Lessons from a mediocre Kickstarter

Greetings Sweeper Fans!

Well, our Kickstarter is about to end and it looks like we’re not going to be able to hit our goal of $5,000.

We want to thank everyone who participated in the campaign, either by contributing to it, sharing it with their friends, or writing about us in the media. We’re sorry we weren’t able to get the proper funding, but the game launch is going ahead regardless.

Though we have had some server issues, you still expect the game to hit Android stores sometime next week, so stay tuned and make sure to download it when it launches!

In the meantime, we thought we’d share the lessons we learned from our Kickstarter to help others plan and improve their own.

 

  1. Make sure you have a high quality trailer that explains the game clearly

This one might seem obvious, but an urge to be creative and funny can sometimes cloud judgment. The trailer you use should showcase the game play, art, and features clearly and succinctly. The video is arguably the most important part of the campaign. It’s the easiest content to consume and it’s “above the fold” on your Kickstarter page. A good video can encourage people to scroll down and see what your campaign really has to offer, while a bad one will likely have people leaving before it ends.

  1. Tap your personal network as early as possible

Studies have shown that reaching 30% funding gives you a much better chance at reaching your full funding goals. Ideally, this 30% will come from your own personal network – your friends, family, and acquaintances – that believe in you and your project. The sooner you reach that 30%, the more likely you are to get funded, so start reaching out before your official Kickstarter launches. Unfortunately, Spirit Sweeper’s timeline didn’t allow for us to do this, and it was likely a significant contributing factor to our unsuccessful campaign.

  1. Build an Audience Early

Though the Spirit Sweeper campaign timeline didn’t allow for this, if we were to do another campaign, we would start by building awareness of the game months ahead of time.

It’s a great idea to run a dev blog, share artwork and screenshots, and have a landing page where people can go and sign up to a mailing list. A landing page with a Mailchimp sign up form is a great way to build an audience and keep them posted with updates on the game’s progress. It’s a good idea to do this as early as possible so that you have time to build momentum.

  1. Be involved in social media

Similar to the above, be active in social media, and be active early. Ideally, at least a year before you are going to launch, you need to be reaching out and talking to people involved in other projects. This will help you build up a solid Twitter and Facebook following well before you actually launch your Kickstarter project. By the time you are ready, you’ll have had time to develop a network of people that know about you and who may help support you, either directly or by spreading the word.

  1. Know your user story like the back of your hand

You need to know what is fun and unique about your game and how to say it in as few words as possible. This is both for media types, who don’t have a lot of time to read through press releases and wordy emails, and for potential backers. If you can’t say what your game is about and why it’s fun in one sentence, you need to work on your pitch.

The Wispsoft team would like to thank everyone once again who supported us Kickstarter. We really appreciate your encouragement. For all our game dev friends out there, we hope you’ll be able to learn from our process and apply it to your own projects in the future.

We’ll be back again soon with more news on the development of Spirit Sweeper, so stay tuned and don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

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