Dized and Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is great! It’s a passion sport, as when one invests money into making dreams come true they immediately become emotionally attached to the project. That personal attachment is what drives crowdfunding and makes it such a powerful platform, but ultimately you are supporting a project and a team you believe in.
Why Crowdfund Dized?
Dized is a huge project. We’re not just making an app that has game tutorials, but creating a platform that allows a full ecosystem of publishers and select contributors to create content for players. This poses the classic chicken and egg problem, as for this to work we need both industry operators and players to be on the platform. The great response to our initial campaign on Indiegogo really got the industry excited about Dized, proving to them that you, the players, want Dized at your gaming table. That was our reason for running a crowdfunding campaign in the first place.
A lot of time, resources, and yes, money go into the development of Dized. Not all of that comes from crowdfunding. However, Dized’s success in crowdfunding campaigns helps us raise funds to continue our work on the platform while also impressing upon investors, lenders, and grant providers that Dized is poised for success. Your enthusiasm for Dized as shown through crowdfunding helps us secure the further outside funding needed to achieve our vision and make Dized a part of game nights everywhere.
Why Crowdfund Again?
Our decision to pursue a round of crowdfunding on Kickstarter was actually based on feedback we received during the Indiegogo campaign: a lot of our potential backers much preferred Kickstarter as a funding platform, especially as it is home to several successful tabletop game campaigns. However, we decided we should reach some milestones before launching another campaign starting with first getting the app itself out! We set ourselves three goals before launching the KS:
- Make the app available for everyone. (Public Early Access)
- Publish a Tutorial for a more complex game. (Blood Rage)
- Get the first toolset out for the industry. (Rules)
We got the app out on schedule but had major delays with both creating the tutorial and with the online tools. Once we got the tutorial out in your hands, we received a lot of feedback about how the tutorial taught the game. On top of supporting different learning styles we learned that people simply have their own preferences. Some want more information up front while others just want to get into the game sooner. We received the message loud and clear: Dized’s tutorials must be able to adapt to players’ preferred learning styles. We felt this was an absolutely necessary change, but of course, fundamental changes add to our development costs — costs that we hope to cover with our Kickstarter campaign.
With our three core goals completed, we decided to launch a supplemental Kickstarter campaign, but the Rules content built with the tools just wasn’t available in the app yet. As a result of feedback from our community, we canceled that campaign and decided to re-launch once we had the Rules also available in the app.
Why Back Now?
A successful campaign will allow us to add Adaptive Profiles, which represents the ability to tailor the Dized experience to your learning style and preferences. Our Indiegogo campaign was instrumental in getting Dized to the point where we realized the need for this functionality, and the Kickstarter campaign will enable us to fulfill it.
In addition to allowing us to add further functionality, a second campaign further demonstrates to the industry that people want Dized. As a backer, you play an important role in showing the industry that this is the time for them to get their content on Dized. And now that we have the first tools for them to do it, it’s easier than ever.
With our Kickstarter campaign, we’re offering major discounts on future Dized digital content, promos for popular games (some exclusive to this campaign!), and a digital badge to display within Dized to show everybody that you’re a founding member of the Dized community.
If you backed our Indiegogo campaign, you might be wondering if you need to also back us on Kickstarter. Absolutely not! You have already done your part, and we are eternally thankful for your early support. What you can do, however, is help us spread the word about our new Kickstarter campaign and share why you’re excited about Dized. You’ve helped us build the foundation for Dized. We would be honored if you would help invite others to join in.
Why Wasn’t the Indiegogo Fulfilled First?
We also contemplated fulfilling the Indiegogo campaign before launching the Kickstarter, but this only made sense for the physical deliverables (more on those later).
During the development that followed our Indiegogo campaign, we realized that creating comprehensive and engaging tutorials without standardized tools was a major bottleneck. As such, we changed our focus to tools development so that we could accelerate tutorial development by providing those tools directly to publishers. We had every intention of delivering on all of the tutorials we had promised, but the tools approach simply made better sense for the long term growth of Dized. The scalability afforded by completing our tools development will, with the help of publishers, allow us to populate Dized with great content faster than ever.
Additionally, the Adaptive Profile functionality is an incredibly important part of Dized tutorials going forward. We want to have that feature locked down before we start mass production of content. And until that content is in Dized, the Dized credit digital rewards are not as useful. We anticipate delivering the Dized credits to both our Indiegogo and Kickstarter backers at the same time as their value is based on content availability.
Indiegogo backers also had to wait quite some time for their physical rewards. There are reasons why those items were delayed, but we’re happy to announce that those physical rewards are being shipped this month!
Dized has accomplished quite a bit through the power of crowdfunding and the support of our initial Indiegogo backers. There is a lot of backend development that’s not visible to end users, but here are some of the tangible things what we’ve accomplished in the past year with the backers’ support:
- Published Early Access for Android and iOS, restricted to only IGG backers
- Created and published Tutorial and Rules for Kingdomino
- Created multilingual versions of Dized and added the support for translated content
- Added translations in French and German for Kingdomino Tutorial
- Created and published a Tutorial for Blood Rage
- Opened up public access for Early Access for Android and iOS
- Created and published a Tutorial for ICECOOL
- Added German translation for ICECOOL Tutorial
- Developed and published the Dized Portal for industry operators
- Developed and published the Rules Tool for industry operators
- Did a lot of backend development to support all the things mentioned on this list
- Handled over one thousand Support Requests
I Want It All, and I Want It Now!
Any one crowdfunding campaign is exciting exactly twice: once when you commit to backing it and once when you receive your rewards. The rest of the time in between usually isn’t much fun as you mostly just want to receive your rewards. Depending on what’s being offered, reward fulfillment can be immediate for a mostly pre-existing product or years for something being created from scratch.
With Dized, we’re actually making a BIG dream come true, but dreams don’t come true overnight. This project has taken a LOT longer than we originally hoped for due to the changes we’ve made as we’ve learned along the way how best to position Dized for success.
We wish we could’ve managed the audiences and even our own expectations better. We’ve learned how important it is to frequently communicate our current and future plans and have already begun to improve this aspect of our development. We do however value our early backers and have always offered a full refund when someone has requested it.
We’re happy that our audience is so passionate about Dized. It shows that what we do really matters! As founders of the company, and having dedicated our lives to making Dized a reality, we do understand backers’ frustrations with the delays. We need this too!
Together, we’re making this happen!
On behalf of the whole team, the Dized Co-Founders:
- Jouni and Tomi