Long Road: Relationships Take Time

Just as it takes time to foster friendships, it takes time to develop a network, community, and brand awareness. Rapport cannot be rushed.

Following the advice of Jamey Stegmaier, specifically from 10 Daily Actions to Build Your Crowd and Art of the Comment, I have been putting effort into picking my favorite blog entry every day and commenting on it.

For a little while, I thought that the best course of action was to read and comment broadly, developing relationships with a number of reviewers. But my strategy changed after reading a guest post by Loren and Jamie Cunningham on Stonemaier Games:

We should have sent the game to be reviewed by reviewers who like our type of game…We found that reviewers who love highly thematic games gave us great reviews, while reviewers who really enjoy more strategic ‘Euro’ style games did not love [Transylvania: Curses & Traitors] and reviewed it from that perspective.  This led to mixed reviews when we launched our Kickstarter.”

Learning from their reflections, my strategy has since changed. Here’s what I plan to do.

  1. Use Feedly to keep up with blogs
    I first established a Feedly RSS compilation using Jame Mathe’s list of reviewers who often review Kickstarters for free. (I exported this compilation as an OPML into a Google Drive Folder. If you have Feedly, you can upload my list rather than input them all manually.)
  2. Record what blogs have reviewed Horror & Resource Management games
    I’ll be taking notes on what kinds/genres of games each reviewer tends to play. I hope that this will help narrow down my search, and yours too. I’ll be updating this spreadsheet over time.** If you’d like to help fill out this log, please let me know in the comments so I can give you permission to edit, rather than view. **
  3. Maintain a Contact Log
    Networking-pro Mitch Gready sent me a copy of his networking spreadsheet months ago, and I have found it immensely helpful. I’ve adapted it so that I can note what platform I engaged them on last (Twitter, blog, designer forums), what kind of interaction it was (advice, question, kudos), and how I can contact them in the future. I’ve found it helpful in tracking my success in completing Jamey’s Dailies. Check it out here.
  4. Make an effort to reach out to our genre’s reviewers
    I plan to continue to commenting on thought-provoking blog posts or design forums daily, but also will make an effort to reach out to horror- and resource management-genre reviewers and game designers.

If you find these resources helpful, please let me know on Twitter at @keshiekay!

Long Road: Relationships Take Time

The Long Road to Kickstarter

Rowland, Mark and I have been working on Will to Survive since our sophomore year of college. Now four years later, having graduated, we’re able to work on the game more consistently.

As really any game should, Will to Survive has gone through countless iterations which has shaped the game over the years. While we still need to work out a few kinks — at the moment the game swings between either being too difficult or too easy  — we’re making great progress.

Over time, you’ll read blog posts from myself (Kelsey “Keshie” King), Rowland Brown, and Mark Rubeo. I’ll be covering Omen Games from a business, research, and marketing perspective, linking to various articles and resources that I’ve found helpful in planning. And eventually I hope to write my own “Kickstarter Advice” series as others have done.

It’s a long road ahead, but so many before me are eager to teach new developers and give newbies the tools they need to improve their chance of success. Once we’re a little further along in development, Rowland and Mark will be posting more regularly about design and other musings. For now I’ll explain some reasoning behind business/marketing decisions. Quite new to this, I look forward to advice & counterarguments in the comments.

Onwards!

-Kesh

The Long Road to Kickstarter