Creating an attractive Kickstarter page is essential for creating excitement for your game. But it must also clearly convey what backers will receive.
Last week we talked about pledge levels and making sure that you provide a small number of options without overwhelming your potential backers. We also stressed the need to focus on your main product and not go overboard on things like mugs, keychains, and t-shirts, that are not actually part of your game.
You want to also apply this to your page, making it clear and concise.
It should start with the video, which will be the first thing people see on your page. We’ll get into this in much greater detail in next week’s article, as Kickstarter videos deserve a much deeper discussion.
Following the video, there are a number of sections you’ll want to include. Let’s take a look at them.
Order of operations
You want to be sure that your page flows smoothly, giving potential backers all of the information they will need to get excited about your game and showing them exactly what they will get.
I recommend using the following sections, in this order:
- Story (default first section)
- About the Game
- How to Play
- Reviews & Previews
- Pledge Levels
- Stretch Goals
- Risks & Challenges (default last section)
Please don’t paste a wall of text. Space things out. Include plenty of images throughout the page. Visual appeal is HUGE!
You can also sprinkle social proof in multiple sections through the use of reviewer quotes.
Let’s dive a little deeper into each of these sections and what you’ll want to include.
Give a very brief intro here.
Show an image of your game with all the components. If you are covering VAT for different regions (you probably should), include logos for EU friendly shipping, US-friendly shipping, or whatever regions you’re shipping to that are covered, either within this image or just below.
Make sure to include your demographics here (age, number of players, play time) as well.
Provide an image of each of the components that backers will receive with their game. This will help them to know what is included and will show them the value.
You can include sizing as well. For example, a 12” x 12” board, or 120 x 70 cm tarot-sized cards.
It’s also good to mention here that all images are based on the prototype and that the final version may be slightly different.
About the game
Provide a bit more details about the game here.
What is the setting?
What role do you take on as a player?
What are you trying to accomplish and how do you win?
What cool things can you do in your game and how is it different and awesome?
Provide images along with your explanations.
How to play
This is a great place to include your next video. This can either be one you created by yourself or you can use one that an influencer made for your game.
This video should be all about the mechanics of the game, not a “salesy” pitch video. Go through the rules and help people to understand how to play the game.
You can also include the basic rules through text and/or GIFs.
It’s strongly recommended that you include a downloadable PDF rulebook in this section as well. This can allow people to read over the rules and help them figure out if this is a game for them.
If you have a Tabletop Simulator or Tabletopia version of your game available for players to try, include a mention and a link to this here as well.
Reviews and Previews
This is where social proof comes in.
Make sure to include videos and links to written reviews here. You can take a great quote from each review and put it just below the video or link to written reviews as well, which helps to highlight something the influencer really liked about your game.
Just make sure to include a link to the original review so that people can check these out in full. This also does something nice for that individual who helped you out.
It’s not enough to just have pledge levels that appear on the side of your page. You want to go into more detail and even show a visual of what people will get when they back your game.
Make sure to include all the details of what they get with each version, especially things like a free print and play (PnP) version of the game when they buy the physical copy if you are including this with the pledge.
Make sure these pledge levels are all clear and concise. People should know EXACTLY what they are getting and for what price.
Shipping can be the most expensive part of getting your game to backers, often much more than the actual manufacturing cost. So, you want to be sure you’ve got accurate quotes and understand how much it will cost to fulfil your game. See this previous article for more details on shipping and fulfilment.
You may be charging backers the full shipping cost or you may decide to subsidize part of this or roll it up into your pledge level, depending on your game and the costs for manufacturing and shipping. You may also decide to charge this during your campaign or afterwards in a pledge manager (more on this in an upcoming article).
Regardless, you’ll want to have a good understanding of the shipping rates by region and communicate this to your backers. Make sure to outline which countries are included in each region. This can be done by stating something like Asia zone 1 – $10* and then listing out which countries are included in this zone below the chart.
If you have different versions that will incur different shipping costs, make this clear as well.
When it comes to stretch goals, I suggest not showing too much too early, because you don’t know how quickly your game is going to fund (or if your project will reach its goal).
You might find that you post stretch goal levels that are set to unlock at funding levels that are too low. If that’s the case, you’ll blow through them all too quickly if you fund in a matter of hours, which will leave you in a position where you might run out early or have to come up with new ones you hadn’t accounted for.
But if you post stretch goal levels that are too high, this can lead to disappointment, as it may become obvious that they will never be unlocked.
I took the strategy of not posting any stretch goals at first, simply leaving a message saying “coming soon”. This allowed me to gauge how quickly we would start knocking out stretch goals and space them out accordingly.
If you’re going to post any upfront, I suggest only showing one or two.
Either way, drip them out slowly, only showing the next one or two goals at a time. This will keep curiosity high, incentivizing backers to keep checking in on the project and stay interested. This will also allow you to engage with backers and ask them what they would like to see.
In addition, once you are funded, you might want to move this section up just after the story section to make it easy for backers to see and follow along.
Give credit where credit is due.
Include the designer (presumably you!), graphic designer, artist, Kickstarter video creator, rulebook designer, and anyone else who helped put your game together.
Include pictures and a short bio or list of other games they have worked on to make this more personal.
You can also thank your playtesters and others who supported you along the way in this section if you choose.
Risks & Challenges
This required section allows you to let backers know any risks they may need to consider, but also to alleviate their fears.
Let them know your background and experience and how this will help you navigate these waters. If you’ve run other successful campaigns or supported them in some way, make mention of this.
Be honest and be accountable.
You want to build confidence and trust here.
Example campaign page
For an example of how I set this up myself, check out the Relics of Rajavihara campaign page.
Next week we’ll look at how to make a captivating video that will draw backers in.
Do you have any questions about creating a Kickstarter campaign page?
Please let me know by leaving a comment.
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