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Seeking "angel investors" via Kickstarter.

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InvisibleJon
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Joined: 07/27/2008

This posting is one-part shameless self-promotion and one-part, "Holy cow! I've found this fantastic resource and I'd like to share it with you." In fact, the shameless self-promotion acts as the "proof of function" that drives me to share. That said...

Jeremy and I are self-publishing a game called Inevitable. We've created a website ( http://www.inevitablethegame.com ) with a store and a "leaks" blog (updated weekly with sneak previews of the game). We plan to "go live" with the game this Summer. We're going to release it in three formats: A free Demo PDF, a $9.95 Complete PDF, and a limited run of 100 Deluxe sets for $49.95 each.

As many of you know, publishing a commercial-quality board game is not cheap. We were talking about how to fund the 100-set run and Jeremy mentioned Kickstarter ( http://www.kickstarter.com/ ). Kickstarter is a web site that acts as a middleman (of sorts) for creative types (like us) to connect with sponsors. Kickstarter empowers you to create a project, describe it, make a video that explains it, set a donation target, set rewards and recognition levels, and set an end date for sponsors to pledge. Once you've done this, go live with your project and you're good to go.

Jeremy and I collaborated on Google Wave to figure out and create all these things. Our Kickstarter page for Inevitable ( http://kck.st/cqqYv5 ) went live yesterday afternoon. Jeremy promptly cross promoted it on the Inevitable Facebook group and Twitter feed. In less than 2 hours, we'd received more than $650 in pledges. This morning, we're just a hair shy of $950. I'm amazed, startled, humbled, and pleased by this generous response; in less than a day, we're almost 33% of the way to our goal. This brings me to two things:

1) If you're looking for financial support for your independently produced game, consider using Kickstarter. We're not fully-funded yet (and you only get the pledges if you make your goal by the deadline you set - it's all or nothing), but I'm optimistic that we'll make our goal. Note that you can't start a Kickstarter project and expect that free money will just come pouring through your doorway. It's not "free money" – we're offering real things with real worth (like signed copies of the Deluxe set) to encourage sponsors to pledge – but it's a really helpful financial boost (and it's good for your morale too!). Go to Kickstarter and check out the array of projects there. You'll notice that there are lots of comics, novels, and movies there, but not many games and even fewer board games. I think it's a fantastic opportunity for us (board game inventors) to connect with sponsors, and people in general, in a unique, mutually beneficial way.

2) Check out the Inevitable Kickstarter page ( http://kck.st/cqqYv5 ) so you can see what we did. If it inspires you to do so, make a pledge. You'll join a select group of phenomenally awesome people and you'll get nifty Inevitable-related stuff as soon it's available. Also, I'll genuinely appreciate it. Like the end of the video pitch says, "Every little bit helps."

Thanks for reading. I think that the support we raise with Kickstarter will make a real difference in the success of Inevitable, and I hope it can do the same for some of you.

Willi B
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Never knew!

Thanks for this! I never knew such a thing existed. I don't know about self publishing personally, but I can see where this eliminates much of the risk... plus you didn't guarantee not taking this to a publisher afterword, so this could be just a great business card/intro for a publisher - especially if it sells out fast.

Nice find and good luck!

scifiantihero
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Joined: 07/08/2009
Holy . . .

. . . ****

That's pretty awesome. Part of me is wondering if this could be a new model for independent game developers. Part of me is imaging how long I could feed myself with the biggest pledge there. Most of me is really happy for you guys!

:)

InvisibleJon
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Breaking it down...

scifiantihero wrote:
. . . ****

That's pretty awesome. Part of me is wondering if this could be a new model for independent game developers. Part of me is imaging how long I could feed myself with the biggest pledge there. Most of me is really happy for you guys!

:)

It *is* pretty awesome. It's important to remember that the pledges aren't "free money". Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view) it's not going to turn into weeks and weeks of beer money (Mmmmm... Shiner...). It's all going to produce the game and the rewards for the sponsors.

For example, the top level pledge gets:

* A button set
* Links emailed to the Demo and Standard sets
* The Deluxe set shipped to him as soon as it's available
* An "I (heart) Dystopias" T-Shirt
* A piece of original Inevitable artwork (which requires quite a bit of back-and-forth communication)
* A FATE Card with your likeness on it (which requires even more back-and-forth communication)

Aside from the cost of the physical goods, there's the time spent to create and coordinate them, packing, and shipping. Also, Kickstarter takes 5%. My point is it's not all "free and clear".

It's an interesting experiment. I'm just glad it's turning out so well. An interesting follow up note: The Kickstarter folks have "promoted" or project to their "recommended by staff" page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/by/recommended – Nifty!

slam
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Cool. I've been eying

Cool. I've been eying Kickstarter for a little while now, but would need a project at the right stage in order to do it. Also, I'm not sure how one gets an invite to it. Great to see someone here figured it out.

InvisibleJon
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Joined: 07/27/2008
Update on our Kickstarter experiment...

Just a quick update:

Yesterday, accumulated donor pledges for Inevitable exceeded our $3,000 goal. We still have 80 days to go before the end of the pledge drive. There are some interesting ramifications to this.

First: We actually wanted to try for $5,000, but we didn't because we were afraid of not reaching that goal. Now I'm wondering if we can set that as a "stretch goal" and how to do that if we choose to.

Second: We can't get access to the pledged money until the end of the pledge drive (80 days from now). That means that we have to wait 'till May 15th. There are rules, boards, boxes, and all sorts of other stuff I'd like to print before then so we can be ready for our Summer launch date. The lesson learned? If you're using Kickstarter, make sure you balance your pledge goal and your end date with your project needs. Waiting 'till May 15th won't ruin the project; I suspect we'll be able to scrounge the cash we need to get started before then and repay our short-term sources with the Kickstarter funds we eventually receive.

Despite the minor grousing I'm doing above, it's been an awesome experience. The emotional and financial support that our Kickstarter project has provided has been invaluable to the Inevitable project. I didn't know that people would be so generous in their support of a little independent board game. I can't say that Kickstarter made Inevitable possible, since we were dedicated to doing it one way or another, but it did make Inevitable a certainty.

I suppose you could say that it made Inevitable... inevitable.

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