Kickstarter Rewards Updated (or Removed)

The Kickstarter for “James – Journey of Existence” is picking up a couple backers, which is reassuring given that it isn’t even on the “Ending Soon” projects page yet for Video Games. Anyhow, some backers might notice that the description for the project was shortened a little, and more importantly, the rewards were updated. Or rather, some of the rewards were removed completely.

A lesson I learned from this campaign: when putting a new game on Kickstarter, people probably don’t care about your game yet. So when you offer physical rewards such as documentaries, art books, or soundtracks, very few people would actually be interested. It can even hurt the campaign, as you appear vain to be willing to spend money on making such things before an audience ever suggests they want it. As much as I would love a plush toy of The Cat in “James – Journey of Existence,” I’m probably the only one who does.

This doesn’t effect backers much: most of the backers so far have opted for the $5 reward, which gives them the entire game upon completion. So most of those higher rewards were probably not on anyone’s radar anyway. The physical rewards are all still available in the one tier for the “Physical Collector’s Edition,” and I kept the USB Drive with all the digital rewards for practical purposes.  Some of the really high tiers offered backers more input into the development of the game, which again sounds vain and selfish (I would probably use surveys and communication with everyone regardless of whether or not they pledged anyway). The highest tier, the option to have yourself animated into the game, is still there, but I don’t think anyone will actually pledge $1000 for that one without knowing that the game will actually be any good. I should have considered “add-on” rewards to help pledgers pick and choose what they want, but again this makes it sound like the game is better than most people perceive it to be, and I don’t want to give the wrong impression.

Also, money from the campaign that was said to be reserved for the physical rewards has been changed to be for the musicians who have tentatively joined the project. They probably won’t stay upon the campaign’s failure (purely for my own morals of not asking for work without paying, they themselves have been very cooperative and unselfish so far), but should the campaign succeed, that money will help them start providing music for the rest of the game.

Hopefully these changes help put “James – Journey of Existence” in a better light during the last week on Kickstarter. And that exclusive demo for Kickstarter backers should be done early next week, the gameplay and level layout is done, I just need to animate a new character…