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When to start planning Kickstarter

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#1 Thanamos   Members   


Posted 17 September 2012 - 06:18 AM

Hi guys, open questions here.

When should I, ideally, start planning for a Kickstarter campaign?
I got a game planned, about the same size as FTL (www.ftlgame.com), and I feel this game has real potential, but I know myself, first of all I can't draw, neither can I produce music, so I need to hire someone do to all these things, and that takes money. I have starting developing the framework, as well as some decisions regarding 2D library, sound library.

But seeing all the other great ideas on Kickstarter (FTL, Castle Story, Project Eternity, Dead State just to mention a few) Im afraid I have to be near completion before I can even start considering using Kickstarter.

So it's a balance of what to plan, and what to actually finish before showing the game off to other people.
Also Im thinking a kickstarter campaign would be a greate idea to put pressure on myself to actually finish the game, having other people know, and wait for something Im making is a wonderful thing that shouldnt be underestimated.

So what says the people? How much of an demo, trailer do you need before you would consider pre-ordering a game? Spescially considering how easy I could be to just take the money and not release anything. And of course my name is completely unknown and that is an added liability.

#2 rip-off   Moderators   


Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:20 AM

If you can demonstrate that you are capable of a project of this scale, usually by pointing to a similar project you have completed, you can be at the very beginning - see Double Fine for an extreme example. I assume this is not the case when you say your name is "not known".

Otherwise I would recommend you have at least a playable prototype that you can demonstrate (even if only via video) before you approach anyone - including the Internet. Even at the stage of a playable prototype there is lots of work for your to do, coming up with all the enemies/bosses/items/levels and all the gameplay/input polish, including creating any tools you'll need (level editors...), but at the same time people can see there is something concrete to fund. Better still a "demo" that you would consider high enough quality to release for download.

You only get one chance to make a good impression. I think that a failed Kickstarter, during the initial fundraising phase or worse by failing to deliver on a funded one, is not something that you want to have to "get over" for your next project. Better your name remain unknown for the moment than that I think.

#3 Hodgman   Moderators   


Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:21 AM

You can't start a kick-starter with just an idea or a plan for a game. As well as pitching an idea that I want to buy, you've got to demonstrate that you've got the ability to make it happen, and the credibility to not just skip with the cash or simply fail.

Think of it like pitching to a publisher -- to answer why should they invest in you, they'd want to know who your team is, how much money you need, what exactly you're going to spending the money on, when will it be done, and will be asking where your business plan is.
Kickstarter is a lot more flexible, but you should still approach it just as professionally as other business investment opportunites.

For example, FTL had a playable demo, and the 2-man team were ex 2K staff. With Castle Story they're not industry veterans, but can show me the art/tech and list their team. Project Eternity is being developed by a veteran studio. Dead State can show me their art/tech and tout the lead's reputation.
With all of them, I'm giving my money to (what seem to be) real businesses that are already on track to produce something cool. If they don't meet their kickstarter target, they've probably got a Plan B waiting, like raising venture capital, pitching to a traditional publisher, switching projects, or changing the scope.

So you either need to have cemented your company with enough staff to show your bona fide capacity to actually make the game when you get the money, or have sunk enough money into it yourself that you've got something worth funding.

#4 Thanamos   Members   


Posted 17 September 2012 - 11:20 AM

These are both great answers,and both close to what my own thoughts are, but it's good to get a confirmation of that other people thinks.

I am currently alone on this project, which is ok for now, and I will probably look to gamedev.net/help wanted to find someone to go from dev release to alpha or something.
But as a person who has family and fulltime jobs,getting a kickstarter-kickstart would mean going from a cruddy-type indie release, to a more polished indie :)

But again thank you for the good advice.

#5 way2lazy2care   Members   


Posted 17 September 2012 - 11:21 AM

Hodgman did a pretty good job. One thing I'd say is keep your innitial kickstarter ask low, and don't underestimate the power of good stretch goals.

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