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Pre-Mortem for VR Kickstarter Paranormal Detective: Escape from the 80s

A quick summary of the prep & launch of our VR game Kickstarter campaign.

Hey readers!  You may remember me from Cinderella VR, which my dev partner and I released last November, and I posted a super long report here about it!

 

I’m here today to give you a pre-mortem of our VR game Kickstarter campaign! I’ve read tons of pre and post mortems and they’ve been so helpful- so I thought I’d add in my own in the hopes it helps others.

 

A little about us: we’re a two person game dev team, LunaBeat, made up of Scott Adelman and Laura Tallardy.  We joined up in 2012 to make kids apps, and started making VR games in 2018.

Planning the Campaign

We’ve been working on our new game “Paranormal Detective: Escape from the 80’s” since January, and wanted to have a strategic plan to market the game. Instead of publishing under our names, we picked a name and formed a studio: LunaBeat!

Emboldened by a name, we decided we’d try Kickstarter.  We’ve heard a lot about it, good and bad, but figured if we could raise more funds for the game and get some publicity, that would be amazing! And if we didn’t make it, at least we can finally say we tried Kickstarter.

We realized this in the spring, we want to launch in the fall so we landed on the summer for the campaign.

Creating the Campaign

This was really fun but also a lot of work! It felt very much like a school project, lol- write an essay, make a video and cool graphics and gifs, create a budget, and design rewards.

I went through a few drafts to make it streamlined, then made infographics to replace paragraphs of text (a good choice, I think). I trimmed back our rewards too- there were too many the first time around, I think it’s easier now with fewer tiers.

I also sent out the campaign to some forums and friends for feedback. I got some really great tips, and recommend building time in your schedule for this step!

We recorded a video which was really fun and very different from our usual daily game dev tasks.  Setting up a place to record, finding outfits, doing multiple takes because talking in a video is hard, lol. Scott did the same on his end, then I spliced the footage together along with a highlights reel of the gameplay. Cory Cyr also recorded a really rad 80’s synth track just for the video- you can check out the custom track & his soundcloud here!

Launching the Campaign

This is been the most difficult part so far! We talked to friends and family and got some pledges in right away, which was crucial.  Seeing the $0 raised 0 backers when we launched was daunting, but once we started alerting everyone on social media we started getting more and more backers.  Every time the number went up it was elating, and I am so grateful to each and every backer! I refreshed the page all day, very exciting. We ended the day at 25% funded- yay!

I also contacted just about everyone I’ve ever known in my life, which has led to talking to people I haven’t connected with in a long time! So that was a lovely unexpected bonus.

In Conclusion

So I’m keeping it short for today but thanks so much for reading this pre-mortem!

If you’ve enjoyed the post, please check out our campaign and consider backing it! Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/80sVRGame

I’ll be back in a couple weeks with the results and lessons learned- either I’ll be thrilled or disappointed, but with the amazing response we’ve gotten so far it’ll hard to not be thrilled by all the support either way. Wish us luck!

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