Knick Knax- Producer Musings Part 5

As an artist, a designer, and a teacher the role of producer for a small game project, Knick-Knax, is both familiar and foreign. This is a weekly journal of some of the things I've learned, experienced, and witnessed along the way.

Fund Raising

My new focus for the project has turned towards creating a fund raising campaign. Initially I set my sights on Kickstarter as it usually gets the most publicity as far as crowdfunding is concerned. I was then informed of a site called IndieGoGo. While I’m not sure of the information’s validity, I was told this site works better when you’re looking to aim for a smaller return, such as our team’s goal of only $500. Regardless, the process is fairly similar so I thought I’d put my effort into exploring the site and crowdfunding in general.

We are at a stage in our development where funding isn’t necessary in order to complete the game. Sometimes people use crowdfunding to test the level of interest others may have in their ideas, or as a means of paying for the initial development. Our goals are different. We are trying to raise money in order to also raise awareness in our product. The money will be used to promote our game on social media and to fund the developer fees needed to add our content to both iOS and Google Play. We are very confident in the game we have created. We simply want to raise money in order to pay for advertising which in turn will bring attention to a well deserving project. 

Making an Effective Campaign

Obviously, I don’t consider myself an expert. The following information is concepts and ideas I took from reading Book In A Box “Author Guide: How To Run A Successful Kickstarter.”

Tell a story

Creating an interesting narrative isn’t exclusive to such things as books, movies, or games. In fact, it’s essential for any crowdfunding project to be successful. Don’t be confused, however, this narrative is not in the project itself, rather, it’s about the project and the people you are targeting.  Make others care about what your doing, make others believe in your cause. Place yourself in the role of the potential funder. Does the project evoke any emotions? Is the team working on the project likeable or relatable? Does the project feel like a worthwhile cause? Understand your audience and speak to them on a personal level.

Research past success stories

This might seem like common sense but in the rush to get things done the greatest mistake a crowdfunding owner can make is not researching what success stories exist. Studying the past always leads to a more productive future. This is an extremely effective way of learning both “what to do” and “what not to do” with the least amount of effort. Besides, it’s a simple thing to do, so why not?

Choose your rewards carefully

To gamify something is to add elements of gameplay as incentive or motivation to participate in an otherwise non-gaming activity. What makes crowdfunding so exciting is the gamification of the rewards donators can potentially earn by funding a project. Setting goals and adding real value to each reward level makes the whole experience feel more like an adventure than a fund raiser. This is why something like Kickstarter is infinitely more exciting than, say, a neighborhood bake sale. Once again, understand your audience and give them things they truly value.

Promote the campaign

It seems semi-ironic that we need to advertise to gain funds in order to advertise the game itself but this makes sense on several levels. What do you have to lose by trying to get extra funding in the first place?  Unless you’re paying the person who is doing the campaign absorbent amounts of cash, you won’t lose much even if the campaign doesn’t bring the return you wanted. In fact, even in failure there is plenty to be learned and gained.

You also get practice at advertising before the product is released. The initial release of your product is often the time where it makes the most money and has the potential to gain the most publicity. Knowing how advertising works in relation to your exact product can only help you. The addition people sold by your campaign will just add to the people you win over upon release. Don’t underestimate the power of “word of mouth” advertising.


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