Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
15 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Things Kickstarter Project Creators Need to START Doing rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Edward Uhler
United States
Commerce City
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This stemmed from the similarly named "Things Kickstarter Project Creators Need to Stop Doing" thread. Some designers/publishers chimed in that they'd like to hear from KS backers what they would like to see, so I thought that I'd write something up.

The two models, imo, of how to run a successful, model Kickstarter campaign are what Cody and Jaime have done on their respective KS projects and follow their lead:

Xia: Legends of a Drift System

Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia

Now, I know that Jaime has a blog about suggestions on how to run a successful KS, but some have said it's a lot to take in, or grok. Well, below are the big things that matter to me (and I'd imagine most KS backers). Yes, having a great game is key, sure, that's obvious. But other than that, the below 4 things are paramount.

Something to keep in mind while reading below: Xia is a year late. Yet, oddly, you don't hear a peep regarding folks complaining about that game. Gives you pause, no?


1) Communication - This is the single most important thing in a campaign, both during the campaign and, ESPECIALLY, after the campaign ends. Keep backers in the loop with regular updates. Not everyday, don't pester the backers. Once a week and be consistent! Even if there is little to no news, tell folks that.


2) Honesty - This seems common sense, but it seems that a ton of folks that run campaigns have a real hard time being honest with their backers. Often, there are unforseen problems and delays. TELL YOUR BACKERS AND BE HONEST! Novel concept, but these first two points simply an absolute must. No one likes hearing bad news, but if you're honest to your backers, I guarantee that the overwhelming majority will be understanding.


3) Transparency - This goes right in line with the first two. If backers understand, clearly, what issues there are, when they come up, why they happened and what the options are to correct the issues, it makes for a far more understanding backing group.


4)Inclusion - Without the backers, your project doesn't get off the ground. So when there are decisions to be made, include the backers and allow them input. Don't just do it for show, but actually listen and use the input given. For both of the above campaigns, backers had suggestions both during and after the campaign on improvements that both designers used and the games appear to be better for it. Not exclusively talking about gameplay stuff, but maybe there is a publishing issue that can be corrected, but might add 3-6 weeks to the delivery time...ask your backers which they would prefer: Go ahead as is without the delay or the delay is understandable and let's fix the issue.


Obviously, there are other things, but if project creators were to follow those 4 things, I be willing to bet that they'd be primed for success.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pete
United States
Northbrook
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
eapeas wrote:
This stemmed from the similarly named "Things Kickstarter Project Creators Need to Stop Doing" thread. Some designers/publishers chimed in that they'd like to hear from KS backers what they would like to see, so I thought that I'd write something up.

The two models, imo, of how to run a successful, model Kickstarter campaign are what Cody and Jaime have done on their respective KS projects and follow their lead:

Xia: Legends of a Drift System

Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia

Now, I know that Jaime has a blog about suggestions on how to run a successful KS, but some have said it's a lot to take in, or grok. Well, below are the big things that matter to me (and I'd imagine most KS backers). Yes, having a great game is key, sure, that's obvious. But other than that, the below 4 things are paramount.

Something to keep in mind while reading below: Xia is a year late. Yet, oddly, you don't hear a peep regarding folks complaining about that game. Gives you pause, no?


1) Communication - This is the single most important thing in a campaign, both during the campaign and, ESPECIALLY, after the campaign ends. Keep backers in the loop with regular updates. Not everyday, don't pester the backers. Once a week and be consistent! Even if there is little to no news, tell folks that.


2) Honesty - This seems common sense, but it seems that a ton of folks that run campaigns have a real hard time being honest with their backers. Often, there are unforseen problems and delays. TELL YOUR BACKERS AND BE HONEST! Novel concept, but these first two points simply an absolute must. No one likes hearing bad news, but if you're honest to your backers, I guarantee that the overwhelming majority will be understanding.


3) Transparency - This goes right in line with the first two. If backers understand, clearly, what issues there are, when they come up, why they happened and what the options are to correct the issues, it makes for a far more understanding backing group.


4)Inclusion - Without the backers, your project doesn't get off the ground. So when there are decisions to be made, include the backers and allow them input. Don't just do it for show, but actually listen and use the input given. For both of the above campaigns, backers had suggestions both during and after the campaign on improvements that both designers used and the games appear to be better for it. Not exclusively talking about gameplay stuff, but maybe there is a publishing issue that can be corrected, but might add 3-6 weeks to the delivery time...ask your backers which they would prefer: Go ahead as is without the delay or the delay is understandable and let's fix the issue.


Obviously, there are other things, but if project creators were to follow those 4 things, I be willing to bet that they'd be primed for success.
So...Kickstarter projects need to be run more like non-Kickstarter projects?

Pete (is trying to get a handle on what we're saying here)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
fightcitymayor
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
"This is a really weird game, and you’ll find that most people will not want to play this."
Avatar
mb
eapeas wrote:
1) Communication - This is the single most important thing in a campaign, both during the campaign and, ESPECIALLY, after the campaign ends. Keep backers in the loop with regular updates. Not everyday, don't pester the backers. Once a week and be consistent! Even if there is little to no news, tell folks that.
I would never tell a project creator to skip the communication part, but one of the least appealing things about Kickstarter is how it cultivates legions of sniveling brats who expect the project owners to babysit them 24/7 in the comments section. And then when the project owner doesn't respond to them in what they feel is a reasonable timeframe (seemingly between 10 seconds and 10 minutes,) then they start with the, "I dunno, I'm starting to feel really apprehensive about this project!" routine.

If the project owner has something to relate, then they will put it in an update & go from there. Anyone expecting some 24/7 live operator to wipe their bottoms and tuck them in at night needs to find some other hobbies. The project owners might have things to learn, but backers need to grow up as well & learn a thing or two about a certain virtue named "patience."

(But weekly updates don't sound terribly onerous, maybe bi-weekly would be okay as well.)

8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Danny S.
United States
Cape Coral
Florida
flag msg tools
2) Honesty - This seems common sense, but it seems that a ton of folks that run campaigns have a real hard time being honest with their backers. Often, there are unforseen problems and delays. TELL YOUR BACKERS AND BE HONEST! Novel concept, but these first two points simply an absolute must. No one likes hearing bad news, but if you're honest to your backers, I guarantee that the overwhelming majority will be understanding.




I really think if they told their backers it could be months or years after the date, they might not back their project. For example Rocket Dice. It's almost a year and a half behind. If they told their backers it might be two years before they see the final project they wouldn't get funded especially for dice.

I just know going into the project that whatever time frame they give me add six months to a year before you see it.

Honesty is something they really can't do or nothing would get funded. They just have to throw out a date and hope knowing they will never hit it. They might get close or they might get far away.

Remember you aren't preordering a game. You are paying for someone to make the game that you want. That is what takes the time.

I agree on the other three points.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pierre St-Michel
Canada
Québec
Quebec
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
eapeas wrote:

Something to keep in mind while reading below: Xia is a year late. Yet, oddly, you don't hear a peep regarding folks complaining about that game. Gives you pause, no?


That's not actually true. Xia funded a little over a year ago, but the release date was initially around December 2013. It is about 7 months late, but it's clearly being made by the most detail-oriented guy I've seen on kickstarter so far. He sent pics and previews of most the stuff we're expecting, and quite frankly, that's all I need to feel comfortable. The Fallen kickstarter has been great on that side too with a weekly 2 cards preview. It's weird how I've backed projects that had so much awesome content and yet they didn't bother to share any of it until it was shipped...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reddish22
United States
Nampa
Idaho
flag msg tools
designer
the Yellow Sign?
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hiveul wrote:
eapeas wrote:

Something to keep in mind while reading below: Xia is a year late. Yet, oddly, you don't hear a peep regarding folks complaining about that game. Gives you pause, no?


That's not actually true. Xia funded a little over a year ago, but the release date was initially around December 2013. It is about 7 months late, but it's clearly being made by the most detail-oriented guy I've seen on kickstarter so far. He sent pics and previews of most the stuff we're expecting, and quite frankly, that's all I need to feel comfortable. The Fallen kickstarter has been great on that side too with a weekly 2 cards preview. It's weird how I've backed projects that had so much awesome content and yet they didn't bother to share any of it until it was shipped...


Except that Cody actually stated before the end of the KS project that with the stretch goals unlocked, December wasn't even a possiblity anymore. Now many projects slip because of the stretch goals, but I've never seen one actually advertise that before the funding even ended. Kudos to him for seriously a perfectly run KS, and that is coming from a non-KS backer who is anxiously awaiting the retail version of the game (or someone to sell their copy.)

Also - +100 for mentioning Jamey from SMG. He runs great projects and makes great games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
fightcitymayor wrote:
eapeas wrote:
1) Communication - This is the single most important thing in a campaign, both during the campaign and, ESPECIALLY, after the campaign ends. Keep backers in the loop with regular updates. Not everyday, don't pester the backers. Once a week and be consistent! Even if there is little to no news, tell folks that.
I would never tell a project creator to skip the communication part, but one of the least appealing things about Kickstarter is how it cultivates legions of sniveling brats who expect the project owners to babysit them 24/7 in the comments section. And then when the project owner doesn't respond to them in what they feel is a reasonable timeframe (seemingly between 10 seconds and 10 minutes,) then they start with the, "I dunno, I'm starting to feel really apprehensive about this project!" routine.

If the project owner has something to relate, then they will put it in an update & go from there. Anyone expecting some 24/7 live operator to wipe their bottoms and tuck them in at night needs to find some other hobbies. The project owners might have things to learn, but backers need to grow up as well & learn a thing or two about a certain virtue named "patience."

(But weekly updates don't sound terribly onerous, maybe bi-weekly would be okay as well.)



I agree with this pretty much completely. I think backers expectation that creators answer all and every comment in the comment sections ridiculous.

My take on it is the first and last 2-3 days of a campaign should have a heavy presence in the comments area because it's usually when the most "new" people or busiest parts of the project. Outside of that once a week updates is fine with me. They should be following everything in the comments section and update the FAQ accordingly.

After the project is funded I think updates every few weeks is fine.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mary Ann Harrison
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
eapeas wrote:

4)Inclusion - Without the backers, your project doesn't get off the ground. So when there are decisions to be made, include the backers and allow them input.


Be careful with this one. I've seen Kickstarter projects go badly due to the creators seeking too much input. You need to make sure that whatever backers are wanting is still something that is achievable (in terms of project complexity, budget, etc), and that backers thoroughly understand any ramifications of these changes.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Frances McGregor
Canada
The Pas
Manitoba
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Definitely agree with everything above.

Even if you have nothing to say and everything is running like clockwork, send out an non-update update every couple weeks or monthly.

Reaper Mini's miniatures won't ship until October or November at the earliest, but every so often I get an update saying, yup, everything great, here's a picture of a painted mini, so I know that currently they're on track.

And if something goes wrong, which it will, tell your backers. One of my miniatures kickstarters, The Chibi Adventure miniatures ran out of money and had to sell the miniatures at a con. Yet, you look at the comments are they're all positive.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/674003445/classic-dunge...

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gláucio Reis
Brazil
Rio de Janeiro
RJ
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What I think they should start doing is to offer discounted prices similar to those from online stores. Unfortunately too often KS games are sold at those stores for much less than KS price. As the publisher keeps the shares of distributors and retailers with KS, it should not be too hard. (I know that some KS do offer discounts, but they are still a minority and the discounts are usually small.)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mafh wrote:
eapeas wrote:

4)Inclusion - Without the backers, your project doesn't get off the ground. So when there are decisions to be made, include the backers and allow them input.


Be careful with this one. I've seen Kickstarter projects go badly due to the creators seeking too much input. You need to make sure that whatever backers are wanting is still something that is achievable (in terms of project complexity, budget, etc), and that backers thoroughly understand any ramifications of these changes.


Yeah. Do not allow the fans to run a project, whether in Kickstarter or any other endeavor. Listen to them to see if they're happy, but don't take design advice and definitely don't let them make major decisions. There's a vocal minority that will object to any change at all, no matter how obviously beneficial it is, and collectively they can't design anything worthwhile. You can't make art by committee.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Edward Uhler
United States
Commerce City
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Santiago wrote:
mafh wrote:
eapeas wrote:

4)Inclusion - Without the backers, your project doesn't get off the ground. So when there are decisions to be made, include the backers and allow them input.


Be careful with this one. I've seen Kickstarter projects go badly due to the creators seeking too much input. You need to make sure that whatever backers are wanting is still something that is achievable (in terms of project complexity, budget, etc), and that backers thoroughly understand any ramifications of these changes.


Yeah. Do not allow the fans to run a project, whether in Kickstarter or any other endeavor. Listen to them to see if they're happy, but don't take design advice and definitely don't let them make major decisions. There's a vocal minority that will object to any change at all, no matter how obviously beneficial it is, and collectively they can't design anything worthwhile. You can't make art by committee.


Obviously, this needs to be done smartly. Not every decision can (nor should) be made by the backers. But, the example that I gave is a good place to include your backers in the decision.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brook Gentlestream
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
eapeas wrote:
Santiago wrote:
mafh wrote:
eapeas wrote:

4)Inclusion - Without the backers, your project doesn't get off the ground. So when there are decisions to be made, include the backers and allow them input.


Be careful with this one. I've seen Kickstarter projects go badly due to the creators seeking too much input. You need to make sure that whatever backers are wanting is still something that is achievable (in terms of project complexity, budget, etc), and that backers thoroughly understand any ramifications of these changes.


Yeah. Do not allow the fans to run a project, whether in Kickstarter or any other endeavor. Listen to them to see if they're happy, but don't take design advice and definitely don't let them make major decisions. There's a vocal minority that will object to any change at all, no matter how obviously beneficial it is, and collectively they can't design anything worthwhile. You can't make art by committee.


Obviously, this needs to be done smartly. Not every decision can (nor should) be made by the backers. But, the example that I gave is a good place to include your backers in the decision.


I'm not convinced you should EVER give backers a decision. Their decision comes with whether or not to back your project or add any add-ons or help promote your project to meet stretch goals - there shouldn't be any need for them to be making decisions for others, too.

Generally speaking, people feel much better about a central authority making decisions for the good of the project than they feel about simply being outvoted by peers on an issue they believed strongly about.

No matter what, every time you give a community a choice, some people will vote one way or another group will vote another way, and you'll have to side with one or the other, alienating the group that didn't get their way. Just make the best choices, and produce the best game you can, and don't worry about "Inclusion". Focus instead on the other aspects mentioned in the original post.
6 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Edward Uhler
United States
Commerce City
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
lordrahvin wrote:
eapeas wrote:
Santiago wrote:
mafh wrote:
eapeas wrote:

4)Inclusion - Without the backers, your project doesn't get off the ground. So when there are decisions to be made, include the backers and allow them input.


Be careful with this one. I've seen Kickstarter projects go badly due to the creators seeking too much input. You need to make sure that whatever backers are wanting is still something that is achievable (in terms of project complexity, budget, etc), and that backers thoroughly understand any ramifications of these changes.


Yeah. Do not allow the fans to run a project, whether in Kickstarter or any other endeavor. Listen to them to see if they're happy, but don't take design advice and definitely don't let them make major decisions. There's a vocal minority that will object to any change at all, no matter how obviously beneficial it is, and collectively they can't design anything worthwhile. You can't make art by committee.


Obviously, this needs to be done smartly. Not every decision can (nor should) be made by the backers. But, the example that I gave is a good place to include your backers in the decision.


I'm not convinced you should EVER give backers a decision. Their decision comes with whether or not to back your project or add any add-ons or help promote your project to meet stretch goals - there shouldn't be any need for them to be making decisions for others, too.

Generally speaking, people feel much better about a central authority making decisions for the good of the project than they feel about simply being outvoted by peers on an issue they believed strongly about.

No matter what, every time you give a community a choice, some people will vote one way or another group will vote another way, and you'll have to side with one or the other, alienating the group that didn't get their way. Just make the best choices, and produce the best game you can, and don't worry about "Inclusion". Focus instead on the other aspects mentioned in the original post.


Agree to disagree then re: EVER giving backers decisions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brook Gentlestream
United States
Long Beach
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
eapeas wrote:
Agree to disagree then re: EVER giving backers decisions.

But you see if we had to choose one or the other, then we couldn't just agree to disagree. One of us would win and one of us would lose, and that would be the end of it. And until the final decision was released, and maybe even long after, we might be endlessly arguing about it, trying to either sway or the other or at least sway the popular vote.

Finding ways to divide the community base isn't so constructive as finding ways to unite it.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.