The lights are on
During a panel at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, Double Fine producer Greg Rice talked about what made the company’s high-profile Kickstarter for Broken Age such a success. The panel was aimed to equip independent developers seeking crowd-funding money with helpful tips.
“We benefited from just having Tim involved,” Rice says immediately when asked what helped Double Fine’s Kickstarter shatter its $400,000 goal by reaching $3.3 million.
Rice adds that planning ahead was also crucial to their Kickstarter results. Double Fine began talking about the February 2012 Kickstarter back in October 2011.
Turning to fans for money also means developers need to adjust their game pitch for fans instead of business-minded publishers. “What information would I want to know if I was going to give my money to a project I haven’t seen yet?” says Rice. He says fans are interested in knowing what platforms the game will be available on right away, and also appreciate the transparency of the 2 Player Productions documentary.
Rewards for backers were an unexpected challenge for Double Fine and other game devs using Kickstarter. “I’ve had friends that have been bitten by the rewards,” says Rice. Double Fine’s enticing rewards, like a DVD/Blu-ray of 2 Player Production’s documentary or art books, come with hefty shipping fees. Of the $3.3 million raised, $400,000 went to shipping physical rewards.
Rice also suggests developers on Kickstarter prepare to answer every message sent their way by backers or potential backers. Engaging these fans creates a bond and reminds them there’s an actual human being involved with the process. Double Fine hired community manager Chris Remo for that very reason.
For more on Broken Age, check out issue #241 of Game Informer for an exclusive first hands-on preview with the game. In the meantime, watch me play the game in a special video from 2 Player Productions.