Part 1 of this post is here.
Part 3 of this post is here.

Choice: My campaign did not have a Print and Play.
Reason: I wasn't sure how to approach this. It's one thing to have the game publicly playable, it's another to give people the capability to make copies of the game themselves. Especially since the final game contains a large amount of valuable artwork, I was kind of skittish about the idea of giving people the ability to easily reproduce it. Having a Print and Play available freely before the campaign finishes gives players the ability to try the game before they buy it. And backers concerned about the price can get the Print and Play version for free, or perhaps a full-art version for a significantly lower cost. The way I see it, though, having the game freely playable on Tabletopia at all times should mitigate both of those concerns.
Result: Hard to say. I got very few comments with regards to having a Print and Play version of the game available. If I had offered a high-quality PnP as a pledge tier, I don't expect I would've gotten all that many backers. 100 cards, 100 tokens, 40 dice...  I don't think many players would want to go through that level of effort. But then, this is another instance where there's just not enough information.

Choice: I launched the Kickstarter on Monday, August 22nd, at approximately 12:05am Eastern time.
Reason: While there are theories and statistics abound as to the best time of year to run a Kickstarter, the best bit of advice is to launch a campaign 'when the product is ready'. I felt like I had hit that milestone by August. For personal reasons, I wanted to launch the campaign on the 19th of August. However, I was told by a few other people that the best time to launch a KS is on Monday or Tuesday, because apparently a popular time to browse Kicsktarter is early in the week when people are at work and bored. So I delayed by a couple of days.
Result: Inconclusive. I got almost half of my backers in the first 24 hours of the campaign, so I'd like to think it was a good time to launch. However, looking back, I could've seen waiting a month or so. Apparently around 'convention season' everyone already has their game board budgets tied up elsewhere and they don't really pay much attention to Kickstarter games. I also could have pushed a little bit more of the art through. Ultimately, though, the 'perfect' time never comes; I picked what I thought was good timing and ran with it.

Choice: I made a couple of attempts to do a 'thumbs-up' campaign on BoardGameGeek, posting pictures of the game in an attempt to get them on BGG's front page and therefore exposed to more people. I sent out links to the pictures I posted in the Kickstarter campaign updates and n my Facebook page, asking people to click on the 'like' buttons by the images.
Reason: BoardGameGeek is used by many people as a window into what's new and interesting in the board gaming world. There are a couple of 'hot' lists on the front page of BGG: there is the 'hot game' list on the left side, which shows which games are getting the most attention, and there's 'hot image' section on the right, which shows images that have been getting a lot of attention, measured by how many people press the thumbs-up button next to the image.
Result: Extremely disappointing. The first set of images I posted got misclassified as 'Creative' instead of 'Game' on the BGG site. While there's a lot of technical bits behind that, the end result was that those images were ineligible to show up on the front page. I lost a week of campaign time to that glitch. The second time I tried the same trick, I got the image classified successfully, and was able to get a large number of likes focused on the image, causing it to show up on the BGG home page for a couple of hours. However, it wasn't enough. When I was setting this up, I figured a goal of about 30 to 35 likes should have gotten me on the front page. The problem is that as my image's popularity increased, so did the number of likes on the other images on the front page. The number I needed kept climbing, and I bounced between on and off of the front page. There was even one image on there that had well over a hundred thumbs-up, seemingly overnight, and all right as I'm trying to run my campaign. If I was more into conspiracy theories, I'd say someone was doing it deliberately, but really it was just a case of bad luck. Lots of campaigns getting launched at the same time, I guess.

Choice: I made an attempt to get the backers involved in the campaign by posting a survey allowing everyone to help name one of the cards in the game.
Reason: Just on a whim, I suppose. I figured if I keep backers involved, they're more likely to feel like they're contributing to the game's success and less likely to cancel their pledge. I didn't expect to gain any new backers that way, except perhaps those people looking for an 'active' campaign where there are frequent updates and discussions.
Result: Insufficient information. Judging by the number of people that participated in the survey, I know it got a lot of people to participate. I did get several cancellations during the campaign, but perhaps it could have been worse without that.

Choice: When I launched the Kickstarter campaign, my Facebook page had roughly 100 likes, and my Twitter account had maybe half that many followers.
Reason: No specific reason, really. I suppose I thought that would be enough for an initial push, especially since we had been giving out advertising flyers like mad and I figured I had enough of a following among people I knew to at least get me up off of the ground.
Result: Looking back, I'm thinking this was not nearly enough. I posted like crazy before and during the campaign, but it certainly felt like my message just wasn't getting out there. It did help that I'm a member of a large number of Facebook groups that focus on board games; between groups where advertising Kickstarter campaigns is generally allowed, and those where I got explicit permission to do so, I'd like to think I got a lot of attention on there. However, apparently it wasn't enough. Two points of curiosity came up during the campaign, though. It seemed like a lot of my Facebook posts weren't reaching their targets (I actually got complaints that people couldn't see my posts), but of all places, my *Instagram* posts were generating a huge number of likes and follows. It appears to me that there is a shift occurring of where the best place to advertise is.

Choice: I didn't have any stretch goals related to social media activity.
Reason: I'd seen other campaigns do this, but I didn't really think it was that vital. That, and I didn't have any good ways to reward backers for doing that. Coming up with perks like 'unlock xyz card if we get 200 likes' or 'like this page and write a comment for a chance to win something' seemed like it was more effort that it was worth.
Result: This probably hurt me, though it's difficult to say how much. Perhaps if I had had more Facebook followers, I wouldn't have had as much trouble getting my posts and updates noticed.


And that's enough of that. I'm sure I could find other aspects of my campaign to babble about, but I think I hit all the major points. I will have a Part 3 to this post up in a few days, but for that I want to focus on what I'm going to be doing next. Stay tuned!
 


Comments


Comments are closed.