One would think I could resist the siren’s call of reporting what the dictation app thought I said when I said “Zombie Death Force, Go!” One would think I could just launch into my blog post and not be dumb. One would definitely be wrong. I’m adding to my list of project ideas the new board game about Little Red Riding Hood trying to get to grandma’s house in the middle of the zombie apocalypse – Zombie Death Forest, Go!
Eh. Maybe I’ll add it later. For now, you can find my introduction to the 200 Projects series here, along with links to other blog posts about it. I’m just saying Enchanted Forest meets Zombicide. Ok, maybe later.
The first print run was very small, but we met our goal… the second time.
When Nathan and I ran our first Kickstarter in 2013, I had the wrong impression about what Kickstarter was. It was presented to me as a place where people supported the projects of the little man, and maybe to some extent it is. We were trying to Kickstart a board game though, so we had to suffer fools gladly while they explained that our game had to be ready to ship if we wanted their support. I realized that for some segments of Kickstarter the more apt website name would be Pre-OrderMyShit.com.
So what are you saying, Chris? Is this project about seeing how much you can whine about things not going your way? Well, no. But I do like that idea.
Companies have used the concept of pre-ordering for years. It helps a company avoid overprinting (I’m looking at you TSR of the 1980s) by gauging interest before committing, and it has the added bonus of having the capital to produce. We were trying to sell an under developed game in a sea of professionally developed games made by established game companies that were using Kickstarter to not overprint their game. If only Kickstarter existed when Cyborg Commando was a glint in Gary Gygax’s eye.
No lie. They had to sell this off at dollar stores. I bought copies for everyone I knew who played RPGs. We all pretty much agreed that the two ten-sided dice were worth the dollar, at least.
I was a little confused though. Why pay a percentage to Kickstarter? Why not just run a pre-order on your website?
Kickstarter was trending and was quickly being established as the place to be an early adopter. This is not to say actual early adopting where you get out on a cold night to go see your co-worker’s band play a thirty minute set, but sort of like early adopting where you give Maroon 5 money for an album that you won’t get to listen to until next year sometime. There were eyeballs on Kickstarter, so the established companies flocked to it, and Kickstarter would be fools to turn away those revenue streams in favour of some up and comers who might not up and come anytime soon. I feel like I should rephrase that last sentence for some reason.
How should up and comers use Kickstarter then? I feel Kickstarter is cheap advertising. It feels like the end goal is to make enough money to quit your pizza delivery job (not as oddly specific as some of you might think) but I don’t think that’s the real goal. It’s a tool to make people aware that we’re game makers.
Nathan and I have discussed doing a second print run of “Zombie Death Force, Go!” It’s not surprising then that after “Clean the Garage” and “Go to Mars” that my next thought would be do second print run on Kickstarter or another crowd-funding website. This project would largely fall on Nathan to do since he is the owner of the Kickstarter account and has run three Kickstarters before.
Step 1 – Nathan should review the terms of service and make sure we can do a second printing. I think “Zombie Death Force, Go!” is print-on-demand somewhere, so make sure that doesn’t cause a problem. Otherwise, look into something like FundAnything.
Step 2 – I believe we should go small again. Our successful Kickstarter with a goal of $300 mostly succeeded from friends and family buying the game. I think we sold only two games to people we didn’t know. It’s entirely possible that even a goal of $300 on a second print run could fail. I’m more interested in making people aware and getting games into people hands. If that means that we have to do it $300 at a time, so be it.
Step 3 – I believe we should be running projects on every damn crowd-funding platform in existence every damn month of our lives! Ok, maybe not that extreme, but I do believe we should do something to that effect. When we run a project to produce a game, people become aware that we make games. When we run a project to have a budget for Season Three of “According To Whim,” people become aware that we’re comic geniuses.* When we run a project promoting a book project, people become aware of our blog and every damn thing all the damn time! (Breathe, Chris…) By the way I typed something backward in this paragraph and the result was “cword-funding.” I don’t know exactly what that would be, but Google if you’re reading this and you can figure it out, it’s yours.
*Chris McGinty is a blogger who will testify at a staged hearing in a hotel conference room that he and Nathan are comic geniuses. He just won’t testify to it under penalty of perjury.