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Scrambo-building an audience

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chris_mancini
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Hey all,

As I inch closer to jumping into the maelstrom called Kickstarter, I've created a Facebook page dedicated to my first self-published game:

https://www.facebook.com/scrambogame/

We all have several game designs under our belts, and choosing the right one to go DIY with is a challenge unto itself. I chose Scrambo for these reasons:

1. It's super-simple to learn. Many could even figure out the game or a close version of it just by looking at the dice, and the ease makes it open to kids as well as adults.

2. The strategy comes by using the players' knowledge in certain categories, but the speed of the game can trip up the thought process and make even the simplest answers feel challenging. There's been a lot of "DUH!" moments as people try and think of answers which others think should be obvious, and players who aren't directly involved that round get to shout their answers after the round has ended.

3. It scales well. Testing has been done with as few as 2 players and as many as 8, and it was just as fun and engaging. Even if you're not actively playing the categories in a round, players can't help but play in their heads, keeping everyone engaged. You can also play in teams of 2 or 3 when in larger groups.

4. It's very portable, being only 11 dice. This means it can be played anywhere; at school, on an airplane, at the bar...yes, it makes for a great drinking game, too!

5. Simply put, it strikes me as a game with the widest possible target audience, and I felt that while it may not be my most "gamerly" game, and not the one I may have poured the most personal time and love-for-theme into, it's truly a lot of fun and could be my best chance at success and open the door to opportunities for those bigger, more involved games.

I'll be posting all sorts of progress photos and updates on the FB page, so I hope some of you will "Like" it and join me on the journey of my first self-published game!

chris_mancini
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I've been laying out the

I've been laying out the Kickstarter page, and plan on keeping it super-simple:

$15: early-bird game
$20: standard game
$30: Kickstarter-exclusive "chrome edition" game with special metallic-effect box and dice.

I'll be posting it here for opinions once it's more or less complete, but as this game isn't one that really falls into the traditional board game Kickstarter system of component-improving or expanding stretch goals (I'm working with Panda to deliver the best quality game we can make from the get-go), I'm hoping that a campaign as simple and straight-forward as what I have planned will be appreciated just as much.

I understand the issue of not offering stretch goals in motivating backers to push the pledge level higher and higher, but I also don't want to over-complicate my first campaign (for the backers or myself in fulfillment), or detract from the simplicity that is the game with a bunch of extra "stuff."

I Will Never Gr...
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Regarding Early birds..

Be very wary of the public opinion regarding Early Bird pricing.

More and more I am seeing it viewed as a huge turn off when people who weren't aware of a game or are too late to get in on the early bird miss out on the price. If you're talking a 25% discount ($15 vs $20) that's a HUGE hit (if only psychologically) to those who missed out and will turn plenty of people away thinking you're just bilking them for an extra $5.

At the $20 price level, if I were going to have an earlybird price I would set the max number high (perhaps even high enough to hit the required funding level) and the earlybird price at $18.

Will shipping be included? Make sure you make it clear if this is the case or not. Mention it on the page, mention it in the reward tiers.

Squinshee
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I'd advise against an

I'd advise against an early-bird option. Here's an excerpt from James Mathe's blog on this topic, and a link to the wider context. It's a great read if you're setting up a Kickstarter:

"Daniel Zayas from The Meeple Mechanic pointed out these two charts that show a significant increase in failure rates of campaigns that include Early Bird rewards (discounts for pledging the first few days). Since the successful funding rate stated about the same, EB rewards don’t seem to help a campaign, yet they do seem to increase the number of failures/cancels overall (though only slightly 34.8% vs 35.2%). I think the data clearly shows that Early Birds do not help your chances of success. You fund with or without them at about the same rates. Since they are hated by many and cost you money, they should not be used."

http://www.jamesmathe.com/successorfailure/

Just my $0.02

I Will Never Gr...
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BTW, I love the look of the

BTW, I love the look of the game having just checked out the FB page. Best of luck, I really hope this succeeds!

chris_mancini
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Wow that's very interesting

Wow that's very interesting about EB offerings...especially as campaign creators think they're doing the public a favor and rewarding those who pledge early and get the ball rolling, to have such an inversely negative reaction is really intriguing!

I have to say I don't have an issue with having just 2 pledge levels, and getting full revenue value on each game sold :) I, like many I assume, thought that an EB pledge level was almost required...

Glad you like it...it means a lot! I know this isn't the type of game usually developed/discussed here on BGDF due to its simplicity and "mass market" design (which was intentional), but a good game is a good game, and I truly believe Scrambo can be successful in that regard.

I'm feeling the excitement, and this Kickstarter can't get going fast enough!

chris_mancini
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Shipping...that's something

Shipping...that's something I've pondered, and put to the community as a general inquiry before. Does "free shipping" (or call it what it is, shipping included in the pledge price) encourage you to back moreso than adding shipping to the end tally? The responses were on the "no" side, provided the shipping cost was clearly defined.

I'll be absolutely clear on shipping costs so people know exactly what the true cost of the game is, and for international backers, I'm looking into using Send From China for fulfillment, which from what I've read offers great pricing to EU and the rest of the world.

As Scrambo can be played in multiple languages due to its icon-based mechanics, I really want to use a shipping solution that is appealing to international backers, and not a giant hassle for me!

Tedthebug
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EB pricing

I think Kim (who did Monstrous) said in a podcast that instead of a discount on the price he did early bird shipping where this that did the early bird got their product shipped about a week before everyone else. I could be wrong though.

It seems a good idea though because instead of people getting uoset that that they didn't get the cheap price you will have people paying the same price as everyone else but, depending on delivery times, getting their editions & putting the unboxing etc up in YouTube a week before everyone else.

chris_mancini
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I plan on fulfilling the

I plan on fulfilling the entire order at more or less the same time, unless of course a huge number of backers pushes the production timeline out, causing me to release in multiple waves, which even then shouldn't be more than a few weeks apart. I'm really trying to make the fulfillment end as tight and quality as possible, being happy to give up a piece of revenue to use services that are reliable and trusted.

I think I'll just go with the $20 standard game and $30 KS Exclusive edition...again as all the dice are already at top-quality compressed resin with engraved icons, there's really no room for component upgrade stretch goals. Perhaps a better containment piece, like a molded plastic box, could be something...beyond that, I'm not sure what I could offer.

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