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Why the Kickstarter failed and how to improve it


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With all due respect, I think creating a thread to collects people opinions/criticism of why the kickstarter failed and getting analysis/suggestion to improve it would be good inputs for how to properly make another one in the future. Not all opinion/ideas can be correct and anyone are welcome to disagree, but remember the goal is to help Black Chicken Studio become successful on their next try.


So to start off, here’s my observation and opinion.

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A great summary:


"So to summarize, if you do plan for a second kickstarter, don’t keep it a secret, appear in more gaming blog and interview, build up momentum and awareness for the kickstarter preferably before lunch and have a good video presentation accompany by dozen or so of pretty concept arts to decorate the kickstarter pages and video slideshow concept explanation."


Some of this we have control over, of course, and other elements we can only influence, but on the whole it's a good analysis.

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I personal agree the concept art where to vew to late you should have at last 2 ready on start.

Then your start video, it told nothing and was only meant for a extrem small audience nearly every video where just one person talk about what they plan to do is bether suited for this.

Even as a former Pen and Paper player (ok now again) I found this video strange and if it wasn't for BCS I would have ignored this KS after watching the video.

Then nearly no visuals where made for the updates! Even bevore this KS started I told the Legate at last twice that the expectations in visuals are high and at last once a week one should do a update with a video or Pictures bether with both.

It got oven worse in this KS as some updates where bad formated that it was no joy to read them.

Oh and personal I think 1 picture about how the pen and paper looks like and a link to a FAQ is enough about the Pen & Paper Ars Magica as it have only limited to do with what you want to sell.

The people who love this Pen & Paper RPG know already how it works and looks but to get the other people informed you need to talk how your game will work different from other CRPGs and not how Ars Magica is different from other pen & paper RPGs. (I.e. the Picture about the books was just confusing and helped your KS not at all)


To put it together have at last 2 Concept Art and a video where you talk about what you plan to do and who you are for the start and leave out the Pen & Paper part as you only will use the rule set and not the Table with the players for your game.

But also keep in mind that you would need some extra concept art and videos for the updates and with the slow peace you can put out new art you should have at last 2 more arts per week the KS is running ready for the updates to break up the text and at last do one video per week.


Have you even ask Atlas Game bevore you started about the numbers of the main Ars Magica 5th Edition ruleset they sold and looked if less then 1% of this people at the $20 level would be enough for your KS?

(I personal expect that at max 10% of all potential buyers go the way KS and to get the numbers of potential buyers from the P&P RPG that is already 8 years old I would expect max 10% of the sell numbers of the main book would have a interest at all in a CRPG based on this RPG so I end up at 1%.)

If Atlas Games not sold at last 1 Million units of the Ars Magica Fifth Edition core rule book you absolut need to target the usual Computer RPG player over the Ars Magica player.

When you compare the backer numbers about a good selling P&P RPG and then about a good selling CRPG at KS then it become clear P&P is a minority marked compared to CRPGs.

(i.e. Dead State 10k backer vs Travler 5 2k backer and the first is not even the best CRPG but the later is the best selling P&P RPG)

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I will throw in my personal thoughts.


1. Considering how popular are these storyteller's pledge despite the steep price, you *might* want to throw in a few more, at least the item-based / spell-based one.


2. The duration is way too short for such a high goal. Personally, it felt like you guys started the Kickstarter first and drumed up interest second. Is there a specific reason why you guys picked 30 days? Christmas may have drawn in more people that are just surfing around.


3. The character arts are beautiful, but if you want to appeal to computer gamers you probably will want *more* gameplay mock-up. You might want to aim for the KoDP crowd.


4. I think you really should re-use these arts for a second kickstarter if possible, no reason to let them go to waste (didn't you say they are really expensive?)! :lol:

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I am... not sure if this suggestion is placed correctly, but it dawned on me that if it is possible, you might wish to include a way to create your own scenario into the game or as an addition. Ars Magica and the others are made unique in the very creative minds of the players, and I am sure that while a campaign would draw many (myself included) a possibility to make and share (not necessarily inside the game) would be a huge boon to others. This would also benefit the longevity of such a game.



That said, I don't think you would need to rethink/redo/rewrite/redraw the campaign... This is just me, but since we didn't see what you wished to show us (in full) it is still shrouded in mystery. Still something we would want to experience.


Regardless of whether you start it up again or not I hope it hasn't stopped the imagination or the drive behind. Best of luck next time.

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include a way to create your own scenario into the game or as an addition.

I think you are asking for a game editor that create mod and modules for the game, which I believe it's mention to be a stretch goal.

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In my opinion, the Kickstarter could certainly have used more gameplay information (it wasn't quite clear how the game would play based on your pitch; the update about combat came out a bit late in the campaign as well), and even more importantly, more concept art and ingame pics. A picture is worth a thousand words after all.


Still, I also think that timing also played a huge part in the project's failure, as you can see from plenty of other KS projects that are failing to be funded right now, or who don't get nearly as much money as other similar projects got earlier.

Many gamers are keeping their money in anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas sales after all, and there may be a general feeling of KS fatigue right now among many backers. Speaking for myself, yours is the only project I've backed recently, and I haven't pledged towards projects that I likely would have backed a few months ago (like Sui Generis and a few others).


So don't give up, and I hope you come back in a few months with an even better project, because this game sounds really interesting.

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I agree with the statement that people are left drained of theyr money thanks to the extrem big KS projects that where running in the last time.

A project that I backed a vew Months back and failed then now try again via some kind of alpha sell but my expectations rised by now and so this project is longer good enough for me.

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