29 June 2020 | 5 Comments
Recently I had a fascinating correspondence with Gary Tsai about a game-specific social network he’s been working on that can help future crowdfunders answer a very important question. The following is a guest post by Gary that discusses his answer to this question:
Do enough people care about my game to result in a successful Kickstarter launch?
What seems like a simple straightforward question is anything but. Asides from the sheer number of ways to go about it–writing blog posts, talk incessantly about it on BGG, creating landing pages, run a Facebook group, running ads, etc–the biggest problem by far is the simple fact that you have to start from scratch with little to no guarantees for success.
Building, and maintaining, a list is a tall task for organizations of any size but it’s especially difficult for first-time designers and/or publishers because everything is a factor: Not only must you know what to do and how to do it, the worst part is to make time to actually do whatever “it” is consistently over a prolonged period of time to make it work.
Building your very first list of people who’d back your game can take months or even years depending on how much time you put into it. Yet, even if you manage to build a sizable list, how do you know how many of them will actually back your campaign?
Unfortunately, the answer is: You simply don’t know.
Ultimately, the success or failure of your project is largely determined by not just how many people on your list, but rather how many people who would buy your game are on your list. This is critically important because raw numbers isn’t everything and you can easily invest enormous amounts of time, effort, and money into building a list of 10,000+ people and still fail to get your project funded.
This is where Meepify comes in.
Simply put, Meepify is a data-driven social network dedicated to tabletop games and focused on discovery. It’s a free-to-use service that lets players track their game collection, log game plays, and do price checks.
Most importantly for creators, Meepify organizes information using timelines and will automatically match games with people who are likely to enjoy them. For example, when you add your new game into Meepify, it will automatically show up on the timelines of people who may be interested in your game based on their preferences. So if your game shares similar mechanics as Azul and someone likes playing Azul, your game will show up higher on their timelines compared to other games that they have no interest in.
Meepify provides effective and social ways for you to interact with players with established interest in games similar to yours so you can pique their interest, encourage them to follow along, and hopefully convert them into loyal fans and customers for life without having to first wade through tens of thousands of people who have little to no interest in what you offer. Meepify provides this data to creators to help them determine the level of genuine interest in their game.
Meepify also uses information to match players to games and/or game developers in various ways. For example, Meepify can tell you whether someone prefers games that take shorter or longer time to play, whether they like games that are simple or complex, and/or uses certain mechanics over others. It can even figure out what price range someone typically spends on a game, how long they keep games for, how much they enjoy the game when they do play it, etc.
Best of all, progress never gets lost so as players track their collections, log game plays, and check prices the matching algorithm will learn and provide ever-greater levels of feedback and targeting accuracy over time for every project.
The development of Meepify is well-underway and has been since June 2019. It’s even been in use for GameBooster, a Facebook community for board games, since August 2019. Now that we know an effective and proven way to build and grow a social network around board games in general, the project will soon make its transition into beta development where we will focus on the needs of individual game developers while continuing to tweak the algorithms to make data and content more relevant for everyone.
If you’d like to be a part of this project, please send an email to email@example.com and we will reply back with information on how you can participate in the small focus group.
Huge thanks to Gary for taking the time to share this! The puzzle of finding, engaging, and sizing up fans (and even just playtesters) is one that continues to confound all types of creators, and I applaud Meepify for providing a potential solution to that puzzle.
Feel free to ask Gary questions in the comments below or share your thoughts on what he’s trying to accomplish with Meepify.
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- Kickstarter Lesson #230: Is Your Crowd Big Enough?