Tell us a bit about yourself and your last two games Salem and Tortuga 1667.
I’ve always loved games! I started tweaking games and coming up with concepts about 5 years ago. 2 years ago we raised $100K with our first game, Salem. Then in January we raised $400K with Tortuga 1667. Both are social deduction/strategy games that come packaged in faux book boxes.
What did you do to build up a following before you launched Tortuga? How much did you rely on the backers from Salem?
Not much, actually. We focused on building a great product and making it look amazing, and worried about the marketing once we launched. For Tortuga, the Salem backers were awesome. We messaged them right at launch and a lot of them were very quick to support us. That gave us a great boost.
What is your best marketing tip?
Run some “Ask Me Anythings” on Reddit, and get ads on Boardgamegeek.com. Those led to the most sales outside of internal Kickstarter traffic.
If there was one thing you wish you knew before you launched, what would it be?
To have add-ons in place. I didn’t realize how many people would want to add on Salem during our Tortuga 1667 campaign.
Did you expect getting so many backers?
I was optimistic we’d match Salem’s total, but we were definitely blown away by the support!
Did you do anything else on the Tortuga campaign that you did not do on the Salem campaign?
I had more stretch goals built in from the beginning, did ads on BGG, had a fun “Make 100” level where people could be turned into pirates. But for the most part it was the same.
When did you launch and why did you choose that exact moment?
January, since kickstarter isn’t flooded. 11:35am Eastern to capture the lunchtime spike in Kickstarter traffic. Wednesday to capture the high-point of the Kickstarter week.
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?
We just tried to reach new audiences. We launched some new ads and a contest on Board Game Geek, and were really active on Reddit during that time.
As far as I can see you dont use third party reviews from board game reviewers. Why not?
We’d actually like to do more of that in the future, but so far we’ve done fine without them. We make the rules available to people and show them an awesome looking game, and I think that has been enough for most. The people needing to see reviews are welcome to wait til the game is in retail.
How often do you send out updates and what do they include?
Twice a week. And I make sure they always have good news about stretch goals, backer numbers, some cool aspect of the game to point out. Not overbearing, always positive and excited.
Whats you tactic regarding stretch goals?
Have some to reward the backers, but don’t let them delay production or skyrocket costs. We’re very picky about the stretch goals we chose. For the last 3 days we offered free “daily rewards” to just say thanks to the backers.
What is the most important element of a Kickstarter page?
Good video, good pictures, simplicity.
Do you regret something you did on your last campaign?
I had to change one of the stretch goals since I hadn’t thought it through enough. Be sure to have your stretch goals really solid going into it.
What is your favourite board game and why?
Mafia – theatrical, intense, emotional, heated. So fun!
Do you have any role models in the board gaming industry?
My wife and my illustrator! They do a great job!
Where can people reach you?