GotMop

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Throughout my experience, I have always pondered the usage of a Pre Order "Bonus" incentive; when launching a commercial game. In today's age pre-ordering isn't as important nor relevant as it used to be. Regardless, pre-ordering has became an intricate cycle within the game development process. So I have asked myself and am now asking you guys, "What are some good ideas/concepts to use when offering a pre-order bonus incentive?" 


To kick start the brainstorming process I have developed some ideas below and will add any that are presented throughout the conversation:


*Due to the fact that "Bonus" incentives can be used in crowdfunding, potential tier ideas will also be included


1) Obtain the game one week early


2) Golden item/weapon skins


3) Additional item/weapon skins


4) Bonus soundtrack included


5) Name in credits


6) Free demo of another game


7) Double XP for a limited time


8) Beta Access to the same game or additional game


9) Bonus character/party members


10) In game item/weapon care package 


11) Additional in game currency 


12) Design an NPC (Crowdfunding)


13) Design a legendary item (Crowdfunding)


14) Have the opportunity to write a piece of lore or be associated to a piece of Lore. (Crowdfunding)


15) Game related Art (like a picture, printable poster, map)


16) Design a quest line (Crowdfunding)


17) Lunch with the Dev team (Crowdfunding)


18) "Cheat Mode" unlocked at the start


19) Discount on future content (Season Pass)


Listing Credits for Provided Ideas:

#12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17: Niten Ichi Ryu


#18: byronclaude 


#19: Pine Towers
 
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Pine Towers

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"What are some good ideas/concepts to use when offering a pre-order bonus incentive?"

Not having a pre-order bonus is the best idea, IMHO. I really, really dislike a game that have this and will think twice before buying it. Sorry this isn't what you want for an answer, but you should know (as feedback) that there is people that will frown upon your game for having this kind of incentive.
 

GotMop

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Not having a pre-order bonus is the best idea, IMHO. I really, really dislike a game that have this and will think twice before buying it. Sorry this isn't what you want for an answer, but you should know (as feedback) that there is people that will frown upon your game for having this kind of incentive.

I agree. I have never Pre Ordered a game. However, I still think having a list of possible ideas could be a good resource for those who wish to use them within their projects
 

Niten Ichi Ryu

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Pre order bonuses usually work for big games with a lot of hype.


Not sure a RM game, even the most professional one, with all custom stuff and all would entice people enough for pre-orders.


If the aim is to raise some funds for the game, better use crwodfunding solutions, like Kickstarter and his tier rewards.


Maybe an accomplished producer like Adorlea or Amaranth, based on its reputation, could attract pre-order people, but if it's a first game or even second game and you don't have a preceding reputation, avoid pre-order bonuses, it will make you look like trying to grab cash.
 
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GotMop

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If the aim is to raise some funds for the game, better use crwodfunding solutions, like Kickstarter and his tier rewards.

 Isn't crowdfunding usually utilized to draw hype and raise pre sales? In fact a majority of the listed items are used in crowdfunding, thus the creation of this list. 
 

Niten Ichi Ryu

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Nope. Crowdfunding helps get funds to develop a game. pre-order bonuses are usually revealed when the game is close to release.
 

GotMop

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Crowdfunding helps get funds to develop a game. 

By usually offering a pre order opportunity as Low to Mid Tier. When utilized as a mid tier the lower tier is essentially a bonus. in fact by reviewing 20+ kickstarters, I have found that over 90% guaranteed a copy of the game before it launched. Over 50% used items listed above as lower tiers. As I agree that Crowdfunding's purpose is to raise money, let's be honest and agree that pre ordering and extra bonuses are the tools that drive it. The purpose of this list is to collect ideas of what developers can offer. 
 

Niten Ichi Ryu

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agree to disagree then. Imho, Kickstarter rewards are slightly different than pre-order bonuses, as Kickstarter rewards applies only to those who reach a certain tier of investment, and there could be a risk involved (as in, no game finished), while pre-order bonuses would be the same for everyone who gets a specific edition (let's not go into detailing between regular edition, collector edition, emperor edition, golden balls edition...) :) .


So to add to your list, I would say:


- Design an NPC (mid-high tier reward)


- Design a legendary item (High Tier reward)


- Have the opportunity to write a piece of lore or be associated to a piece of Lore. (mid tier reward)


- Game related Art (like a picture, printable poster, map)


- Design a quest line (high tier reward)


- Lunch with the Dev team (if you happen to pop in their area, High tier reward)
 

Tsukihime

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Not having a pre-order bonus is the best idea, IMHO. I really, really dislike a game that have this and will think twice before buying it. Sorry this isn't what you want for an answer, but you should know (as feedback) that there is people that will frown upon your game for having this kind of incentive.



What's wrong with pre-order bonuses?
 

byronclaude

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Admittedly - I do like to play 'devil's advocate' in nearly any conversation...   YET - I admit that a pre-order bonus HAS APPEAL.  


Even now, I am contemplating what your project is...  what kind of pre-order bonus I would get...  what will it cost...  etc.  and even now have inherently more interest in your project purely by accident...  ...by stumbling into the words "pre-order bonus".  


It IS valid marketing.


While some may be fervently against the idea...   others, like me...  would feel inclined to possibly make a purchase.  Some of us chose to immerse ourselves so deeply into the RPG Maker world - because it creates the best games according to what we like.  


In paying a pre-order bonus, I know in my mind that I am not only gonna end up with a game and exclusive bonus...  but further, I will know that those $$$'s that I spent are PUSHING a project to become better...    that a few bucks from my wallet translates into a fierce motivating force for the designer.


The name in the credits is a fun idea, but I would reserve that for Sponsors...   people willing to donate to your idea if it is good enough, and you can prove that the game's creation is worth it.


The "free demo of another game" turns me off entirely...  not sure why, but I'd avoid that one.


Beta access also seems appealing (with a crazy-strict private-use-only-until-release kinda license)...  but even this I would save for sponsors etc.


The extra characters sounds very good...  so long as they do something completely unique that the prime characters do not.


A "cheat-mode" with a special code or set of optional codes to enhance game play would be interesting.  The optional bonus soundtrack is not bad. Rare items - or RELICS (accessories) is alwayz good...   especially in a medieval style game.


In any case, I say thumbs up to the 'pre-order bonus'.  I would further say: investigate possible sponsors.
 

GotMop

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So to add to your list, I would say:


- Design an NPC (mid-high tier reward)


- Design a legendary item (High Tier reward)


- Have the opportunity to write a piece of lore or be associated to a piece of Lore. (mid tier reward)


- Game related Art (like a picture, printable poster, map)


- Design a quest line (high tier reward)


- Lunch with the Dev team (if you happen to pop in their area, High tier reward)

 Awesome suggestions. I have added them to the list and provided credit
 

GotMop

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A "cheat-mode" with a special code or set of optional codes to enhance game play would be interesting.  



I love the review of each aspect. I have also added the referenced idea to the list and provided credit :D  
 

Pine Towers

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@Tsukihime, as a costumer, I don't like to be forced to take a decision based on expectations.


But yes, I've pre-ordered MV and several other games. But they were games (or, with MV, an Engine) I knew what I would get, since Enterbrain still haven't disappoint me.


The kind of pre-order bonuses I don't like is the exclusive bonus one. Buy this to get an exclusive skin/item/bonus that won't be acquire later is something that I'll never like. Do it like MV did, with discount bonus to material that will be released later, but not exclusive "thing1" if you buy at store A, "thing2" if you buy in store B and "thing3" if you buy at store C, and you get a game where you'll never have the 3 "things". Don't know if I explained myself well.


Kickstarting is something totally different, though.
 

GotMop

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Do it like MV did, with discount bonus to material that will be released later, but not exclusive "thing1" if you buy at store A, "thing2" if you buy in store B and "thing3" if you buy at store C, and you get a game where you'll never have the 3 "things". Don't know if I explained myself well.



Sounds similar to a Season Pass. I have to admit those have had me bite a little on Pre-Ordering. This idea has been added to the list and credit has been provided 
 

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