Learning from Mistakes
As anyone who has been following us on our various social media platforms knows, our Kickstarter for Cybermancy did not fund. This was, of course, a disappointment for us, but apparently, not uncommon for people trying to fund a game for the first time. There were several factors that worked against us, some beyond our control and some that arose from our inexperience. For example, launching on the same day as Frosthaven was, in retrospect, not the wisest course of action we could have taken. The same could be said for launching in the middle of a world-wide pandemic. However, if we are being brutally honest with ourselves, the blame for our game’s failure to launch was due primarily to our own mistakes and lack of preparation.
In order to learn and grow, it’s important to accept responsibility for one’s actions. To this end, we are working towards attaining an understanding of what we did wrong, and more importantly, what we need to do moving forward. We have been talking to as many people in the industry as we can, some who are in the same situation as us, and others who were successful in funding their games. It has been tremendously encouraging to find that many of the people who, like us, failed to fund their games, made many of the same mistakes we did, and that the successful people by and large agreed on what we need to do to make sure we are successful on our next attempt.
Over the next several blog posts, I intend to share what I have learned from these conversations. My purpose in doing this is to help anyone who may be thinking of launching their own game to avoid the pitfalls we encountered, and to share the tips and advice that were so generously given to us by the Kickstarter veterans who have had games that were successfully funded. Hopefully, the things I share here will be useful in creating a successful campaign.
It may seem premature to share these ideas before our second launch; after all, how will we know that the ideas we were given will work until we have our own successful Kickstarter campaign? This is a fair criticism; if this experience has taught us anything, it’s that there are no guarantees when it comes to crowdfunding. I can only say I know for sure what didn’t work for us, and the feedback we received made it abundantly clear that there were a number of things we did wrong. I also feel strongly that, since all of the people with successful campaigns said more or less the same things, I can be confident that their suggestions and advice will be of use to anyone thinking of launching a game on Kickstarter.
When I first began writing this post, I intended to call it a post mortem of our campaign. However, I realized that that would make it sound as though our game were dead. Nothing could be further from the truth: we fully intend to try again, and hopefully our experience with the first campaign will help us be successful in the next one. If you have any ideas, suggestions, or feedback that you think would be helpful, either to us or other people, please don’t hesitate to post your comments here!