Tell us a bit about yourself and Deep space D 6 that is live now on Kickstarter.
I’m a visual designer currently based out of New York. I actually design for the aviation and aeronautics industry at my day job. I started designing board games in 2012, but have a history with game design in general starting from 2008. Deep Space D-6 started out as a submission for a print & play contest on BoardGameGeek.com. I had so much fun playing the game and feedback was so good that I decided to try and get it published. The first Kickstarter surprised me, but the reprint absolutely astounded me.
The rumor around the web is that you a bit anti Kickstarter. Honestly, what do you think about kickstarter and crowd funding?
I love the Kickstarter platform. The idea that anyone with an idea can potentially have it see the light of day is inspiring. Unfortunately, I feel as though the platform has become less about individuals with ideas and more about pre-orders and hype. Still, without Kickstarter, none of my games would ever have been made. I’m certainly thankful for that!
You say that you dont like too much advertising. How do you market your games?
There really aren’t that many true solitaire games out on the market despite their growing popularity. I think a lot of solo gamers found Deep Space D-6 just searching for solitaire games and started recommended it to others. It also helps to have a free print & play that people can try.
When did you launch your campaign for Deep space and why did you choose that exact moment?
I originally had no intention to reprint the game. My Kickstarter backers were happy with the game, but it didn’t do so well at retail. I only planned to make a small expansion for the base game and offer what few copies I still had as add-on items. All of the sudden I was seeing DSD6 listed for exorbitant prices in places like eBay and 3rd party Amazon retailers. So I ran a Kickstarter for the reprint to test the demand.
Did you expect to get so many backers for the reprint?
Not at all.
What do you think was the main reason for the success of Deep Space?
I think the game is very approachable. There’s a lot of design decisions I made to ensure the game could be picked up and understood immediately. As a solo game, it addresses a lot of pain points I discovered while researching solitaire games- things like a super fast setup, minimal fiddlyness, and variability in difficulty and lenght.
Is it any different running a campaign for a reprint versus the original game?
A reprint is nice because you have a clearer picture of who the audience is and what they want to see. Though it’s far from pushing a big ‘reprint’ button at a factory, it’s certainly easier than an original game.
You write on your Kickstarter page that you are not a fan of lots of reviews or stretch goals. Why?
I have yet to see a negative review posted on a board game Kickstarter. It’s rare, because the objective of most Kickstarters is not to present you with an honest perspective of the game. It’s to make the game seem like the greatest game of all time. There’s a disconnect there that doesn’t have the backer’s best interest in mind.
I think stretch goals like component quality upgrades are an excellent idea. They bring real value to a project and actually fit into the concept of economy of scale. Gameplay related stretch goals, on the other hand, often feel as though they were part of the original game and stripped out for backers to earn and generate activity. Alternatively, from first hand experience, I can tell you a lot of those gameplay stretch goals aren’t nearly playtested well enough. I try my best to design complete game experiences and stretch goals seem counter-intuitive to that.
You added a surprise stretch goal at the end of your campaign?
Yes! I’ve added a variant gameplay mode that is inspired by pen and paper roleplaying games and non-linear books. It’s something I’m very excited about. I’m also really happy to be able to offer something that won’t impact the delivery dates of the game itself.
If there was one thing you wish you knew before you launched Deep Space, what would it be?
I wish I knew that this campaign would lead so many people to search for my previous games. They are all out of print and I’ve got far too many new games coming to work out a reprint of those any time soon.
Whats your main tip to handle the mid-campaign drop of new backers?
It’s important to recognize that the drop will happen almost no matter what you do, or what the product is.
What’s the best kickstarter advice you ever received?
Not to fixate over the canceled pledges. People have millions of reasons to cancel a pledge, it’s not always that they did not like your game.
What do you think is the most important element of a Kickstarter page?
A visual (not video) graphic of how the game works. If this can’t be done, it’s too complex an idea.
What is your favourite board game at the moment and why?‘
Kingsburg has always been my favorite game. I really enjoy dice and the excitement they can add to a game. Also that art is just so classic!
Do you have any role models in the board gaming industry?
I’m really grateful for the series of design talks Richard Garfield has done.
Anything else you want to add?
Support your national space agency!
Where can people reach you?
TauLeaderGames.com and @that1guyTony on twitter