Things Learnt From SSO To Moonflight
Hopefully with each Kickstarter, and each game, we’re learning a little something about how to do this right. As such, between our successful Kickstarter for SSO and the one for Moonflight we’ve picked up a few lessons. In actuality we’ve picked up a whole bunch of them but there are a few that I can offer as useful tips here, aside from the ones that I’ve previously mentioned in other blogs.
Producing physical components for your game is extremely useful for attracting backers. Its also tricky or expensive, sometimes both. Hiring sculptors can be very costly, especially for an item that could well be a stretch goal that is never reached. Generating even a basic STL file for such a component with most downloadable programs is a fairly skilled job. There is a free program called eXtrudy, though you should certainly pay the maker some money if you use it, which will turn 2D images into 3D STL files that you can then use for production. Its particularly good for meeples, by combining this with a 3D printer, or one of many online companies that will let you hire theirs, even the tiniest independent publisher can quickly prototype a range of impressive add-ons for stretch goals. If you’re in the UK I can recommend www.makeitquick.co.uk as giving a fast turn around at a reasonable price. Its worth checking to be sure that your designs can be made before you base a Kickstarter on them.
In Moonflight we decided to offer playmats for a premium pledge level. We had to limit the numbers for fear of spending our goal on playmats rather than printing a game but not only did we reach enough stretch goals to unlock the chance to offer mats as an add-on for everyone but I will almost certainly be offering a playmat pledge level in all future campaigns. There is a keen sub section of gamers and in particular Kickstarter backers who are big fans of playmats, enough to give a healthy boost to a small campaign and setting and printing is not too demanding. I recommend www.inkedgaming.com who provide mats at an excellent price for a relatively low level of bulk order and were very accommodating in relation to offering a range of designs within the price and mixing mat upgrades.
Check Your Upgrades
I had planned to offer a magnet catch box as a stretch goal from early on with Moonflight, mainly because I just personally really like them, however they are very expensive as upgrades go, sufficiently so that the campaign had to be re-ordered to allow the magnet catch stretch goal without risking our ability to actually fulfill. On the other hand UV spot finish and card stock upgrades are relatively low in price per unit. What I didn’t realise until a communication error led to my getting a quote for it was that a foil finish is the same price as a UV finish. Manufacturers don’t necessarily like to give a huge range of quotes, its work for no definite return after all, especially if you don’t have a relationship with them. However, having options for reasonably low cost high finish stretch goals can mean a lot to a campaign so finding out your options is well worth harassing your manufacturing contact.
It’s Never Long Enough
We went a few months over on fulfillment of SSO, so we extended the time we allowed ourselves on Moonflight, and we’re going to be going a few months over on fulfillment of Moonflight. I don’t know if it’s a law of nature or something, but I’m starting to suspect that I’ll always be a few months over on fulfillment. It hurts just as bad this time as it did the first time but I have learned that while you have to do your best and work hard to avoid these things you also have to not beat yourself up over them.
My two other major discoveries are that social media is worth good money and that I don’t know enough to do advertising, but I’ve written more fully on those issues in Advertising For People Who Don't Know Anything About Advertising. If I learn anything new on our future projects, I’ll be sure to let you all know.