What an incredible ride! It was my first Kickstarter that I’ve run, and I was so unsure if we’d make it, but we did, by we I mean the incredible backers that pledged their time sharing and their hard earned money to make this happen!
This post will run through my thoughts and feelings on the whole campaign and Kickstarter itself, you can disagree with me entirely or agree with me, I just ask that you be respectful about it.
I did not find it as stressful as I thought I would. I thoroughly enjoyed the process, although I disliked seeing people adjust/cancel their pledges and I felt it a little bit each time – I also understand circumstances change, financial things pop-up and I’ll never hold it against them. I’ve been in that same situation, so I know how it feels. But overall, I didn’t lose much sleep, I would constantly check it if I woke during the night, but it didn’t run my life. Granted it’s not a HUGE campaign, in retrospect, it was quite small.
My biggest concern was if enough had been done by ourselves to create an audience, getting people interested in the game and the world – and I can tell you that I didn’t do enough. We had a good first 24 hours, drawing in $850AU — I ran a small 48 hour goal trying to entice more backers by giving them a free promo pack of cards to add to their games. We got quite close, but I threw it in anyway, I felt people backing should get some type of reward for their efforts, I wasn’t even sure we were going to meet any stretch goals. We had some amazing support through backers, people changing their name to show their support, constant reminders to share, suggestions for the game – it was all really overwhelming.
This is one thing that caught my completely by surprise. The game developed it’s own little community with people as passionate about the game as I was creating it. One backer suggested a cooperative mode, and we got to adding that (thanks Felizwerg) and that went quite well with the gameplay, adding a heap of new strategic elements to the game, so that’s being included in the final game.
And also a suggestion from Eldessar, adding a 2 game-pledge option, resulted in over $2000 worth of pledges, so thank you for that option!
Countries & Shipping
I was amazed at how wide my reach was, I knew KS was a global thing, but it still surprised me. The biggest surprise was from countries like Germany, Canada and the Netherlands and how many backers came from those countries. I knew I would have decent results with the United States and Australia.
One thing I want to work towards for future projects, is BETTER shipping options for the main countries that show their support, especially those listed above. It’s quite tough with a small box game that’s a good price to manufacture — the shipping of the item is what throws the price through the roof! It’s pretty much the same price sending something that weights 0.26kg all the way to 0.99kg.
I’ve always been a bit hesitant to add stretch goals to one of my designs on a few aspects; the first being if the items are good enough to be added into the game, why not just add them? If they’re complete (and in my case) and fully tested, why not? The second sort of referring back to the first, what if you don’t reach them, – it’s important to have testing with and without stretch goals, which is what we did – the game wasn’t changed dramatically, and so we decided to add them. I don’t know if I’ll add them for the next project, I feel the testing involved (especially for a hidden-movement game) might be a bit too much – that being said another promo/expansion pack has already been designed for that.
But on the other hand, I freaking love the drive it gave at the end of the campaign. The last two days were significantly stronger than any other days of the campaign. I’m not all for the whole drive of FOMO (fear of missing out) but I loved watching people get so passionate about sharing the project to unlock the new enemy, or next set of cards. It also gives people a reason to care about how far along we get, rather than pledge and forget. It’s a tough decision and right now I won’t be making that decision for the next project.
Kickstarter is such a great idea, for creators to have the opportunity to share their creations with the world. It’s no wonder that the Board Game category has just recently topped $1 Billion pledged. That’s insane.
I personally wish KS had a bit more pre-Kickstarter control, that you could set up before your project is live.
One of these being referral links; being able to set these up before you’re live would be very handy, for me I had to wait a few hours before my Facebook advertisements were approved, so I could have lost a few hundred $$ there.
Another thing I would love is to be able to schedule updates, a bit like the way Facebook can schedule posts to pages (time and date), Kickstarter would be amazing if they could schedule updates like that, as well as funding/backer numbers that you could control. It would mean that me being in Australia, it wouldn’t take longer to post about a stretch goal we met overnight while I was sleeping.
An automatic stretch-goal section with goals would be amazing, set a ‘locked’ image, then when you reach the target, it automatically changes it to the ‘unlocked’ image – would be pretty great to have. Less fiddling. This could be expanded into backer numbers or if algorithms allow it with permissions, social stretch goals. I didn’t mind waking up and checking the KS and looking at what images I had to change, but this could make it easier.
The mobile app is quite frankly, utter crap. It may serve its purpose for a customer point of view, but as a creator, it’s bollocks. You can’t post updates, you can’t view the dashboard, you can’t reply to specific users. It’s quite limited, so if they designed a creator app, I feel it could help creators if they’re out and about and not parked in front of their computer.
An on-board pledge manager could be amazing. With the ability to have add-ons and increase pledges through the Kickstarter interface would be great, I don’t understand why this isn’t part of the website already. KS could continue to take it’s fee through their own pledge manager — the reason I didn’t use one was mainly due to the price of Misdirection, it was a small-box and wanted the price to reflect what you get – which was pricing it as low as I could. In hindsight, it should have been priced higher, as I have distributor telling me now that my pricing is wrong – but I didn’t make this game to make a profit, I made it because I freaking love this game, I believe in this game and want to make a name for myself throughout the industry as someone that can deliver a high-quality product in the scheduled time frame.
In hindsight, I had quite a successful Kickstarter that didn’t follow the traditional KS trend. We funded about half-way through and then continued to grow.
Thanks to everyone for their support and love while making this game!