Is the funding goal really only $13? (Dysfunctional Families Kickstarter)

Dysfunctional Families Kickstarter Campaign – Part 2

I received an excellent question from a backer and I am posting the answer as a backer update and also posting it here on the blog.

Is the funding goal really only $13?

Yes, the funding goal this time is $13. This is for 2 reasons:

1. For publicity.
2. Because it IS technically possible.

1. For publicity.

People tend to like to back projects that they have confidence in.
While it is true that there are some people who like to back underdogs, I think the majority of people like to back a success and be part of that success.

By having the funding goal immediately met, I can devote all my energy to getting as many people as possible to see the Kickstarter. And when they do see, they’ll see that they can join in with something that is already successful. I find that it makes the promotion work psychologically easier for me, and for new potential backers it allows them to think only about “Do I want to back this?” rather than first needing to think about “Is this project going to work?”

For a new game publisher, getting copies of a game out to as many people as possible is important. Every article for new game publishers talks about “don’t launch your Kickstarter until you have a crowd.”

But where is this crowd going to come from?

My answer to that is: a publisher has to grow a crowd by PUBLISHING.
People who are tickled pink by the first game they get from me are likely to come back and look at my next offering — and thus I have started to build my own “crowd.”

Of course, I would not have been able to do this kind of stunt if it wasn’t for part 2 of this answer.

2. Because it IS technically possible.

Shortly after the first time I tried to do a Kickstarter for Dysfunctional Families, DriveThruCards (a popular card printer that can do small runs of cards and even individual decks) started offering tuck boxes individually as well.

So DriveThruCards can now offer printing a single deck of cards at a reasonable cost. Not as low a cost as would be achieved if I were printing hundreds or thousands of decks of cards with a traditional card printer, but low enough that I can print the cards and ship them to backers and break even on every tranaction while maintaining a reward price competitive with what it would be if I were printing thousands of copies of the game.

Now since I can promote the campaign easily (since it has already funded), and I can devote all my time to happily promoting this successful Kickstarter even more, there is the opportunity to reach a sufficient number of backers that I *can* print with a traditional card printer.

If that happens, then I can print the cards with the traditional card printer and have all the economies of scale advantages and so on that are typical of the Kickstarter publishing process.

If that doesn’t happen, then I fulfill the Kickstarter using DriveThruCards, and while there probably won’t be any financial return from the Kickstarter, there will be some number of pleased backers who I hope will become long-term fans and support my next Kickstarter. And long-term fans DO have a value.

As well as doing this for myself, I am documenting my thoughts and the process because I think that this could help a lot of other game publishers actually get started publishing their games.

The advice that is currently out there “wait until you have a crowd of fans” is lacking because the only way to get fans of my games is for people to play my games and thus the games have to exist FIRST to get the fans who will then back the future games. It’s a chicken vs. egg “which came first?” kind of question and this is my way to answer it.

I hope that it will help a lot of other publishers as well, since “publish games” is a very different answer than the typical “use twitter a lot and post cute pics on instagram.”

You can read a more detailed (around 4000 words) writeup of the business plan for this Kickstarter here where I discuss the financial issues in detail and the transition point to using a traditional printer.
QTYONE Business Plan for the Dysfunctional Families Kickstarter Relaunch – Part 1

As for how this plan is working so far, this is the what the row of games Dysfunctional Families shows up on looks like in a Kickstarter search. I think it looks much better with that solid green bar under it and funded than the games that look like they aren’t getting any attention. Success breeds success.

This article was posted as a backer update to the Dysfunctional Families Kickstarter here.

Check out the Dysfunctional Families Kickstarter and back it to get a copy for yourself!


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