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November 21, 2019
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The first week of a Kickstarter

by Nic Rutherford on 08/22/19 11:18:00 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.

 

What a week it has been. I'm running a Kickstarter for my voxel-based survival simulator game inspired by Rimworld/Dwarf Fortress (and before I forget, feel free to check it out here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1759783741/fringe-planet?ref=de58s6). Pledges have now, alas, dropped to fairly nonexistent levels. 

I've tried both Adwords and Facebook adverts to drive traffic to the page, but met with very little success. It's something that I am still tweaking with to see if I can get a decent conversion rate. Support on twitter has been fantastic, with the majority of pledges coming from my twitter accounts (I run two - my personal one, and the "Official" Fringe Planet one).

I'm reaching out to a lot of folks personally and getting some very valuable feedback about the campaign. Though everyone's view of a good Kickstarter is (very) different, this feedback is incredibly handy - I'd recommend anyone who is running a Kickstarter get as many eyeballs on the page as possible before you go live.

One of things I'd wish I had done earlier is use more referral links - it's incredibly handy to see what is driving pledges. Kickstarter has this functionality built in - use the Dashboard page to make them.

So, now what? Do I abandon the Kickstarter completely? or do I try something completely different to try and gain some attention?

I decided to do something completely different (this may be the silliest idea I've had).

I'm setting up a new pledge - at the £3 price point. This pledge is simply a handwritten postcard that can be mailed anywhere in the world and contains a code on it for a couple of cosmetic models in the game. The idea with this pledge level is that it is a bit of whimsy - an interesting and unusual physical reward for a very low cost.

The bonus of this is the digital content. Tied into the physical nature of the postcard, these cosmetic models are actually postboxes - relatively quick to develop and implement (in game terms they are non-interactive bits of furniture that give a mood buff).

The idea is that folks who have become invested enough in the game, but maybe can't support at a higher level get a nice physical reward along with some cosmetics. Once they are on board and feel more invested maybe they will upgrade the pledge.

Like I said, it's a bit of a silly idea - but I'm hoping it is silly enough to gain some traction.

Thanks for reading this - blogging about this is allowing me to create a record of learnings and I'm hoping by sharing my experiences I can help other folks avoid the same mistakes I've made as well as provide an insight into the mind of a developer who is running a Kickstarter.

Finally, if you do fancy getting your very own postcard, check out the Kickstarter - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1759783741/fringe-planet?ref=de58s6


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