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Kickstarter

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MAD2121
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So I understand the premise of Kickstarter, that it is to fund a new board game. But why are all the board games currently on Kickstarter look like they are 100% completed with professional manufactured components/board and professional artwork? Are these people investing most of the start up cost for manufacture the game themselves? Isn't the idea to formulate a game idea and build a prototype from which you upload to kickstarter and bring your backers/supporters through the journey of bringing your game to life? Does anyone have thoughts about this.

ElKobold
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Whatever was the original

Whatever was the original idea behind kickstarter, you got the current situation right more or less.

The bar is raised rather high, for project willing to succeed. And in my honest opinion, it's good that it is the way it is.

People need some sort of guarantee that the project they are backing will deliver, will look good etc.

Very few people would give their money to a project which looks amateurish.

But the fact that something looks Professional, doesn't mean that it's 100% completed.

Unless we're talking about a big company like CMoN, the developer probably doesn't have enough cash to pay for the 1-2K boxes print run.

Funding that initial print-run by "pre-selling" a part of it to the backers is the main idea behind kickstarting a boardgame.

Most projects only have _some_ artwork ready at the time they launch.

Kickstarting a project is HARD and it will cost you money up-front and months and months of your life.

- You'll need to pay the artist(s)
- You'll need to pay the graphic designer
- You'll need to make prototypes
- You'll need to ship those prototypes to reviewers
- You'll need to pay for advertisement
- Ideally, you'll want to visit conventions

And, most importantly, you must be ready to accept the fact that you've lost all that money and effort in the event that your campaign doesn't go well.

Do not expect to earn money from the first boardgame you've made.

If you aren't ready for all the above - it might be a better idea to go through the publisher.

polyobsessive
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Pre-order

The way Kickstarter was first envisaged was pretty much as you describe: people pledge you money so that you can go ahead and undertake that creative project you wanted to do, and you'll send your backers signed photos or something as a thank you.

The boardgame world has adapted this and, for boardgames, it has become more of a pre-order system. You can try to fund your development process and you might even be successful, but you probably won't, as boardgame backers have come to expect a product in the not-too-distant future. You don't have to be completely ready to print, but the closer you are, the more likely your project is to succeed.

Fhizban
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exactly what @polyobsessive

exactly what @polyobsessive said. KS is nowadays often used by publishers or designers to promote/sellout their (more or less) finished games. like a pre-order system to sell the initial print-run in one go. that partially removes the risk of sitting on a ton of copies.

idealists, designers, one man armies, publishers, big fish, clubs, groups of friends, multinational corporations - all in one pond

i think thats the colorful world of KS today

let-off studios
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Accessibility

I've never started a project on Kickstarter, but I'd had a successful fundraiser using a different platform. My research on KS is limited, and I personally don't see myself on that platform in the near future. The following is what I've observed/learned.

You're pitching a sale of a physical product to customers on KS. It's likely someone won't want to buy it (and that's what their pledge is supposed to do for them) if it doesn't look like a professional-quality product.

The good news is that with the publish-on-demand platforms out there, it's much easier - and affordable - to develop a handful of prototype builds for a lower cost and use those to pitch your games.

If you want to pitch ideas that you want to develop, you may want to look into Patreon or GoFundMe, or even CrowdRise. These are alternative platforms (with a lot less market share and exposure) but haven't developed the expectations of the typical KS visitor.

If it's Kickstarter, it seems to me like people are expecting something awesome and tangible right away (or as soon as fulfillment is complete, and Chinese New Year is over). With other platforms, that expectation seems less prevalent, and people are more apt to support creative, enthusiastic individuals instead of the projects they complete and the products they ship out.

The KS-type expectation of "instant results for backers" is gradually creeping across to these other platforms, but there's still time to ask for something for potentially no obligation to follow-through on your commitment. I don't mention this to imply that you're going to flake-out on your prototype, but I do mean to say that this alternative audience seems a more gracious and forgiving type than you'd find in Kickstarter Land.

MAD2121
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I guess you're not really

I guess you're not really "kickstarting" anything since the game is already produced - lol. I appreciate all the comments!

polyobsessive
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Starting?

MAD2121 wrote:
I guess you're not really "kickstarting" anything since the game is already produced - lol. I appreciate all the comments!

It's probably more "kickfinishing" really, as you're needing the funding to do the production and shipping. :)

I Will Never Gr...
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As everyone else has said ..

Kickstarter is no longer about funding a dream when it comes to board games, it's about funding a project that is complete/nearly complete with high expectations on the part of backers. If those expectations are not met early (on launch day), they won't come back to see if you've got more for them later.

Also,

ElKobold wrote:

But the fact that something looks Professional, doesn't mean that it's 100% completed.

Unless we're talking about a big company like CMoN, the developer probably doesn't have enough cash to pay for the 1-2K boxes print run.

Funding that initial print-run by "pre-selling" a part of it to the backers is the main idea behind kickstarting a boardgame.

This mostly. Kickstarter provides the funds needed to finish artwork, manufacture and ship the games to backers and distributers and possibly recoup some of your upfront costs. AND, there is little to no profit involved. Profit is generally on sales of further units after the KS ends, if you have some kind of distribution set up for that.

Quote:
Most projects only have _some_ artwork ready at the time they launch.

In fact, most projects MUST have at least enough artwork completed to give potential backers an idea of what they're getting. At the very least a box cover, game board (if there is one) and some of the cards/tokens/tiles/whatever.

Quote:

Kickstarting a project is HARD and it will cost you money up-front and months and months of your life.

- You'll need to pay the artist(s)
- You'll need to pay the graphic designer
- You'll need to make prototypes
- You'll need to ship those prototypes to reviewers
- You'll need to pay for advertisement
- Ideally, you'll want to visit conventions

And, most importantly, you must be ready to accept the fact that you've lost all that money and effort in the event that your campaign doesn't go well.

Indeed. I've spent the past 12 months promoting and preparing for Kickstarter and I'll be launching in May. That's a LONG time and a lot of prep work.

To date, art has cost me $500, Prototypes have cost $300, sending those prototypes to reviewers has cost $60, conventions have cost $500.
That's $1360 upfront, for a game that I have done a LOT of the artwork and all of the graphic design myself.

So, why Kickstarter for a game that is nearly finished except a little bit of artwork?

Manufacturing costs. That's really it. My game is ready to release minus a few pieces of art that will cost about another $500, but I just don't have the $10,000+ required to manufacture and ship the games and then wait for them to sell.

MAD2121
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Great insight - thank you.

Great insight - thank you.

What does the prototype consist of? $300 seems low for many prototypes? How are you making these prototypes? or you out-source to game making companies for a prototype?

For me, I built it all out of wood, cardboard and high quality printer. I wouldn't be able to ship to reviewers.

I Will Never Gr...
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MAD2121 wrote:Great insight -

MAD2121 wrote:
Great insight - thank you.

What does the prototype consist of? $300 seems low for many prototypes? How are you making these prototypes? or you out-source to game making companies for a prototype?

For me, I built it all out of wood, cardboard and high quality printer. I wouldn't be able to ship to reviewers.

The prototypes I had made through TheGameCrafter.com at a cost of about $40 USD each ($60 CAD for me) and have had 7 of them made and shipped out so far.

My playtest prototypes were all printed on a home printer and pieces borrowed from other games.

questccg
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Strangely enough

You are correct is presuming that KS projects need to look as professional as possible IF you expect to meet your funding goal.

So much so that the products are often completed BEFORE the KS began.

Strangely enough, we too are going to do something similar. We will be using a crowdfunding platform to sell a PRE-Release version which has about 1/3 of the artwork (and has triples of deck-building cards). It will not at all affect the gameplay except for less "take-that" cards. There still will be 15 cards, just only 5 different type. There will be 60 cards, just 20 unique pieces of artwork.

To meet our goal, we need about 250 backers. Sounds reasonable. But IF we expect to be able to completely fund the REMAINDER of the artwork (2/3 or 40 additional pieces of artwork), we're going to need MORE backers. The good news is that we can split backers from the sales of the "Arts & Tactics" and anyone over the 250 backers.

Basically put we probably need in total about 750 backers. Which is a little bit high - but it is spread across two "products".

If we manage to do this - our KS campaign NEXT YEAR will be only a pre-ordering campaign in which we will add a few KS goodies and ALREADY have MOST, if not ALL, artwork paid for.

This will mean that the KS will go towards a custom sized box, vac-tray, a complete edition with a player's mat, etc. Like I said more GOODIES. But in truth our goal of funding our artwork will be split again into three (3) separate efforts. Also add to this one-off purchases which will help re-coup some of the money invest. I have invested already close to $4,000... And will be investing another $4,000 MORE if the game sells well in July 2016 (or PRE-Release version).

So it's baby steps - see how much we can re-coup, lower the investment cost, get as much artwork done prior to the KS and have that artwork paid for...

This is our strategy to try to reduce the RISK in investing $8,000+ up-front costs.

horusr
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Second Print Kickstarters

There is this guy, he made his game, started kickstarter, funded and he just made for backers. After kickstarter campaign and people wanted to buy game but they couldn't. So he started second print...

This made me really sad and confused.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2024261727/rise-of-cthulhu-second-p...

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