Sign in to follow this  

Battleground Fantasy- crowdfunding question

This topic is 814 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hi guys! I'm new here so please be understanding:)
My name's Marcin Czwordon and my team are developing an action-strategy game, Battleground Fantasy.
You can find all info on our website www.thegamemine.net
Our funds have melted down dramatically so we need crowdfunding to support us...it is only 4 of us We are based in the UK so I'm not sure if we should go for Indiegogo or Kickstarter or any other alternative?
Any suggestions on crowfunding? Any experience you can share with me?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1: You have to "stand out" to get noticed amongst all the others who have flooded the crowdfunding sites.  Having a professional promo video and artwork is pretty much mandatory.

2: Set your funding goal  low - don't expect many folks to donate to your cause ( but if a lot of folks do, great ! ).

3: Don't over promise. This is becoming a very annoying trend. Only promise what you KNOW you can deliver.

4: Don't set a release date. Too many games are rushed out the door, uncompleted, because of this.

5: Be realistic ( and cost effective ) about the "rewards" you will be giving backers.

 

6: Create a blog that shows backers daily progress you are making on the game.

Edited by Code Fox

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7. Get backing and community support rolling [i]BEFORE[/i] you start a kickstarter campaign. 

- Something I've frequently seen in failed campaigns (as in failed to meet their minimum goal) is that they try to get the ball rolling on "Day 1" of the kickstarter campaign itself, rather than months before hand. If you don't already have a solid fan base worked out and interested in your upcoming campaign, then you're in for a very hard time as you then have to try and drum up enough interest to fund your project with a hard and fast deadline rushing toward you. Get your core fan base lined up before your campaign goes live, and then you can easily push back "D1" and only launch when conditions are feeling best for you.

 

Once you have a solid base that you can rely on to probably meet your minimum goal, then you can leverage them to drive your campaign forward and do more of the advertising for you with good use of stretch goals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1: You have to "stand out" to get noticed amongst all the others who have flooded the crowdfunding sites.  Having a professional promo video and artwork is pretty much mandatory.

 

True, but none of us can make a professional video as of yet. We've got nice arts, a niche on the market for BF, good XP + income system, scripting around 60% finished for the whole game; but when we turn to gaming angel investors to sponsor really professional video (that will stand out of the crowd), they always want a build. And our build is outdated:(

 

Having said that, we need new build- Quick Battle mode so people could download it and have all the options available at hand. Quick Battles r gonna be purely tactics + quick fingers but will give  players a chance to see how much the game can offer on strategic level....or maybe they'll just only play Quick Battles...who knows:)

 

So we're running in circles now... 

2: Set your funding goal  low - don't expect many folks to donate to your cause ( but if a lot of folks do, great ! ).

 

GBP 30k will make us complete the game. Beta.

3: Don't over promise. This is becoming a very annoying trend. Only promise what you KNOW you can deliver.

 

We can only offer free copies of  BF- steam codes for everyone who will back us up with minimum GBP5.00. Our assumption is to sell fully polished games for GBP9.99- digital distribution only- Steam and GoG. 

4: Don't set a release date. Too many games are rushed out the door, uncompleted, because of this.

 

But every single investor or crowdfunding requires release date. On the other hand, it is motivation to us to release beta and hear to players' comments.

5: Be realistic ( and cost effective ) about the "rewards" you will be giving backers.

 

6: Create a blog that shows backers daily progress you are making on the game.

 

A good advise, thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

1: You have to "stand out" to get noticed amongst all the others who have flooded the crowdfunding sites.  Having a professional promo video and artwork is pretty much mandatory.

 

True, but none of us can make a professional video as of yet. We've got nice arts, a niche on the market for BF, good XP + income system, scripting around 60% finished for the whole game; but when we turn to gaming angel investors to sponsor really professional video (that will stand out of the crowd), they always want a build. And our build is outdated:(

 

Having said that, we need new build- Quick Battle mode so people could download it and have all the options available at hand. Quick Battles r gonna be purely tactics + quick fingers but will give  players a chance to see how much the game can offer on strategic level....or maybe they'll just only play Quick Battles...who knows:)

 

So we're running in circles now... 
 

 

 

Then see what you can do with the resources and skills you already have.

 

Professional =/= expensive... sure, polish needs time, and professional usually means polished. But it doesn't mean you have to have a pro studio record it, or even follow the book. Actually, scratch the last point, DON'T follow the book, come up with an original idea, and polish that until it looks professional (that are many funny promo videos for Kickstarter that worked pretty well BECAUSE they didn't follow the book)...

 

Of course, this is always a risk, if you do not put game footage first in your video. Which is pretty much what every person in the known about Crowdfunding for games will tell you. The most important part of your video is ingame footage. If you skip that, or even put anything before it, you risk loosing viewers before they are enganged. 

 

And given you already have a build of your game on your development machines, you have the means to produce the most important part of the video, all you need to invest is time to polish it.

 

Spend your time when preparing for a KS Campaign even if you have not much money to spend....

 

 

 

2: Set your funding goal  low - don't expect many folks to donate to your cause ( but if a lot of folks do, great ! ).

 

GBP 30k will make us complete the game. Beta.
 

 

 

Did you check what similar games did make on KS and Indiegogo? Is it a realistic goal? Can you cut corners to lower the sum (by for example being able to finish the "minimum viable product" with 10k, but having plans to produce a bigger and better product if you receive more (stretch goals))?

 

 

 

 

3: Don't over promise. This is becoming a very annoying trend. Only promise what you KNOW you can deliver.

 

We can only offer free copies of  BF- steam codes for everyone who will back us up with minimum GBP5.00. Our assumption is to sell fully polished games for GBP9.99- digital distribution only- Steam and GoG. 

 

Note that Code Fox isn't necessarily talking about the rewards given to backers... he is mostly talking about being realistic with your plans and making sure you can deliver what you promise with the money asked for. So you save yourself from the embarassing expierience of having to run a second KS campaign when money runs out before the end of development again.

 

 

On topic of rewards though:

 

You want to be able to give people options ranging from your games price (5£ is pretty low if your game should cost 10£ later....), up to maybe 100, maybe 500, maybe more.

 

Give people the ability to donate a lot, and prepare to deliver something unique in return (note unique =/= expensive to produce and deliver).

 

The most attractive option always seems to be around 25$, so make sure that a) you have such an option, and b) it isn't your most expensive, but your most attractive option. YMMV of course, but that seemed to be the conclusion of past KS campaigns.

 

 

As to what to reward people with:

 

1)stay away from physical goods. They tend to be expensive to produce, and even more expensive to deliver (remember that people can back you from the other side of the world)...

If you think you really want to have physical rewards, make sure they are only available in the higher end tiers (maybe 100$+?), make sure the quality is topnotch (nothing like paying 200$ for acollectors edition and finding out the plastic goods in it are sh*t), and make sure you factor in the price to produce and design the goods into the price of the pledge tier (so if you want to get 100$ and the physical good costs 50$ per item to produce, pledge should be 150$+), and make sure to add shipping costs on top of the cost of the pledge (don't ship "for free" if its not for free to you).

 

2) digital items seem to be pretty attractive to backers though. If you have awesome art, how about a digital artbook? If you have awesome music, why not a digital soundtrack collection? It costs you little to produce (well, aside from the polish that needs to go into it of course), and nothing to distribute.

 

3) For the highest end tiers get creative... I have seen everything from having an Island or character in the game named after backers, to having characters modelled after a backers likelyhood, to giving backers the option to add their own art and photos to an ingame gallery.... get creative. There is much you can do.

Again, make sure you factor in the cost to produce the reward into the cost of the pledge (modelling a character isn't free after all for example), and make sure you limit the rewards at these tiers, both as an insucrance to you (great if 200 backers would choose your 2000$ "get your own character in the game" reward... until you have to model these 200 characters, realize that 200 characters do not fit your design, and you constantly get bugged by 200 people wanting to see their likelyhood in the game, the sooner the better), and to make the pledge tier look exclusive (rather go up with the price of the tier and limit it more. There is no "sane" reason to pay/donate 2000$ for an unfinished game that will cost 10$ even if you get some very exclusive content. People that will put that much money down for exclusivity are most probably few, and ready to pay 3000$ or even 4000$ for the same piece of exclusivity... especially if you just limited the amount of other people that get the same perks to half as much).

 

 

 

4: Don't set a release date. Too many games are rushed out the door, uncompleted, because of this.

 

But every single investor or crowdfunding requires release date. On the other hand, it is motivation to us to release beta and hear to players' comments.
 

 

 

Investors =/= Crowdfunding.... yes, you just got 1000 investors, and they can be even more impatient than a single big investor that knows something about game development.

On the other hand motivation is different.

 

1) An Investors is only in the deal for ROI, he most probably couldn't care less if your product is awesome or not, or even if it is a game... as long as he is able to make a profit, he will be happy.

2) Backers are insterested in the product. Their ROI is the fun expierience they get out of the project.

 

If you are only interested in the money, time is of essence. If you let all project deadlines slip on all the projects you back, you will at some point have problems investing in more projects, and start to even lose money at some point. Hence the strict stance when it comes to deadlines.

If you are interested in the product, an additional 6 months of development time often results in a much better product. Hence why most gamers, even if they are vocal about how they cannot bear the wait any longer, are happy to wait for a game after they have expierienced the unplayable mess that comes out of strict adherence to deadlines by some AAA titles.

 

About the requirements for a deadline by KS I don't know. But it doesn't really matter. A successfull funding by KS Backers doesn't bind you legally to deliver ANYTHING (besides the pledge rewards... which might include the finished product).... it happened a lot in the past that people took the money of a successfull campaign and ran.

 

What happened even more often is that people that really wanted to deliver, or even eventually did deliver, promised a product in an unrealistically short window of time (say 6 months) and only delivered with a massive delay (say 3 years in our example)...

Now, without promising to delivery in such a short time window, perception of backers might have differed a lot. Not many would be happy about having to wait 3 years for the product, but nobody could say your product was late because you didn't promise anything in advance.

 

Just make sure:

 

1) It's done when it's done. If you have to give a deadline, be vague, and plan in reserves. If you think you can deliver in a year, double it... then word it so it doesn't sound as harsh (coming in second half of 2016 sounds better than coming december 2016 for example... yes, its cheeky, but it is still true)

 

2) The important thing is NOT to deliver as fast as possible, but to update people on your progress. Crowdfunding is not the fire-and-forget silver bullet some people take it for. As with a normal Investor, backers want to see your progress. That ensures them that their investment is sound, and might also build the hype for your eventual release.

You should probably do it anyway, in the end you already need the community before you release, both for that important sales bump at the start of your games life, as for getting green lit on Steam and all that. Actually, for many studios Crowdfunding is more important as a marketing tool and for gathering feedback on their project than for the funding.

 

After all, there is no stronger vote from people that they think your game projects rocks than when they pledge their money before the game is even done.

Edited by Gian-Reto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some great answers so far.

 

Your success comes down to convincing people that they really want to play your game (as opposed to the thousands of other games out there) and that your team is trustworthy (both to actually have the skills to complete the project and to complete it before running out of money). If the first thing people think when they land on your kickstarter page is "Wow! This game looks awesome and the team really seems to know their stuff" then there's a good chance they'll spend money on you. If the first thing they think is "Looks alright I guess, but who are these blokes?" then it's going to be an uphill battle to get funded.

 

To achieve this you need a decent video. Doesn't have to be Hollywood quality, but try having decent visuals and sound. This video should communicate quickly and effectively what makes your game stand out and awesome, and why your team is super talented and motivated. A lot of people hate reading and they'll only watch the video, so you're losing a lot of potential investors if you don't have one.

 

Because you're asking people to invest in an idea, you need to make sure this idea sounds awesome. Make sure you communicate your concept quickly and in a compelling way. Ideally your high concept is something that's at once familiar and distinctive. Think "Snakes on a plane": you know exactly what it's going to be, but you've never seen anything like it, so it's intriguing.

 

Plan the marketing of your Kickstarter in the same way you will plan the marketing of the release of your game. You want the message of your project to reach far and wide so that everybody who's willing to invest will hear about it. At the same time, your Kickstarter serves as a test run for your game: if the concept fails to get traction at this point, you're going to have a hard time having more success once the game is finished unless you make changes to your plans (to your marketing, to the game itself or both); if you get a lot of interest at this early stage then it's a good sign that your project is a winner.

 

If you'll allow this shameless plug, I'm a consultant who helps developers like you turn their game into hits, including helping with Kickstarter success. If you think you could use some help, check out: http://levelupyourga.me/ (There's an option for a free consultation if you're worried about spending too much)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 814 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this