The Game Crafter Community Social @ Gen Con 2014 is TONIGHT at 7pm!

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We will be hosting the TGC Community Social at O’Reilly’s Irish Bar and Restaurant at 7pm. The restaurant is about 3 blocks from the convention center and the address is:

36 S Pennsylvania St
Indianapolis, IN 46204

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They have plenty of food/drink options and we can hang out as a group at our reserved tables. Right now we are planning on roughly 30 people.

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Across the street is Scotty’s Brewhouse and they have the awesome outdoor patio we’ve enjoyed the last 2 years. We’ll probably roll over there after awhile and enjoy some fresh air on the patio. (if the weather cooperates)

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O’Reilly’s Irish Bar is roughly 3-4 blocks from the convention center.

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No Gen Con Tickets Required.

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See you tonight!

Gamer’s Remorse reviews Zombie House. This game can be purchased in The Game Crafter’s online shop.

Reviewer Quote: "there’s absolutely thrill and I love that part of the game. You feel like someone is chasing you and you’ve got to get out of there!"

Gen Con 2014 has begun! Stop by The Game Crafter’s booth (#1645) to see all of our custom printable components and game pieces! We also have custom badge ribbons that we are handing out to TGC community members!

Watch the video above to see a sample of what’s at our booth! See you soon!

The booth is ready to go!

The booth is ready to go!

On The Road To Gen Con

We’re driving to Indianapolis today to get set up for GenCon 2014. Hopefully you’re coming to GenCon as well. If you are, please stop by our booth. We’re also running a TGC game night and a community social night. Hope to see you there!

Set A Funding Goal

Setting a funding goal is a huge piece of strategy for your campaign. Set it too high and you’ll have little hope of funding. Set it too low and you may not cover your costs. 

As a general rule of thumb, your first campaign should have a funding goal of less than $5,000. There are three main reasons for this. Getting a win is more important than getting huge funding, as it allows you to build up your network so that your next campaign can be more successful. Second, when you’re just getting started you likely won’t have a huge social network of people to spread the word for you. If you’ve done the pre-promotion work we recommend you should be able to get enough of the word out to get a few thousand dollars worth of backers. Third, if you’re successful and you make an error, $5,000 is less likely to bankrupt you than a $100,000 campaign. 

This is where using The Game Crafter as your manufacturer can really save your bacon. If you use The Game Crafter’s bulk pricing and bulk order fulfillment you can set a ridiculously low funding goal. For most games you can set a funding goal less than $5,000 easily, and potentially even less than $1000 as was done with Krash Karts. 

Getting The Win Early

As stated before getting the win is far more important than getting huge funding. Being able to show success will encourage more people to back you the next time, plus you’ll have a list of backers who like you and want to back your next game.

What’s even better than getting a win? The answer is getting the win early in the campaign. If you can achieve your funding goal in the first half of your campaign, or better yet—in the first few days, then you’ll have the rest of the campaign to roll out your stretch goals. 

Campaign Duration

Just as setting a low funding goal is important, so is setting a reasonable campaign duration. If you can’t reach your goal in 30 days, you’re not much more likely to reach it in 45 days. Moreover, setting a shorter duration provides more of a call to action to backers that they should back you early. To that end, some people like Dustin Oakley have even done 15 day campaigns for his follow up to Zoodlums.

Stay tuned for more great articles on how to run a Kickstarter. Next time we’ll talk about pre-promotion of your campaign.

The Game Crafter will be at Gen Con 2014

The Game Crafter will be exhibiting at Gen Con 2014. Our booth number is 1645 and you can see our booth location circled in the photo below. Be sure to stop by the booth to talk to our team (Tavis, JT, Jamie, Heather) and get a photo with Cog, our 8ft tall robot community mascot!

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Featured Designers

Each day at Gen Con we’ll have featured game designers from the community at our booth. Stop by and meet them and enjoy a demo of their games!

Thursday 10am-2pm:   Pete Pappavesello
Thursday 2pm-6pm:     Robert Huss
Friday 10am-2pm:        Jeston Furqueron
Friday 2pm-6pm:          Andrew Federspiel
Saturday 10am-2pm:    Mark Major (“Shmitz”)
Saturday 2pm-6pm:      Aaron Gresham (“Tomrel”)
Sunday 10am-4pm:      Mark Kakareka

We’re also continuing the tradition and hosting 2 different community events during Gen Con.

Community Game Night  (Friday Aug 15th @ 8pm-midnight)
This is a chance to get together with other game designers from The Game Crafter community. Bring your games and play them with some super cool folks!! (Gen Con Ticket Required! - Click on the link to purchase one.) Only 11 tickets left!

Community Social  (Saturday, Aug 16 @ 7pm)
A chance for you to meet up with community members and enjoy some food and drink. This year we’re hosting the event at O’Reilly’s Irish Bar and Restaurant. We’ll likely move over to Scotty’s Brewhouse after an hour or two and enjoy the fresh air on the patio. (No tickets required, but please RSVP on our Facebook or Google+ event pages)

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone this year! We are expecting Gen Con 2014 to have the largest showing of TGC community members ever! Stop by our booth (#1645) and pick up a custom TGC Ribbon for your badge and show your support!

See you at Gen Con! 

Gamer’s Remorse reviews Shadow Shift. This game can be purchased in The Game Crafter’s online shop.

Reviewer Quote: “I would definitely play it again and take it to game nights.”

Gamer’s Remorse reviews Family Faces. This game can be purchased in The Game Crafter’s online shop.

Reviewer Quote: "simple to play, fun, fast, creative, and great for kids and families!"

Plan Your Stretch Goals

In our last article we told you to do the math before you start your campaign. This time we’re talking about stretch goals which will make your math more complicated. 

Make no mistake, you should plan your stretch goals well in advance of the launch of your campaign, and build the cost of them into your budget. Don’t scramble to come up with them during the campaign. If you do, at the very least you’ll stress yourself out. At worst, you could bankrupt yourself by rushed planning. With that in mind, here’s some advice for figuring out stretch goals.

To Reveal Or Not To Reveal

While your backers will pressure you into revealing all your stretch goals right away, we see nothing but down side in that strategy. Instead, we recommend revealing the next one as the previous one is reached. Here’s why:

By keeping them secret, you can easily rearrange them or, if necessary, change the goal amount in which they are released based upon how your campaign is going. For example, if your campaign needs a little boost, you might rearrange them a bit to put a cheap one next so that you can easily achieve it. If your campaign is doing well you might decide to spread them out a bit so that you’ll have enough stretch goals to last the duration of your campaign. 

If you reveal them in advance then many of your updates will simply be to remind people what the next stretch goal is. That’s not very exciting. By keeping them secret, you have some real news each time you hit the next goal to post as an update to your campaign. The buzz of that news is a new reason for your existing backers to share your campaign with their friends and you’re more likely to get good engagement. 

If you hit a home run with your campaign and end up wanting to add more stretch goals (which you probably should not do), then when you reveal that new stretch goal it will look like you planned it all along!

How Many

How many stretch goals you plan is really up to you. In our case, we like to have around 10 stretch goals planned in advance of launching the campaign. We don’t go into it thinking we’ll reach all of them, but having that many planned in advance really takes some stress off during the campaign and also allows us to plan a more accurate budget.

Pricing

Pricing your stretch goals will come as a natural extension of your budget. When you do the math you should be including as many of your stretch goals into your budget as you possibly can. That way, if you don’t hit the stretch goal you’re making some extra profit, and if you do hit the stretch goal you know that the cost of it is covered. 

You should try to have several low to no cost stretch goals if you can. Use these either in the early part of your campaign to get things rolling, or in the later part of your campaign to keep stretching the numbers as far as you can when you run out of your other stretch goals. 

Achieving the first stretch goal or two is really important in building momentum for your campaign. If you can make them easy to hit then it will help you keep the momentum going during the middle of the campaign. 

Ideas

Stretch goals should be more about creative thinking than about spending more money. For that reason most of your stretch goals should cost you very little even if they add a ton of value to the game.  

You could upgrade plastic winks to poker chips, or poker chips to wooden cubes, or wooden cubes to wooden meeples. Even small upgrades can be a nice stretch goal, and they needn’t cost a lot. For example, upgrading from a poker chip to a wooden cube is probably less than a couple cents each. So if you need 50 in your game, the upgrade might only cost you $1, but wooden cubes have a much better tactile feel than poker chips. And wooden components will almost always beat out plastic components in the hearts and minds of your backers.

Did you know that The Game Crafter will also consider adding custom wooden bits to our line up for your campaign? You’ll need to contact us to see if it’s something we’re interested in adding. If your campaign reaches the point where it will need more than 10,000 of a type of bit, then if your stretch goal succeeds we’ll add it to our shop to fulfill your campaign. We did this for Scarborough Fair. This has the added benefit that you can promote this stretch goal as a community enhancement (and TGC will also promote it for you), which will likely get you more backers from the community.

It’s also good to have a few no-cost stretch goals under your belt. Some examples of this are desktop wallpapers, PDF backstory of your game or the characters in it, or image templates so that others can design their own cards and print them at home or on The Game Crafter. While it’s true that these will have cost to you in the time to make them, they don’t add to the cost per copy of the game or the shipping price, so they are considered no-cost. 

TGC can also offer you one no-cost stretch goal. Did you know that if your game has a tuck box and you produce your game through The Game Crafter and order 200 or more copies we’ll automatically upgrade the the tuck box for free? It will be printed on 18pt card stock (up from 12pt) and we’ll also apply a glossy UV coating.

Stay tuned for more great articles on how to run a Kickstarter! Next time we’ll talk about setting a funding goal.

The LifeDeck of Kelcross is now on Kickstarter!

Welcome to The Magical Realms of Kelcross, where the lands and their peoples are imbued with elemental energies. By respecting the connections one has with the realms lands, one may become a Wizard/ess by learning to channel the wisdom that those elemental energies have to offer.

To tap into the energy that is found within the lands or from within ones Self is a benefit that is available to all who respect those connections. However, most of us forget that we have access to that internal elemental wisdom.  Wether we are distracted by outside influences, caught up in waves of emotions or even trapped by dark mists of the mind trying to protect us, we may end up going down a path that we are unfamiliar with and find ourselves not knowing what to do.  To assist us in balancing the internal elemental energies, we can use a Wizard’s of Kelcross most prized tool:  The LifeDeck of Kelcross.

The LifeDeck of Kelcross is a 78 card Tarot deck which is currently on Kickstarter and will run until August 31, 2014For more information about LifeDeck of Kelcross, please visit the Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/kelcrossacademy 

Click here to support The LifeDeck of Kelcross Tarot today

Note: This article is being promoted on TGC News because the designer is participating in The Game Crafter’s Crowd Funding Promotion. If you would like to be promoted by The Game Crafter then read the details here.

AWE - Antediluvian Wars: Extermination live on Kickstarter now!

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AWE is a non-collectible but highly expandable, tactical card game for 2 - 4 players set in a not-quite historically accurate prehistory, where, at the end of the last great ice age, four highly advanced but nowadays lost and almost forgotten civilizations wage epic wars on each other, with one goal: Extermination. The goal of the game is to breach your opponents’ defenses in order to “dethrone” their gods by means of a direct attack before your opponents can dethrone your godly leader.

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Besides stunning artwork from an international cast of talented illustrators and a fantastic theme that got everything from dinosaur riders and war mammoths up to advanced Vimana aircraft and resurrecting Zombie T-Rexes, AWE shines with a pleasant mix of fresh and unique mechanics:

The “Three Way Play” concept lets you decide how to use your cards - either play them upright as units which will stay on the field to fight for you or protect you against opponent attacks OR you can play them upside-down (rotated 180 degrees) to use them as one-shot type, temporary events OR play them sideways to be used as resources. The “Wounded - Unwounded concept” lets you wound units first before they are slain (defeated). Wounded units may become stronger and go berserk getting additional abilities. Lastly, the resource system lets you stack cards in “resource mode” in order to recruit mightier units and unleash more powerful events upon your opponents and the fact that the topmost resource card determines the type of resource the whole stack will provide encourages and requires planning ahead in a clever manner.

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So check out the awesome backer rewards, stretch goals and bonus items on the AWE Kickstarter here. We thank you in advance for any and all support and for considering to back the AWE-project!

Click here to support Antediluvian Wars: Extermination now!

Note: This article is being promoted on TGC News because the designer is participating in The Game Crafter’s Crowd Funding Promotion. If you would like to be promoted by The Game Crafter then read the details here.