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Original game art as a Kickstarter incentive

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chris_mancini's picture
Joined: 05/01/2015

I have an interesting proposition for a Kickstarter I'm putting together. It is to offer the game plus an original piece of hand-drawn game art. The game is comprised of black and white illustrations, very cartoony and striking. They are the anchor of the game, as each card is kind of like a single-panel comic strip.

Only one of each exist as they are hand-drawn and inked, so the one you receive will never be duplicated (other than in the game itself).

My question for the community is...what should I expect backers to pay for one of these original illustrations? I was thinking of putting them at $250, with 50 being available. The artist however is not well known, however talented he happens to be (though he is a former animator and illustrated the official Bugs Bunny postage stamp!)

It seems like a great way to help ensure reaching the goal, and I think it's a powerful thing to offer as most game art is done entirely on computer and these are original inked illustrations.

Assuming you were into the game's theme and art style, what would you guys pay for such a pledge level?

I've mentioned the game on these boards in the past; it's working title is Death By Dice and can be found through a search here on BGDF. I placed the pencil illustrations in a Dropbox folder to get feedback, so you can get a good feel for the game there, if you care to do a bit of exploring.


jonathanflike's picture
Joined: 03/09/2016
I've seen this done before ...

I've actually followed a few Kickstarters that did this and they ultimately failed because the bonus reward tiers like signed posters and playmats etc. became necessities for the Kickstarter to succeed. I would really try to avoid tacking bonuses on the tail end as an attempt to reach your funding goal. Instead, other Kickstarters have these as extras people can buy outside of the initial funding requirements as add-ons. I would look at your pricing and funding goals in such a way that the game can fund itself without any sort of bonus or add-on. Then if it looks like you got the price point necessary to reach that goal, add the fun stuff. At the end of the day people are supporting the game, and the goodies are just that -- not necessities. That being said, I really like the art direction of the cards from what I saw on Dropbox, and I'm certain people would want one of the pictures, the price for those is something you'll have to sit with, I'm not sure what that magic number is.

chris_mancini's picture
Joined: 05/01/2015
Thanks Jonathan...I

Thanks Jonathan...I understand how a campaign cannot count on their bonus tiers to reach a funding goal, but I do think that there's a big difference between offering a manufactured item like a playmat or poster and offering a piece of original game art.

Of course none of that matters unless the game is perceived by potential backers as being fun, mechanically solid with great repeat play value, and worth the money. A game campaign will succeed or fail by these impressions, not by the tchotchkes that come with it.

I've begun building the campaign page just to feel out the flow of it all, and I've spoken with Panda about KS exclusive dice and other enticing ways to pull in backers into buying the core game and make it feel special. Pricing and quality are coming in where I'd expected from Panda, so I'm striving for a $20 price for just the game, $30 for the game plus a small expansion deck.

The idea of selling off game art felt unique; again as most game art is all done on computer as opposed to by hand...and that should certainly be appealing to that small percentage who really love the game. It's not crucial to KS success, but it's fantastic to have a high-$$$ pledge tier that offers something special.

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