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Crowdfunding: Kickstarter» Forums » General

Subject: Our Journey to Kickstarter ~ Crafthulhu rss

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Joe Pilkus
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On March 11, 2011 I reached out to my long-time friend and professional artist, Rob, asking for some advice on how to build some card holders for my favorite game. When he saw the dimensions of what would prove nothing more elaborate than a box with dividers, he said, "hold on, I've got an idea." Over the next few months, we developed numerous sketches, accepted maybe 1 out of every 7 or 8 drawings, until we finally found the right look for our first few pieces.

From the beginning, we envisioned a complete set of card holders. Early-on, we had planned for the Neighborhood display to hold all nine decks of Arkham Encounter cards. The size of the piece would prove too massive and its cost exorbitant relative to the other pieces. In time, we decided on the pieces which would comprise the original set: Mythos Fortress, Cthulhu's Caldera, Graveyard, GOO Holder, Item Deck, Player's Plate, and nine separate Neighborhood Displays, with each one hold an Arkham Encounter deck.

In October, I headed-off to Arkham Nights at FFG, and met with several individuals on-staff to whom I showed the drawings and a small sculpted piece which now serves as our Business Card Holder. I had inquired about securing a Licensing Agreement and over the next two months researched the topic and presented FFG with our proposal in late January. While the Marketing Rep loved our idea they couldn't make it work on their end. For us, while we didn't secure FFG's name for our items, we had their tacit acknowledgment that we would move forward.

In February, I completed the forms for incorporation, creating Crafthulhu LLC. When March arrived, we were a Virginia entity and my co-owner and friend, Rob signed the paperwork in April. Over the next few weeks, I consulted with quite a few friends and relatives about how best to market our idea. We had looked at and examined CraigsList, Facebook, and many other sites, when two friends (one an Air Force colleague and the other a life-long who is now pursuing his MBA) recommended Kickstarter.

In May, I began the Kickstarter Project process - just when I thought I had a reasonable draft, I realized that it was only the beginning. I needed verification with Amazon.com which propelled me to get the company's finances in-order, get a checking account and write our LLC's Business Plan. Through June and July, I cleared these administrative hurdles, while Rob patiently crafted our pieces. During the last six weeks, Rob and I discussed, argued, and finally decided on the Rewards for our Contributors. Over the past few months, Rob has crafted nearly one item every 6-8 weeks with stunning detail.

On September 10th at 9:30 pm, I sent our Project for review by the Kickstarter Staff. Within 24 hours, I received confirmation that we're cleared to "Launch" by hitting the Green Button which now appears on our Control Screen. We shall launch this Saturday at noon! This started as a personal project because of my love for a great game which I've shared with family and friends. In time, it has become so much more because of the powerful messages of faith and hope which I've received in this forum. In the end, this Project is for you.

Update #1: We reached 25% within the first 72 Hours!

Update #2: We've Surpassed 35% Funding
Thanks to all of you who have contributed, thus far ~ we're very excited!

From Esteemed Members of Our Order

"The real prize…the four large pieces -- Graveyard, Fortress, Caldera and Item Display. They're stunning. They are simply the coolest chrome I've ever seen for sale for any game, ever!" Jeremy

"I looked at the Rewards and they are absolutely brilliant ~ well balanced!" Julia

"I hope you blow your goal out of the water!" James

New Picture ~ Item Tray w/Dividers
Check out the newest Item Tray picture with our Elder Sign Dividers.

Update #3: Interest in the Community!

Update #4: Coming tonight ~ From my time at Jester's Playhouse! Also, we filmed a video which we'll have available on the site in a few days.
 
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Drew Dallas
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It is a good thing there is no hyperlink to the project or any images, because that wouldn't be useful or anything...


Crafthulhu Card Holders/Displays and Component Trays on Kickstarter







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Joe Pilkus
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Well, the Artist and I have had a year's worth of Business book learnin' in 60 days through our Kickstarter Project. As the final hours, minutes, and seconds ticked past, I had time to reflect on what went exceedingly well and what we need to do to retool our project for the next launch.

To that end, we've taken two months of feedback provided by Backers, and distilled (much like a wine-maker) the best of the comments and used them to focus our attention where it matters most.

First, we'll work with our investors and companies with which we have a relationship to reduce their return on investment expectations or lower the costs associated with the initial run. In this way, we hope to decrease our Goal and by extension the Stretch Goals. By doing so, we'll be able to offer our Backers more for less.

Second, we need to get the word out beyond the FFG and BBG fora. To that end, the developer and host of the podcast FullDoomTrack interviewed me over the past weekend and I had a great opportunity to discuss the pieces, where we started, where we are now, and where we're going. Also, Tom Vasal from The Dice Tower shall review the pieces. He's a die-hard Arkham Horror fan, so that should be fun.

Finally, we had a good group of nearly a dozen pledges in the final days of the project ~ everyone who pledged sent a note of thanks to us and that they were keeping the faith. We're excited about the project and we'll bring it back, even better than before!

Cheers,
Joe/the Professor
 
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Jon Dennis
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I wish you the best of luck, Joe.
Sorry to be negative, but $725 for a complete set (without investigator trays) is beyond my price range by 1000%. My question is this:

"Using a method known as 'slush-casting' (both labor-intensive and a bit more expensive) will greatly reduce each piece's weight, thereby reducing shipping costs and improve usability around your game table."

Why make the pieces more expensive in order to reduce shipping costs?
 
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Joe Pilkus
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Jon,

I certainly appreciate the feedback. we wish we could provide more to our backers, but to be able to offer the Stretch Goals at all, we'll have to charge everyone a little bit to defray the costs. As to the "slush-casting" the increase on a per piece basis dramatically drops the shipping costs, especially for our overseas backers.

Again, these are not for everyone. As I mentioned in a recent interview. Take an Audi...great car; if you have the money, it's certainly worth it...of course, if you can't afford an Audi, you'll find a way to get from point A to point B. These are truly luxury items crafted specifically for that niche set of players who want to take their gaming table to the next level.

Long before I entered my 40s, I realized that there's little I needed when it came to birthdays and Christmas. For some, this may be the one thing they want but they wouldn't spend the money on themselves.

Cheers,
Joe/the Professor
 
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