I found a brief article from a rather successful artist, which explains a few useful points:
- keep things personal
- strive for quality
- communicate regularly
- over-plan for contingencies
- maintain your passion for the project
For those of you who aren't afraid of reading, here's the link:
Ghost in the Machine is an example of a successfully-funded indie game project. I think it's conceivable that some of us here at TDC may be able to achieve similar success with our own projects. By way of encouragement and brainstorming, I'd like to see this thread become a springboard for at least one more indie game project.
Anyone else with suggestions on how to keep the momentum going and eventually achieve success with your Kickstarter campaigns?
What do you think it takes to have your project become fully-funded?
If you were to create a funding campaign on Kickstarter, how would you go about it?
One thing I've learned the hard way over the past couple of years is that if you are an Indie game developer, people expect you to be a creative genius. Making a generic platformer isn't going to get you a lot of attention, you need to have something that makes your game very unique in an interesting way and you need to take that thing and do it perfectly. Look at games like Braid, Fez, Spelunky, and Super Meat Boy. Each stands alone as unique and each perfects the mechanic that makes it special.
Also, I find it really easy to overlook story in order to focus on gameplay. You have to rememebr that creating an environment that people want to be in is tantamount to gameplay. Think of it this way: you can make a game like Proteus that is really interesting almost entirely out of the setting it creates with little to no gameplay, but I can't think of any successful games with bad graphics, music and story but great gameplay.
If you put a million monkeys at a million keyboards, one of them will eventually write a Java program.
The rest of them will write Perl programs.
End of the subject is that it is all for money, and I myself have nothing to search on Kickstarter unless I want to trick people of giving me money for a little project I would do anyway without any support... Yeah, I can always make a good game and ask for 100$ so I could place it on Steam and offer the soundtrack of my game for a specific sum and the full game for another sum... Right... When it comes to your pal NastyMan it would be more like an e-begging.
I agree, kickstarter like most other "indie" things has changed for the worst. Its a great platform for people to get funds that they NEED! Most of the games on there dont need money it is just easier to sell a game before its finished under some ideal that you are helping the developer complete the project, rather than finish it and then sell it. And most of the campaigns are for larger "indie" companies asking for silly amounts. God knows how some of them manage to get funded.
this whole indie thing is kinda messed up now. companies with 20 staff and a budget of 1 million are not indie. They are just self publishing.
I see a lot of... interesting things on Kickstarter, so I'm not surprised with the negative energy in these posts. Kickstarter is a great way to help fund your project, but not only that, it also serves as free advertising. I question if that will degrade as time goes by, but right now if an interesting project appears on kickstarter, word gets out about it.
I think the best things to do are:
Create your campaign with the best level of professionalism that you can. Commission an artist to create a beautiful, stand out graphic for the page. I think this is pretty important, as it's the first thing people will see. Use decent quality recording equipment to video yourself, or talk over quality footage of the best looking parts of the project.
Get to the point quickly. There's nothing worse than listing to someone go on about their inspiration or childhood memories for 10 minutes, without mentioning the actual project their hoping to create.
You must show gameplay! Too many times I read through a kickstarter and end up not knowing what the actual game will look/play like. There's no way I'd be able to support a page with little info on the project. I say, show the best bit of gameplay you have up to press, and follow it up with concepts for things you're planning to add later.
Show that you've thought about project management. This isn't really a step I pay too much attention to, but I know a lot of people would feel better about giving support if you've shown that you'd thought clearly about time and financial restrictions.
Let the people know why the money is needed. Again, I don't always feel I need to know this as I tend to build up the idea myself, but explain in text on the page what the money will be paying for.
It's important that you put a lot of thought into your kickstarter projects. You're essentially trying to sell a product, so make sure it's flashy and seems to have good structure!
If I could turn back the clock, I may have been persuaded to create a kickstarter for my project (I've spent hundreds of £'s on it so far .__. ) and I would have released it as a free PC game. (much easier than building for iOS, and it's irritating limitations and varied power across devices. :/
Edit: I know what Nastyman means though. I think it can be tempting to go to kickstarter for the wrong reasons. Set a goal of £100 for a small-ish project you know you can fund yourself, create an outstanding kickstarter page and you could end up receiving £1000 instead. But hey, it's extra money and free advertising, so can you blame people? (Your project would have to be pretty awesome to get that much more though..)
I have funded four KS projects. One was successful, one is way overdue, and the other two failed.
I took a grant writing course in college. I'm not an expert, but one of the things that I learned is that when you request money, you need to have a detailed account for how that money will be spent. On many KS projects, I don't get the feeling that they need the money to get the project going. I feel like they're looking for extra money as a bonus.
I want to feel confident that the only way this project is going to work is if they have X $$$ to get it done. I should believe it.
The other negativity associated with KS is the lack of accountability by KS. Basically, donations are your risk. I want more protection for my money.
Send me feedback on my latest game, It Never Ends.
I'll have to use a service like gofundme.com if I want to safely escape from the forced treatment of psychiatry.
Rent an apartment. Hide, eat well and favor these who donate with creations exclusive to the campaign... What would you suggest? I know that Lexi, that user I saw here posted a campaign for a sex change operation... Therefore, it can also help to save people's lives.