Using Kickstarter.

Ailius

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This is half a gripe, but I also would like to know if this works.

So, there's this RPGmaker game on steam with a $5 price tag that has about half the content of the $1 game I'm selling. No surprise why I can't market mine...I'm not an artist. I simply lack the skills to make good advertising.

So now I'm noticing the author of the other game has started a Kickstarter...if they get the money, they'll hire somebody else to make the art. So then the artist will make good advertising for them, day one they already have a profit and have made headway in marketing their product.

The way I look at it, using Kickstarter or ******* is pretty much begging, and that goes against my conditioning. Then again my conditioning is why I never got paid adequately for the sacrifices I've made, so maybe I need to change with the times.
 

Sa8er

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As someone with a degree in economics I can tell you that it's better to appeal to your consumers and not care about how well others are doing with similar products. If your consumer base is happy with the product they'll likely be willing to spend more money on future productions, so in theory if you sell your game for $1 while this other creator sells theirs for $5 at half the content, then mathematically speaking you've free reign to sell yours at $10. Unless there's something about this situation that I'm missing here.
 

Kupotepo

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@Aillius, hello nice to meet you for the first time. I do not know anything about the kickstart. But you ask for the marketing tips or how to set up the kickstart? I am not sure, sorry.
I hope this helps you.
 
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MushroomCake28

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Well to start off, there's a certain psychological effect with pricing. A $5 game can be seen as better than a $1 game simply because the price tag is higher. People associate low prices, especially something around $1, as cheap and low quality even before seeing what it is. Of course, higher prices are also seen as better quality. That psychological effect is highly used in marketing: for example companies sometimes invent 3 versions of a product and place all versions next to each other in a store, with a cheap version, a way too expensive version, and then a regular version. People think that the price of the regular is justified because they see the way more expansive version next to it.

Now, as for kickstarter, that's a community base marketing move. If you don't have a loyal following, it's really hard to garnish a lot of interest with kickstarter. However, if you have a strong following, it can be a very good strategy.

In business there is no such thing as principles and pride despite what many people say. When you start off, you have to do anything to be successful. If you don't do it, your competitor will certainly do it to get ahead.
 

Dezue

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Begging = Asking for charity
Patre.on & Kickstarter = Asking for funding for a product in development, ideally using a proof of concept to let people experience your vision

Both of those things are fine, they're just different things.

Also, it's very possible to have principles and pride in business, I'd say.
 

Parallax Panda

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What @Dezue said. Crowdfunding is not begging so don’t mix them together. What @MushroomCake28 said is also true, about psychology and pricing. You’re better off setting a higher price and discounting it to 1$ then simply pricing it at 1$.
I personally do buy RM games that cost between 1-3$ sometimes, but in all honestly, I expect them to be crappy and I’ve never once played one to the end. I also buy RM games priced at 5-10$+ (When I think they’re worth it).

All that being said, I’d never price my own game at 1$. That’s way too cheap for even a bad game, it’s basically giving it away for free so why not do that instead? I’d say that it’s extremely unlikely that an (RM) game priced at 1$ will earn you any significant amount of money, so if that was your original intention then set a higher price. If you don’t think your game is worth more than 1$ then maybe it needs more polish/content/fan service/etc until it is (worth more).
 

Sigony

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People will give you the money only if they feel satisfied to do so. Begging would be to solicit individuals for money.

The consumer funds the project when the benefits outweigh their costs.

So if they do indeed fund you, you have theoretically provided something valuable enough, or something that promises to be valuable enough.
 

jkweath

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@Ailius You definitely should change with the times! Especially when it comes to pricing your game - $1 is just selling yourself short. One of my biggest regrets is pricing Knight Bewitched at $4.99 and having it launch with a 40% discount - if I could go back and re-do it, I'd have priced it at $6.99 or maybe even $9.99.

As it turns out, Knight Bewitched has a small following of yuri ("girl love") fans who enjoyed the story--despite all the game's glaring flaws. One of those flaws is that I couldn't afford to commission in-game art illustrations (which, if you think about it, really should be in a game that's all about romance). That's why I wanted to try Kickstarter to help fix that problem for my next yuri story.

If you think about it, honestly, it's silly to think of Kickstarter as "begging" for money. In my case, anyone who backs less than $10 is essentially pre-purchasing the game, except their money goes toward funding the game directly instead of my wallet. This fact alone is why I've never tried Kickstarter up to this point, but I'm doing it with the goal that having the art illustrations will boost my launch sales enough to warrant the effort.

(unrelated note, Ailius: Steam developers can read deleted comments. :))

Edit: I wanted to mention that part of what inspired me to try Kickstarter was another user on this very board who ran a successful Kickstarter to fund his RTP game some years ago.

Edit 2:

Now, as for kickstarter, that's a community base marketing move. If you don't have a loyal following, it's really hard to garnish a lot of interest with kickstarter. However, if you have a strong following, it can be a very good strategy.
The other reason I'm trying Kickstarter is because I have a following. I'm honestly not sure if it'll be enough to fund the whole thing, but if I didn't have that following, I wouldn't even bother trying.
 
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Ailius

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Dammit. Now I need to go into hiding.
 

Sparky89

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This is half a gripe, but I also would like to know if this works.

So, there's this RPG maker game on steam with a $5 price tag that has about half the content of the $1 game I'm selling. No surprise why I can't market mine...I'm not an artist. I simply lack the skills to make good advertising.

So now I'm noticing the author of the other game has started a Kickstarter...if they get the money, they'll hire somebody else to make the art. So then the artist will make good advertising for them, day one they already have a profit and have made headway in marketing their product.

The way I look at it, using Kickstarter or ******* is pretty much begging, and that goes against my conditioning. Then again my conditioning is why I never got paid adequately for the sacrifices I've made, so maybe I need to change with the times.
A kick starter usually starts off with a campaign it's like look here is a product we want to make ( doesn't have to be games ) but we need ( based off calculations ) X amount of GALD to be able to hire.. look at Star citizen largest crowd funded game ever, they didn't just need the funds to make a game but also a STUDIO. if people want something they will pay but it's a heavy responsibility as you've got to deliver. your asking people to invest in YOUR ideas, rather then the bank thats the real difference. people not banks. there are many ways to market your game, pay for ads get a social media account keep people up to date go LIVE get people enticed. approach other companies to review it. etc.

Edit: i think selling your work at 1 dollar wasn't a good choice the amount of hours i put into my project i couldn't sell it for that much people do associate low priced products as Cheap ( not very good ) or a gimmick laugh of which i have done i literally bought the worse game i could at £1.50 for a laugh, have pride in your work btw got a link ? it's also good to ask friends who try your game what they think it's worth ! get a good perspective and no you don't need to go into hiding ! but i feel you could learn from the person you speaking about.
 
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ADMtn

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I'm curious how you're quantifying "content."

I assume it's playtime, but for argument's sake, how do you know the other person's game isn't simply twice the fun in half the time? Not saying that's the case, but it's a possibility. I mean, Eartbound only takes so long to complete but I'd play it over most of the longer SNES RPGs.

Your (released) game's premise of poking fun at gender identity does seem inherently difficult to market. People can only assume it's either South Park (liberal-esque) satire or anonymous kid on the internet (haha@SJWs) ridicule. Anyone who's interested after figuring that out would probably be in a considerably niche audience.
 
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Ailius

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In hindsight, I really didn't care about the money to begin with, so I really shouldn't care now.

It was also my first game, so on the other hand I really shouldn't have tried to market it at all because there were a *lot* of mistakes, ham-fisted politics being the worst one. Furthermore I was about three years early - the TFlove fan community my game is marketed to is now kinda going through a crisis where it turns out some creeps are doing it in real life:

Los Angeles Times article about a boy being forced to take estrogen in juvy hall.

Making a game which appeals to the kink while making the perpetrator of the kink the bad guy was going to be an uphill battle to begin with, and given how most of the real life perpetrators still haven't been exposed as being evil yet, it seems weird to most people how I'm portraying social psychologists as the bad guys. Wait a couple years and then everyone will understand.



I think I might've been mad because a couple weeks ago I had two midterms, 24 hours of work on the weekend, and a report due on midnight Sunday. So I was busy and stressed to begin with. Then the desktop I had it on decided to burn out on that Sunday, so I had to re-do the entire report on an outdated laptop within 4 hours after just coming off a 12 hour shift. Well I just got my report back and found out the pain and effort have earned me a "D". Sometimes it seems you lose no matter what you do. But unless I feel like stuffing the admin building with enough ANFO to make a lake, I just have to put up with the professor. Such is life.

So being generally angry at life in general and having nothing to do about it, I must've latched on to the first tiny thing that irked me, made a salty comment, immediately regretted and deleted said salty comment. Then got curious if I was leaving money on the table while trying to calm down. Now I have something to keep in mind if I make something that builds a fanbase.

For what it's worth, consider this an apology to jkweath.

No, I don't need a psychologist. I need to stay as far away from psychologists as possible. Refer to the previous section.
 

jkweath

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No problem. I didn't take it personally, believe me.

But to address something you said...

Then got curious if I was leaving money on the table while trying to calm down. Now I have something to keep in mind if I make something that builds a fanbase.
The answer to this is absolutely, unequivocally yes. Think of it this way - if you price your game at $1, Steam takes a 30% cut, dropping it down to just 70 cents and--something I don't see mentioned often on this board--you have to pay taxes on those earnings (unless you have your Steam payments set up to automatically deduct taxes).

(Edit: I should mention that you *can* raise your price on Steam if you wish, but if you do, Steam will lock you out of running discounts for 1 month. I honestly can't say whether it would be worth it in your situation or not)

But by far the biggest mistake is that you can't run discounts. Well, technically you can, but running a discount on a $1 game will make your profit margin so small that you may as well not even bother. 90% of my sales come from discount weeks / Steam holiday sales; without discounts, I wouldn't even make 50% of what I do now.

I can understand the reasoning behind wanting to price your game at $1. Sure, some people will buy the game because "hey, it's only $1, why not?". But there's a flipside to that IMO, and that's the psychological aspect of pricing a game so low that people assume it's a low-effort game (even if it isn't) that isn't worth their time or money.

I've heard some RPGMaker indiedevs express their frustration that there seems to be a "race to the bottom" in the community where everyone seems to be trying to price their games lower and lower in the hopes of bringing in more pity purchases. What happens 100% of the time is that, sure they sell some copies, but very few people who purchase the game actually play it, and the developer ends up feeling frustrated--both because no one seems interested in their work, and because they've barely made enough money to warrant working on the game for a single day, let alone the weeks/months/years it probably took.

Celestial Hearts is actually my 8th commercial game. Part of why I'm pricing it at $9.99 (not including launch discounts) is that I've built up a small fanbase and that I've become somewhat decent at proving my game's quality is high enough to warrant the price.
 

Frostorm

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In business there is no such thing as principles and pride despite what many people say. When you start off, you have to do anything to be successful. If you don't do it, your competitor will certainly do it to get ahead.
Exactly, business is essentially no different than warfare. It's why many entrepreneurs read Sun Tzu's The Art of War.
 

Tamina

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Kickstarter campaign is a really good indication on whether your pitch/concept has commercial value.

If a project failed the campaign, it means players aren't interested in paying for it. So it's probably not worth the effort to spend 3 years to complete the project, and vice versa.

Many really good indie games like hyperlight drifter, hollow knight had a successful kickstarter campaign before the project is complete.
 

ADMtn

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Took me longer than it should've to realized what happened on this post string. Teachable moments, I guess.

Kickstarters make more sense when you already have a pre-existing platform/fanbase. People generally wouldn't fund an unknown unless you had a great demo or prototype to show off.

Although,
Many really good indie games like hyperlight drifter, hollow knight had a successful kickstarter campaign before the project is complete.
Did these developers already have a portfolio before they were funded for these projects?
 

Tamina

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Did these developers already have a portfolio before they were funded for these projects?

Hollow knight is Team Cherry's only game so far. According to LinkedIn, the game designer worked as a web designer before he released first commercial game to the public.

Hyper light drifter is Heart Machine's 1st game.
 

Frostorm

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Hollow knight is Team Cherry's only game so far. According to LinkedIn, the game designer worked as a web designer before he released first commercial game to the public.

Hyper light drifter is Heart Machine's 1st game.
Keep in mind, while those are indie games, they aren't RM games. Not that I'm saying we should set the bar lower for ourselves, but just realize a stigma against RPG Maker does exist unfortunately.
 

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