Kickstarter, *******, and seeking financial help.

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Hope this doesn't class as a double post, I'm gonna be so annoyed if I get the blue words of death lol.
Anyway, this is sort of a follow up question from my previous commercial post since I thought it would be better to separate the questions. So in terms of cost, my game isn't going to be cheap, custom busts, sprites, music, menu, you name it, and the majority of these costs will come from myself. However, unless I want to delay my games release by several years whilst I put all the money together, I will probably at some point need to ask for financial help whether it be from Kickstarter, *******, playing my violin on a street corner....but since I've never done it before, I'm just asking for some advice on:
1. How to go about it without making people think I'm just been lazy and asking for hand me downs?
2. When is the appropriate time to start a *******, kickstarter. How much of your game should realistically be done before you go down that street?
3. How do you go about offering rewards for pledges from the public?
 

bgillisp

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For some reason the thread posted 2x. We consolidated it for you. As to what you are asking.

Have you finished a game yet? If not it will be harder to get support, as no one will know if you can complete a game and they will be more skeptical. I'd suggest maybe completing a couple games so you can show them and say "Here is what I can do, now support me."

Otherwise...

I'd suggest working another job and banking the money to raise funds for your game. That is what I did by working Wednesday nights for an entire year to raise the money I needed for my game. Sure, it hurt my game development for a while, and made for a really long Wednesday, but I (slowly) got the funds I needed that way, and didn't have to spend my time convincing others I can complete a game as I just hired people, gave them the $$$ and they did want I asked of them.
 

Philosophus Vagus

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I had a second, part time job fall into my lap and plan on using it to bankroll my game among other things. I have mixed feelings on crowdfunding, as a lot of devs use them before they have the experience to actually finish a game and then randomly disappear one day.

So my first advice would be to actually complete something first, maybe a small prequel-like game or something that you can showcase so that potential investors can see that you are capable of finishing something and observe your strengths through.
 
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Thanks @bgillisp. Yeah it's not like I'm without money, I make just short of $1700 a month, but been a family man with a son, and another child on the way, my funds aren't as flexible as they used to be. I've watched enough videos on youtube about failed kickstarters/dodgy kickstarters so I can understand why someone like me would have a uphill battle convincing people and why there would be some scepticism. I suppose that's the reason why I've seen aload of failed kickstarters in the past, even those that didn't ask for a great deal! My other weakness is that I have literally next to 0 artistic talent so anything that looks good in my game will have been made by someone else lol.
 

Andar

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the basic key to crowdfunding is to have some proof that you're reliable and can complete the project you describe.

This can be done by referring to already finished games, or it can be done by having the game already partially finished with placeholders and asking only for the money to replace the placeholder graphics or by other ways.

However, the times when empty promises get large funding are long past, you have top be able to provide more than a good story idea and a promise to work on it.

It often helps if you can already provide a breakdown of what you'll need the funding for.
 

Tome571

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I think doing as much work as possible with placeholders and having some upgrades in place (via using a small budget over time, part time gig, etc. as mentioned above) really help a lot. As Andar mentioned, people want to see that you will complete a project. Having a lot done on a project, as well as having an art style direction and someone who did that art (in using your example) goes a long way to showing that you're serious about completing the project and have already invested in it yourself. You've put in time for making the project so far, found an artist and have a vision for where it should be going, while contributing to it with your own money that won't be regained until you finish.

Its nice to see a direction of your vision, and that you also have some financial skin in the game, too.
 
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@Andar Thanks for the advice. My plan was to have enough of my game complete to have some good eye candy with partial placeholders and some custom stuff to show what funds would be going towards, for example, portraits, sprites and so forth. My biggest hurdle it seems from the feedback would be that I don't have a completed game yet. I have plenty of training projects, which I used to help with mapping, storyline plots, seeing what worked and didn't work, but they were never projects I planned on completing, they were as I said before, for training until I felt competent to actually begin a serious project. I suppose if I had thought about it a bit clearer, I may have taken a different route, but an uphill struggle it will have to be.

@Tome571 Thanks for the input, and yes, that is why I put my game in the games in development thread so I can build some sort of following so that people can see where the game began to where it will be as time goes on. For example, my menu is done using mogs monotagami plugin, but I had the look customised to make it appealing. I recently hired a scripter to make a small edit to the menu plugin I'm using so that I could have a extra section for crafting ingredients so that they didn't clog up the item menu, mainly for player convenience. I find it's the small things that helps!
 
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Andar

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The Problem with not having completed any game is that the last steps (bughunting and balancing) are among the most problematic and time consuming parts.
And few developers that haven't completed a game understand that.

Without having completed a game already it is almost guaranteed that your guesses on how much work you're still missing are wrong, and that will cause you problems.
 
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@Andar hence why you have an entire post devoted to bughunting ;) Good job I've got some playtesters lined up. But on a more serious note, your post on bughunting was great!
 

starlight dream

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I'm not very familiar with kickstarter but ******* supporters are usually people who already know about your project.
So I suppose attracting attention to your game is a start (like your thread in the Games in Development section), also placing something like a visible logo in your signature will help as both a reminder and an ad.

And if you're active on other sites, link to your game thread from there too if it's allowed.

I think you can ask yourself funding questions in regards to other people's projects. Why would you support a game, and how would you choose which ones to support?

My tendencies go like this:
- Support my friends
- Support those who have helped me (for example those who provide free resources)
- Support sequels to games I've enjoyed.
- Support games that look really good or developers that are committed long-term.

Your post in Game Development is good advertisement for your game, but it's also showing us if you're committed to your game. If 2 months later you drop the thread for 7 months and give no sign of progress, it'll work against you. By showcasing progress over time, steadily, you'll earn people's trust.
A demo's release can also help in getting support because it'll let gamers decide what they think about your project.
I see people here release little trailers too and it builds anticipation for the project over time, and also shows their commitment.

When it comes to commissioning resources, even small amounts of $ can go a good way, so you can have ******* options available to help you out.
******* rewards will depend on what you can provide, don't promise too much, but some tempting rewards are early demos, sneak peeks of art or characters, the full game once it's released (for bigger donations), the chance for a supporter to name something in the game, be a beta tester, that sort of stuff I suppose.
It can also help if you're clear about your money goals on *******: I need X money to commission the music. These specific goals add some transparency and might convince the supporters to help or choose the amount they'll give.

playing my violin on a street corner
If you have extra time, instead of melting souls with the violin :kaocry:, you could offer some services to devs here, like mapping, or other stuff you're good at? ^^.
 
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Im good with the violin...
But on a more serious note, I might open up a mapping section to generate some extra $$$, buuuut only once I get my lighting/shadows down.
 
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Andreyla

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The main thing I've heard from successful kickstarter campaigns is people overall tend to be more critical if they supported the game during development than when they put money forward after release. I'm presuming people tend to feel like putting money in early holds higher value so they tend to want something pretty special in return. If you can bankroll it and do a normal marketing campaign and release that's nearly always going to be the better choice from what I've heard. Not to say there aren't some rich people out there thanks to kickstarter. :)
 
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@Andreyla indeed. I have watched enough youtube to see why kickstarter can be really hard if your game isnt complete because there is a long history of game devs who have had successful kickstarter campaigns and simply abandoned their project. If I was supporting a kickstarter I wouldn't really be looking for polish and beautiful graphics, but rather an indication that the game was going somewhere and the dev/devs we committed to its completion.
 

starlight dream

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Im good with the violin...
But on a more serious note, I might open up a mapping section to generate some extra $$$
Hey I'm sure you're good with the violin and all, I was just trying to keep you off the streets :p
 

Plueschkatze

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Both, kickstarter and ******* only make sense/works if you already have a certain following of people that are interesting in the project.
Both has a lot to do with marketing... Only veeeeery few projects/people are lucky enough to get a lot of attention with very little work put into it.
(The marketing part, not the project ;3)
My ******* for example hardly gains attention, but it still requires work I need to do every week!
I spend a few hours every saturday to make my devlog posts... Well, I also use that time to track my progress, which is a nice side effect.
I hope I'll attract a bit more people once my game is released and I start a new one, but that's hard to tell.

If you go for kickstarter:
Have a playable demo. Make is as high quality as possible, because most players can't (and are unwilling to) imagine how it will looked as an improved version. So they think what they see is what they get!
Also go for rewards, that aren't time and money consuming. Don't promise shirts and mugs and stuff like that, which is physical, rather use "Name an NPC" or so. This is stuff that's done within a minute and isn't raising the funding goal.
Be open about your experience and what the money is used for.
 

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