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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessDiaries of a Kickstarter Newb (Final 2 Days)
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Author Topic: Diaries of a Kickstarter Newb (Final 2 Days)  (Read 4061 times)
joe_eyemobi
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« on: September 09, 2014, 12:33:57 PM »

Hi Guys,
I’ve just launched my first kickstarter, and I thought I’d record my experiences here.  I’ve seen other more experienced members log their progress and learnings in the past (e.g. for Cosmochoria) and it helped me a great deal with my own research.

So I’m doing the same in the hopes that it will help others like me back then.

Preparation
So far, leading up to today, I learned that the key to maximising success is preparation.  Expecting to just launch a KS campaign and having people flock to my game is unrealistic.  I had to build up a community months in advance through social media, networking etc…

Day 1 Backing
Also, from what I’ve read gaining enough momentum with backers is crucial - I’ll have to get at least 10% of my goal by Day 1!  

To help, a week before launch I went through my close friends and family to get them prepped for day 1.  

First Impressions
First Impressions count - even from my own experience of backing other projects, the presentation (i.e. trailer and thumbnail) had to be top notch.  I invested a great deal of time into the trailer.

Anyway, I’ve done all the research I could, spoken to as many people as possible, so I’ll see how I go.  

Hopefully this has been helpful  to others like me, but it would be great if you could back my project too Smiley
If you have any feedback on how I could improve my campaign, that would be very helpful.  What do you like and dislike?  

http://kck.st/1AvvYDM  Beer!

Thanks,
Joe

EDIT: 22 Sep, 2014
Incredible!  We are so privileged to have PewDiePie do a lets play of our game Smiley

Pewdiepie plays Phantasmal


« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 01:06:27 PM by joe_eyemobi » Logged

joe_eyemobi
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2014, 01:31:46 AM »

Day 1 has almost come to a close.  Fortunately we've made the 10% threshold!  I think my biggest lesson today is that our Steam Greenlight page could have been better prepared.  We lacked images in the main body text and the main GIF could still do with a bit of work.  It's all about first impressions and maximizing interest right from the get-go.
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qwurp
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2014, 06:53:42 AM »

Congrats on an excellent Day 1. Great progress for sure!

A note on Greenlight, you will probably find there is little return on GL converting to KS backers. Especially when you do the math on the number of views the GL will generate at launch verses how many will translate to going to your Kickstarter and backing it. Not saying you won't get some, but- it's a totally different crowd of gamers from what I've seen on my own Kickstarter (and others I've spoken to), there isn't much translation there. Just want to set expectations since it sounds like you're worried a "non juicy" GL page isn't getting you as much KS traffic as you'd like... you dont browse Greenlight to spend money. You watch the video, maybe click a few screenshots and hit Yes or No before moving to the next one.
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joe_eyemobi
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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2014, 02:51:57 PM »

Thanks @qwurp for the reassurance!  Yeah it was interesting to see very little conversion from SGL->KS.  It does seem like Steam users in general are much less invested than KS users.

Congrats on an excellent Day 1. Great progress for sure!

A note on Greenlight, you will probably find there is little return on GL converting to KS backers. Especially when you do the math on the number of views the GL will generate at launch verses how many will translate to going to your Kickstarter and backing it. Not saying you won't get some, but- it's a totally different crowd of gamers from what I've seen on my own Kickstarter (and others I've spoken to), there isn't much translation there. Just want to set expectations since it sounds like you're worried a "non juicy" GL page isn't getting you as much KS traffic as you'd like... you dont browse Greenlight to spend money. You watch the video, maybe click a few screenshots and hit Yes or No before moving to the next one.
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joe_eyemobi
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2014, 02:07:34 AM »

Day 2 has been amazing! Apart from the awesome backers I was pleasantly surprised to find that Rock, Paper, Shotgun had written an article about us:
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/09/10/survival-horror-fps-roguelike-phantasmal/

As exhausted as I was from hours of seemingly endless emails and PR, that really made my day!  Gomez
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joe_eyemobi
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2014, 04:59:26 PM »

Day 3,4 - Backer activity has died down a bit, which I was warned about by my mentor Kat from multitude.co.nz so have been a bit bummed out Sad.  However we have had a couple of really good wins:
1. Our project is a finalist for the KiwiGameStarter: http://bit.ly/1uM1Kuz
2. We got another article on CinemaBlend http://bit.ly/1pYBVmu
So another mix of great and not so great things for the last couple of days  Shrug
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qwurp
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2014, 05:46:16 PM »

You're still off to a great start. The "Kickstarter lull" hasn't even started yet so don't sweat it quieting down. It always does. Meaningful updates every few/other day with content is the key to the quiet period. Give backers something to get excited about. Concept art, music, video, gifs etc. news about coverage doesn't excite them as much as it does you. Good content updates encourage them to share the project and maybe even increase their own pledges to make the game a reality. Keep up the good work!
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joe_eyemobi
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2014, 06:40:04 PM »

That's a great idea!  I have a bunch of content that I prepared before launching but I've been caught up with the news lately Wink


You're still off to a great start. The "Kickstarter lull" hasn't even started yet so don't sweat it quieting down. It always does. Meaningful updates every few/other day with content is the key to the quiet period. Give backers something to get excited about. Concept art, music, video, gifs etc. news about coverage doesn't excite them as much as it does you. Good content updates encourage them to share the project and maybe even increase their own pledges to make the game a reality. Keep up the good work!
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joe_eyemobi
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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2014, 01:14:13 AM »

Day 5,6 - Backers have dropped to a mere trickle now, but fortunately we're very close to 30% which was the target for week 1.  It is still difficult after the first 2 days of frantic activity to have hardly anything coming in, no matter how mentally prepared I was.  On the bright side to keep me going, I have met the most wonderful people through doing this campaign - fabulous youtubers, reviewers, and other gaming professionals.  It's really great to cross paths with other people (like yourselves!) who are so passionate about this industry and games in general!  That has been a reward in itself, that I would have not gained if I did not start this journey in the first place Smiley
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antipirina
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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2014, 08:07:30 PM »

Interesting! Thanks for sharing!
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joe_eyemobi
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2014, 02:08:11 AM »

Thanks Antipirina  Smiley

Day 7-11: As expected, activity is still minimal.  Some days have had zero backings - and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't discouraged.  However, the last few days have been punctuated by some pretty cool events. First of all, we had our GDC (NZ) on Friday, and I had the massive privilege of meeting the founder of Blizzard, David Brevik!

He was actually one of the judges for the Kiwi Game Starter competition for indie devs that I was participating in!

So overall even with bugger all backings in the last few days, these gems are what I'll remember after the journey is long finished Smiley
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joe_eyemobi
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2014, 03:08:16 PM »

Incredible!  We are so privileged to have PewDiePie do a lets play of our game Smiley

Pewdiepie plays Phantasmal
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qwurp
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« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2014, 08:05:34 AM »

That's awesome coverage! Congrats. Already almost 1.8mm views. That's fantastic awareness for your project. It's interesting almost 2 million views with no real translation to Kickstarter backers? I wonder if this is related to the age of his demographics or that his viewers are less buyers and literally just their for the show... Either way though, getting your game in front of a few million people is huge!
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joe_eyemobi
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« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2014, 12:42:29 PM »

That's awesome coverage! Congrats. Already almost 1.8mm views. That's fantastic awareness for your project. It's interesting almost 2 million views with no real translation to Kickstarter backers? I wonder if this is related to the age of his demographics or that his viewers are less buyers and literally just their for the show... Either way though, getting your game in front of a few million people is huge!

Yeah sadly the conversion is minimal, although one backer did put in $1000 from seeing the YT which helped a lot.  It's an interesting case study, one that I'll be analyzing more.

Interestingly another local who ran a kickstarter for a documentary called the Tickle King had a similar experience:
Stephen Fry, who is a very famous English Actor, backed him and tweeted the project but it also led to very little conversions.

You are right though for general PR this has worked wonders and gained the project a lot of attention from other parties.

Pewdiepie is an incredible guy as well - my hat is really off to him for helping out comparative nobodies like us!  Gentleman
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qwurp
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« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2014, 04:31:11 AM »

Yeah I know what you mean. Awesome about the $1k backer! And yeah, those views will come in handy later on when so many people have already heard about your title before release so definitely no issues with Pewdiepie playing it!

It's interesting to see how various celebrities on Kickstarter can (or can't sway the project). The Oatmeal backed our KS and mentioned it on his Google+ account and it brought in about 30-40 backers and pushed us into successful territory. I can't imagine if he would have tweeted it or put it on his FB page (or all of the above). It definitely seems like he has a very loyal fanbase...
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joe_eyemobi
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« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2014, 05:09:10 AM »

Wow that's pretty awesome! Do you think The Oatmeal's audience fit the demographic target of your game better too?

Also, what are your thoughts on IndieDB, and the best way to use it?  I've not had a lot of luck with it in the past, but I don't have much of a clue with it  WTF
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qwurp
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« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2014, 07:59:25 AM »

The Oatmeal is a pretty big "Tesla" fan so thats why he promoted the project even though it was a small one. So I dont know if he has fans that like him because of his fascination with Tesla or if they're just more inclined to take his suggestions in general?

As far as IndieDB goes, I like it. I was a bit late to the game with getting involved on TIG and IndieDB but our next game I will get more involved on both at a much earlier time in development. I haven't been able to drive an insane amount of traffic to the IndieDB on the two news posts I've gotten, but it does seem like a pretty cool tool and its relatively easy to use so I'm sure I will keep seeing what kind of traffic it generates.

Like most things in marketing, very hard to gauge it's worth. Sometimes stuff I dont think will catch on does and the stuff that I think will generate traffic gets no interest...
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Müsta Klaki
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« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2014, 10:59:24 AM »

It's interesting almost 2 million views with no real translation to Kickstarter backers?

1. PewDiePie fans are mostly kids, ergo they have no money/credit cards.

2. A pretty huge amount (probably at least 5 million) of PewDiePie's subscribers are bots, who just spam ads on his videos.
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joe_eyemobi
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« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2014, 12:49:32 PM »

It's interesting almost 2 million views with no real translation to Kickstarter backers?

1. PewDiePie fans are mostly kids, ergo they have no money/credit cards.

2. A pretty huge amount (probably at least 5 million) of PewDiePie's subscribers are bots, who just spam ads on his videos.

1. That would make sense.  I do know some adults who like watching him, so it's disappointing that few of them decided to back us - still it's an interesting case study to analyse.

2. That may have been part of the reason that he's disabled the comments now and started his own separate forum.  He still seems to attract lots of viewers though without the comments.
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joe_eyemobi
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« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2014, 12:52:52 PM »

The Oatmeal is a pretty big "Tesla" fan so thats why he promoted the project even though it was a small one. So I dont know if he has fans that like him because of his fascination with Tesla or if they're just more inclined to take his suggestions in general?

As far as IndieDB goes, I like it. I was a bit late to the game with getting involved on TIG and IndieDB but our next game I will get more involved on both at a much earlier time in development. I haven't been able to drive an insane amount of traffic to the IndieDB on the two news posts I've gotten, but it does seem like a pretty cool tool and its relatively easy to use so I'm sure I will keep seeing what kind of traffic it generates.

Like most things in marketing, very hard to gauge it's worth. Sometimes stuff I dont think will catch on does and the stuff that I think will generate traffic gets no interest...

Yeah that's the annoying thing about marketing Smiley But I guess the skillful use of analytics can help.  Unfortunately even though I have a few of them in place (google and in the game) it's just another thing to look at amongst the millions of other things  Undecided
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