Every Game Starts At Zero

Whether you are established or not, whether you have die-hard fans or not, every game you create has to prove itself. This is especially true when it comes to using Kickstarter.

Well, hang on, you know for a fact that there are some Kickstarters that are guaranteed to fund. If they come from established publishers, indie or otherwise, for example. But this is because they have already built up a track record and people can trust them to make good games.

The thing to remember is that that track record didn't just pop out of thin air. They built up an audience by putting out hit after hit.

It's the same in the restaurant business, apparently:

(warning: language)

Importantly, in this video, they say you tend not to get a repeat customer after the first visit, or even the second. It's the third time that turns them into a fan.

I don't know the precise statistics for tabletop games, but there's still a decent comparison to make, where each "visit" is a new game. Just because your first great game funded, doesn't mean your second great game will fund automatically. And when your second great game funds, it doesn't mean your third will fund automatically, either.

In other words, you need to re-earn most of your backers for each game.

The video also recommends ways to get customers coming back. Their list is not directly useful to Kickstarter creators, but conceptually it's the same. You need to entice them to come back, every time, because your brand alone is not enticing enough until the track record starts to emerge.

For me, I think the most effective enticement is to get them to play the next game before the Kickstarter campaign ever goes up.