The First 36 Hours

25 August 2012 | No Comments

It’s noon on Saturday, August 25, 2012, just 36 hours into the Kickstarter campaign for Viticulture…and we’ve already raised 17% of our overall goal ($4,298). That’s astounding. We are so incredibly thankful for all of you early adopters. We have a long way to go, but this is a great way to jumpstart the project. Momentum is incredibly important on Kickstarter.

A few things I’ve learned (this is Jamey) from the first 36 hours:

  • Personally thanking every backer is time-consuming, but absolutely worth every second. These are people who are making my dream come true–each and every one of them deserves a personal thank you, if not a shoulder rub! The least I can do is thank them and give them a great gaming experience. I also got some great responses and feedback behind the scenes that helped me improve the project on the fly.
  • Take the day off work. I worked my day job yesterday because I didn’t have a choice, but I was completely distracted by Kickstarter all day. You’re not going to give either job the full attention they deserve if you try to do both, so do yourself and your backers a favor and take the day off.
  • If you have any doubts about Kickstarter approving some aspect of your project, don’t include it. Kickstarter approves or rejects all projects before you can launch (they reject about 25% of them for not meeting their guidelines). However, as we discovered, sometimes some things slip through the cracks. We had a reward level that gave people entry into a Viticulture tournament with a cash prize. We thought it was okay because it’s a game of choice, not chance, but we missed the small print that cash prizes aren’t allowed. So about 3 hours into the campaign when pledges were rushing in, someone flagged the reward level and Kickstarter blocked people from finding the project on the website (a completely reasonable move–we’re actually very thankful they didn’t remove the project altogether). I immediately deleted the reward level and the project was browseable again, but it was too late. We lost the momentum of being on the “recently launched” list. So do yourself a favor and avoid any reward or aspect of your project that you think might get flagged. It’s not worth it.
  • Just because the information is there doesn’t mean people will find it. Thinking that most of the first backers would be friends and family who don’t care about the nitty gritty aspects of the game, I had the “how to play” info way down on the project page. In fact, I had problems embedding the video, so someone skimming the page could easily miss the link to the video. It’s not the backer’s fault if they can’t find key info–it’s yours. And as I soon found, many of the early backers were gamers, and they value the uniqueness of the game above all else. So I soon got the video to embed and moved it way up on the page.

Thank you for all of your support! If you haven’t pledged to the project but you intend to, some of the limited levels are going fast. And if you’re not in a good financial place to support the game, we’d love for you to share the project on Facebook or with one or two of your gaming friends.

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