Many game developers are becoming aware of crowd-funding platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter. These places are turning into great platforms to pitch and fund creative ideas, especially for indie game designers and developers! Literally tens of thousands of dollars are being raised every month on Kickstarter alone to support indie game startups. But what does it take to successfully run a campaign on Kickstarter? Here's a few case studies and take-aways we've found in our own research for running the RoboArena Kickstarter campaign:
Never Understimate The Importance Of A Great Video! The relatively unknown game developers from TinyBuildStudios managed to raise over $18,000 for their game No Time To Explain in just a couple weeks. How did they do it? Well one of the major things they had going for them was their video! It was fresh, fast, over the top, and most of all funny. Not just a little funny, their video was laugh out loud funny, it was full of energy, and it basically sold the game concept without having to hear a pitch! Between their video, their website updates, and the support they gathered from the Reddit community, they were able to pick up enough momentum to overfund their project by almost 250%! This is an excellent example of what a great video can do for your campaign!
Utilize Your Community and Fan Base. Andrew Plotkin is a game designer with a pretty impressive arsenal of self released titles under his belt from the days of old. He was able to raise over $31,000 (almost 400% of his original goal) for his iPhone adventure game Hadean Lands by making the reaching out to his already existing fan base. To date, most all of the successful projects on Kickstarter have been funded due to their creators outreach campaigns. Kickstarter gives a great opportunity for your fans to give back and help support you. This is a great lesson on why you should work at building up a community and group of fans before you start your Kickstarter campaign.
Tell A Great Story. Seth Jaffee had an amazing idea for a new Sci Fi deck building game like Dominion called Eminent Domain However he had a problem, they were a self funded company that couldn't afford to produce another game. So they turned to Kickstarter. His video didn't even show the game, game art, or explain any actual gameplay at all. He merely told his story to a camera, explained exactly why he needed the funds, and pulled his adorable kids on to say hi. Shameless use of cute children? Yes. Did it work? Heck yes, he raised over $48,000!
These are just three case studies to help get you started. Hope that inspired you! Whether you are a beginner game designer (like us) or are an old hat in the business, getting the word out about your campaign will be your biggest challenge. If you are lucky enough to build up momentum, you just may make your goal.
Before you start your campaign, be sure to study what works on places like Kickstarter, as well as what doesn't. You will be better prepared and increase your chances of a stellar success!
It's important to get the word out about these amazing crowd funding platforms. The more mainstream they become, the more the gaming community will see them as a place to go to find new and exciting games and be a part of their production. This means it will get easier and easier for indie designers with amazing ideas to get funded. So check it out, and lend your support to the burgeoning indie gaming community there!