What I'm learning from Ready Play Games on Kickstarter

What I'm learning from Ready Play Games on Kickstarter

Posted by Nicholas Ribera on

Welcome back. I want to start this blog off by discussing my advertising partner for Ready Play Games: World of Game Design.

A couple months ago I was at Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio. I had hosted a seminar that I called "Lessons Learned from Kickstarter as a Small Time artist." Zac Goins, from World of Game Design (WOGD) was in attendance.

Afterwards, we got to talking and I showed him my Ready Play Games project. I described how the Patreon format was a complete failure, but it was selling well at Origins. Zac went on to describe how his company works and how he thinks we might be able to do something well together- so we swapped cards. 

In a nutshell, World of Game Design will run every aspect of your Kickstarter campaign and fulfillment in exchange for 25% of the money raised. I had already completed 14 successful kickstarter projects by this point, so I didn't need their help, but I was still intrigued. There were a few benefits that made me want to work with WOGD:

  1. I could see how other companies ran KS projects and take some notes.
  2. Their fresh eyes will help me simplify the project and explain Ready Play Games
  3. Zac had a great expertise in zines and ZineQuest on kickstarter (I had no idea what a "zine" was in terms of RPGs).
  4. They have their own audience of supporters and can better utilize BackerKit Launch.
  5. They would deal with fulfillment.
  6. I could focus on my next Tarot project, Tarot by the Neon Light, which I hope to launch in October
  7. They have presence at conventions that I'm too far away from to attend.
  8. Leftover stock can be sold through their website.

All of the reasons, as well as the fact that I already had these games produced and stock ready to go made it worthwhile. Even if I made $0 in profit, the learning experience as well as the new active consumers being added to my email list absolutely made it worth the endeavor.

Off the bat, Zac created a very simple structure for the pledge levels that I wouldn't have thought of. We decided to sell three games through the project and offer each as either a PDF or physical printed box of cards. As of this writing, 16 of the 61 backers have selected PDF only levels, which really helps with the profitability. Even those levels aside, I'm still bringing in about $2 for each printed copy. I won't be quitting my day job over it but it's still nice to know I'll have some money coming in to help produce samples for Tarot By the Neon Light.

One unexpected success in this project is the use of Backer Kit. A few projects ago I met with BackerKit's marketing team to learn about their benefits, specifically their product called Backer Kit Launch. Here's a tip- if you complain about the $99 price tag during the meeting, they'll waive it for you.

Backer Kit launch is a tool that targets your previous project's backers and specifically emails them and urges them to back your new project. I have small email list, but it is a reliable one. I didn't find it necessary since I was already planning on emailing them. When Zac implemented it into this project, it was a huge boost, because he was able to import the email list from all of the previous WOGD campaigns. As of right now, 24% of the funds have been collected as a result of BackerKit. I know this because Kickstarter allows you to create trackable links. So if I had ran this project on my own, without the help of Zac and WOGD, I would be $400+ lighter.

So while the project isn't even close to being finished, the experiment is looking really good. Will I stick with them for more Ready Play Games releases?

I think I will.

Will I use them for my next Tarot project?

I don't think I will.

In conclusion, I feel that the service that WOGD offers is a marvelous one, especially when PDFs are part of your sales. It's a wonderful tool for anyone who does NOT want to make a habit out of running Kickstarter projects, who doesn't want to build an enduring brand and instead wants to release a single project.

Let me know if you'd like for me to connect you with Zac and I'll be happy to make the introductions.

Ready Play Games will be live on Kickstarter until August 22nd.

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