What is Kickstarter to a team of students figuring out where to go next with their game design? A way to become published developers? A lesson in entrepreneurship? A way to test the market for their ideas & skills? Karsten Davis talks about how it was all three when his team successfully funded Megalomania on Kickstarter last fall.
In this episode we talk about:
- Biggest Crowdfunding Lesson Learned
- Why Kickstarter?
- The Development of Megalomania
- What is Kickstarter?
- What’s next for the students of Last Minute Games
Biggest Lesson Learned From Kickstarter
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is you’ve got to pay attention to the community.
Kickstarter is a very very tight knit group. It’s a very small, passionate group of people who want to see good projects come to fruition.
The biggest thing that you can do is listen to those people. Give them what they want, respond with them, work with them, and do all those things.
The best advice I can give anybody doing their first Kickstarter: meet some people who’ve done it before and ask them “What worked for you? What didn’t work for you? How did you set up your page? How’d you talk about your product?” Do all of those things.
The other thing I’ll say is take everything with a little bit of a grain of salt.
This is a new medium, there’s a lot of people learning on the fly. There’s new information, things are always changing.
Do what’s best for you but at the same time listen to the community
It comes down to one word and that’s control.
Anytime you go to a publisher, there is the chance that you lose creative control- even with a board game.
We as a group have put so much into this- and we’re being a little selfish here, but we wanted to see how we could put it together. We didn’t want somebody to come in and say, “Oh this isn’t quite what we think Megalomania should be.”
So yeah, we’re going to be a little snobby and say “You know what? We know what’s best for the game.”
We’re going to give it a run and see how things go.
The security of a publisher would be nice, you know? It means maybe I get a couple of hours extra sleep every night. It’s also…
There is something nice to be said about we set where we want to game to go, we listen to people, we incorporate, what we learned, and then we put the game forward as we see best fit. So, yeah!
Where Did Megalomania Start?
UTD Experimental Game Lab. We decided “Hey, whatever we make in here we want to keep going.”
Turns out it was half decent!
We kept plugging at it, kept plugging at it, kept plugging at it, kept testing, kept iterating. Finally, got some artists on board.
Now we’re here, ready to go.
What Is Kickstarter to You?
It’s about making cool content. It’s not about “Oh we want to get here, and we want to have this money, and we want to y’know- to be set.” It’s, “No- we want to make cool games!”
And if it so happens that our game is cool enough that people like it, then yeah- we’ll put it out there. We’ll show people.
Last Minute Games: What’s Next?
Hopefully! It more comes down to our success with this and where we end up as a group, you know?
We’re all always looking for new opportunities. We’re looking to spread out and do different things. We have an interest in digital, we have an interest in some other things. We just want to see where we’re at.
If the stars align for us to do another one, we’ll do another one.
Thanks so much to Karsten for taking the time & letting me interview him!
See more about Megalomania on Kickstarter
Have you used Kickstarter as the “next move” for your game? How’d it go? Have a question you wish I had asked? Be sure to let me know in the comments and if you enjoyed the video, share it!