There’s a commonly held belief that spending too much of your time focused on any one thing will give you tunnel-vision. This is true for any creative endeavor – visual art, writing, music, comedy, etc. And Kickstarter campaigns are no exception.
What’s generally recommended if this happens is to get feedback from an outsider (or outsiders). Find people who can be objective, honest, and constructively critical of your work. Ask them to give their input on how you can make your creation better. And, it’s not just about objective improvement. Focusing additional sets of eyes on your work will illuminate things that you inevitably missed due to your own near-sightedness.
So how do you get input on your Kickstarter campaign? Well, the best place to start is on your Kickstarter page itself. Your Kickstarter page is the only view of all the blood, sweat, and tears you’ve poured into your creative dream; it’s the only window other people can look through in order to decide, “yes, I want to help this person achieve their dream” or, “ya know what? I think I’m gonna pass.” People have short attention spans, and they’re not going to be willing to put in even a fraction of the time you have on your project, so your page has to win them over in just a few seconds.
The good news is that Kickstarter has a built-in mechanism for garnering feedback. After you’ve built your project page, but before you click the big red button to go-live, Kickstarter generates a link which allows anyone to preview your page. I’d recommend building your page at least a couple weeks before you plan to launch so that you can ask trusted critiquers to give you their two cents.
And it doesn’t need to be complicated. You can make it easy on your previewers by giving them a quick list of things to look at. Here are the points that I’d recommend hitting with your trusted previewers, at a bare minimum:
- Is the project title and description good enough to grab your attention? Did it tell you what the project was about?
- Were you able to get a clear idea of the game, within the first 10 seconds of looking at the page?
- Did the page convince you that the game is different (AND interesting) within the first 10 seconds of looking at the page?
- Did the overall layout and design of the page flow well, or was it jarring/confusing/just plain bad?
- Did the page load correctly and quickly? (Depending on the content on your page, this may be important – for example, I used quite large animated gameplay gifs for Osprey Adrift’s campaign page. After some feedback that they were taking too long to load, I realized I needed to compress the files a bit, and voila. Problem solved.)
- Does the page showcase the game in a way that makes you want to play it? Buy it?
- Are the reward levels clear? (The goes for any main page content, as well as on the sidebar… and they need to match.)
- Do the reward levels seem fairly priced?
- If there are stretch goals, are those clear? Do they seem reasonable, or does it seem like they’re offering too little/too much for the funding?
- Is there enough content to explain how the game is played (gameplay videos, preview videos, review videos, rules exerpts, etc.), and more importantly, is it engaging?
- If there are reviews or testimonials, are they clearly presented? Do they seem meaningful, or just added for fluff?
- Is shipping and fulfillment clearly explained? Does it seem reasonably priced?
- Is there a clear process for what potential retailers should go through if they want to order the game?
- Is there enough biographical info about the creator; and is it endearing or is it off-putting?
- Similarly, is there enough meaninful information in the Risks & Challenges section; and does it make the project seem more transparent? Or is it just off-putting?
- Was there a clear flow to the page? Or did you have to jump around a lot?
- Did the page make you want to back this project?
Spending just a little bit of time and effort on getting feedback for your Kickstarter page can go a long, LONG way toward improving your chances of successfully funding. It’s difficult–of course–to put yourself out there and ask for criticism. But… that’s what you’re doing anyway by launching your project to the world. So, if you’re the kind of person who’s not used to criticism, then take a deep breath, remove yourself from your ego, and tell yourself that it’s a positive thing. Give yourself a couple days to process the critiques and make any edits you deem worthwhile.
Until next time, gang. Keep it plucky,