so you've made it past the first Article and you're strong enough in
spirit to keep going. Great job.
Article is going to also function somewhat as a Table
of Contents. It's a bulleted list of core ideas in the
form of "Tips", in a remotely orderly fashion, with links to more
detailed articles on those subjects (somewhat of a Table of Contents for advice
in general). Yes, I link to other people's advice. As
I said in the Introduction, I have no intention of reinventing the
wheel. My goal is to: help you.
back often, more links will be added over time.
for you as a person:
help. Don't do it alone. Make sure your spouse is
supportive of the time you'll spend.
ignore your family. Without them, you've got no reason to do this.
time off. Kickstarter will suck your time away. Block out
time that you walk away. It's never as bad as you think it will
be do so.
It's really like being on a roller coaster. Picture it: Fast,
exhilarating, but a sensation of "But I can't slow it dowwwn!".
You can stop it
though. (the "Cancel Project" button).
enough sleep (and exercise). Wherever you can, and whenever is
best. (Considering of course, your time zone...)
sure you want this bad enough. It's really harder than people
say, and they all tell you it's hard.
Do what you like in your downtime. Play other games, call your
friends, take your family out to the park, go get a beer with your
pops. Whatever you normally do; do it now still. Don't say
"There's just no time." Say "There's barely enough time, but I'm
going to make it."
never find the time. Time doesn't exist to be found. But
you can make time."
for you as a project lead:
Don't shoot from the hip. You have a game to sell, but
Kickstarter is a game in and of itself. Read the rules, play
within the rules to your advantage, make your own house-rules.
ready to say "Thank you for your feedback." when the feedback hurts, be
ready to say to yourself "See, it's all going to be ok", when the
feedback feels good. Dump it out, or drink it in.
Then budget again.
Then don't forget that everything has a shipping cost at least 2
times. And when that's done... budget
your research. Throughout these Articles you'll find cleverly
hidden links to helpful and
relevant other sites as
well on many KS related topics.
(Ok, not so hidden.)
your time zone, and know Kickstarter's (FYI: EST). It's going to
courteous. Deal with 1 Backer at a time, and remember: THEY ARE
JUST LIKE YOU.
· Have a limited budget themselves.
· Have friends, parents, possibly a spouse and kids, a day job, and
· Need you as friend as much as you need them. So be a friend,
not a business.
- Know when
to call it quits, and when not to.
for you as a business:
pretends it's not pre-sales, because that wasn't their original
plan. But for you... Yes, it's "funding
the dream" ...but it's also presales.
out your budget to the DIME.
Remember Kickstarter takes 10% of the total
raised, not your actual needed income.
for shipping. Forgetting about shipping costs has killed several
would-be companies on Kickstarter; and under-planning for shipping has
nearly maimed established ones. There is shipping from
Manufacturer to Fulfillment Center ("freight"), and
from Fulfillment Center to your backers ("fulfillment").
said it before, I'll say it again. Kickstarter won't make you a
profit. Not much anyway, certainly not enough to pay you
appropriately for your time. (If
you're successful enough on Kickstarter, you may be able to make decent
income in distribution AFTER the
campaign.) So treat this as a HOBBY, not a business.
this as a BUSINESS not a hobby. — ; ) — Be
smart, be prudent, be kind, and above all: over budget!
Everything is expensive and the system nickel-and-dimes you, be ready
- Incorporate as
an S-Corp, not an LLC. The tax benefits are abundantly better*.
· * This
is not tax advice, so you can't sue me. Consult your accountant.
*...looks over shoulder...* ...They'll
agree with me though.
for you as a game developer:
what you love. Don't make a deck of Bicycle© playing cards or
some shoddy game that's nobody cares about just to try to make
money. If that's your goal: please stop now. Kickstarter
has enough of that crap, and that crap has killed very many people's
interest in Kickstarter. If nothing else, it's a bad investment,
you'll never sell another game because people talk. It also,
therefore, hurts those who do have
a good idea and are authentically passionate about it.
familiar with, and established on, BoardGameGeek.com before you
is has its own article because BGG is useful, but is pretty
anti-new-user-friendly; so you're going to need help if you're new.)
If you are familiar, then you should be building your game
page. (Sub-tip: don't rate your own game. It can rub
some people the wrong way.)
the snot out of it, and write it down EVERY
word of feedback; even the harsh stuff.
· This is a polite way to take feedback, as it makes it seem important
to the one giving it.
· You won't forget to add it later if you decided that you liked
what was that good idea again?"
professional reviews and
commission art that
you love. These 2 things will greatly effect the chances of
success for your campaign.
content with lower quality components than you hope for,
then upgrade if you can via Stretch Goals. "Standard" quality is
not an insult to your backers; it's a favor because it lowers your
quotes from at least 3 different places. I suggest: Panda, Ludo
Fact, and Other...
· 1 quote for your main yet minimal game. (lowest quality parts you
would stand by)
· 1 quote for your full game with every possible upgrade imaginable.
· 1 separate quote for your "Add Ons" if any.
— You'll need to make a minimum of 1500 of your Add Ons too (or
more if they include plastic minis), assuming they're produced by
your game manufacturer.
· If you're considering miniatures, learn
the process and the costs.
flexible. Be rigid.
· Your awesomeness can't be sacrificed, so don't lose it for anything;
but your fluff can go.
· Know what is core to your idea/goal, and what could change as result
· You can't please everybody, so don't try. That always results
in mediocrity. Be ready to make strong "executive decisions".
· You can and
should please the vast majority of your target
through a link that intrigued you, or...
here to be brought to Article #3.