Thursday, March 21, 2019

Legends of Novus will need a Relaunch... and thats okay!

After 30 long days the game that I planned to create was unable to fund on its first attempt on Kickstarter.  One thing I have learned recently is that many games struggle in their first attempts now.  The competition is getting better and better, which is great for gamers/backers, but hard for new designers trying to "break into boardgames".
As I gather all of the data, review all of the potential missed funding opportunities, and strategize a relaunch, I thought it also important to post here on my Blog.
Below was the final update I placed on my Novus Kickstarter, figured instead of retyping it all that this can summarize some things I believe my campaign was missing...

To be continued...

Hello everyone, as many of you have predicted through the fairly reliable Kicktraq and Bigger Cake trend graphs, Legends of Novus was not able to attain its funding goal for this first attempt. It has been a very fun, engaging, and educational 4 weeks going through this campaign. To say this was a failure would be wrong, I feel what was learned this past month will make me a better game designer and marketer for any future endeavours. And to have over 400 people take interest, with over $20,000 Canadian pledges, means that Novus was important to many people!
The creatures that have been plaguing Novus will not relent, and your support will be needed when we get the chance to try this again! If even 50% of you came back for Day 1 of the relaunch we could see a fantastic % funded and interest in the kickstarter and gaming community.

Here is a quick video, a temporary farewell...

Something does need to change though, I cannot relaunch as it is now and expect it to succeed. So here are a few of the things that will be considered between now and the relaunch:
  • Reducing the minimum funding goal to a more attainable result early on. In order to do this there will need to be a game component to review, to determine what is a must have and what is a nice to have. The most costly component, for example, are the dual layer character boards. If these were playmats to begin with, and the dual layer turned into a Stretch Goal, then the initial costs would go down significantly while still allowing for that to become a component with enough funding.
  • Kickstarter game exclusives... there is some dissent on whether these are important or not, but I believe in a game like this they can be created/included without taking away from a potential retail game in the future. This would most likely be in the form of special characters, classes, and creatures.
  • Add-Ons instead of excessive Pledge Levels. Things like the Art Book and the Neoprene Mat are great things to have, but they may have deterred backers as they can make the pledge levels confusing, and feel that if they don’t contribute the highest level then they aren’t getting the full game.
  • Additional Game Reviews/Previews by more prominent people in the industry. By having these, the game will get more media exposure and views, which drives more traffic to the game and thus more people become interested. This comes at a cost, of course, which must be balanced carefully.
  • New art... The game is already loaded with some fantastic art, but the more there is the more visually appealing the game becomes. I will work with the artist to decide on some new pieces to gather specifically for the relaunch, rather than releasing it all before the launch.
  • New prototypes, using all of the new graphics, and inputting those new graphics into the intro video. You may have noticed the promo video used the older format of card graphics and the older character sheet. Although the video was still very appealing, it will match the game more with the newer graphics/images instead.
Here is an estimated timeline of events to lead toward the relaunch. Exact date is to be determined by the end of April, then will announce in the FB group and to some of the Kickstarter awareness groups out there.

I am sure there will be some other things to reconsider between now and the relaunch, and anything you wish to recommend you can feel free to do so. Here are a few ways you can:
Join the games Facebook Group and comment there (link at bottom of KS page)
Send me a tweet, or FB message, I am Wesley Woodbury, should be easy enough to find;)

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

2 Weeks of Kickstarter... Whats Happened?

Legends of Novus has been active on Kickstarter for 15 days now, 50% of the planned campaign time.
Most estimates say a game should be over half funded by this point... it is currently sitting at 36% of its goal.  If nothing else were planned to promote it, and if I did not have faith that it was a truly enjoyable game, this would be the time to cancel and decide if and when to relaunch.
I am not going to pull the plug and cancel until the day before it ends though, going against conventional wisdom based on some planned events and promotion.  Whether this is successful or not is completely unknown, but if nothing else it will still gather more attention, earn more backers, and make the game show as more professional by the end of the campaign.
A few things planned are:
  • BoardGameGeek Ads running for the final two weeks of the KS.  Now that any pre-planned game followers have joined, and early KS browsers, these Ads will hopefully gain the attention of those who like fantasy, and missed the initial launch information.
  • Podcasts airing from Funding the Dream (Richard Bliss), We're Not Wizards (Richard Simpson), and Getting Leafy (Blake Lively) are all airing information and interviews with me about the game.  As people download/listen they may gain an interest and decide to support the game and the company.
  •  Well known game creator, publisher, and blogger Jamey Stegmaier, read an email I sent to him about my KS strategies and may include it in a Blog post.  Given that hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people read his content weekly, this could send a few people to read about the Kickstarter as well, potentially earning new backers.
  • The GAMA is coming up in Mid March, right before my campaign ends.  A former employer of mine, who owns three game stores, will be attending and is planning to share my Info Sheet and discuss the game with people of influence at the show.  This is a big wargaming and fantasy crowd, and also big fans of Kickstarters.  Who knows what kind of boost that could give to the campaign!
So with all of that in the works, the next two weeks could easily bring in more interest and backers than the first two weeks.  I will continue my daily updates and game training videos, share on social media, and engage with the gaming community however I can (without over-spamming) in an effort to keep the world of Novus gaining exposure and traffic.

In two weeks I hope to provide a positive blog update of how this all worked out, but nothing is certain, all one can do is take a risk and try try try!