Kickstarter presentation at Metatopia


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Tips on using Kickstarter for game design projects, including a case study of Jeremy Keller's Technoir. Originally presented 11/5/11 at Metatopia.

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  • Kickstarter is a funding platform for Creative Projects.\n\nA Kickstarter Project is something specific and finite, with rewards that benefit both creator - that’s you - and backer - those are the people who support your work.\n
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  • An important thing about KSR is that all the funding is all or nothing. So when you start a project, you set how much money you want to raise, and an amount of time to do it in; generally about 30 days or so.\n\nSo you can see in this project, to put on a 24hr performance cycle of waiting for Godot, they have 10 hours to go and are $575 dollars short of their goal. If they had come up short by the time that 10 hours was up, no one is ever charged, everyone just walks away.\n\nIn this case, and in every case like this, they made their goal, backers were charged and the play went on.\n
  • Kickstarter was launched in April 2009, and since that time we have had some success. To date 1M people have pledged over $100M to 32,000 projects.\n\nWe currently see about $2M pledged per week, and a little less than half of projects launched succeed. Of the million backers 160,000 are repeat backers, and account for about 30% of money pledged.\n
  • One interesting thing we have seen is that a project that reaches just 30% of its funding goal has historically succeeded over 90% of the time. So once a project has a core audience behind it, it will usually succeed.\n
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  • A great Kickstarter project features a person sharing their ideas, their passion, and their process as the story progresses. This story is told through a few different elements on the KSR project page.\n
  • This is the first thing that greets you when you land on a Kickstarter project page.\nThe Video does not have to be fancy. Usually it is presented in the first person. We think this is the most effective type of video - The project video connects a person landing on your page to YOU.\n
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  • Some shot with a 5D, Photobooth, even a Cell Phone. It doesn’t matter. A person telling your story is what matters. It seems terrifying, but it is essential.\n
  • Project rewards are a required part of every KSR project, and we always say that rewards should benefit both backer and creator.\n\nThese are the kinds of things people are going to brag about, be excited about; things that they will not be able to resist. For you it is a chance to share your work, and to invite people into your story.\n
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  • When figuring out your reward tiers, ask yourself: Would my friends really want these things? Maybe send your ideas around to some friends you can trust, and see what they say.\n
  • Something people really sweat over: What should be my funding goal? What is the right amount?\n\n\n
  • Remember, the funding is all or nothing.\n
  • The average goal of a successful project on KSR is $4500.\nStatistically, a successful project will raise about 130% of its funding goal.\n
  • Far and away the most successful funding goal on KSR is in the 1-5K range -- Almost 1/2. 2/3 of successful projects on KSR come in at $10K or below. Those blockbusters I mentioned just a moment ago? Thats these bars over here - you can see the diff.\n
  • So let’s take a look at the typical project.\n
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  • Who are these people?\n
  • Primarily people you know. Walk through the categories: People who love you (Friends, Family, and Fans), People Who Follow You (Your Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr community). On avg, 70-80% of your $ are going to come from your network.\n\n\n
  • You care about these people.\n
  • The two biggest things backers want to know about:\n\n1) Process: Something everyone is really interested in with every project is Whats going on? \n
  • 2) Rewards -- When’s their stuff coming? Sneak peeks!\nEven the most mundane of activities will be important to your backers, because they are now part of your story, and your process (the good, the bad, the ugly). It gives your backer a sense that they really are a part of your story, and that you care about them.\n
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  • Even the act of mailing something is a story.\n
  • From the abstract to concrete.\n
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  • Jeremy structured his rewards so that every reward level would have access to the game. \n
  • Increasing amounts would include additional rewards like Player’s Guides and protagonists sheets.\n
  • Other exclusive rewards included t-shirts and custom dice. \n
  • At the highest levels, Jeremy offered to personally run a game of Technoir for you and your friends (though nobody selected the reward). \n
  • The low to mid-level rewards were instrumental to Jeremy’s success, with $25 and $40 being the most popular. \n
  • You can choose anything between 1-60 days. We really stress 30 days.\n
  • When a project first launches, there will be a big jump. This is your friends, family and biggest fans. The instinct is to do the most days possible, but what you are generally doing is extending your trough.\n\nJeremy reached his goal of $2500 in 24-hours. To keep the momentum going, he came up with clever updates and new milestones to encourage support and minimize the “slow period.”\n
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  • By the third day, Jeremy had more than doubled his goal. He created a new milestone, where if the project reached $10k, he’d release an alternative Player’s Guide called “Mechnoir” to everyone who pledged $10 or more. \n
  • When he blew past $10k, Jeremy offered another alternative Player’s Guide for all backers of $10 or more if the project reached $20k. Only this time, backers could choose what the theme of the Player’s Guide would be. Backers enthusiastically offered suggestions and voted on the theme. \n
  • After his project officially ended, Jeremy posted regular progress reports, including photos of the proofs he’d received for the book. \n
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  • Kickstarter presentation at Metatopia

    1. 1. Funding is All or Nothing
    3. 3. 30%THE TIPPING POINT
    4. 4. Projects that reach at least 30% oftheir goal will succeed over 90% of the time.
    5. 5. The single mostIMPORTANT thing to know...
    6. 6. Every Kickstarter isA STORY
    8. 8. See the video:
    9. 9. Don’t be scared.BE YOU
    10. 10. PROJECT REWARDS Copy of the thingCreative experience Shared story
    12. 12. WouldYOUR FRIENDS want your rewards?
    13. 13. TheMONEY
    14. 14. You can always raiseMORE THAN YOUR GOAL but never less
    16. 16. 87 Backers x $70(avg number of backers) (avg pledge amount) = $6,100 (avg funding amount)
    17. 17. Backers x $70 (avg pledge amount) = Your total?
    18. 18. Who are yourBACKERS?
    19. 19. your your your FRIENDS PRESS yourFANS INTERNET your MOM
    20. 20. Let your backers knowWhat’s going on?
    21. 21. Share insight into yourPROCESS
    22. 22. Post updates aboutREWARDS
    23. 23. Watch the video:
    24. 24. Every Kickstarter isA STORY
    25. 25. CASE STUDYTechnoirJeremy Keller
    26. 26. Watch Jeremy’s video:
    27. 27. REWARDS
    28. 28. Reward Choice Distribution 7 $39 82%REWARDS AVG PLEDGE PLEDGED < $40
    29. 29. DURATION
    30. 30. The Funding GraphDuration = 30 Days
    31. 31. Build momentum withUPDATES
    32. 32. Jeremy Keller made his storyOUR STORY
    33. 33. Every Kickstarter isA STORY