Puzzling Strikes

Kickstarter is a cool thing, isn’t it? Sure is. People can get funding for niche products that would otherwise never see the light of day, and people who back them can get some pretty cool promo products or discounts in the process. It’s pretty much a win-win situation.

Of course, not everyone can always get all the money they want. (Well, I suppose they could, but a lot of the products don’t deserve the money, so let’s not go insane here.) A big part of what will determine if your bid for funding is successful is how you lay out your Kickstarter pitch, and how much effort you put into your backer goals. In particular seller goals can make or break a Kickstarter campaign. If you only have two backer levels and one of them is the $1 level, you’re clearly doing something wrong. By the same token you can have *too* many levels of backing, with not enough substantive difference between the tiers so people get overwhelmed. But a common theme throughout nearly every Kickstarter I’ve ever seen, or backed, has been a tier that, in some way, allows the backers to shape, contribute to, or at least be recognized by non-backers as supporting the project.

Maybe it’s listing in the credits, or the design of a monster, or a signature by the creator, a poll about design specs, things like that. These things are, generally, trivial to the creators but have huge value to the backers and are a big part of why things get funded to the extreme levels they do. So why would you turn this option of revenue down?

Artistic integrity.

Which I think is bullshit.

I’m following a kickstarter for a game I like, and the creator has basically said that since he can’t think of anything else to add there will not be any further push goals (goals for reaching certain funding milestones) and that he won’t allow player customization because A) “it’s already been done” by a community of players that existed before this product’s launch, effectively blocking out any new blood to contributing to the game and B) because the creator is shipping a product, not an item in development.

Fine. It’s your product. But why deny the people who are giving you thousands of dollars a chance to be forever seen as a part of the process? No credits in the manual? A label on the box about Kickstater funding? Hell, one custom piece for the board game that isn’t tournament legal would be great. Something, anything, to make customers feel like they’re actually being a *part* of the creation of this product, not just consumer cogs in the creator’s goal to move products.



About kylock

Man, biographies are really hard to write because sometimes you just don't know what to write about and then you ramble on pointlessly for a while about your hobbies (video games, reading, programming) and end up boring your readers because they expect something witty and insightful (there are only two ways to save money, neither of which involves hookers) and then readership falls off and you cry yourself to sleep.
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