Crowdfunding has definitely pushed boardgames towards an unexpected and interesting direction. We noticed an interesting fact that boardgames are amongst the most financed products on Kickstarter: in such a growing market, supported by relatively small publishing houses, this pre-financing thrust makes it possible for game developers to experiment and to offer backers – hence buyers – high quality products, with excellent materials and great attention to the aesthetics.
Post scriptum was one of the first few to try it in Italy: our products are particularly suitable, thanks to a loyal fanbase who sees us as a good publisher of games for experts. Kickstarter and Gamefound are also excellent tools to give our games a promotional boost.
Crowdfunding is a smart way for small publishers to add value to their games, while paying attention to details and speaking directly to the target market with a tailored campaign.
But what happens when we decide to create a crowdfunding campaign for one of our games?
We need to think about it in a different way from a traditional publication, simply having good experience in the publishing field is not enough (we already explained how difficult a Kickstarter campaign is here).
Before starting the campaign, the game’s rules must be completed. At this stage we free our minds to find unique and fun solutions to expand the game:
–productive and aesthetically pleasing ideas (such as Shogun no Katana’s miniatures, suggested by the author Federico Randazzo);
–gameplay ideas and expansions (such as the expansion included in Katana and the campaign mode).
Then we develop a structured business plan, where we plan:
–costs of the material for the base game, any additions that we might foresee for stretch goals and the different prizes, and all the subsequent implications (for instance… do the add-ons fit in the box?);
–the set-up of the Kickstarter page;
–the promotion of the campaign on our channels.
At this stage, we complete all these ideas for the campaign: obviously we need most of the illustrations to be ready to design promotional content and videos; for the most complex materials we create detailed mock-ups that can give an idea of what we want to offer our backers. Then we decide most of the additional rules and the expansions.
And, finally, we get to the best part: the campaign!
“You commit yourself… then you see”. (Napoleon)
The campaign is a very delicate moment, it is exciting, stressful, and everything can change according to backers’ reaction, their responses, and their ideas.
It can happen that just changing the order of the features shown on the page, contributions suddenly go up.
It can happen that a user comes up with a canny idea for a stretch goal and we implement it on the spot.
It can happen that we need to constantly adjust the promotions that we show every day and the goals that we want to achieve.
Just like in a sport competition, preparation is necessary, but it’s not enough, everything evolves in that moment.
Now, after 3 increasingly more successful crowdfunding campaigns, we have a solid structure and we get ready for future campaigns by discussing with the authors about more and more engaging and a ambitious ideas that we could implement in our Placentia games. More and more often, authors who suggest games to us already think about the crowdfunding campaign, suggesting interesting materials or game design ideas that increase the value of the final product.
One thing is for sure, without our backers’ support and advice, Placentia games wouldn’t look as nice and wouldn’t be as well-finished as we think they are. We wouldn’t be able to give the same value to the design choices if we were to sell them directly on the traditional market. In one word we wouldn’t be able to DARE, or if you prefer, we wouldn’t have as much FUN and create more and more ambitious games.
Without you, Placentia Games wouldn’t exist, and for this reason we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts, because you make it possible for us to create games in which we really believe, to have a structure where we can experiment and to raise the quality bar. THANK YOU!
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