After running 5 successful Kickstarters for board games, we have put together a pretty good playbook for how we organize and build our Kickstarter pages. We are sharing this guide with other creators so that they can improve their own pages and maybe even offer up some suggestions to us so that we can improve our own along the way. Keep in mind that this guide is completely subjective and it is not written in stone. Kickstarter is an evolving platform and we typically spend weeks on each of our crowdfunding campaign pages. This is merely a guide for how we have organized Kickstarter pages in the past.
This area is the most dynamic of our Kickstarter pages and serves as an area to spotlight the status of the campaign and what’s going on or new day to day. After we’ve funded, we always post and update and then use this area to highlight stretch goals, give a little thank you, and post the status of the campaign. We often link to our most important Kickstarter updates near the top of the page as well. Here’s an example from our Set a Watch campaign:
When the campaign is coming to a close, we change this area over to a “Missed the Campaign” section where we can post information about preorders, late pledging, etc.
This is often our shortest section. It’s typically a short paragraph describing the product and giving people a quick overview of the game.
Why back Now?
I’m not sure how essential this section is, but for our past couple of campaigns we have included a quick list of why people should back our games now rather than wait until later or retail. I like that these lists create a sense of urgency, but don’t think this is an absolutely necessary section.
What’s in the Box?
Now this section on the other hand is probably the most important part of any Kickstarter project and is absolutely essential. This is where you show off what backers are actually getting for their money. Whether it’s a board game or a high tech gadget on Kickstarter, you have to show off all the components and goodies that you get in the box when you pledge. For other tabletop creators, we visually show off our game box and components. We often use BoxShot to create a box rendering and mockup of all of the game components but have also done real world photography in the past as well. Be sure to include the reward price in your imagery and list out everything that you get with a pledge. Some creators included these lists within the graphic itself, but I tend to actually write it out in the Kickstarter editor so it is more legible on mobile and for SEO. Here’s an example from our Gothic Horrors expansion (releasing Q1 2019!):
Add-ons (if available)
This is an optional section that you need if you have add-ons or other available products as part of your Kickstarter campaign. I like to keep all of the rewards/add-ons close to one another so that when you’re scrolling through the page you’re not jumping around to look at products. This section is very similar to the What’s in the Box section and simply a place for you to show off your additional products and rewards.
We always start a campaign with a quick note about how we would love to squeeze more contents and goodies into the box, but we need to fund first. After we fund, this section becomes more active and lists the campaign Stretch Goals and is constantly updated with what is unlocked and what will be unlocked next.
If you’re a board game, you absolutely need to give a more in-depth explanation of what your game is about, how it plays, and what mechanics make your game interesting. A good place to start is to start summarizing a typical turn in your game and what players will be doing. Even if you’re not launching a board game on Kickstarter, you should have a section that goes more indepth about how your product works. This is that section.
For Tabletop games, this is where you should include videos, animated gifs, links to rulebooks, digital versions, PNP files and more. This is the section of your page where players really dig in to see if the game is for their tastes. Hopefully, you’ve enticed this potential backer enough with your pledge levels and description further up on the page to make it down here and really learn more about your game or product.
Press Coverage and Reviews
One of the more annoying parts of prepping for a Kickstarter page is timing press coverage with the launch of your project. I’ve never gotten it completely right, but you luckily you don’t need to be perfect and have all of your press coverage published on launch day. Getting your game out to other people, youtubers, reviewers etc. is very important and helps potential backers justify spending money on your game since other people are praising it besides yourself. I think this section is pretty self explanatory – you just post all your favorite reviews, quotes, videos etc about your game here. I should mention that you can spread out some of your favorite quotes/praise for your game throughout your pages other sections as well.
Shipping and Fulfillment sucks! I think backers and creators all agree that this is one of the worst parts of crowdfunding. This section is where you want your shipping chart and a full explanation of how you’re handling shipping. Some folks include shipping in their pledge levels, others subsidize and do flat shipping, other people post estimated shipping and charge actual shipping rates…whatever you’re doing is fine just make sure that you are transparent and explain everything upfront. Nothing makes backers madder than finding out they owe more $$$ for shipping because you planned poorly.
About the Team or Company
This section really isn’t essential, but it’s nice to include a little summary of who’s involved with the campaign. I like to include a bit of a personal touch here so that people know that the crowdfunding campaign isn’t a scam and that we know what we’re doing.
That’s where we end our Kickstarter pages. After the team section, there’s Kickstarter’s Risks and Challenges section that you fill out in their backend and then a Questions link to your project FAQ. Hopefully this guide has been helpful to all you other aspiring creators out there. Let me know if you think I forgot any crucial sections in the comments below.