Today I want to talk about the the content of my last Kickstarter campaign vs. the new campaign I'm building.
I'll talk about this because I got so much positive feedback on my last campaign, and yet still didn't manage to get all my messages through to my backers.
As you'll notice with all of my articles about Kickstarter - you can easily find campaigns that contradict my logic towards the subjects when it comes to success/failure.
This is because you have to take so many other factors into account (famous designers, already established companies, viral effects, miniatures*). When you look closer, you'll usually find one of these factors to be a more deciding than the absent of the others.
Be aware that this will also not be factors that you can calculate on to the same extent as doing your pre-production of the campaign properly.
* Especially miniatures - above all else :D
The Kickstarter team advises you on many points about what your campaign should contain, which is great. What you need to do - is to take that information and streamline it towards your audience.
Many things have changed during the last couple of years - and one of the fundamental things is backers perception of a project on Kickstarter (especially board games/computer games).
Here are the subjects I had laid out in my campaign, below the video of course (want to check out the campaign? Find Burning Suns here).
- "Burning Suns" > Introduction
- "Customizable empires" > Sales point 1
- "Your strategies" > Sales point 2
- "Galaxies in motion" > Sales point 3
- "And much more" > Sales point 4
- "How to play?" > Explanation 1
- + "Play testers say"
- "Game setup" > Explanation 2
- "Building your empire" > Explanation 3
- "Game play" > Explanation 4
- + "Game play questions"
- "What is in the game"
- "How is it different"
- "Perks and pledges"
- + "Questions for perks and pledges"
- + "Shipping questions"
- "Stretch goals"
- + "Stretch goal questions"
- "Why Kickstarter"
- "Kickstater contest" (yea, Kickstarter states that contests are not allowed, my bad...)
- "Project goals"
- "You can help us"
- "Project plan"
- "The team"
PROS: I had almost no questions to the campaign in general. Lots of comments on different aspects, but there were no questions to the campaign, what I wanted to do with the fundings or where I expected to get things printed etc.
PROS: I didn't have to use my FAQs section of the campaign, which I thought was a very nice thing. No; "whooopsy, I forgot to tell you that...."
CONS: The campaign page got very long and it was hard to point out specific sections for backers in updates or comments.
CONS: It was hard to update the project page itself with new stuff, without cramming things even more together.
No doubt that my future Kickstarter projects will be shorter in total amount of "sections", put I also want to reorganize the chronology of them.
Though it's not final - The layout/setup will be something like this.
- Introduction > Again short and precise.
- Unique sales points > The 3 best ones shortened and put together.
- Reviews/Previews/Play testers say > The "why you should buy it".
- What comes in the game? > Shortened and more visual.
- Perks and pledges (incl. shipping) > Now people should decide...
- Stretch goals > Now people should know what else they might get..
- How you can help > Stretch goals should be closely related to "getting the word out"-actions... since it's all about spreading the word.
- The Team (incl. progress/project plan) > Why can we pull it off.
There are of course many tricks to shorten your campaign, just like a journalist knows how to shorten or lengthen a news story.
Some of the ideas I'm going to use.
- Use fewer pictures (choose with care), but with links to more and bigger pictures.
- Use fewer headlines and more precise text.
- Use external documents for things not meant to be portrayed in a width of 640 pixels (fx, PDF with complete shipping and pledge layout).
- Link to the more "administrative part of the Kickstarter project", as a Project manager I always like to be able to tell people where we are in the process, but few people care so much that it should be taking up space in the Kickstarter campaign itself.
It's hard not to get caught up in "how great your project is", and how much you want to share all your thoughts with your backers, friends and family. But you really have to kill your darlings!
Like me you've probably spend between 1-3 years killing board game darlings on a weekly basis to end up with the product you have now. Now you have to kill your Kickstarter darlings - if you want to see it through to the end :)
Happy gaming and kickstarting out there!
Best regards Emil