The greatest failure is to not try. That is why when board games on Kickstarter that “fails” to fund, I don’t consider them as failures, rather as learning experiences. What ever the issue that may of contributed to the game not funding, from the marketing, gameplay, artwork, etc., it is important to learn and re-adjust.
I had to chance to speak to Richard, creator of Budgies With Grudges, who was happy to share with me his Kickstarter campaign that “failed” to fund back in 2018 and the lessons he learned from the experience; he has adjusted his marketing strategies, revamped the artwork, and re-launched his Kickstarter project. Read more about Richard’s experiences and about his card game.
Budgies With Grudges is currently LIVE on Kickstarter, so if his Kickstarter adventure interests you at all, be sure to check out the new campaign. You can find the information to support the campaign HERE.
Budgies with Grudges is an adorably twisted card game where players combine hand management and strategic gameplay to become the ultimate champion of the birdcage fighting league.
What was your experience with Kickstarter in 2018? What are you doing differently?
We originally launched Budgies With Grudges way back in 2018, the game had been fully designed, illustrated and play-tested to a point we were ready to crowdfund and make our vision a reality. We tried to make the project page as appealing and engaging as possible, breaking up text with imagery and using multiple videos to demonstrate how the game is played in detail.
However, although we had a strong start on Kickstarter the project lulled much sooner than we had anticipated, so regardless of the advertising we used, word of mouth and paid advertising, the project ended up failing to fund. A low percentage of people seemed to be watching our project video from start to finish, this indicated we were not capturing people’s interest well enough and not gripping them with our game explanation.
We learned from this experience that there are times you can go into too much detail and deter potential backers. Most people want to know the core of the game and what makes it unique. There should’ve been options for others to find out more such as a rulebook and online reviews.
In addition, it was clear that no matter the effort and how appealing the project may look, it had to be a good market fit. Marketing had to be a bigger focus. If only a few knew about the project from the get-go, eventually day after day the game would get buried under new projects being released on Kickstarter and would fail to reach its funding goal.
Presently we are pleased to say we have re-launched our Kickstarter which is live now until 30th April 2020. From our previous experience almost two years ago, we’ve put a lot of time into growing our social media following and outreach to make more people aware of Budgies With Grudges. Utilizing the amazing pre-launch page feature on Kickstarter has allowed us to notify fans the moment we launched. Our project page is much more visual than last time, with far less text and ‘fluff’. We have also made the project video much shorter.
Why are you revamping the artstyle?
When our initial Kickstarter campaign failed to fund, we went back to the drawing board, quite literally. We knew the gameplay was solid and from our playtesting feedback, people liked how quick and easy the game was to grasp. On the other hand, looking at the market and our illustration style, we thought we could make the game more appealing and unique.
We re-illustrated the entire game, embraced a new more colourful art style and tested the art out with our social media following, where we had considerably more engagement than our previous game iteration. To play to the strengths of the battling bird theme, we focused on a juxtaposition, of cute and gory artwork. A rising trend in pop culture is ‘birbs’, which basically cute birds which sometimes have an evil/silly side. That concept allowed us to simplify our budgie characters, but as a whole, this made the game much more attractive. The cards were now full colour with backgrounds, and we feel that we are now appealing to a larger audience rather than just fans of sports/wrestling and fighting games.
What are the difficulties of being a solo creator? How does this impact your Kickstarter campaign?
Developing a card game as a solo creator comes with both it’s advantages and disadvantages. As a solo creator you have complete control over every aspect of your game, from art to game mechanics. It’s very much your brainchild but this does come with some hardships. Creating a game solo means you can potentially obsess over certain aspects of your game, such as the art. Without a team to guide you, to give you feedback, a solo can constantly be on the search of the unattainable ‘perfection’. Thus, this puts back releasing a game month after month, as you are your own toughest critic.
Budgies With Grudges has been a huge part of my life and my families life for 3 years. My partner has supported me from the very start, when we would stay up late playtesting the game written on blank white cards. She has seen me illustrate cards and Instagram posts daily, heard me talk about the game daily and watched me construct game boxes and rules all the way up to a Kickstarter campaign.
Brain Blips is blessed to have built such an amazingly supportive following, without this encouragement and feedback this journey would’ve been a much steeper climb. The game is finally live for a second time on Kickstarter, looking more polished and distinct than it ever has. We are pushing the word out as much as possible to deliver on the dream of bringing this birb battling card game to the masses. We look forward to the next exciting chapter of this quirky little card game of ours.
For more up-to-date information on Budgies With Grudges, please follow them on the links below. Be sure to checkout their Kickstarter Campaign which is currently LIVE!
- Facebook Page -budgieswithgrudges
- Instagram Page -@budgies_with_grudges
- SUPPORT the Kickstarter Campaign -Budgies With Grudges
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