I used to work for a quasi governmental organizational where the story told to me was, "To get fired from here, you would have to murder a co-worker, have sex with the dead body and THEN, refuse to go to counseling." Yeah, one of many reasons I remained a contractor, despite their desire to hire me (at half my rate). I bring it up because there is little I wouldn't forgive in the game trade, provided there's clear communication. I want to know you've acknowledged a problem. I want to know you're addressing the problem. I want to know the problem will hopefully not happen again. Simple.
Problems occur, mistakes are made, passive voice is used, and it's all alright, if there's clear communication with your retail partners. Right now Wizards of the Coast is working on a serious Chinese counterfeit Magic card operation. We're talking game trade potential apocalypse here. The word is out. They communicate. I am reassured. Passive voice. Last year, one of the biggest distributors had an entire warehouse essentially laid low by a technical problem. It was an interesting story about permits, lost blue prints, and pallet monkeys. That's cool. Thanks for sharing. My patience has been extended a long way, and even better, because you confided in me, I'm going to defend you and tell your interesting monkey story.
It's not about size, either. Fred Hicks at Evil Hat does a phenomenal job of communicating the various stages of his projects, while keeping it light and enjoyable, rather than the joke the 150+ status posts about Ogre eventually became. Oh ... my ... god ... just make the game! I might not even care a lot about Fred Hick's updates, but he tries so hard to make it fun, I'm probably going to find it entertaining.
In comparison, companies like Konami have zero communication, on top of surprise releases that we often learn about from customers or from visiting big box retailers. One part time guy with an email list could solve that or maybe even a sales rep. I've never been asked to buy anything from this company from which I buy many thousands of dollars of product each year. Konami does a quarter of a billion dollars of sales each year. Talk to your retail partners.
Of course, those speaking need to be empowered with information to communicate. There are a couple companies where the sales reps are treated like mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed crap, so that there's no chance useful (secret) information can be released. It's why I have to learn about Games Workshop releases from Bell of Lost Souls. My rep simply doesn''t know and couldn't tell me something if he wanted to. My sales reps have always been great guys, but they're out of the loop.
Talk to me. Tell me about your monkey. Don't treat me like a mushroom.
Except WOTC has been phenomenally quiet about the counterfeiting ring with most of the story and news being broken by Star City. Not a single email from WOTC to WPN partners/retailers.ReplyDelete
It's true they're not out in front of it, bit they're forthcoming when asked.ReplyDelete
My understanding is he believes managing a Kickstarter is a full time job.ReplyDelete
Depends on the campaign, but it's at least a half-time job. :) Fate Core, that was full. Thanks for the shout-out Gary!ReplyDelete
I'd buy that. If your KS isn't pushing nearly every-other-day updates of prepared content while finding ways to keep people talking, then you need a strong, passionate, pre-existing base, or a very tiny amount of backing.ReplyDelete
I didn't have an issue w/ the updates from Steve on Ogre. They weren't really aimed at retail. They were aimed at keeping end customers in the loop as it worked towards shipment. Regular updates to kickstarter supporters is a good thing.ReplyDelete
As an end customer, I disagree. I want to be kept in the loop, but not to the point where I'm just deleting updates to clear my inbox. Once a month is usually sufficient once the initial fundraising is done.ReplyDelete
I understand they were attempting to keep a promise they made during the Kickstarter, but it was too much. 90% of those updates are still sitting in my inbox unread until I get around to clearing them out.
I skimmed all the updates from SJG. A weekly update while it was in production didn't seem spammy at all. And at times they updates were far less frequent.ReplyDelete
The bulk of the updates were either: 1. after the product was done, or almost so. Keeping us up to date on when to expect it. Where to see the early copies at pre-releases, the various events that were organized around the release, etc. Or 2. updates as the kickstarter was still funding, when new stretches were unlocked, etc. I think that they did a pretty spot on job with the whole campaign.
I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree, because for me 152 updates was way too many. Most projects I've backed haven't had more than 30 over the course of the project, and that's about the right amount.ReplyDelete
There's a lot I liked about the OGRE Kickstarter, but its frequency of updates was excessive. While active, no Kickstarter should ever post an update more than once a day, and my strong recommendation is to limit it to twice a week, with three times a week reserved for "we keep hitting stretch goals!" territory. Heavy posting frequency just runs the risk of numbing your audience to the point that they won't hear the parts of the message that are actually important.ReplyDelete