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Subject: Opinions about Kickstarter videos - spend money or not? rss

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Jason Gough
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When I look at Kickstarter videos most of them have a high quality. Many of them look as though a good chunk of money went into making it look very professional and very sharp. This is of course to draw people in to help fund their project.

If you break that down however, doesn't that mean they are spending money to ask people for money? Another way to look at it would be the backers are also paying for that video.

Here is my point, and also my question. A simple Kickstarter video explaining the project and the need for funding should be good enough. That is the type of video I am planning on doing with a simple note saying to save on costs to backer, this video has been kept to a bare minimum budget. Is this a terrible idea? Are fancy videos are necessary?
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John "Omega" Williams
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I think some of the vids look good simply due to having someone on hand to do the work. Also it does not take alot to spruce up a video, especially if you have some art done allready.

Oddly enough. If I glance at a KS vid and its mostly glitze telling me really nothing about the game. Then I am alot more likely to pass on it.

Informative videos > glitze.
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Jeff Hall
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To be honest, I rarely look at the videos myself. Usually, everything I need to know about the project is written in the description itself and I make my decisions based on that. But that's just me and I may be in the minority.
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John Paul Messerly
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Agreed. I read the first paragraph or two of the kickstarter write up and then scroll down to see the board and components. I only watch the videos if those elements have seriously piqued my interest.

Production quality is far less important than the actual pacing and clarity of the content.

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Clem Fandango
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ah I look at them and figure if people can't draw in others to help create a sharp or 'clean' video, it can mean they won't get the playtesters, designers, printers, and project management right.

I'm supporting a game not a video so I just want to see how well it's done.

So yes, do a very simple one: just do it well.
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Vic DiGital
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I'm a bit biased because I'm a video producer, and have done a few Kickstarter videos, but I think videos are important. I don't think you need to spend a lot of money on one, and I agree that flashy doesn't always equal quality. However, a BAD video, or one that is poorly shot, poorly edited, and poorly presented can derail a project.

A echo SamNzed above in that if you can't get a passable video put together, it erodes confidence that you are willing to put in the effort (or that you even have the ability) to make something far more complex like a board game come together successfully.

If you have an iPhone, or Android phone, (or know someone who has one of either) and a room with a light, you have no excuse not to be able to put together a video that looks and sounds passable.
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If the person or company making the pitch to me isn't willing to take the time to make a quality video, why would I come to the conclusion they are going to be willing to take the time to make a quality product?
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charlie reif
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Omega2064 wrote:


Informative videos > glitze.


I couldn't agree more.

But...Just turning on the camera and recording a poor video - is not going to help you get backers - no matter how informative your video is.

I suggest that you write out what you are going to say...practice saying a few times - until you are comfortable saying it.

I also think you should make sure your video quality is acceptable - by that I mean - clear audio and good lighting with no distractions from your game information. No barking dogs - no screaming kids - no TV blaring in the background, etc.

Show the game as well - even if it is prototype. You sitting there and talking for 7 minutes can make peoples brains glaze over.

Don't spend money on your video...just spend the time to make it right.

my 2 cents.
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Rose
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I don't need a fancy video; I need information about the game. I like videos that are about 3 minutes long, shows me what the game looks like, and tells me a bit about gameplay. My biggest pet-peeve lately is KS videos are only the backstory. Backstory is nice, but it tells me nothing about the game itself and why I should back it. Please try to figure out a mic; I don't enjoy the echo or 10 foot away sound. Frame yourself well in the view, keep it steady, and keep background distractions/sounds to a minimum. Cheesy jokes are just cheesy; try to skip them unless you're Adam McIver and can pull it off really well.
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Vic DiGital
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People expect to get the in-depth info on the game from the text on the page. From the video, they want to see something that indicates that YOU are the perfect person to bring this particular product or game to the market. If you don't have a long list (or even a short list) of games to your credit, you need to quickly and succinctly convince us that you've done your due diligence. We want to see that your game has a great hook to it, that it's been playtested extensively, and that you know your way around the board game world. Nothing is sadder than seeing a person really passionate about the great game they think they've invented, but it turns out that they've just 'created' a simple, derivative roll and move game or something else that indicates they've probably never heard of games like "Dominion" or "Pandemic", or that they haven't done more extensive research than seeing what was on the Wal-Mart shelves.

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Daniel Kearns
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A poor video erodes confidence in the project creators.
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J. M. Lopez-Cepero "CP"
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Swiftshadow wrote:
If you break that down however, doesn't that mean they are spending money to ask people for money? Another way to look at it would be the backers are also paying for that video.


I'm not fond of videos - 90% of the time I just use the text when evaluating a project, and I intensely dislike having to check the video to learn about some important element of the game. However, I know they are important to a number of people, and having a minimally decent video in place is a must - something too amateurish, as has been pointed out, can be a deterrent.

Also, setting up a KS with decent chances of success involves a fair bit of "spend money to ask people for money" - there's no way around that. There are certain elements that backers expect to be in place - things like the graphic design of the KS page, having sent out prototypes for review, getting distribution figured out, at least a close draft of what the final graphics and overall design of the game will be like... Even if they are part of what you expect to finance with the KS money, or if you plan on improving/scrapping these elements down the line, you need to go into the project with all these elements in place. IMHO, video falls into this category.
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Jeff Hall
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dkearns wrote:
A poor video erodes confidence in the project creators.


Personally, I'd rather they spend the money on the project itself instead of a commercial. If someone has to spend $5,000 (or whatever it costs), then that's $5,000-worth of project that hasn't been completed and will be delayed more. I'd rather see pics of what the components will look like closer to the release than some generic pawns being used to explain the game play.
 
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Richard Feather
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Just don't let your video get in the way of your message. If we can see you well and hear you properly then we won't be focusing on the video itself, but on what you are saying. That is what you need to be aiming for from the perspective of a low-budget.
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Rose
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On the subject of videos, try to have a gameplay video on your main page when you launch as well.

In line with what many people have mentioned, the text on your page should provide all the important details from the video. Don't forget to list how many players the game is for.
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Andrew H
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I agree with the suggestion that it's better to spend more time than money on the video. An outline, script and/or storyboard can let you figure out exactly what you want to say, and the best order to say it, and save the viewer's time when watching it.

As far as the video itself, there are plenty of tools online that can help. You can consider using still pictures (they also have fewer issues with auto focus on small parts) and a presentation site than does the "Ken Burns Effect" (slow zooms and dissolves). To me, the classic look is better than the flashy effects, which I find distracting.

Last of all, what I would most want to see in a video is a diverse set of playtesters. Too often it's just one group from several angles. I would be much more sold on a video that shows a game has been played by random groups, and the pictures of the testing is an easy way to show this.
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The responses to this thread are fascinating. Almost every "Give me advice about my Kickstarter" thread has half a dozen people saying "Make a GOOD video. It's essential!" I came here expecting to be the only one to say "I don't watch the video."

Instead, the responses here are much more in line with my own experience: I don't watch the videos, and I don't care to. At the most, the video can be a negative indicator (if done very poorly), but won't help sell me the game.

I'm curious about this disparity. I wonder if any successful kickstarters have surveyed their supporters about whether the video influenced them at all.

 
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I don't think that is true, even specifically for board games.

I remember there was all kinds of buzz about the Coin Age Kickstarter. People saying "You have to watch this video". I watched it and I didn't think it was special, but apparently a lot of other people thought it was.

I sure don't think a video is a liability at best. Videos can be a liability, but if done well they can be an asset.
 
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Philip Becker
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I would agree the videos aren't the deciding factor, but a rambling video or one that doesn't focus on the game (and especially one that does both) hurting my opinion of the game. On the other hand, a well done video will get me looking at everything else you've done.
I've made some short films and my biggest piece of advice is edit. Trim it down to what is essential with clean transitions (maybe b roll of the game) and it will be 10x better than the guy who just gets in front of the camera. I know some people who do this stuff professionally and they would probably charge less than $500 for a kickstarter intro video. You could also maybe contact a local college or high school and find some students looking to build resumes excited to do it for $50 - $100.
And definitely don't say "my video isn't great because I want your money to go towards the game." If you're not committed to quality enough to try to make a good video, I won't trust you to try very hard to make a good product.
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