Part 1 of this post is here.
Part 2 of this post is here.

So, now that I think I have at least a little idea of what I did wrong, now I need to focus on what to do right. Here's what I can see:

Goal: Relaunch the Kickstarter campaign.
This one's a no-brainer. There's no way I'm giving up on Manaforge after the amount of work I've put into it. My target is to relaunch sometime in February of 2017. I figure that the end of the Chinese New Year festivities would be a good time to go again.

Goal: Lower the funding goal.
When I launched the previous campaign, I firmly believed that what I was offering was a fair price. Sure, the $50 price tag was a little high, but that number included the shipping costs. (The game itself was $35, shipping was $14.) However, I'm thinking a lot of people did not agree with that assessment. So, I am going to be working to lower the funding goal. By extension, that will also lower the tier price, since I'm probably going to keep the target number of backers approximately the same. If I can get the one-game tier down to $39 instead of $49, I think a lot more people will jump on the game. I know I can reduce the goal by at least $2,000 by having the art finished before I relaunch. The question is how much more can I shrink the amount by. I will be getting lots of new quotes to help with that.

Goal: Add more pledge tiers.
I believe that I need to come up with more ways for people to throw money at the campaign. Create goodies for people to get in addition to the game, or ways to help even if someone doesn't want a copy of the game at all. I know I'll keep the one-game tier, probably create a two-game tier, and rebrand the six-game tier as a 'retailer pack'. I will keep the dice-only tier, and probably add a 'PC wallpaper' goodie, both as a separate tier and a bonus for higher tiers. I might do a tier for a signed copy of the game. I also might do a separate print-and-play tier, though someone suggested that I tie that into the dice-only tier; I think I like that idea better. Beyond that, I don't know what else I can offer. I will be researching this more.

Goal: Get more attention on the game before launch.
This is part of the problem; I don't know of the 'best' way to do this. I've been advised to start contacting game reviewers and bloggers, see if I can get more people to spread the word about Manaforge. I don't have any review copies of Manaforge left to send out for review, though, so I'm limited to demoing the game myself to people in my area, and having players try the game out at conventions (wherever the IGA crew goes, one copy of Manaforge follows). I know I need to work on growing my social media presence; I need more Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram followers. I know I can get those up a little bit by posting more pictures and hints of the game, but I'm going to need something more significant to get to the volume of people I should have for the next launch.

Goal: Better determine what backers want to see in a KS campaign.
I thought I had all of the bases covered. Introductory videos, eye-catching graphics, examples of the game, photographs, game rules, videos by reviewers, the ability to play immediately, explanations of costs, and relatively frequent updates to the campaign. Apparently that wasn't enough to hook people. So I have more work to do to determine what else everyone is looking for in a Kickstarter. The Facebook ads I took out got me a lot of eyes on the campaign, but none of those turned into backers. I need to do something else.

Goal: Print more review copies.
Once the artwork is closer to done (preferably 100% done, but we'll see), I will be printing more review copies of the game. As expensive as they are, I'm going to have to research cheaper ways of getting those printed. But with those in hand, I should be able to send games out to have more videos made, plus getting the game into the hands of more people that can help demo and spread the word.


Aaand that's all I have for right now. I'm certain I can come up with more, and I know there are a lot of implied steps in each of these, but they are all doable goals. (I just need to figure out the advertising thing. :)

Thanks to everyone who backed my Kickstarter campaign. And thanks for reading this far; I know there's a lot of babble in here, but I had to get it all recorded before I start forgetting any of it. :)

We're not done; this is just a delay. Look for Manaforge again in February. And, as always, stay tuned here for more information and updates.

Thanks everyone!
 


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