There are a lot of things I wanted to talk about first, but as I said in my Introduction Post, I will talk about the projects I’m currently working on.
So what have I been up to these past couple of days? Planning a Kickstarter campaign. I’ve heard a lot about Kickstarter (KS from now on) success stories which are super motivating and made me want to go down this path to fund my new project, SUPER III. Problem is, I’ve heard even more horror stories that happen when people don’t have a good KS plan, so I want to write a series here where I will give a step-by-step explanation of everything I will do to plan my KS campaign and either reach our funding goal or fall short. In both cases, keeping a detailed guide of what I did will be extremely insightful when pursuing your own campaign in the future, either by learning from my mistakes or by using my campaign preparation as a guideline for yours.
For the past couple of months, I have been doing a lot of research on how to get a successful KS. It would be hard for me to go back and try to find those links again, but I’m sure I will bump into them again soon as, starting today, I will devote all my time towards my campaign planning. Today I had a great start, finding what I believe is one of the most useful guides on how to KS I’ve read so far. Thanks to TIGs Business board for being so useful at finding these sort of links. If you are on the business/marketing end of your studio/team, this is a great source of information.
The article in question was written by a Reddit user called LobsterSundew. Here’s the link:
He has backed almost 700 KS projects so far, from which he has learned a lot of tips and strategies that developers have used to propel their products forward. He also talks about the things that don’t work quite as well, even if they look good in paper. The article series consists of 32 parts, so it can take a while to go through it all, especially if you take time to go to the links he provides and check them out, but it’s worth the read. There is a lot of information in this article series, but I will point out what I believe are the most interesting portions. Also, in order to keep this post short, I will only cover the first 16 parts, and I will cover the rest in the next post.
Here are some points that should be taken into consideration:
- Make a list of assets and budget accordingly. Don’t ask for less than what you need. In fact, give yourself a 10% buffer if possible.
- Plan your rewards very well. Try to find a tier that you want to serve as you average pledge and make those rewards irresistible. $25 is a good tier to beef up.
- Minimize/avoid physical rewards. If you do have them, put them in the high-cost tiers. Shipping costs can be quite high.
- The video is one of the most important parts in your page. Get an amazing 60-90 second video and then add a couple more minutes of people in the team talking about the game, showing some footage as you talk over it if possible. Video should be less than 4-5 minutes.
- Make a gorgeous project page, without cluttering it. People need to find the information fast. Use the preview link to get feedback before your campaign goes live.
- Build a community prior to launching your KS. Remember it’s a funding platform, not an advertising one. If you do not have that initial push from your community, it will be hard to recover later on.
- A project’s length sweet spot is 30 days.
- Be mindful of other events that might be happening when you launch your campaign, as this can affect traffic to your page.
- Have mailing lists ready to mass contact people as soon as you launch. Your first 48 hours are essential to get that 15-30% initial boost.
- Launch your KS the same day as your Greenlight, if you are planning on going through Steam, which you should if you are developing for PC. The traffic from GL will help your KS a lot.
- Try to keep a steady flow of traffic to your page by contacting press and such. This way, the discoverability of your project within KS will be higher.
- Reward tiers can’t be edited once you make them, but there’s a few tips that you can use if you really need to modify something. Check Part 14 for various strategies.
- Kicktraq is a very useful tool to track your progress and estimate if you will get funded at the current rate. Try to react accordingly if you are falling below the funding zone.
- Contact the press! I will write a longer article talking about this, as it is a very long topic. Just remember to have existing connections with the press before he launch of your KS, instead of desperately trying to find coverage in the middle of your campaign.
Well, I believe that’s it for this post. I will write the second part of this series soon, where I will talk about the next 16 parts of Lobster’s Reddit post and I will probably add more information from other links I find or talk about the next steps I’m taking.
Thanks for reading! I hope you learned something new with this!