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PnP on Kickstarter: Objectives

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let-off studios
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I'm hung up on the idea of bringing my Coal N' Write to a broader audience. I want to hear your opinions and suggestions on what I should do to mount a KS campaign for it. Specific questions are below. Ideally I'd be able to put this out there in the world by February 2022 ("ideal" because that's my next birthday month... This is not a hard-and-fast deadline).

I plan on doing the following through the rest of the summer:

  • Review Stegmaier's old KS campaign entries and guidance
  • Review any other print n' play game Kickstarter campaigns, whether or not they were successfully-funded
  • Research paid rulebook editing
  • Research paid art development
  • Playtest, playtest, playtest!

Interestingly enough, I was inspired to pursue the Kickstarter route after a designer friend of mine let me know of a successful KS campaign for a print n' play game posted earlier this year - which also has a western theme. I've also seen individuals who have mounted and successfully fulfilled their KS campaigns by keeping the scope narrow, approachable, and affordable. I think that CnW is strong enough and good enough to do something similar, and that it will also be successful.

This would be a first-ever created campaign for me, though I've backed many in the past. This is intentionally small-scale. That doesn't mean it has to be slapped-together without any thought. So after some hard thinking I am still left with questions. Please have a look, and should you have any input on these questions, please share. I value the perspectives here at BGDF.

KICKSTARTER PLEDGE LEVELS
There will be a handful of pledge levels, representing various levels of support and interest. What is your opinion on this assortment of options?

  • $1 "support because you like it"
  • Bare-bones PDF version of the player sheet, rules, and cards assets.
  • A pre-fabricated version: includes PDFs digitally-delivered, plus hard copies of the cards and X# of player sheets.
  • "Deluxe Version" printed and shipped out by TGC. Includes PDFs as above, legit cards, player sheets, dice, and player tokens.

KICKSTARTER PRESENTATION
On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = not useful at all, 10 = essential), what needs to be done -before- the KS campaign goes live? Keep in mind this is an intentionally-small campaign currently administered by one person, driven just-short-of-mania to make this real.

  1. Final version of rulebook.
  2. Final full-colour art assets for "deluxe version"
  3. KS introduction video.
  4. How-to-play video (note that this is something I will do anyway, even if it doesn't go to KS)
  5. Professional (that is, paid-for) game development.

FINANCIALS
On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = absolutely not, 10 = Yes, this is obviously true), please rate how much you agree with the following statements:

  1. Hobbyists should never mount their own KS campaigns.
  2. Even the smallest KS campaign should have financial success as its primary goal.
  3. KS is not the place for print n' play games. They're too small.
  4. Your game, even though small-scale, needs miniatures to be successful on KS.
  5. Anything less than a $1,000 goal is a waste of KS bandwidth.

If you have any thoughts on the above, please share. Thanks for your time!

JewellGames
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Good luck to you!I'm really

Good luck to you!

I'm really intrigued by the $ for access to PnP files kickstarter model. You can basically cover your artist / editor costs if you have enough backers and without the hassle of logistics and shipping to them.

Hobbyists should never mount their own KS campaigns: 1
Even the smallest KS campaign should have financial success as its primary goal: 10
KS is not the place for print n' play games. They're too small: 1
Your game, even though small-scale, needs miniatures to be successful on KS: 1
Anything less than a $1,000 goal is a waste of KS bandwidth: 1

questccg
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There a couple of options you can EXPLORE!

So the FIRST option, since they are patrons of BGDF.com is "PNP Arcade". This resource allows you to publish "Print-aNd-Play" games for under $10 USD. They have a lifetime banner over here on BGDF.com and well that a really great resource for SELF-PUBLISHING PNPs.

Now the SECOND option is well not really a surprise, it's "The Game Crafter"! TGC offers the possibility to sell DIGITAL assets with no cost of producing the game only to offer the game to people who have purchased the game.

Those two (2) options are a GREAT way to get YOUR PNPs out-there in the market and see how popular your PNPs can be. Those are the two (2) most well known players in the market today... But I'm sure there COULD be others like "Drive-thru-RPG" and such.

Just thought I'd share with you these two (2) platforms for PNPs. Cheers!

Note #1: BOTH these options are NOT GOOD for KS-ing. Why? Because you could offer your Backers a COUPON that could be used on TGC to download the digital assets because in a BULK SALE, only the person submitting the content gets access to DIGITAL ASSETS (and in this case that would mean YOU!) So that's not user-friendly.

I'm not sure about PNP Arcade. Again KS doesn't allow for "COUPONS" and such ... So that means while these two (2) platforms are great for SELLING PNPs, they aren't very KS-Friendly if you know what I mean!

Sorry I did not mention this BEFORE... I was sharing the information about HOW to SELL PNPs to the market of patrons. Both platforms would work for SALES, neither are good for KS-ing!

questccg
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How to MASS SEND a PNP

What I am thinking is a HUGE e-mail list and a service like MAIL CHIMP with links to a PNP Page on "The Game Crafter" (TGC) including a COUPON for free download. While this could WORK ... I'm not sure about KS policies regarding DIGITAL "content". Coupons and your own currency are not allowed on KS.

So maybe something IN-BETWEEN: Some kind of DIGITAL Download for ALL and is 100% Free (like the Rulebook in PDF format). You can make that asset available on Board Game Geek (BGG) and/or your own website. So in the MAIL CHIMP mass e-mail, you would provide a LINK to the rulebook which is downloadable FREE... And then provide a COUPON to download the PNP content for free (using the coupon).

That's kinda the BEST scenario that I have found. And while it's not 100% in compliance with KS normal practices... It doesn't violate their policy because the COUPON is made available ABOVE and BEYOND the FREE content that you are providing!

Anyhow you can see that I've been looking into this matter more seriously. Please let me know what direction you choose to take. Cheers!

let-off studios
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Thanks

I appreciate your input so far, folks. :)

Should anyone have more insights on my original questions, I'm looking forward to hearing your responses. Thanks!

terzamossa
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Hi Let Off, here my opinion,

Hi Let Off, here my opinion, I'll keep it short but I really hate rating systems like this :)
KICKSTARTER PRESENTATION

Final version of rulebook.
-nothing is ever final until manufactured, lots of KS have very drafty rulebooks, (but they compensate with other appealing things). Nonetheless good reviews of your game can get you a long way and reviewers surely will like a well written rulebook.

Final full-colour art assets for "deluxe version"
-Get just a few very good illustrations and then have the KS pay for the rest of the art, if your game is PnP you're not really paying for manufacturing, are you? Isn't the money for the art?
KS introduction video.
Definitely important, doesn't need to be expensive though.
-How-to-play video
Done by you not much, done by a youtuber with a large audience massively impactful. (Done by you will still help you for playtesting= development)

Professional (that is, paid-for) game development.
100% helpful to make a good game, probably not essential to have a successful KS, as unfortunately that is more based on how well you present the product than on what the product really is.

FINANCIALS

Hobbyists should never mount their own KS campaigns.
I guess most KS entrepreneurs were hobbyists at some points? I just think it may take longer than you initially think (as it is indeed taking us longer!)

Even the smallest KS campaign should have financial success as its primary goal.
I think it should have making a good product as main goal, but financial success can definitely be a mean to achieve this.

KS is not the place for print n' play games. They're too small.
I think you need to specify very clearly where the money is going. In a game with components it is obvious it goes in manufacturing, just showcase what cool art the game could feature and what amazing immersion your backers will help you achieve.

Your game, even though small-scale, needs miniatures to be successful on KS.
Minis help but plenty of games without minis were very successful.

Anything less than a $1,000 goal is a waste of KS bandwidth.
Agree on that actually, sorry :) If you are using KS to pay art and graphic design 1000 is definitely not enough even if the game is small. If you are using it to pay the physical copies it's definitely not enough to pay for enough copies to be able to sell them at an acceptable price while getting any profit from it. I may be wrong according to how small the game is, but I would be really surprise if you can do all that with 1000.

Hope any of this helps, and by the way I am no expert, we are launching in October :) in the forum there are way more experienced people.

Best of luck with it, I am sure it will go great if you really go for it!
Antonio

questccg
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Just wanted to add an important comment...

If you're planning on offering a DIGITAL version of your game with NO SHIPPING... That is what I would be focused on irrespective of the financial amount of Funding required (minimum Funding Goal).

I'm no newbie to Kickstarter and even IF I have never ran MY OWN KS, I know all the advice that you need to be aware of. And I too am working on getting my OWN KS (solo) going too...

It's got to do with you figuring out how to MAXIMIZE your "objective" and therefore to minimize "complexity". If you are putting out a DIGITAL version as your PRIMARY reward, I see NO reason to pump out a "DELUXE" version at this time.

I would KISS it... No SHIPPING is a GREAT BONUS. If this is your FIRST KS and you don't need to worry about maintaining inventory then don't go with a PHYSICAL version. I'm sure you could use "The Game Crafter" (TGC) to do a "physical version" perhaps (IDK what your plans are) but from what I know of TGC, there isn't any components that FIT your game (from what I have seen).

This is purely based on what I have seen from your PNP. Sure you've got cards (ok), but as far as player mats... I see two (2) problems: 1> Size of the player mat and 2> Cost of having something physical that is not for example "Dry-Erase Compatible".

Let's just discuss BOTH of those.

1> Size of the player mat.

You are aware that TGC has mats but the larger the mat, the higher the shipping and your Backers may not be willing to invest so much considering the high price of your components.

The other issue is does TGC have a FORMAT that works for you??? I think your format was LETTER and I don't know of any LETTER format mats. I double checked and there are NO letter mats.

So that means your PNP and Deluxe versions will need special components and be DIFFERENT from each other.

In my opinion, do you really want to put out two (2) different products???

2> Cost of a Physical component that is NOT "Dry-Erase" compatible.

The second point is more important. Why? Because if it's a "deluxe" product... There should be some "re-usability" that makes it BETTER than a simple PNP product.

Obviously if you use TGC services... in a Bulk Sale for $0.25 USD you can ship and include a CUSTOM component per pick. This is ONLY allowed for Bulk Sales and must be paid in advance (before fulfillment of the bulk sale)... So you COULD get the cards made by TGC and include Staples laminated plastic sheets for your game (one per "deluxe" edition).

It would be POSSIBLE. Takes some logistics but it COULD work.


Now the point I am trying to MAKE is ... How complex do you want this exercise to be??? Do you want to keep it simple and go PURE DIGITAL and no need to worry about INVENTORY, get some Backers, have your first KS be done and be proud that your game is OUT-THERE in the player's hands...

OR...

Do you want to TRY to overcomplicate things and make it a challenge to pump out a "Deluxe" version.

Again this is YOUR KS. You can figure out what works best. Personally, I would NOT include a "Deluxe" version or for that matter ANY "Physical" version at this time... Because TO ME it seems like the extra EFFORT is NOT worth the extra funding.

You said you wanted something simple and ... I agree. Keep it as simple as possible for your first campaign. Get some Backers, reach a modest Funding Goal and FEEL GOOD that you DID IT!

But that's my perspective and I am NOT trying to "railroad" you my thought process. I'm just voicing my concerns and sharing ONE PERSON'S perspective. And to me, that means forget any "physical" and go with a full DIGITAL reward and see how many people like your game.


I really LIKE TGC... But TBH they don't have the type of Game Mat that you need. Plus nothing is "Dry-Erase" making replayability lower... Lamination would be a great factor... But they don't offer it ATM. So from what I am seeing, they don't have the goods YOU NEED for your "Deluxe" version to be WORTHWHILE the extra few bucks...

It's not only about MONEY, it's more about VALUE. A LAMINATED player mat would be great especially in a format that matches your game (Letter size).

Again just one designer's perspective. Take from this response whatever you like... And realize that I've thought about it too!

Cheers and put your best foot forwards... And I wish you a lot of success!

questccg
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I wanted to add something

More about this "Deluxe Version"...

If you keep the Game Mat PNP (Meaning you print out a sheet for the board each time you PLAY) and make PROFESSIONAL looking deck of cards with 18 cards as a hookbox or booster pack and maybe a nice TGC RULEBOOK (3.5" x 5.5") (Physical)...

Maybe that COULD be your "Deluxe" version.

Lowers the barrier to CUT your own cards and a nice rulebook book could be of value to the gamers.

But I would SERIOUSLY keep the "Player Mat" (the mine, mules and reserves) a PNP component due to the "re-useable" nature of it. Like I said with TGC you can't Laminate it... And so that component could be PNP only!

But CARDS and RULEBOOK could be physical and you could maybe make some sales with this too...! Cards being professionally made will lower the barrier because THIS WAY, YOU DON'T need to CUT anything.

Just print-out on letter-sized sheet and use the professionally made CARDS and RULEBOOK to play.

This KIND of "Deluxe" version could work... Maybe.

Again I don't know how many people will buy... But if you promote the ease of use of the PNP (print one page) and use the provided Deck of Cards and Rulebook... Could be a way to simplify the PNP process...

And that TO ME means REAL VALUE. Enough said.

let-off studios
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Thank You

I have time to pop in briefly and say a HUGE THANK YOU for these insights, all.

Questccg, I also wanted to particularly express gratitude for your detailed analysis of what can be done with TGC.

Anyone else with thoughts, guidance, or opinions to share, please do! :)

I wish I had more time for detailed responses to each, but right now I don't. Those will come at a later time... Vacation starts in two days. :)

let-off studios
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Deluxe Version

questccg wrote:
Just print-out on letter-sized sheet and use the professionally made CARDS and RULEBOOK to play.

This KIND of "Deluxe" version could work... Maybe.

Again I don't know how many people will buy... But if you promote the ease of use of the PNP (print one page) and use the provided Deck of Cards and Rulebook... Could be a way to simplify the PNP process...

With the new hook boxes and folios that TGC has developed, I think this is the most realistic approach for the "deluxe" version I had in mind.

As for the number of customers I'd need to fulfill for this kind of game... While personally I adore the game, small-scale is what I want and I anticipate a modest return at best. At the same time I think a packaged deck of cards and folio of the rules would be very worthwhile for someone who wants to play the game, and would elevate the production values - and the value in the deluxe version - to a respectable standard.

terzamossa
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Hello Let-off, I saw this and

Hello Let-off,
I saw this and I thought of you :)
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/themoongrel/dungeons-of-draggmar-pr...

They are using KS to get attention to their project and make sure than when (I guess also "if") they get to physical production they already have a game playtested by many users and well-known enough to be successful.

Maybe you can find something useful in their KS?

Best,
Antonio

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