TheLeague of Gamemakers is on a mission to crack the code of Kickstarter funding! In our series, Kickstarter Questions, we’ve asked the same 7 questions of project creators who have started and finished a campaign to discover the best practices and common paths to success.
If you were on Kickstarter in 2013, you may have noticed this seemingly simple card game with a twist – The Agents by Saar Shai took Kickstarter by storm raising over 250,000 with cool art, great communication and a clever set of mechanics. Did we mention it was a first project !? We caught up with secret agent Shai and he debriefed us on the following:
7 Kickstarter Questions
What are the most cost effective advert outlets you’ve found to drive folks to your campaign?
We’ve actually didn’t do much paid advertising for the campaign
. Most traffic actually came from the existing Kickstarter community. While we did post some ads on boardgamegeek.com
, it didn’t seem to produce enough traffic to justify it, really.
Name your favorite way to engage backers.
I love the updates. I spend a lot of time crafting the content, and when I finally post it I very much enjoy seeing the feedback coming through. It’s the best way to inform the backers of any new developments, but also to have some fun.
When do you know your game is ready for Kickstarter?
It’s a tough call, but it’s important to have the game at a relatively advanced stage where it can be played and enjoyed, even if it’s not complete yet. It’s also crucial to have most of the art ready. It’s a big part of any game, so you can’t hold it off.
What is your action plan for after a campaign ends?
We actually started working on the fulfillment before the campaign ended, once we’ve reached the funding goal. Before launching, we made sure that we know exactly how we’re going to manufacture and ship the rewards. This is the main reason we were able to meet our expected delivery date.
What is something you would do differently on your next campaign?
Prepare for over-funding!
With The Agents, we didn’t believe we’d be able to raise so much. The scale of everything just grew so quickly that we had to work very hard to be able to maintain good communication with our backers and also expand what’s on offer due to the high demand. It’s something that we’ll definitely take into account for the next campaign. (The Agents Return
– launched, April 21!)
What 3 tips would you give a new project creator?
1) Do the necessary research – know your audience, know the market, know who to contact and how to manufacture.
2) Be transparent – communicate well and often, and share as much as you can with your backers.
3) Have fun – we’re designing games here, so don’t forget to enjoy yourself as you go.
What’s kicking around in 2014?
Big plans. We’re working on the next Agents campaign, to launch in March or April. I’m also developing a new game that I’m really excited about, working with great artists and getting some great feedback so far. We hope to launch early this summer and that people like it as much as they loved The Agents, because they should!
1 Bonus Question, Just for Fun
If Kickstarter banned all games with X theme or mechanic, what must go first in your mind?
Can we please get over zombies already? I think this theme can definitely take a rest for a while. Sorry, zombie lovers.
As mentioned, Saar Shai is responsible for The Agents, the first game released from his company Double Edged Cards Ltd. Find out more at PlayTheAgents.com The next chapter, The Agents Return is on Kickstarter now! As of this writing, the project is overfunded with 40,000 in just a day!
More Kickstarter Questions here!
If you have crowdfunded a successful campaign and would like to participate in our KS Questions, send us an email! – we’d love to hear and publish your answers and tips.
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4 Readers CommentedJoin discussion
As a backer of The Agents, I’ll say that fulfilling in 4 months with nearly 7K backers was super impressive. I was in the thick of my own delivery on a campaign funded in June, and I thought – no way this makes it for the holidays. I said as much on the comment wall, just because I was planning on a Christmas present. I know not everyone got it quite in time, but I was shocked that some did (myself included). Also, it’s a great game. I hope that round 2 has better production quality, but this is innovative and fun design.
I visited the website; the game looks like a lot of fun, and I look forward to playing it. Their “Press” page is a who’s-who of where to send your game for a review; it’d make a great reference sheet for those looking for free publicity and pre-publicity. Many, if not all, of these people will review games that haven’t been released (prototypes), and that likely had something to do answer to the first question. Getting reviews is often the best and cheapest form of advertising, especially if the game is excellent.
Ok, Saar has just become my favorite Kickstarter creator ever! (except, of course, the guy who did that game, Stones of Fate, wasn’t he awesome?)
The answer to the bonus question alone justifies backing every project he ever creates from here to eternity!
I backed Agents as well and was impressed by the delivery time!