The immediate aftermath of the Kickstarter was a strange sense of calm. Succeed or fail, it is a relief once the worry and uncertainty are over.
In the aftermath, we’ve been looking back at what went right and what went wrong, and planning what we do next. These are our current thoughts.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Launching the Kickstarter campaign at all was in itself a success.
All year, our focus has been getting our Kickstarter campaign out, as this January dev blog shows.
Despite a false start, we got there in the end, and it was a great satisfaction pressing the button that launched our month-long campaign.
Lots of cool things happened during that month. Kickstarter acclaimed us as a “Project We Love”. Richard Garriott, one of our game design heroes, publicly backed our campaign. The feedback we received from other backers was overwhelmingly positive too.
We put ourselves in the shop window, had our vision validated, and connected with lots of really cool people. There are still plenty of reasons to feel optimistic we can make this project happen.
WHAT WENT WRONG
As it was our first campaign, there were a fair few “Kickstarter noob” errors which caught us unawares. There was a last minute scramble to find the launch button (only the Kickstarter owner sees this), an issue with getting analytics IDs working ( another owner issue, our thanks to Kickstarter’s Anya Combs for helping us resolve it), and our Planetary Saviour plan was weakened when we hit an unexpected limit on reward size (£8k, rather than the £50k we wanted).
Our funding goal was pretty high compared to other campaigns, despite being an accurate reflection of the minimum funds we needed.
Likewise, our campaign was quite light in terms of artwork and gameplay. Kickstarter has become a place where nearly-finished games go for polishing and awareness. For us, looking to raise funds to start development proper, it was hard to compete.
It’s also become increasingly hard in recent years to fund video games on Kickstarter. This article here gives an excellent insight into how the platform is changing.
We’re not ruling out returning to Kickstarter or another crowdfunding platform in future, but for now we’ll be focusing on other routes forward.
WHAT WE DO NEXT
We cannot take this project forward without investment. We need more people, and more time, if we’re to build the unique and valuable game we envisage.
Our next port of call will be traditional investors. We’re sure that there are people out there who would be prepared to take a stake in the project; we just need to find them.
The work we’ve done for Kickstarter shares many similarities to what investors expect to see, and right now we’re pulling together a presentation to share with interested parties.
We have a shortlist of people to contact; if you know anyone you think might also be interested, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org