After talking to lots of other Kickstarter creator recently I decided to turn the table and interview myself about our first Kickstarter campaign.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your last game.
I am a movie producer from Norway by day and a board game designer by night. Our game company is called Tompet Games and last September we kickstarted our very first game, Kill the King.
Kill the King is a strategic board game where two players control one army each. One player attacks a castle while the other player try to defend it and prevent the attackers from killing the king. The attackers have to hurry because the defenders will soon be reinforced by its own cavalry, returning to save the day.
What did you do to build up a following before you launched?
The first thing we did was reading Jamey Stegmaier´s blog(you can find it in the useful links section)
As we are based in Norway we can´t attend the big conventions around the world so we had to base our marketing on social media and creating a mailing list. We joined all the relevant groups and forums we could find and took part in the ongoing discussions there before we talked about our project. We did this 7-8 months before we launched and worked hard every day.
We also started an instagram account where we posted images of every game we played. On that account we also posted lots of images from the development of Kill the King so our followers could see how the game evolved.
When we were looking for playtesters of our game we simultaneously collected peoples email so we grew our mailing list. When we launched, our list had just passed 300 subscribers.
When did you launch and why did you choose that exact moment?
We chose September. It was between the big conventions and after the summer but before the end of the year. We also had reached the goal we set regarding the number of followers we needed so we were quite sure of reaching the important 30% the first day.
If there was one thing you wish you knew before you launched, what would it be?
When people cancel their pledges, it really hurts. It is also a pain in the ass if you just passed your funding goal or a stretch goals and you need to pass them again.
The beginning and the end of the campaign are when most of the backers pledge. Whats your main tactic to handle the mid-campaign drop?
The mid-campaign is really tough. To keep up momentum we launched more stretch goals and held a poll so backers could decide on a new unit. We also had a long list of people and blogs to contact so that we could get as many interviews and mentiones as possible. It is important to note that we had primed many of these blogs before so they were ready for us.
How often do you send out updates and what do they include?
Every time we reach a stretch goal we sent a new update telling what the new goal was and what the next goal would be. Maximum one update per day, although in the end we sent some more.
Whats you tactic regarding stretch goals?
We did only show three stretch goals when we launched. Every time we reached a new goal we added a new one. If you show all of them and you get a lot of backers on the first day you might not have any goals left for the rest of your campaign.
What is the most important element of a Kickstarter page?
Perhaps the profile image but I will say a combination of that, the funding goal, the pledge levels and LOTS of reviews.
Do you regret something you did on your last campaign?
No, I am very happy that my first campaign was so small. I learned a lot. If you make a small mistake on you budget for example, it is better to only have 300 backers compared to 1500.
What is your favourite board game and why?
I really enjoy a long 8 hour game of Axis and Allies. Lewis & Clark is also a very cool game.
Do you have any role models in the board gaming industry?
Inspiration from Kickstarter gods like Jamey Stegmaier and James Mathe is the main reason mortal people like me can make board games and launch them on Kickstarter. I have also had the pleasure to speak with lots of cool guys while working on this blog. Mark Swanson, Kevin Young and Kim Brebach and so on.
Anything else you want to add?
Our next board game which has the working title “Donning the purple” will hit Kickstarter at the start of 2018. It is a medium weight strategy game about having the really hard and stressful job as emperor in ancient Rome. If you want to be notifed of the Kickstarter launch or if you want to be a playtester you can join our mailing list by clicking HERE.