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How NOT to Run a Crowdfunding Campaign

Based on Thomas Bidaux’s talk about crowdfunding at the latest PocketGamer Connects in London and our own insights, these are all the things we did wrong in our Indiegogo campaign for MuniReality.

MuniReality will be a website where people living with mental illness can freely share their stories without fear of judgement. In turn, these stories (which can be shared in the form of writings, pictures, music and videos) will be transformed into video games.

Our Indiegogo campaign for our project MuniReality recently ended.

Based on Thomas Bidaux’s talk about crowdfunding at the latest PocketGamer Connects in London and our own insights, these are all the things we did wrong:

We ran a flexible 60-day campaign.Why we shouldn’t have done this: because it doesn’t create a sense of urgency and it is not as high stake as the all-or-nothing fixed campaign. It’s harder to pressure (read: family and friends) to contribute, because we’ll get the money anyway whether or not we reached the goal.

Unfortunately, we cannot do anything about this after we have launched our campaign.

We initially included Stretch Goals.

The stretch goals club rules are: Rule #1 Don’t announce your Stretch Goals, and Rule #2 You do not announce your Stretch Goals!

We removed them now.

We did not have a demo.

The trends campaigns timing in 2018 are shifting later and later into the production cycle, and games needs gameplay and/or demos.

I’m also giving a game development talk at a local university and I will hit 2 birds with 1 stone, by teaching them how to make a game in Unity, using our game as the example.

We are currently working on a demo based on a contributed story and we are posting our game development process on our socials and we will release a demo as soon as we can.

At the start of the campaign, we were maybe in the concept to pre-production phase, we didn’t have any playable demos for this new project.

We are obviously nowhere near the 20% in 48h momentum.

We are nobodies. We are obviously not famous, we aren’t indie game developer superstars, we don’t have fans.

We have maybe likes (or people who think that the idea isn’t too bad) but it’s not love.

We have a very low conversion rate.

Our lowest $1 tier don’t have any backers, but at least our $25 tier is the most popular.

We haven’t reached to as many media and influencers.

Maybe we are shy or just intimidated, but we haven’t reached out to as many media and influencers.

We didn’t know how to expand our reach.

Thomas was so kind to tell us about Nouncy.

We now have a Nouncy Campaign, where you can contribute a tweet, a Facebook and LinkedIn post to our campaign.

Our product is confusing.

We are running this campaign to support both the website and the first 3 games.

We aren’t asking for enough money.

Our funding goal is only $12000, because we thought it will be easier to reach.

Also, it’s not all about the money, we would do this project whether or not we reach our funding goal. I shouldn’t have said that.

We want backers; we want to know how many people will be interested in this project and how much impact we could have. Because we really want to raise awareness to mental illness and stop the stigma and discrimination attached to it.

Our campaign video initially didn’t show what the product is.

We used terms like “a safe space” or “a community”, when we should have just said that it’s a website.

We changed our campaign video to this:

What else?

I’m sure there are other things that I have missed out, can you guys check out our Indiegogo campaign page and point out more of our mistakes (this is me low key asking you guys to check out our campaign page).

Also even though we failed, doesn’t mean we aren’t going to keep working. Because we are. Because we really believe in our project and we really want to make it a reality. It might just take longer than expected. But I think we will get there, sooner or later.

Thank you for listening and wish you guys the best of luck with your crowdfunding campaigns, and don’t make the same mistakes we did.