Kickstarter Do’s and Don’ts #2

Last month we kicked off the Kickstarter Do’s and don’ts series with the KICKSTARTER DO’S AND DON’TS #1. This time we are picking up where we left off and sharing some more of our experiences. As we are a board game manufacturing company, we tend to see things from the other side of the table. As board game enthusiasts ourselves we have of course also experienced a Kickstarter as a backer. Some of our staff has even ran a Kickstarter themselves for one of their private projects. But overall, the vast majority of our experience comes from the manufacturing side. So without further ado, Boda Games will show you some of the do’s and don’ts that we’ve observed over the years.


Discuss your components with your account manager! Last time we discussed getting an itemized quotation. With an itemized quotation, you can tweak your project and make configurations with different components. Maybe you find that the price of the game is a bit higher than you were aiming for, or you find out that all those special finishes on different paper components do add up quite a bit. And you had a certain manufacturing cost in mind. A price that lets you run a Kickstarter campaign the way you want it.

When you discuss your components with your account manager, they can help you think of different options. Your account manager deals with games and the various components lists on a daily basis. They have seen the clever ways in which people translate a concept to a set of components. Maybe you were thinking about components, but after weighing the options an account manager will recommend cardboard standees instead. Or perhaps your account manager suggests a different grade of card stock to help you get closer to your projected budget. And there is a good chance that we have a great looking standard plastic item for you instead of a custom one with high tooling costs. And instead, we turn the custom plastic item into a stretch goal. With board game components, we believe that there are many roads that lead to Rome.


If your campaign really starts picking up momentum and you get more backers, then more stretch goals get unlocked. Great! The comments section is blowing up and so many backers have ideas and suggestions for your game. New stretch goals that they ask for like changes in components, or adding more and new components. These can be great suggestions and even better additions to your game. But sometimes people get so excited and want to please their backers so much, they forget about the bigger picture. More than once we’ve heard the phrase “we’ve promised the backers…” without realizing what they had promised them. Or without the time to do the calculations and consult with the manufacturing company.


A campaign was going through one stretch goal after another and did so much better than the creator had ever hoped for. So they started adding “easy” stretch goals, such as thicker cardboard for the game boards. But with the amount of game boards in the box, those millimeters started to add up. And then the box couldn’t close anymore, so we had to increase the box size. But then the entire game was larger than planned, which meant they had to use larger shipping boxes at a higher shipping rate. These are small details but as you can see, one of them can set off a domino effect that might end up being more than you initially planned for.

Another project did so well, that they managed to fund the ultimate “never thought we would get there” stretch goal of miniatures instead of standees. And although the designer of the game had gotten quotations for miniatures, he had forgotten that miniatures take up more space than cardboard standees. A lot more. The game box had to be adjusted and the shipping costs increased as a result. And this is not just limited to miniatures, adding more components always means you need to make sure it all still fits inside the box. Especially for Kickstarter games, where often certain box sizes are chosen to keep the shipping costs to a minimum, this can prove to be a problem. So remember to also account for the other factors besides the price when planning stretch goals.





Interview with Mothership designer Peter Sanderson

Interview with Mothership designer Peter Sanderson

Peter Sanderson, the designer of the hit game Mothership that combines miniatures, strategy and dice games into one, took some time out of his busy schedule to talk with us. Well into the final stretch of the campaign for the 2nd edition of Mothership 2nd Edition Kickstarter, Peter shared with us some of his experiences, learning moments and other things to pay attention to when running a Kickstarter.  - This is the 3rd Kickstarter campaign you’re running for Mothership, first of all congratulations! What would be the biggest lesson you’ve learned over the course of these campaigns?   Peter: Thank you! I've learnt so many lessons over the course of these 3 campaigns (plus one failed!). But to narrow it down, these come to mind: 1. Have a good, well playtested game 2. Present the Kickstarter well 3. Love your backers   That last one is really important. Kickstarter is a community, not a store. The backers on kickstarter are giving you their hard earned money because they believe in your game. You need to show them love and appreciation back.  - A lot of publishers that run Kickstarter campaigns name the backers as one of the most fulfilling albeit it challenging parts of the process. Any fun...


Kickstarter Do’s and Don’ts #1

So you’re running a Kickstarter campaign for your next board game! Those are some exciting times. You’ve probably been scouring the internet. Trying to get any and all advice you can get on how to run a successful campaign. The good news is, Kickstarter is huge. HUGE. So there is plenty of advice to go around. A lot of veterans are sharing their experiences online. The downside? Most of it is from the same perspective.    At Boda Games, we’ve been through our fair share of Kickstarters. We remember when our very first customer told us “I’m trying this thing called Kickstarter.” However, we are not game designers. Nor are we publishers. We are a board game manufacturing company. We make board games. And together with all of you, and with a little bit of help from Kickstarter, that is what we are here to do. So allow us to tap into some of our experiences and share a few do’s and don’ts with all of you. Here are some do’s and don’ts for Kickstarters that we have gathered over the past few year. But from a manufacturing point of view.  DO: When you run a Kickstarter, you will set up stretch goals. Heck,...