Tina Alberino

AKA Alin Walker

Update 9: What I’d Do Differently

As the campaign winds down, I'm already thinking about the next one.

Writing updates is hard. Most of the time, I’m moving shapes on a page, adjusting colors, experimenting with different layouts. The core of the game is solid, so the last few months have been all graphic design and campaign management, neither of which make for compelling reading.

As our campaign dwindles down to the last 48 hours, I’ve been thinking about how we’ll do the next campaign (for Plane: Explorer) differently. Knowing what I do now, I’ll be making a number of changes:

1.) Launch the Kickstarter preview page way in advance. It’s really important to secure backers ahead of time to get that early momentum. Astroprisma (which, as I write this, is nearly at a mind-boggling $185,000 USD), had almost 800 followers before the campaign launched. (Yes, I was one of them, and yes, I went all-in…which brings me to my next point.)

2.) Set a higher goal and offer more expensive tiers. I considered doing this but ultimately decided against it because I needed this campaign to stay modest and manageable. I’m shouldering the majority of the workload, and I didn’t want to be overwhelmed. As I write this, we’re at 101 backers, a very cozy, manageable number. I’m thrilled with this…but next time, I want to go a tiny bit bigger, both with the game and the campaign.

3.) Show more. I knew this would bite me in the ass, but because I wanted to keep the campaign small, I didn’t worry too much about the lack of visuals and previews. Next time, I won’t be launching the campaign until the game is fully laid out, so we have spreads to show, advance copies to send out to reviewers, and trailers prepared.

4.) Don’t waste time seeking press coverage. Honestly, I’m surprised and disappointed with Dicebreaker and the other reviewers I contacted. None were interested in doing anything to help us, and I really wish I knew why. I spent a lot of time preparing press kids, agonizing over the wording of our initial contact emails, and refreshing my inbox, waiting for responses that never came while receiving email newsletters from the same outlets promoting projects that already went to retail or were massively overfunded (like Astroprisma). I won’t make that mistake next time. I suppose the press will happen if it happens.

5.) Set more reasonable stretch goals. When I designed the stretch goals for Plane, I knew I was doubling our prompt sets. For some reason, at the time, I didn’t think much of the work that would entail. I think the game needs the extra prompts, but I wish I had delayed the campaign a bit so we could have gotten a head start on them.

Today (and for the rest of the month), I’m doing layout work, so it’s back to the grids for me!

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