Running a Kickstarter

I was just wondering why I haven’t actually pulled my finger out and done one of these.

I think Kickstarter has gone through some radical and interesting changes, in terms of usage case and perception, over the past year or so. We are closing in on $4m for the new Oatmeal card game, we’ve had massive success stories, and some utterly dumbfounding failures too – like Uber’s Human Resources, for example. Amazing video, compelling premise and large indifference on the part of those who would fund it.

Those within the video game developers community are utterly bemused by this failure; if there was ever a sure thing, Human Resources was it.

From what I can gather, to have success you need to have one (or more) of the following things for success.

  • Compelling and well made video. Not just a bunch of people sitting around talking about what they want to make, but footage of what it’s going to be.
  • Have some nostalgia feature. It’s no secret that it’s Tim Schafear, trading off his Adventure Game roots that had success – Planetary Annihilation, trading off the Total Annihilation roots etc. Nostalgia is a big thing for the 30-40 somethings with disposable income willing to fund things on Kickstarter, it appears.
  • Have attachment of a ‘name’ – some celebrity (online or otherwise).
  • Have something so compelling that it can’t not be funded (Pebble, the new ice chest, that awesome new luggage).

If you don’t have one or more of those, then yeah, good luck. It’s an entire crap shoot.

Now, I’m also noticing thatquality of the video matters. For example, the Uber Human Resources video (found here ) cost almost $100k. Now, that’s a lot, and a lot more than most people can afford to put into what is an elaborate pitch. But even $20k is more than most people can afford.

But who am I kidding? I’m just afraid of failure:) Such a chicken shit:)



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