I’ve just completed my 13th Kickstarter. It’s a location-based adventure called Gamma Turquoise: Santa Fe Starport. So, just wanted to dispense a little more wisdom from my wealth of crowd-funding experience. You can read my previous article here.
The following is a checklist of things you should keep in mind before you kickstart an RPG project of your very own…
- Assuming you’ve created an outline for what your gaming thing entails, break the parts down into bite-sized chunks. For instance, if you know that you’re going to need a random table for determining exotic uses of guano, set a day aside for that. The introduction? That’s going to need a day. Same thing with every new monster, magic item, piece of high-tech gear, spell, etc. By “day” I mean at least a solid hour of uninterrupted writing time. If you can’t devote at least an hour of time to your project each weekday, then maybe you shouldn’t be launching a new project?
- Find art early! Sometimes, I wait until the last minute and that can be a painful, stressful prospect. More and more these days, I’m getting out there ahead of time, looking for artists and artwork. Since I’ve been doing this awhile, I have 3 or 4 artists I regularly use. I’ll usually send them an email a month or two before I need their illustrations, asking their availability with some general notes about what I’m looking for, art-wise. Above and beyond that, I’ll lurk on artist hangouts like DeviantArt.com where there’s tons and tons of galleries full of interesting stuff. If I find something I like, I’ll contact the artist and ask if they’re willing to license a specific piece for $25, $50, or even $100 if it’s something super special or full-color.
- Towards the project’s end, get feedback! This could be in the form of playtesting, proofreading, reviews, or gaming friends. If I’m in unfamiliar territory (like when I was writing my vampire RPG Blood Dark Thirst), playtesting is a necessity. If it’s a one-shot scenario, playtesting is merely a good idea. Typos happen to the best of us, so I ask Kickstarter backers if anyone wants to look the document over before I send it off to layout. Invariably, I get a few people who offer their (free) proofreading services. Even if they only find one little mistake, that’s a win. I also try to showcase bits of content on my Draconic Magazine site. These little previews give me a chance to see what people think of a particular random table, NPC write-up, optional rule, or whatever it is I’m trotting out for the gaming public.
Hope this helps! I look forward to hearing from you. So, if you’re about to launch a new crowd-funded project, keep your old pal Venger in the loop. And good luck! 😉