So as most of you probably know, I ran a Kickstarter campaign last year for Numenera that was quite successful. And now I’m doing it again for a new game called The Strange. I learned a lot from that first Kickstarter, though, and so I wanted to share some of the things that I’m doing differently, and maybe provide some insight into why, because I thought a few people might find it interesting to get a behind-the-scenes peek.
Higher Funding Goal
Numenera’s funding goal was $20,000. The goal for The Strange was $60,000. Why? Because with the release of Numenera–this beautiful, full-color book at 416 pages, we weren’t going to release a follow up that was small, black and white, and average in quality–which is what Numenera was originally supposed to be at that lower goal. It was only through the support of backers and reaching a number of stretch goals that Numenera became the book it was to be. We wanted to ensure that, no matter what, The Strange would equal that in quality and beauty.
In addition, Numenera’s whole product line came about due to stretch goals. While I hope that’s true for The Strange as well, I believe so strongly in The Strange, and in the importance of a good, inexpensive Player’s Guide and first adventure, that we added those things in, as print books, from the get-go. So The Strange Kickstarter is coming out with three beautiful full-color books, right out of the gate.
Packages and Kits
One of the things that I did really wrong in the Numenera Kickstarter, both from a backer point of view and a fulfillment point of view, was that I had too many different add-ons, reward levels, and extra bits. It made things confusing to backers and it made fulfillment a nightmare.
This time, we’re organizing things into packages and kits that backers can either get as their rewards or add on as additions to their reward. So, for example, while last time there were shirts, dice, and all sort of things like that, now we’re taking all that stuff putting it together into a kit (called The Strange Player’s Kit), discounting the overall price, and making that an add-on.
What’s more, these packages and kits allow us to better organize our stretch goals. If, say, we want to create a new Cypher Deck for The Strange (the way we did for Numenera) that’s not an additional add-on, it just goes in the Player’s Kit, making the kit an even better deal for backers.
It’s cleaner, clearer, and easier for everyone.
One controversial thing (perhaps) that we’re doing, or rather not doing, is we’re not signing any books. Instead, we’re going to create some beautiful bookplates for The Strange and sign them, so that backers can put them in their books.
Why? Well, in the first place, it’s actually classier this way. But much more importantly, it’s going to keep books from getting damaged. While I’m happy that for a shipment of its size, Numenera had very few damaged books, a LARGE percentage of those were signed books. Why? Because we had to take them out of their shrinkwrap–which is there for protection–to sign them and then we put them in the mail. I jut don’t want to risk damaging people’s books, and in particular people who go the extra mile to get signed books, and thus probably care about the books’ condition even more.
In conclusion, I think that running and fulfilling a Kickstarter is a learning process. Numenera taught us a lot, and I think we did quite a few things right (thankfully). We now have a healthy and growing line of game products under that banner, all thanks to Kickstarter. I want to do that (and more) with The Strange. It’s going to be an exciting five weeks.