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P-System: another way to raise funds

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questccg
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I have been thinking about how to "raise funds" and awareness about BOARD GAMES ONLY. Things like Facebook (FB) are HORRIBLE for communicating the essential to an eager crowd of people.

Take FB, you want to have as many "likes" as possible, but you can't directly communicate to these people. So you need to spend time going in the opposite direction to convince people that have "liked" your game into becoming "Friends" with you.

Now FB COMPLAINS about this all the time and say: "Are you sure you know this person IRL?" And the answer is NO... I just want to BUILD a COMMUNITY around my game.

So far I have 57 people. Yup... That's it. There are over 320 MILLION people in the USA and I have 57 people that are part of the game's community. That's not even 1%, it's more like 0%...

Back to the original idea: a P-System.

Basically you would say my game costs $X and I need Y units sold in order to be able to produce the game. So P500 would be a person who needs to sell 500 units in order to be able to produce his game. It's a SIMPLE funding goal... And everyone involved knows exactly the nature of the goal that is trying to be achieved by the designer.

Could this be a SIMPLER way of SELLING Board Games?

What are your thoughts? Do you believe that a P-System would work??? Do you think Kickstarter is too "similar" (Funding goal + rewards)? Or would a UNIT-Based system be more optimal.

Please feel free to comment/give feedback/share your thoughts!

Gabe
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I started thinking about

I started thinking about something similar after watching Rahdo's review of Centerville.

One specific difference in the P500 system and Kickstarter is that P500 isn't a preorder system. Or at least the way GMT uses it, it's not. Basically, it's just a way for them to test demand. If 500 people raise their hands to say, "I'd buy that game," they make the game. Then, they send emails to those 500+ people when the game comes out.

And that leads me to my next point. Email addresses. Everything I read about online business and building a following says you need a website and you need to collect as many email addresses as possible of people interested in what you have to offer.

Facebook's algorithms make it impossible for even all the people who "like" your page to see your content. The only way to get to your fans directly is to send them an email.

I think the P500 system is a viable one, but it would take a decent size following to make it truly work. I also think it's only for companies that have a lot of games they could potentially publish. It's basically a system that tells them which games to focus on next.

If a company only has one or a handful of games, I think Kickstarter makes more sense.

radioactivemouse
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GMT

I'm pretty sure GMT has a similar thing going. And as far as I know, they've been doing it a long time.

HPS74
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You should at least call it

You should at least call it something other than P500, something original and not the same as GMT. Scale down the number requirement too. 500 units would be great, but you'd need 10,000+ people on your list to drag in 5% individual backers/customers

Why not do/try pre-orders. Put it on your site at a discounted price (20%-30%) and the future retail price next to it so folks can clearly see what they are saving. It is a chicken and egg scenario though for your first time as followers/customers need to know you can deliver.

I do a pre-order option for all new Pocket Sports games during the time (generally 2 months) games are actually in the process of being made and discount 30%. Call it an early bird special, pre order offer, mates rates...whatever you wish. Use all the avenues mentioned, FB, emails, BGDF :)

The difference with a P-system compared to my own approach is there's no 'wait and see if it funds or reaches 500 hands up'. The games ARE being made whether there are no pre-orders or 100.

I think once people know that it's a sure thing, they have faith the games will be delivered and are willing to jump onboard again the next time a pre-order option comes up.

questccg
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My problem is FB

I can't *SERIOUSLY* build a COMMUNITY on Facebook (FB). Because communication is NOT guaranteed. Just because I SAY my game is NOW available to BUY - doesn't guarantee that my X "Friends" will GET the MESSAGE and decide now to buy the game.

Like everyone is saying, it's probably BEST via E-MAIL... Getting a LONG list of people to mail.

What about this SERVICE: http://www.infousa.com/Lists

or this service: http://www.targetedemailads.com

I'm just trying to figure out HOW to TARGET more customers DIRECTLY. Some form of E-MAIL delivery of ads. Maybe I spend a little - but maybe it's worth it...

Not sure.

HPS74
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I don't believe there is an

I don't believe there is an answer to your question.

Perhaps it may work better when the game is up on TGC and you can email a link to the finished product. At the moment, what are you offering the people you want to email?

Talk to the guy you're working with on TWHW and ask him to send out on his database?

Make screencast introducing the game or artwork. Let the people know about the creator and vision. All and any approach....none is right or wrong, just gotta give them all a try :)

X3M
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I thought about this problem.

I thought about this problem. And thought, FB is good for this.
This because you see messages posted by other users, who visit the same page.

However, visitors need to actively visit your page to see your information. Others only might know if they want to know. But can't smell what is happening. You see replies of others, so perhaps you could try by replying yourself to yourself. Which is not really a way to go.

So FB is a no go eventually.

***

Have you considered making a website instead?
With all the information that your possible buyers need.

And simply ask people to give you, their email. If they want to keep notified.
I do however, recommend, having a new email adress for this.

ElKobold
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I think the most viable way

I think the most viable way is to start small and build up.

Make one game. If it's good, people will be more likely to buy your next one.

Rince, repeat.

I doubt that there's a way to build a community only by advertizement, at least not without huge marketing budget.

questccg
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Making a HIT!

ElKobold wrote:
Make one game. If it's good, people will be more likely to buy your next one.

Rince, repeat.

That's EXACTLY what I DON'T want to do...

I'm not really interested in PUBLISHING a bunch of games. Right now, I have one which is really GOOD. I would like for it to be a success (in terms of sales and getting out to players hands).

I don't care about "the next one". My game is EXPANDABLE enough that I can probably ONLY focus on it during the next years. I already have 3 expansion ideas - and the game was DESIGNED with expansion in mind. It's not an after-thought, quite contrary.

So I don't want to have to move on to "Game #2" when I'm still NOT finished with "Game #1"... so to speak.

In three (3) months, we will see how many people BUY the PRE-Release. But I will be conducting a game survey in MAY 2016, just to get feedback about who is part of my existing community. JUNE 2016, I will communicate with all the people who did NOT take part of the survey and try to convince them to take it...

Once the SALE is done, I will then conduct another SURVEY - this one over 4 months. And I will communicate with 200+ people to see exactly what the larger community looks like. All that for the DECEMBER 2016 SALE of both the "Art Bundle" and the "Standard Edition".

Therefore my goal is to FOCUS on ONE (1) game... Not jump from one to another. Sure I may like to think about other games - but in practice I'm more inclined to try to make "Tradewars - Homeworld" a HIT.

Gabe
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Think about what Greater Than

Think about what Greater Than Games did with Sentinels of the Multiverse. They launched their game as a completely brand new and unknown company. No fanfare. No community.

But they had a really awesome game, and as more people played it and it got more reviews, the game spread.

They kept launching expansions with new heroes, villains, and etc. and they built up a pretty big following.

And just a few weeks ago, they wrapped up a million+ dollar Kickstarter.

But it starts with a great game that you go all in with. Then, hopefully, a community and following will come.

ElKobold
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@Qestccg

Another game doesn't mean "new" game. Expansion is also technically "another game".

Point is that there's a gap between your first release, where the fact that the game is good is known only to you, and the second release, by which time, hopefully, people already had a taste of your game and know you can be trusted.

That being said, I would probably alter your pitch a bit. With all those "pre-releases" "post-releases" reveals and whatnot, you create an image that you have a game chopped in pieces, and only include part of it in the campaign.

Somehow, I don't think it's what you want your potential backers to feel.

The fact that you have tonns of ideas is great. But don't reveal your cards early. It's much better to announce expansions mid-campaign. Creates an impression that you're working on the project to improve it further, rather than that there was some content which existed, but was cut from the game.

Note: what I've written above is not how the things are. It's how they might appear. Just my two cents.

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