Publishing lessons

Board games & crowdfunding

5 ideas for customer first crowdfunding

20th October 2022 0

Earlier this week I launched my sixth Kickstarter where I continued to focus on how I can put the backer first during my campaigns.

Let’s take a look at 5 of the unusual things I did with this Kickstarter.

Shipping and taxes during the campaign

Charging shipping and taxes in a pledge manager after a Kickstarter finishes has become normal practise but it doesn’t provide a good experience for the backer.

I decided to charge all shipping and taxes on the campaign page, when you choose your reward and select a country you will see the final price you have to pay.

This provides the best experience possible for the backer and I would love to see more people doing it.

Increasing subsidisation in shipping costs

Crowdfunding campaigns usually increase the amount of shipping you pay as you buy more items. It makes sense as more stuff means a bigger box and more weight.

However, it also follows that the more items you buy the more room there is for subsidising those shipping costs.

With my campaign, if you choose a higher reward tier, you will pay less shipping.

Informative quotes

Quotes are often used to create hype and excitement by reiterating how fantastic the game is.

I’ve selected quotes to put at the top of the page that help provide further information to the backer from an independent source.

Here are the 2 quotes I used at the top of the page:

The first helps reassure people the game is accessible to anyone while offering something to people looking for a bigger game.

The second encourages people who may not typically like cooperative games to continue reading.

I much prefer this type of quote as it helps the customer make an informed decision.

The risky review

I am a big fan of ThinkerThemer but I also know they aren’t the biggest fans of cooperative games. With Race to the Raft I wanted to create a different type of experience that I thought non-coop players would enjoy so I put it to the test.

It was great to see them reaffirm my thoughts on this and provide an independent review I can point people at who have concerns about cooperative games.

Not just using reviews to say the game is great, but using them to help people with concerns make decisions is much more beneficial to the customer and truly tests the boundaries of your games audience.

The personal video

Over the years crowdfunding videos have become more impressive, some cost a small fortune to make and they flash pretty graphics without providing much information.

While a pretty video is beneficial (and I need to work on improving my 3d animation skills), I wanted to create a more personal video that answered questions.

You can see the video here.

I grabbed my camera and focussed on the following topics:

  • A quick introduction with my design goal for the game
  • A quick overview of the core gameplay and theme
  • An explanation of how the game develops through the scenarios
  • Why back the Kickstarter
  • A personal message

The video is just over 2-minutes long and provides all the critical information a backer needs. It is true I could have spent $1,000’s making the video prettier, but it feels more genuine this way which suits Kickstarter and I can pass that saving on to my backers.


The above list is only a small group of things I did differently with this campaign and I may talk about some of the other things in a future article. I certainly don’t think this is the best way to get the most backers, but I do think it’s a great way to have a successful and healthy campaign.

These approaches follow my community not customer philosophy and I’m really glad to see they are working so well.

Frank West

Frank West is a gamer and designer based in Bristol, UK. He published his first board game, The City of Kings, in 2018 and now works on other games and organising events in the local area. His goal? To design and publish games focusing on immersive themes, fun mechanics and beautiful components. If you have any questions or would just like a chat, feel free to get in touch at any time!

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