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1. How to best Pre campaign Market a game | 2. Publishers or kickstarter?

4 replies [Last post]
lockey25's picture
Joined: 06/04/2016

Hey guys,

We have already posted some miniatures from our boardgame Sector4 and have had some encouraging comments. What we are really struggling with is to figure out where to generate some traction for us heading towards our Kickstarter campaign.

Is this the best platform to win some potential backers for our game? Or there are some other secrets to it.

Is it better to go with publishers or to go on our own. Does anyone here have experience working with publishers?

Would appreciate some pointers

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Different strokes for different folks

The goal of social media is to try to build awareness about your "game" prior to a "launch". That being said there are problems with some of today's social media platforms (but I won't get into those).

If you want to maintain creative control, decide what upgrades to provide for your game and ultimately control the brand you have designed, self-publishing is the best route.

However if you are a new, inexperienced, or not qualified to handle the very real details involved in crowdfunding (and there are many), it would be best to try to negotiate some kind of deal for your game idea.

Which means that you've got to find a way to hook the publisher in believing your game is better than the other 1,000 submissions he may have gotten. It's a different challenge and also is difficult. Neither are easy.

It seems like the follow creed applies in either case:

-You will probably not make much money on your game.
-Actually you will probably lose money on your game.

But that doesn't imply that some people have bought and will continue to play your game - if you are in it for the long haul. Perhaps better brand recognition will be possible if you are in the "game" for several years AFTER having self-published or having had published a game.

If you want to know HOW to get more awareness about your game?

That is a difficult question... My understanding so far - is having a lot of money. You can "buy" an audience for your game. What does this mean? It means giving away copies of your product to people. See if they like it and see if you can build awareness through word of mouth and actual playing of your game.

So far everyone I have asked "Do you want a free copy of our game?" and the response so far has been "Sure!" This seems like a bit of a draconian tactic - but at least people will play your game ONCE. If they like it maybe they might play it with a friend. And if both they and their friend like it, maybe they might want to "buy" into your game and share it with their other friends.

In my specific case, the game sets are sold individually and are 1 Player Game sets. So if I send 1 or 2 copies, maybe I can recoup my costs if somebody decides to buy 1 or 2 MORE sets for a 3 to 4 player game experience.

I personally have tried to build a community on Facebook - and only have about 200+ supporters. Very mediocre at best. I have been working on it since December 2015, so about 6 months of effort. My results and conclusion are Facebook is not the ideal platform to build a community around your "game" (for many different reasons).

With so many games being created and crowdfunded, it's a question of building an audience for your game. Hopefully people who LIKE your game and are willing to spend a few hard earned dollars to buy it.

Then again if you game has been around for years without any new development - well then it's just OLD. So you've got to keep it fresh and hope that "over a series of years" do you develop a game which is interesting to play and offers something for people to explore in the long run.

If you are trying to make millions of dollars on a game - based purely on social media - I strongly doubt you will meet that goal. It's much harder than it seems and you need to have strong commitment in knowing how long you plan to have "skin in the game"...

Soulfinger's picture
Joined: 01/06/2015
lockey25 wrote:Is it better

lockey25 wrote:
Is it better to go with publishers or to go on our own. Does anyone here have experience working with publishers?

Do you want to run all aspects of a business, including design, playtesting, revision, outsourcing manufacturing, coordinating freelance contributions, packaging, shipping and receiving, order fulfillment, billing, accounting, customer service, return orders, marketing, web design, IT, etc. for the next couple years with little prospect of breaking even, much less being profitable? If you can say "yes" to all of that then possibly Kickstarter may be a good option for you. If you already have experience doing most of that stuff then Kickstarter is looking like an even stronger option. Talent may help.

The benefit of a publisher, on the other hand, is that they give you money and handle the rest. The even greater benefit is that if a publisher rejects you, it is really is quite possible that your project wasn't commercially viable, in which case they just saved you a couple years of performing the aforementioned tasks at a substantial loss.

Then again, your question is a strange one to pose four months from your proposed launch date, seeing as how "The game is poised to hit Kickstarter campaign 3rd quarter 2016."

The Professor
The Professor's picture
Joined: 10/25/2014
Turn to Experts


While I've experienced success with my KS projects, along with a recent game on KS, I would certainly point you to the blogs and advice of James Mathe and Jamey Stegmaier. Both are quite articulate regarding the things that have gone well and those that have spectacularly failed when running a KS. Specifically, Jamey, in his book provides excellent information on the use of Social Media.

As a Developer, I work with both independents (Kristopher aka QuestCCG who is out here on BGDF and the Stricklands who created their game under their own company, Outer Limit Games) and publishers, including Decision Games and Compass Games. If you want to have greater control, and of course all of the attached responsibility, I would urge you to consider forming a company (even an LLC) and begin to work through the issues. If you want less control, you may want to consider the publisher route.

As to not make the thread particularly lengthy, send me a message and I can discuss the particulars with you.


lockey25's picture
Joined: 06/04/2016

Soulfinger and Professor, thankyou for your thoughts. Joe, I will be in touch with you for more information, thanks for the generous offer

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