Crowdfunding can look exceedingly tempting to indie developers enticed by promises of extra capital from dedicated fans. And while projects like Shovel Knight and Hyper Light Drifter have proved what an exciting idea and a crowd of supporters can do, crowdfunding must still be approached carefully and thoughtfully. If you’re considering crowdfunding your indie game, here are a few things you should know.
1) Set realistic goals
This is arguably one of the most important parts of crowdfunding. Setting a realistic goal and mapping out exactly where the funds will go not only instils confidence in your backers, but also will help make sure that your project is a success. Several projects have come under fire for under-setting the goal and ending up unable to create the game, while ones who set their goals to high never make the funding cut. Set your goal realistically to how much it will cost to create your base product, and save any extras for the stretch goals.
1) Communication with your backers
Your backers are your investors, and they want to hear about your project! Staying active on social media, the crowdfunding updates, and comment areas shows backers that you are invested into your project and working to make it succeed. Nothing worries buyers more than pitching in money to see a project through, only to never hear from the developers for months on end. Stay open about your development and interact with your customers if you want to come out on top.
3) Use professional marketing assets
When a backer views your project, they should be stunned at the effort and professionalism of both the written content and any images you include. This is where you can show off your skills, or at least your desire for a polished product if you hire someone else. Your campaign is all about creating confidence, and this is one of the best ways to do it. Check out other recently successful Kickstarters to get a good idea of what general strategies, like good organization and clean custom visuals, are working.
4) Reward your backers
You’re an indie developer, so this one won’t be hard. Offering your finished product as a reward tier is almost essential for crowdfunding a game. It’s important to consider the price of your game, and decide whether or not to lower the Kickstarter price accordingly to get backers to jump on board before the crowdfunding period ends. You should consider putting artwork posters, t-shirts, and other rewards after the game to keep your final product front and center.
And those are probably the base four most important things. Of course, we still haven’t even covered some of the other important topics like stretch goals or using social media effectively, but this should give you a good idea to start off with. If you’re interested, we will be diving into this topic more in-depth later, so keep your eyes open!