The Kickstarter campaign for Donning the purple is almost over and I thought it was time to once again “interview myself” and talk about all the lessons I have learned so far on this campaign. You can read about my lessons from my first game if you click here.
Tell us a bit about yourself and Donning the purple.
My name is Petter Schanke Olsen Im a board game creator in Tompet Games from Norway. In 2016 I Kickstarted my first game, Kill the King. After that small and humble success I wanted to make a bigger game and thats when Donning the purple was born.
Donning the Purple is an asymmetrical king of the hill game with a bit of worker placement. Each player leads a powerful family in ancient Rome, trying to get the most victory points during 4 rounds. If your family member becomes the emperor and manages to hold the position he can earn lots of points. However he will also become the target of the other players, as they will try to dethrone him and become the new emperor themselves.
What did you do to build up a following before you launched?
I continued to work on my existing following after Kill the King. Every week I posted development pictures on my social media channels and I used lots of Facebook ads. For the last year I have had an ad that leads to the newsletter sign up page. I have also been more active on BGG than last time.
We also got a pretty good backer convertion from our FB event for the launch. I wish I had worked more on that event.
But the most important thing I do is to continue to be active in the different FB groups out there. Supporting other designers and participating in conversations about other games online. Give back to the community and the community will give back to you.
All of this has payed off and it has been great to see people that I dont know writing online that they are looking forward to Donning the purple.
When did you launch and why did you choose that exact moment?
We launched on February 20th. The date that later has been called “the KS super Tuesday”. Several BIG campaigns launched at the same time. I was a bit sceptic to launch that day when I heard about the competition. In the end, we chose to go with our gut and trust the following we had created. Luckily that worked out. I dont think we would have survived if this was our first game so Im glad I had some Kickstarter experience before we launched.
If there was one thing you wish you knew before you launched, what would it be?
That the Kickstarter editor sucks and messes up your page when you try to make a link out of an image.
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?
The mid-campaign continues to be really tough. But this time I was mentally prepared for it. We created several mini stretch goals between the big ones. That way we had more reasons to send out updates and keep the backers engaged.
We also added a social SG that unlocked more available slots of a specific pledge level that gives the backer the opportunity to have their face in the game.
We also made sure to have lots of interviews and podcast lined up for this period.
How often do you send out updates and what do they include?
Every time we reach a stretch goal we sent a new update telling what the new goal was and what the next goal would be. We also had an interview with one of our backers in many of the updates where we asked backers what games they play, why they backed Donning the purple and who they were.
What is the most important element of a Kickstarter page?
The things you see during your first few seconds on the page. It is important that the potential backer can get a feeling of how the game looks and feels during the first few seconds of their visit. If they dont, they will move on to the next page.
Do you regret something you did on the campaign?
No not really. Im very happy with how it turned out. The only thing I would have changed is to not have the delivery date so long into the future. I say on the page that the estimated delivery date is a worst case scenario with several months of buffer but many backers have still asked why it is so long. So I guess I have lost a few potential backers with having that date but thats okay.
Do you have any role models in the board gaming industry?
Anything else you want to add?
Check out the Kickstarter page for Donning the purple!