Kickstarter, and how to get funded...

edited in General
At this point we all know the conventional wisdom around what you should do for a Kickstarter project to be successful.

Do what Tim Schafer did, right?

(obviously Tim Schafer's credentials are practically unparalleled, and people usually mention that as well, )

And I think a lot of developers have been following this advice.

And frankly, it's had middling results.

So a lot of people are saying, Kickstarter is over saturated, people are burned.

And while that's certainly true...

Maybe, the thing is that a lot of developers are following the Tim Schafer Method even when it doesn't suit their project.

... The reason why I'm saying this is that I'm kind of baffled, because I believed Tim Schafer (after all he did pull it off magnificently but I'm seeing evidence to suggest that the Tim Schafer Method only applies to a portion of Kickstarter projects.

Specifically: The Tim Schafer method does not explain these projects.

One other thought. The Wildman project by Chris Taylor failed spectacularly. Whereas Planetary Annihilation, a game based on one of Chris Taylor's games, succeed brilliantly. The Wildman project followed the Tim Schafer Method pretty closely (I think), whereas I think the Planetary Annihilation pitch was a little different.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Does anyone have any other explanations or is spotting other Kickstarter trends?

Thanked by 1Tuism


  • I'm pretty certain that Kickstarter is all about the communities you can motivate with your game/pitch/reputation/video. Everything hinges on being consistently amazing - it's better to have just one video that's well done than to try and show off loads of things that are half-assed. If you even look slightly unfocused in one of your marketing materials on a KS project, people will be turned off your campaign.

    It's all about having a big following that you can use to get the word out as much as possible and then not losing people when they come to your KS page so that it acts as a positive feedback loop and more people get pulled into it faster as more people fund it. There were quite a few talks about KS at the GDC this year, I'm looking forward to those coming out on the Vault.

    Also, ew, Gas Powered Games' Kickstarter just felt horrible. It was done so incredibly badly... Nobody cared about the game, which they didn't show off much at all. The whole "give us money or we'll shut down" angle felt more like blackmail than a plucky indie starving to death so that they can make their dream game.

    I have no idea why Chris Taylor didn't just make the game everyone wants him to make: Dungeon Seige with Improbably Large Robots Destroying Things. It would be amazing! Leveling up makes you a bigger robot, kinda like Gurren Lagaan... Instead he decided to go all MoBA when his MoBA ideas have been crap in the past. Demigod sucked.
    Thanked by 1Tuism
  • edited
    Oooh. I'd love to see those Kickstarter talks when/if they come to the vault.

    That's a good point about consistency.

    Just to repeat that back to you (so it sticks in my head): Kickstarter it seems is not an | (OR) function, but an && (AND) function.

    For your pitch it is not: If a viewer likes this thing we show OR like this other thing OR this other thing then they support you...

    It is instead: If a viewer likes this we show you AND they like this other thing AND this other thing then they support you...

    Which is like all other marketing really.

    I guess what surprised me is that people are capable of getting excited about a project without it being described by the developers in person. Which is obvious, obviously. But for some reason I'd gotten myself confused. I think a bunch of people have.

    And yes. Chris Taylor could do way more exciting games than Wild Man, and his presentation was painful. Although I do like the Franzetta themes he seemed to be channeling, there's far far too little 70s fantasy in the market (for my taste).

    Also far too few giant robot battles!

  • edited
    The things I had to take away from the KS talks I saw at GDC that might be a bit less obvious were:
    • You need to have communities outside of KS. It's not a vehicle for creating a community that then kickstarts your project so much as a vehicle for magnifying things you already have in place.
    • People seem to treat KS support like a game. If the KS succeeds, it's like winning. If the KS loses, it's like losing, even though you don't actually lose your money. So people seem to want to back something only if they think it's got a chance of winning (as well as actually liking the product). If they like the product, but it has a lofty goal that they think will be unlikely to meet, they're not likely to back it even though they wouldn't be losing money if it were to fail.
    • KS backer graphs are U-shaped. It's super important to have a strong start, because it makes it look as if it's much more likely to succeed, making people much more likely to back it later on.
    • Setting the right goal was emphasised as the most important thing: one that's low enough to be reached, but high enough to realistically fund the project. One way that seems to work great for alleviating risk is to set tiered goals, making it much easier for the minimum goal to be reached, but allowing you to have the possibility of funding all the extras too, should you be more successful.
    Thanked by 1Tuism
  • You need to have communities outside of KS. It's not a vehicle for creating a community that then kickstarts your project so much as a vehicle for magnifying things you already have in place.
    That, I would think, is the big one. If KS is your first attempt at generating a community/fanbase, you will most likely fail.

    It would be like me coming on here and my first post after joining is "Hai! Buy my game lulz! It's the k-raddest EVERz!!!11one" you'd probably not do so. But, if after I've been an active member on the forums for a decent amount of time I post something similar, I'd (like to) think that I could generate a sale or two.
Sign In or Register to comment.