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Game_Career_Guide_August2014

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108 game developer magazine A CROWDFUNDING PRIMER But crowdfunding is an under-researched subject, without a lot of concrete information. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution — but there is definitely a correct mindset to be in when you make choices for your campaign. This guide aims to help you get the best out of your crowdfunding efforts, even if you don't have 10,000 twitter followers, or a big name to back up your project. I've personally helped many people do just that, including successful Kickstarter projects such as Catacomb Kids, Lioness, and Rain World. So let's get started PAGE DESIGN The primary goal of the main page isn't to make the sale; it's to confirm the sale. The majority of users will be arriving from outside sources with some knowledge about the game, because they will come through twitter links, press, or maybe even from your own site. The page's first goal should be clarity, first and foremost. Dedicate the beginning of the page to those who are coming in with existing interest in the game by answering the immediate questions they might have. For example, "What platforms can I play this on," and "what is this game about?" Then continue to provide clear answers to the less immediate questions as you go further down the page, such as "Where exactly is my money going," and "Why is this team qualified to make this game?" Each section should be clearly distinctive, allowing for a quick search for answers. As a simple test, ask a friend to scroll through the page quickly with a question in mind, and tell them to stop where they think they will find the answer. If they can't find what they're looking for, you may need to retarget, and move your information around under clear subject headings. The secondary goal is to highlight the most important aspects of the game. People are not willing to wade through everything. The average reader of an online article reads just 28% of the way through [see reference 1], and this applies to your campaign as well. There is no room for filler content. Place a high value on your page real estate when featuring segments from the game. Show only the most important features, and leave everything else out. Only display content that represents the future of the game. Keep concept art and other various pre- production assets away from the main page. Polished content will do a much better job helping fans visualize your goals for the project. Do not display the stretch goals on the page from the start. Nothing looks more foolish than having a big million dollar goal image on your page while FOR MANY SMALL GAME DEVELOPERS, CROWDFUNDING IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A VOICE IN THE INDUSTRY, AND A GREAT WAY FIND AN AUDIENCE WHERE IN THE PAST THOSE DOORS MIGHT HAVE BEEN CLOSED. B Y M I C H A E L C O X 108 1 C R OW D F U N D I N G _ M i c h a e l C o x

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