4 Impressive Strategies by Recent Crowdfunding Projects

21 June 2018

In this series, I highlight some of the interesting choices made by creators regarding their project’s reward levels, stretch goals, and overall campaign design (the projects themselves, not the content or product). This isn’t an endorsement or promotion.

Vite Ramen

I backed this project a few months ago. Last week when they posted an update about their pledge manager, they included a note about one of the Backerkit add-ons: The option to pay more for shipping.

For a few different reasons, the shipping costs they charged on Kickstarter ended up not being accurate. But instead of requiring backers to pay extra, they took this approach: “We believe we should own up to our mistakes. You won’t have to pay an extra dime, because we don’t feel that it’s fair to spring surprise costs on you. However, if you’re in a position to help, we’d be incredibly grateful if you chose support us through the S.O.S. [Save Our Shipping] option!”

I really like how they did this. It was a no-pressure way of asking backers for help but not making those backers feel guilty if they decided not to. That’s a very fine line to walk, and I think their wording was perfect.

Trickerion: Dahgaards Academy

I love aspects of campaigns that encourage strong community engagement. The new Trickerion campaign is doing just that with their “Mystery at the Academy” ongoing metagame. Every other day they post a public riddle in an update, formatted as a thematic letter.

Now, we’ve seen stuff like that before. Here’s the really cool twist: Soon after a new riddle is posted, the creators also send clues via private messages to a few different backers (they encourage backers to express their interest in the comments). I really like this, as it creates a sense of fellowship among the backers–they’re working together with limited information, and their chances of success increase if they communicate with each other. Also, it lets Trickerion post public updates with the riddles to draw people in, but only backers (deservedly so) get the full level of engagement.

5-Minute Dungeon: Curses! Foiled Again! Expansion

I’m always intrigued when a project succeeds without stretch goals, and this is an excellent example. The 5-Minute Dungeon expansion campaign raised over $450k (CAD) in their recent campaign, and they did so by including all of the goodies for all backers from Day 1. They kept the excitement by revealing many of those goodies during the campaign and letting backers vote on art/names of cards.

Solomon Kane

I’ve seen some amazing Kickstarter videos, but few are as cinematic as the Solomon Kane trailer. It’s worth watching for sheer entertainment value. While this level of video probably isn’t budgetarily feasible for most creators, I think there’s something we can learn from it in terms of how it transitions back and forth between theme and gameplay.

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What do you think about these strategies? Have you seen any crowdfunding projects implement some unique tactics recently?

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7 Comments on “4 Impressive Strategies by Recent Crowdfunding Projects

  1. That Solomon Kane trailer is incredible. Though frankly, most of us would practically need a whole Kickstarter for the video production budget alone. I’ve always used your Scythe video as one of the more compelling presentation. Far more feasible and yet it obviously did its job. I often wonder why your later videos seem less produced.

    1. Isaac: Can you clarify what you mean by later videos? Like the videos for Charterstone and My Little Scythe? They’re produced exactly the same way (same exact editor, same exact process and effort, same exact cost).

  2. The shipping delema was particularly insightful. A lot of campaigns struggle to add add ons and additional items to thier streach goal calculations. Making it is one thing getting it to thousands of doorsteps is a separate challenge. It seems like there could really be a place in the industry for experts in shipping.
    Also I love the idea of slowly announcing content in place of streach goals.

  3. Regarding Trickerion – the public and private clues sound like a brilliant thing. It definitely befits the game and its theme, of course… and ARG’s have been made from plenty of universes in plenty of different ways. Worth thinking about no matter your game’s theme.

  4. Wow. I really want to do a trailer like that for my board game. I thought the transition from what looked like a video game trailer to board game content was nicely done. Can anyone ballpark what it costs to do something like this?

  5. Great list, I like the way 5-Minute Dungeon went about their stretch goals.

    I’m struggling a bit on how to balance stretch goals, as my game has minimal pieces and I want backers to feel like they are getting a complete game regardless of how much money is raised.

    I’m considering having my stretch goals be additional “game modes”, and since the rules of my game are going to be built into a digital app, it would be feasible to add additional modes to the game even after the initial launch. I may also do something around crowdsourcing names, parts of the designs, etc.

    As always, thanks for a thoughtful article.

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