Chris

Proposed Kickstarter reward tiers!

135 posts in this topic

EDIT - here's the new updated proposed reward tiers:

$20 - Standard Pre-Order (game plus Standard forum medal)

$30 - Premium Pre-Order (game plus Premium forum medal, digital game soundtrack, official wallpapers and PDF version of my development diary written up once I've completed the game)

$50 - Premium Pre-Order, plus poster OR T-shirt OR PDF art book (including the best in-game art, some developer thoughts on it, artist / developer bios etc - should be a nice momento for the game)

$60 – Premium Pre-Order, plus softback art book

$75 - Premium Pre-Order, plus two of: PDF art book, poster, t-shirt

$100 - Premium Pre-Order, hardback art book OR poster, PDF art book and t-shirt, OR name can be appear as a soldier (there is a 10% chance any new soldier will have a pre-generated name taken from the list of people committing $100 or more. They won't have special stats but might start with a special Medal (+1 Bravery) for "going beyond the call of duty".)

$125 – Premium Pre-Order, hardback art book AND poster AND t-shirt AND name can be appear as a soldier

$150 - Premium Pre-Order, signed hardback art book AND poster and t-shirt, plus name can be appear as a soldier with the soldier nationality and portrait also set by the donator, chosen from existing portraits.

$200 – As $150, but we’ll have our portrait artist do a soldier portrait of you from a photo to go in the game (50)

$500 – As $150, but you’ll get 5 copies of the game and will be listed in the game end credits “With Thanks To:” (30)

$1,000 – As $150, but you’ll get 10 copies of the game and will be listed in the intro credits under “Special Thanks To:” (incorporated into the intro movie) (15)

$5,000 - As $1,000, but in addition I'll fly out and meet you to have lunch anywhere in the States (eventually) or in Europe. (5)

Edited by Chris
added updated reward tiers

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The 250+ reward tiers seem too escalate far too rapidly... Like I said to Dragonx ideas in the 9.31 release thread: they look more like milestone type numbers than what the reward is worth. I believe you should set the reward first then let the number of dollars needed to reach that tier to reflect the reward. Right now the monetary difference between the tiers doesnt seem to reflect the rewards. There is no real incitement to upgrade from one tier to the next. It just looks like it cost's alot of money.

Most kickstarter projects seems to have rewards that target companies at the 2-5 000 dollar level... or something along the line of "come visit us". (or helping out designing something.)

Didn't you have some ideas along the line of background characters in the research and workshop screens?

No credit mention at all? I don't really mind as I dislike long credits, but it's a common reward that seems appriciated.

I'd try to stick in atleast 2 reward tiers between 50 and 100. and possibly put 100 at 115 or something to get rid of the milestone feeling.

Looking at the reward tiers for wastelands 2, bannersaga, valdis story, double fine, shadowrun, and also some less sucsessful projects might be a good idea if you haven't already. Even if you can't use their rewards it will help you give a feel how to pace the tiers.

And absolutely stay away from what "Free will" did with their rewards. (was just 2 tiers both ridicolously overpriced)

Edited by Gorlom

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Chris -

What about Kickstarter-exclusive t-shirts? Looking over the Kickstarters I've supported (FTL, Banner Saga, WL2, Shadowrun and the Ogre board game) it seems like they all have t-shirts as an option. Obviously, that's one more thing for you to deal with getting printed and shipped but it seems like something people are interested in.

Also, and this might be tricky given the price point you'd like to sell the game at, is there the option for non-alpha/beta copies of the final game? I see a number of Kickstarters offer the basic game at a lower price and then slightly higher for beta access. Given the current pricing set-up, that would probably mean pricing the "non-beta" game at $15 or so, in order for the pre-order to cost more - not sure if that's pricing it too low.

I'd also consider trying to slot in additional slots in the $75-250 range, since it seems like there are a number of people who are willing to give in that range so if there's a way to convince someone who wants to give $150 (but not $250) to give that amount instead of going with only $100, that's $50 added.

I also agree with Gorlom's "come visit us" levels - seems like a lot of projects put up something like that for a few in the $2500 or more range, where you get to hang out with the dev team, etc. If you're up for lunch with some random fan, doesn't hurt to make it an option since it seems there are people out there with cash to give to games they support.

You've probably already seen this but I thought this guy had some good tips on Kickstarters generally and rewards specifically (albeit in the board/d20 gaming context): http://www.gmsarligames.com/2011/05/18/15-steps-for-a-successful-kickstarter-project/.

Kilrathi

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I'll update this if I've got anything more:

$5-fine

$20-fine

$30-fine

$50-add video dev diaries, (maybe also short novella, extra key for a friend if funds exceed goal)

$75-as above and add special portrait set and special vehicle customization options (cosmetic only), (maybe T-shirt, maybe hardcover book (no poster) here if funds exceed goal)

*If possible* give the special portrait options and vehicle customization options to those who've already backed the project through your site or Desura.

*Note* Projects of this scope and with similar reward tiers make the plurality of their money here (at $50 and $75).

$100- too easy to change names, as above and add T-shirt and/or hardcover book here (if not at $75 set)

*New*$150 tier-hardcover art book and T-shirt and laminated postcards (semi-humorous ie scene of burning town asking you to visit) and/or laminated data logs/safety signs/letters from the front (dead serious) plus above

$250-definitely need hardcover book here, maybe a small medallion plus above

$500:

same as above and help design an in-game building and/or item and/or researcher or engineer portrait while adding small personal touch (like graffiti in Town tilesets, custom crop-circle in Farm tilesets, small office posters in Industrial or Base tilesets etc.) plus above

$1000:

same as above plus invite to launch party and portrait as starting soldier and help design a unique terror mission, base defense, UFO recovery, base assault etc. (must be able to travel to London)

$5000:

same as above but team flies you out to launch party plus a day of touring London and offices at teams's expense (subject to restrictions; contact team for more info)

I know I'm being quite presumptuous with my theoretical reward tiers but I think this strikes a good balance between cost and reward. I also know you guys are a new and small studio and you don't want to overreach, so obviously feel free to reject my proposals and dismiss these if you know you can't do it. That being said, I think the ones you have there are a bit underwhelming.

I think studying successful projects like DF Adventure, WL2, Banner Saga, Shadowrun Returns, The Dead Linger, Leisure Suit, Jane Jensen along with non-VG ones like OGRE, Pebble, and others will be worthwhile. Observe what they do right and contact them for tips.

People may be a bit fatigued, if I can use that word, after all these revivalist Kickstarters but as long as you stand out and are transparent, I think you'll succeed.

Some may also want to mix and match different reward tiers, so you may want to take that into consideration (ie Shirt but no book, Book but no Shirt, Poster but no Hardcover book etc.)


I also have some recommendations for the page and the handling of the project itself:

  • Communicate with fans through Twitter, Facebook, Mailing list
  • Possible AmA on Reddit
  • Regular updates on KS page along with (if possible) small clarifications and participation in the "Comments section"
  • Samplings of art and/or music and links to videos of preview builds in Updates section
  • Be very clear on shipping costs for International backers (is it based on cost of items shipped or the amount pledged, see here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1613260297/shadowrun-returns, last FAQ question
  • See if you can update the reward tiers themselves instead of clarifying in the text (Wasteland did it, but Banner Saga said they couldn't)
  • Video pitch is huge because of first impressions
  • If you're going to accept PayPal and/or do Kicking it Forward, put that near the top of the page (only accept PayPal if the project is successfully funded; KS deserve their fair share)
  • Information regarding new updates and reward tiers should also be at the top
  • Keep in mind reasonable stretch goals and think of promotions like adding $9 between such and such time gives you such and such new addition. (a better example)

Resources to help you

Successful Kickstarter Campaigns:

Wasteland 2

DF Adventure

The Banner Saga

Shadowrun Returns

Grim Dawn (most likely will succeed and credits those who have already pre-ordered; you told me in another thread that might not be possible, so no worries)

Jane Jensen

Leisure Suit Larry

The Dead Linger

Non-Videogame

Ogre Designer's Edition

Pebble: E-Paper Watch

Gunship: First Strike *I don't think you'll need 44 updates, though*


Trends in Graph form

PC Gamer on Double Fine

Kickstarter: Trends in Pricing and Duration


To better communciate what I mean by posters, postcards and more

Rick, a big fan of Wasteland, did an exceptional series of fanart promotional pics here (Page in Russian)

These are either of a humorous, but dark nature or serious

Fallout Posters 1

Fallout Posters 2

Transmissions and Letter Suggestions

I really like how Halo handled it, with ARGs and promotional materials

Cortana's Letters

Transmissions

I Love Bees

Forerunner E-mail

BTW, how much are you guys aiming for?

All the best and good luck

Edited by Xenospotter

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Sounds fair enough. Here's an idea from me - give them the ability to add any city to the geoscape. I'm sure people would love to see their hometown in the game. If that city already exists on the geoscape - they will add any other city:)

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Looks good, though I do agree with some of the comments above. Grim Dawn appears to have something set up where current pre-orderers can credit the value of their pre-order towards higher level reward tiers, I assume you will do the same?

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The only down side to having visits as part of the packages is that kickstarter is predominantly US based while Goldhawk is spread all over the globe with no concrete base of operations.

Chris could have people come to meet him personally I suppose but that involves getting people to London to come to his house and look at his computer.

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That are some amazing resources and groundwork Xenospotter. nice finds.

Would it be possible to provide an "alien base" attack mission early on to backers? Except that the alien base in question is a religious compound worshipping the aliens.

Squashing the compound squashes the sect and they never come back =)

Just a bit of extra fluff if you reach (or go above) the target.

(I just saw a dollhouse episode about infiltrating a religious sect and that gave me the idea)

I don't have too high hopes just thought it could be fun.

Edited by Gorlom

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Gorlom, if you mean "early on" as in early on in the game, then I would have no problem but I don't want anything content or mechanics-wise to be exclusive to us backers (either KS or pre-orderers). That's why I proposed the cosmetic items (the mission itself could be the same mechanics-wise, just with a religious aesthetic but I think that's cutting out lore-relevant content, so I would have mixed feelings).

I think it would hurt the game' chances during retail and just tarnish Goldhawk's reputation; that's just me.

If people want it, it should be put to a vote.

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As an aside on the Kickstarter point, Double Bear - makers of the zombie apocalypse RPG "Dead State" - are talking on their forums about a Kickstarter, too, and put up a dev post today saying it's about a month off (which works for me, since the game sounds great and I'll definitely be playing both it and Xenonauts, or would if I could find the time!). Anyway, that recent dev post already got picked up and turned into a website post about them "readying a Kickstarter": http://www.incgamers.com/News/31117/dead-state-readies-kickstarter-campaign?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Is the time right to start beating the drum for the Xenonauts Kickstarter and getting people to start thinking about it? Obviously, there are still a few timing issues out there (getting the public build and reward tiers done, plus the logistical ones Chris and I have been working on), but it sounds like Xenonauts' Kickstarter may be closer than Dead State's and they're already starting to build the buzz, so maybe it's time to start mentioning Xenonauts', too? I feel like "priming the pump" by getting people ready and thinking about the campaign would help get a good initial bump of funding in the first few days, and it seems like that first bump is key to getting publicity and starting to show up on the right Kickstarter "top projects" pages, etc.

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I have noticed that some people hold the sentiment that every tier should always include the game (for various reasons, such as people plainly misunderstanding that 5$ or other low amounts don't already pay for the game, but yeah, it might happen, and you know the internet). So, you might want to take that into account. Maybe go with what was suggested above, lower price point for the finished game, current prices for alpha and/or beta access. I don't know, though, how that compares to your business plan.

Also, try not to give out too many "get into the game" rewards. I'm still wondering how Wasteland 2 will pull off the stunt of approximately a thousand people putting their own names, places, items and even statues into the game. Especially when, as in the case of Xenonauts, modding and name-changing are fairly easy (which lessens the value).

Also, it might get annoying for the rest of the players to always have this "Morten Bitchensteiner III" show up in your starting roster. It somewhat kills immersion, I fear. I understand that people want to immortalize themselves, but I believe it should be done as unobtrusively as possible. The credits are a good place for that, and they also allow for lower tier prices (which in turn pulls in more people who can't afford 2.500 quid for their name-in-the-game).

Last thing: Be careful with the material rewards. They are a nice incentive, but you should definitely make a plan and get some manufacturing estimates before priming the Kickstarter grenade. Several devs have said they were sort of overwhelmed with the cost and effort stuff like t-shirts, cloth maps and the like drag behind them. I wouldn't want that to happen to you as well.

Regarding Xenospotter's ideas:

$75-as above and add special portrait set and special vehicle customization options (cosmetic only), (maybe T-shirt, maybe hardcover book (no poster) here if funds exceed goal)

*If possible* give the special portrait options and vehicle customization options to those who've already backed the project through your site or Desura.

I would avoid this, especially if it's Kickstarter only (it's different when you say "every pre-orderer gets that stuff", but then the question is whether that is technically possible). It pisses people off to not have the "fullest" game. Yes, I know, they get a full game, but see what happened when Shadowrun announced backer-only missions, or Wasteland 2 promised extra portraits for those that pay more. Every pre-orderer and pledger helps to make the game happen, no matter how much they are able to give, so they shouldn't be given different games. Different other stuff that's not directly in-game would be okay, though.

$500:

same as above and help design an in-game building and/or item and/or researcher or engineer portrait while adding small personal touch (like graffiti in Town tilesets, custom crop-circle in Farm tilesets, small office posters in Industrial or Base tilesets etc.) plus above

$1000:

same as above plus invite to launch party and portrait as starting soldier and help design a unique terror mission, base defense, UFO recovery, base assault etc. (must be able to travel to London)

That, on the other hand, is a good idea. Extra portraits are a great idea (better than personalized names, I believe, as they are of use to everyone), and adding small aesthetic touches also serves the idea of immortalization while not annoying other players. Banner Saga did that with their crest idea, and with great success.

Edited by The New Romance

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Lots of feedback, thanks (particularly Xenospotter)! Yes, perhaps adding something at $125 and $150 might be worthwhile.

I think the main issue with have with meeting the team and all that stuff is that we don't have an office (I mastermind the process from my bedroom at the mo) and the team aren't based in London either - that's just me. The rest of the team are scattered across the world. I guess that means it's possible for me to the lunch thing at the $5,000 mark. I'm sure I'll be in the States at some point. Hmm.

Strange guy - no, I don't know of any way we can track existing pre-orderers really. Our systems are already pretty creaky with regards to the pre-Desura preorders. Obviously all the Premium Pre-orderers will be entitled to the Premium goodies from the Kickstarter, but as these are digital I might just create a Premium only subforum and post the stuff up in there as a method of delivery.

I'd prefer to stick to digital goods where possible, but T-shirts might be worthwhile to add in at the $50/$75 area. I think it might be worth scrapping the $5 price point and rolling the wallpapers into the Premium pre-order too, just to stop the rewards getting too congested. I need to do some more research on the pricing of everything, I think, so I can do the maths.

I think you make a fair point about the hardback art book. A 40-page A4 full colour hardback art book would cost about $9 if we printed 50-100 of them, which is less than I thought. We could put that in at the $100 point and maybe sign it at the $150 point. Getting an art book done would be a lot of work but it's something I've been looking for an excuse to do. I think if people are genuine X-Com fans and like what we're doing, then putting down $100 wouldn't be completely unheard of if the goodies look nice.

The $250+ reward tiers do escalate very quickly, but I figure the people willing to slap cash down on those aren't necessarily looking for value for money anyway. I think they're very much the fanatics. I'd be open to ideas of how we can spice up the $500 and $1000 reward tiers though, if anyone has them.

So, the updated tiers would look like this:

$20 - Standard Pre-Order (game plus Standard forum medal)

$30 - Premium Pre-Order (game plus Premium forum medal, digital game soundtrack, official wallpapers and PDF version of my development diary written up once I've completed the game)

$50 - Premium Pre-Order, plus poster OR T-shirt OR PDF art book (including the best in-game art, some developer thoughts on it, artist / developer bios etc - should be a nice momento for the game)

$75 - Premium Pre-Order, plus two of: PDF art book, poster, t-shirt

$100 - Premium Pre-Order, hardback art book OR poster, PDF art book and t-shirt, plus name can be appear as a soldier (there is a 10% chance any new soldier will have a pre-generated name taken from the list of people committing $100 or more. They won't have special stats but might start with a special Medal (+1 Bravery) for "going beyond the call of duty".)

$150 - Premium Pre-Order, signed hardback art book AND poster and t-shirt, plus name can be appear as a soldier

$250 - Premium Pre-Order, signed hardback art book AND poster and t-shirt, plus name can appear as a starting soldier with a portrait and nationality also chosen by the donator.

$500 - Premium Pre-Order, signed hardback art book AND poster and t-shirt, plus name can appear as a starting soldier with a portrait and nationality also chosen by the donator.

$1,000 - Premium Pre-Order, signed poster plus signed hardcover art book, plus name can appear as a starting soldier with a nationality chosen by the donator. We'll also get our portrait artist to do a portrait of your face to go on the soldier.

$5,000 - As above, but I'll fly out and meet you to have lunch anywhere in the States (eventually) or in Europe.

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Adding people to the credits and doing the portrait thing is a good idea too. Maybe we could bring the portrait reward down lower to say the $200 pricepoint? That way the portrait artist won't be overworked (he's not that involved in the project any more because he doesn't have that much time).

The name-changing can always be written into the source code so it's not possible to alter it. That's not an issue. I have however reconsidered selling space on the starting roster. I think it would be selling out a bit too much, in retrospect.

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The mid/high tiers need a bit more meat on them I think. Additional game copies and mentions in credits at least (these are the most practical).

For 4-digit tiers you could add some unique in-game art. Anything that's visible on the battle-scape would be a major pain with soldiers but a unique vehicle appearance might be a lot more feasible (camo textured Hunter?). Or instead of a F-17 "Condor" the high-up preorderer could get a F-18 "Kickstarter" interceptor (or just a more "badass" look for an existing plane). For that kind of money it shouldn't be too hard to cobble up some unique 2D art for these things. Or maybe a female scientist for the research screen, you know what I mean.

Edit: Eh, now I feel like I'm too late. Several posts above appeared while I was writing so don't say I didn't read. :P

Edited by Jean-Luc

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Gorlom, if you mean "early on" as in early on in the game, then I would have no problem but I don't want anything content or mechanics-wise to be exclusive to us backers (either KS or pre-orderers). That's why I proposed the cosmetic items (the mission itself could be the same mechanics-wise, just with a religious aesthetic but I think that's cutting out lore-relevant content, so I would have mixed feelings).

I think it would hurt the game' chances during retail and just tarnish Goldhawk's reputation; that's just me.

If people want it, it should be put to a vote.

Yeah, I meant early on in the game and with as little lore impact as possible. Make the sect name randomly generated to enforce that fact =P

It's just meant as a preview of what base attacks are like later on. With a cosmetic aspect that doesn't make it feel completly out of place.

But reading more posts this probably should be in the suggestion forum rather than kickstarter tread. Unless Chris wants to add it as DLC =P

Edited by Gorlom

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It's very difficult to add additional content to the game specifically for Kickstarter pledgers because we don't have an online element. Basically adding things to the game has to be done for everyone or for nobody at all I'm afraid. Although in many ways that's for the best.

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Here are two articles concerning some of the caveats you should consider when doing a Kickstarter project. The first one is more from the consumer perspective the other one an experience update by developers:

http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/the-ugly-side-of-kickstarter-why-the-risks-in-backing-gaming-campaigns-are-

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/starcommand/star-command-sci-fi-meets-gamedev-story-for-ios-an/posts

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A few thoughts:

* I'd leave in the $5 tier - may as well give people who want to support the project but don't want the game for whatever reason a place to donate.

* As TNR said, I'd be really careful about giving any additional narrative/mission content to people at a certain level. Personally, I don't necessarily have an issue with it but having followed other projects, it's a surefire way to walk into the middle of a lot of people griping like crazy on the comment board. Doesn't seem worth the trouble.

* I'm sure you're considering this, but don't forget about international shipping costs. Would you print books/t-shirts in the UK and ship to the US or vice versa? Might be most economical (in terms of lower shipping costs, assuming most backers will be in the US) to print and ship from here assuming there's some way to do that. Either way, make sure you factor in costs of shipping for the material reward tiers and consider having international folks (whatever that ends up meaning) have to contribute additional funds to cover mailing costs.

* I'd consider adding a $125 tier which is $100 plus your name (and removing the "your name" part from the $100 level in Chris' post above) - I feel like for some people, getting your name into the game is a big deal, and the tiers proposed above makes the leap from $25 a big one, since you get either the hardcover book or a third other item _and_ your name. My sense is that you could get away with selling the extra swag at $100 and the name - which is the first leap into "your presence in game" for another $25. Yes, I realize that I probably just upsold the level I might pledge at by another $25...

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Yes, I realize that I probably just upsold the level I might pledge at by another $25...

Ah, the things you do for love.

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Maybe a collectible figurine for 5000$ level? A high quality figurine of any (but only one) alien unit that the backer wants. There won't be a lot of these 5000$ level backers anyway. And those figurines will become valuable collector items one day.

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It's very difficult to add additional content to the game specifically for Kickstarter pledgers because we don't have an online element. Basically adding things to the game has to be done for everyone or for nobody at all I'm afraid. Although in many ways that's for the best.

Without more physical goods that mostly only leaves additional game copies or the promise of free dlc/expansions (if you're even considering such things).

Here are two articles concerning some of the caveats you should consider when doing a Kickstarter project.

Yeah, one of the most important things is to be mindful of the various expenses that are easy to forget about. One can get burned.

piecc.jpg

Plus income tax.

Edited by Jean-Luc

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Ooooh: could one reward tier be: Help design fluff research subjects? (marked out with an * or something in the research interface) No, research time. It just instantly pops up in the xenopedia after selecting it, assigning >0 scientists and going to the geoscape. Wont have any impact on the research tree as they aren't requirements for anything.

Limited to 10(?) backers Chris has the right to refuse suggestions, backer may continue to submitt suggestions untill Chris accepts it.

Design a billboards (or other marketing potential items, like a company logo or name on an office building or shop) to be included as submaps or items in submaps in the game. Companies could use that for product placement =P (tying back to my first post about 2-5 k tiers usually beeing directed towards companies among other things)

Edited by Gorlom

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Selling billboards in the towns sound like a good idea to me.

Getting my name on a soldier would be my main motivation out of the rewards.

Are you sure you want to put options on the tiers? That seems like it might create a lot more work and complicate things for you.

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