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Portas Aurora: Arrival Kickstarter Recap

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The Kickstarter campaign for Portas Aurora: Arrival for August was as follows:

The Money side
Goal: $25,000
Pledged: $ 868

Dollars Pledged via Kickstarter $667
(meaning that the user was actually on the site)
Dollars Pledged via external referrer $201
Average Pledge $ 18.87

<- This is a breakdown of where and how much each person pledged.

The Video side

2141 Total plays with 27.60% completing the video.
1918 views being on the Kickstarter site.
223 views from offsite plays.
The video went through a lot of changes over the course of the campaign.

While I could do ten entries on all of the things we learned while doing the Kickstarter campaign I will try and sum up the main lessons learned.
Lessons to take away from the Kickstarter campaign:

  1. Get the word out that you are going to be launching a Kickstarter before you actually launch it. There is a lot to be said about that first 48 hours of your campaign. It can get you spotlighted if you have some "above average traffic".
  2. Design a few different reward tiers between $10 and $25 because they are the most popular.
  3. The project video needs to show a few key items. First a simple idea that people can catch on to. Second it needs gameplay act or action. Third show the team talking about the project to humanize them to the viewers.
  4. Need to have your video in more places then just Kickstarter. You need eyes on your video is key to making your goal. The more viewers the higher the chance that one will pledge.

If people have more areas of interest just leave a comment and I will expend on them.

*Edited to add a link to the Kickstarter Project Page - Thank you
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This is very informative and good to hear since I have never seen the aftermath of one of these. Tough break though and I wish you luck on your next project.

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Anything that I have left out that You would want to know about? I kept tons of records. Everything from the number of videos and each video's views to the position in the Kickstarter project listing. The information displayed is only a small fraction.

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To be honest, i wouldnt know what to ask! :P im surrounded in legal stuff as is and add what POSSIBLY could happen to that mix... meh. This is good enough to know that it tracks all of this. Looks like May will be a busy month for us! :P

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Thank you very much for posting those details!
Is that table with the link breakdowns provided by Kickstarter's website, or did you have to do something special to record it?

I noticed someone donated $300. Wow.

Here's the Kickstarter link in-case anyone else is interested.


The game looks really fun. You frequently refer to it as an RPG and promote it as an RPG, but it looks alot more like a Turn-Based Strategy. Did you promote it on any in TBS communities? On the forums you did post it on, were you already a member of those communities, or a stranger just signing up to post your game?


How far into your Kickstarter were you before you really started promoting your game? I noticed on your gog.com forum post, you mentioned you were in your last week of the campaign before you posted there.


What sites did you promote on? Was it at the start of, before, or during the campaign?


Some failed Kickstarter campaigns regret showing too much of team-members talking, and not enough gameplay. You're saying the opposite - what evidence did you encounter that makes you think you weren't humanized enough?

What do you think is the proper ratio of gameplay to humans talking? Would you start with talking, then show gameplay? Or gameplay -> talking -> gameplay? Talking over the gameplay?


Many people have been doing "here's what I learned from my failed kickstarter" type articles. What things have you learned that you didn't already know, that you now have evidence to believe? What is that evidence that made you believe? I'm trying to filter out the guesswork from the facts in alot of Kickstarter post-mortems.


If I was to launch a Kickstarter tomorrow (I'm not actually launching one for at least eight months), what advice would you give me?

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I have touched many of these questions in pervious journal entries, but I will clarify most of them.

The table is generated by Kickstarter. They have fairly good dashboard of information.

The combat system is a turn-based-strategy and the game was promoted on a few TBS sites. Most of the forums that I posted on in the first 3 days of the project launch I had been a member before posting. However, as the campaign continued I searched for more places to show the game off. I registered on all of them, but was still a new user.

I had started to promote the Kickstarter about 15 days before, but I am thinking that a 30-45 day lead time is better. I think that I could have caught more details and expanded areas that were weak due to user feedback during that time.

I actually found gog.com when I was looking for an old game and I signed up for their forum. When I was on there another member suggested that I post on the forum, so I did. I even went so far as posting for 2 or 3 other Kickerstarter projects to help them out.


As for the promoting I think that will require a whole entry. Therefore, I will cover it in the next post.


Midway through the campaign I was hit with a lot of feedback asking to see members of the team. I was a little taking back by the idea and so I searched through many of the Successfully Funded projects and found that a majority of them had a good mix of gameplay, game ideas, and team members. As for the area of humanized I think it is an issue that is based on the game. Portas Aurora: Arrival is a game that centers around a player's actions, but we only had ship artwork. Therefore, to give people a face to place their hope there should have been more team in the video.

The order of the team/gameplay is again determined by your game and the available assets you have. Do you have a catchy shot? Lead with it and then fade to the team. I think that there should be sections that are talking over gameplay. The music also needs to fit the audience's imagined taste for the game type.


I would say that I read about 100-125 articles on Kickstarter Projects before launching the Portas Aurora: Arrival project and I would say that there are many elements that need to be present in a project for it to be successful, but each project has its own issues that need to have tailoring for.


If you were launching a Kickstarter Project tomorrow. I would tell you that you better be ready for a ton of hours promoting your project. You need to have a press package setup and ready to go. You should look through other similar projects like yours and do a reverse short link trace. If you find that there are places that other projects got high traffic from you need to go and promote your project there. You need to build a reddit account and promote your project there. Ask them for feedback and maybe even give them the preview link to iron out any "major" faults before it goes live. Your project page needs to have a blend of text and images to keep readers interested. I could go not for a while, but honestly if you were going to launch a project tomorrow and had not done any ground work before launching I would say to holt and do it right the first time. Failing a Kickstarter can be a real blow to a team, even if that team is only a single person.

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Wow man, tough break. From the Kickstarter profile, the game looked pretty epic. Wish I could give you some funds but sadly the little I have is being used for my own game development efforts.


Best of luck to you though.

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Thank you for the kind words on the look of the game. It was still a little too rough for Kickstarter. Many on the scenes from the final video were developed with the help from members from this site.


As for the next campaign, we hope to do it more correctly. :)

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