A Kickstarter superbacker is a person that backed at least 25 projects in the last year, with pledges at $10 or more. In other words they back a lot of projects. As a Kickstarter creator I always have a lot of questions I want to ask regular backers. Thats why I reached out to superbackers (and a few aspiring superbackers) on the web and asked them some easy but really important questions. First I asked what the first thing a backer look at when they open a KS page. Then I asked what superbackers wanted to tell all KS creators. And now it is time for the third question:
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT OF A KICKSTARTER PAGE?
Ease of use. A backer should be able to find all the relevant information quickly and easily. The game may be fantastic, and the value might be phenomenal, and the production will be lightning fast, but if potential backers have to comb through the Kickstarter Page to find answers to their questions, then they will likely move on, and the “sale” is lost. Information has to be communicated clearly and quickly in order to attract every potential backer to the project.
This would seem to be an obvious point, but it’s amazing how many KS pages require too much effort to find even basic information. -The Game Steward (600 backed)-
That it is easy to read and understand what you are getting. -Robert M (447 backed)-
Images of the product and a video that shows the game being played. -Becca (305 backed)-
Pictures, without a doubt. Lots of pics that show the details… what you’re getting, components, layout of the game, etc. A lot of creators are moving more and more to video, but I still like pictures better. Sometimes you can’t always sit and watch through all the videos they have on the page, but it doesn’t take much time or bandwidth to scroll through the pictures. I’ve also passed over some Kickstarters just because they don’t have enough info on the page. Make sure the page is well laid out and represents the entire project before posting it. -Karl (300 backed)-
The most important element to me on a Kickstarter is honestly the pledge levels first. I’ll ALWAYS scan them before I even dig into a page. For one, I only use kickstarter on my iPhone app… so pledge levels always come up first. If the levels look clean and well thought out and don’t seem like there are 30 variations of confusion on which to get etc… then I go and explore the details page to see if what’s in each pledge level fits. I look for a components overview and how to play video. I rarely if EVER watch the intro video up top. -Joel Colombo (260 backed)-
Personally I prefer the pages that explain the mechanics of the game. If it’s not a game, describe the setting of the book. Outside those, I’m verbally looking for “why are YOU doing THIS?” What makes it different? Why are you here? -@_attriel_ (250 backed)-
Most important element for me is clear precise information about the game, what is it about, how it plays, summarized succinctly yet clearly, ideally with suitable pictures or graphics. Followed by rules summary or core game play mechanics in a video ideally.
I don’t understand why some have flashy videos nothing to do with gameplay, designers talking aboit their passion, etc, all of which can be there but should not take precedent over important stuff. You will lose my interest if I have to scroll through lots of stuff just to find out core aspects of game. -Chooi Oh (188 backed)-
The banner image is critical for me. Every couple of weeks I’ll scroll through all the games listed on KS and I’ll only stop to click if the image gives me the right impression. The artwork has to be beautiful, if it shows the game or the box then it needs to be clear, if it has pricing or shipping then they need to fit within my expectations which are set by the rest of the image. -Frank (160 backed)-
I think the most important element of a Kickstarter page is ultimately the video pitch. Some people will decide to back a project solely based on a well-made pitch. -Eric P. (157 backed)-
A clear description of what your project is, and if it is a game, a clear listing of its contents. Images of the product is very important. It is also very important to me that the creator sounds like they have a solid plan moving forward and what needs to be done to produce the product, especially if they are a first time creator. If you have a good idea but no plan, I’m not going to give you my money. -Joseph B (113 backed)-
Most important element of a page is clear concise layout. – @thegdgame (108 backed) –
Graphics. I like seeing that a campaign breaks up their text. Though, the heading image matters, too. Normally I look through Kickstarter’s gaming page and click on things that look interesting. They only have a few seconds for me to decide if it looks interesting or not. If the pictures look good I will read most of it, look at pricing, etc.
– Good artwork
– Passionate/clear team
– Clear communication/backer updates
– Review videos
– High funding already (I tend to be part of the majority of people that find campaigns after they have reached some degree of success)
– Previous campaign success (though I do like first-time projects since our first game came into the world via Kickstarter) -@atherisandrew (100 backed)-
For me, it is a clear explanation of how the game is played: a video is very nice but good text and images will do. Theme will attract me, but I really want to get an idea of how the game is played. It doesn’t have to be in great detail. I am thinking about what several game publishers have said at conferences that they want to know about a game to judge their interest in publishing it:
Who am I in the game?
What do I do?
How do I win?
They are essential topics within which much can be said. Clearly, what I have already said is important to me is largely the second of these. The “Who am I” does address some aspect of theme while “How do I win” is actually something I’d want answered second (compared to what the publishers usually say). Then the “What do I do” has context around it. -Scott Duncan (92 backed)-
It’s the summary page, what you scroll through browsing the current campaigns. Solid concise paragraph of what the game is, theme, number of players, what the creator is attempting to accomplish. The photo ideally contains the game components or prototype box, something that conveys the game’s design has gone through many iterations development. Has it been reviewed by others yet?
I have affinity (weakness) for certain themes, such as Western, Pirates, Euros, Dice, Tile laying. Those have a lower bar to be investigated further. Or if I have backed one of their previous projects, which resulted in a great game. Kickstarter’s new follow feature helps there.
The summary gets you in the door. You still have to have a decent game, campaign page that makes sense, gives me a flow for the game play, etc. But I am not even looking at the project if the summary doesn’t draw me in.
Exception to a bad summary is a project that overfunds early. I will give a project a look, to see what’s going on despite an underwhelming summary. -Dave Katleman (91 backed)-
Apart from pledge levels/shipping info it depends on where in the campaign the project is? Day 1:- Great graphic top end you have about 10 seconds to make the impact and grab the looker. Day 4 (not funded/slow progress):- shake up the front page make it fresh to keep it new Day 4 (Funded/going great) :- Are the whats in the box pics and the potential SG’s prominant if not get it done. Mid campaign :- react to comments from backers read between the lines (if they are commenting on the cards-Show off card art) campaign end:- your unlocked SG’s need to be up top front and centre driving pledges or upgrading pledges. In short there is no, 1 golden rule here as every project is different and therefore will appeal to a different style of backer -Mark Capell-Helm (83 backed)-
First, overall look and feel of the components and graphics. Next, I look at the how to play video to see if the game seems like something i might like. Finally I look at the price. But I would say that the number one thing I look at hands down is the “How to Play” Section which may be a video to a paged section detailing how to play. And if I am connecting on playing the game then I am backing (assuming I have the budget for it because some times when you are backing like 4 $100+ kickstarters you can’t just add a 5th). Case in point, I recently backed SUPERHOT (which I passed on initially) because a friend said that I would love the game. I returned to the page and was still underimpressed. Then I watched the how to play video done by a reviewer and knew I had to have it. I want to believe that the review/how to play video was not there the first time I looked at it but I could have missed it. But upon seeing how it plays I knew it would be a great game for me. -Pat Aquilone (72 backed)-
For me the most important part is the first 2 paragraphs and the “Whats in the box” section If you can keep me interested after this point i will read on and find out more, potentially backing at a higher level than i might otherwise have done if you keep my interest. I don’t like the videos at all and never watch them (i can get that stuff on youtube) -Mark (71 backed)-
It is a clearly written 1-2 paragraph “elevator pitch” using clear, concise language, i.e. no buzzwords or doublespeak. Just explain your game, what’s familiar, what’s sets it apart, and what type of audience will most likely enjoy it. Be specific, I definitely shy away for overly broad statements and generalizations. If the description sounds like a HuggPo headline full of platitudes, I’m out. -jay graffious (71 backed)-
Definitely the comments section. It gives you immediate feedback. -Erick A. (70 backed)-
The visual design. Absolutely. If you can make your page look good, I’ll stick around for longer and read more. If it looks like garbage, I’ll keep looking -Chris W (70 backed)-
Top of the page, so image + pitch line. If they cannot capture the attention of potential backer, then you’re in trouble. They are basically the same as a landing page for websites. If it’s not good enough, users won’t bother. Having a great video, a good description of the product, etc. won’t help if the user already left, seeking for something else. -@BoardGamerWkly (70 backed)-
I can’t really think of one element that is more important than the rest… But, IMO, there are some minimal requirements that are crucial to any crowdfunding project:
Short but informative introductory video that captures the essence of the project
Clear explanation for each of the pledge/reward levels (including shipping information/cost, in case project provides material rewards). For tech and similar projects: exhaustive technical specifications of the product + FAQ -@kion (56 backed)-
Presenting what the game is without a wall of text or just a bunch of pretty pictures without much substance. -Matt (38 backed)-
Information pictures of the product, the more the better. -“The doctor” (36 backed)-
For me, the most important element of a Kickstarter page is the amount of passion that I can feel from what the creator has written about their project. The very best, ‘must back’ projects have me salivating for the product and wishing I could have it now! Sadly, more often than not, there are projects where it almost feels like the creator doesn’t care whether it is funded or not. If they have no passion for their own project, why would anyone back it? -@jac0byterebel (35 backed)-
Game play video, or explanations of how the game works. It is amazing how many games you only get vague descriptions, it doesn’t matter if you have an amazing looking prototype, give us something to see what we are spending our money on to make your dreams come true. -Michael S (35 backed)-
The video is important but the first image has to grab you to look at it. –@wreck_and_ruin (30 backed)-
Video or other showing how product works. With board games specifically something that shows how the game plays. – Michael C (10 backed)-
For me personally, I really like it when there is a static graphic on the page indicating what is in each reward. I’m sure a lot of people will say the video, but that’s actually the last thing I look at. I look at the rewards to see if I’d be willing to back them, then the video to see why I should. Some project owners put a lot into their rewards and that’s great, but also impossible to mentally keep track of. So yeah, I’m a lot more likely to back if I can visually glance at the differences between rewards and understand them immediately. -Meloney B.-
The product description.Sometimes the descriptions don’t match the final product. For example, one of the recent games I backed came with several lithographs (one signed), and a case for the lithographs. The case turned out to be a plain white envelope. If an envelope was all were getting, it shouldn’t have said “case” as that implies something more substantial. If something happened during the KS process, and the case had to be downgraded to an envelope, that’s fine, just let the customers know. -Magnarinfectus (7 backed)-