DFI came about through an unusual set of circumstances at a strange time, that I discuss in a previous post. But it was solid and reliable with a core set of rules and maps and could be download for free from my website. Yet, as if out of control, the game began to take on a life of its own in my mind. I imagined new land features, hex tiles, expansion rules and maps. I think that, for me, any creation is never truly complete, they just keep on growing, expanding, and ultimately opening new gaming choices.
Pretty quickly I set about writing the rules and drawing the land features for the new maps and expansions. It presented as a series of updates with new landscapes that would be interesting to experience in their own hex maps. This presented as four distinct expansions that would work nicely as pledge levels…yes, I began to think Kickstarter.
I had established a presence on Board Game Geek and the free core rules were out there for people to play and they had. I was channelling time and space into the game and realised that I could offer up an interesting package for Kickstarter where I would also hopefully bring the project to a new audience. But I wasn’t going to offering up anything expensive, just £2 an expansion, as I want to reflect the ethos of the original free game.
I spent a couple of weeks putting together the project, working up the art and layout. Testing and listening to people’s feedback. I updated the core rules to a 1.2 version, gathered quotes and contacted bloggers.
I decide to go for Tuesday 14th March as my launch day at 9pm GMT, about 3pm in the US. I set the target low and the proceeding stretch goals the same. Having not hit my goal in my last, much larger, Kickstarter I wanted to make this one achievable. The environment for projects is chaotic at the moment, with the coronavirus causing industry disarray and a general influx of projects into Kickstarter creating an increased level of scepticism and competition. I have seen projects sinking without a trace and others missing a 100% when ordinarily they would easily cross the finishing line.
I honestly did not know if I would get five people backing the project. The solo gaming market is growing for sure but how many people engage with it? But I was counting on this unfortunate isolation effect, an audience stuck at home looking for things to play and was lucky enough to have my project selected for the Inside Voices Kickstarter Project as it is a print and play PDF project. This is giving me more coverage and has really helped I believe.
Yesterday, I went to bed with my fingers crossed a few hours after launching the game, which had not reached its goal. I woke very happy to find that Dark Force Incursion Expansions had indeed been funded and not only that but as the day moved on, we also reached the first stretch goal of £300.
In the scheme of things these are small numbers but to me they are big. I needed a fair few people to reach this total as the basic pledges are low and it is a project I have worked very hard on, so it means a lot me.
This process has filled me with a great sense of satisfaction, and I have been truly humbled by the support and interest. I take non of this for granted.
More to follow.