Creators who have crowdfunded before...

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NocturneLight
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Creators who have crowdfunded before...

#1 Post by NocturneLight » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:23 am

Do you have any words of wisdom, lessons learned while crowdfunding, common mistakes to avoid, or any other kind of insight that you would like to share with people trying to crowdfund their visual novel for the first time that may benefit them?
Are you a Character or Background artist? Do you want to work on something that ISN'T a regular, old dating sim set in high school? Are you interested in Christianity and H.P. Lovecraft?

If you said yes to any of the above questions, take a look at this:
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=46609

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Barzini
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Re: Creators who have crowdfunded before...

#2 Post by Barzini » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:40 am

1. Learn that months of the year, which day and what hour you launch your campaign matters.
2. Advertisements are king if you know how to use it right.
3. Keep your costs low.
4. Be transparent with your campaign, do not try to smoke your backers! Some people backing you are probably a bigger subject matter expert than you are!
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NocturneLight
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Re: Creators who have crowdfunded before...

#3 Post by NocturneLight » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:49 pm

Barzini wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:40 am
1. Learn that months of the year, which day and what hour you launch your campaign matters.
2. Advertisements are king if you know how to use it right.
3. Keep your costs low.
4. Be transparent with your campaign, do not try to smoke your backers! Some people backing you are probably a bigger subject matter expert than you are!
Your first point never even crossed my mind. That's good to know.

I actually looked into your projects and noticed for "A More Beautiful World", you got your game featured on quite a few sites. It couldn't have been as simple as asking, right?
Are you a Character or Background artist? Do you want to work on something that ISN'T a regular, old dating sim set in high school? Are you interested in Christianity and H.P. Lovecraft?

If you said yes to any of the above questions, take a look at this:
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=46609

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Re: Creators who have crowdfunded before...

#4 Post by SundownKid » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:50 am

I'd say: use crowdfunding to gauge your game's chance of success. If you fail miserably, then your game probably won't do much better on release - whether due to lack of advertising or just lack of interest. There are so many crowdfunding projects that say "if we fail, we'll go ahead anyway!" The point of crowdfunding is to find out what works before you bust your butt making it. And if it fails then find out why. Most failed projects are because they are somehow amateurish or don't pique people's interest.

Don't crowdfund without sufficient experience. You should have already made a game of equal or greater length and depth to the one you are crowdfunding, or else you are liable to fail to make it. It could have hand drawn scribble graphics, but if you can't make *a game* then don't tackle one with other people's money.

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Yangyang Mobile
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Re: Creators who have crowdfunded before...

#5 Post by Yangyang Mobile » Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:30 pm

Here are my tips, in no particular order. Hope they can help you! ^^

1. Plan your marketing days (or even months) before your actual Kickstarter launch:
a. Compile a list of all the news sites, bloggers and lets players that previously wrote/played visual novels so you can easily e-mail them later on.
b. Send a demo to lets players a few days before launch, but politely request them to only publish the videos on the actual launch date with a link to the campaign.
c. Social media accounts are your best friends (Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr/Discord/Instagram, etc). Be active in posting updates and communicating with your fans.
d. Set-up a thunderclap & pre-fundia campaign and get as much feedback as you can.

2. Plan your launch date. Do not launch at the same time as Sekai Project, Frontwing, Mikandi Japan and other big VN companies. 'Dry' seasons are always the best time to launch (less competition).

3. First day surge is very important. So make sure you concentrate all your forces in the first 24-48 hours and get as much backers as you can within that timeframe. This will increase your traction, and there's a good chance you'll be featured in Kickstarter's popular section.

4. Beautify your campaign page. It's the first thing your potential backers will see, so it's important you make a very good impression:
a. Make sure there's a good balance between text and pictures. They should be detailed and clear.
b. Invest in a good trailer.
c. Have a demo ready! This is not required, but it instills confidence that you're capable enough for the job.
d. Don't make promises you can't deliver.

5. If you don't have any track record/previously released games, or just new to the industry in general, I'd recommend you keep your minimum funding goal low because you don't have any existing fanbase that can give you a boost.

6. Keep up the hype! Your marketing should not end once you've launched your project. In fact, it's only the beginning.
a. Reach out to news sites, bloggers and lets players that haven't covered your game, even if you already reached out to them before. It wouldn't hurt to try again.
b. Reach out to fellow developers (those who previously ran a Kickstarter campaign is a plus). Be friendly and politely ask them to give you a shout-out in one of their updates or social media accounts.
c. Often post updates! Even if your campaign is failing, keep up the hype (or what's left of it) and gather as much fans/backers as you can in preparation for your second campaign (if you will do another one). Continue to do this even if you decided to drop the project, because you still need to build a fanbase that you can rely on for your future games.

7. These are not required, but they will make you look more professional. And when you look professional, more people will notice you and take you seriously (especially the media/press):
a. A good website and a press-kit for your game.
b. A newsletter where your fans, friends and the media can sign-up. Avoid spamming them, though!
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Barzini
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Re: Creators who have crowdfunded before...

#6 Post by Barzini » Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:41 am

NocturneLight wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:49 pm
Barzini wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:40 am
1. Learn that months of the year, which day and what hour you launch your campaign matters.
2. Advertisements are king if you know how to use it right.
3. Keep your costs low.
4. Be transparent with your campaign, do not try to smoke your backers! Some people backing you are probably a bigger subject matter expert than you are!
Your first point never even crossed my mind. That's good to know.

I actually looked into your projects and noticed for "A More Beautiful World", you got your game featured on quite a few sites. It couldn't have been as simple as asking, right?
Nope, it takes a lot of effort before the campaign launches to touch base with them. What Yangyang said above rings true especially, take their advice to heart!
Founder of Afterthought Studios

Working on:
A More Beautiful World
Forgotten, Not Lost
Our Final Moments
Seat of Power

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