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Kickstarter Questions on Kickstarter and the Tabletop Community

Hand of Evil

Adventurer
it is a marketing tool, if you have a product that you wan to sell and you do your homework, know the time, cost and effort to get it out, KickStarter then provides that for you. If you fail, then you know there was something wrong with your model.
 

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modiphius

Explorer
here you go!

1. Do you see Kickstarter as having "legs" in the tabletop gaming community, long-term? Does it strike you as a temporary fad, or do you consider it a paradigm-shift in how tabletop games and supplements are produced?

- Yes, I think the world is moving toward a model of people getting involved in funding trend led products that they really want, and less junk, creators needing to listen to their customers a lot more, but whether they'll be the big funds splashing around in a year or so, maybe it will drop lower as more projects start, maybe it will rise as more people start funding

2. What avenues for publicizing your Kickstarter were most effective (assuming you have any idea)? Did word-of-mouth carry your project? Did you spend resources on advertising your Kickstarter campaign during the drive? What about before the drive started?

We're in the middle of it but Facebook has been huge, Yog-Soggoth.com (it's cthulhu based), RPG.net and hopefully enworld will be too.

3. Assuming a purely digital set of deliverables (no physical print product), what might be some attractive backer rewards? What about stretch goals?

A pledge level at which the supporter gets everything in PDF that you achieve as stretch goals - makes it very attractive and exactly what we've done with the Achtung! Cthulhu kickstarter

4. How much time did you allow yourself between the Kickstarter campaign and your promised delivery date? Did you hit your target for delivery?

We're allowing plenty of time, and some, don't get caught thinking you can rush it, better to over deliver!

5. If you could give a single piece of advice to someone interested in Kickstarting a tabletop gaming product, what would it be?

Research your community and fans - find out what THEY REALLY WANT not what you think they want. We ran two surveys refining our ideas over 3 months before starting and it's worked! We're even running another survey now to find out what stretch goals they'd like

hope that helps!
 

Obryn

Hero
Hey, just wanted to note - Achtung Cthulhu looks pretty great. A bit on the pricey side for my tastes, but it looks like it'll rock.
 

modiphius

Explorer
Hey, just wanted to note - Achtung Cthulhu looks pretty great. A bit on the pricey side for my tastes, but it looks like it'll rock.
thanks Obryn, been working hard on it - and hopefully the stretch goals will make those hard earned cents worth it
 

stevelabny

First Post
I've backed the Order of the Stick TPBs and Reaper Miniatures kickstarters. I passed on the Formula E board game because I just felt they were priced slightly high for the box contents and their stretch goals and whole campaign were kind of uninspiring. I passed on Kingdom Death: Monsters because I will be even less likely to build/paint/play with them than most of the Reaper minis that I had already backed. I passed on Magnet Comic because I like the idea, but wanted to see more of his non-people characters and figured Id be able to keep an eye on the item in the future. I passed on all the video game projects I had any interest in because waiting 1-2 years and pledging to something that has barely been started is not something I have any interest in. I am considering backing Realm Works because it looks like its mostly finished. I'm a little uncertain because I don't know how much I'd actually use it, the future of virtual table-tops, and the unknown cost of the cloud service.

I do think the lower the entry cost and the lower the goal both make it more likely to back.

I do think that PDFs and PC games and everything else that can be easily pirated are bad ideas for projects mainly because I think people price them too high. I think if someone wanted to sell a PDF for $25 and was trying to get $3000 total, they'd be better off asking for $10 and $5000.

For a lot of the same reasons, I think PDFs are fine as goofy throwaway stretch goals (like the ones in the reaper project) but are horrible as "value-added" stretch goals. A PDF I already chose not to buy previously is always three button pushes away if I really want it for free. I don't need you to give it to me for free and act like its a value...when all you're actually offering is a clear conscience.

I do think the main issue with crowd-funding is something we've already seen but it will get worse. And something that sort of happened on Ebay before it. While it was originally for the little guy, we've seen numerous already established companies have larger, far more successful projects. This has been good because its brought more attention to the little guys but its also been bad because its increased expectations across the board. And it will only get worse as bigger and bigger companies get involved. I would not be surprised to see Wizards of the Coast run a crowd-funded project and eventually even see major movie studios doing it. At that point, smaller companies will be buried unless they have a truly innovative idea, fill a niche, or get lucky.
 

gamerprinter

First Post
I'm in the process of getting familiar with the Kickstarter model for getting tabletop gaming products to their funding goals. I know that there have been a handful truly incredible runaway successes - not the least of which is the ongoing EN World Kickstarter @Morrus has going - and a lot of projects that have hit or exceeded their goals (even if they didn't blow past them). I have some questions for those of you who have experience with Kickstarter drives.

1. Do you see Kickstarter as having "legs" in the tabletop gaming community, long-term? Does it strike you as a temporary fad, or do you consider it a paradigm-shift in how tabletop games and supplements are produced?

2. What avenues for publicizing your Kickstarter were most effective (assuming you have any idea)? Did word-of-mouth carry your project? Did you spend resources on advertising your Kickstarter campaign during the drive? What about before the drive started?

3. Assuming a purely digital set of deliverables (no physical print product), what might be some attractive backer rewards? What about stretch goals?

4. How much time did you allow yourself between the Kickstarter campaign and your promised delivery date? Did you hit your target for delivery?

5. If you could give a single piece of advice to someone interested in Kickstarting a tabletop gaming product, what would it be?

I'm sure I'll have more questions as people chime in. I really appreciate any input you're able to provide!
Of course I was involved in the successful Kickstarter for the Kaidan campaign setting of Japanese horror for PFRPG, and that was for a softcover print book, not a digital only product, such as what you're considering.

1. Regarding it's "legs" in the RPG industry. I see it as little more than a networkable means of funding creative projects. It seems to work as a combination of pre-ordering and general funding with an active community participation. I see it as a paradigm shift for funding many types of creative projects - within and without the RPG industry involvement. It's definitely not a fad. I plan on using Kickstarter this year (in the next few months) for a non-RPG product - an illustrated map guide of state parks and trails in my hometown area.

2. Although we did run a banner ad campaign through Gamerati, I don't really know how successful that was, compared to other means of letting people know we had a Kickstarter running. New patrons did not seem to suddenly increase during the time the banner ad campaign was run. I believe the running forum threads here, on the Paizo boards, which Rite Publishing and it's supporters (like myself) maintained and updated on a regular basis provided the most active promotion. Of course the many blogs and forums with Kickstarter threads (many of which I didn't participate) seemed to help spread the word as well. I don't know if it will be a continuing process, but there seems to be many such threads and the content of those threads are posted by the original poster, not requiring the publishers to contact them to tell them they even had a Kickstarter going. The thread starters found the available Kickstarters themselves and posted to their threads.

3. Not knowing what your specific digital only product might be, it's hard to determine the best supplemental products that might be provided as stretch goals and incentives to join. Looking at our Kickstarter, the base product provided was a PDF only version of what the main product (GM's setting guide) would be. The next of course, was the softcover print book. Unlike many of the Kickstarter projects Kaidan already exists as multiple adventure modules and supplements, as the Kickstarter was intended to fund a campaign guide book which wasn't created yet. To those patrons who paid a higher amount, we provided all existing Kaidan PDFs (10 PDFs) as bonus content. Above that was books signed by the author, followed by hard back versions of the campaign guides.

For my next proposed Kickstarter for a non-RPG product, I plan to offer a PDF version on the low end, a softcover printed book as the next level, a signed copy over that. Since my product is a map book, I intend to offer large format printed versions of the major maps within the guide as bonus material, perhaps with a single map and all the maps as 2 different tiers for this bonus material (I run a graphic design/digital print studio, so I'll be provided these bonus products directly myself and shipped to participants.) I'm thinking of providing an oversized coffee table book version of my product at the highest end.

For RPG products, I'd think PDF only pawns of PC/NPC/monsters, PDF only card designs for a makeshift deck for random acquisitions (draw a card from the deck) and PDF only printable maps - all fall into excellent bonus material that could be provided as incentives beyond the intended product.

4. Our Kickstarter ran from July 15th - September 16th 2012, which in hindsight I think was too long of time period. We might have been better off running a 30 day or 60 day campaign. Thinking that the longer it was up, the more we'd collect. At this point I think keeping the interest high over such a long period was not very efficient. Through much of the time between the first two weeks and the last week, patron signups were fairly slow - perhaps only 10% of the total signups occurred between the start and finish of the Kickstarter campaign. I plan to run my next one at only 60 days.

5. My only advice is "do it". Take in all the advice and suggestions you can find, but don't hesitate. It's possible that you won't collect your intended amount and have a failed Kickstarter, however, it shouldn't cost you any money, just time to run the campaign and time to maintain it. If it fails it will be a learning experience. If it succeeds, well then you got what you intended. Get your ducks in a row and pursue it.
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

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