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Subject: To Relaunch or Not To Relaunch A KS? rss

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Dominic Huang
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Hi folks, trying to pick the brains of the veteran community here, also our key audience for our game Black Souls. We will not post any links as this is purely a dilemma we need help on.

The Situation:
It has been in the Hotness List of BGG for almost a week now, and even held on to Top 2 for a few days. The issue is that we are not seeing this interest convert into Kickstarter pledges. The game mechanics are fun, the theme is unique and the artwork etc all great - that's why we are in the hotness! But at the same time, our Kickstarter was also terribly crafted! As a 7-time Kickstarter creator, we made the mistake that we had the formula down by now. Wrong! Our previous games were all small box ones, and they mailed easily worldwide from China at a mere $5 USD. The issue with big box games like Black Souls is that they cost a bomb to ship. For the current campaign, we are charging a postage that is seemingly ridiculous (US$30) for the game to EU. This has caused a lot of backers to hold back on their pledges despite the game being fun.

Thankfully, several fulfillment companies happened to follow our campaign and saw our plight. They have since approached us offering to help and a couple also gave special packages to assist us. At this point, we are extremely glad to say that we have been 'saved' and WILL definitely be able to lower the shipping costs across the board, some more than others.

The Options:
Should we relaunch with these new prices?
Or should we just 'lock' the current tiers and create new ones?

The Question:
Which one to do, add pledges or relaunch?

The Pros & Cons of Adding Pledges To Current Campaign:
If we just add pledges, there's a high risk that if even just 1 backer did not get the news or notification, we cannot 'lock' the tier as he did not move his pledge to the new one. Also, the words are currently misleading and confuses backers with multiple 'Early Bird' tags, as well as miswording of stating 'Shipping Included' By just adding pledges, these very same pledges will still be there all the way, and it will reflect BADLY on our company's reputation and integrity - which we uphold strongly.

The Pros & Cons of Relaunching:
We get to tidy up all the mess, and have a chance to properly price the shipping again.

The downside is that we lose all that momentum and we are already more than 70% funded as of now. We would have to start from scratch, and not 100% of the current backers might return.

If any of you are experienced Kickstarter backers or creators, we would really love to hear what you would do in our shoes at this point. Yes, we messed up - now what should we do to do right by everyone? We did see some other expert Kickstarter creators go the route of just adding new pledges, but we worry that might not resolve our wrong wordings etc.
Poll
  Your Answer   Vote Percent Vote Count
Relaunch!
87.7% 57
Keep the current campaign, and add new pledges!
12.3% 8
Voters 65
This poll is now closed.   65 answers
Poll created by Wanderer999
Closes: Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:00 am
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The Ry
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Personally I'd relaunch
you are close to being funded so hopefully most of the backers will transfer to the new project at a cheaper price point.
If you make an update stating that you are going to relaunch, then you might get a bunch of people just pledging $1 so when you announce the new launch they will get updated.
I've pledged for projects that have relaunced, but, if they built up bad will the relaunch failed as well. But, as most people seem fairly happy with your company and the game than that should bode will for the launch. In fact, having a new campaign with more accessible shipping may be the boost you were hoping for.
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Trent Boardgamer
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I've seen both done in the past, but have never had access to the numbers to be able to assess the impact of one approach over the other. (Maybe another creator that has done this can shed some light).

A website called Kicktraq does record all the pledge data for projects so you may be able to research the impact on pledges to certain projects, from various relaunches or changes through that site.

Your Pro's and Con's make sense and are pretty much the main ones I would have pointed out.

Personally unless I was changing more than just the shipping cost, I wouldn't cancel the Kickstarter to start again. That said, if you wanted a little more time for the project to be up with the reduced shipping cost, there may be a small advantage to doing so (Again, I'm not sure what the backer drop off rate is usually like from doing this).

As a third option for consideration, have you considered maintaining the current structure and just putting at the top of the page and in messages the reduced shipping cost? I've been involved in projects in the past where stretch goals have been used to reduced shipping to Australia and Europe and they managed it that way (Existing backers see it as a bonus and new backers see the reduced cost to consider for pledging).

There is the small risk that people see the pledge tiers as the only option though and can't mentally apply the discounted shipping cost themselves. I also believe that KS can be hard to manage for the initial charge to backers at the end of the project date using this method so you would need to find out your options there to reduce the initial charge vs the actual tier cost.

Anyway, some food for thought. Best of luck with whatever direction you decide to go.
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Crazed Survivor
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You might get more attention with a relaunch than with updates. People who've passed on the game saying "wow, shipping's too high, pass" are not likely to be informed of your new shipping prices if you don't relaunch.
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Cameron Harris
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Wanderer999 wrote:
The issue is that we are not seeing this interest convert into Kickstarter pledges.


After taking a look at your pledge I have some thoughts on why it's not converting to pledges:
1- Artwork - While some people may like the artwork I personally find it to be very poorly done. It reminds me of those old 90s era computer games like king's quest and really doesn't get me interested on first glance.
2- Video/explanation - the header video on the page gives very little information on game mechanics and again, doesn't get me interested in the game.
3- Price - The game/components look like a $20-30 game but the price tag on the kickstarter is over 40.
4- Kickstarter history - You've run 6 other kickstarters. 2 were cancelled, of the remaining 4 here are my notes.

Hitman Holiday - Still not ranked on BGG but current reviews are all over the place.

Little Monsters - Still not ranked on BGG but current reviews are all over the place.

Sweet Spot - Ranked 7502 on BGG. Review are fairly solid.

Castle Dukes - Not yet delivered.

So out of 6 kickstarters I'd say the success rate has been okay and likely, people are just not excited for future releases necessarily.

This may come across as harsh but that isn't my intention. I'm just being honest in the hopes you can get some value out of the feedback!

In short, I'd say wait until your previous kickstarter is delivered and re-launch at a better price point and a better video explanation and you'll solve 2.5 of the 4 issues I noted
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Dominic Huang
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Wow where did you get this data?

On the contrary we have delivered 100% on all our games, and all of them months ahead. Yes we delivered early. All of them~

As what was mentioned above your post, our company has a strong reputation for doing good by the backers. Your part on the artwork though... that could also be the cause. We wanted to go more mainstream artstyle like Munchkin. Don't think we can change the art at this point

I am really hoping that the main reason is the high shipping costs. There's literally no other I can think of. Besides the art!
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Cameron Harris
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Wanderer999 wrote:
Wow where did you get this data?

On the contrary we have delivered 100% on all our games, and all of them months ahead. Yes we delivered early. All of them~


My apologies! Looked at the wrong estimated shipping dates! Edited to reflect the corrected notes
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Stephen Hurn
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I would also ditch the earlybird specials. Latecomers hate them, early backers don't need them. Set a price and stick to it.
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Freelance Police
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Wanderer999 wrote:
Wow where did you get this data?


Where he *didn't* get this data was from the KS page. IMO, You need to tell backers that you have a good track record (particularly early delivery, which is rare for popular KS projects on BGG), and you do that on the KS page. If a BGG'er makes a mistake on his legwork, what other mistakes can someone doing their due diligence make? Better for you to build confidence in your backers, rather than them having to do the work.

The campaign hasn't entered its last 48 hours, so, effectively, it hasn't entered its last 1/3 of funding. I'll agree that not all backers will give a project a second look.

I think the artwork is fine. The premise parodies game design, so the artwork should be cartoony over the generic medieval European white guy with a sour look on his face.

fwiw, at least from a miniatures gamer's perspective, KS has been really demanding on the wallet over a span of only a few months. CMON has had two KS, and Doomtown is currently running, and Batman (and Joan of Arc) are coming up. Outside of boardgames, Reaper and Dwarven Forge have had massive KS (and I'm already in the Adventurescapes terrain KS). Others can better tell you if it's been a busy season for non-miniature boardgames.
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Chris Laudermilk
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I you have a momentum problem, and the pledge tiers are a mess I say relaunch. Take some time to assess what can be done better before jumping right back in.

I've backed a couple of KS games that did the relaunch; both ended up the better for it and funded the second time around. I dipped my toe in one that tried a relaunch but didn't succeed (I was at $1 to allow access to updates & comments); in that case the concept was interesting, but the game still needed lots of work in both game rules/play and in graphic design.
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Dominic Huang
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stephen_the_geek wrote:
I would also ditch the earlybird specials. Latecomers hate them, early backers don't need them. Set a price and stick to it.


We are aware of this, which is why we chose to give only a small discount on the Early Bird instead of a large reduction. Also, the Early Bird price has as many as 300 slots and should safely cover a large number of folks. Last thing going to mitigate this is that the 3-set pledge tier is following the Early Bird pricing too.

@Sam and Max: Superb point I hadn't realized. We will probably write this more prominently. Currently we have it under the Risks & Challenges, which is at the bottom of the page. I didn't want to come off as showing off our company profile, but in hindsight it is important to let backers know of our good record. Thank you for this advice!
 
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Dominic Huang
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Deepest gratitude to everyone! We have relaunched Black Souls
 
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