Part 2 How to screw up your Kickstarter project with Fabio Redivo.
As a continuation of our previous conversation, Fabio outlines the other five things he did to contribute to the failure of his Kickstarter campaign.
6 - Not having a playthrough video
7 - Not having a PNP
8 - Rely on artwork only
9 - A lot of money for the first project
10 - Count on friends and family
6, 7, 8 - Are in the same bucket. Fabio is a graphic designer and works as a brand director for a digital agency in NYC. He used to be in the comic book industry for 8 years as an artist and did a little bit of everything there. He worked for big companies, and self publish, allowing art and design to become a part of his life.
When he thought of his game, that's where his focus was. Art and design. He confesses that he had ideas for how the game plays, that it was so simple that he put it on the back burner and laser focused on showing his art style for the cards. He didn't bother to explain how to play with the beautiful cards he was designing.
His lesson learned?: WRONG! A game is a game first, if it's not fun, doesn't play well, doesn't matter how good it looks. Art and design enhance the experience, but it doesn't dictate. How he says he will be writing the ideas, testing his next game, going to Unpub events monthly, playtest, playtest, playtest. Then he'll go draw pretty cards.
9 - H set 15K for his first project. That looks like a lot of money for a first-time game designer. That would cover print and shipping cost plus the fees for Kickstarter. With 15K he would not make money back at all, just a couple hundreds. That is because he only quoted with AD Magik. He went full premium on the cards, 310gsm, linen finish, black core... So it was costly to produce. He wanted to give the backers high quality, no compromise. But you can't give backers anything if you don't get funded. He also was planning to have 300 cards. It's a lot of cards to produce. 300 cards need custom boxes, and those are very pricey. The whole budget was a disaster.
In the other end of the high price, he wanted to sell games + custom cards for $100. He quickly realized that nobody will spend THAT kind of money on a nobody's game.
Lesson: Start small. Have a fun thematic card game that doesn't cost much to print. Quote an MVP and work your way up with stretch goals to make the game better. Be aware of press sheets to reduce the cost of productions. 280gsm blue core is a good start. Have fewer pledges tiers. Keep goal lower than 5k and game price lower than $20.
10 - Friends and family are great, but will not get you far. At all. AT ALL. Many friends and family members didn't even bother to check his page. Or they shared on facebook but didn't donate a buck. Or forgot about it. So counting on pledging and marketing through friends and family was a bust.
Lesson: DON'T count on friends and family. Simple as that!
These are all great lessons for a first-time creator to learn. We are grateful to Fabio for his willingness to share his failure to help others succeed.