I’m not going to talk about why we chose to do a Kickstarter – I spoke about that in a previous article (link). I want to share our experiences and tell you what, in my humble opinion went wrong and why the campaign failed to collect the required amount despite being Kickstarted for only the small figure of $ 100,000.
One-third of the target amount
It would seem, that for Divine Space, collecting only one-third of the target amount, success was far away, however this was not the case. In fact, the difference of only a small percentage of the conversion rate from visitors to backers. Our conversion was around 3.2%, a good conversion. 5-6% would have been sufficient to achieve the goal. Typical conversion rates for the top projects are 12-13%, according to the sponsors. It’s then logical to point out: “But then you would have collected only two-thirds of the required amount?” And the answer is: No. The Kickstarter audience is very sensitive to the general mood and when they see that the number of backers and amount pledged is growing slowly, and isn’t plateauing, the amount of backers and pledges tend to rise. (By the end, our conversion rate decreased to 2.6%, which was natural: when people realise the project won’t reach its goal, they’ll watch it, but won’t bother to pledge.). In the case of successful projects, the opposite happens; the conversion in the last few days soars to the heavens.
Every missing percentage conversion was lost for a reason, some of them obvious ones. I’m here to tell you about them. The most interesting thing here is that these factors were not related to the game itself. Not, the quality of the game, art, the setting, or even the embryonic gameplay which we showed – which was well received by the target audience. There were serious, critical disadvantages in the “parameters” of the project, which was unfortunately, not in my power to change.
In this article, I will discuss in general terms concerning some of the psychological types of people involved in crowdfunding (co-financing of projects of interest to them on special sites). Just recall that the term “backer” means a person who invests his money in a not yet existing project in order to support him or her and / or therefore obtain a bonus. This bonus could be a copy of the product for free or at a substantial discount, a copy of the product + prize, exclusive materials available for backer or something eschew. Backer does not mean co-founder, they merely receive shares in the company or stock. Due to the large number of backers, even with their small contribution (an average of $1 to $100, with the most popular payment is $20-25), companies collect funds for the development and / or manufacturing of the product. Products can be different, it can a game, book, movie, toothpicks, a screwdriver, a sound card, the installation of the monument in a place, or even to open a restaurant.
In general, the purpose of this article is to help new developers to understand with whom they have to deal with in their campaign to crowdfunding site. But even if you are just interested in what crowdfunding and what to pay people, why they are motivated to give their money to total strangers – then this material will be of interest to you.
So backers are different. They differ in their goals, interests, financial status, country, gender and so on. But all of them can be roughly divided into certain psychological types. However, I do not share these types of taste preferences. They can include a variety of different backers: games or interest in music, movies, gadgets or anything else.
What is a Kickstarter?
Kickstarter – a portal for crowd funding. In short, ordinary people are thrown off by the projects they like, whether it’s heavy support for the iPhone from metal, dance project or game. The latest sensational news was the achievement of Brian Fargo, began its game Wasteland 2 ($ 2,933,252) and Tim Schafer, gathered at the Double Fine Adventure ($3,336,371).
But this is Star game industry, which everyone knows and their community formed decades ago. Can a young and unknown find the means to develop their game with Kickstarter?
According to statistics provided by the team of Kickstarter, only 25% of game projects are able to collect the necessary funds. These statistics include projects about the game development industry stars, so the chance of young and unknown game developers is even lower – probably somewhere around 20%. A lot or a little – it’s up to you.
Birth of an idea
The idea arose not in itself but from circumstances. Initially, Divine Space was to have been a small, test version of a game for iPad.
First vision of the game, end of 2011 – top-down, flight in 2D…
However we underestimated the complexity of the project. That is, a small game for a PC, it turns out, can be a huge game for iPad. That’s connected first of all with the technical limitations of the devices, which we knew about—but which we had not previously run into (before this project, we had no experience in programming for iPad). However, we were very interested in trying out the new platform.
But we either had to cut the game down very seriously and shorten it into something intermediate between a game and a business, or agree that we were making a complex, large game and follow that path. We decided to go with the game and took risks.
…and what we got in a few months later, 3D with free camera + altitude.
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