Glyph Developer Journal: 11/19 Kickstarting a Kickstarter project
On November 1st, I launched the Glyph Kickstarter project. I felt the project page looked good--we had a great video that was succinct while highlighting the main game mechanics; Sergey's art was prominent and added a nice visual to the text; the game itself was a good value. In addition, my experience and knowledge in the board game industry as both player and creator was been increasing exponentially the past few years.
The $52k funding goal still worried me, but I had seen many other projects with that and much higher goals achieve them. It was going to be fine, I told myself, and clicked "LAUNCH." Within minutes, I had a couple backers and was really excited. This is it! I thought.
And then...nothing. The Glyph project just failed to catch on with backers. During the campaign, I attempted to engage the backers I did have and get feedback from them about the game. This alone was a MAJOR insight. As a creator, I feel it is easy to overlook some things because you already know all the behind-the-scenes stuff. For a potential backer, however, all they have is what is presented to them. I missed out on some key opportunities to entice backers and get them excited about the game.
Fast forward to today: I now am now one week from our relaunch, and I'd be lying if I didn't say the past attempt has made me a little gun shy. The one bit of solace I can grab hold of is the fact that I have, in essence, performed a test campaign and gather a bunch of useful information to make the "real" campaign that much better.
Pricing and Funding - after my first go, I decided to take a hard look at Glyph and see what I could do to streamline components to reduce costs. In addition, I branched out and contacted many more manufacturers to get a broader quote field to try out. My results have been fantastic: I not only reworked Glyph to require fewer dice, but I truly feel the gameplay has improved because of it. In addition, I have been able to work out a much lower MOQ (minimum order quantity), which has drastically reduced the initial goal requirement.
Stretch Goals - this was probably one of the biggest missed opportunities in the project. While I had stretch goals lined up, I decided to hold them back until the funding was achieved. Part of this was because I wanted to focus on the core game, the other part was conflicting feedback I had received regarding stretch goals. In the end, backers came to the page, didn't see much incentive to back at the time, and left. I feel day one momentum is vital to a successful project. With new games being launched every day, you need to get the backer's attention early and keep them excited for the duration.
This time around, I have included SOME of the stretch goals at launch. I have even decided to take one of the prior stretch goals and include it as a free bonus right off the bat. I want my backers to feel I am rewarding them for trusting in me with their money. Without them, there would be no Glyph, and as such they should reap the benefits of making it happen.
Organization - this one wasn't mentioned as much, but as I looked at the page, I realized I didn't do the best job of explaining the game to those who don't watch gameplay videos. This led me down the path of restructuring the content and making it easier to follow. I added some new fancy animated gifs for quick examples of rolling dice and drafting cards, and included a digital layout of the game. I hope this helps people quickly see everything Glyph has to offer and provide a simple demonstration of two key mechanics of the game.
There are a few other tweaks I've made to the campaign for our relaunch. Suffice it to say that the feedback from the first attempt has proved very valuable and, while I wouldn't want other creators to have to go through what I did, there is much that can be learned from the experience.
Here's to a successful relaunch!