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September 22, 2019
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The first 24 hours of a Kickstarter

by Nic Rutherford on 08/16/19 10:33:00 am

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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

For about a year and a half now, I've been developing a game called Fringe Planet. It's a survival simulator game inspired by Rimworld and Dwarf Fortress - with a heavy dose of Lovecraftian lore thrown in for good measure.

It got to the point where I wanted to run a Kickstarter - not just to raise funds, but to help market the game. I've been marketing the game mostly through very regularly twitter updates, as well as with a weekly blog post.

I've been preparing for this Kickstarter for three weeks now. Recording videos, getting graphics made (alas, I'm pretty useless when it comes down to making art) and writing copy. I've also been getting a lot of feedback from both backers and other game developers through the use of the Kickstarter preview function (incredibly handy feature - though would be awesome if it supported A/B testing).

Then finally, on the Sunday before the launch, everything was ready. All the graphics were in place, the videos uploaded and subtitled, the rewards all sorted and organised. I decided to push the campaign live on a Tuesday, at 4pm local time (UK).

I spent a lot of time on both Monday and Tuesday creating hype for the Kickstarter on various forums and on twitter itself. My notifications were going crazy and everything was going well. About half an hour before the Kickstarter launched, the nerves started kicking in - I'd done the best job I could do and ultimately my fate was going to be decided by what seems like a lot of dice rolls.

Then I hit the launch button. The Kickstarter was live!

If I thought the notifications were going crazy before, I was wrong. Nothing prepared me for the shear volume of activity that I was faced with in the first six hours. Multiple threads, emails, DMs, all coming through thick and fast. People pledging, questions about payment options, other gamedevs congratulating me on getting it live.

Then, I got an email through from Kickstarter - saying the Fringe Planet campaign had been selected as "Project they loved". This was an incredibly awesome moment - I was 2% funded within two hours!

But then, with the dizzying heights I had reached, things started to slow down. This was expected - when dealing with twitter, I'm dealing with multiple timezones and you can only hype for so long before people start switching off.

A few things I've learnt so far (and will be writing more of these as the campaign goes on)

1. Have all your graphics ready before the launch - I foolishly overlooked this which meant I was dealing with communicating while rapidly putting together things in gimp.

2. On twitter, pin your Kickstarter announcement, add a link to your bio.

3. Prepare for a lot of spam from "BackerNinjas" and "FundingQueens" - trying to sell their services - I was honestly surprised at the amount I got once it had gone live (including one who was using a Google form to collect payment info!).

4. The Kickstarter caption editor requires very careful use - and you can't download your closed captions from it once done - so if you are going to update your main video, you will need to re-do your closed captions. I really recommend doing them offline and uploading them if you want to do this.

5. Make sure to add your Google analytics key to the campaign - the information you can pull from it is incredibly handy.

Thanks for reading my first blog here, hopefully it will be the first of many. Let me know what you think. I would also be remiss if I didn't include a link to my Kickstarter - feel free to check it out, as well as share it with your community - it would be greatly appreciated!

Fringe Planet Kickstarter - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1759783741/fringe-planet?ref=de58s6


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