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Product

A good campaign starts with an awesome product. If you have doubts about what you're selling, refine it, test it some more. You don't have to launch today.


Have an almost finished product

By the time you launch the campaign you should have your project about 95% complete. People need to see you've put in the effort. It helps if your project is not finalised, because Kickstarter can be a collaborative place and backers often have great ideas. Engaging with and listening to the people who back you will make your campaign way better as well, because people will feel appreciated.

Hire a professional designer

The presentation of your product is very important. The number one thing you need to earn with your backers is trust and showing off a crude, unpolished design tells people that you don’t care very much. If you are not trained, it’s very hard to judge the quality of your own work in an unbiased way. You might genuinely think your product looks great even if it really doesn’t. The amount of work you put into it does not count for one bit. You might have worked on it for 2 months, it may still be 10% of the quality a professional artist can cook up in 2 hours. If you are not an artist or designer, you don’t know if your art is good or not. You don’t. You don’t.

A hook for every aspect of your product

There are products that are so far above and beyond the rest in their category, you just cannot ignore them. They would already be great if they did that one thing better, but they do everything better.

It’s an awesome experience, because they seem to understand their customer’s pain better. You probably want to talk about them to your friends and certainly those are the ones you recommend. A great hook makes people want to talk about it. It also makes you have a great deal of trust for the makers of that product, because it’s evident that in the sea of mediocrity their concern is to provide value for you.

That is the goal. Question established patterns. Try to provide a hook for every aspect of your product, something that grabs people’s attention, something that’s more than the usual stuff. These should not be tacky or cheesy, they should be an integrated part of the product.

Board games for example could have different hooks like beautiful art that has personality, components that are great to hold, that provide some tactile value that transcends the game (like metal coins), mechanics, that are novel or put in novel combinations, a name, that is clever, entertaining or cool, marketing, that is refreshing and genuine, a theme, that’s creative and narrative, that’s riveting and engaging.

Country of manufacturing on the box

This point will be mentioned in the Shipping section as well, just to be sure. For example, if you manufacture in China, put “Made in China” on the box (or wherever you made the product). Customs will have a problem if you don’t do this.

Manual (or game rules) translations

It's very easy and cheap nowadays to translate your product manual or game rules in other languages. Even if you don't include a physical copy of the translated document in your product, it costs nothing to upload the translations to your website and include the link on the first page of your manual. Your backers will thank you for it.

Give credit

If you make changes to your product during the campaign to accommodate ideas from certain backers, you can include their name in the manual (or rule book) as a thoughtful gesture. You can even name the specific idea or feature they contributed. It's a small thing for you, but your backers will love you for it.

BOARD GAMES Accessibility

About 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have some form of color vision deficiency. Try to design your game in a way that it doesn’t solely rely on colors. You can reinforce your rules with shapes and symbols. That also helps with language independence, so that people can play with your game without speaking english. Here’s a great resource you can use. Color blindness: how to design an accessible user interface

BOARD GAMES Age & CE

If you are shipping to the EU, make sure to mark your games as 14+ and include the CE symbol on them. Wiki quote: The manufacturer must carry out a conformity assessment, set up a technical file, and sign a Declaration stipulated by the leading legislation for the product. The documentation has to be made available to authorities on request.

BOARD GAMES Sleeve friendly box

Many board gamers sleeve the cards that come in the box to make them last longer. The box should be designed in a way that the cards fit even when they are sleeved.

BOARD GAMES Rules video

No one daydreams about reading game rules. If you can, you should create a video explaining them and include the URL for the video at the start of the physical rule book.

BOARD GAMES Expansion friendly box

It’s worth contemplating what kind of expansions - if any - you'll want to be adding to the game. While you are at it, you might as well make the original game box fit the future expansion content if it makes sense.

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