. The game was demoed at conventions and had an early video review by one of the premier video reviewers, Drakkenstrike. Additionally, the game allowed early Print and Play to further introduce people to value of this game.

The initial Buzz was great, but the maintenance of this buzz was even better. TMG releaesed regular progress reports with the Kickstarter supporters showing early artwork and rules versions. Seeing the steady progress of the game really helped sustain a buzz about this game. As of the last time I looked, there were 54 updates posted for this campagain.

Edit: To give credit where credit is due, as referenced below, Tom Vassel was the original video reviewer. I had mixed that up over the past 10 months.
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2. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:264]
 
Anthony
United States
Lawton
Oklahoma
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Involve your fans in selling the game

This Kickstarter campaign is ongoign and has done a lot of things right. In particular I want to highlight their 15K and 30K challenges. The publisher thought of a possible bonus, which was initially firemeeples and ran it by the supporters who indicated they would perfer a second mounted board for the bonus map. They therefore laid the gauntlet down of getting an additional 10k (for a total of 15k)in support from the community to provide this bonus. Needless to say an additional doubled side mounted board with unique buildings is a big deal and thus an army of salesman was born. I found myself telling people about the game and thumbing the pictures and reviews to try to get them to the front page.

15K has come and gone and now there is a 30k Challenge to add firemeeples to Kickstarters goodies. Once again this leads people to try to tell others about the game...in fact I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you that this campaign is still going for a few more days and you can go get in on this great game at:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2012515236/flash-point-f...
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3. Board Game: Alien Frontiers [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:170]
Anthony
United States
Lawton
Oklahoma
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Exclusive Content can be a powerful Incentive

Alien Frontiers gave Kickstarters a unique card "Space Crane" which future editions have not had. Additionally Kickstarters were able to buy the "Mind Control Helmet" card which was made in the next edition to ensure they weren't punished for early adopters.

Success of this program has been mimiced with current Kickstarters often offering some form of exclusive content.
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4. Board Game: Kingdom of Solomon [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2205]
Anthony
United States
Lawton
Oklahoma
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Utilize the Fans

The fans provide numerous eyes that may catch something that strikes a portion of the game's audience that the designers or playtesters did not catch. In this case, a portion of the fanbase did not like the idea that a prime space in a game with a biblical them was named Idol. This will not have affected many, but recognizing that this did have a negative impact, the space was renamed as "Altar".

If there is a question remaining from the designer or publisher of a game they are kickstarting then they may as well use the free manpower that they can tap into through the kickstarter. You can have hundreds of editors, playtesters, or advertisers if you can tap into them.
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5. Board Game: Fealty [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:2462]
Anthony
United States
Lawton
Oklahoma
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Show Personality & Passion

I tend to care more about a product when its clear the designer/publisher cares alot about the product. I also appreciate personality. I find things like Fealty's "Shark back Guarantee" which states that if I don't enjoy the game more than getting eaten by a shark I can get my money back is funny. What other kickstarter package allows you to force your friends to wear a jester's hat, let you add "von" to your name", or to become a knight (which is purportly good with the ladies)?

This alone doesn't make a good game, but it does make me read your entire Kickstarter campaign to find more jokes and that may result in me pledging as it did for this game. This campaign is also still running:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1889906682/fealty-a-quic...
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6. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:154]
Anthony
United States
Lawton
Oklahoma
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Meeting Fan Demand
Glory to Rome has used Kickstarter to let fans put their money where their mouths are. For a long time fans have criticised the art and said they would pay for new are. Well the publisher has used Kickstarter to move the risk from this proposition by letting fans fund this endeavor themselves.

This has worked fabously and is very close to setting the all time Kickstarter record for money raised for a game. This campaign is still goign on:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/458341761/glory-to-rome-...
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7. Board Game: Dead Fellas [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:11456]
Ed Carter
United States
Groton
Massachusetts
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Set A Realistic Target

Sure, you are hoping to break out into much higher number but you need to take a real assessment of what is the actual funding you need to complete the project - very much like an EBAY auction (in reverse) set it too low and you could be out of pocket on the deal, too high and you risk kicking yourself when funds come in which are close to your target.

Also, don't forget that you're going to be paying ~10% in fees (to Kickstarter + Amazon) and they're going to sit on the money for several weeks after the process completes - we had to reduce the Glory To Rome Kickstarter to 3 weeks in order to make sure we could still ship in time for Essen

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8. Board Game: FrankenDie [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:11440]
Marquis Cote
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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TIP 1: Planning, Research & Good Production

Plan before launching your campaign, we planned it out a month before. We did research, including gathering and reviewing stories from past projects (successful and unsuccessful). Once we reviewed the data, we begun the production of final Artwork and of the video. We drafted an example Kickstarter page to pass around to our network for feedback. Once we were ready, we then unleashed the Monster on Kickstarter!

TIP 2: Early Backer Reward(s)

The campaign started November 23rd 2011 and ends on Sunday January 8th 2012. Make your pledge by December 12th, and you'll also receive: 1 free copy of the Mad Scientists' Guild expansion per copy of the game!

TIP 3: Become Artwork in the Game Reward(s)

But what we're really excited about, is that gamers can become a part of our game! Not just in name, but they can be illustrated into the game's components (for the Creatures and the Mad Scientists), by a top-notch artist (Darren Calvert). If that sounds as awesome to you as it does to us, then check out our GO MAD! pledge levels.
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