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Subject: Kickstarter Preview/Launch Project rss

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Chris Meeusen

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This topic is in direct relation/response to the post by Jamey from Stonemaier Games and his Kickstarter article/lesson #84.

I think he brings up a very relevant and poignant topic that is almost the unstated veritas of Kickstarter. A scenario, by Kickstarter's own design, happens when you have games that are similar in type, genre, miniatures, or even popularity. They end up running/competing against each other at the same time for a limited pool of potential resources (in this case our dollars as pledgers). Let's say for the sake of this argument and discussion that the "popular" or "big name" games will get theirs $$. That's the way it is most of the time. But what next? Does this simply become then survival of the fittest Kickstarter-style or can we evolve past this?

Occam's Razor, in this case, dictates that when directly in competition one project/game will obtain those funds in spite and potentially to the detriment of the other potential suitors. The inevitability of the long term outcome from this problem ultimately directly ties into the success or failure of said project. Momentum is often said to be important in sports, but in Kickstarter, it is life itself. The core cruxes of buzz and anticipation have to be there, whether on the first day or by the third, but early, often, and somewhat sustained.

Kickstarter is a veritable quagmire of games to filter through. This is even before you end up perusing the individual offerings from various major designer deities and lesser known creators whilst pledging your undying dollars. Because of the sheer quantity and now rapidly growing popularity of crowdfunding, especially in the tabletop genre (which sports easily one of the highest rates of successful funding of categories on the Kickstarter regardless of $$goal), more people are posting projects on a daily basis.

This sort of community allows for great diversity and reaching beyond normal idealization and production bounds but also by its own nature doesn't have the natural support or online backing from major retailers to let the general (Kickstarter in this case) public know about upcoming projects. I know that Kickstarter "spotlights" an occasional project or two, but banking on that for your project is to a lesser extent like hoping to win the lottery and then also hoping that it's the 10 million and not the $50 draw. If it's your job as a designer to get the word out there, wouldn't a centralized solution be of interest even if it was a shared space with others? As has been stated in the past, it isn't Kickstarter's job to get backers or hype for a project, only to provide a medium for those interested to meet.

As Jamey states so eloquently "there is no way to know when other projects are going to launch or end while you’re planning and announcing your launch and end dates. Sure, you might know when some projects are going to launch if you read a lot of blogs, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, and BGG forums, but even then, it’s impossible to know about ALL other projects."

The solution that Jamey has proposed? A patchwork bridge in place currently that he has started as a Google Doc to allow for collaboration of Kickstarter tabletop launching data. This is something I believe is apropos of an early version of Kicktraq. I feel strongly towards this and am seriously interested in pursuing as more of a full blown website in the future. It would allow for a commonplace meeting for various Kickstarter creators and designers to publish give advanced notice to their colleagues. It would also act as free market advertising geared towards visitors to the site whether they be publishers, fellow designers, artists, reviewers, or potential backers. It definitely would play towards the average "backer with a budget" kickstarter pledger (which the majority fall into). How many times have you or someone else posted that they'd loved to have backed a game, but already spent too much elsewhere and wished they could have prioritized better? A centralized database allowing for a Venn diagram of overlap between the groups would benefit all.

Also, that critical last 48 hour push? Make sure that you're not missing or overlapping with other games there as well from that standpoint.

Intrigued/interested in only a certain genre? Miniature related? Categorized and sortable.
Want to make sure another eurogame isn't coming out near yours? Done.
Is your favorite designer coming out with something soon? Find out.
Build hype on name alone while allowing others to read up before it even launches to increase pre-KS interest? Check.
Find/allow reviewers to know about your project prior to it launching? Yes and Yes.

What do you guys think? Feasible? Would designers respond? Would backers use it as a time-worthwhile resource?

If anyone has thoughts or interest, let me know.
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Matthew Charles
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This sounds great.
The proof will be in how much it gets used, which is a bit of a Catch-22. It'd need traffic to be effective, and need to be effective to get traffic.
I've got two games in the development pipeline, and I'd certainly help with the guinea pig stage of this.
Perhaps the best solution would be to roll it into BGG's existing framework. They (we?) already have the traffic.
 
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Mark McGee
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I would 100% use it for planning on when to launch a campaign, and I may peruse it as a potential backer to see what stuff is coming out soon, or to push me one direction or another about pledging on a current project based on future projects.
 
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Chris Meeusen

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Thanks guys
 
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Christian Strain
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Added our game Asking for Trobils for launch on May 21!
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Chris Meeusen

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Great!

What do you guys think about a kickstarter function that allowed people to see how many had asked for 48 hour reminders and then compare that to how many actually ended up funding after that?
 
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Eric Etkin
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zekks wrote:
What do you guys think? Feasible? Would designers respond? Would backers use it as a time-worthwhile resource?

If anyone has thoughts or interest, let me know.


I have yet to actually jump into KS funding, but as someone who is constantly playing around with concepts for potential campaigning, I could see a resource like this as very useful.
 
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John Warren
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I've been thinking along similar lines ever since reading his post. If I wasn't already up to my neck in preparing my own Kickstarter, I would probably already be working on developing a site with some of these features...
 
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