Kickstarter Analytical Search

25 April 2019 | 8 Comments

Back in 2011 when I started researching other board game projects on Kickstarter, I created a spreadsheet that looked at quantitative techniques used by other relate, successful projects (funding goal, primary reward price, etc). It was fun to look through and back other projects, though actually finding them was sometimes difficult.

That’s even more of a roadblock to researching similar campaigns now, as there are exponentially more of them in 2019 as there were in 2011. That’s why I was elated to learn of a tool created by Curtiss Patrick of Danger Games called the Kickstarter Analytical Search.

Curtiss originally created the tool so he could research projects related to a card game he’s working on, and he’s now made the incredibly generous choice to share the tool publicly on his website.

To use the tool, you simply enter the category you’re interested in (currently limited to 3 different gaming categories), if you want it to sort by most recent or most funded, and then you enter any search term you’d like. The tool then populates with links and information to 216 campaigns matching those parameters, and the sidebar shows the most common funding goals, the number of projects per month, and the number of projects at various durations.

Curtiss invited me to share feedback with him, as he’s open to improving the tool beyond it’s current capabilities.

  • I wouldn’t mind having other options for the sorting order (e.g., campaign length, funding goal size, etc).
  • While I think it would be difficult for the tool to extract the prices for the main reward and the premium reward for these projects, it might be able to identify the first and last reward and maybe the number of rewards.
  • It would also be interesting to see the number of updates and the number of comments on the main page (to determine the level of engagement).
  • Last, I think the campaign durations in the sidebar could be grouped into ranges (e.g., instead of showing that there are 16 projects that lasted 15 days and 11 projects that lasted 16 days, show me the number of projects that lasted between 14 and 20 days).

Overall, though, this is pretty amazing, and I appreciate Curtiss for making and sharing it. What would make this tool useful for you as you research other projects as a creator (and potentially search for projects as a backer)?

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8 Comments on “Kickstarter Analytical Search

  1. This is a very cool tool! So glad Curtiss decided to share. I think after looking at a lot of campaigns for board and video games as well as non-games, I don’t think it would be very hard to find the first instance of the main reward tier.

    I don’t recall ever seeing a game where the main reward wasn’t both a) More than $5 and b) at least twice the cost of the tier below it. The rare exception might be a campaign that includes a tier where you are only buying the expansion for a game they are reprinting when you already have the base game. But even most of those should fit the rule.

    The premium version would of course be much harder for some campaigns – you’d have to build in a lot of assumptions that would probably fail a quarter of the time, considering how many variations are likely these days. But grabbing the most expensive tier that isn’t more than 5 times the main tier is probably a decent place to start. That rules out the tiers like “fly to Snowdonia and play with the designer” :)

  2. Thanks for sharing this Jamey. Great ideas! I am going to work on adding those filters as soon as I can. I would love to get reward data and comment info integrated as well. I’ll see what I can get access to.

    1. I just checked the HTML of a Kickstarter page:

      If the tool is simply scraping the HTML then simply extract the price from ”
      About $XYZ” and the backer count from the “XYZ backers” block that follows it.

      If the tool uses DOM traversal, then I did a quick check and it also looks trivial to extract price+backer count for all predge levels (it might be a bit tedious, though because you need to go something like 20 nodes down the DOM tree to get the info).

      If the tool is using an API made available by Kickstarter, then I have no clue whether the info is available.

      Sorry for spewing acronyms :-)

      tl,dr After a quick look it seems fairly easy to extract the info needed from the page.

      1. It’s actually a Kickstarter search API that returns the data and it doesn’t have any reward-level information. I’m going to try to either find a different API with more data or use a hybrid and scrape the data. Good ideas!

  3. This is quite impressive. Yes, it would’ve helped me as well before I launched my 1st KS, but it’s great to have this tool now. Oh, how I remember the spreadsheets!

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