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Subject: Can Last Starfleet be saved? rss

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Shanen Opolis
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There's another seemingly good game flopping on Kickstarter, and I'm just wondering if there are any lessons we can learn from it.

It's called Last Starfleet, here's the link:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wickedgringames/last-st...

It's got ten days left to get more than 86% of its $38,500 goal. I honestly don't see it happening, with only 77 backers so far. It actually looks like a pretty cool game, and I would certainly play it if a friend had it over for game night, but I don't think I'll back it. The intro video is very humble and well made (Sam seems like a good guy), and the art is awesome, but for me, it's just not quite intriguing enough for the price tag of $55 (the minimum pledge to get the game). I also note a few issues with the project page, and I'm wondering if anyone agrees:

1) The artwork looks pretty nice, but there doesn't seem to be enough of it on the page, and what is there is kind of small and hard to get into.
2) There are a lot of confusing pledge levels, 15 total, and the first 5 don't even get you the game.
3) The lowest pledge to get the game is $55, and while a lot of games cost that on store shelves, I don't get a $55 feel from what I see of the game. Maybe it's just not presented well? But I get a sense of it being overpriced for what you get.

Any thoughts on Last Starfleet?
Is there anything the creator can do at this point to save the game? Given he still does have ten days left.
 
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Jacq L
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I think the creator needs to read these two blogs:
http://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter-lesson-49-to-cancel-o...
and
http://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter-lesson-50-how-to-rebo...

My suspicions here are that market saturation is playing a big role. Spacey-themed coop games are something that's been done before on KS, and a lot of backers go into KS games now with the mentality of "Why should I pledge for X when I already own/pledged for Y".

There's also the fact we're in the 'dark months' for KS in general right now. I'm not sure exactly how much that contributes to anything, but it's certainly not helping.
 
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Bruce Gazdecki
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Jacqland wrote:
I think the creator needs to read these two blogs:
http://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter-lesson-49-to-cancel-o...
and
http://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter-lesson-50-how-to-rebo...

My suspicions here are that market saturation is playing a big role. Spacey-themed coop games are something that's been done before on KS, and a lot of backers go into KS games now with the mentality of "Why should I pledge for X when I already own/pledged for Y".

There's also the fact we're in the 'dark months' for KS in general right now. I'm not sure exactly how much that contributes to anything, but it's certainly not helping.


Dark months?
 
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Shanen Opolis
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Bruiser419 wrote:
Jacqland wrote:
I think the creator needs to read these two blogs:
http://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter-lesson-49-to-cancel-o...
and
http://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter-lesson-50-how-to-rebo...

My suspicions here are that market saturation is playing a big role. Spacey-themed coop games are something that's been done before on KS, and a lot of backers go into KS games now with the mentality of "Why should I pledge for X when I already own/pledged for Y".

There's also the fact we're in the 'dark months' for KS in general right now. I'm not sure exactly how much that contributes to anything, but it's certainly not helping.


Dark months?


Those are the months where Kickstarter's transmissions are blocked by the position of the moon.
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Shanen Opolis
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So... They just cancelled the project. Nevermind!
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Shanenopolis wrote:
Bruiser419 wrote:
Jacqland wrote:
for Y".

There's also the fact we're in the 'dark months' for KS in general right now. .


Dark months?


Those are the months where Kickstarter's transmissions are blocked by the position of the moon.


Ugh. First the sun attacks, now the moon is interfering as well!

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Jacq L
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Bruiser419 wrote:
There's also the fact we're in the 'dark months' for KS in general right now. I'm not sure exactly how much that contributes to anything, but it's certainly not helping.


Dark months?[/q]

Sorry, I don't really know what to call it. June-August is the worst for KS projects across the board (less projects funded, less overall $$ pledged). It's not exactly a 'make-or-break' thing, no more than launching on a tuesday or running for 30 days or anything is, but it certainly isn't helping.
 
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Shanen Opolis
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Jacqland wrote:
Jacqland wrote:
Bruiser419 wrote:
There's also the fact we're in the 'dark months' for KS in general right now. I'm not sure exactly how much that contributes to anything, but it's certainly not helping.


Dark months?


Sorry, I don't really know what to call it. June-August is the worst for KS projects across the board (less projects funded, less overall $$ pledged). It's not exactly a 'make-or-break' thing, no more than launching on a tuesday or running for 30 days or anything is, but it certainly isn't helping.


What about launching on a Tuesday or for 30 days? I've heard that you should stick to 30 days, but I wanted to run for almost 60, is that a death sentence? Also, I've never heard anything about launching on a Tuesday... (note: I'm still making my way through Jamey's stuff, it's a lot of reading)
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Is June-August "dark" because people are doing summer/vacation activities? And thus, less inclined to spend time browsing online?


Personally, I try to stay away from projects that take more than 30 days, because the impression I have is that the project is "not ready." If the project is ready, they would have done enough marketing and gathering support ahead of the campaign start. And that should mean that they'll get a big push of backers right at the outset.

That big push right at the outset would also tend to encourage other backers to join in, since the project is already "imminently successful."


A project that campaigns for about 60 days or more also gives me the impression that their production timeline is still rather "loose." I know it's a mindset of today's "Gotta Get It Now" society, but I'm really not comfortable with having a lot of time pass between when I commit my money and when I get the product/service I paid for. (Yeah, i know, KS wouldn't be my cup of tea at all if that mentality was strictly the case!)


Essentially, the 60+ day window conveys a "wishy-washy" attitude; and a shorter campaign conveys an urgency and purposeful attitude.

... IMHO.
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Jacq L
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60 days also causes a huge loss of momentum. Even campaigns that run for 30 days have the dreaded "slump" in the middle, but are usually able to pick up steam at the end. 60 days means people will look at it on launch and either pledge or forget, then have a month and a half to cancel (or have their interest caught by something else). But the time the last few days of the campaign hits everyone's generally tired.

Also worth considering that running a project should be a full time job for that time. Most people can't afford to dedicate all their time and energy to something for 60 days.

The other stuff (months, day, time of day, etc) to launch is one of those things where people take a bunch of data from Kickstarter, and determine what is statistically the "best" time to do something. Then other people come along and look at that and try to determine the "reason" behind the stats.

January's the "worst" month. That seems obviously post-christmas lack of spending (and is borne out by other industries like retail sales). April and October are the "best" months, in the first because of US tax returns probably, not sure about the latter. People say tuesday's good because people are grumpy on mondays and bored at work. Early afternoon (in the US) is a good time to launch because you hit most of the planet's "awake" hours, and aren't closing while people are asleep. The hypotheses go on, but ultimately the reason boils down to looking at some data and following what "works" for other people, independant of the quality of a given project.

Reading Rainbow could have launched at midnight on a Saturday in the first week of January and still made crazy bank. Dominoker can follow all the best practices in the universe but the project is still not going to fund.
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Patrick Dignam
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Jacqland wrote:

Sorry, I don't really know what to call it. June-August is the worst for KS projects across the board (less projects funded, less overall $$ pledged). It's not exactly a 'make-or-break' thing, no more than launching on a tuesday or running for 30 days or anything is, but it certainly isn't helping.


I think its part of the summer deluge of Cons, movies, comics, books, collectibles, crazy sales, and vacation travel --- all to compete for the 'geek dollar.
 
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Sam Oplinger
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Indeed we did cancel. Expecting to pull a 75% correction out of thin air is... well, unprecedented. We did raise over 5k on our first KS attempt though. That's pretty cool.

And actually, the relaunch plan is looking so much better, IMHO, that I'm glad it didn't launch the first time. There was a momentary panic of knowing I had to, but not having any idea how to, lower the goal and base price. I've got that figured out now and am capitalizing on the relaunch to take into account everything I heard from backers/reviewers/players at cons. I'll be publishing surveys to virtually include anyone who's interested in the design/redesign. - here's the first one.

[url][/url]
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/16394798#16394798

And thank you for the links! It looks like I'm on the same page with all of Jamey's recommendations.

I debated posting the link to the relaunch page, since it is still a WIP, but I think it is where we want it. I need to confirm pricing, record a new video, and apply artwork. Any thoughts?

[url][/url]https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wickedgringames/1426294...

*As far as the "time of the KS bad mojo moon," I couldn't find anything conclusive before this campaign - just conjecture and hypothesis... and a trend. Maybe the "n" is high enough to give launch timing some credence?
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Shanen Opolis
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As a kickstarter hopeful, myself, I'm curious what you're doing to lower your kickstarter goal for the next round. It seems unavoidable that some components would need to be cut, or altered.
 
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Skyguard
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Your link to the relaunch page isn't working for me
 
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Ben P.
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Skyguard wrote:
Your link to the relaunch page isn't working for me

I learned this recently: BGG cuts a part of the URLs. Try this (without the " obviously):

"https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wickedgringames/1426294735?token=a2b46b61"
 
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Tor Iver Wilhelmsen
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Skyguard wrote:
Your link to the relaunch page isn't working for me

It's the usual annoyance where BGG code strips out the query string ("?token=xxxx") which is the "entrance key" to the page in progress.

Tip to users who want to post links to KS pages under construction: Use a link shortener service like bit.ly to make a link that BGG will accept.
 
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Sam Oplinger
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Hmm. Does this get you to the KS page? http://kck.st/1sZPZCR

Hey Shane! The biggest change is that we've selected multiple sources for manufacturing - some that can go down to 250 units(from 1,500 minimum). We ARE making changes to what backers get, too. We're cutting the ship mat into card sized pieces so we can ship decks as decks of cards without requiring a 4x8 box. We're taking out one-sided planet-specific boards and instead including a standard 5 or 8 surface space double-sided single-fold board. This means that expansions, be they planets/ships/orbit decks, all ship as a deck of cards. Gameplay is the same, but you'll see the price drop significantly. You'll get a little less game for a much lower cost, or WAY more for about as much.

As a fellow Kickstarter allow me to share a rather expensive KS pearl we all learned: the big guys can sell a premium product at a high price. But if few people know you, you start by selling something cheaper, in smaller quantities, at absolutely no profit. And it better be an immaculate work of art with a crisp and tasty hook!

All in all, this education has been well worth every penny and grey hair. We can't wait to re-launch. Giddy, I think, is the word.

 
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Shanen Opolis
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Looking forward to it :-)
 
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