How to organize a fundraising campaign for my game

How to organize a fundraising campaign for my game

Postby julien » 15 Jun 2013, 21:17

Hello,

A friend and myself have developed a the platform game Plee the Bear on our spare time for several years. You may have heard about it, otherwise: it is about a bear who wants to rescue his son who has been kidnapped by god. Well, actually he wants to rescue him in order to slap him because he ran away after eating all the honey…

Unfortunately we stopped having enough spare time before finishing the game, thus we also stopped the development. The game was developed and published as free software (GPL and CC-by-sa). It received good feedback and we still have between 20 and 60 game launch of the demo per day.

Now we are thinking about working again on the game. We wrote down every details of the work to do, estimated it in terms of time and money and we stopped again because it will cost one year of work at full time (and we still have to pay our food and our loans during this time). Thus we would like to start a fund-raising campaign to support our work. We know that crowdfunding does not work very well for games so we think we will focus the campaign on the free software part first, then on the game's content. We would also like to provide some gifts for the best sponsors but most of the fun things we think about will cost too much work.

So that's why I am here. In your opinion, how should we organize the campaign and what kind of counterparts will be interesting?

The game also has a page on IndieDB and the first campaign will certainly be about a refresh of the style toward something like that:

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Re: How to organize a fundraising campaign for my game

Postby charlie » 15 Jun 2013, 22:26

Firstly, I'll say that Plee is a game that deserves more attention than it gets. You and your brother have done a wonderful job so far.

It sounds like you've done the leg work on understanding what needs to be done. Next I think you need to understand who would be willing to back it. That is, which platforms need targeting - Android/mobile? Or just Windows/Linux? Have you had feedback on the demo that indicates what's right/wrong about the game so far and where it needs work?

You could consider just setting out your 'minimum funding' requirement - that is, what is the bare minimum you and your brother could get by on. Try a kickstarter just asking for that, and get feedback on backers on what the stretch goals would be.

It may be worth reaching out to successful game kickstarter campaigns to get advice. Perhaps contact the Humble Bundle guys as they know how to market things and could give tips.
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Re: How to organize a fundraising campaign for my game

Postby Julius » 16 Jun 2013, 14:08

Hmm, not trying to be too negative, but the crowdsourcing "market" is kind of crowed right now, and 2D platformers (that aren't really innovative and have the same time a certain retro appeal, e.g. FEZ for example) certainly do not pull in much interest these days.
FOSS on the other hand seems to be almost counter productive (so is Free2Play btw), except for very small amounts which will get funded by the hardcore FOSS advocates (e.g. at best you can ask for a few hundred dollars).
I guess this is due to the "bargain" aspect of getting the full game cheaper (kind of like pre-ordering it), which is obviously not the intention of crowdsourcing, but that is what seems to be the driving force behind most of it.
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Re: How to organize a fundraising campaign for my game

Postby julien » 16 Jun 2013, 18:54

Thank you both for the feedback :)

charlie {l Wrote}:It sounds like you've done the leg work on understanding what needs to be done. Next I think you need to understand who would be willing to back it. That is, which platforms need targeting - Android/mobile? Or just Windows/Linux? Have you had feedback on the demo that indicates what's right/wrong about the game so far and where it needs work?

We are currently targeting Windows and Linux but the question of Android comes often. It is not our main target because I am not sure it is the best target for a game with a storytelling. I think casual games would fit better on the platforms where Android is used and that the platform deserves a game thought for mobile devices instead of simple ports of existing PC games.

About the right and wrongs:
  • + we receive comments like "finally a fun and beautiful free software game",
  • + the art, music and so on is very good… for a free software game,
  • + the universe and the story are fun and original,
  • - the movement and the animations of Plee are sometime weird. The difficulty is sometimes too high.. We are working on it.
  • - Plee gathers some carrots in the demo. Some people do not understand (it is explained when meeting the boss). It is fixed in our not released version.
charlie {l Wrote}:You could consider just setting out your 'minimum funding' requirement - that is, what is the bare minimum you and your brother could get by on. Try a kickstarter just asking for that, and get feedback on backers on what the stretch goals would be.

It may be worth reaching out to successful game kickstarter campaigns to get advice. Perhaps contact the Humble Bundle guys as they know how to market things and could give tips

Unfortunately Kickstarter is not a so good platform for games. That's why I think we should target the campaign around the free software part. Still, it way indeed be worth reaching out to successful campaigns and contacting the Humble Bundle guys.

Julius {l Wrote}:Hmm, not trying to be too negative, but the crowdsourcing "market" is kind of crowed right now, and 2D platformers (that aren't really innovative and have the same time a certain retro appeal, e.g. FEZ for example) certainly do not pull in much interest these days.
FOSS on the other hand seems to be almost counter productive (so is Free2Play btw), except for very small amounts which will get funded by the hardcore FOSS advocates (e.g. at best you can ask for a few hundred dollars).
I guess this is due to the "bargain" aspect of getting the full game cheaper (kind of like pre-ordering it), which is obviously not the intention of crowdsourcing, but that is what seems to be the driving force behind most of it.

I certainly agree on the fact that the crowdsourcing market is crowded now, so is the indie game scene. That's why I need something better than a game to sell, and something better than free software according to you :cry:

We have good visuals and logos of the game, I was thinking about providing things like handmade and unique customizations of bags or clothes for the best sponsors. We can also order some mugs or stickers…
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Re: How to organize a fundraising campaign for my game

Postby charlie » 16 Jun 2013, 19:06

I actually kinda lost the message I was thinking of when originally replying.

I'm suggesting just trying a kickstarter campaign anyway. Go in expecting it to fail, but hoping to learn how to make a 2nd attempt successful.
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Re: How to organize a fundraising campaign for my game

Postby farcodev » 20 Jun 2013, 04:57

Yeah you should try to KS it julien, you risk nothing by trying it.

There were interesting discussions on this subject in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=35
If you haven't read it yet.
Good luck :)
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Re: How to organize a fundraising campaign for my game

Postby julien » 23 Jun 2013, 21:59

So, I have started my fundraising campaign! It's for real, not just to see what will happen. Since I do not live in the US nor in the UK, I cannot use Kickstarter, but I have found another website that seems to fit my project better. Check by yourself (and give some money :)

About the platform: Open Funding is a crowdfunding platform dedicated to free software. Unlike other platforms, Open Funding proposes to fund a service delivery. Developers are committed to their results and receive the money only if the donators confirm that the work is done.

The first feature proposed for Plee the Bear is a complete refreshing of the existing game, that would create the bases for next levels. Then we will propose to produce the remaining levels according to the game bible. This is how the game will be when this feature will be implemented (open the image in a new page if it is cropped on the right):

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Re: How to organize a fundraising campaign for my game

Postby Jastiv » 01 Mar 2019, 06:07

Whatever happened to Plee the Bear? I think I heard about it, but I was never intrigued enough to actually try it.
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