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Kickstarter goal

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 06/07/2016

So, my project Defenders of Wessex is slated for a kickstarter launch, which due to some issues with the art is probably going to be late winter or early spring.

The question I have been wrestling with is, What do I set the initial funding goal at?

Obviously the answer ought to be: whatever the cost of publication is.

Well, here is the publication plan:

Initial launch will be via The Game Crafter, with an $80 pledge netting a copy of the game (there will be lower pledge levels as with most kickstarter campaigns). My initial plan was to set the funding goal really low, since the game that comes off of TGC will be fully playable.

The original plan calls for about $2000 to be the initial funding amount, an ld to use the lower end of materials in publication. The use stretch goals to enhance materials (adding things like linen finish cards, for example).

When we hit 400 copies sold, TGC closes our contract with them and allows us to find a new publisher. The new publisher (which I have already talked to in order to obtain a quote) has a 500 unit minimum, but printing costs are about 1/3 of TGC, enabling us to do some really awesome things like going from halmas to miniatures of the player characters. But then it occured to me that I could just start with a big goal.

If I skipped the TGC step and went right to the second publisher, I could offer the higher quality, more complete game for less. For example, a $60 pledge could get the whole game complete with minis and everything, but the funding goal would be harder to reach - in the area of $30000.

So which route do you think is better? Starting small and improving with growth, or starting awesome from the beginning?

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
From what I have seen...

It's much more "difficult" to KS successfully these days. As such you should be aware that it might be hard to get 100 backers for your game. What you need to do is find a "publisher" who is willing to KS the game with you. Somebody who has KS-ed before, with a list of games they can provide you with "proof" they have done it before.

My advice is don't go it alone - the odds are not in your favor (anymore).

Funding goals should be between $5,000 - $15,000... Anything higher and the backers will be turned off. I've seen several $25,000 - $30,000 campaign never get any traction because backers did not feel like they would make it. But this is not always true (there are exceptions).

Your first priority is putting out a SOLID "core" game. Then you can have stretch goals for whatever you want to add. Things like "minis", bonus cards, playmats, better cardstock, custom dice, chipboard mats, varnish or linen finish, etc. Make that stretch goals to increase the "fan-base" of your game.

As per your own figures, IMHO you should have a Goal of "$8,000" (100 x $80). This is a bit difficult - but it shows you how challenging it is these days to KS.

I know to some people, they are going to say "100 backers - that's easy!"... Well that's not true anymore. It depends on the campaign... If on DAY #1 you can get 50 backers, the odds are you'll fund your game - and then work towards stretch goals.

The other reason for choosing a goal of "100" backers is because this is the BEST possible price TGC will give you. So if the price is "$80.00", that means you can get about a good discount off at 100 units sold, making your price point more attractive say "$60.00" (with TGC). $60 x 100 = "$6,000" Goal...

Ergo your goal (as per your own figures) should be about "$6,000". I know it's HARD to get more "perks" with TGC. But you have an interesting option:

$50: The "Core" Game only.
$60: The "Core" Game + all Stretch Goals.

And usually with TGC stretch goals are "extra" cards... A bunch of levels with all kinds of cool additions.

With TGC it's possible to setup different products, and produce as many as required. There is no MOQ (Minimum).

Just some ideas...

The Professor
The Professor's picture
Joined: 10/25/2014
Fairly straightforward formula...


You'll need to work with the numbers at your disposal to determine a solid Funding Goal. While it's impossible to accurately gauge, with any great precision, how many copies you'll need, most publishers/production companies set minimums. Determine a minimum at which you're most comfortable, and determine a realistic goal from that point.

Jamey Stegmaier has a number of great "behind the curtain" posts which he's shared to help "would be" designers avoid the traps and pitfalls inherent in the industry.


X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Not really familiar with KS psychology

It sounds like that you already can create a neat list of goals.

How about you post the list of stretch goals here first?
ALL goals.
Also what the funders will receive.

So, also the steps in between, eg. when you can add miniatures etc.

I think, you should show both steps. The expensive one that starts at a lower funding of $2,000/$8,000. And the cheaper version that starts around $30,000.

radioactivemouse's picture
Joined: 07/08/2013
mcobb83 wrote: Obviously the

mcobb83 wrote:

Obviously the answer ought to be: whatever the cost of publication is.

That's not exactly true. While you want to budget out what you need, you don't want to be exact. Chances are (and unfortunately, they do happen) something will happen and you'll need extra money to fix holes. A great example would be shipping costs for the initial proof or shipping costs for a convention you want to pre-sale your product at. Maybe the product is missing an item and you have to emergency ship a replacement. It happens.

Determine your total cost, then increase it slightly (round up or add an X amount). However, don't go too far over as then it looks like you're culling your audience for their money. Call it "buffer" money. You're going to need it.

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