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Kickstarter Rewards- First Draft


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#1 Got_Rhythm   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:00 PM

Good evening, 

 

In four weeks I will have a Kickstarter to fund the production of my game Necromancer, The Fight For Life. 

You can see some initial art and story here-

http://www.necromancergame.com/

 

And I have a blog here-

http://www.necromancergame.com/progress/progress.html

 

Below is my first draft for my Kickstarter rewards, please feel free to offer me any feedback on them. I like to think I am being quite generous compared to a lot of other Kickstarter's I've seen. I went for hats rather than t-shirts because I have heard horror stories of how expensive and complicated it can be to custom order t-shirts because people want different sizes which complicates matters.

 

$1- a warm email thank you.

$5- name in in-game credits, name in website credits, a sticker pack, access to exclusive development blog (different from personal blog).

$10- digital copy of finished game on any platform it is developed for, plus above rewards.

$20- digital copy of Necromancer Field Guide (an art book in the style of a naturalist's field guide for undead!) plus an extra digital copy of the game on any platform it is developed for, plus above rewards.

$50- a Necromancer cap or beanie plus above rewards.

$75- physical copy of Necromancer Field Guide (soft cover and signed) plus above rewards.

$100- your likeness and name as an in game NPC plus above rewards.

$200- your likeness and name as in game enemy necromancer or soldier portrait (visible in battle) plus above rewards.

$500- your likeness and name as a major in game character in a side quest, plus above rewards.

$1000- your name and likeness as an in game heroic statue in a town or city center with readable plaque, plus above rewards.

 

 

 

Thank you for your time. 


Edited by Got_Rhythm, 09 April 2013 - 09:01 PM.


Sponsor:

#2 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4980

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:18 PM

I'd reverse the sticker pack and the copy of the game. The one which is equivalent to pre-ordering the game should be the standard basic one, though if you still want that to be $10 make the other $15. Also, if you're taking donations via paypal, it doesn't work very well for donations as small as $1.

Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#3 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10234

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 07:07 AM

$50- a Necromancer cap or beanie plus above rewards.

$75- physical copy of Necromancer Field Guide (soft cover and signed) plus above rewards.

Do people actually like physical rewards?

I for one couldn't care less, and I'd much rather the funds were being spent on making the game than on printing beanies (a surprisingly expensive process).

I certainly wouldn't attach the physical rewards to all further reward levels. How am I meant to back you to the tune of $100, if I don't want the physical reward?

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#4 Got_Rhythm   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 07:40 AM

S&S- thank you for the feedback, I will bump the copy of the game down to $5 and adjust the rest accordingly.

S.C- I always imagined that physical rewards were optional- like someone could donate $100 but say they decline the physical rewards. Is that not the case?

#5 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10234

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 07:50 AM

S.C- I always imagined that physical rewards were optional- like someone could donate $100 but say they decline the physical rewards. Is that not the case?

I mean, they could donate $100 and choose to take the $25 reward. But what if they want the $100 reward, minus the physical?

Most kickstarters these days offer separate '$100 (physical)' and '$100 (digital)' reward levels, where the digital is one tier higher, but without the physical rewards.

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#6 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 09:25 AM

Just be aware of the work you're going to have to put in for physical things. Try to imagine the worst case scenario that your kickstarter explodes and you suddenly have to provide 10,000+ of each physical thing.

In that regard this stood out to me:
"$75- physical copy of Necromancer Field Guide (soft cover and signed) plus above rewards."

You may want to put limits on things that can't be automated at scale. Maybe do first 200 signed and then a separate reward tier with the unsigned version.

T-shirts are also easy scalable physical rewards people might like.

#7 Got_Rhythm   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 11:14 AM

Swift- ah I see what you mean, I will do a re-draft with physical and non physical reward tiers at the same contribution level. Thank you.

Way2- I hadn't considered limiting things like only having a certain amount of signed copies. That is definitely something I will do.

I am still against t-shirts for now, as the can come in 5 different sizes at least so ordering them, organizing and shipping them will be complicated, which is why I went for hats and caps instead. Let me know if you have other ideas though please.

#8 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 11:19 AM

I am still against t-shirts for now, as the can come in 5 different sizes at least so ordering them, organizing and shipping them will be complicated, which is why I went for hats and caps instead. Let me know if you have other ideas though please.

That's legit. I was just mentioning them because they're pretty easy to buy in bulk.

I only really have backed physical goods on kickstarter, so I'm most in tune with the things they call out that they end up spending way more money on than they originally planned.

Relevant.



#9 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 20283

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 11:45 AM

The more digital rewards as possible, the better. Mailing is expensive, plus boxes, plus the items. And then you have your own manual labor of packing everything.

$5- name in in-game credits, name in website credits, a sticker pack, access to exclusive development blog (different from personal blog).

A game about Necromancers doesn't sound like stickers would appeal to your target audience. I'd drop the stickers entirely... unless you want the $5 (-15%) to become -$2 after mailing your stickers by airplane to Hawaii or some isolated town in Alaska (Hey, it's in the USA!).

I've also heard people have been completely sideswiped by shipping costs for Australia, even after saying "Add $15 for international shipping".

I'm not sure the stickers would be the motivating tipping point for someone to actually contribute, if they were on the edge about it.

$10- digital copy of finished game on any platform it is developed for, plus above rewards.

Steam, iOS, XBox Live, Playstation Network, Windows Store, and Mac App Store. Do any of them charge you a fee for distributing free copies of non-free games to customers directly, cutting out the store's cut? It's something you might want to look into.

According to your wording "on any platform it is developed for", in 20 years if you port the game to a new system, you might be legally obligated to give me a free copy and eat the cost yourself.
It's perfectly fine to abbreviate my username to 'Servant' rather than copy+pasting it all the time.
All glory be to the Man at the right hand... On David's throne the King will reign, and the Government will rest upon His shoulders. All the earth will see the salvation of God.
Of Stranger Flames - [indie turn-based rpg set in a para-historical French colony] | Indie RPG development journal

[Fly with me on Twitter] [Google+] [My broken website]

[Need web hosting? I personally like A Small Orange]


#10 RealityFails   Members   -  Reputation: 155

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 12:24 PM

I like the name, but I honestly see nothing worthy passed $10 and that $1000 donation is crazy I'm offering much more for $50. keep us updated!



#11 Got_Rhythm   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:00 PM

RealityFalls- I accept your opinion, but I would very appreciative if you could be more constructive, as in what you might suggest to improve my higher tiers or make them more worthy without taking too much of a dent out of the Kickstarter funds.

#12 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 20283

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 12:39 PM

I didn't find it unconstructive (emotions are hard to convey through text).

I personally have the same opinion: $10 for the game? That's all I want.
Other people want other things, so catering to that is good - but make it as digital as possible, so it costs you next to nothing.
Have some more tiers between $20 and $150. What if someone wants to pay $35, but not $50?

The cost of a beanie or the 'field manual' might be more expensive then you think - and then the mailing might also be more expensive then you think. Make them not take too much of a dent, by making them digital. Digital distribution is cheap. Physical manufacturing and distribution is expensive.

Almost everybody likes music. Music is digital. Offer the soundtrack.

Name in credits is more of a 'in-crowd' thing. Put it at a tier above the game itself.

Remember also: KickStarter takes 5% and Amazon Payments takes 3-5%, so (up to) 10% will be taken.
The government will also tax it (35%), unless you are able to counter it with business deductions - talk to a lawyer.

Further, if you fail to deliver, lawsuits are possible. So establish an LLC (which you'll need to write off business expenses anyway). Whether you realize it or not, you are now running a business, since you are selling a product, and making promises in return for money. It's no longer hobbyist game development but commercial game sales, so some legal planning is required.

I'd say, for a starting point:

  • $1 - Thanks for the support!
  • $7 - Access to exclusive development blog (different from personal blog), digital copy of the soundtrack, and immediate access to three desktop wallpapers.
  • $12 - Get a digital copy of finished game on any one of the platforms it is released for, plus above rewards.
  • $20 - Friend pack - An extra digital copy of the game for a friend, plus above rewards.
  • $25 - Special edition version of the game (bestiary in game menu + new start screen), plus your name in the credits, and the soundtrack (does not include an extra copy of the game). <== This is your money tier. Try to drive as much donators here as possible. It's all digital, so it's probably your highest profit margin until people start donating $150 or more.
  • $35 - Boxed copy of the regular game, and a digital copy of the soundtrack.
  • $50 - Boxed copy of the special edition, and a physical copy of the soundtrack.
  • $75 - The above reward, plus a cloth map of the game world, and a signed letter of thanks from the developers, and your name listed prominently as a 'Gold level' supporter in the game's credits.
  • $100 - The above reward, plus a physical copy of Necromancer Field Guide (soft cover and signed).
  • $150 - Your likeness and name as an in game NPC, plus above rewards.
  • ...and other higher tiers.

It's perfectly fine to abbreviate my username to 'Servant' rather than copy+pasting it all the time.
All glory be to the Man at the right hand... On David's throne the King will reign, and the Government will rest upon His shoulders. All the earth will see the salvation of God.
Of Stranger Flames - [indie turn-based rpg set in a para-historical French colony] | Indie RPG development journal

[Fly with me on Twitter] [Google+] [My broken website]

[Need web hosting? I personally like A Small Orange]


#13 Got_Rhythm   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 01:53 PM

Thank you Servant, I think that when I asked for more constructivity I meant I would appreciate more help and suggestion as it seemed like he had more input to offer. I apologize if I worded it ungratefully :)

That was very informative, I will definitely add more tiers between $1-$100, and post a second draft here in a few days with more digital content. Thank you all for your help.

#14 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10234

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 02:23 PM

I'll add that you may want to set a hard limit on the number of backers at every level with a physical reward.

 

It puts a hard cap on your maximum out-of-pocket expenses for producing and shipping physical items, and it adds an air of exclusivity - I might be inclined to shell out just a little more for a limited edition item to show off to my friends...


Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#15 Shaquil   Members   -  Reputation: 819

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 07:48 AM

Good evening, 

 

In four weeks I will have a Kickstarter to fund the production of my game Necromancer, The Fight For Life. 

You can see some initial art and story here-

http://www.necromancergame.com/

 

And I have a blog here-

http://www.necromancergame.com/progress/progress.html

 

Below is my first draft for my Kickstarter rewards, please feel free to offer me any feedback on them. I like to think I am being quite generous compared to a lot of other Kickstarter's I've seen. I went for hats rather than t-shirts because I have heard horror stories of how expensive and complicated it can be to custom order t-shirts because people want different sizes which complicates matters.

 

$1- a warm email thank you.

$5- name in in-game credits, name in website credits, a sticker pack, access to exclusive development blog (different from personal blog).

$10- digital copy of finished game on any platform it is developed for, plus above rewards.

$20- digital copy of Necromancer Field Guide (an art book in the style of a naturalist's field guide for undead!) plus an extra digital copy of the game on any platform it is developed for, plus above rewards.

$50- a Necromancer cap or beanie plus above rewards.

$75- physical copy of Necromancer Field Guide (soft cover and signed) plus above rewards.

$100- your likeness and name as an in game NPC plus above rewards.

$200- your likeness and name as in game enemy necromancer or soldier portrait (visible in battle) plus above rewards.

$500- your likeness and name as a major in game character in a side quest, plus above rewards.

$1000- your name and likeness as an in game heroic statue in a town or city center with readable plaque, plus above rewards.

 

I would remove the "any platform it's developed for" language. Can't you break it off into options on Kickstarter? I remember vaguely when I paid for the RingBow that it had color options, and you specified your color in a text field. Having the users do that would be much better than "on any platform it's developed for." What if you port it three years later, and now all these people are entitled to a free digital copy? Now you have to keep track of who is and who isn't supposed to get a free one on whatever platform you port to for the rest of your life.

 

I would also push everything up a level and get rid of the $1 tier. Make the $1 reward the 5$ reward, make the 5$ reward the $10 reward, etc. If you're trying to charge 10 for your game, then move everything up, but keep the game at the $10 tier. That's just because I personally think a lot of the rewards below the $100 mark aren't very exciting, and seem to be there just because that's 'what you do' with a kickstarter--fill it out with a bunch of tiers.

 

There's also the matter of how high the rewards go. Try to ask yourself how many people you'd be willing to do these rewards for. Let's assume you only want to do the $1000 reward for 10 people max, just because it'd be a pain to put all that specific stuff in the game. But then, since it's a pain, you aren't willing to do it for just two people, because that might be a waste of time. So with that max and min, think about the reward and the audience, and say "Do I really think more than 2 people will pay for this reward? Do I really think fewer than 10 will pay for this reward?" If the answer is yes on both counts, only then should you do it. This goes for all the reward brackets. Less is more in this case.

 

Also, putting someone's name and likeness in the game might not be such a great idea realistically, and might not appeal to people who would otherwise donate that much. Some people don't want to be immortalized in your game, or any game. It's better when people say the donator can name a character, or at best design a character, or take some part in the creation of the character. But dealing with someone's likeness and real name is just odd. You walk into a town in the city and see two statues: One of Vilgax Thalmor, the great Dragon Slayer, and one of Tom Garfunkle, the kickstarter backer. Not to mention the trouble of getting good pictures of each person who backs you at those levels, and how you might feel about putting someone who looks like them in your game. It'd be a mess.

 

Look at the rewards for Planet Explorers for an idea of what they did, though I question some of their tiers too (the customer gets to design a side quest? Are you nuts?): http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1757963851/planet-explorers?ref=category

 

Edit:

 

Also, good luck!


Edited by Shaquil, 13 April 2013 - 07:48 AM.


#16 Got_Rhythm   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 07:53 PM

Okay so here is the second draft based on the feedback (thank you all again so much for your input)
I am still not about ideas for higher level rewards, so I will keep checking out successful kickstarters for ideas.

Rewards

$4- A warm thank you

$8- a free digital copy of the game.

$12- Name in the on website and access to development blog (different from personal blog).

$16- Two free copies of the game.

$20- Digital copy of soundtrack + name in game credits

$30- Digital copy of Necromancer Field Guide

$40- Physical copy of the game

$60- Physical copy of Necromancer Field Guide (first 500 are signed)

$80- Necromancer beanie (red or black)

$100- Your likeness and family name as an NPC sprite in a town or city.

$200- Your likeness as an enemy soldier or necromancer (visible in multiple battles).

$300- Your likeness and family name as a major character in a side-quest.

#17 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 20283

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 08:49 PM

Looking much better.

 

Suggestions:

  • Don't say 'free copy of the game'. It's not free, they are buying it.
  • Swap the $12 reward with the $8 reward. People who want the game will pay $12 for it just as easily as $8, but nobody is going to pay an extra $4 for access to the development blog.
  • I still don't want a beanie, and certainly won't pay $20 extra for it. Some gamers would pay extra for a cloth map (again, not I) and a "special edition" version of the game, and that hardly increases your production costs over the physical copy of the game you're already producing anyway. Now you're just producing 100 copies of two different versions, instead of two hundred copies of one version, and 100 beanies.
  • I think you still might be underestimating the cost of producing a quality Necromancer Field Guide. Maybe not though! Make sure you have price-checked it before starting the KickStarter.
  • Combine the $60 and $80 tiers into one $75 tier. More tiers are good... BUT too many tiers aren't good. Also, tiers that don't offer real incentive shouldn't exist (except the tiers below 'get the digital game', and the tiers above $100). Make each tier below $100 actually contain real value that people will actually pay for it.
  • $75 tier: Physical copy of the 'Special Edition' of the game (limit 500), all signed by the developer, with a physical copy of the Necromancer Field Guide, and a physical copy of the soundtrack.

 

Let us know how your KickStarter goes!

 

Here's two ideas for bonuses at higher tiers (in addition to your existing bonuses)

Tiers >= $100 : Your physical copies are mailed out one week before the official release.

$200 (limit 5) : One hour of voice, instant-messenger, or video-chat with the developer to discuss game development, or other things.


It's perfectly fine to abbreviate my username to 'Servant' rather than copy+pasting it all the time.
All glory be to the Man at the right hand... On David's throne the King will reign, and the Government will rest upon His shoulders. All the earth will see the salvation of God.
Of Stranger Flames - [indie turn-based rpg set in a para-historical French colony] | Indie RPG development journal

[Fly with me on Twitter] [Google+] [My broken website]

[Need web hosting? I personally like A Small Orange]


#18 LJ_1102   Members   -  Reputation: 979

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 06:32 AM

  • $75 tier: Physical copy of the 'Special Edition' of the game (limit 500), all signed by the developer, with a physical copy of the Necromancer Field Guide, and a physical copy of the soundtrack.

In my opinion this is more like a 150$ tier.

I mean after all, there will be something like 20$ left for the developer.


Edited by LJ_1102, 11 May 2013 - 06:34 AM.

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#19 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 889

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 08:16 AM

I know you asked about the rewards, but I imagine having success on kickstarters probably depends on other factors - e.g., what previous games has your studio produced? What is the money going towards?
http://erebusrpg.sourceforge.net/ - Erebus, Open Source RPG for Windows/Linux/Android
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/mark.harman/conquests.html - Conquests, Open Source Civ-like Game for Windows/Linux

#20 Got_Rhythm   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 10:08 AM

Oh I'm sure that the rewards setup isn't the most important factor in success, but I certainly want it tight so it doesn't hold me back and I don't have to fuss with changing it up half-way through the Kickstarter.

For example, this project shares a lot conceptual similarities with mine, and is doing very poorly for a number of reasons, but I think their rewards setup also hindered them.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/593434943/monster-realm?ref=search

I just like to use these forums to ask very focused questions :)

My Kickstarter will be online on Monday (May 20th)! You can see some of my pre-alpha gameplay here now-
http://necromancergame.com/gameplay/gameplay.html




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