Lessons learned from KS 2?
Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:49 pm
This is a thread for discussion of lessons that were learned from the second Kickstarter. Please, let's be negative on here, rather than the Kickstarter thread!
A forum to discuss Mierce Miniatures and Darklands, as well as BaneLegions and Templar's Forge
I fear the Kickstarters was a bit rushed
hundreds of mediocre/average models
asoshnev wrote:I fear the Kickstarters was a bit rushed
That is exactly my feeling. That said though, I am happy they didn't delay it by another week, because who knows what's going to happen with USD/GBP exchange rate on Thursday
bloodwars wrote:-you should have added about 5-7 more hours. ending at 2pm on a thursday when people in the US are working can cut off some easy money, especially in the last day.
bloodwars wrote:-don't complain about other companies the comments! you're representing you company and at the end of the day BoW gave you some run on the last day and mantic is a backer. thank them for the support personally! be supportive of other kickstarters, cause at the end of the day, more people that buy bones means more potential customers. reaper has a great program for getting people into plastic toys - that should be encouraged. I understand you wish you could pull in that kind of money (as does everyone else), but whining about it doesn't make reaper look small (hint hint) or help your totals, so don't do it! I know it's hard, but you got over 20% growth with higher prices this time through, so that's not nothing.
bloodwars wrote:-on that note (more for backers), don't comment on yo-yo'ing KS monetary or backer totals. focus on the positive and don't spread any kind of panic. rob and tim will message the wayward backers and they'll either come back or they won't. just keep spreading the word and welcome the guys that want to be there.
bloodwars wrote:-the website didn't really mention the new KS (but still had links to the old one).
bloodwars wrote:-you need a community blog with batreps, articles, etc separate from the website. you can reblog things like ryan's scale shots, preview WIPs and new models, link videos, painting tips, and also mirror it onto a facebook page for mierce. if you want to grow the brand you need to go where people are and give them content to aggregate for you. you don't need to jump on twitter and talk about what kind of muffins you ate this morning, but you have a lot of people willing to help you spread the word and create content, so you might as well let them spend their time doing it for you. every hour of oversight can be 10-20 hours of hard work you didn't have to do.
bloodwars wrote:-paralysis by analysis - too many options, too many commanders, should i take the 30gbp book and add? should i take the sweet spot even though it costs more money? which hosts can i actually choose? did we unlock that yet? why is so much info buried under 300 comments?
bloodwars wrote:---I'd suggest a single running graphic of all your stretch goals that took up a bit less space per model with the number needed to unlock and the price for "others", "books", and "noble" (inc desc). instead of having big graphics with lots of white space and repeated info, you'd have an aligned chart and you could click on the models for full size blow ups (the chart image would be 80-90% of current home page size). as a table of images, it'd be easy to mark things achieved or throw new goals onto the bottom.
bloodwars wrote:-not keeping stretch goal chart up to date is bad. having massive amounts of unreadable small text in pictures is bad. (see above)
bloodwars wrote:-not having the artwork ready in time is bad. you need to assume 150k next KS and if you don't get to something, eat the cost and understand i't'll be ready for the next run.
bloodwars wrote:-the last couple updates helped a lot. before that information was scattershot and buried in comments.
bloodwars wrote:-the 20% off thing was something that people kept asking about, which means it wasn't very clear from the outset.
bloodwars wrote:-I don't know the financials of this, but i think your monstrous commanders are too expensive. I just can't possibly justify $200 for 4 models (30GBP each). If they were 20GBP i'd buy 3-4 of them right now, today. if they were 25GBP i might get 1 or 2. (Secchus, new troll jarl, brugg, mountain troll). I'm actually kind of sorry i got trolls last KS, cause i could have gotten the new shiny one instead of eirik and kjartan, but I don't need more trolls and getting him by himself just seems too expensive. so you have 2 models i really do want, but they're at least 5GBP too high to consider. I'd be interested to know how well the monstrous commanders sold as add-ons, cause i'd suspect sales are below actual interest due to the pricing. mounted commanders were the same way, till you threw the foot guys in (and now i'll be getting 2).
bloodwars wrote:-i don't think americans feel a lot of pressure to buy american, but sterling is definitely more confusing (or rather takes longer to relate) than $$ for us. americans do however spend more time looking for deals (whereas brits i think are more willing to accept that things cost what they cost)... and as far as this kickstarter went, i don't know that it really did a great job of selling a good deal. there was no free miniature at 150k for 80GBP+ pledges to try and tempt the book buyers up. concept art and unlocks are nice, but if they don't add value, they don't really convince people that the trade up is worth it on it's own.
bloodwars wrote:--you don't need to give away free miniatures necessarily either. there are other (cheaper) things you can add, like art prints or signed prints of the main darklands (troll invasion) image or unlocking resin base inserts and giving a discount based on KS total, making a special hand mold for krull limited to that KS's backers that's holding a sword instead of an axe and allowing it as a replacement or purchase, or a sprue of gubbins to use with models, like skulls and daggers etc to hang from their belts. people like free things, even if they're not expensive to make! MOAR FREE THINGS!
bloodwars wrote:- the fact that there was no pledge between 30 and 700 at the beginning was a mistake, and even the jump from 30 to 150 is huge, since the average kickstarter pledge for a miniatures project is generally $100. Having $45 and $225 options left a big gap in the market.
bloodwars wrote:-price point hurts, getting into the "basic" encounter host pledge gets you 1-2 units for $130-$145, whereas the market average is closer to $40 (dropzone 2 player ($80) + rules etc, GW aobr/dv 2 player ($80), WMH starter boxes). those others give you 3 units per side (vs 1-2) at under 33% of the investment. I don't know that 2 $130 hosts really gives you the full feel of the game either as it seems like a 15-40 model affair. If you can get a 5 bow drune + carrowek vs vithar + 5 holumen at 66GBP or so, that might help as an intro item to drag out for events of cons.
bloodwars wrote:-I am reluctant to buy items without a sculptor named. that's why i'm still a bit uneasy about the legionaries (and the females in the rank and file) and seza (and why i was asking). for new sculptors, it might be a good idea to commission them to do a piece ahead of time (like hardy could have done agathae for example) so people can see their work on a mierce project with mierce art and briefs and feel safer pledging sight unseen. I know anything chaudon/simon/JAG/AC/cockersell make are worth buying based of the art alone, but their are some others i'd like to check out beforehand, and non-mierce projects are hard to compare apples to apples.
bloodwars wrote:--unit differentiation - right now it seems like most of the units basically have 1 of 2 stat lines, 30mm or 60mm. obviously there are some differences and i'm over simplifying a bit, but it'd be nice to have real differences between some armies and playstyles beyond kindred unit X gets +1 parry for +6 points. the norse have grimmin that gives you a 60mm guy with fast flight, allowing him to go hunt archers or seers, which is cool. byzantii will get scorpion war machines for long range fire support and heavy cavalry, but for KS3 i'd appreciate if that was one of the tenets. i know you're still filling out some holes, and things like ogres will give you an anti-magic aura, which is cool, but things like giving legionaries a stong one shot javelin toss and bonuses when they go into a defensive mode (vikings too), i think that'll add a lot more character to some of the interactions.
bloodwars wrote:when you think of a new unit are questions like "what function does this unit serve in the army?" "is this kindred supposed to have this ability and to this degree?" "is his purpose unique or different to what already exists or can he be replaced with other parts?" part of the design process currently?
Things That Could be Better for the next Mierce KS
1. Loss Leading Starter Boxes - I've mentioned this briefly before, but I can't understate the importance of this enough. I know there are fiscal limitations to this, and I know that the method in which Mierce produces their products can be prohibative for this, but I strongly urge ya'll to figure out a way to do a 2P starter box or, better yet, starter boxes that are prepacked for every army that serve as loss leaders. Now obviosly I don't want it to be at the expense of your business, that's never the aim, but soemthing that a player can pick up off the shelf and know it plays right away. And they should probably be diverse in terms of models. I'm going to take some pretty big assumptions coming up(assuming your wholesale cost is around 50% of RRP), so If I'm totally off base with the margins, just call me an idiot
Sample Anelcynn Starter Box:
Penda/Forthegn - 100 Points - $8 Wholesale Cost
5 Duguth - 125 Points - $27 Wholesale Cost
Guthwulf - 120 Points - $20 Wholesale Cost
2 Werwulf - 124 Points - $25 Wholesale Cost
So, if my math is even remotely close to the actual wholesale costs, you're looking at around $80 USD for a really diverse nearly 500 point starter. Hell, maybe you swap out a Werwulf for a starter box exclusive Wiglere sculpt? Then, if you've still got room to only break even on the starter boxes, you try and drive this starter box price to as low as you can. I think $50 is way too low for this quality, but if you could get them to a $65-$75 Retail price, It would be incredibly easy to sell them, especially at GenCon with demos. I demoed Infinity this past year, and selling a $40 infinity Starter box was easy, because it answers this very important question with a yes: "Can it really be played out of the box?" That's why everyone hates GW starters. Their answer is no. Again, I have no idea how feasible this is....but man, if ya'll can pull it off, I can't tell you how easy it will be to push it.
2. Money Translation - You already do this, making the USD cost clear next to the GBP cost, but I'd encourage you to try and make it even more prevalent. Sadly, I think you're going to lose a portion of the potential backer pool simply by having that GBP symbol (and I don't think you should chance it) simply because tons of Americans are a little xenophobic about ordering stuff outside the country. Making sure that everytime you list a price having the USD price next to it could potentially help. I don't know that it will, but it could.
I am a person, a real person with feelings, not a corporate machine with doublespeak on auto. You get the heart of me in Darklands, and that's what makes Darklands what it is. So I will always bemoan the fact that such companies produce rubbish miniatures I'm afraid, because I personally don't see the point - with that money behind them, they could produce awesome miniatures if they wanted.
2kkendo wrote:Did anyone mention a Kickstarter exclusive which wont be available to purchase from the webstore?