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Tips For Crowd Sourcing Your Fund Raising For App Development

04-25-2011, 12:50 AM
#1
Tips To Raise Money And Market Your App At Same Time!

Step 1: Using Kickstarter to Raise Funds

Like most here, we have bootstrapped the development of our game RoboArena for the past seven months. Now we are ready to start spending some money for polishing, testing, and adding the final touches to the game.

In order to do that we are turning to Kicstarter to raise some money. For those of you who don't know, Kickstarter is a cool platform where people pledge funds to help indie artists, developers, and inventors get their ideas off the ground. It's an awesome community, and I think it's a great place for indie iOS developers to raise some money and gauge market interest.

Here's the link to our RoboArena Kickstarter campaign.

Here's our goals of this campaign:
  • Raise $5000 for finishing the development of RoboArena
  • Build some buzz about the game
  • Build a core community of invested (literally) supporters who will help spread the word once it is released and drastically increase our chances of succeeding on an overcrowded app store.

Kickstarter does three things for you, all of which are incredibly important:
  1. market research
  2. fund raising
  3. community building

It lets you feel out your market by getting to pitch a game to real people and gauge their reaction. If it turns out you indeed do have a good game on your hands they will pledge money and help you offset development costs. These pledgers then become your biggest fans, will help spread the word, and are literally invested in your success.

If your campaign isn't successful, either your game just isn't that appealing to others, or you need to hone your pitch and define your goals more clearly. Either way, you now know that you need to redirect your efforts and won't be wasting time on something that won't hit!

If I could do this all over again, I'd start with this campaign and then develop from there. We've put seven months of our lives into a game that we love now, but have no idea how the market in general will react. If we had started with a kickstarter campaign we would have had a better feel for how people would receive our game, and some cash in our pockets too!

I believe that crowd sourcing sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are going to become more and more popular in the coming year, especially for game developers!

Up next: Tips to starting a strong Kickstarter Campaign...

Last edited by BravadoWaffle; 04-25-2011 at 01:10 AM.
04-25-2011, 04:28 AM
#2
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: In a car
Posts: 324
Wow, this is cool stuff.I am really curious how your project goes.
As I am currently developing my first game, I was thinking of using kickstarter but i don't think i'm ready yet!I am really not that confident that people will donate money to my project!

My Twitter:@Tudor

04-25-2011, 05:03 AM
#3
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Outer Space
Posts: 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLeQuack View Post
Wow, this is cool stuff.I am really curious how your project goes.
As I am currently developing my first game, I was thinking of using kickstarter but i don't think i'm ready yet!I am really not that confident that people will donate money to my project!
You also dont want to give out too much considering people might take your idea and get their team to work on it whereas you are 1 person working only..
04-25-2011, 05:39 AM
#4
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: In a car
Posts: 324
We are 2 people working on the game, but yeah that is also a risk!but kickstarter is definetly a good tool to fund your ideas!

My Twitter:@Tudor
04-25-2011, 11:00 AM
#5
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1,674
well first good luck with kickstarter..


to take step2 a bit erlier.

yesterday earlier today there was no video of the game or you, just a text wall.
but since then you posted a video so this is good..

to get people pledge anything they should get to see whats they are paying for.

i don't understand the previous 2 posters warning to be secret about your "ideas" , no one is gonna steal ideas.. no one is interested in your ideas..

kickstarter is a platform to get people interested INTO your ideas, so you need to show your "hand" how else will you spark any interest..

i find it always very amusing about indies beng so tightlipped about their next genious flops, which unique ideas seen dozen times before.

so if you get funds throw what you have at the people, the more the better.. at the end you want their interested and their money.


so good luck with the fund raising..
04-25-2011, 11:43 AM
#6
Thanks Mr. Ugly. I had the video live from the start, maybe they weren't showing it initially though, glad it's showing for you now! A video is essential as I'll be covering in the next step of the process. Hopefully I can get Hodapp interested enough in this to write about it on the main site. I think it will be of great value to the entire indie community as a whole! The more mainstream we can get this, the easier it will be for developers to get their great ideas funded!

Everybody, PM Hodapp and tell him about this thread and that he should cover it for the good of indie gaming everywhere!

I agree, when going this route, you have to show your hand. In my years of experience running my own marketing company, I've come to realize that copycats are by nature lazy. Generally they are too lazy to steal an idea. They will happily copycat something that is already proven, but they aren't entrepreneurial enough to go out on a limb and steal an idea. If they had that kind of vision, they'd be making their own games. Plagarism is still a concern though, so don't post your source code or your sprite sheets without some serious watermarks on them.

Good news by the way! I've got pocketgamer.biz on the line and hopefully a few other sites interested in covering our campaign! If nothing else, this whole thing has been one of the most exciting ventures I've ever done!
04-25-2011, 11:44 AM
#7
Get a job perhaps?
OR release equity from property?
04-25-2011, 11:50 AM
#8
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Munich, Germany
Posts: 754
Send a message via Skype™ to mobile1up
i kinda agree with Noodler - i had to put my own cash down to invest into the Caveman development; while i could write all the code, i needed to bring in people externally for artwork and audio/music. it was a small investment - i took a risk with my OWN money, if it pays off.. we are yet to see. how about spending your time working on this and taking a risk rather than wasting time with a campaign that may never actually get anywhere?

// Aaron Ardiri
Mobile 1UP is a proud indie developer - support us!
developer of Caveman / Caveman HD and GW Series
04-25-2011, 11:54 AM
#9
Joined: Feb 1983
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 1,268,691
I think in order to drum up serious interest in Kickstarter you need a remarkably clever idea and an even better video to show it off. The reason I posted about Tweet Land is because I thought using Twitter as your random number generator was a really cool idea. In fact, all of the Kickstarter projects I've seen that I've been compelled to fund, or even link people to could basically be described as "Wow, I can't believe someone didn't think of this before." RoboArena just seems to be iterating on the turn based strategy genre, and doesn't seem to offer much that's new enough or exciting enough to make me be like "Take my money I need to see this project completed."
04-25-2011, 12:07 PM
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hodapp View Post
I think in order to drum up serious interest in Kickstarter you need a remarkably clever idea and an even better video to show it off. The reason I posted about Tweet Land is because I thought using Twitter as your random number generator was a really cool idea. In fact, all of the Kickstarter projects I've seen that I've been compelled to fund, or even link people to could basically be described as "Wow, I can't believe someone didn't think of this before." RoboArena just seems to be iterating on the turn based strategy genre, and doesn't seem to offer much that's new enough or exciting enough to make me be like "Take my money I need to see this project completed."
I agree a remarkably clever idea is an absolute must. Tweetland is a great idea, so is Turf, and so is No Time To Explain. Our idea isn't ground breaking, but hopefully I can manage to change your mind on the "take my money I need to see this project completed" front. I'll be getting an in game walkthrough video out soon that explains the unique mechanics and why it's of particular interest to board game fans. Think- words-with-friends style asynchronous gameplay meets cloak-and-dagger chess.

What I would love to see though, is for indie crowdsourcing sites like kickstarter to become more mainstream in the development process for indie devs all around. Obviously, we all think we have an amazing idea, and running a campaign to raise some funds will GREATLY minimize the risk of failure. It will tell you very quickly if your idea actually has a chance of being successful and piquing interest, or if it will crash and burn.

Like I said before, I would have much preferred to have done something like this far far earlier in our development process before we sunk hundreds/thousands of man hours into the project.

That's why I think it would be hugely beneficial to the indie gaming community. It would inform gamers of where they can go to check out new concepts they would like to play, and help devs get invaluable insights early on in the developmental process.