Need Advice - Kickstarter Video

Discussion in 'General' started by Anashel, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. Anashel

    Anashel Puppet Master Staff Member

    Hi there!

    We have complete the Teaser of the kickstarter campaing. It's the third version we do. (From scratch) And I feel we are back with the level of quality we had in our first ARG. It's a great feeling to have the time do our job properly. I am please with the overall forums, the Comic Book is well started and the latest Teaser is a great addition.

    That said, following the teaser we will present to the user a 5 minutes video where I will mostly talk about why we need your help.

    There is multiple angle we can take and I don't want to waste 5 minutes trying to explain what is an arg but I don't want at the same time to fill it with empty quote of "you will live something like never before". Bats, I'm not talking about the grammar. Stay with me. =)

    I don't think a support video should be longer then 5 minutes (Even if many have 20 minutes long) I think the core role of that video is to tell people WHY we need support. I also agree this video is an important opportunity to pass some messages, like we have create quite sucessfull arg in the past, arg is a great experience, people who want to have their life as a playfield can experiment the game as well as people who just want to tag along. And finally: wtf is and arg and what i'm doing with this. I could completly understand that you need the funding to do it, but wtf I am funding. A game? A web based game? A cellphone game? Telling them they are funding a transmedia multisensorial life changing event will conclude : so I have no fucking idea what i'm funding and I should just take your word for it that I will wet my pants? (And yes, you will wet your pants.)

    So: If I had 5 minutes, in your case, what would be key to convinced you to pledge?
    5 people like this.
  2. Santiak

    Santiak MIA

    I think TBW faces a unique-ish situation, in so much that not only is it a novel idea, and therefor needs explaining why something novel is worth existing, but it's also a game, and therefore needs to explain what sets it apart from other games - albeit the latter issue can be explained by the former; it's a new type of game, therefor it's different from other games.

    I reckon if I wasn't already on the wagon, and I was looking for new games to dive into, the primary information I'd need to decide would be:

    - What are the goals of the game, and how are they achieved? (Missions, puzzle aspect, classes.)
    - What are the terms of the game (web-based, rewards, interaction with other players, with NPCs.)
    - What is the intended model to sustain the game (initial funding only, Pay to Play, Microtransactions)
    - What is the focus of the game? (Unique player experience, single player story, multiplayer action)

    If, however, I was looking to help fund a novel concept, I suspect the deciding factors would be:

    - Is there a market for this? (Previous small-scale ARG events, growing phenomenon in general, first persistent ARG being made.)
    - What will my money be used for specifically? (Mission production, PR, Administrative costs.)
    - .. my mind is lightly sleep-addled, and my girlfriend slightly miffed, so I'll probably edit in something more later tomorrow, if I can come up with anything.

    All in all, I think it's important to highlight aspects such as game progression, player interaction, and game style (i.e. missions, rewards, classes, webbased, real-world locations, and how those will be handled, and direct NPC -> Player Interaction, as in you are very likely to be part of the story, rather than just a witness to it). In addition to that, how you intend to spend the money, and why you believe there's a market for a game such as TBW would also be paramount to include, I feel.

    *assumes the freakazoid pose and blasts off to bed*
    9 people like this.
  3. Vismal

    Vismal Gold Member

    I can understand the hurdle that needs to be crossed to properly outline what TBW is/will be. If I hadn't been part of it, I'd have had a hard time explaining where the excitement came from.
    I too am currently tired, and have to go to sleep for tomorrow morning's jog, but I'll mull over it and see to throwing an update when something clicks that hasn't been mentioned yet.
  4. Tyryt

    Tyryt Senior Agent

    I think a *very* brief overview of ARGs (with links to appropriate resources, like The Game, and more in-depth explanation of ARG available on say, wikipedia, and then a summary of why hE is a perfect company to produce the pARG (previous experience, already known, etc etc), and then the "What we'll do with the funds we raise, and what happens after the initial funding" parts.

    I think that would do it for me, if I weren't already involved.
  5. Kle

    Kle Senior Agent

    Santiak has pretty much hit the nail on the head (as usual).

    I can't really add much to it at this point.
    2 people like this.
  6. Ugly

    Ugly Senior Agent

    I have probably backed more Kickstarter projects than an intelligent adult should... someday I'll grow up and be one of those. For me, once I feel like the concept is good (which I think others have covered getting across well), I then look at the quality of the Kickstarter itself to decide if I want to back. Generally, that comes down to:
    • Quality of assets on the page. Thermodo had a very nice, clean design. Everything was custom graphics, their rewards each had a nice graphic and text explanations, the stretch goals were all clear, and the only thing I think would have been nicer is skinning the headers like Ruse.

    • Early bird rewards. Not only is it a nice bonus to early adopters, it helps get over the initial hump of cash needed to look legitimate.

    • Stretch goals. Having something cool to look forward to and another reason to encourage friends to support so you get phat loot is always good.

    • Track record of the company. Make sure it's easy to quickly get a graphical overview of past work that is similar to what is being supported.

    • Regular updates. I don't expect much of an issue here :), especially now that you've gotten proof reader volunteers. Regular quality updates is a good sign that the creator will stay engaged. This applies even after the project is funded.
    7 people like this.
  7. nikel

    nikel Lab 1852 - Neurals

    Aight, some random thoughts that I don't think have been covered yet. Just throwing them down as I think of them.

    • People still think you are Funcom: Because of the initial advertising push and past ties, lots of people have no idea what they're talking about. Make the (non)relation to TSW clear, make the fact that you are Human Equation clear.

    • People think that ARG = LARP: Just read some of the comments on that article. 1) This is super condescending on their behalf. 2) They have no clue what the ARG entails. Just a refine the definition in relation to how the game will work. You can't please everyone, but you can at least open people up to the idea.

    • Kickstarter problems: I think that people are wary of kickstarting games right now, due to the Yogscast thing a few weeks ago, with impressively bad managing. Even the biggest names in kickstarter gaming have had to rethink their monetary strategy to afford completion. You aren't making a video game, so $2 million to make 3/4 of a game is not an issue a la Broken Age. But what you need to do:
      • Make it clear that Human Equation can make ARGs and has made ARGs before.
      • How much money you need, how the money is divided up (between game, publicity, management.) I don't think you need to get super specific here, but people want to know that their money won't be misused.
      • A clear 'Risks and Challenges' section. Don't just say that you're taking the project seriously, show it through the text and video that you have put mountains of thought into the game, both in ideal situations and less than ideal situations.
    That's all I have for now. I agree with everything above my post, especially Ugly's top 2 points. Clean assets and Early Bird Rewards.

    Edit: "you can't please anyone" good lord I need a day off.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2014
    9 people like this.
  8. Santiak

    Santiak MIA

    If we're not just giving feedback on the support video (in which regard I agree with the points made above by all parties), but also giving feedback on the Kickstarter page itself, I agree with both Ugly and Nikel; they are all excellent points to keep in mind when building the Kickstarter page.

    On a side-note, I feel that some things should be prioritized more than others, seeing as some information is better suited for people in different stages of being convinced by the project, and have already been introduced to the most basic, necessary information (included in the Support Video, which is arguably the very first thing people will see):

    1. Information relevant to those who have already become interested enough that they are contemplating donating (i.e. Stretch pledges/goals explanations, specifically what aspects of the project will be funded by the kickstarter money.)

    2. Information relevant to those who are trying to figure out whether or not the subject is something they're interested in (is this a LARP or an ARG? )

    3. Clarifying information. Information that likely won't have any impact on peoples desire to donate, or convincing them to do so, but is worthwhile adding - if nothing else, for the sake of filtering out the crowd looking for exclusive clothing (made by FunCom or HE?) - and thus decrease the potential for misunderstandings or worse further down the line.
    Before anything, however; transparency! - as Nikel pointed out.
    Not that I consider that to be a problem. Far from it. But it's a point worth reminding oneself of, just because of the plethora of positive impacts it has on a game when the Devs are present, interacting, and transparent about their intent. It will ultimately lead to a better community in general, more loyal fans (did wonders for EVE), and so on and so forth - and in return, those benefits have knock-on benefits of good PR, and a higher turn rate in terms of newcommers who come for the cookies, but stay for the Black Vans.

    So aye, a good chunky "Confession" section; show you are aware of the pitfalls, and how you intend to work around them.

    On a final note (yeah, long read again. Sorry.); People will invariably have questions. The faster that those questions are answered, the less confusion is generated, and more importantly, the more valued people feel they are.
    In other words, answering a question within 10 minutes, and not 2 hours, can have a big impact in terms of how easily people are convinced.
    2 people like this.
  9. Vismal

    Vismal Gold Member

    Alright for the video, I think it'd be good to position TBW as it mostly will be: using an app, or with a computer browser's terminal Situation Room. Perhaps having an agent stumble upon the information and start looking into facts and entering information, communicating with other agents and sharing information.
    Show mission completion/mission failures and their immediate integration into the world of TBW; constant storyline relevant to agent efforts and mission success/failures. Make sure it's conveying that hardcore involvement and casual involvement are possible, like just checking the app at a cafe or with friends before a movie...something simple yet overall helping the more hardcore agents a lot. Progression possible through participation, even if mostly benign, yet progression nonetheless and recognition from other Black Watchmen. Simple stuff.
    Has to show that more than just North American - no nationality attached. World wide. Everyone has as much weight to give as they want to give towards TBW (I think?)
    I wouldn't show breaking the 4th wall until the end of the video. A lot of people don't understand the rush of breaking the 4th wall, and most don't want to do it as they rather game in the comfort of their own privacy. However, showing the possibility *is* there if you reach for it when available in game could hook people's curiousity. I just don't know how to present that the IRL actions (4th wall breaking etc) are not mandatory but can be available.
    The harder part is compounded by the fact that if we keep it mostly in character, it's difficult to be cryptic (sticking to the theme of the setting) yet divulging enough of the feel of playing TBW; I'm sure there's people who have the competence in that sort of problem-solving area of socio-multimedia, but I'm not one of them on a whim.

    TL;DR - Show the brunt of what the game entails for average player.
    Intone casualness possibilities (checking the app at a cafe for example) and hardcore possibilities (terminal hacking? IRL geocache pickup?)
    Ensure to promote worldwide possibilities.
    Breaking of 4th wall possible but not mandatory.
    6 people like this.
  10. Santiak

    Santiak MIA

    Excellent points about promoting it as an international project, Vismal! When a project seems to focus too intensely on a single geographic location, it can often feel quite exclusionary, and alienate the client - as it so often has me, when something was "only available to .. citizens".

    As for breaking the 4th wall without giving the wrong impression of it being a mandatory part of the experience; the video could follow Agent A leading his/her everyday life, interacting casually with the game as they go.
    Near the end, the viewer follows Agent A walking down the street, the camera shifts view to Agent B, who has thus far not been the focus of the video, and the viewer is shown that B is doing some more in-depth interaction with the game. Perhaps B has been designated with finding a new recruit and drop off a "welcoming package" for them; the new recruit being A.
    Could add that always fun instance of B actually having been shown however vaguely in each and every scene up untill that point, but not revealing that fact to the viewer, instead leaving it for the more enterprising viewers to discover if they view the trailer more than once.

    Could then add another layer by having A look at a pastebin message/imgur image/what not as some point during the video, and then have each scene/instance of B showing up, reveal another character of an url extension, that - if the viewer decides to follow - leads to another breaking of the 4th wall, namely by being the extension for whatever website A was viewing earlier, and a possible bonus-code contained within the url found via B's cameos in the video.

    That might then be evolved into something along the lines of the "Arkfall Codes" Defiance is using - which did garner quite a bit of attention to the prelaunch media of the game, if I recall correctly.

    *scurries off before he achieves his final "Raving-Ranting-Santiak" form.*
    3 people like this.
  11. thatangryviking

    thatangryviking Viking Turkey | The Bot Slayer

    I think everyone has pretty much hit the nail on the head here.
    2 people like this.
  12. Sonne

    Sonne Division-79

    All good input so far, IMO. There are a lot of things mentioned above that should be addressed in the kickstarter. There are so many different ways for people to decide If/Why they should participate, I think it should mostly all be presented so that every prospect can find (or ask for) what info they need to decide.

    The problem is that the game can be as complicated as life itself. So, a sales pitch can't all fit into one video or interview. I think if there could be just one video, it should be Anashel making a scripted presentation about the intent and scope of the project: Include snippets of video of some of the work already completed (or mockups thereof) such as a dashboard, the app, some of what goes on behind the curtain (no gamedata disclosures of course). Basically define the game infrastructure that is being bought.

    Then a section about promises of results. Fortunately, there can be more than one video on the TBW website. Bullet-points by topic can then describe what TBW is as a game, what players can expect and how they participate.

    I've tried describing TBW to friends who are prettymuch uninitiated. It takes too long, their eyes lose focus and their minds lose interest. It may be impossible but can TBW be distilled down into one short (4 short sentences) message to lead with?

    I'm thinking enigmatic teasers and gameplay examples may continue to be the best marketing. I saw the "Nightmares" teaser from BioWare. Enigmatic, yes. Informative, no. Got me interested, yes. What they did was tap into a mystery within everyone's experience. We have the same opportunity with TBW - there are undercurrents in our reality which everybody knows/believes something about but most people are unaware of or refuse to recognize anything specific. TBW will involve you (or trap you) in those undercurrents.
    5 people like this.
  13. OGPhil357

    OGPhil357 Active Agent

    I would tell people and sell people on the idea of what this could really be....missions in their home towns...contacts contacted and you not know...the whole meaning of what is real is what you can trust all put together in so many weird ways...I talked about this and my opes as far as alot of different type of people join in. Just try fora few, if it's not you cool, it takes a tempered mind for what thy have done before.

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