Wesley Woodbury and the Legends of Novus Campaign
Wesley Woodbury is a board game designer and publisher, Podcast host of Kickstarter Journeys, and is always willing to share ideas and knowledge. He is the manager of FunDaMental Games.
All of the games created by FunDaMental Games have been designed by Wesley Woodbury.
JF: Legends of Novus was originally launched on Kickstarter in February 2019. It went on to be rereleased on Kickstarter in June of 2019. What was changed to the campaign page itself that you felt contributed to the game’s success the second time around?
WW: I Improved graphic design and headers of KS page.
First campaign rulebook header:
Second campaign rulebook header:
· Expanded awareness and email list for the launch date.
· Developed basic prototype to a more enhanced version. This made for much better photos and videos of gameplay. Sent copies out to select reviewers.
JF: During the initial release in February, I noticed you had daily updates and daily video blogs that were axed from the second campaign, why did you make this decision?
WW: Too much information (and not enough) becomes the norm for campaigns that attempt this. I found during the first campaign that I struggled to keep up with these, and most likely the backers were not reading/listening/watching them. I have found that as a superbacker myself, I rarely read updates unless I am very interested in a project. And I almost never watch videos due to time constraints.
JF: Yeah I've backed some projects myself that either have no updates or too many haha. I think you want to strike this balance between too much or too little information. The second time around you had over 250 new backers. Where did these backers come from?
WW: I ran an advertisement campaign on Facebook for several weeks to build up my email list and create more interest in the game. There were also more preview videos and reviews which led to more initial backers.
JF: The funding goal was reduced during the second campaign. How did you manage to get the game costs down?
WW: I decided to make the character boards thinner, and adjusted some other components to reduce costs. I also planned out a 1000 unit production which allowed me to reduce cost per unit a bit.
JF: That's a clever idea with the boards. Not only does it reduce the costs, but it reduces the game weight as well, which can be helpful for shipping costs. During the second campaign you had a Tabletop Simulator people could try out. Was this helpful? What made you decide on Tabletop Simulator over Tabletopia?
WW: TTS is an excellent way to visualize your game, especially if changing layouts and design frequently. I heard of many people testing the game on it, if only to see it spread on a table. I prefer TTS over Tabletopia as it is much faster to import cards and components, and you can make an infinite amount of games at no additional cost. TTS also allows you to import 3d models with no subscription fees (you must pay a monthly fee with Tabletopia to do this).
JF: Yeah I just jumped on the TTS bandwagon myself after a frustrating time with importing my files to Tabletopia. Legends of Novus is one of my Kickstarter head scratchers. The art is gorgeous, you have everything a Kickstarter should have like the shipping information, rulebook, how to play, reviews, components, etc. yet it still didn’t get the love it deserved the first time around. Can you give any insight to what is going on under the hood so to speak that people looking from the outside might not see that didn’t allow Legends of Novus to succeed the first time?
· Nearly first time creator, so may not have had much trust
· Minimal advertising, less than $200 spent on FB. Really hard to get the message out without spending a lot on social media advertising.
· No miniatures. Most fantasy games that fund well have a legion of miniatures fans that buy games as much for the figures as they do for the game.
· No Co-Op mode, seems to be a much more popular format than PvP.
JF: Oh that's interesting about Co-Op mode, never thought that would be a determining factor in backing or not. If you could go back to that first campaign, what would you tell yourself to do differently?
WW: Better Kickstarter visuals, and a better prototype. My original prototype had some tough graphic designs and quality that led people to look past it.
JF: Ugh yeah, I am realizing this now that I am working on my own Kickstarter page. The format doesn't lend well to dumping your game art and assets to really sell the game. I find myself making a lot of art and graphic design elements exclusively for the page itself. It's a lot of extra work. Speaking of time dumps, was there anything during the campaign development that you sunk a lot of time in, but felt it didn’t help the campaign the way you thought it would?
WW: I made an app for Android that provided card info and such for every card in the game. Fun to do, low cost to do as it was made by me, but a large amount of time with probably no interest in it.
JF: I mean if that's in your wheelhouse, more power to you. I think there are people who like that information, and I know I'm going to have a place for it on the web, but not an app, I'm not that much of a masochist *laughs then sighs*. What advice would you give someone who just released their game on Kickstarter, didn’t have success the first time and are looking for something to change the second time around?
WW: Listen to the feedback. Research and take notes on games that did perform well in the same genre as your game. Find what makes your game truly unique and have that spotlight your campaign. If your game is not unique… then it needs to be changed.
JF: That's good advice. Thank you so much for your time Wesley. If people to find out more about you, FunDaMental Games, and any new projects you have been working on where can they go?
GAMEFOUND Late Pledge for DIE in the Dungeon
EMAIL Signup to learn about future games
JF: Wesley just finished up his campaign for Die in the Dungeon, which you can late pledge here. Check it out!
JF: Wesley was kind enough to share some information on a new project he is working on. So what is Questeros?
WW: Questeros is a fantasy themed Tarot style deck that will be both a trick taking game for 2-6 players and a Fate-based RPG component that could be used for games like DnD and Pathfinder. A Facebook group has been started for it, with art being released slowly. Sample attached of The Warlock image.
JF: That's awesome, for those of you not familiar with the artist, his name is John de Campos and you can find more of his work at http://www.ghostbatart.com/.You're in for a treat!