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Kickstarter rewards?


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I'm thinking of starting a kickstarter for Foodbabs, since I seriously need funding if I'm going to get it off the ground. I'm not that knowledgeable in CSS or JS, I need extra artists, plus i need to pay for proper hosting once beta rolls around. Thing is, what would the rewards be? I don't have a soundtrack or t-shirt anything. (I need this for Wild Souls too, but that's still in pre-production and won't need any funding for a while.)

Would Patreon be a better route? It's more consistent since it's subscription based, and you can set goals. I was leaning towards Patreon instead but I feel as if people shy away from monthly payments more than a one-time payment.

If not either of these, what else?

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I would be very careful in crowdsourcing funding before you have some kind of evidence to show that you can finish what you've promised your backers. 

If you've done your research and are truly sure, then I believe in-game exclusives are a positive reward for early backers.

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Unless you have some sort of game in beta, odds are you won't have a successful Kickstarter. I've seen many attempted crowdfundings by various pet/sim games and most all of them failed in one way or another. Same with other games or other non-game related projects. People are more distrusting now that Kickstarter has built up a reputation of funded projects never being completed. People are wary with how they spend their money and need to be absolutely certain beyond shadow of a doubt that the campaign will not only be a success, but that the founder will complete the project in a timely manner.

It also doesn't help if your site/brand doesn't have a following, or at least if it does, it's very small. If no one knows or cares about your project, no one is going to back it. Flight Rising was so successful since they spent months to years building up hype for it. Neon already had a large following from her art alone, so she easily drove traffic to help fund FR. I'm not saying you need a massive following, but try to be realistic. If it's just a couple people who want to help and can fund your game, and you need perhaps 5-15k to fund, it's just not going to happen.

I don't mean to rain on your parade, it's just that this topic has been brought up so many times back on VPL, loads of people don't realize just how much time and effort goes into the campaign in and of itself. You can't just open a Kickstarter (or Patreon) and expect money falling in. If you don't have the money to fund anything for your game, I don't see any success for crowdfunding. You'd need graphics, previews, a video (as campaigns are more successful with videos), prizes (and to be able to successfully fund those prizes), etc. 

I think your time (and money) would be better spent working on your education. There are thousands upon thousands of free tutorials online that can teach you how to code. Coursera is a good start. YouTube has a lot to offer. W3Schools covers a lot of the basics. Codecademy goes a bit more advanced while keeping it approachable for beginners. This would not only be beneficial for you in general, but if you ever can afford a programmer, you'll have a better understanding of what they're doing, possibly be able to assist, and even judge if they're worth their pay.

These types of games are a long term investment. There is no "quick win" for any step of the process. Sorry to be a downer.

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Here is my two cents regarding Kickstarter.

YES - it does work!

I had a successful Kickstarter campaign, however, they can be more trouble than they are worth. I highly suggest not running a Kickstarter until you are nearly ready to launch beta. I know, the purpose of a Kickstarter is to fund your project, but I have yet to find or experience a development period that runs smoothly. My Kickstarter was funded two years ago, and we are still in beta mode (honestly, not even beta yet). Luckily, the backers of my project were happy with regular updates and still monitor progress to this day. However, this could have been a terrible situation for me after dealing with multiple shoddy programmers (obviously spending a large amount of that funding amount on them) if the backers wanted refunds.

That being said, a really good Kickstarter to take a look at is Flight Rising's! You can check it out here:

This is the picture perfect pet game Kickstarter, which had an amazing fundraising result. I am not suggesting you directly copy this setup, but this is a good reference point for figuring out what to include. Videos are very important to these backers! Hope this helped :)

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Hey, I actually did a kickstarter for Wild Howlz like...3 years ago now... I think >.< Though I actually used Indiegogo at the time only because I had a feeling I could not guarentee receiving the full amount I needed at the time, and Indiegogo lets you walk away with whatever you earn, while Kickstarter I think requires you to earn at least what you wanted/need to earn and then will let you take it home, plus any extra that was earned for it.

Anyways, it didn't fully reach it's goal, but it did manage to get a little over 1,600 at the time, which was what I needed back then. What I did for the reward tears was to offer simple things like for $5 they could access a private feed where I post artwork, news and not for public content. Then I offered things like special starter packs, premium game currency, access to a special shop in the game that normally would require difficult access to get into, rare creature breeds, and my top tier offered the ability to work with the artist and create a new creature to show up in the game that they personally really want to see (which I sold out of quite quickly).

Otherwise, I would just say to take a look at what other games are doing, write down what appeals to you about their offers and what doesn't and go from there.

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  • 3 weeks later...

As people have already stated, you need to have a really good following to make any worthwhile amount of money from Kickstarter or any other crowdfunding platform. I personally don't think the hassle of setting one up (making banners, a video, coming up with the tiers, etc.) would be worth it for something like $1,000. That's time and effort better used elsewhere.


You don't need to award real-world merchandise. That can be a hit or miss. I've seen Kickstarters have pins/buttons, posters, shirts, bags, and art books, but the art would have to be superb for anyone to care about owning that sort of thing.

You may have better luck focusing on game-specific rewards. The things that seem to bring in money are early beta, beta accounts in general, Kickstarter exclusives (such as a Kickstarter-only breed, wearables, trophy, forum posting style, or forum title), customs, and ability to design NPCs, items, lore, pet species, or pet markings for the game.

However, when creating a Kickstarter, you have to think of two big things.

1. Will your future playerbase or economy be negatively affected by Kickstarter-exclusive items? If no future players can get X breed, would they be bothered by the fact that they have to buy these things for high prices from Kickstarter backers? In five years, how realistic is it going to be for new players to get these rewards from others? Would that turn them off from playing the game?

2. Could you make more money overall by simply putting the same rewards in a cash shop once the game is actually complete? For example, is it worth it to award a rare breed as a Kickstarter-exclusive when only, say, 30 people will end up buying it during the Kickstarter when instead you may sell 100 in the cash shop over the course of two years?

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