10 December, 2014
The Paranoia Kickstarter closed at a total of £217,517 (approximately $340,000) from a £30,000 target, or 725% above its original goal. The game is in development.
If you’re considering crowdfunding a project, remember that James Wallis’s fee for an initial consultation is “Buy me lunch”. The consultation will last for the duration of the lunch, so the better the lunch the better the advice. The “buy me lunch” scheme has been operating since the late 1990s and is anecdotally responsible for much of the UK RPG industry.
Six Tips To Crowdfunding Success
6 March, 2014
This is a short piece I wrote for a recruitment agency’s client newsletter, which I thought you’d be interested to see:
SIX TIPS FOR CROWDFUNDING SUCCESS
1. Show your working. Don’t ask people to back a concept, ask them to finance the final stages of a project that’s almost completed. Successful crowdfunding is not about asking people to make your dreams come true, it’s the other way around—you’re offering them something amazing, if they pay for it.
2. Don’t set your target too high. Greed is not attractive to backers. Run the financials, work out how much it’ll cost to produce the basic form of your product, and ask for that (less the cost of rewards, of course). If the project over-funds, use the extra to add in more features.
3. Structure the rewards you offer. Kickstarter is a way for people to pre-order cool new stuff, so let them. Arrange your rewards so that someone can buy the basic product for £20 but ends up pledging £50 because they’ll get even more cool bits.
4. Prime your publicity. Kickstarter will not bring you an audience: you have to do that. Make sure your network is ready to help you publicise the campaign on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, newsfeeds and via mailouts. Some people pay to advertise their crowdfunding projects on popular websites.
5. Monitor the campaign daily. Staying in contact with your backers and supporters and making them feel invested is important: not only will they spread the word about your project for you, but often they’ll come back
and pledge more money for extra rewards and stretch goals.
6. Don’t worry if it fails. Cancel the project, work out where you went wrong, redefine the project or retool the campaign and try again. Crowdfunding is a great way of learning if your idea has a potential market, and refining it until you find the sweet spot.
Bringing crowdfunding to the masses
6 February, 2014
On 29th January at UKIE James Wallis gave a masterclass in crowdfunding and using Kickstarter, along with film-maker Martin Gooch and independent game-developer Andrew Sage. The evening was organised by Edugameshub and the London Educational Games Meetup (LEGup).
After the Starter
13 August, 2013
One of the things that nobody tells you about Kickstarter is how much a successful campaign raises your profile. Since Alas Vegas was spectacularly funded at the beginning of March, Spaaace’s client portfolio has exploded to include environmental charities, major oil companies, a major brewer, an educational establishment and several other new faces. James has delivered a number of lectures and workshops, including one on an island in a fjord courtesy of Hyperion, the federation of Norwegian gamers, has judged a couple of awards, and has contributed material to at least three other Kickstarter campaigns including a complete RPG for Mike Selinker’s barnstorming Maze of Games interactive puzzle novel, new games for Hide & Seek’s Tiny Games app, and Robin Laws’s Hillfolk drama-system game. For the last he created ‘The Battle of Wits’, which is almost certainly the only tabletop game based on the feuds and in-fighting of the Augustan poets.
All this has regrettably meant that Alas Vegas is running late. However its lead artist John Coulthart has now finished his amazing major arcana which will illustrate the book, and things are on track for a release in the autumn. In a race between quality and speed, we prefer the former.
We Can Kick It!
31 January, 2013
An update on the previous post: Alas Vegas hit 100% of its Kickstarter funding goal in seven hours and 45 minutes. According to Kicktraq it’s likely to reach a total somewhere in the region of £52,000.
Conventions come, conventions go
23 January, 2013
Back in December Spaaace’s glorious leader James spoke at Dragonmeet, the London-based games convention he chaired for three years in the early 2000s. They’d invited him back to lead a panel on the British Games Industry, looking at where it had come from and where it was going. He was joined by Simon Rogers of Pelgrane Press, Dominic McDowall-Thomas of Cubicle 7, noted freelance Phil Masters (GURPS Discworld), and Piers of London Indie Gamers. G*M*S Magazine videoed the panel, and you can watch it here.
James will be a guest at Warpcon in Cork at the end of January, where he will be showing off playtest copies of a couple of things he can’t talk about, possibly running a seminar called ‘How I Single-Handedly Saved The UK Roleplaying Industry From Certain Doom’, and auctioning off some rarities from his collection in the charity auction. Warpcon’s a good time. You should be there.
Once Upon a Time 3rd edition
23 January, 2013
The third edition of the award-winning sui generis storytelling card-game Once Upon a Time is now out from Atlas Games. Meanwhile the game has entered its tenth language, with two more to come—not including the pirated Chinese edition from a couple of years ago.
We mention Once Upon a Time partly because it was designed by James Wallis, head of Spaaace, and partly because it exemplifies what we aspire to: integrating great narratives and great gameplay to create true interactive stories. If you’ve never had the delight of playing it, do check it out.