James Vaughn of Ndemic posted a lengthy break down of his experience with Kickstarter for his Plague Inc boardgame. You can read it all here at BoardGameGeek.
As some of you know I’ve followed a few successful kickstarters on the blog and one not so successful. I’ve been trying to divine what separates the successful kickstarters from the duds. Beyond the basic wisdom of actually doing your homework before launching one. The market always has its whims. Which is to say luck certainly plays a role (along with the age old discoverability problem).
Here’s a tidbit I found interesting:
Be prepared to spend time and money on your Kickstarter campaign
A Kickstarter campaign is a significant time/cost commitment and it’s important to plan it properly. At Ndemic, we spent around three man-months on the text, graphics and planning of the Kickstarter before it went live (this could have probably been reduced 😛 ). We then spent one man-month during the Kickstarter campaign itself and two man-months post Kickstarter (on updates, processing backer orders, dealing with any other issues, etc). The Kickstarter video cost ~$7,000 (filming, editing and visual and sound assets but not our own time).
Assuming we can break down man-months into 160 man-hours, this means Ndemic spent 480 man-hours on prepartion, 160 hours on updates, and 320 hours post campaign. So 960 hours total spent on the campaign. That’s half a year’s work on a project. I have no idea what their salary requirements look like, and while James says time and again this was a passion project; it should give you an idea of the numbers involved. The additional 7 grand on a video sounds reasonable.
Here’s another interesting bit:
Lock down manufacturing and delivery costs beforehand
You have to have a clear view of costs in order for you to properly set your pledge tiers and shipping costs otherwise you’re exposing yourself and your backers to significant risk. We asked our manufacturer and fulfilment partners for multiple quotes covering different scenarios (including potential stretch goals) and then applied a significant margin of error to our calculations. This meant that when various hidden costs popped up we were able to deal with them without issue (e.g. increased container ship rates due to shipping company bankruptcy, spare parts international postage costs, delivery issues to Russia / Brazil).
Common sense approach. Years ago, Tasty Minstrel Games posted about their design and production process. The article is long gone from their website, but here’s an archive link. When Ndemic posts the follow up, we’ll see if things have changed since TMG wrote about it.
Anyway, read the whole thing over at BGG and congrats to James and Ndemic on their huge success.