Earning Trust on KickStarter

I’ve taken a break from Ventures in the Void for a moment to focus on the business plan for Dreadful Games. There are a few reason why. An alternate title for this post: Is Your Project Ready For Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is a viable business strategy, but it needs to be treated as such. I am not quitting my day job, and therefore don’t need my games to sustain me. My goal remains to put my games in the hands of gamers; no fortune and glory – just smiles and good times. Since I won’t be setting crowdfunding goals with the intention to make any profit, I need to make a business plan that is sustainable on community goodwill and trust.

In a previous post I talked about revamping a game that I thought was ready. That accounts for the time delay for VitV. I’m happy to report that the new mechanic is working beautifully and the game is quickly approaching my fun threshold. Yay! Very excited about that!

The second reason though I think might be the more important of the two. After accepting that my game would not make its KS debut in the timeframe I had envisioned, it was easy to accept that the following was true. VitV will require a large (to me at least) goal. I don’t feel that asking digital acquaintances to contribute such a large sum when I am essentially “untested” is the best idea. Caveat: I DO believe in VitV and am absolutely passionate about it and think it will succeed on its own merits. It’s just that with so many creators turning to crowdfunding, I really want to earn trust and credibility.


So here’s my plan: I am going to run 4 projects in the next year and a half. The first of which goes live this week. Why so many?

Project 1: Baby Goal Project: Gaming Posters. I’m a graphic artist and work in a print shop. I am going to leverage the assets I have, in an environment I can control, to deliver rewards I know the community will like. I want to exceed expectations. The way for me to do that is to create a kickstarter that I know 100% I can complete, kick butt at, deliver on time, AND is related to my company’s goals. [Things I’ll get practice at: KS itself, backer updates, shipping, logistics, marketing]

Project 2: Thinking Small Goals: Micro Game. I have a working, fun, mechanically elegant micro game that serious and casual gamers love. This project requires 14 pieces of original art and consists of only 30 cards, a box, and rules. This goal is much smaller than Ventures in the Void could ever hope of being. This game only lacks art and layout from being ready for production. Weight and size wise, this game will be able to ship 1st class and make shipping easier. This will be my first KS with stretch goals. Goals include: 7 extra cards to extend the game to 5 players, a TIN instead of a cardstock box OR a cloth sack instead of a box. [NEW Things I’ll get practice at: stretch goals, commissioning an artist (I do this for my day job, but never for myself), box creation, distributors and retail sales]

Project 3: Medium Goal Card Game: Full Deck Game. This project is also in the works, though nowhere near ready for a KS campaign. (which is fine because I have a year) The card game consists of 52-60 cards, a box, rules and requires 12 pieces of original art. More than double the size of the microgame, this full deck+ game will require a larger box (planning on a side-by-side like Sushi Go!), more extensive rules, but less art. One reward tier may entail custom text (but not art) chosen by the backer. [NEW Things I’ll get Practice At: backer participation in game crafting, custom box/tin making, buying and registering a barcode, distribution and retail sales]

Now by this time, I will have delivered two games to backers. Hopefully I will have exceeded their expectations on delivery speed and component quality. The biggest hope: they love the games! Now, if all goes well, I have the TRUST of the KS community and the gaming community by following through on what I say I will do, being completely transparent in my project updates, and finally by delivering them a product that not only meets their expectations but puts a smile on their face and lets them share good times with friends and family.


THEN, and only then will it be time for Ventures in the Void to hit KS and backer’s screens across the globe. I’ll have loads more information and lessons under my belt. I’ll run a smooth campaign with all the right combinations of stretch goals, delivery deadlines, information, and bring the best product that I possibly can to the community.

Project 4: Big Box Game!

So there you go. Without the bullet points and addendums, there is Dreadful Games game plan for the next year and a half. (pun intended)

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