Jul 242013

So, this happened to a perhaps too aptly named board game:


Have a read, then come back. I’ll wait.

Okay! So let’s review:

• If you have one, don’t quit your job to fulfill a kickstarter campaign. The time and financial costs always turn out higher than you project, and you need that other source of income to make sure you stay afloat — and can (if you didn’t start with money in your company coffers) personally float yourself a loan for overruns.

• Don’t, y’know, move or make any life decision based on the funding of a Kickstarter campaign. This has to fit into your already available time-space and current location.

• Put yourself and your partners through whatever emotional stress-test you can in advance of running the thing. There’s no sure riftmaker like success, and few pressurecookers like a Kickstarter campaign; add to that the obligation to and expectations of your backers after you’ve funded and you’ll find yourself at a high-stress breaking point all the damn time (believe me).

• Unless you’ve got some rock solid experience personally implementing and delivering on a project at any scale under time and budgetary pressure, do NOT make a Kickstarter your first time out. It’s all of that _plus_ additional stressors unique to a crowdfunding campaign. Take incremental steps: not giant leaps. Kickstarter doesn’t patch over any of that for you.

• That means you need to build experience to do your dream project. For 99% of folks who make things, that’s how you have to do it. Yes, there’s a loud 1% of folks who got it right the first time. They’re the exceptions. The rest of us have to get there by increments. Dream big, yes, but also dream small. Make your first thing a small thing. Make your next thing a slightly larger thing. And so forth.

Evil Hat spent 6 years working on being a successful RPG publisher before trying to branch into board games. Our Race to Adventure Kickstarter was a success. We funded to the level we asked for. Getting there meant a bunch of swag and shipping that we maybe shouldn’t have taken on. All told it meant we got to product launch about $20,000 in the red with the expenses that went beyond the funds covered by what was funded.

We knew we would probably see overruns. We planned for it. That $20,000 came out of funds we already had prior to the project. After several months of sales following the game’s release in April, we’ve cut that number in half. We’re confident we’ll eventually break even on the game—it’ll just take time. Time we can afford.

This is not an atypical Kickstarter boardgame scenario.

Be ready for it.

Jul 252012

I’m going to dig into some of this a bit more in another post — particularly the Board Game Geek stuff — but I thought you might be interested to see what the Kickstarter dashboard is telling me.


via Kickstarter: 46%
via External: 54%

Dollars pledged via Kickstarter


Dollars pledged via external referrers


Average pledge amount

Referrer Type # of Pledges % of Dollars Dollars pledged
Direct traffic (no referrer information) External 216 24.44% $12,739.44
Board & Card Games (Discover) Kickstarter 133 13.18% $6,869
Search Kickstarter 88 9.65% $5,030.99
Twitter External 57 6.68% $3,482
Facebook External 45 5.01% $2,612
Embedded widget External 42 4.17% $2,174
boardgamegeek.com External 41 4.01% $2,088
Kickstarter user profiles Kickstarter 41 8.92% $4,648
A project’s backer confirmation page Kickstarter 36 3.80% $1,979
google.com External 21 2.12% $1,104.50
Friend backing email Kickstarter 17 2.71% $1,411
deadlyfredly.com External 15 1.40% $730
plus.url.google.com External 12 1.19% $619
mail.yahoo.com External 10 0.91% $475
48-hour reminder email Kickstarter 9 0.92% $480
Activity feed Kickstarter 9 1.55% $810
Recent history bar Kickstarter 9 0.86% $449
Recently Launched (Discover) Kickstarter 8 0.90% $469
Home spotlight Kickstarter 7 0.59% $305
Popular (Discover) Kickstarter 6 0.56% $290
trictrac.net External 4 0.35% $180
Home location Kickstarter 4 0.42% $220
kicktraq.com External 4 0.35% $180
Staff Picks (Discover) Kickstarter 3 0.30% $160
sjgames.com External 3 0.40% $210
Jul 232012

(Head on over to the Kickstarter to back Race to Adventure before time runs out!)

We’re into the last day and a half of funding, Racers!

This is when your voice in social media will make the biggest difference in how much stuff we’ll be able to give you when it’s all said and done. We raised nearly $9,000 in the first day of this project — and we only need less than $6,000 to reach the Hollow Earth.It can be done!

To help things along, we’re upping the ante–Strange Travels style! At the very least we’ll be releasing a smaller version of Strange Travels if we reach our $50,000 stretch goal, along with the already-promsied Hollow Earth promo expansion that’s part of the $50,000 stretch goal.

You’ve already seen a peek at three alternative board layouts that will go Strange Travels for sure. But there could be more — and how much more will be up to you!

For every $1,000 we raise past $50,000, we’ll add another rules variant or alternative board layout to enhance your Race to Adventure experience.

At $51,000, we’ll include support in Strange Travels for a sixth player.

At $52,000, we’ll include support for solo play.

Other possibilities exist depending on how far we can take it. A mobile game location, like Brigadoon or a flying fortress … support for cooperative gameplay … game actions that let you change the layout of the board during play … it’s all on the table!

Your backing will tell us how far to push the envelope.

The finish line is in sight. Time to fire up the afterburners and go full throttle. Let’s win this race and win big!

 Posted by at 12:51 pm  Comments Off on [Crosspost] The Final Push on Race to Adventure!  Tagged with:
Jul 192012

(Click to enbackenate)

Jul 102012