The State of Forge War - Part 3

September 16, 2013

Showing-Off And now we come to everything else about running a Kickstarter that isn't just having a really awesome game with really awesome art and design. You know, stuff like marketing and having an online presence. When I originally started programming Flash games and blogging, I decided that I didn't need any of that stuff. I was going to write a blog for no audience, and then when I started releasing games, an audience would flock to me like moths to a bright light. Well, I never actually released any games (more than an alpha version of Lazy Robots that exactly 1 of my friends played), so I can't really speak to whether that would have worked out, but I suspect that it most likely wouldn't have gone as well as I had hoped. The bottom line is that I realized I couldn't just sit back and wait to be discovered. You can't just release a product on Kickstarter without some sort of support base and just pray that it does well. You have to be active in the discovery process. All right, so, I recently moved my blog from Google's Blogspot to my own website. While I was on Google, I actually got somewhat significant traffic from a post on D&D4e non-combat encounters. It was, like, first page on Google searches and it also generated some traffic to other posts. I was happy. But the site was ugly and I couldn't do much with it, so my hot wife convinced me to move to a real website, so I moved all my posts and immediately lost favor with the Google Gods. It was like a barren wasteland over here in Wordpress Land and it got increasingly difficult writing posts to exactly no one. But, look, I'm not an idiot and my hot wife makes a living doing marketing, so clearly there was a solution to get more people heading to my site and getting excited about Forge War. And it's called "Going out into the World Wide Web and letting people know that you exist." Also known as posting in forums and comments sections everywhere you think a potential audience might be. Not in an obnoxious way, but just making insightful comments that might cause others to think, "Eh, who is this guy?" This is hard for me, though. Not the insightful part, but just going out there and creating my own voice. I could say that I'm an introvert, but that's not a very good excuse in the context of the internet. Apparently real-life introverts are usually the ones who become extremely extroverted when interacting on the internet. I can't say I feel the same way. I lurk in a lot of online communities like Board Game Geek and the Onion AV Club, but there is a real barrier there for me to actually post a comment. Much like in real life conversion, I just don't want to impose. I can type away all day on my own blog because people are making an active choice to come here and see what I have to say, but to go somewhere else and insinuate myself into a conversation...I don't know, I've just always felt weird about it. But, anyway, I've gotta get over it, because I could really use a larger support base for the launch of Flash Forge War and the Kickstarter campaign. I've started posting the reviews I write on BGG (which is also helping to raise the geek funds for an avatar on that site - I feel like such a scrub without one even though I've been lurking on the site for 5 years), and have started posting comments in places I myself like to go, like Patrick Rothfuss' blog, Shut Up & Sit Down and the Stonemaier Games blog. I think this particular post might have gotten away from its original intent, but to go back to it for a minute - since I mentioned it, if you are looking for one-stop shopping on running a successful Kickstarter, the Stonemaier Games Kickstarter Lessons are an excellent resource. I've learn so much from them and cannot praise them highly enough. That page is one of the reasons this post isn't just a point-by-point of all the different things I need to do, because, seriously, it's all right there. No need to repeat it. So, yeah, I've gotta continue working on growing a support base. (I should also give a shout-out to Today in Boardgames for helping me, as well, by including my reviews in their round-up.) Other than that, we've gotta design a kick-ass Kickstarter page, complete with a compelling 2-minute video. I've gotta talk to the manufacturers and budget everything out with that, and I've gotta do a lot of other business stuff like found a real-live company. I also need to get some reviews lined up for the game. This is causing a bit of stress because Forge War isn't exactly Print & Play friendly. I've got one prototype copy and I'm cool handing it temporarily over to semi-local people like Grey Elephant Gaming, but the prospect of having other prototypes made (likely for $100+) and sending them off to reviewers on the hopes that they like it and review it is a little daunting. Obviously I'm hoping the Flash version will be enough for some people to review it, but that approach is still rather unconventional. I assume some people would only be comfortable reviewing a physical copy, even if it is still just a prototype. Blerg. So those are my thoughts on all the other stuff (though mainly establishing an internet presence). And, seriously, if you want an in-depth look at every little thing needed for making a Kickstarter project great, check out Stonemaier Games. In part 4, I'm gonna lay out an actual timetable for getting all of this done.

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