Kickstarter, in case you hadn’t noticed it yet, is an open source project funding website. You put up your project, your funding goal, and a rewards tree. Other people provide money to access one oft he rewards, and if you meet your funding goal, your project goes ahead, and you have your first customers already!
It won’t work for everyone, but already there are some notable success stories. May gamers my age will remember a computer game RPG called Wasteland. Many of the team behind that 8-bit RPG got together to create Wasteland 2. One Kickstarter project later and they have raised over $3 million from over 64,000 individuals, or backers as the Kickstarter site refers to them. Their original goal was $900,000 so this was never a cheap project.
Board games are also picking up funding here. Again, track record is important. Board Games such as Ogre, Zombicide, and Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster have clearly benefited from their respective creators previous achievements.
While a track record helps, it’s not a pre-requisite for success. Below are my thoughts on ways to increase your chances of success, beyond having a really interesting game.
1. Reward your backers. Having a scale of rewards that benefits those who put up more money has its obvious benefits. You can see the difference between projects that get this right and those that don’t.
2. Offer exclusivity. Backers should get something that mere purchasers of your game will not. At higher levels, limit the number of backers that you will accept.
3. Stretch goals are important. Having stretch goals (extras that come only if your initial target is exceeded) also gives confidence that you are dedicated to this project.
4. Set your goals to suit your project. Any old target or reward just won’t do. Kickstarter is not a site for pre-purchasing, it can be so much more. Again, looking through the site you will see those that understand this and those that don’t.
5. Market. Get the word out through your friends and family. Eyeballs draw more eyeballs.
Will we see any budding game designers from LXG on here? I have no doubt that we will!
Update: Read on to our article on Kickstarter and Miniatures