Planning for a Kickstarter

If you’ve not seen me talk about it already on Twitter, my first game, School Daze, has a Kickstarter drive going to raise funds to publish the book in the manner it deserves. My Co-Administrator here on TiMG, Randall, is looking at a project of his own, and he asked me about the particulars of getting ready for something like this. I’m no expert, but I figured this would be a good time to talk about how I got here.

You Need  A Product

That’s the first thing. You need something that people will like, and you need to be passionate about it. There’s no room for tentativeness when it comes to doing something like this. You’re asking people to trust you with their money on the promise that you’re going to use it for what you said you would. If you’re not in love with your own work, then that’s going to come across in your campaign. So, whatever it is that you’re making, you need it to be good, and you need to love it.

You Need a Vision

It’s all well and good to have some awesome thing that you love to pieces, but if you’re not sure as to how that thing will be used, or how the funds will be used once they’re raised, then that borders into tentativeness again. You need to be clear-minded on this one. Have that passion that I mentioned before, but temper it with a realistic set of goals. Figure out what you want to do with your awesomeness, and then figure out what it will take to do that.

You Need Realistic Funding Goals

Check your costs, remember that Kickstarter takes 5%, and so does Amazon, know what you need to make your thing a reality. Kickstarter isn’t about getting extra funds to dink around with, it’s about getting funds to produce the thing you love. Now, there are exceptions, but not every project if a DoubleFine, or Order of the Stick. Make sure you know where the money is going.

Prepare to Be Enticing

This is where your passion comes back in. Find the awesome about your thing, and push that. Find extras that will appeal to people for your Kickstarter funding tiers. Give people a sense of ownership in the final product. Make the whole thing at least seem collaborative. It’s not just you doing your thing, it’s you and your community doing your thing.

Prepare for Success

Don’t be prideful, but assume that you’re going to make it. Act as if you’re going to meet your goal, blending your passion with your vision, with your goals, and with your awesome. It’s not an easy balance to strike, but it’s a good one to try and find.

Prepare to Talk to People

I had no idea what I was doing going into this. I talked to people who had been there before. I vetted every part of this project in public on Twitter, and I checked to make sure that every I was dotted, and T crossed. You don’t have to do it in public like I did (though, since Kickstarter is a public appeal, it makes sense to me to be as public as you can), but make sure you ask questions of those with more knowledge than you.

Be Ready for the End

Kickstarter isn’t the end of the line, it’s beginning. Once the funds (or more than the funds) are raised, you have to be ready to act on your promises. If you’ve planned well, you’ll be in a place to do that. So, don’t lose sight of what you’re really there to do. Once you get your money, it’s then time to make your thing a reality.

It’s a wild ride, seeing people support the thing you love. I’ve been in awe of the support that I’ve gotten from everyone in the gaming community. It has been humbling. Also, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I hope that my experiences will help others in the same ways that I’ve been helped. And, I hope that my words above are helpful to anyone who’s thinking about raising funds for their awesome thing.

I’m Tracy Barnett, and This is My Game


Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. Unrelenting font of ideas, both good and bad. Co-owner of Exploding Rogue Studios, and on Twitter as TheOtherTracy.


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About TheOtherTracy

Unrelenting font of ideas, both good and bad. Co-owner of Exploding Rogue Studios, and on Twitter as TheOtherTracy.
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