Kickstarter Ad Campaign

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Satan
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Kickstarter Ad Campaign

Postby Satan » Sun May 10, 2015 7:26 am

So I wanted to get some ideas out about this. But first it's important to understand what exactly we would need for an ad campaign to be successful, and second, how much it would cost.

And we'll also need to create promotional material about the game for the kickstarter- atleast one video from Kinak (and maybe Ryme if he has time) explaining their ideas about TH, why we need more people, and how we can achieve that. Some choice artwork, some terrible puns. We'll need a compelling writeup of why the game is already good, and how it can become better with more people. Will also want to highlight the new function of the IHOA, which, I think has arrived at a perfect time. Some testimonials of veterans might not be bad either.

We also have networking connections with KoL that might be helpful pre-kickstarter to get the word going about the campaign. Most kickstarters that succeed have a lot of word of mouth going concerning the kickstarter before it even begins, to drive up early backers and hit the 20% of goal mark early on.

Then of course, there are the rewards. Obviously, every dollar of donation will correspond to 1 silver star, but in addition to that, we need some interesting tiers. We can flesh those out later.

So, with that all said, let's try and come up with what we're actually raising funds for. Where does the money go? Do we make a comprehensive list of internet ad services that will target likely players? Do we go for an ambitious tv ad? Do we hire a firm that will sort these details out for us? What's the strategy? Input is both welcome and necessary, because I don't know.

EDIT: I'm not too certain on this idea or its feasibility, but possibly have each backer receive 10 silver stars/the current IotM as a show of thanks if we don't meet the kickstarter goal? It might atleast compel some people to play.
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Kinak
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Re: Kickstarter Ad Campaign

Postby Kinak » Sun May 10, 2015 10:22 am

For what it's worth, I just don't think Kickstarter is a good fit for advertising campaigns. KS is best used as an advertising tool in its own right. And, when we have a project that's appropriate to Kickstart, we'll probably use it that way.

In any case, I do spend normal donations on advertising. So if you want to get some stars for buying some advertising, donating normally is a fine way to do that.

There is a slight complication with the current system: we can't do advertising without the game's upkeep being paid for first. But I have to consider that a feature rather than a bug. If we run into a situation where we can pay for advertising, but not upkeep, things get bad real fast.

Which means right now is actually a great time for that. We're a month ahead at the moment, so anything extra at this point would be going into long-term projects like advertising.

If people want to see information like that, I could actually add a line for which goals have been hit for the month to the donation page. But that's probably as close as we want to get to KS for the time being.

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Isladar
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Re: Kickstarter Ad Campaign

Postby Isladar » Sun May 10, 2015 12:01 pm

I really like the idea of being able to see a bit of the funding data. What other long-term projects are there, besides advertising?

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Re: Kickstarter Ad Campaign

Postby Satan » Sun May 10, 2015 12:35 pm

In this case, the product we're attempting to create is not the finished game, but a playerbase for the already finished game, via advertising. Which, like you said, is hard to fund through normal donations when you have to pay running costs. Even if we do occasional advertising with spare donations, I find it hard to believe it's really enough to pull the game back into real positive growth. A big, focused, kickstarter paid for campaign could atleast get it back off the ground. The game really isn't complete until we have a playerbase, and I think it would do well with the KS crowd. But your call obviously.
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Re: Kickstarter Ad Campaign

Postby Kinak » Mon May 11, 2015 1:45 pm

Satan wrote:In this case, the product we're attempting to create is not the finished game, but a playerbase for the already finished game, via advertising. Which, like you said, is hard to fund through normal donations when you have to pay running costs. Even if we do occasional advertising with spare donations, I find it hard to believe it's really enough to pull the game back into real positive growth. A big, focused, kickstarter paid for campaign could atleast get it back off the ground. The game really isn't complete until we have a playerbase, and I think it would do well with the KS crowd. But your call obviously.
Honestly, I think the game is feature-complete as a solo game. But, even if it weren't, I sincerely doubt the KS masses would ride to our aid.

If a Kickstarter like that were to work, even if the KS crowd did pitch in some, it would be driven from inside our playerbase.

So, would people here be interested in Kickstarting an ad push with physical ads (fliers/postcards/bookmarks) and web ads?

Rewards would not include silver stars or IotMs, but instead be stuff like a KS exclusive item, an avatar, and some of the finished physical stuff (assuming we can ship to you). Basic goals would, naturally, be producing physical items and posting ads. Stretches would include stuff like getting an honest-to-god graphic designer to go over things, more ads, and some con appearances.

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Re: Kickstarter Ad Campaign

Postby Kinak » Mon May 11, 2015 2:11 pm

Isladar wrote:I really like the idea of being able to see a bit of the funding data. What other long-term projects are there, besides advertising?
Putting away enough money so that I don't have to panic every month was the big one. Which is good for now and hopefully will remain so.

I hesitate to mention the other one, because it involves way more time than money, but I'd like to launch an iOS frontend for the game. Moneywise, I need to shell out for the developer license ($99/year). But I need to finish building my iOS chops before I can even start in on the app.

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Re: Kickstarter Ad Campaign

Postby Satan » Mon May 11, 2015 7:50 pm

Guess which resident of this forum happens to be an iOS expert? This guy >.> I have my developer license and haven't even done anything with it, just bought it for one project where they needed me to work a few weeks before getting on theirs.

I could definitely see a tablet implementation doing well, but phone really doesn't seem like it has enough space. It would have to do a lot of heavy lifting to be worth using.

I had gone with silver stars and such under the premise that it's a KS started by the creator, in which case it only makes sense for donations to act like normal donations. I feel like offering useful rewards like that would draw in more of a crowd than mostly cosmetic ones. As for whether or not KS would come to our aid, eh, who knows. But the fact that the product is already built would seem like a plus for backers, who wouldn't have to wait a long time to enjoy the game or any rewards they might get from backing.
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Re: Kickstarter Ad Campaign

Postby zatade » Tue May 12, 2015 3:53 am

While I support the game each month by donating for the Wok of Stars item, I definitely am NOT prepared to either divert my donation money to kickstarter or put additional money into kickstarter

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Re: Kickstarter Ad Campaign

Postby Kinak » Tue May 12, 2015 9:14 am

Satan wrote:Guess which resident of this forum happens to be an iOS expert? This guy >.> I have my developer license and haven't even done anything with it, just bought it for one project where they needed me to work a few weeks before getting on theirs.

I could definitely see a tablet implementation doing well, but phone really doesn't seem like it has enough space. It would have to do a lot of heavy lifting to be worth using.
Yeah, it'll definitely require some serious customization.

I feel like tablet would play okay without an app even, actually. I know Metroplexity does.

If anyone's played it with a tablet and run into problems, actually, let me know.

Satan wrote:I had gone with silver stars and such under the premise that it's a KS started by the creator, in which case it only makes sense for donations to act like normal donations. I feel like offering useful rewards like that would draw in more of a crowd than mostly cosmetic ones. As for whether or not KS would come to our aid, eh, who knows. But the fact that the product is already built would seem like a plus for backers, who wouldn't have to wait a long time to enjoy the game or any rewards they might get from backing.
Yeah, the stars are mostly a question of keeping the server running and me fed. We have a little extra cash right now, as I mentioned, but I can't risk advertising competing with food.

I've actually had a few friends now run "successful" Kickstarters that ended up with them either losing money directly, taking up so much time that the thing people were Kickstarting suffered, or both. So I'm pretty gunshy in any case.

zatade wrote:While I support the game each month by donating for the Wok of Stars item, I definitely am NOT prepared to either divert my donation money to kickstarter or put additional money into kickstarter
Thanks! Both for the donations and for the direct answer.

I'm not convinced it would be a good idea in any case, but it's nice to know where people stand.

Cheers!
Kinak

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Re: Kickstarter Ad Campaign

Postby Cristiona » Tue May 12, 2015 8:11 pm

And... well... you know... Android doesn't require shelling out money for the honor of making apps for them...
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Re: Kickstarter Ad Campaign

Postby Satan » Wed May 13, 2015 3:29 am

I can understand that. I had assumed most current players would continue donating normally, so the kick starter would just be extra money for ads only. But I suppose if those new players from KS had lots of stars, it might be awhile before they donated normally.
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Re: Kickstarter Ad Campaign

Postby Kinak » Wed May 13, 2015 9:26 am

Cristiona wrote:And... well... you know... Android doesn't require shelling out money for the honor of making apps for them...
But then, how will all my hipster friends know how cool I am? :cry:

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Re: Kickstarter Ad Campaign

Postby Olaf » Fri May 15, 2015 3:59 pm

Kinak wrote:But then, how will all my hipster friends know how cool I am? :cry:
All the cool kids are building their own Raspberry Pi tablets.
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Re: Kickstarter Ad Campaign

Postby Patojonas » Sat May 16, 2015 6:31 am

My main concern about this idea would be the need to advertise the kickstarter lol

Also, Kickstarter keeps a % fee of all the donated money so pledging 10 dollars wouldn't equal 10 stars ;)

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Re: Kickstarter Ad Campaign

Postby Cristiona » Sun May 17, 2015 4:06 pm

Kickstarter would probably be less efficient. They take 10% off the top, the payment processing company generally takes about 10%, and then you've got taxes and such as well.
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Re: Kickstarter Ad Campaign

Postby Satan » Mon May 18, 2015 12:46 pm

KS actually takes 5%, and the processor fees vary between 3 and 5%. These are also /usually/ tax free as they're an investment cost, but obviously consult a tax professional. But yes, you do need to account for around 10% going elsewhere.
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Re: Kickstarter Ad Campaign

Postby Cristiona » Tue May 19, 2015 12:06 am

There have been several campaigns that have ended up with a lot less than expected, because it's income.
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Re: Kickstarter Ad Campaign

Postby Kinak » Tue May 19, 2015 7:18 am

Cristiona wrote:There have been several campaigns that have ended up with a lot less than expected, because it's income.
It can go either way, to my understanding. You can still claim expenses, either personally or as a business, before it gets counted as income.

But a lot of Kickstarters end up taking a while to complete. If you have a couple thousand bucks from your KS ready to pay for next year's expenses, you still end up paying taxes on that money. Most small business owners have LLCs or even file as individuals, but I believe even C-Corporations have their own issues here.

So, having delays that take them into a new year can result in a third or more of remaining funds evaporating. Worse, if they don't realize that's going to happen, they can spend a bunch of money in a new year without realizing that they're already on the hook for taxes on it.

Suffice it to say, the tax considerations for a Kickstarter can be quite different from normal business operations and anyone seriously considering one should talk to an accountant.

Cheers!
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