Monday, November 19

Stay On Target!

We’re now on day 12 of our 30 day Kickstarter campaign for FlickFleet. After a strong start we’re now in the doldrums. The daily pledge total is usually around £250-£400 (we need £246 on average every day to fund) and once it was as low as £45, so we’re limping towards the line, but it’ll probably go to the wire. Most people I’ve spoken to are convinced we’ll fund (or at least that’s what they are telling us!) and Kicktraq and Backerkit’s trend analysis both have us funding too. The only concern is that Kicktraq’s lower limit from its projection cone is now under our goal £10,787 vs £12,000, and it’s heading lower each day (even if their trend is to £18k!).

Things have slowed down a bit

I’ve spoken before about my concerns about Kickstarter (Exhibit A & Exhibit B) but it turns out the biggest problem I’m (and Paul said he is) experiencing is actually the worry about will we fund. Frequently checking the total has become compulsive behaviour, which can’t be healthy. We’ve had quite a few cancellations and no information from almost all of the cancelling pledgers to help us understand why they backed (often at a high level) only to cancel hours or days later.

The one exception to that was a guy who backed and then in response to my thank you message told me how cool the game looked and how much he was looking forward to playing it with his kids. A few days later I got another message from him to say that he was cancelling that pledge because budgets were tight at this time of year. He still loved the game and the campaign, but just couldn’t afford it at the moment. I really appreciated the explanation and tweeted as much.

The story has a happy ending! One of my twitter followers (who henceforth shall be known as Legendary Steve) paid his pledge as a random act of kindness - he was blown away (as was I!) by the generosity :-)

Fingers crossed we can keep the momentum through the slow middle period that everyone experiences and enter the exciting final couple of days at least close enough to the target to make it over the line...

Monday, November 12

Off to a Promising Start

We're just under 5 days into our FlickFleet Kickstarter campaign and it's pretty intense. It seems to be going well so far (just over 40%) and there have been a couple of surprises.

First up is the deluxe editions are way more popular that we were expecting - I hoped we'd get a few pledges at that level by the end but they all went withing 15 hours! Crazy. After discussion with Paul (who will be doing the laser cutting) we've just added a few more with a later delivery date (though still ahead of the standard copies).

Prototype deluxe ships

The other thing is the number of backers we're getting directly from Kickstarter. It's over 40% which really surprised me, especially as we've not made any top picks lists or anything.

Anyway, it's all going pretty well I think, but I could really do with some sleep! Hopefully I'll get a decent night on Tuesday when I'm away for work (and getting interviewed by Gabe Barrett from The Board Game Design Lab for his podcast!).

Thursday, November 8

We're Live!

After months of wrangling with the Kickstarter page and trying to get to grips with the concept and best practices of crowdfunding, FlickFleet is finally live on Kickstarter.

We're about 6 hours in at time of writing, with 20% of the target pledged - huge thanks to all the early backers - Paul and I really appreciate your support.

Please take a look at the page and share with anyone you think would enjoy it.

Right, I'm off to bed now - I've not slept much in days and today's excitement has done for me!

Monday, November 5

Three Days!

I’m currently on holiday (writing this while The Toddler naps) so I’ll keep this brief!

FlickFleet is coming to Kickstarter on Thursday, hopefully about 4pm UK time. It’s our first time on Kickstarter and despite the slow growth of our mailing list and a number of very excited people by far the biggest risk is that we won’t have enough backers to hit our target.

If you are intending to back it (thanks!), please do so early to help give us the appearance of momentum which might encourage others to join in. If you don’t wish to back the project, please share it with one or two people who you think might be interested - it might be the difference between success and failure!

Thanks for all your support!

Monday, October 29

What Have I Got to Show for 15 Months?

I’m shutting down the Sole Trading company ‘Jackson Pope trading as Eurydice Games’ and transferring my assets to Eurydice Games Ltd. ahead of the FlickFleet Kickstarter in a couple of weeks time. It seems like a good time to take stock of the first 15 months of Eurydice Games.

I started the company in August 2017 with a £1,000 ‘investment’. I say investment in quotes because it was money I was putting into the company and at risk, but I wasn’t expecting a great return from it, I certainly wasn’t treating this like a stock market investment - but I didn’t want it to be a vanity project where I threw money at games that no one wanted to buy or play.

Fifteen months in and I have just under £600 in the company, so from a cash flow point of view it’s been unsuccessful. if you consider the £355 of Zombology materials I still have in stock then the company has made a loss - I’ve spent a year turning £1,000 into £930. Oh, and I’ve worked probably 150 hours of my free time for no recompense either. So woefully unsuccessful.

So why on earth am I carrying on? The one thing those numbers don’t take account of is FlickFleet. I’ve spent nearly £500 getting FlickFleet ready for market, and obviously FlickFleet hasn’t yet had a chance to recoup any of that. If you treat that as value (R&D investment?) then things look a little rosier: £1,000 to £1,420 in fifteen months, which is a pretty reasonable rate of return. Of course, if FlickFleet fails to fund and we pull the plug on it then that's wasted money, so I can't rely on it.

We're now 10 days from FlickFleet arriving on Kickstarter, so I don't have long to wait to find out...

Monday, October 22

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! FlickFleet is Coming!

This week has mostly been marketing. Which I am notoriously bad at. I’ve been trying to drum up interest and build up my mailing list ahead of the FlickFleet Kickstarter on 8th November.

A FlickFleet game in progress

I’ve written a press release and I’m halfway through distributing it to a load of board game websites (and a couple of local press that might be interested). I’ve also been arranging a load of podcasts and interviews to try to involve as many people’s audiences as possible. We’re also planning to get some flyers printed that we’re hoping to distribute to a number of UK games shops. Excitement is building. I hope it’s not too slow for a successful Kickstarter...

The limited company bank account is finally set up (this was one of the things that blocked earlier Kickstarter launch dates), so now we just need to get internet and mobile banking set up and we can start using it.

I’ve also been getting more feedback on the Kickstarter page and updating that and getting a couple of outstanding tasks around production worked out too.

It’s all very busy, and at this point it’s hard to tell whether it’s working or not. I guess we’ll know a couple of days into the campaign!

Monday, October 15

The Keyboard That Launched 1,000 Ships

I'm no Helen of Troy. Let's get that out of the way to start off with.

Last week was a good one. I've updated my Facebook and Twitter banner images with a FlickFleet pre-launch banner and also officially launched the Kickstarter campaign (coming 8th November) on Facebook, Google+ and twitter. Several people have said they're in, which is great - especially the new ones, but we're still some way from the 120 backers or so we need in the first couple of days to make it look like the project is going to succeed. The next 3.5 weeks are all about trying to drive the number of early backers up.

We've approached a couple of people about levelling up the box design, so hopefully we'll have something prettier ready for Kickstarter in November. And we're also working on a new version of the video with the real music track at an appropriate level and a couple of still images with the game name and details.

To finish off the week I went to Newcastle Gamers for the first time in months and played a bunch of games. We started as a group of four playing High Society, HMS Dolores and Kingdomino and then Drew left and we were down to three. I offered Las Vegas, Zombology, Hanabi, and For Sale to the other two guys and they chose Zombology (at this point unaware I was the designer and hand-crafter of the game). We played and 2/3 of us won with Tea. They asked for another game and the same 2 of us won with Tea again. At which point they wanted to confirm the science of tea, so we played a third game and again the same pair won with Tea! Crazy. Anyway at that point I wanted to head off so I revealed I was the designer and hand-crafter behind the game and they both bought a copy! I'm down to just two copies at home now!

This week I need to focus on getting the final video up there, picking a box artist, and sharing the press release with as many people as possible - we need to get people's eyes on the project! Any help you can provide sharing the project with people you think would like it is much appreciated - thanks in advance!