For me, today's the big day.
Since we decided to embark on the Golden Ratio Games journey four moths ago, all the work we've done has culminated at this point. Of course, the reality of the situation is that it all *starts* now and, as hard as we've worked so far, we now have to work even harder.
I hadn't expected it. The 'Submit' button on the Kickstarter site is underscored by the disclaimer "Please allow up to three business days for approval". Turns out the approval was automated and instant. We were live.
Out goes the link on Facebook. Out goes the link on Twitter. Our Facebook page is viewed essentially by family and friends with an interest in boardgames at this point, but it's our main point of contact with the outside world as a business. Our Twitter is shockingly lacking, something I hope to build on during this campaign so that it's more useful a tool for Baggage Train next month.
And with Elementa finally being out there, we began to receive some constructive feedback on how we'd presented the project.
I had elected to keep with the original spirit of Kickstarter and offer the campaign as a means to funding our fledgling company with a reward for backers of a certain level being a delivered copy of the game. A lot of board game Kickstarters seem to be a means for established companies to secure preorders for upcoming titles. It's a little frustrating when you see a fully manufactured game with a significant license and slick web layout placed next to your homemade indie title.
Typically they throw in 'Kickstarter Only' rewards, which ensures fans of the IP or the game's designers will 'buy' the game via Kickstarter, rather than in game stores. Kickstarter themselves turning a blind eye to this practise is understandable, as who wouldn't want 8-10% of a million dollars. And sure, those funds are used to maintain and improve the website, so that the wee folk like us have a platform. Still. It'd be nice if they had their own section.
So my choice of project video is irregular. It's an ask for funding of a startup with a reward of a copy of Elementa. Semantics? Perhaps, but the level of funding we set of £16,926 is a reference to requiring the 434 £39 pledges that will enable us to commission the minimum print-run of 1,000, which we can then bring to the local shops. Above that, and we can begin to improve the end-product and spend our time on future projects whilst at the same time keeping a roof over our heads.
That I made no visual reference to Elementa in the video itself was a mistake quickly pointed out by Roger - it gave an impression that there was no game until funding had been met. I've since rectified that with a component photo splashed on that point in the video and in the body of the page. He also highlighted that the body of the article was simply not good enough displaying only text. Images and more advanced formatting are needed to add to the presentation to make this more appealing. Despite seeing this on other Kickstarters, I underestimated its value - something that I'm rectifying as soon as possible.
Conveniently Will Nash, the gentleman responsible for the graphic design you see on Elementa's logo and boards, was next to get in contact. He had similar concerns regarding presentation of the page and will be helping me improve that in the coming week. I'd been so focussed on creating a pair of what turned out to be, due to my limited experience and ability (I've been using Adobe Premiere for a week and never edited a video before in my lifetime), extremely amateurish videos, that I had completely neglected any detail of the game in the written form, instead concentrating on the company.
For now, I've added in a written explanation of gameplay to support the 'How To Play' video, but graphics to accompany it will hopefully be ready at the weekend. This is something we'll ensure is already in place for Baggage Train come launch day.
There's a quality re-edit planned for the 'How to Play' video tomorrow. Our manufacturers have also signalled that they'll spread the word with a voice much louder than our own. More updates on that tomorrow.
A KS backer by the name of Referee inquired as to a downloadable rulebook. Naively perhaps, it hadn't occurred to me that people might want to pore over the game in more depth than my video explains. It's also a good taster for the product's finished quality both design-wise and mechanics-wise. I have a small bit of conversion to do from the InDesign format to make it ready, but I'm intending to post that up here tomorrow, in case any others wnat to have a gander.
As the end of the first day arrives, we've received our first twenty-two backers and 5% funding. Amongst the friends and family, who we love with all our hearts for having the conviction and means to support us, there are half a dozen names we don't recognise, which is fantastic news.
The journey's just begun. Thanks for being part of it!