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Article #15 – How to Build a KS Project Page in 7 Days

Looking to build a Kickstarter Page?  I did it in 7 days, so you could learn from the event.

Here is an exact copy of the 7 day event with daily Goals, and the daily Designers’ Diary.  We left it entirely unedited, even of typos, so you can experience the learning event now as if you were with us then.

Note: We included polls and surveys during the event so that backers could be involved, but since those surveys are no longer live the links below are not active.

Begin copy…

Welcome Sun

Welcome to A.D.A.P.T.!

Allow me to explain exactly we’re doing here, as this isn’t your usual “please give us feedback” pageThis is a learning and teaching event, with the same heart that our Kickstarter Advice Columns are created with.

See, here at Gate Keeper Games we have a motto, it is simply this:
This is your game!

Well we decided to really challenge ourselves to “put our motto where our mouth is”, so that the entire Kickstarter community can benefit.

Therefore we are inviting everyone everywhere to join with us in the actual creation of this Kickstarter Page from its very inception!  –  We’re so serious about finding the people that could benefit from this, that we bought’s background skin all week long just to ensure people can find it.

So if you’re not into board games, dice, or games about fish, that’s a-ok!  This is about the learning and growing experience: building the page together, the application of the budget in the tiers, and the fun and challenges that go into it all.  And nobody has any obligation to pledge when the campaign goes live.

We just hope you enjoy watching, if that’s what you’re here for; learning, if you’ve got questions about the process; and participating, because that way everyone can benefit from your input! : )

How to get involved

We invite you to scroll down the “This is your game” section, to answer polls, surveys, and see what the “Daily Event” is for the day.

Use the comments box at the top of this page to post your advice, suggestions, and experiences.  We can certainly learn from you too!  We have already changed a ton of our plans based on the comments above and in the polls!

We only ask you join us soon, because to build a project page 100% in under 7 days …well, it’s going to go fast!

Jump down to the “This is your game!” section below to see what’s on the docket for today, and how you can participate.

Thanks for visiting, and if you have any questions don’t be afraid to ask them!

John Wrot!
Gate Keeper Games
Mailing List – sign up.
Please, share this page with anyone you think might be interested.

Time to get to work!

(These section headers are the result of Day 1’s polls and work.  Each section will be filled in as the week progresses.)

This is your game

This is where you’ll find the daily events, polls, and Designers’ Diary.

Day 1 – Monday October 19th (Complete)

The countdown begins…

Daily event: Voted for and created “Campaign Section Headers” to build the outline for the page. – Read the “Designers’ Diary” in the “This is your game” section below for details.

Day 2 – Tuesday October 20th (Complete)

Daily Event: Get Pricing Feedback from polls below, and post the non-pictorial Key Elements.

**CLOSED** Poll: Tell us here what Pricing Models you would choose!!! (this is a big one!)**

Today’s Page Goals (and on a limited time budget today):

  • Type up the “Risks and Challenges”
  • Put up some more pricing information (Add Ons, new Pledge Tiers, etc.).
  • Time permitting we’ll get a head start on graphic design for the How it Plays section.

Behind the scenes goals:

  • Pre-build an initial Stretch Goal chart for polling later this week.
  • Upload some art to the BGG Game Page.
  • Take care of my son while mom goes to work. (A very realistic aspect of designing a Kickstarter.) See our Kickstarter Advice Columns for more of my thoughts on this.

Day 3 – Wednesday October 21st (Complete)

Daily Event: Continue to get Pricing Feedback through yesterday’s poll which we’re leaving open because of the tremendous value of your responses there. Also, collect feedback about the How to Play section…

As always, comments at the top are helpful to, as everyone can see your thoughts there.

Today’s Goals

  • Record script for video.
  • Create the “How to play” pictorial section due to some bloggers requesting such before being willing to write about this event. : P (Note the many lessons there.)  –  This section is daunting because it’s easily one of the hugest design endeavors for the page.  Should we succeed, it’ll be great to have “out of the way”; and it’ll be nice to finally show ya’ll much of the art.
  • Format a couple Expansion cards for the video from recently received art.

Day 4 – Thursday October 22nd (Complete)

Daily Event: Continue to welcome your thoughts on Pricing until it’s time post the final-financials (Survey listed under Day 2).  –  Invite comments above, on the Setup Image of How to Play.

Today’s Goals

  • Catch up on and Post How to Play section’s graphics
  • Edit Section headers (they’re 40px too short!)
  • Post first run of Stretch Goal Section (winner of Yesterday’s vote)
  • Start building on Add On Section
  • Join the live “Weekly Alaboom” with Lance Myxter in the evening.

Day 5 – Friday October 23rd (Complete)

Daily Event: Survey to arrange the page.  Should the surveys for the Stretch Goals remain in the “Stretch Goal” section, or should they be moved to the “This is your Game” section?

**Vote HERE: Where should the Stretch Goal Surveys be located?  It’s a simple conundrum, but there are good arguments for each option.  What do YOU think?**

Today’s Goals

  • Finalize all pricing based on the 3-day Pricing Poll.
  • Set up the Expansions & Dice Section and post remaining pledge Tiers accordingly.
  • Rocked a surprisingly fast epic “Reward Tier” image. I’ve been wanting to build Masterfish SOMEWHERE.  Today was the day! : )

Day 6 – Saturday October 24th (Complete)

Daily Event: Requesting feedback on the clarity of the Shipping Section.

Today’s Goals

  • Get that blasted “Expansions” Section built!
  • Get Reviewer Section up, and ready to link.

Day 7 – Sunday October 25th (CURRENT) – THE LAST DAY!

Daily Event: SEARCH FOR TYPOS! : )  If you see one, I just might give you free dice with your pledge for telling me!

Today’s Goals:

  • Finish everything! : P
  • Finish Expansions Section.
  • Build Banner Ads
  • Finish and link surveys
  • Fill in Reviewer Section
  • Proofread – Proofread – Proofread – Especially the Pledge Tiers
  • Move this pre-campaign stuff to our Kickstarter Advice Columns and link to it.

Designers' Diary

Bulleted record of what happened each day, and what went into it.  Good for a resource, and great to catch you up if you just joined us.  Note that “Designers” is plural; this is the journal of our mutual work.

Day 0 (set up for public sharing of this event)

I’d be remiss if I didn’t share with you some of what went into getting us to this point.  So here’s a short list of what it took to get to the point of launching this week-long event.

  • Prepared this page to welcome Day 1 guests – 8-10hrs – Initial page setup, bank account and company validation, setting funding goals and first tiers, graphic design on 2 concept headers shown.
  • Budgeting – Really Day -382 to Day -8, and about 50-70hrs total – Getting quotes and requotes, finding shipping firms, negotiations on pricing, pricing advertising, building a budget, hiring artists.
  • Creating Art – Also day -350 to Current – 140hrs and counting – Choosing artists, buying their time, negotiating terms, and lots and lots of art direction as we as a general rule try to use unique art for every piece.

Day 1 – Monday October 19th

  • 8:15am Pacific Time, it begins!  Sent the first invitation email through our company newsletter, and updated our website to reflect the same invite. – 2hrs – Writing and editing the newsletter.
  • Built the above survey – 1hr – Realizing the immediate need for a survey with anonymous submission opportunity, we built the first poll of the campaign.  People like anonymous response options, so we met that need.
  • Directed some art & began preparing graphic design for later in the week. – 2 hrs – When you have a few minutes to spare early on, you gotta invest it in later.
  • Sent art to video producer – 10m – Ten minutes to prep and send makes countless hours preparing it during “Day 0” feel complete.
  • Set place holder main image – 10m – Give visitors a handle on the idea, and gives us an early chance to see how it fits.  Noting that it’s just slightly too wide.
  • Reviewed Poll Results for the day; designed and created the winning Campaign Headers. – 2hrs – “Why pledge now?” got voted off the island in favor of “About us”, so that was flattering. : P  …what do ya think!? : )
  • Prepare Page for Day 2 – 2hrs – Built new poll, and updated the page-wide text.

Day 2 – Tuesday October 20th

  • Woke up to a battery of emails. – 1hr – Responded in kind.
  • Wrote Risks & Challenges – 1hr – Took a while to find a way to write a concise version of all we want to say. I hope it worked. : )
  • Submitted the page “For Review” – 1m – Now that every mandatory section of the campaign (Story, Project image, Financial verification, and Risks & Challenges) are filled in (at least remotely) we can submit for review.  KS will tell us what they think and if we break any rules, and then give us the green light.  I anticipate them saying “You don’t have a video yet”. Hehe, we’ll see.
  • Sent out updates and some emails to find more people to join us. – 1 hr
  • Submitted a few images along with the Game Manual to BGG. – 20m.
  • Raised my son – 5.5hrs – The best time of my day aside from when my wife came home and all 3 of us were together again.
  • Got confirmation from another reviewer – 2m – Glad to have another pro-review in time for launch.
  • Created box art for 3d render – 3hrs – Likely to be used for cover the cover image, the “what’s in the box” section, and may even end up in the video. These fancy 3d boxes inspire confidence!  A must have.  But the designing  took much longer than I would have liked throwing me off schedule.

Day 3 – Wednesday October 21st

  • Recording video voice-over. – Scary because the script goes from “an idea with options” to “something final”.  !
  • Got confirmation of approval from Kickstarter to launch when we’re ready.  –  Comforting to know that’s cleared.  We could do it now.  Though I think I’ll wait.
  • Sketched out a How to Play section – 1hr – Since the lawn maintenance crew decided to show up mid-recording, that had to be put on hold.  (Real life problems in a real life event. One needs to be able to …adapt!)
  • Finished Voice Over – 6, yes, six, hours – Well, this is what live diaries are about.  We’re officially behind.  : P  Frustrating (literally and thus colloquially) technical and …organic… difficulties made this take 3x longer than scheduled.  I’m going to do a portion of the How to Play now (or so I plan), and try to get some sleep tonight for another full day tomorrow.
  • Misc video prep – 2hrs – designed and cropped art, and chose sound effects for video; sent off to designer.  This video is amazing by the way, you’re gonna love it.
  • Posted “Setup” of How to Play – 3hrs – Got graphic design and overall section concept set in place.  The rest should go much faster.  …should.

Day 4 – Thursday October 22nd

  • Finished and uploaded 3/4ths of the how to play section -6hrs- Had to design an 89% pictorial layout (AS PER VIEWER POLLS! : ), with as concise of text as I can muster.  1 more to go.
  • Woohoo! Got the How to Play Section up! : )
  • Hung out with with Lance, Jamey, Scott, Keith, Barry, and Robin on the “Weekly Alaboom“. -3hrs- Had a great time and worked on Stretch Goals.
  • Finished and posted the Stretch Goal chart!
  • Lowered Funding Goal to $25,000 from $27,000 to make the Stretch Goal chart uniform.  We’ll foot the bill if that $2,000 is never raised.
  • Wrote up the about GKG section and included live social media links.

Day 5 – Friday October 23rd

What a day!

  • Redid the “How to play” to fix the colors -1.5hrs-
  • Redid Headers to 680pixels wide -30mins-
  • Directed tons of video production and chose music for it -3hrs-
  • Filled in the shipping section -2hrs-
  • Put up all Pledge Tiers -1hr- (This had plenty of “Day 0” prep. About 4 total hours went into designing those.)
  • Invented a Pledge Tier for Dice Only based on 70% of votes suggesting it.
  • Updated “About GKG” Section with misc detail changes.

Day 6 – Saturday October 24th

  • Directing art for video and 2d all morning.  Honestly, the video is turning out amazing!  I’m very pleased and can’t wait to reveal it. -2hrs +/- –
  • Cutting and cropping new assets for new cards for expansion I just got -2hrs-, these are needed for the “Expansions” section, so it’s nothing short of exciting!
  • Wrote up a first go at the “Welcome” section -30m- this section needs to be clear, short, and inviting.  I think it’s too long, I’ll move half of it to “This is your game”.
  • Changed the Welcome Graphic -1.5hrs- Editing this guy was a beast; but I think it’s worth it!
  • Made the What’s in the Box section.  -2hrs- This went surprisingly fast, and I think it turned out just right.  Let’s hear it for 3d box assets arriving just in time.
  • Updated the “Reward Tiers section” -20m- Wrote out what each tier gets too, just in case.
  • Created new Cover art – 2hrs – What matters to me here is the ability to see the box, present the awesome pricing you guys chose, and look thematic and fetching.
  • Got 1/2 of the Expansion & Add On List done. -3hrs- The design on this one is the hardest.  How do I arrange 5 sections, cleanly while being concise enough to be easy to access by detailed enough to enflame the sensation of fun that these babies pack into the game.  Toughy.  We’ll be ready though!

Day 7 – Sunday October 25th (the last day! : O)

This section will be filled in as the day progresses.

  • Made final direction edits on video -1hr- critical I dare say.
  • Finished Expansions & Add On graphics -2hrs- *phew!*
  • Built reviewer section -2hrs- Includes watching and reading last minute reviews, building images, and linking videos.
  • Moved this whole event to this page. -20m-
  • Proofread the page repeatedly -2hrs- Oh man, I’m still so scared
  • Created banner adds for BGG and other sites we’re advertising on -2hrs- Includes email them out, which is a nice thing to have simple at this stage.
  • Finalized and linked all day 1 campaign surveys -1hr- Hard to make surveys for graphic design that’s not final because it’s up for vote! ; )
  • Uploaded final video -30m-
  • Updated flash player and firefox -10m- let’s not risk anything at this stage! : )
  • Prayed for the best campaign we could have, and to remember to be generous with my time and with the products of the campaign.

Now, after a short mid-night nap… We’re gonna click LAUNCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
(The jitters never go away.)

*End Copy.*

That all said and done, we don’t expect anyone else to try this in 7 days, you’ll note my time stamps add up to 12 or more hours a day pretty frequently.  In fact, we encourage you to build it over a much longer period of time (2-3 months), especially if this is your first time, or can’t take a week off of work to do a crash course.  If for not other reason than you’ll live longer. ; )  Have fun building your page, and feel free to contact me to take a look at it if you like.

What would you have done differently from our approach?  If you shared your preview page, what feedback did you get?

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