The place where the little guy can get the money to make the thing, in our case, game, they’ve always wanted, but don’t have the resources to produce.
I know a few of you are going to go this route. And if you do plan on it: Good for you. But, before you get down to making that kickstarter, lets check if you are REALLY ready.
Let’s look at what I consider a really well organized Kickstarter for a indie video game:
And let’s break down why its good.
They Show That They CAN Produce a Game
You can, right now, download the demo of the game. This proves to people that the creators of the Kickstarter CAN actually make something. They also have several games behind them, and you should, too. Even if they are just small hobby games, you should have something to point to that says “I have made games. I can make games”.
If you want your first game to be a commercial game, then you are probably going to have to shoulder the financial burden of creation yourself. That is just the way it is. No one wants to back someone’s first game. There is no real guarantee of quality, or even that you can finish something.
But let’s talk about that playable demo: Kickstarter isn’t for half baked ideas with nothing behind them yet. When you go to Kickstarter, your project should already be pretty far along.
Repeat after me: ART! ART! ART! ART! ART! (This line gets my SEAL of Approval)
Yes, I know, games are about story, games are about gameplay, whatever, but marketing is about ART. And if you want to succeed at marketing your game, ART is where you are going to do it.
You will not succeed in crowdfunding if you can’t dazzle some eyes out there. And yes, I know, that if you aren’t an artist, art costs money. But the truth of the matter is, if you aren’t prepared to plop down a bit of cash for your dream, why should anyone else?
Just look at this list. Look at ALL THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE TALKED ABOUT UNRAVELED. Reach out. Get people talking about your game. Yeah, you are going to get a few rejections. But you need to start making pitches before you even get your Kickstarter up, because without people spreading the word, you are going to fail.
Contact vloggers, bloggers, gaming news, ANYONE who will listen to you. Pitch them the whole thing. Show them art, send them a demo if you can. You are going to get rejections. You may get a few people interested. Just a few of the right people is enough to cascade your game into popularity, and popularity = backing and backing = $$$$!
Have Your Pitch Down
What is your game about, how does it play? And most importantly: What makes it important? Why is this game worth backing over every other game out there? Unraveled centers itself around the setting (which frankly sounds really interesting), so what does YOUR game do?
And Even With All That:
You still might fail. One of the other reasons I picked Unraveled is that this is its second attempt at Kickstarter. And its first attempt almost looked just as good as this one. I wanted it to succeed before, and I want it to succeed now, but even with all that it does right, it may not.
And I know what you are thinking. “What about that dumb game that succeeded, or that guy who made Potato Salad?” Well yeah. Sometimes something dumb just gets funded because it hits some viral weirdness that pushes it into the stratosphere. But that is a minority. Don’t play with your Kickstarter like it’s the lottery. Do your legwork. Get as much as your game finished as you can without the money. Have past games to point to to say “Hey, I can do this.”. Have something to show off. Have some flashy bling. Have people already talking about it, and know how to talk about it yourself.
Because in the end, you might have that flashy pile of money to do something you never dreamed of. But you don’t get there without hard work.
Do you have any advice on how to make a Kickstarter work? There is a lot left I don’t even touch on, and I’d love to hear your top tips! Join the discussion in the comments section below.