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Best type of rewards in a KS campaign?

7 replies [Last post]
No Echo Games
No Echo Games's picture
Joined: 03/14/2017

This seemed to be the best forum for this question, and I was curious what others thought. In getting ready for my KS campaign I spent time looking over different rewards and was curious what types of rewards you guys thought best.

I know that in my future games I can create stretch goals that revolve more around creatures and enemies, and even playable characters but for my first game I didn't really have that option.

So for my first game I decided to do T-shirts, Collector Coins, and the inclusion of names on cards. After I had done this I am happy with the rewards, even though I know not everyone on this site would agree, but here are my reasons for what I included, and maybe you can get an idea for your own campaign, or even pitfalls to avoid.

T-shirts - I hate crappy t-shirts, and if it's not comfortable I won't wear it. So from a marketing perspective it made sense to have t-shirts made, but my hatred of cheap cotton t-shirts made me go all out on some ridiculously soft comfortable shirts. All in all I make a grand total profit off one shirt at $1. The payoff is that it's a shirt people will want to wear all the time because of the comfort (I can't stress enough how ridiculously comfortable the shirt is), so even though I make almost nothing I still gain the money towards my goal, plus free marketing, plus a shirt that I actually want to wear, and I'm a snob for comfy clothes.

Collector Coin - I designed a coin that is really cool, and is from the same company that made a Collector Coin from one of my favorite bands, so I already had a prototype of the coin, albeit a different design. I make a little profit off the coin, but I've limited them to 100. I know Collector Coins aren't everyone's cup of tea, so only a few really needed to be made.

Names on Cards - I actually read about another KS game that did this same reward, and they had a lot of success. The cost of this reward is quite high, but the benefit in this is that I have friends and relatives who want to support my efforts and this was a way to make a sizable portion of the money I need to get funded. This reward alone, at only 40 available, gives me 40% of my goal, and when something is limited the price can go up.

These are short explanations of what I was thinking, and after doing all this I found a game that I 'backed' called Campy Creatures which looks great, and they only had the game available. It made me question whether less is more, or did they not take advantage of making their goal easier to reach by including more rewards.

What do you guys think? Best rewards? No rewards? Purpose of rewards? Remember, even if it's not something you yourself would want as a reward it still can help you reach your funding goal which in the end is the purpose in the campaign to begin with. Thanks for reading.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Gamers don't want STUFF...

Back in the early days of Kickstarters, creators used to give add-on such as T-Shirts, Mugs, Buttons, etc. This practice STOPPED. Why? Because gamers realized that what they were really INTERESTED in were the games. So Kickstarting a game today with T-Shirts is passé. And some backers will notice this and not back your campaign.

Today it's all about THE GAME. People want something LESS expensive than retail and then further more, they want stretch goals that will ADD content to the game making the purchase a real GOOD deal. Things like better quality components, extra cards, extra minis, custom dice, etc. These all make good STRETCH goals, that will help push the KS further in terms of backers (and money).

Sure you can do "separate" ADD-ONS like custom dice which can be made available for purchase at an extra cost (or bundled with a premium version of your game). As long as it is game related content.

Since "Tradewars - Homeworld" has really nice artwork, we were thinking of adding "postcards" as an extra freebie. And although it's not part of the game, it allows people to enjoy and appreciate some of the artwork more fully since postcards are much bigger than a card. It's kinda a neither here nor there type of freebie... But it's meant to allow people to appreciated the artwork BETTER (with larger images).

But generally speaking nowadays, people (Gamers) are looking for GOOD deals and additions that are RELEVANT to the game. This is the general consensus from people who are PRO at Kickstarting (like Jamey Stegmaier).

So my opinion is based on their thoughts on KS-ing... And therefore I would suggest NO T-SHIRTS. Add stuff that BELONGS to the GAME.

Best of luck(?!) with your game!

No Echo Games
No Echo Games's picture
Joined: 03/14/2017
No Shirts

Thanks for the reply, and more than likely moving forward I'll not include shirts as a reward, but for my first game out this was an opportunity to raise extra cash from friends and family to get the game funded. My first game just didn't have the ability to have stretch goals like two other games I have in development, so for those campaigns I'll definitely focus on game content stretch goals.

I still think t-shirts aren't the worst idea, and for the average KS backer who just wants the game then that is there for them at the lowest pledge amount. Raising a few extra dollars to reach the goal though is helped by having a hundred friends buy the shirt.

Thanks for the advice, and game content goals will be my focus.

BHFuturist's picture
Joined: 11/01/2008
Some good links

Here is some great info on the topic:

Thanks to Gabe and Jamey


The Professor
The Professor's picture
Joined: 10/25/2014
Great advice

Both BHFuturist and Kris have provided excellent advice thus far. Definitely conduct a ton of research, but suffice it to say, Backers want the best possible game you can provide...period!


Glass shoe games
Glass shoe games's picture
Joined: 02/28/2017
I have zero interest in

I have zero interest in shirts and collectors coin. The names on cards or have a card designed after you is one I do like. If the game takes off I think it would be an awesome feature.
To me I want a quality game at a quality price. Give me a better well made game then stretch goals and stuff I don't really want.

polyobsessive's picture
Joined: 12/11/2015
Keep it focussed

I am actively put off by the non-game items like t-shirts and coins, particularly for a first-time creator. They give me the impression that you are just making your project more complicated, with unrelated things to keep on top of, thus increasing the chance that the rewards will come in late, or never.

Having an option for backers to get their names on cards is good, as it isn't making the production of the game any more complicated -- though it is adding a bit of an overhead to the preparation. For this, though, and especially if you end up letting backers get their likeness into the game, you need to consider having something that allows you to balance for diversity, etc.

By way of an example, I have a friend who ran a successful Kickstarter where he allowed backers to get their portraits into the game. This resulted in the game world apparently being disproportionately inhabited by slightly overweight white guys with beards, purely because of the backer demographic.

Also, watch out for what names people choose to have printed -- they may, shall we say, not be in-keeping with the flavour of your game.

The Odd Fox
The Odd Fox's picture
Joined: 01/19/2017
I couldn't agree more with

I couldn't agree more with what has already been said. It seems to me that stretch goals should be used to help the game be more than it already is (component improvements, box size, additional components etc). I've never been interested in the extra stuff that's not directly related to the game I'm supporting.

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