By now, most of you will probably know that we were successful in running our Kickstarter campaign!
I want to tell you guys a little bit more about how the experience felt like and what we were hoping to achieve.
Why did we go on Kickstarter?
Before 2018, I have never looked into Kickstarter all that much. I was busy building my game one step at a time. By the time I felt like this game was on to something, I started worrying about production costs and marketing. Since I wasn’t rich and banks don’t do loans to the little guys, I started reading up about crowdfunding. I found a lot of successful projects and listened to many podcasts about why they made choices for a particular website. Kickstarter is the platform for card games and board games to go on, which is something I had to learn.
What did you do before you launched?
My initial idea was to set a funding target of €30.000, but luckily a friend of Vincent who specialises in crowdfunding was able to talk us into bringing it way down. We learned some more about Kickstarter and rushed into building up all the things everyone was telling us was important. By the time we were ready, we had an email list of 3000 contacts, a crowd of 1000 people on Instagram and the feeling we just invented fire.
I honestly have to say that we were expecting our campaign to be recognised by Kickstarter as a ‘projects we love’ page. I kind of think everyone confident enough to undergo this venture will believe they will get this prestigious mark but hey, next time Kickstarter ;).
Before we launched, we had loads of fun with things that might not have been so critical thinking back to it but taught us a lot of valuable lessons. We recorded a commercial that we used on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube to score some contact for our email list and followers.
We also made a killer Jingle which I still use as a ringtone, and we animated our entire Kickstarter video starring The Chimp leading you through our game. All in all, I think the events leading up to the Kickstarter where a lot of fun to do.
What was the month on Kickstarter like for us?
Every day was different for us. We had a launch party with friends where everyone came to our house to party, drink and of course back our project. The first days went great, and we got most of our backers through friends, people that knew us from Instagram and Kickstarter algorithms.
Suddenly, the flow of backers stopped, wait, what? Yes, it stopped. I read about it some more and learned that even though it was quite reasonable, you should still be getting results from your ads on Facebook. After a lot of research and tweaking, we finally got the ads producing results again.
A Kickstarter campaign is no joke; you can go from success to stress to hair loss in a matter of days. All in all, we had loads of fun with it, we posted new artwork every day, we published new stories every day, booked new results every day and learned a lot!
We loved every new backer we received, every backer that left us felt like a curse, and we even made a few dedicated fans along the way (you know who you are ;))
What would we do differently next time?
We have a lot of things we should have done differently, mostly because our game has such a considerable amount of artwork we honestly didn’t have the time to do all of them.
I think we’re one of the few games that had a successful Kickstarter without any reviews from known sites, podcasts, YouTubers or the likes. We had a finished prototype, but the official artwork didn’t finish until after our Kickstarter because of the detail brought into the drawings.
Even though we started the project in 2018, it was a lot of work to complete so next time; we would have a fully finished and reviewed game before we go live.
One of the other things we miscalculated on was how much time it would take to grow a social media backing and email list. It takes significant Instagrams years to build, and we only had a total of three months before going live.
We also lacked in knowledge and skills in ads; it’s something you learn as you go along but can be very costly if your ads aren’t producing the desired result. If anyone reading this is launching their first Kickstarter, definitely find a company to do the advertisements and promotions for you. The upside of it all, we’re quite experienced in how to do it ourselves now.
Spending money on a professional commercial in hindsight might have been a poor decision too, even though it was super cool to do and the result was a great video, it didn’t give us much in terms of financial gains.
What were some of our best decisions?
Our best decision was 100% our Jingle, it was great, it was fun, and it added something different to our campaign video.
Another great decision was to make our achievements a lot easier than we originally designed them; we wanted people to have fun with them and achieve them.
All in all, I think the style we went for really helped in making it a visually appealing project.
Another significant change has been the switch of the manufacturer to Cartamundi. Cartamundi did a great job of making a killer product and helped us make some improvements to the product along the way. Especially since Corona hit and we would have had a game being produced in China initially, switching to a factory in Belgium that spoke our native tongue proved a great decision.
If you’ve read this far, we would like to thank you for reading, and we would like to thank all our Kickstarter backers for helping us bring this project to life! We’ve put our heart and soul into this game, and it feels great to get acknowledged.