The Banner Saga: After the Kick But Before the Start

21 Jul 2012

Stoic's developer Alex Thomas has taken some time to offer some advice on how to conduct a proper Kickstarter drive, based on his experience with The Banner Saga's one. I have no idea if among our readers there's someone who has the intention of pursuing crowdfunding, but if even if there isn't I suppose pointing out this read doesn't hurt.

Here's his advice on how to set up the drive:
The interesting part to me is that a lot of people don’t realize is that while the launch was important, the maintenance of the campaign was equally crucial to our success, if not moreso. Truth be told, I feel like how well a project does right out the gate is going to rely on a lot of factors that you can’t change in the short term; do people know who you are or trust you based on your experience? Do you have a concept that real game enthusiasts can get behind (as opposed to the casual crowds)? Are you offering something that people can’t get anywhere else? These seem to be the key components to coming up with a successful campaign.

I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about the start of your project, but aside from the above fundamentals, here’s a quick list of things we’ve observed that I’d recommend to anyone putting together a game campaign:

• Start talking about your project anywhere you can weeks before putting up your campaign. Momentum is of utmost importance, and a cold start is the quickest path to failure.

• If you’re relatively unknown, you have to show actual gameplay. If you don’t have gameplay, make some.

• Imagine you’re pitching to a publisher when you develop your video. It should look like you put in some real effort.

• Make roughly half your prizes physical and the other half digital or in-game.

• The price of a prize should be roughly 8 times more than the cost to produce and ship it.

• International shipping costs more than $10. Plan accordingly.

• The lowest tier that includes your game will be the most popular, but your largest profit margin will probably be in the $30-$50 range. We offered three different prizes within this range to give backers the most incentive to go for it.

• People like physical prizes that are beautiful in their own right, not just a company logo. If it’s not compelling, don’t do it.

• Show an image of anything physical. We spent the time to photoshop an example of everything we planned to make.

• Show that you have a team ready to go. Backers won’t trust someone who can’t convince anyone else to work on the project.
 
 

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