Kick Kick Bang Bang #8: Meat & Potatoes
Sammi and I have contributed to a number of Kickstarters.  Frankly, the thought process (for me at least) tends to be, "OH BOY LOOKIT THAT THING. WANT. WANT. PUSH BUTTON. MAKE THING WITH EARTH DOLLARS." That’s important and definitely something that's not unique to my experience, so we’ll come back to that. This will be the first time we’re putting together a kickstarter of our own, though. That means to prepare for this adventure, I’ve been browsing Kickstarter projects with a more clinical eye.  

What information is required?

What are some best practices for the videos?

What are clean ways to present the text?

How can pledge levels be cleanly displayed?

Are there concepts or components to the project I had not yet considered?

What makes a campaign seem professional and reliable?

What makes a campaign seem warm and inviting?

How do these techniques apply to our Pocket Rivals Card Game concept?


Shall we take a tour? I’m happy to talk about the aspects of each campaign that excited me and then give a summary of where I think we should aim at the bottom.

VIDEOS!

 IKENFELL- Adorable Video! It cleanly demonstrates game play, characters, and world building. The duration is almost an even 2 minutes, so not too long. Credits for creators are listed without getting in way of the narrative. It ends on a cliff hanger and makes me want to scroll down to read more details. (Rather than videos that want to tell you EVERYTHING all at once.)


FRUITIMALS - Another great Video. Answers the “Who, What, Where, When, and Why” in a succinct 1 minute and 40 seconds. The animation is basic, but very cute and meshes well with the photos of plush prototypes. Obviously our game will have more in common with the IKENFELL model, but in scripting a pitch, we should NEVER forget these core fundamentals. Great job, Lucky Squid Team!


BLOODSTAINED RITUAL OF THE NIGHT AWESOME Video. Haha, we won’t have this kind of budget, or this kind of an enormous creator following, but BRAVO! The video is on theme. Subtitles make the clip functional even when the viewer is in a ‘no sounds’ environment (WORK! SCHOOL! HIDING FROM AN AXE MURDER!) The swanky costumes, the castle environment, the cheesy special effects, the shattering wine glass—it’s awesomely IN CHARACTER while also explaining enough of the game to raise interest, again, without belaboring anything or standing around staring at the camera.


UJINGA (now Zilli) used stop motion animation in their video. Intriguing and relatively simple with cards.


 BEEP BOOP shows a wide variety of humans playing with their card game. It’s definitely targeted to their demographic, but care was put into selecting their representatives and an important note was made at the end of the video when the mother wishes to play. If we’re putting together a card game for 10yr+ kids and we include children in the video, we’ll need to make sure we’re not alienating anyone without diluting our intended demographic targeting.


PRESS!

IKENFELL used artist contact info below each Kickstarter graphic, to help the press write about, use elements of, and give proper credit to their Kickstarter artists.


OVERSEERS has a whole social media graphics & avatar section to help fans spread the word with free art.


HERO REALMS DECKBUILDING GAME is already inviting retailers to get involved! Their $1 Pledge Tier gets updates, with a special note, that stores interested in prerelease kits should back at this level and then contact the kickstarter’s customer support email address to place orders. They're getting retailers a chance to buy SPECIAL things from them and opt into their mailing list in exchange for a single earth dollar! CLEVER! 


TRANSPARENCY!

SPIKE of IRON CIRCUS has my deepest respects for her self-publishing efforts over the years. She works damn hard and treats all of her artists with great care. It is typical for her Kickstarter projects to translate her stretch goals or overfunding into higher page rates for her artists. Because she’s not shy about explaining that to backers, everyone feels better working with her.


The GOON MOVIE had a kickstarter to finance its story reel. The thing that impressed me the most at the time—the thought and effort that went into dissecting the costs. If you scroll down, there’s a “(FISCAL) ANATOMY OF A STORY REEL” with a Zombie head pie-chart. It reassured me that Mr. Powell and his team weren’t chasing their tails. 


MASSIVE DARKNESS is a big-box game being put out by a 24-time veteran of Kickstarter and there's a TON to learn from this one. They’ve got a brilliant time-table graphic that explains what they will be doing each week after the Kickstarter concludes. They’ve got a detailed refunds policy and a crystal clear ‘terms & conditions’ section.  


HERO REALMS DECKBUILDING GAME again. Their shipping information is super-detailed and accounts for the European and International game market. (Apparently, they use a third party fulfillment service that saves their customers from having to pay import fees.) “Backers in the USA, Canada, the UK, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand are all covered by Customs-Friendly by Ship Naked.” Yeah, we’ll be investigating THAT for sure! 

WELCOMING AND HELPFUL! 

OVERSEERS had an amazing shipping graphic! Color-coded international shipping rates is an excellent visual.  They also used basic graphics to quickly answer some of the most important questions about a game: how many players?, what age groups?, and how long is a game?


BLOODSTAINED RITUAL OF THE NIGHT had really fun stretch goal graphics! We won’t have levels that complex—we’re not making a video game—however, they also had a super fancy and engaging ‘backer achievements’ system.  When backers crossed a non-monetary threshold (some qty of fan art, some qty of reblog, some qty of shares, etc), they unlocked other fun ‘achievements.’ Some of those achievements unlocked more stretch goals. Some of the achievements made the creator do silly things. Either way, everyone was excited to see what they could accomplish together even if they weren’t loaded with extra funds they could donate to the kickstarter!


WORLD OF CASSYNO PLAYING CARDS started with a lovely world-building concept and translated it into beautiful packs of playing cards. They went further though! Their rewards included glycees (a high-end print!), art books, original art, digital wallpapers. Lots of food for thought for our own simple product with a strong art and world-building focus. It was very inviting and complete. If you loved the art enough for 52 small cards, surely you wanted the art book too!


FRANTIC CARD GAME haha, okay, so this one’s not in English. But watch the video anyways. They’re such NICE boys! OOOh! HALLOo! Seriously, this is the first video that made me smile—and I’ve got it down here under ‘Welcoming’ because I didn’t understand a word of what they said beyond the greeting and their names. (Subtitles are key!!) Thing is, and this is important, there is significant market for games in Europe. If we were to invest in international shipping services, perhaps we should make a pitch at that market?  Sammi’s mother speaks fluent German. I can talk to my Tia about the Spanish (though it wouldn't be Castilian.) Another friend speaks French… would it be worth it to have links to our Kickstarter Text in other languages? Perhaps the rules in other languages? There is text on the cards in English, so if folks aren’t fluent, the game itself could be prohibitive. However, it’s definitely something to consider!



HAHA, this is getting crazy long—but! Here’s what I’m thinking we’ll want:

    • A simple but dynamic header banner that looks sharp as a little thumbnail.
    • A fun and catchy phrase for under the thumbnail
    • A welcoming video, around 2min in length, that establishes our world, brand, basic game specs, a VERY simple 2 turn demo, and SUBTITLES in english.
    • Clear Header Graphics.
    • Game Story 
    • Game Components
    • Game Play Exposition
    • Game Character Art + Backstory
    • Pledge Tiers
    • Stretch Goals
    • Backer Achievements
    • Social Media Freebies & Press info
    • Team Intro
    • Project Pie Chart
    • Project Time line
    • Shipping info
    • Refunds Info
    • Terms & Conditions Info
    • Each section with a link to the text in other select languages??


That's a tall order, isn't it?  And through it all, our efforts should inspire that feeling I mentioned in the first paragraph. Remember that one?  The “OH BOY LOOKIT THAT THING. WANT. WANT. PUSH BUTTON. MAKE THING WITH EARTH DOLLARS." feeling? Yeah. That's actually the most important bit: the excited, happy feeling. *Rolls up sleeves.* We can do this, right?! 


kickkick! <3

—Sarah


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KKBB #1 - Why a Game?

KKBB #2 - IP Says What?

KKBB #3 - Making Games is Hard

KKBB #4 - Chris & Flexibility

KKBB #5 - Baby's First BETA

KKBB #6 - Meet the Team!

KKBB #7 - Know Your Goals

This Post

KKBB #9 - How much $ to do the thing? 

KKBB #10 - Under, At, & Above

KKBB #11 - Know Your Customer (Online!)

Kick Kick Bang Bang #12: TIME CHECK! 

Kick Kick Bang Bang #13: Marketing In Real Life

KKBB #14 - 3, 2, 1... Action! VIDEO

KKBB #15 - Press Release Beast!