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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsMonster Prom [AVAILABLE!] <3
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BeautifulGlitch
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« Reply #260 on: September 14, 2016, 04:08:36 PM »

QUESTION!

What would be better as 30-50$ Kickstarter tier?
Assume if one exists the other doesn't

  • EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
  • CROWD-CREATING CONTENT

Exclusive content means exclusive outfits and secret endings only available to backers at this tier or higher
Crowd-creating content means participating in an online platform where you can propose, comment and vote to create new content (outfits, secret endings, items...)
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« Reply #261 on: September 16, 2016, 03:45:21 AM »

QUESTION!

What would be better as 30-50$ Kickstarter tier?
I feel like exclusive content is lazy and arbitrary. It's more like you're punishing people for not giving that much, rather than rewarding people who do. So I'd go the other way.

Also on the shopkeeper I think either of the polo shirt ones (the squishy haired plant girl or the bunny) really capture the high school vibe. The stripey shirt and cap ones make me think they are baseball referees Blink Smiley
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BeautifulGlitch
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« Reply #262 on: September 16, 2016, 11:42:52 AM »

QUESTION!

What would be better as 30-50$ Kickstarter tier?
I feel like exclusive content is lazy and arbitrary. It's more like you're punishing people for not giving that much, rather than rewarding people who do. So I'd go the other way.

Also on the shopkeeper I think either of the polo shirt ones (the squishy haired plant girl or the bunny) really capture the high school vibe. The stripey shirt and cap ones make me think they are baseball referees Blink Smiley


I think the same, mate.

I highly prefer the crowd-design platform thing. But I must choose the one that's more popular among potential backers. Luckily, it seems people prefer that one.
Question is: this reward is enough appealing so people will decide to pledge that amount?
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« Reply #263 on: September 18, 2016, 08:57:36 PM »

The bunny shopkeeper is quite silly!

And, btw, we prefer the crowd-created content. Exclusive stuff is not completely cool. You get people feeling like they are not getting the whole deal.
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BeautifulGlitch
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« Reply #264 on: September 19, 2016, 03:03:41 PM »

The bunny shopkeeper is quite silly!

And, btw, we prefer the crowd-created content. Exclusive stuff is not completely cool. You get people feeling like they are not getting the whole deal.

It was the finalist! But we finally went with the cat girl!

I mean, do you realize how uncommon is to find a female shopkeeper? Fill the gap! Down with the shopkeeper patriarchy!

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« Reply #265 on: September 20, 2016, 04:16:39 PM »

Oh, both look pretty cool. But I think the cat girl was cooler when she was looking at her phone!
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BeautifulGlitch
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« Reply #266 on: September 23, 2016, 05:57:16 PM »

We actually went with that!

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BeautifulGlitch
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« Reply #267 on: September 27, 2016, 11:02:36 AM »

Someone asks: "but how will you promote your game"
Me: "maybe... something related to a doctor dog?"

Yeah, that looks like a solid plan!



I stopped posting stuff because I saw no more participation. But recently, due to Reddit and Twitter I realized that there are some people following this devlog even if they don't participate!

So I'm puttin' more stuff here these days, ok? (:


Anyway, I'll need help deciding on how is best to market this when creating the Kickstarter page.
Main issue is how to easily describe the game. At first, I like the idea that this might be seen as one of the first (if not the first) local multiplayer dating sim. I like that, since I've seen little to no innovation in that genre, mechanic wise (there's a LOT of innovation on weird themes... and that's awesome!)
But then I realized that dating sims have a niche market that is not exactly the market for this game.

Why? These are my thoughts... and they might be wrong, ofc.

This game is more similar to The Yawhg, regarding the game experience it creates. It's similar to a tabletop game: a game session will be 45-60' long and most of its fun comes from experiencing it with friends. Pretty art and funny/absurd situations.
My dream goal is to get narrative finesse similar to what you expect from a cool and boldly fun TV show. As said before: Archer, Rick&Morty, Master of None. I want funny situations that make groups of friends laughs when facing them. I want people to like the characters, even if sometimes they are kind of parodic and mean. I want people to be interested in a 2nd, a 3rd and more game sessions just to see new absurd situations that still are unexplored by the players... just as people wait for a new episode of a TV show they like.

So... there comes the issue with the KS campaign. I have to sum up the game.

My first option was, as said, "Local multiplayer dating sim" because this sounded enough different to spark curiosity. But I'm worried that people might ignore it because dating sims are too niche. I also thought about "Dating sim with an unexpected twist", just to tease more, but it has the same problem + it sounds kind of Buzzfeed-ish.
So other options are more abstract... less specific. Stuff like "Being a monster in highschool is not easy" or "A true videogame show" or "You're not ready for this shit"

What are your insight on this? What would make you click to see more about the KS campaign, given that the thumb image will be this one:



  • Local multiplayer dating sim
  • Dating sim with an unexpected twist
  • Being a monster in highschool is not easy
  • A true videogame show
  • You're not ready for this shit
  • more ideas?
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BeautifulGlitch
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« Reply #268 on: September 29, 2016, 12:46:42 PM »

Monster Prom's love interests will have different outfits.
Amount of outfits per character will depend on funding, but I can tell there are different kinds of outfit

>Regular outfits (like 1 and 2 in this image): these ones are regular outfits. During a gameplay the character will switch them when weeks pass. We wanted to make the game more natural this way, depicting people that have more than just one outfit. We wanted different outfits that were still true to each character's core. For PARTY ANIMAL we searched fashion references on music festival pictures!

> Location outfits: some locations would ideally require different outfits. For instance GYM requires gym outfits (like 3 in this image). If we get enough funding, I'd love to also get costumes for every NPC when they appear on the AUDITORIUM

> Special outfits (like nothing here!): special outfits related to very special ocasions, events and secret plotlines. This would be only possible with more fundings, but it'd be quite interesting and it will make hitting secret hidden plotlines more rewarding, right?




Also... here you have some of our best PARTY ANIMAL fashion references:









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« Reply #269 on: October 02, 2016, 05:00:56 PM »

We actually went with that!



Oh! Yeah! Much better now!
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BeautifulGlitch
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« Reply #270 on: October 04, 2016, 04:48:22 PM »

We actually went with that!



Oh! Yeah! Much better now!

Thanks! (:

Also... we have a WEBSITE!

http://monsterprom.pizza



What do you think? Do you like it? (:

Webdesign by the amazing Torben Ratzlaff
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BeautifulGlitch
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« Reply #271 on: October 05, 2016, 06:00:33 PM »

Okay. So far these are the names for the LOVE INTERESTS:

Scott Howl

Liam de Lioncourt

Damien LaVey

Petra Oberlin
(damn... or Vera Oberlin... not sure yet)

Polly Geist

Miranda (Miri) Vanderbilt


What do you think?
Do you have any fav names? And any fav love interests at all? (:
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BeautifulGlitch
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« Reply #272 on: October 06, 2016, 01:50:00 PM »

Lately I discussed some Kickstarter tips with other devs in other devlogs and I felt like summing up my point of view on it on here.

So let's go.

A LIST OF THOUGHTS ON THROWING A KICKSTARTER

1. KS is not an ideal place for indie devs anymore. This is not KS' fault imo, but still it is like this. This will be my 3rd Kickstarter (and I have helped with some more) and still I feel pretty insecure each time we start a new one.

2. Audience is key. I find CRAZY how people start projects out of the blue believing a magical community will be summoned the very same minute they post their Kickstarter page. To be fair, I made this very same mistake on my 1st Kickstarter and even if we succeed (not by a lot, tbh) it was a hell of a month.

3. Where to grow an audience? Basics to me are Twitter and TIGsource (yes, you guys <3). Also audiences appear the more interesting projects you manage. I want to believe that the positive impact of INDIE G ZINE will have some kind of impact on Monster Prom.

4. There are still platforms I should learn how to use. There's Reddit. Lately I started to use it basically to comment Steven Universe episodes. This way I felt braver and I did my first gamedev post, which was kinda popular (for the subreddit standards) but also controversial. Anyway, I did a 2nd post, longer, more interesting and less controversial... but it flunk. I think this maybe happened because of the 10% rule. I identified 5-6 interesting subreddits for Monster Prom, but I kinda feel that it might be too late for me to get some street cred there so I can post about the Kickstarter without the post being deleted by the admins. Maybe next time!

5. My biggest worry is about how to get as many backers as possible on day 1. First two days are critical. You need to get around 30-60% if you want to succeed. Kickstarter suffers a lot from the "empty bar" problem. If the project doesn't get to a nice % soon, people just avoid backing it. I've backed +70 projects to the date and I still just don't feel like backing a project that's under 50%.
So... do you have any tricks to secure as many backers as possible on day 1?

6. Also, I will back a project if I like it, but I always prefer to see that the creator has backed other projects first. Let's say 5-10 at least. First give, then ask.

7. I want to believe that I have some audience on Twitter and even here. I also want to believe that I can convert at least 10% of my INDIE G ZINE backers into Monster Prom backers. These ones are key, since they're people that I know they have a KS account, they love indie games and they have already trusted me. So I'm preparing a KS update for INDIE G ZINE, I'm trying to get both the INDIE G ZINE shipping and the Monster Prom KS release together so backers receive their products and they're happy with me as a creator. Also, I will add a Monster Prom postcard on every physical INDIE G ZINE + a promo page on the PDF version.

8. I regularly work as a PR guy yet I'm afraid regarding media. I have emails from writers on some of the important indie media (Destructoid, Kotaku, Polygon, Killscreen and RPS), but I know that response ratio is mega-high. I will try hard on getting at least one of them interested in the project, but I'm highly skeptical. I just understand that there's just a lot going on on the indie scene and that people is more and more skeptical about KS projects.
Any advice on getting the media's attention on Monster Prom?

9. Monster Prom is kind of a rara avis. It's similar to a visual novel/dating sim, but its tone is wildly different from you regular visual novel/dating sim. Because of this I'm not sure if it'd be a good idea to put it on visual novel channels. I might try that, even if I don't know very well which these channels would be.
Visual novels are relatively popular both on Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight, but I fail to understand where this audience is located. Maybe forums? Which ones?

10. Additionally, I don't know if it's wise to market the game as a dating sim. It's something different due to its tone and I don't know if there is some prejudice related to dating sims in the sense that some people might avoid entering the KS page when they see the game is a dating sim.

11. Building a reward tier list tricky. Your goal must always be to make it as good as possible. The perfect reward tier list is the one that teases you to upgrade your reward tier all the time. You decide that you're spending x$ on the project but once you're about to pay, you see that you're pretty close to the next cool reward and you start doubting if increasing your pledge might be a clever move. If you can create this effect, you will have a killer reward tier list.

12. As I always say: best day to start a KS project is TUESDAY. As early in the week as possible + Tuesday seems better than Monday since people tend to hate Mondays. Also I like to end on Thursday, so this way people receive the magic 48h alert on a Tuesday. Tuesday is my friend when it comes to Kickstarter.

13. I'm struggling to get to my ideal date for releasing Monster Prom, which will be October 25th. Biggest worry of mine is the Kickstarter video. We just started it, but it might take a while and it's out of my control (since it depends on the person who's editing the video).

14. Other stuff we're working on these weeks include: adding some VFX/small animations to the events, music (soon I will contact people to see if I can create something for the KS or just using a royalty-free song and worrying about music later), 2 more outfits for PARTY ANIMAL, maybe a promotional image, a cafeteria map. All this is important but not essential to get the Kickstarter launched. There are alternatives to all that.

15. Think of some cool stretch goals, check they're doable and assigned to logical money goals BUT don't focus on them too much. First focus on getting your main goal. Then we will see. Anyway, same as with the rewards: make stretch goals something exciting that can make your backers fight to get the project there.

16. Then brainstorm on what to do. I thought of a crazy flowchart to discover your spirit emoji, but it went wrong because of size. We might study how to make it into a kind of a microsite where you can find out your spirit emoji and then share it on Twitter. We have 15 absurd emojis for that purpose.

17. In my case I thought that it might be important to get some illustrators interested into doing some fanart to spread the word about the project. I think this project might benefit a lot from that. Some of the INDIE G ZINE artists might do something. Not sure (i mean, it's a favor they're doing for me), but I'm excited about it.

18. I tried to create a product that feels different, but that scares me, because it means there are many reasons that can scare a potential backer. The game being kind of a dating sim, the game not being a regular dating sim, the tone being a bit too blunt and wrong, the game not being that overtly sexual in its visuals, the game not being very anime-looking...
Let me be clear, I'm very proud of what we have so far. I'm collaborating with mega-talented people. But I get worried easily when it comes to Kickstarter.


So... these are some general thoughts on the Kickstarter thing.

Lately this devlog has been with no participation. There were some regular commenters before. Am I doing something wrong? This kind of changes also worries me  Sad

What do you think?
Do you want me to reveal the REWARD TIER LIST soon? I can do that.

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« Reply #273 on: October 07, 2016, 03:05:46 PM »

Honestly, you have a lot more experience at KS than I do so I don't feel like I'm in any position to advise you about anything crowdfunding related.

I think those tips are interesting and I'm learning a lot from reading them but I have no clue as to what else I could add. Except that I hope you're wrong about needing that many backers the first day!  Tongue
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« Reply #274 on: October 08, 2016, 01:48:47 PM »

I noticed you mixed player characters and npcs on the website. It's not obvious, which characters are playable. I'm not sure if that's a bad thing at all.

Edit: Don't be disappointed by the lack of reactions to your posts. I guess a lot of users which posted once are still following.
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« Reply #275 on: October 08, 2016, 04:17:45 PM »

Don't be disappointed by the lack of reactions to your posts. I guess a lot of users which posted once are still following.

Yep.  I'm still very excited about this, but I'm not a very prolific poster.
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« Reply #276 on: October 10, 2016, 12:11:49 AM »

Comments about "the list of thoughts on throwing a Kickstarter":

01. The video game projects from a backer's perspective are some of the riskiest campaigns on Kickstarter. Video game projects and technology projects are often fodder for jokes. They can be full of naive project creators who don't know what they are really doing and asking for far too little.

Other categories are generally safer. Tabletop projects often need funds for production runs and art, while the core game is already finished. Short film projects can already filmed the actors and need funds for post-production special effects. A hobby robot kit can be looking for economies of scale for purchasing parts in bulk. With video game projects there can be so little done when the project launches.

Past video game projects, with their spamming, resulted in many previously welcoming sites creating guidelines to not cover Kickstarter campaigns. This has made it harder to get funded.

The overall level of quality of projects has declined since 2013. Some high-profile projects ended up horribly mismanaged with their deliveries. Overall the category is actually improving over time for medium-sized high-quality projects. It is less boom like it was in 2012 and 2013. A problem is that the large campaigns (like $250,000+ goals) are generally not doing so well. A big part of the reason for that is the quality for those campaigns has tanked in both what the games are and the execution of the campaigns. There are more campaigns like Human Resources, Astro Boy: Edge of Time and RED ASH that just fall apart due to poor decisions.

03. Fitting a market niche is important. If a game doesn't cater to the core demographics of the frequent backers in the video games category, then a game needs more external coverage to compensate. Weird games often need to bring their own audience to Kickstarter to gain initial traction.

Sometimes the core audience doesn't aggregate. A nostalgic remake of a 1990s video game on an obscure consumer computer kit system in Europe might lack any form of fansites. Sometimes the core audience doesn't actively follow news. The players of some types of games don't bother reading the latest RockPaperShotgun or Kotaku news and only hear about the biggest news stories from friends. It can be tough.

Video game projects actually have it easy relative to other categories besides tabletop and film. There are many sites out there that cover video games of various niches like point-and-click and RPGs. Let's Players have also become powerful influences.

06. I find project creators that supported projects as backers avoid many easy mistakes during parts like composing backer surveys. They can also price their reward tiers less steep.

08. Small blogs will regurgitate press kit information. The largest blogs need to do more. They need an angle to explore and sustain a long enough discussion. Sometimes the story they write about is more than just about the game.

Halloween is an excellent opportunity for Monster Prom. Blogs could be looking for Halloween-related content to post. There may also be the opportunity for backers to compete in pumpkin carving.

09. Visual novels made by non-Japanese developers are consistently launching on Kickstarter. The quality varies wildly. The goals vary wildly. Their success rates vary wildly. The ones that use Ren'Py are looked down upon similar to how RPGMaker-based games are looked down upon.

Japanese visual novels generally do very well on Kickstarter because such projects are usually for official translations. Visual novels like Muv Luv, Grisaia and CLANNAD also had localized anime series to build up their international fanbases. They get lots of social media attention. They get covered by AnimeNewsNetwork and /r/anime. The quality of these visual novels are already known because people can go look at the Japanese review scores.

11. Getting backers to upgrade to the next tier falls under the topic of upselling. It is often about managing diminishing returns. Better upselling means fewer backers total needed to reach 100% funded.

The goal I use (for reward tiers ranging below $100) is to see a reward tier achieve at least 25% of the number of backers the previous tier was able to achieve. If it is less than 25% then there could be a problem. There are many campaigns seeing drops between tiers more extreme than 75% due to bad rewards.

12. It is clear that Tuesday is the best launch day in my data. It is also excellent for ending.

Mondays are great for both launching and ending. They need some extra attention coordinating press in advance.

Wednesdays work for both launching and ending.

Thursdays are a poor time to launch, but a great time to end.

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays can devastate a campaign's chances by either launching or ending on them.

European-based often damage their performance in the last 24 hours by ending when most potential backers are asleep. The Eastern time zone is the important time zone on Kickstarter.

The first and middle weeks of a month do better. Different months also perform differently. Video game projects should try to avoid December, January and June. There are specific weeks throughout the year (like the first week of September) that should also be avoided due to spikes in the difficulty of getting funded.

13. I see you are targeting Tuesday October 25th.

Here is a table of potential times to run a campaign in October:
http://i.imgur.com/htjmY4r.png

I don't recommend ending on Friday November 25th to Sunday November 27th. This leaves only 2 recommendations for a October 25th start date. Running for 30 days would end on Thursday November 24th. Running for 34 days would end on Monday November 28th. It looks like you will run for the standard 30 days.

17. The art is a main selling point for the game. Word-of-mouth within online art communities is something to aim for.
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Zizka
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« Reply #277 on: October 11, 2016, 04:27:22 AM »

I couldn't find your KS preview link anywhere. It might be a good idea to have it here so that people can check it out and give you feedback. I'd do that if I had the link. I also don't know how much you're going for which will certainly play in the balance.
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« Reply #278 on: October 11, 2016, 04:36:09 PM »

Which option is better? Please comment and vote! (:





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« Reply #279 on: October 11, 2016, 06:30:42 PM »

#3 for me.
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