Tell us a bit about yourself and The island of Eldorado
Hey! I’m Daniel. I run a creative agency and recently designed this game! I grew up constantly playing games and making up little games. It seemed like every chore I had turned into a little game of some kind. 🙂
The Island of El Dorado is honestly so much fun. You are an explorer discovering an island in search of ancient Shrines. The Island is drastically different every time you play.
It’s a mash up of many different genres of games (I took inspiration from my favorite childhood games: Age of Empires, Catan, Risk, and many others). Even after hundreds and hundreds of playtests I still am standing up in excitement at the end of the games.
What did you do to build up a following before you launched the campaign?
Basically I just focused all my efforts on building a Facebook page/Community. I started the page 4 months before launch and I ran a little contest on every post – every day. “Like for a chance to win you name immortalized in the game” That’s it. People love them, it’s fun, and it works!
Did you expect getting so many backers? Why do you think that happened?
I designed the game so my wife and non-gamer friends would want to play too. It hits that sweet spot of easy to learn, but very deep in strategy. It’s hard to find games that gamers and non-gamers both enjoy. Plus, the backers have done a great job sharing and getting the word out!
On your Kickstarter page you have spread your reviews all over the page instead of having them in one section. Can you talk about that tactic?
I know that as a first time creator people would be skeptical of me and the game. Reviews can calm that skepticism, but I didn’t want to have reviews before people knew about the game.
I usually put reviews quotes near sections of the page that made sense. For example: “more than the sum of its parts” would make sense after the “In the Box” section.
You have done lots of live playthroughs online of your game. How has the response been to the videos?
People love them! Not only does it get people engaged, people can ask questions as we play. It also shows the confidence I have in the game and how well it’s been play-tested. A designer that was nervous about the game not being fun wouldn’t be willing to do a LIVE play through.
What kind of feedback have you got so far from the backers?
I’m overwhelmed by the feedback from backers. Not only have they been personally encouraging to me, they have come up with new ideas that make the gave even more fun. They came up with 2 new characters and a new specialty tile in the game.
What whas the biggest thing you learned from running this campaign?
Be REAL. I’ve seen a lot of campaign when the creator feels like they are far away and not involved or listening. It feels like they’re a corporation, not a person. Obviously they are getting notifications on their phone constantly of comments – respond to them in a genuine way.
When did you launch The island of Eldorado and why did you choose that exact moment?
9AM on a Tuesday. Tuesdays are big Kickstarter days, and 9AM would mean most of the US is awake, but not quite busy with their day.
If there was one thing you wish you knew before you launched, what would it be?
I wish I would’ve rethought my retail package to include more boxes. That wasn’t a big mistake, but it was a mistake I made.
How did you get all the art for the game?
The Metropolitan Museum in NYC recently put all of their public domain artwork readily available online in Hi-res. It’s beautiful artwork that I’m so proud to use.
What´s your main tip to handle the mid-campaign drop of new backers?
Just plan for it. It’s going to happen. Make sure your stretch goals are close enough together during that time so you can keep the buzz going.
How do you structure your days during the campaign
No real structure. It’s answering questions all day every day. It’s so fun but also exhausting.
What’s the best kickstarter advice you ever received?
Designers are defined by what they say NO to. There will be so many great ideas thrown around during your campaign – it’s your job to sift through them and try to find any gems.
What are your thoughts regarding stretch goals?
Know what you want the game to be at the end. Then take away some quality to bring down your original funding goal. That way your game actually gets funded! Stretch goals bring that quality back.
What is your comment in the debate about paid vs unpayed reviews?
I get both sides. I did both ways with El Dorado. They both make sense to me for different people’s situations. Just get a mix.
What do you think is the most important element of a Kickstarter page?
The entire kickstarter page. The feeling that it gives you. Every element must come together to be more than the sum of its parts.
What is your favourite board game at the moment and why?
Kingdomino. Because my wife and I can play quick and fun games after the kids go to bed. Practical but fun!
Do you have any role models in the board gaming industry?
Jamey Stegmaier is so open and honest. I aspire to be that transparent too.
Anything else you want to add?
Thanks for asking me to do this – and thanks again to all of my backers who have made this journey way more than I thought it would be.
Where can people reach you?
Facebook me! I’m an open book.