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Kickstarter- page revision suggestions


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Folks,

 

As everyone knows, I'm spending my free time trying to remake some Space Quest soundtracks for SQ's 20th anniversary, my website's 10th, and for the Two Guys' Kickstarter.

 

So when I invest some limited time to post about this, you know I mean it from the heart. So, this is a mini-disclaimer saying I love the project, and want it to work, I'm not bashing the Pope, or anyone else associated with the (space) venture.

 

That said- I went to the KS page for the 2 Guys today.. and I gotta say, it was a hot mess. Now *I* love it, because it has a lot of info. But let's be honest, for those who are NOT diehards like myself, it was very confusing and had WAY too much info in it.

 

My opinions: (feel free to agree, disagree, constructively criticise- after all, we all want the KS to succeed)

1. The page needs to be simplified. Probably half the text needs to be removed, or the webpage needs to be edited and condensed Wiki-style to be more logically laid out.

- My personal suggestion: All the backstory on the left hand side, for example, should be on the 2 Guys' webpage, maybe linked to, with more of an 'executive summary' on the Kickstarter page itself.

 

2. Too many tiers!! I know Rahul already touched on this with his "the more swag we give the less funds we have" comment, and I said we need swag so people will give their money in the hundreds for not just a digital download, BUT, we have so many tiers it's confusing for ME and I don't want to go through it to update my pledge beyond $100.

Not only that, but there is starting to be too much swag.

- My personal suggestion: NO new tiers added, rather, if suggestions come in for this expand existing tiers, especially higher ones. Potentially delete tiers (of course, this is fraught with danger).

If you feel tiers have to be added in between to get people to upgrade, make it clear and brief on what exactly the tier adds. Make sure we have some alternate webpage that describes the tiers so people don't have to either use the long KS page or the complicated looking image.

Alternately, simplify the explanation of tiers. Give a link at the top of the tier list on the KS page to the image of Chris Pope's and also include a basic explanation of each underneath, either in the image, or as part of a new webpage on the tiers.

 

3. News is out of date. The 2 Guys Facebook appears to be updated more than the 2 Guys' webpage. They all need to be in sync and have the same info. If people are going to pledge they need to have instant access to the latest stuff, that's why it's videod/prototyped/interviewed.

- My personal suggestion: Instead of the news style currently on the KS front page, is it possible to change it to a Facebook feed, or the kind like we have here on SQN? http://www.spaceques...page/index.html

Alternately, a direct link at the top of the 2 Guys' page to the 2 Guys' Facebook feed, advertising something like "To see the latest news from the Two Guys' SpaceVenture, visit the official Facebook page here!"

 

 

4. Final thoughts. I also think the KS 'Updates' section needs to be free of fan content like webcomics and stick to hard news like Protoypes and behind the scenes news. Conversely, the 2 Guys' webpage needs to be updated so the News section is in chronological order, not reverse chrono, and should include all the webcomics and such. The front page IMO should have the latest news right above the video links they have currently, which IMO are old news.

Also, I'd love to see Roger Wilco's Google+ page linked to on all of the above, and imbue the KS with more of that SQ feeling (if legally that is allowable).

 

I probably could say more, but I think that'll do for now. Curious to see what people think. :)

 

Let's bring this baby home..

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I'll chime in here.. Also, love the project, so my apologies... I've been defending everything on the Kickstarter page, to the best of my abilities, in multiple forums.... I think it's pretty much our duty to hold our tongues, for the most part, on the various issues which may trouble us about the campaign... But I'll write something here.. oh well.

 

... And I will say I rather like a lot of the unwieldy things about this project, just because they remind me of a Space Quest or Sierra game. That's probably not working for everyone, but it's endearing.

 

 

Here's a few thoughts, anyway:

 

- I don't believe tiers can be deleted or edited, once created.. So there's not much to be done there -- but I would hide that spreadsheet.. Or just put a text link, under the FAQ. The tiers are complicated, but I wouldn't point it out with a big graphic.

 

- Might be worth re-editing, or replacing the main pitch video... as that's probably the main sales-driver. Couldn't hurt, at this point.

 

- Think the main page copy is fine. It's not a big negative, even if it is long. Maybe emphasize the "our message" bit with a proper header like the other sections..

 

- Add additional wallpaper resolutions (modern ones), or just eliminate them. (makes things a bit dated, or so many people seem to say).

 

- Podcasts aren't working to sell the project to anyone new. Videos, concept art, polls on what to parody, "details of gameplay style and interface" post, that kind of stuff... might appeal to the uninitiated better.

 

- Like the webcomics. This reminded me of the absurdity of the whole Kickstarter thing, and was nicely self-deprecating. Making fun of Kickstarter works. (Spaceventure might ought to just go full-on sarcastic and mean and hilarious with their fundraising if things don't pick up by the last week..)

 

 

Raising money can be an embarrassing, painful affair... I work in non-profit fundraising (small, local stuff). It can suck -- I'd say the campaign has been pretty dignified up to this point,.. Double Fine sort of lucked into making it look easy... But I'd say go full-on telethon-NPR-pledge-drive, make us cry.. One perfect heart-wrenching letter or video could still swing this completely. Shift the stupid focus away from facts, that people don't read anyway, towards emotions.

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I don't believe tiers can be deleted or edited, once created..

Yeah, that was my impression as well, given the +$1 "fake" tiers.

 

I would hide that spreadsheet.. Or just put a text link, under the FAQ. The tiers are complicated, but I wouldn't point it out with a big graphic.

I'd say keep the spreadsheet - it was immensely helpful for me when I chose my tier.

I think the spreadsheet helps more than it hurts - it's obvious enough that the tiers are unfortunately complicated.

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Regarding the spreadsheet, it should definitely be kept. But I think the holes in it should be reduced as much as possible. This can be done by re-arranging the reward descriptions into an order which puts all the holes together, at least. For instance, you could move 'Generic "thank you" message from SQ Historian up' since it's shared by all the tiers. That'll probably help reduce confusion.

 

And while you can't delete tiers, I would probably make the $1000+ digital-only tiers limited rewards for the number of backers that have taken them (and remove them from the spreadsheet). Anyone spending that much should be able to cover customs if needed, and the digital tiers honestly look like crap on the spreadsheet compared to the physical tiers.

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- Podcasts aren't working to sell the project to anyone new. Videos, concept art, polls on what to parody, "details of gameplay style and interface" post, that kind of stuff... might appeal to the uninitiated better.

They definitely should go for more videos. It's sad, but you can't trust most of the people to have the attention span to listen to something without seeing it. And regardless, videos are much much more effectives. Everything should be videos, I think. For everything, even when adding or changing new tiers there should be small videos to go with them. Just simple stuff, with the Two Guys or Chris Pope talking about what's going on.

Really, not enough "face time".

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For another point of view, I'll have to give my own. I disagree with making wild changes. The simple reason? This is a kickstarter project and it doesn't work like that.

 

Kickstarter projects are one-shot deals, or you have to start another project. So every one of us visited the page for the first time, and decided to make a pledge. Fans of the game will make pledges, people who are fans of adventure games, and games in general. Sci-fi fans who don't play games might support it. Fans of comedy support it, because let's admit, it's hilarious.

 

Some people just aren't ready to be 'roasted' or expect to be with the Two Guys from Andromeda-style of humor. It's not always like that, but it's something they feel compelled to defend against? It's funny to read some of the 'confessional's from people who played the games for free, but it is what it is, it's software piracy.

 

On top of this, there's an obvious pullback from 'web publications' to cover this story for free. So it's fans + the Two Guys, so I think the more information the better. Burying information in links is not the answer.

 

Nothing needs to be replaced or removed: all they can do is plan what to post for the next two weeks, and take what they learn to the next project (if need be... all funds are returned and no harm done). So focus on the future!

 

I want to see a new video like Al Lowe did... respond to fans and backers questions and feedback. Easy 100K boost right there! Anyone interested in voice acting is in for a TREAT if they haven't listened to Rob Paulsen's 45 minute interview.

 

"At the same time", "That being said", there are kids complaining that the Rob Paulsen interview was boring or god-awful. Personally I find that attitude lacking respect or understanding, but maybe it's because I am interested in voice acting and his work. Either way, the rude comments online aren't helping anything, everyone backing the project should keep it positive. Deleting things is not an option in a kickstarter campaign, nor is it recommended. Best bet is to learn and move on if a project doesn't succeed.

 

This one will! I have confidence the fans will rally the necessary support to get ALL of these games 'pre-ordered'. If not, well I guess fans can't have nice things.

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One example of a nice thing that fans don't seem to appreciate: the HTML5 demo.

 

No one had to do this. It was above and beyond. It's not necessary. PLUS they're doing videos and podcasts. And interviews.

 

So any complaints about the HTML5 demo are again, IMHO, disrespectful. The got a lot of flak for it, for a gift to the fans! I don't understand it.

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Great posts, Telix. I don't understand the hate either. The ridiculous reasons people have been pulling their pledges for are incredibly asinine. I don't understand why we just all can't see the big picture here that the Two Guys after 20 years are making a new game together again. It's a dream come true! There should be no reason to let that down.

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Great posts, Telix. I don't understand the hate either. The ridiculous reasons people have been pulling their pledges for are incredibly asinine. I don't understand why we just all can't see the big picture here that the Two Guys after 20 years are making a new game together again. It's a dream come true! There should be no reason to let that down.

 

It IS a dream come true...for us. That's the thing to keep in mind, it'll take much more then the SQ fans here to make this kickstarter fund. Most people will be MUCH more unforgiving then anyone who posts here would be.

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Well, I think it's the easiest to sell the fans on a new project.. And this project has tons of great stuff aimed at fans -- "red meat" if you will.. Similar to Obama rallying the liberals around gay marriage, or Romney rallying people against taxes, or what have you. We're all pretty sold, the base is well-covered. Sure there's a lot of fans of the series that aren't aware of the project yet, but there's a large group of gaming fans, kickstarter addicts, and sci-fi and parody/comedy fans that are the real target audience to be convinced by the materials on the project site.

 

And I do think shifting around the page would do little to perturb any of us fans, but possibly help with that audience.. So I stand by that stuff above -- we're not the target audience, we're easy.. If we fans had enough money, it'd be different..

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I think it's pretty much our duty to hold our tongues, for the most part, on the various issues which may trouble us about the campaign.

I would disagree. I think constructive criticism should always be made. Personally I think that discussion about issues is always the way to go.

 

However (and I think your post was very good, by the way), this is precisely the forum (literally) for making those constructive comments - the Kickstarter comments page probably isn't. And it's good that many people on there are defending the defensible and putting into context other legitimate gripes.

 

Shift the stupid focus away from facts, that people don't read anyway, towards emotions.

I agree. Kickstarter isn't logical, so we shouldn't expect potential customers to be logical either.

 

This isn't a disability charity - we're not degrading anyone by trying to tug the heart strings. This is a nostalgia trip, a comedy adventure, or whatever else it wants to be. Unless the connection is made with the irrational people out there (i.e. human beings), the project won't kick on and get its target funding.

 

They definitely should go for more videos. It's sad, but you can't trust most of the people to have the attention span to listen to something without seeing it. And regardless, videos are much much more effectives. Everything should be videos, I think. For everything, even when adding or changing new tiers there should be small videos to go with them. Just simple stuff, with the Two Guys or Chris Pope talking about what's going on.

Really, not enough "face time".

 

This buys into the "irrationality" issues too. People like shiny things. People like videos. We're already sold - we don't need to be sold to again (though, obviously, it would be good if they could convince us to part with a few extra quid). The mass of people in the target audience need to be convinced. That's comedy fans and people who like a good sci-fi story.

 

Well. I'm sure the Pope of Crowemurphyism knows better than me the metrics of what the target audience is and should be. They need to be engaged.

Great posts, Telix. I don't understand the hate either. The ridiculous reasons people have been pulling their pledges for are incredibly asinine. I don't understand why we just all can't see the big picture here that the Two Guys after 20 years are making a new game together again. It's a dream come true! There should be no reason to let that down.

 

They are asinine and "ridiculous" to the educated fans of Space Quest - but again, we have information and emotional bonds which other people don't and see no reason to educate themselves about it. These are PRECISELY the people who need to be re-engaged with the process.

 

The overall point throughout all of this has been that we cannot appeal to rational human beings because we do not have the time or the resources to sit down one-on-one with people and convince them that this is the best thing ever. We need to figure out what "they" want - and we need to get it to them.

 

As I've said throughout - Kickstarter is not rational. There is nothing rational about pledging $100 over market value for a product that may not even get made. We need to stop thinking like fans and start thinking like potential fans. Or, more pressingly, the Crowemurphyists need to. I have faith that they can and will. But time is a factor.

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Another great post from the man from the country that made the TV show that brought you.. beer milkshakes!

 

I'm glad to have generated so much positive discussion. Many points (most points) made better than my original post. Great to see! Let's hope we can keep te positivity and help the project succeed.

 

I still feel the KS page is a mess, but I guess it is what it is at this point and we need to improve/suggest things within our control to help the project succeed.

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I agree. Kickstarter isn't logical, so we shouldn't expect potential customers to be logical either.

 

This isn't a disability charity - we're not degrading anyone by trying to tug the heart strings. This is a nostalgia trip, a comedy adventure, or whatever else it wants to be. Unless the connection is made with the irrational people out there (i.e. human beings), the project won't kick on and get its target funding.

 

Loving that we're applying some high end irrational/Edward Bernaysmarketing thinking to more efficiently evangelize about a project that we've got an irrational love for ourselves.

 

The letter I usually write begins "Dear Friends," and I think Scott could write a great witty and emotional letter... I'd probably target the adventure game fans, and gaming fans that aren't supporting every old school adventure out of solidarity and nostalgia... Since they're probably the easiest to go after, and I think there's enough of them. Going after the other segments would be harder..

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Regarding the spreadsheet, it should definitely be kept. But I think the holes in it should be reduced as much as possible. This can be done by re-arranging the reward descriptions into an order which puts all the holes together, at least. For instance, you could move 'Generic "thank you" message from SQ Historian up' since it's shared by all the tiers. That'll probably help reduce confusion.

Something like this is what I was talking about.

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