Our KickStarter Experience — Part 1: Preparation

Chicken Heist KickStarter Campaign ended a month ago, and it went above and beyond our expectations! The campaign ended with 511 backers who helped us reach $16,500 in funding and unlocked two stretch goals! We had many friends and believers from local and online board game community to help us make this all possible!

As this was our first KickStarter project, I wanted to share a brief overview of our experiences. Hopefully, this article will help and provide insight on what to expect when launching a Kickstarter campaign. This is our first time using the KickStarter platform to launch a project and we only started Chicken Heist a year ago. We are by no means experts on this.

The purpose of this article is to share an overview of our planning and preparation to get our campaign up and ready. The next article will dive into the numbers, detailing the analytics of the whole experience. Stay tuned for that!

HOW DID WE PREPARE?

Since our company, Fourtato Games Inc., started not too long ago, we have little to no reputation in the community and low funding and resources. With this to consider, a lot of our success is determined by our efforts in building a crowd for this KickStarter Campaign.

One of the areas we utilize to build an audience was social media. For more than 8 months, we were active on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Board Game Geeks, Reddit, and other platforms. To start building a name for ourselves and awareness of our project, we participated in these forums and groups to connect with the community.

On our website www.fourtato.com, we spent a lot of time creating content we think the community would enjoy. Our content ranged from showing people our design process, collaborating with other board game designers, coming up with interactive Chicken Heist stories, and having free prototype print-n-play for playtesting. It was a lot of work, but it was well worth it. It helped get our audience more involved and more interested in our game.

There were also many local game shops in Vancouver that provided a place for us to playtest our game! We received tons of helpful feedback and learned how to improve our game. At the same time, we made many board game friends.

Basically, all we focused on was building a crowd. There are a lot more resources regarding the nitty gritty (launch page, squeeze page, reviewers, etc.) about the preparation that you can find online. I’d advise first time project creators to learn more before jumping into a campaign. Here’s some additional information by Mystic Fire Games, to talk about their keys to success, that really goes highlight some important points in this regard: Keys to a Successful Kickstarter

GETTING THE KICKSTARTER PAGE READY

Campaign Page

Our goal for the Chicken Heist KickStarter Campaign page was to generate interest and provide information. To captivate people, we worked with Ori Kagan of Kagan Productions, to produce an awesome KickStarter Promo Video! We included colourful images and GIFs to keep people interested. We put as much detail as we could on the campaign without being overbearing.

A main concern for us was losing people’s attention by showing all the unnecessary details. In the end, we just had brief overviews of the game description, components, and how-to play to give people a gist and feel for the gameplay. A more in-depth version of the rules is available for those who are keen to learn more.

We wanted to make this page as easy to navigate as possible. The campaign, in our opinion, should flow naturally. If people wanted to learn more about the game they would just need to scroll and read without needing to jump all over the place for the appropriate content. The scrolling would eventually lead to the Pledge Levels, that we carefully laid out all the options for the backers to choose from.

Additional information, such as testimonials, reviews, and shipping, were included at the end.

OUR PLAN AFTER THE LAUNCH

Reaching out to as many people as possible was the main priority during the entire duration of our campaign. I’ve listed how we approached below:

Sending out emails

  • We gathered an email list of 550 people. We had their permission to send them news and updates on the campaign, so we definitely wanted to shoot them an email to remind them! These individuals provided us with their email addresses by subscribing to get notified of news and updates, participating in our raffle draw, and by joining ourChicken Heist Playtesting Community!

Posting on Social Media

  • We also wanted to pump out interesting content to get as much traffic as possible. Our team devised a social media calendar and released artwork of our game day by day. The posts include tiny descriptions about the gameplay mechanics or the theme and story. We used predominately used: Instagram Twitter & Facebook

Joining Facebook Groups

  • There are tons of Facebook groups that boardgamers and board game designers are a part of. There are many that are there for you to post your KickStarter Campaign and/or to ask for advice and best practices. Make sure you join ahead of time and contribute to the groups before just posting out your KickStarter Campaign! People won’t feel the need to support you if you do not first support the community. No one likes a freeloader! ☹

Connecting with your Backers and Supporters

  • What I love most about this board game community is the genuine love and enthusiasm they share about this passion. We wanted to make a conscious effort to express gratitude for those who took the time to support us!

Updates/FAQs

  • Our team had dedicated members tasked with all things KickStarter. Our goal was to keep all our backers updated on frequently asked questions, stretch goals, design updates, and shipping information updates. The reason for this was to be as transparent as we can, to give our backers an ease that we are going to be on top of all aspects of our project.

This was a brief overview of the preparation portion of this KickStarter Experience. Please check out our next article coming soon. I will dive a bit deeper into the numbers and the results, as well as mention the problems that occurred! Happy gaming!

Article published on www.fourtato.com

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Tiny crew of board game designers! Four potatoes trying to make their ideas come to life!

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Fourtato Games

Fourtato Games

Tiny crew of board game designers! Four potatoes trying to make their ideas come to life!

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