Author Posts

June 14, 2015 at 9:47 am

Hi all,

This is going to be my first official advice-piece on this site based on my experience. I hope it helps.

The Kickstarter Psychology
Games both great and bad have been made using funds gathered from Kickstarter – Fundraising is a great thing, but what are some things that you need to be mindful of?

I always advice my clients to take Kickstarter as a form of seed-funding. Never include your own salary into the Kickstarter – Most Kickstarters that reach their goal are mainly under 10,000 and have REASONABLE goals. If you plan on making a game that is dual Earth, epic music from Joe Hisaishi and Akiko Shikata, for the love of the Old Gods and New, please make sure you adjust your budget and make sure you have something to show for. I personally dissuade my clients from going for crowdfunding until they have a demo of at least 30 minutes of gameplay.

What do people look for when backing a Kickstarter? Assurance that the project is realistic and can be completed. Therefore, never over-promise – Promise on exactly what you can deliver, even for stretch goals.

How much do I need?
This is a really tough question. First of all, look at the length of your game as well as the cost of the assets. Round up your figures (never round it down) – Do your maths. Say you need 2300 for Project A. I usually advise clients to give themselves a 10-20% buffer for their project, or less. Things happen, people vanish with money from commissions. It happens.

Ask for 2600 for it then, and include various Stretch Goals that are achievable by the stretch amount. I mean, you can’t possibly create dual earth with an extra 500 right?

Dig around VERY hard on the internet for cheaper alternatives of similar qualities – Yes, it is most definitely possible. Trim your costs, make it lose weight! The less you ask for, the more you can succeed!

How on earth do I get people to notice me, senpai?

M-E-D-I-A

Be desperate. Pitch it to EVERYONE who writes on your genre of games. Working on a zombie survival game? Go straight for zombie gaming enthusiasts sites. A visual novel? Go to Siliconera and Fuwanovel. RPG Maker? Oh boy, there’s a lot out there!

Be polite in your emails, make sure your email includes:

Title of your game
Synopsis of the game
Genre, gameplay length
The amount needed, and why you need it
Link to your Kickstarter
Images/Videos of your game (Please host it on an external site, such as imgur or Youtube, we appreciate it)

Get to the point for your email, try to squeeze everything into one page, yes – It can be done.

How do I even calculate stretch goals? Idek if I will be successful, lulz

Eh, true. But what is the harm of placing a reachable goal? Like, seriously. If your goals happen to be something that people want, they’ll do their best to help spread the word around. This means you got more funds, isn’t that great!?

Even if you don’t hit the stretch goals, you still have enough to finish the base game right? I don’t see an issue.

And you have to believe in deeply, that you will succeed. Stop being so pessimistic… That is my job.

June 14, 2015 at 9:59 am

@barzini, thank you very much for this information, very useful for people who have never used kickstarter before, like me.

June 14, 2015 at 10:09 am

Oh yes, I also wish to mention – There are services like BridgeStarter that allows people outside of the specified territories to make use of Kickstarter.

@alexcons – Cheers! 🙂

June 14, 2015 at 12:04 pm

This is great! Kickstarter is something I would never have done as I had no idea how to go about it and I imagine a lot of people feel like that. Then you have the people who have no idea how to go about it but launch a Kickstarter anyway and then wonder what went wrong.

I am going to put this in the website help section when it launches. Thanks!

June 14, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Really great article, thanks a ton 🙂

I’ve never heard of Bridgestarter before, and now I’m glad that you wrote that here. That is an amazing service for people who are not a residence in the US or other allowed countries.

And another thing if I may, I would like to post a statistics for three major crowdfunding sites (for gaming). These are taken from Krowdster and no, I’m not from there. Just something I just stumbled upon and find it interesting for potential developers wanted to run a campaign like me. These are only for Gaming category. Only the first one is. Sorry.

I think I’m giving up on Indiegogo and crowdfunding for now. It’s a good thing today that I found Bridgestarter service today (thanks barzini!) but I think it’s not the right time yet for starting a campaign for me. 🙁

June 14, 2015 at 1:20 pm

@furibaito, these are some very useful graphs. So looks like Kickstarter is indeed the way to go!

June 15, 2015 at 10:24 am

Thanks @barzini for such relevant and insightful information! 🙂

@furibaito Wow. I didn’t realize indiegogo had such a low success rate compared to kickstarter! The only plus side to indiegogo is that all funding goes through regardless of whether the team was able to get to the funding goal.

June 15, 2015 at 1:44 pm

@wifom Yeah the success rate is really-really low for Indiegogo. It’s quite debatable though, but IMO the flexible funding (funding goes through regardless of whether the team was able to get to the funding goal) is bad for the project and lower the success rate of the projects. Because it removes the ‘urgency’ feeling for the donators for the goal to be reached. It’s all or nothing.

And, another factor that I think made Indiegogo success rate really low is, basically everyone in the world can create a campaign there. And basically you can ask funding for anything. There are almost no barrier of entry. I remember seeing a campaign from a student asking around thousands to host a party because he’s not invited into one of his friend’s party.

June 15, 2015 at 2:05 pm

No barrier to entry on indiegogo would explain a lot. There must be a huge amount of people just trying their luck and completely underprepared.

I think it would be hard to get funded here, but I like the sound of http://indie-fund.com

I would really like this site to partner up with a company or indie label at some point, to help (good)completed games get published or at least get attention upon being released. One day..

June 15, 2015 at 2:11 pm

@furibaito: I had no idea that anyone could do an indiegogo! I guess it’s the “itch.io vs. Steam” version of crowdfunding (Kickstarter vs. indiegogo). Very interesting!

@admin: Have you thought about… asking them to partner with Ludust?! 😉 *wink*

June 15, 2015 at 2:18 pm

@wifom ha 😀

Someday I will look into partners that I feel can help completed projects, but I would want to do a bit of research first. There is also a lot I would like to do on the site before we get to that stage and we would need many completed projects on the site to show that the site works.

June 15, 2015 at 3:03 pm

@barzini Interesting advice and very true. Always scale down when you can. The articles I read on various other website, gave the same advice.

@furibaito Funny, I always thought that IndieGoGo was a game oriented crowdfunding site. From these number, it seems it is not as successful as kickstarter. It’s good to know 🙂

June 15, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Thanks for the great advice!

June 15, 2015 at 11:05 pm

Most excellent thread. There is much to learn about Kickstarter and how to use it to the best way possible.

 

One thing I’ve done recently is skim over successful kickstarters to have an idea of their page layout and goals.  Integrating a similar system to your campaign can prove to be very helpful.

June 16, 2015 at 12:35 pm

@zack_cheung – You are welcome!
@gabriel_sanchez – Yes, but I always caution people to adapt to their own versions as well and never copy and paste! :3