Monday, December 10

We Did It!

The good news is that our Kickstarter for FlickFleet funded and we’re getting a laser cutter in Paul’s garage and approximately 285 people are getting a copy of FlickFleet. Approximately, you say?

The pledges as written have us being on the hook for delivering 21 copies of Zombology, 137 standard copies of FlickFleet and 118 deluxe copies of FlickFleet. However, a number of people pledged over the amount to add an additional copy (or four!) or a Zombology to their order and I’ve not yet been through things in detail to get the final totals. I think total is nearer 285 FlickFleets.

As regular readers will be aware, this was our first Kickstarter and I was pretty uncomfortable about it for a number of reasons, but the biggest two were: I don’t like to owe people for things (I don’t usually take payment until the game is ready to ship) and not knowing what we’re getting into until the project completes.

The first has just been realised (325 people have just had their credit cards charged) and the second has now abated - once I’ve tallied the special pledges we will know exactly what the commitment looks like.

As it turns out the worst bit of running a Kickstarter was neither of those, it was instead the month-long anxiety of ‘will we fund or not?’.

With 5 hours to spare!

It went right to the wire, with us reaching the target with 5 hours to spare and then a flurry of late adjustments as people who had helped give us the momentum and cross the line corrected back down to something they were more comfortable with. I was literally watching the seconds count down at the end, refreshing the page in case we had more cancellations that dropped us under again. It was not a comfortable experience. But we’re done, we made it and that’s behind us now.

We funded at £12,127 or 101%. Some people might look at that as a failure, but to us it’s a huge success. This was our first Kickstarter, which makes a lot of potential backers uncomfortable. We went into it with a tiny mailing list of 135 people, needing approximately 350 backers to succeed. It was always going to be an uphill struggle. But we did it!

We also made things more complicated for ourselves with our bizarre two-stage campaign that was a mixture of hand-crafted and potentially professionally manufactured games. This hugely complicated the fulfilment picture for us as we didn’t know how many games we’d be hand-crafting in our free time around jobs and families.

I think the optimal outcome would have been reaching the £40k stretch goal and then we would only be on the hook for hand-crafting the deluxe editions. The second best outcome was what we got: scraping over the line so we don’t have a huge number over people waiting on games. If we’d ended up just under the £20k stretch goals we’d have had 600-700 people waiting on fully hand-crafted games (which we’d promised within a year) and if it was just under the £40k one it would have been about 1,500 games worth of laser-cutting in the same time frame (though the rest of the games would have been professionally manufactured). So in that sense it’s a good outcome for us.

We’re now working on getting the artwork finished off, the print and play files together and the laser-cutter ordered. We’ve until the end of this month to deliver the P&P files and a couple of weeks to wait for Kickstarter to release the funds to us, at which point we can start ordering things that require up front payment.

It just remains to say thank you all for your support. Whether you backed us, shared the project on twitter, Facebook, Instagram, BGG or elsewhere, or even if you just wished us well - it meant a huge amount to both Paul and I. We literally couldn’t have done it without you.

Thank you!

Monday, December 3

Through the Wringer - Kickstarter Style

So there are only five days left of the FlickFleet kickstarter campaign. For the last 25 days, Paul and I have lived on tenterhooks, willing the Kickstarter total to go up, hoping that we can be successful at our first attempt on Kickstarter, despite my professed discomfort with it.

It's been a deeply uncomfortable experience. Had we funded very quickly, I would have found it a very different experience I'm sure. Had we clearly got a failing campaign we could have pulled the plug early and despite the disappointment we would have been able to relax and take stock.

Instead we have the worst outcome. A campaign that looks like it will finish very close to our target, either above or below. We've been watching the total crawl slowly northwards, with two steps forward and one back (about 14% of people who have backed the project have subsequently cancelled their pledge, dragging us back away from the target).

The encouraging thing is the number of project followers, so I'm still hopeful for a strong finish that tips us over the line, but it's going to be close and it's going to be nerve-wracking - that's for sure.

Watched the video: 1,943
Watched it to the end: 1161
Following the project: 691
Backed the project: 252 (including 83 followers - so 607 followers haven't yet backed)

Can we make it? I'm still optimistic and I really hope so - as I'm more proud of FlickFleet that any of the games I've released before. But we need another 70 backers in the next five days.

In just over 5 days we'll know one way or another, until then the anxiety continues...