Tell us a bit about yourself and The city of Kings.
The City of Kings is a story driven cooperative fantasy adventure for 1 – 4 players where you explore an open world, gather resources, trade for items and battle against endless unique creatures with dice free combat. Whilst I am an interface developer who loves both board and video games and wanted to find a way to merge the experiences.
What did you do to build up a following before you launched the original game?
I regularly updated a blog about the game, released YouTube videos, maintained an active presence on Facebook and Twitter and regularly updated a work in progress thread on Board Game Geek.
What is your best marketing tip?
Find the platform you are comfortable using, love talking? Try a podcast. Love writing? Try a blog. Love writing regular 1 liners? Try Twitter. It’s much easier to maintain an active presence online if you enjoy the tools you are using.
Did you use reddit in your marketing?
I have been using Reddit for a long time so it naturally became part of my marketing strategy. Over the last year I have introduced the game to the Reddit community in a variety of ways such as asking people to fill in a survey about icons and by doing an AMA in the build up to the Kickstarter launch.
You did a big survey on what people think about different kickstarter subjects. How did you use that in the marketing on your game.
The Kickstarter survey was a great way to learn and share information whilst promoting my game. I asked people to fill in a series of questions relating to what they considered important on Kickstarter and on the thank you page simply said “The results will be available on www.thecityofkings.com”. The simplicity of the message left people intrigued, whilst if I had put info about the game it would likely have put people off.
This subtle marketing brought hundreds of new visitors to my website and when I released the results a week later it allowed me to directly link to my website on many platforms without it being considered a form of spam or advertisement. As I was simply sharing the results with useful information, the game was always kept in the background but it was also always there.
When did you launch and why did you choose that exact moment?
I launched at 16:00 BST on Tuesday 28th March. I chose the Tuesday as I believe this to be the best day of the week, giving you a clear 3 day window before the weekend starts and things slow down. I chose the 28th because it was exactly 5 weeks after the day I knew I was ready to launch and it gave me enough time to start letting people know.
I chose 16:00 BST because I believe the first 6 hours of a campaign are the most important and this covered morning and lunch in the US, the afternoon and evening in the EU and morning in Australia. Meaning all the major backer locations would be available for at least 2 hours during the first 6 hours.
You had a virtual launch party. How was that?
The virtual launch party was great, it brought nearly 100 people together 15 minutes before we launched and got everyone counting down. I would certainly do this again as it guarantees you a few backers as you launch and we all got to share the excitement together.
How do you structure your days during the campaign?
My days are entirely devoted to the campaign, I’m doing 16 – 18 hour days everyday responding to every question that comes up. I’m interacting with people on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Kickstarter, Board Game Geek and Reddit continuously which helps to keep momentum.
In my downtime from notifications I’m working with my fulfilment partners to work out retailer shipping quotes and trying to create new content to release.
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?
I intend to try and release as much content as possible, such as videos and blog posts whilst doing interviews and podcast recordings. The mid-campaign is always a hard time but I’m trying to overcome it by giving people a reason to keep coming back.
How often do you send out updates and what do they include?
I try to keep the frequency of updates low so about 1 every 2 days. They generally contain a summary of all the stretch goals we have unlocked, an update about the things happening in the next week and every other one contains a quest. Quests are ways of encouraging the community to interact by responding to questions and giving ideas.
Whats your tactic regarding stretch goals?
I’m approaching stretch goals differently as the campaign shifts from launch to mid campaign to end week. Currently we are releasing 2 at a time and trying to pace them so 1 unlocks everyday so our backers are always getting something new. Typically for each release 1 of the items is a small upgrade and the other is big and exciting.
You use a lot of facebook live videos. How has that worked out for you?
This is a new thing for me and it’s been interesting, it’s harder to get a high-quality stream but it’s much more social and interactive. It’s a great way to interact with the community when you don’t have any specific content to share.
What is the most important element of a Kickstarter page?
I believe a short overview of the game and a detailed graphic of what’s in the box. There are other elements which are important but these are the 2 you need to get right. Without them, people wont get to the other parts.
What is your favourite board game and why?
I don’t have a specific favourite, I have several depending on my mood and the situation. I love playing long games of Eclipse with lots of people, Terraforming Mars with smaller groups and Pingo Pingo when I need to play something silly.
What’s the best kickstarter advice you ever received?
Make sure your Kickstarter page is as good as your game.
Where can people reach you?
The best places to reach me are Twitter, Facebook and Board Game Geek.
The city of Kings is currently live on Kickstarter.