I recently started a poll on BoardGameGeek asking how people looked at a Kickstarter page and what they thought was most important. At the moment of writing this, 184 people have answered the poll. So, how do people see your Kickstarter page?
I asked people what the first thing was that they looked at on a page. This means that if it didn’t past muster, they were going to leave.
The largest and overwhelming amount at 43.5% said that game-description-text was the first thing they read. It’s important to note that some people indicated that the players, time, and age that got 4.3% was part of what they considered to be game-description-text. Almost 50% of visitors are reading that beyond anything else.
The next largest group was artwork at 14.7%. It seems that the description text on your page is extremely important. Maybe the most important for keeping a backer on your page.
I was stunned to see that video only got 9.8%. It’s at the top of the page and usually the easiest to click, but then I started thinking about how I look at pages. Half the time I’m on a mobile device in public. I don’t play videos in public. You know what’s right under that video on the mobile site though… game description.
It’s my guess that in a mobile situation, game description is looked at even more than anything else.
I asked the pollsters what the second item was that they looked at on a page. Game description got a 22.8% in this category, strengthening it’s position I think. Still, it wasn’t the highest. The cost of tiers got a 34.2% as the highest. The numbers start evening out a little more as you dive deeper into the page, but the cost of tiers stands out.
I’ve seen many times the complaints about cost by backers on other projects. There’s a feel that they should be getting a deal if they’re backing a game that others won’t when the game goes out for sale. I can’t argue that. As a backer they should get something more than just a game before others get it. Still, board games are extremely expensive to make with a low profit margin for the designer and publisher compared to other products.
If you’re arguing with yourself if you should make the game a little bit cheaper than you had planned, based on the poll, I’d say do it. Not only is it the second thing most in the poll look at, but it also hold the top position in the third item looked at with a 22.4%.
In the end i asked what the most important component for helping make that big decission was and cost of tiers again proved to be the most important at 21.5%. Still, game-description-text came in second at 14.4%.
Before the poll I would have guessed the video and reviews to be the biggest part of viewing a Kickstarter, but from the comments and the poll, it seems that the video is often looked at as fluff and the reviews cherry-picked.
It’s important to note that artwork remained important to a lot of people throughout as well. I think we all know the importance of great artwork as far as selling a game goes.
In the end, I’ll be paying a great deal more attention to how I describe and keep backers interested in that first paragraph under the video.
Latest posts by Christian Strain (see all)
- Finding Balance Before Playtesting – October 26, 2017
- Rethinking Graphic Design – April 6, 2016
- The Right Type of Fun for Your Game – February 3, 2016
13 Readers CommentedJoin discussion
If most people are looking at the text description to evaluate the game, what do you suppose folks that do watch the video want to get from it? More detail? Entertainment? A sense of the project creator? A feeling for quality or legitimacy?
If by Entertainment you mean the game looks fun to play, I think I’d choose that.
By entertainment I meant whether viewers were looking to be entertained by the video itself.
A few people comment on that on the poll actually. There’s some debate on if the video should be entertaining or informative. I’m sure a mix of both is preferred though. Still, that would be an interesting article to dive into.
A great example of this I think is Machine of Death.
The video was slick, well edited and FUNNY. That sold the game. There was no ‘how to play” until it took off and people demanded it. That video just sold the idea that the guys playing the game were having fun and if YOU wanted fun, you should get it.
I almost never watch the video, and when I do, it’s only after I do a quick skim of the project to see if I can find out what it’s all about. I read *far* faster than a video can communicate the ideas. And, well… most videos try too hard to be funny or “genuine”, and I can only take so much of that.
Only after my interest is piqued by the description do I delve further into what’s on offer. When looking into a project, I want to know the “what” as soon as possible.
I can say I always skip the video because I’m often looking at Kickstarter at work. What I generally end up looking for in the description or the video is a good idea of how the game actually plays. The best videos are the ones that show the game in motion both visually and mechanically. It does make sense that the cost tiers would be the second thing checked. First you see if you’re interested, then you see if it’s feasible. I’d love to see further polling to see what people look for in a game description.
I very rarely (almost never) look at the video of projects I am backing because it is nothing more than fluff. I am not surprised at all that the video was so low. I am surprised, however, that reviews and/or the rules were rated so low. I do like to look at the rulebook when deciding whether to back to see if the game is something I will enjoy.
I mostly assume that the game description is all fluff too. The creator can make a game description say anything they want but the rules are the rules and you can’t really bullshit your way through them.
Great piece and insightful! It would be interesting to hook up machines to get the brainwaves of KS backers – and see the difference between what they SAY influenced them, vs. the unconscious factors that might have influenced them…
A huge influence for me is how many backers there already are, how close they are to their goal (or how far past it), and days remaining. I tend not to get involved in any of them until I see success, and I say that as someone who’s backed 15 projects so far.
I look at the description first, then I look for reviews. If there are more than three OR just one by geek?gamer dad, I stop reading. Screw your review mills.
I’d probably agree with description then pledge levels. I need to be interested by the project, but then I need to know if I can afford to support a campaign at the level required to get the game. The postage costs associated with the level is also important – as an international backer, if its going to cost $20-40 shipping on a similarly priced game, there’s little point even following the campaign.