The Road to Kickstarter #2
WHAT'S WEAVLINGS IN THE WILDS?
Figured now would be a good time to let people know what Weavlings in the Wilds is for those unfamiliar.
Weavlings in the Wilds is puzzly solo card crawler in the vein of Card Hog, Dungeon Top, and Dungeon Cards sans the combat. Honestly, there aren't many games of this ilk, which makes Weavlings all the more special since it avoids the combat and instead focuses on move optimization and a meta deck management. Think dungeon crawler, but cards -- and in the woods.
Basically, you'll move around a grid of cards known as the Tender Wilds, collect traps and boons from the local Wilds Spirits, use your wits to capture Beasties, and use their meat to lure Weavlings back home with the promise of delicious meats. Collect 10 Weavlings and you win the game. If you are the rulebook type, you can check out the nitty gritty details here. Otherwise, if you join our newsletter "the Overlord's Guild," you'll get to see the trailer of the game and other surprises first before the Kickstarter launch.
HOW CAN I HELP?
I've had some great people reach out to me asking how can they help with the upcoming campaign. The first thing you can do is follow along with the campaign with the Kickstarter pre-launch page HERE.
The next thing you can do is share that with all your friends and family. A suggestion on this -- you're not going to get people to respond as much as if you message them personally, so if you really want to be an all-star and get your game on, messaging people who you think would like something like Weavlings in the Wilds is a great way to help the cause. I don't recommend messaging people that would have no interest, that's just annoying.
You can also help the game by becoming a fan on Board Game Geek. Fans are a great way to get the game some additional exposure and hopefully get in on some hot lists is things go spicy with word of mouth.
The final thing you can do for the time being is getting yourself set up with Kicktraq. By going to the website and downloading their extension for Chrome, it will give you a nice graph that will embed itself above the campaign page. This has the bonus effect of pushing the campaign up the hotness track. This is a pretty niche thing, but any little bit of exposure helps.
PRE-MARKETING HAS BEGUN
The goal I set for myself was to do three months of aggressive pre-marketing before launch. I'm happy to say that we're right on schedule for that. Unfortunately, my original game plan has stalled (more on that in a little bit), but the great thing about being small is you have some agility the big guys don't have. Time to pivot and focus on new areas of marketing and exposure for Weavlings in the Wilds.
WHERE WEAVLINGS IN THE WILDS STANDS
Everything that I have direct control over is on track. Fulfillment is on track, manufacturing conversations are going well, and my checklist of things to do is shifting dramatically from the Kickstarter page itself to more administrative work like ads, vendor follow-ups, and business account set ups.
The next few weeks will be a heavy lift moving into the 3 month promotion mark, but the biggest challenge for me will be to hone my focus and stop the mental split between art, marketing, admin, and video creation. It's a little stressful to say the least. My advice to blossoming designers is of you're going to wear all the hats, only wear one at a time.
THE HOBBYIST IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE HOBBYIST
I consider myself a pretty scrappy Type-A go-getter that goes above and beyond to get things done right. I planned my own pretty fancy wedding in a couple of months and handled every little detail, vendor, and emergent chaos myself. But a wedding and a business are two very different beasts, and if I'm finding the process a little eyebrow raising, I'm left scratching my head as to how Rando Ralph is pulling off a Kickstarter solo. And maybe that's the kicker, they aren't. I've seen a lot of Kickstarters fail lately, which is a little nerve wracking, but I'm confident if I hustle in the marketing stretch, we're going to be awesome.
However, I think this is the beginning of the end of the designer hobbyist taking something to Kickstarter and funding. It's not impossible, but when I see others talking about their 6k Facebook ad spends, my jaw drops. I don't know about you, but I don't know many hobbyists sitting on several thousand dollars for ad spends.
You're going to see the true hobbyist pushed out. The goal posts are moving. This was the sentiment I got at the most recent Protospiel where most designers I talked to said they wouldn't touch Kickstarter or they were planning on a Gamecrafter release.
The new hobbyist you'll see emerge is the publisher hobbyist that uses the day job revenue to fund the new world of board game publishing we find ourselves in. If you are looking to design a game, you need to decide if you're only interested in designing, or if you want to run a business. You need to pick and pick early. That'll set you up for long-term success. And I say this as a stubborn self-starter. The barrier to entry is real, and it's starting to look like it's sitting around 10-15k for a game before you get to production. This is not counting equipment, supplies, and all the other things that go along with running a business. I think what you'll see is small publishers struggle to get to the point where they are hiring full-time employees.
THE PATH FORWARD
We're creeping towards 2 months until the campaign kickoff. My priority is finalizing all my vendor communications and pushing Weavlings in the Wilds to whatever avenues available to me. It's hustle time, let's go!