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October 25, 2021
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The Most Useful Thing to Have for a Kickstarter

by Laura Tallardy on 09/21/21 10:59:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Hey everyone!
We (LunaBeat) have been working hard on our new VR game, “Paranormal Detective: Escape from the 90’s” and we’re throwing a Kickstarter for it- like a party!
In 2019 we successfully Kickstarted “Paranormal Detective: Escape from the 80’s”, and we wanted to take our lessons learned and try again.

The most useful thing I learned that you need?  More time.

We left ourselves much more time to plan the second time around.  Previously we planned around our launch schedule and did the best we could.  We made the goal, but just barely.

Timing kept tripping me up- we were on a tight dev schedule, I was working a lot on the game and a lot at another job so I did what I could, but it wasn’t optimal.
When I approached journalists and streamers, they were interested in covering our game, but their next few weeks of content was already planned out already- by the time they could get to us, our campaign would be over.

This time, I approached it like a social media manager.  Instead of scattershot marketing efforts, I wrote a detailed plan for the next 4 mos.  It included reaching out to our contacts with enough time to schedule promotion, preparing lots of content and graphics, and actively trying to build up our community.

Many tasks ended up spanning over weeks- find streamers, research how to contact them, get in touch, try and set something up, go back and forth for a bit, etc.

For our campaign, we wanted to run updates frequently with fun content.  If you want to do a daily update for a month-long campaign, you have to write almost 30 posts ahead of time.  So this was a multi-week task- plan out which updates to write, write out the updates, gather and create the media needed, and then add them in.

A lengthy planning stage also lets you brew ideas for marketing- are they good or not?  We tried some things and then scaled back on them.  We had planned to buy a lot of ads, but didn’t have much initial success- so we pivoted to a more social strategy.  We had enough time to try new things and see if they worked, and if they didn’t, we still had time to try other things.

I believe it really made a big difference, having extra time instead of scrambling for everything.

Looking back at what we did this time, it’s hard to judge if we’ll be successful, because it’s always hard to tell how something will do before it’s out there.  I do see a gigantic pile of hard work done, but it wasn’t done the night before, it was done over months.  So it gives me confidence- if anything else, potential backers can see I am wildly devoted to the project!

Finally, I’m trying not to crunch right up until the launch of a project, then be too burned out to pay attention to the launch.  This time, I got enough done ahead of time that I was able to have a pleasant weekend before launch week, and even a relaxing day before the campaign.
I hope you can do the same for your next game campaign!

Thanks very much for reading, I hope this was helpful and wish us luck!

The Kickstarter for “Paranormal Detective: Escape from the 90’s” starts Sept 21st and goes thru Oct 19th- back our campaign here!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lunabeat/paranormal-detective-escape-from-the-90s
 


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