What We Learned: Burger Up Kickstarter campaign September 06, 2016 08:13 by David Scott

The end of another successful Kickstarter campaign always arrives with mixed emotions. On one hand, as a publisher, you're elated; all the sleepless nights and long hours have resulted in a physical product people actually like playing!

But the perfectionists in us are restless; always looking for the areas of improvement or seeking out the things that could have gone smoother.

So as we look forward to launching our next campaign for Skyward on Kickstarter, here are some of the key things we learned while running the Burger Up campaign.

1. Expect the unexpected
We originally had planned to start fulfilment of the game in April. However due to Chinese New Year, our manufacturers shut down for an extended period of time pushing this date out further than we had expected. This, coupled with a longer than anticipated completion time for the stretch goals meant we finally started fulfilment in mid-July. Not a disaster by any means, but still further out from our original hopes.

2. Bigger games need more protection in shipping
Burger Up is the biggest box we've produced to date and we knew from the outset that getting the packaging right was going to be a priority. We asked our manufacturer to come up with individual custom mailer boxes with corner protectors, and they worked an absolute treat for the vast majority of backers (~75%) who were only receiving a single copy of the game. 

We'll definitely be expanding our use of custom mailer boxes for future projects, if only to prevent any risk of this happening again...

3. Review your game-samples like a CSI crime scene
We've got a great relationship with our manufacturer, who have produced the last four Rule & Make titles now. And yet there's still the chance communication issues can arise, such as our issue with the shortage of $1 coins. We'd thought our checking of the final sample was completely thorough, but alas our coin counts were still out. It was a valuable lesson and one we will heed in future projects.

4. The game community is at the heart of what we do
This wasn't a new learning, just one that was amply reinforced across the campaign. 

There are some creators that treat Kickstarter as a sales platform. Funds are certainly a big component to crowdfunding, but for us, we believe in getting the crowd involved. With our previous campaigns, we've involved the community in various ways and we feel we've managed to strike a great balance between creative authorship and community input. Throughout the campaign, we've reached out to everyone for suggestions and ideas. We knew we were going to paint the wall red, but what shade of red?

We plan to continue our efforts to include ways for the community to help shape the project. We believe community involvement is what makes Kickstarter so awesome and unique, and the feedback from our fans to this point has been overwhelmingly positive. Thanks all! Without you, none of this would be possible.