How to do a Successful Kickstarter Campaign at PAX East
By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG Elder Scribe
As I waited in line for the Official Kickstarter panel I didn’t expect to see a campaign go from start to finish in less time than the panel took. But that was exactly what happened. Max Temkin of Cards Against Humanity fame was on hand with his next card game Werewolf. There he walked us through the behind the scenes steps on Kickstarter, and with the help of Cindy Au, Head of Community and Luke Crane, Project Specialist for Games at Kickstarter the campaign was launched. With the backing of panelist Freddie Wong and the room full of attendees the $200 goal was easily reached in just a few minutes.
The wonderful thing I learned about a Kickstarter campaign is that the hardest part is coming up with an idea. The Kickstarter site is very straight forward and customizable to fit your needs. And once the campaign has started regular updates are important. People want to know how things are going. But at the same time they don’t want to be spammed to death with every tiny bit of news.
Length of time is also important. Freddie Wong, as well as the other panelists suggested that 30 days was plenty of time for most campaigns. It gives people time to have the initial hype, for there to be a bit of a drop in the excitement, and finally to build back up again at the end.
Rewards are also a hugely important factor to consider. For the Werewolf campaign there is only one tier and one reward, the cards. Sure he could have done shirts, or coffee mugs, but the more you start adding in the more your costs go up, so the more expensive and complicated things get. The best rewards are things that would happen as a result of the creation process. Like a digital version of a coffee table book.
Stretch goals were another thing that were talked about in quite a lot of detail. Especially how stretch goals can be a bad thing. The panelists talked about how sometimes stretch goals can change what it was they originally backed and how there have been times when it has changed them into something they really didn’t want to back anymore. At the same time though, stretch goals are an awesome way to keep people excited about the project and even get them to donate more than they had originally dedicated.
So, what does all of this have to do with MMOs? Well as we all know Kickstarter is becoming an alternative source of funding for a lot of games these days. It seems like every week a new MMO is popping up. And sometimes it isn’t just a new game, sometimes it’s a documentary based in an MMO. And that brings us to Crowd Funds, a new column on OnRPG. Each week we will highlight a crowd funded MMO or MMO related campaign from sites like Kickstarter, Indigogo, GameLaunched, and Gambitious. We will talk to developers, backers, and follow campaigns through the entire process from beginning to end and bring it all to you here. So check back each week for more crowd funded fun.