2018 Year in Review

1 January 2019 | 2 Comments

In a few months, I’ll post my annual stakeholder report, which delves deep into the numbers for Stonemaier Games. Today’s post is much more about the content I discuss on this blog: Kickstarter, crowdfunding, and entrepreneurship.

Let’s start with the 3 most popular articles I wrote this year:

  1. The Truth About Digital Board Games: Here I discuss why I’ve chose to pursue contracts with various developers for digital versions of our games, as well as the my thoughts and discoveries about that process. I think it may have received the attention it did because people thought it was going to be some tell-all revealing that digital board games are a sham, but sometimes the truth is positive!
  2. If I Returned to Kickstarter…: This entry was a preamble about how I struggle to view Kickstarter as a viable alternative to our current publishing methods. It wasn’t meant to bash Kickstarter, which is the misinterpretation that made this post go viral–rather, it’s about perceptions and the importance of examining options that you’ve stopped even considering.
  3. My Current Approach to Board Game Reviewers and Content Creators: I decided to share in detail the process I use not necessarily to vet reviewers, but rather to collect information from them before sending them review copies. I’m guessing that it might be viewed so often because both publishers and reviewers have referred to it (plus, I link to it whenever a reviewer asks me if I’ll consider them).

You can actually download every article I wrote in 2018 as a single PDF here if you’d like to read and reference it offline.

My most-watched Kickstarter Lessons video posted this year is about the long-term impact of Kickstarter exclusives. I continue to be surprised by the sheer number of projects that use Kickstarter exclusives, as it’s a commitment to never sell the exclusive content again. I just can’t imagine spending all the time and effort to make something awesome and then telling the vast majority of people they can’t have it because it’s exclusive.

Here are the top 3 innovations and methods used by other creators this year (in my opinion):

  1. Tang Garden Notification Incentive: Before launching Tang Garden on Kickstarter, Thundergryph Games encouraged people to sign up for a launch notification by planting a tree for each subscriber and giving them an tree standee if they backed the game.
  2. Nanty Narking Story Goals: It was hard to choose between this and the puzzles of Trickerion: Dahlgaard’s Academy, but this won out because it both created an engaging way for backers to “choose their own adventure” from update to update and because it replaced stretch goals with an almost-daily reveal of new stuff.
  3. Infinities: Defiance of Fate Flash-Funding Goals: While it isn’t new to give all backers something special if the project successfully funds within the first 24 or 48 hours, Infinities innovated by featuring a 50% flash-funding goal in addition to a 100% goal. I think this is brilliant, especially for new creators who may take a little more time to fund but still want to encourage backers along the way, similar to what stretch goals do post-funding.

While I still closely follow crowdfunding and Kickstarter, in 2018 I continued to talk about how there are tons of alternatives for capturing that Kickstarter magic and community off of Kickstarter. I discussed this in detail on a recent episode of the ComixLaunch podcast.

Last, The Mill–a YouTube fan channel for Stonemaier Games–did a great recap of the year in Stonemaier Games. While a lot of this content is specific to my company, there are quite a few experiments recapped here that might give you some ideas.

What are you hoping to get out of this blog in 2019? How can I add more value to you as a creator? While I don’t use this blog for certain things (like, my YouTube channel is for game design, and my personal blog is for random opinions and content I consume), I’m open to talking about any aspect of entrepreneurship, business, marketing, and crowdfunding here. I try to make these articles applicable to creators of projects in all categories.

Also read: The Top 10 Most-Viewed Articles of 2017

If you gain value from the 100 articles Jamey publishes on his blog each year, please consider championing this content!

2 Comments on “2018 Year in Review

  1. Thank you for mentioning Tang Garden and for another amazing year of advice. Your blog is a huge source of ispiration for all of us in the industry.

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