Wednesday, May 30, 2018

RPG Creators: A few thoughts on Stretch Goals for your crowdfunding campaigns

Original cover art file from: Tale of the Wizard's Eye
Artist: Phoenix O'Faery

Cover art from Tale of the Wizard's Eye by Phoenix O'Faery

I was exchanging messages with some important people recently.  Specifically, I was exchanging messages with several of the backers from my previous KickStarter campaigns, in other words, my audience.  These conversations were informative, ultimately quite useful, and I encourage any of you who use crowdfunding to reach out to backers in a safe and professional way.  You will learn a lot about your own efforts by speaking with those who have bought your work.  Don't miss out on these opportunities!

Social & Stretch Goals:   

Stretch goals have long been a tough thing for me to put together.  This is because I want to create rewards that are fun for the backers, easily fulfilled, and that don't terribly inflate the costs of the project.  Still each stretch goal should enhance the value of the project in some way.  That last point is key.  Digital rewards can be a good way to produce value without damaging your costs overly much.

By way of example, I point to a project that is in the late stages of writing (so first third part of development for me), Tarot Adventures, Book Three: Death comes to Glenfallow.  With this book, I have a pretty firm idea of the page count (which is high), I know I've got a LOT of art costs to account for, and I'm not going to want to add pages to the book itself.   With that in mind, I know that I do want some stretch goals in place so as to motivate other backers and to provide the backers with the best product, and best deal I can.  I looked at my page count and realized I had a couple of pages that I could spare for more books material. With that in mind, I decided to add two pages of content.  But rather than create additional adventure material and then need additional art for that, I decided to include two pages of comics about the Tarot Adventures.  This is a bit pricey but so worth it.  It fits into the existing page allotment, and definitely tunes up the book.  The second stretch goal is a secret that I'll not release until that campaign has exceeded it first stretch goal, as I want to build anticipation.

For social goals, I wanted additional content and I wanted to coordinate with some existing goals I have (regarding audience size).   Firstly, 200 backers for a Tarot Adventure: not too many RPG adventure books on KickStarter see that kind of turn out but I really want to be one of them.  So I set that as a benchmark.  I wanted something really fun for the backers, so I hit upon the idea of a treasure map and side quest.  It will be art-light, with just the treasure map for art and encounters and hijinks for the backers to use.  Inexpensive to produce, loads of fun for everyone, I think it is one of my better goal ideas. 

My second social goal has me writing about 5000 words as an excerpt from the prophesies that are referenced in the first three Tarot Adventures.  I like this idea a lot, it will only cost me the time it takes to write it and have it edited (those associated costs) so its a very affordable and interesting option.  Both Social goals will be delivered electronically and thus I do not worry about shipping!!!

My point here, ladies and gentlemen, is that creating Social and Stretch goals need not be expensive to create real value for your backers.  Think about your audience, and give them something they want that you can easily afford.


Thank you for joining me again on my adventure into game design, writing, and self-publishing.
I hope you can use this information in your own efforts.

Remember, you can follow me here as well as on KickStarter to keep up to date with titles I'm working on, crowdfunding, and releasing.

I hope I'll see you here next time as the adventure continues.

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