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At what point should I turn to kickstarter

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I'm a hobbyist developer... pretty much one man show. I just started developing a fairly unique multiplayer game with unity. What should I have to show before I turn to kickstarter? I don't know much I'll ask for. Maybe enough to get me by while I work on the game for 1-2 years.

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Not sure if you've already considered, kickstarter is not the only fund-pledging community out there, even kickstarter is probably the most profound. I've looked into kickstarter and got my project approved already, but from the long term observation, kickstarter local members are not much interested in computer games. The successful projects you could find are majorly rounded from communities outside of kickstarter, but since the money rolled in big and quick, the kickstarter local are convinced that it might be a worthy investment. 

 

I've seen quality indie games in kickstarter that by far didn't get the backers they deserve. no matter you put your project in a commercially strategic fashion or revolutionary passionate one, majority locals wouldn't be impressed, cuz gaming is not quite their thing.

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I'm more than just an "idea guy." I have skills in programming and artwork. I don't think we have the same view on Kickstarter. Not all funded games on there will succeed, but that's whey they're on Kickstarter... to get funds they otherwise wouldn't have to have their games developed. I think I'll aim for the 50% mark before putting it on kickstarter. Kinda insulted you brought up scamming. Maybe some people put up projects hoping to get a free ride, but that's not me.

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Some very good posts in here, and it's sad that you react defensively instead of what you should have responded with 'thank you for well written posts answering my question'...

 

One thing I didn't see mentioned, or maybe missed, is that of the amount to ask for.

 

Now that KS is popular again, and many many indie's, and even large companies are jumping on the bandwagon, we've gotten a chance to see some of the KS failures (those that hit their target, but then realize they asked for too little).  Which again also includes small indies as well as experienced groups (Quest for Glory people for example).

 

Beyond what points have already been made, you need to convince people that you know how much your efforts are going to cost.  In part, because there are (in my opinion) two major KS contributors: those that make pledges from the heart, and those that make pledges from the mind/head/wallet.  I would say 90% of pledge money comes from the latter, because they typically have more money, are older, and pickier.  Those people, I see a lot of comments from, and time and time again, they want to know why developer A only needs 10k, or why developer B thinks they need 100k.  Finding the balance is tricky, but keep in mind that these picky people don't want to pay a salary, especially for coding (art/music/etc is easier to justify).

 

In short, if you don't already have a job, and all the hardware/software required, do that before going to KS begging for money (because that is what it will sound like).

 

I considered going to KS about a decade ago, but realized that the money wouldn't be enough of a motivation by itself to finish a project.  Just like not having art, shouldn't be enough to not finish the code on a project (something I believe many hobbyist coders have as a reason to give up on projects).

 

-Alamar

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At what point should I turn to kickstarter...  I don't know much I'll ask for.

 

You should not turn to Kickstarter until you are sure how much you need, and what you need it for.  In addition to the other prerequisites already stated above by other respondents.

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I have been doing some extensive research on this, you can read further on my blog post if you like but I will sum up some information for you here.

 

Financials and planning:

http://www.gamedev.net/blog/1513/entry-2255782-kickstarter-and-the-planning-process/

 

Theory of Kickstarter:

http://www.gamedev.net/blog/1513/entry-2255780-character-work-network-code-amping-up-for-kickstarter/

 

Long story short, right now even quality projects are finding a hard time getting funded. The only projects that are a real "success" are one that accurately ask for an amount that is equal to the value of the project. I say this because some games with real potential are putting their "required funds" a bit too high and because of this are finding themselves close to funding but maybe not making it. A key example of this is Akaneiro, which started out strong but is very near not making their goal within the 3 days left. If they would have lowered their value just 25k than they wouldnt lose out on all that funding. So the key is to really plan out what you "REALLY NEED" to make it happen and put that down as your goal. If you need $500,000 to make your first game ever than perhaps you should really rethink the game you are attempting to make as it is most likely above your ability to make ( maybe your that one rare case but most likely you are not ).

 

Secondly, the most important thing I have noticed is having some form of a gimick.  Project that is properly priced and has a great hook is Cryamore. In the first few days of its release the project had made its already "needed funds" and will most likely surpass them to a very high % rate. Why, because they provided the viewers with all the information they would need to say "hey i want to put some money into this" and they did it with a great hook. I hate anime but despite that I really fell in love with their video and how they presented the information. When you can make a person who doesnt like the genre respect what you are doing and possibly donate you know you are doing something right. So, find what makes your game unique and fun and highlight that in a very fun way. To often you will find people who take videos on their couch and just talk about what their idea of the game is, this only works if you have made games before that sold on the real market via AAA titles or another very popular indie game.

 

Lastly, Having 5000 options for perks is not equal to a win. Kickstarter is very much a visual process. If you sell the game properly you could have little to NOTHING done and people will invest. Some points are made here that "smart investors" will not put the money down but if you make a game that they are interested in and you present the idea properly you will find that most people will wave their more rational thoughts for the ideal of playing something that they are passionate about. What does this mean? Presentation is KEY! Do not show off low quality pictures or low quality production type work. If you have some cash spend some on getting concept art done for the game... you would be amazed at how far you can go with a little bit of concept art. Most people will draw up some quality crap for $150 and that money can easily net you the difference between $5000 and $50,000 on Kickstarter.

 

Thing to note: People claim that advertisement is key... and while I agree it will not hurt your project I certainly do not feel it is the single most important factor. I have seen plenty of projects that were not advertised that gained massive support from word of mouth AFTER the kickstarter was out. So, once you do get the kickstarter ready you should look at spending some time promoting the project. Get your stuff on other game sites like IndieDB and maybe get a big online news site to say some things about it. If you get one post on Kotaku you can very easily gain a small revenue based off of advertisement alone.

 

I say all of this because I am looking at doing a kickstarter soon myself. There are thousands of things to be done and I am most likely over thinking most of them... but these are just some of the observations I have made. Use them or ignore them at your own risk. Good luck!

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- Best to provide a playable demo.

 

I disagree with this. Akaneiro just added this and the game is in such a.... alpha/beta feel that it really could distract people from further donating that would have. I agree it would help people like "Servant of the Lord" but it certainly could detract people from your concept far before it is fully mature. Perhaps that is why he suggested you have it 90% done. ;)

 

Personally I would suggest having video of your ingame interactions and show off some unique elements to your game. I know that my game ( being voxel based ) will get the "minecraft clone" bullshit from the early start but once we show them how different it is compared to minecraft they will shut their mouths. To accomplish this in our promo video ( at the start ) we plan to show off the most important unique elements before we show off anything else. Keep that in mind when presenting it, your idea

 

edit** can a mod merge these two.... sorry i tried but it failed

Edited by riuthamus

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