Rampunctious: Post KS post #1
It's been a bit over a month since the Rampunctious Kickstarter finished. Thanks to all the backers who helped make this game a reality! I thought I'd do a series of posts about the Kickstarter campaign. For anyone planning on doing on themselves or who's interested in the process. So let's start:
Kickstarter, what worked and what didn't.
Press Releases - Didn't work...
To be honest I wasn't expecting much from press releases. As much as I think new games are the best thing ever most media channels don't really care. I sent out about 30 press releases (I know I know some people send hundreds, but it was just me working on it and I had a campaign to do as well) and from these I got one response from the amazing site Gaming Trend who both announced and reviewed the game. Which was pretty awesome, I'll be honest. But overall the press releases didn't generate much for me.
Shares on social media - Worked!
Huge shout out to all my friends and all the members of the Irish game dev community. From the start of the campaign everyone was on board for sharing the Kickstarter on Facebook and Twitter. I can't stress enough how helpful this was. Even if you can't back a campaign sharing it is a huge boost.
Facebook Ads - Worked!
A lot of blogs about Kickstarter say to avoid Facebook ads like the plague. I ignored that. Mainly because Rampunctious is a casual game. People who back a lot of games and are knowledgeable of the industry are probably inundated with "New to Kickstarter" ads - I know I am - but those who don't game often wouldn't have the same issue. Our Facebook ads were aimed at people who had an interest in puns and an interest in other social games. We ran two campaigns, first during out first week and the second for the last week. With so much on at the start I completely forgot to tag the first campaign to see how many people pledged from it. I remembered to do it for the second though, and that campaign alone brought in just under 1k worth of pledges - the campaign cost ~150e - and had tens of thousands of impressions.
Play events - Didn't work...
I tried organising play events coming up to and during the campaign. Basically encouraging people to come to a pub to check out the game. These were some of the main suggestions of things to do, they didn't work. At all. Regardless of how many people said they're show up, they didn't. One event ended up with 3 people at it. Another with 5 (including friends who were passing by), and one with around 9. Ok the 9 person one worked pretty ok, but considering the push, sharing and effort of organising these events, I don't I only got maybe two new backers from them.
Podcasts - Worked... I think? I'm pretty sure...
Podcasts, wow. I did not expect these to be the big thing. Now to be fair I wasn't able to track people coming in from them so I can't say how many were influenced but there were so many podcasts...
These of course also tied back into social media, sharing the posts and spreading word. In the middle of a campaign it can get difficult to figure out things to post or tweet that aren't purely "back us on kickstarter!" So the podcasts and mentions give us a chance to post about new content and not seems so spammy. So huge thanks to everyone who either had me on the show to talk about terrible puns or spoke about the game themselves. You rock!
Building an audience - Worked
This is the main advice I go to when people ask me about Kickstarter. We spent about a year talking about Rampunctious constantly and getting people to playtest it before even looking at Kickstarter. Even while building the campaign page, I was constantly telling people this was happening, and the best way to back etc. When we finally launched - way behind schedule - there was already a big base of people interested in getting the game. They'd been playing it and hearing about it for so long that they were excited to get on board. This is the most important thing for the campaign. We managed to hit 50% funded in our first 24hours. This not only helped me stop panicking, it also was a reassurance to new backers that the game was interesting and they should back too. Without friends, players and community members backing from the start it really wouldn't have worked.
Finally once again I want to thank the backers, we honestly couldn't have done it without you.
If you're interested in Rampunctious but missed the campaign it's available for preorder here.