Kickstarter?

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Kickstarter?

Postby polaris » Sun May 17, 2015 4:33 pm

I'm pretty new to kickstarter, so I was wondering whether the Starfall Tactics kickstarter project is doing well or is it quite slow? I feel like this game should already have it's target, is it just me being impatient?

It feels like it's not getting the recognition it deserves :(
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Re: Kickstarter?

Postby dream3r » Sun May 17, 2015 7:33 pm

It's going quite slow. Now I trust the team at Snow Forge but as I've said 50 billion times, you need to release updates every (or every other) day during your campaign. Each time you release an update you need to email that update to some extent to every journalist you can. The big guys at Kotaku, RPS, IGN, etc. They receive thousands of emails every day. Even if people at those sites would love StarFall Tactics, if they never see the email they won't be able to discover and talk about it. So that's why you send them an email every time you have a big update to share. Something with enough content that it may grab their attention should they open the email.

Perhaps the team has some genius plan I don't know about, and congrats if they do, but if this had been any other Kickstarter and I hadn't fallen in love with the idea before... I would have cancelled my pledge because as far as I'm concerned after backing a lot of projects is that if you can't keep the content rolling, be you a youtuber, artist, or game developer, the chances of you quitting early is much higher.

That is what scares me more than anything. I could care less if Kotaku never talked about SFT, but if the team slows down and gives me the chance to stop and think...I may very well consider if the project is worth backing.

TL;DR: People can't just back a concept anymore and even though SFT has more gameplay than many so far the rate at which they update almost makes it seem like they've run out of things to talk about, and that's never a good thing. The team will likely turn things around at some point and I look forward to it, but they haven't shown me they can do that just yet which means they haven't shown a lot of people that they can be trusted with their money.

Also let it be noted they're competing with Yooka Laylee, Bloodstain, and E3. Everyone has something else to talk about and a lot of it. There are projects that have so much history behind them they feel tangible now and people will be more tempted to throw money at what they feel is certain, than to throw it at an idea in the making.

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Re: Kickstarter?

Postby polaris » Sun May 17, 2015 7:49 pm

I agree. I guess people can't fully support a project without some tangible evidence that the game is what it's said to be. Hopefully they'll come out with more sneak peaks soon, otherwise I'm scared that it'll be too late. I don't know about you but if I saw a kickstarter with 10 days to go and only 10k, I would think people didn't want it.
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Re: Kickstarter?

Postby polaris » Sun May 17, 2015 7:50 pm

Oh, I haven't yet supported the project because I need to wait until 8th June because that's my payday :)
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Re: Kickstarter?

Postby dream3r » Sun May 17, 2015 10:43 pm

Oh, I haven't yet supported the project because I need to wait until 8th June because that's my payday :)
Kickstarter doesn't charge you unless the project makes it. So pledge now, grab an early bird special and you won't be charged until the final day hits and if the project made it.

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Re: Kickstarter?

Postby polaris » Sun May 17, 2015 11:40 pm

Ah thanks!
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Re: Kickstarter?

Postby dream3r » Mon May 18, 2015 1:24 am

I just wanted it to be clear I'm not trying to attack the team or anything, as I said I trust in you but I wish things were going differently and the only way that's going to happen is if you try even harder than you are. Even if your dial is turned up to 110%...

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Re: Kickstarter?

Postby Prox » Mon May 18, 2015 8:11 am

Hi guys! Thank you for your input! I just wanted to address your comments and go over the concerns.

Presently, our Kickstarter campaign is indeed going slow, with the trend not being what we want it to be. There are numerous factors at play, and unfortunately, things are not as simple as spamming journalists and backers. Let’s dissect :)
as I've said 50 billion times, you need to release updates every (or every other) day during your campaign.
That is not necessarily true. Releasing an update every day or so is not a great idea, because it does not provide a guarantee that you will attract the press, but it guarantees that your existing backers will view this activity as spam, and will decide to opt out due to sheer annoyance with you.

We planned our updates depending on the value of the content we can generate, and on optimal frequency derived from our analysis and research. After all, if you can't provide value with an update - no point in bothering anyone. Therefore, the most optimal amount of updates is 2 or 3 (maximum) per week. So far, we have been releasing 2 updates per week, which is in line with our findings.

If you have any data to back the hypothesis that more frequent updates are required, we would love to take a look!
Each time you release an update you need to email that update to some extent to every journalist you can. The big guys at Kotaku, RPS, IGN, etc. They receive thousands of emails every day. Even if people at those sites would love StarFall Tactics, if they never see the email they won't be able to discover and talk about it. So that's why you send them an email every time you have a big update to share. Something with enough content that it may grab their attention should they open the email.
Partially true, but needs more specificity. It is indeed of paramount importance to reach out to the press every time you have a big or major update. Those updates are valued by the amount of impact it has on users, the industry, the game it-self, etc. For instance, launching a Kickstarter project, releasing a new gameplay trailer, releasing a demo build - are all major updates which need to be sent to the press.

Releasing a new screenshot, a new dev diary, an article on monetization - not a major enough update.

Press does receive 1000's of emails a day from various devs, players, publishers, editors, other journalists, and as a result, their inbox can easily turn into a black hole. Since its a professional hazard, they deal with it by screening their mail, paying more attention to either those who are already known to them, or those who manage to grasp their attention. If they are not getting news-worthy emails, then the chances are they will simply ignore all future correspondence from you, or add you to their spam folder.

We thus reach out to the press with major updates only, to ensure that we don't fall from their good graces with updates that do not have a large impact. And the feedback we get so far from the top portals is very varied. One portal want to playable demo to be able to write about us. One portal wants more gameplay footage. Another wants something else entirely, etc. It is impossible to do all of the things at once, as you can imagine, so we are working hard on knocking those off one at a time.
TL;DR: People can't just back a concept anymore and even though SFT has more gameplay than many so far the rate at which they update almost makes it seem like they've run out of things to talk about, and that's never a good thing. The team will likely turn things around at some point and I look forward to it, but they haven't shown me they can do that just yet which means they haven't shown a lot of people that they can be trusted with their money.
I agree. I guess people can't fully support a project without some tangible evidence that the game is what it's said to be. Hopefully they'll come out with more sneak peaks soon, otherwise I'm scared that it'll be too late. I don't know about you but if I saw a kickstarter with 10 days to go and only 10k, I would think people didn't want it.
Also not entirely true. There are numerous projects live at this very moment that only have a concept, without even providing any in-game footage, trailers, etc. At the same time, those are known teams that have the audience's trust, where potential players are certain that this team will produce and deliver something awesome. Unfortunately, since we are an unknown indie team, we don't have that advantage and really have to prove ourselves.

I am sure you can agree, that just as with my previous point, releasing daily screenshots and gameplay footages will not gain trust, and does not unveil anything new. Just as with the press, backers and potential backers want to see progress, or major updates. And that’s what we are focusing on, while also addressing concerns and questions through dev diaries, minor updates, etc.

Also, as a developer you know exactly how much effort and time it takes to produce a major update of the expected magnitude, such as a build of a game or a trailer (not just another gameplay footage). Thus, it is important to prioritize and allocate the team's resources, to ensure that their time is spent efficiently, and that the result of that input can be converted and measured in traffic acquisition, conversion rates, etc.


Your concerns are all valid, and are known to us. Unfortunately, there are no universally "right" and "appropriate" ways to launch a successful Kickstarter campaign. There are a million factors at play, including how known your team is, your monetization, in-game mechanics, development state and status, other projects currently live, market trends, press coverage. Even macro-level economics are extremely important to take into account when analyzing how well your campaign is going or when to launch it, as things like Purchasing Power Parity or Gallup Economic Confidence Index can play a major role in meeting your targets.

One major behavioral paradigm that we knew in advance would be an issue (but underestimated how much of an issue it would be) is the Free-to-Play model of Starfall Tactics. The issue is not even that players are cautious with it. The issue is that Crowdfunding and Free-to-Play are for different psychological and behavioral archetypes.
F2P is all about trying first and not needing to pay anything, ever, unless you really want to. Crowdfunding is all about paying first, without a 100% guarantee that you will ever get to try out the concept, product, or project that you have supported. In essence, those are two very different types of audiences. And we get a TON (seriously, enormous amount) of potential players who are eagerly waiting for the game to launch, saying that that would love to play it, but, are not going to back it on Kickstarter, because they don’t do Crowdfunding, etc.

Just another aspect to take into account really :)

I am not saying that everything we do is gold, and that there is nothing that we can improve. We are in a constant state of analyzing what is going on, what works, what doesn’t, what we can do to improve, etc.

I'm just saying that the most obvious things such as more updates are not always the panacea for the root-causes, and can be damaging to the objectives.

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Re: Kickstarter?

Postby dream3r » Mon May 18, 2015 4:58 pm

I'm just saying that the most obvious things such as more updates are not always the panacea for the root-causes, and can be damaging to the objectives.
I like how you word things ;)

So most of my points were debunked in your case. I can see why I was wrong, at least regarding your game.

That being said, though you can take your own stance on it however you like, I stand by more frequent updates. Perhaps not daily but 3-4 a week is what I would expect from a trustworthy project and from those I've read about or spoke with directly that's what you should do.

Here's a thread by Donn Manalili who had a goal of $12,000 and ended up with $90,000...off of an RPG Maker game which so many people say is a terrible engine.

Thread: http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php ... d-1-11-14/

There's a lot of information there so I would focus on what's under the "preparation" section as that's mainly what we're talking about despite you being in the middle of the Kickstarter. Also if you look at his Kickstarter he was updating several times a week. Sometimes multiple times a day (granted these were mostly, check us out we're going live on Twitch type deals) but still he was very active and very successful. So perhaps that says something.

I've read stories from several others but that's the one I remembered where to find.

Like I said, perhaps your audience is different than me, but I'm a supporter and I would take back my support if I hadn't been on these forums and spoken with you.

It doesn't matter, I'm rambling. You guys have managed to raise $10,000 in pledges and I've only pulled off $22 on my Patreon. So who cares...

Best of luck guys and take care!
-Dakota

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Re: Kickstarter?

Postby polaris » Mon May 18, 2015 6:45 pm

Ok thanks for the response!

One thing I have noticed, you aren't particularly active on your social media/forums. I understand you may be busy but it may be a good idea to have a weekly Q&A on twitter, or answer questions more regularly (even if you are suggesting them to wait) it would make people feel more connected with you and more excited to see what's to come.

Other games I have recently played have weekly showcases of tiny portions on twitch, which gains quite a lot of support (although this may be more suitable for you guys later) but having a little game-play can be just as effective as trailers.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is, you don't have to give constant teasers, trailers etc. You can just be a little more active on twitter/facebook asking people what they think, interacting with the audience a little more. The more you talk the more people get to see it, therefore the more 'free adverts' the game gets. (every two days doesn't seem enough)

A little research here: https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-frequency-guide

I apologize if I am just being pushy/annoying.
Last edited by polaris on Mon May 18, 2015 8:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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