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I've been toying with the idea of doing a Kickstarter for my game to help fund some good artists to replace the placeholder graphics I currently have. Just a small goal of $2k or so. Regardless of whether the campaign is successful this time, would it be considered a faux pas to do another, larger kickstarter once the game is looking better?

Would the rewards need to be the same, or could I offer better rewards at lower donation levels for the first one as an "early adopter" bonus?

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    \$\begingroup\$ What would the second Kickstarter campaign be for? \$\endgroup\$ – MichaelHouse Mar 12 '12 at 20:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ideally, it would be for covering additional costs in expanding the development team to really kick this thing into high gear once it gets rolling. As it stands, I don't feel comfortable asking people for large sums of money based on the engine alone, and I don't expect it to draw a lot of attention with placeholder graphics partially ripped from RPG Maker 95. \$\endgroup\$ – BerickCook Mar 12 '12 at 20:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is an interesting article over on Gamasutra about selecting a funding platform that might interest you. gamasutra.com/view/feature/6369/… Kickstarter might be a good way to go, but there are others that might be a better fit for the type of funding you are looking for. Especially the ones that aren't "All or Nothing". \$\endgroup\$ – loganfsmyth Mar 12 '12 at 22:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, I did! A couple of brave souls were willing to donate some free time to the game. That will help immensely, and pretty much renders my relevance to this question moot. Hopefully others will be able to use the helpful knowledge given though! \$\endgroup\$ – BerickCook Mar 13 '12 at 21:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ The two most candid accounts of someone’s experience during a Kickstarter project are at kickstarter.com/projects/2112689177/man-greater-than-money/… and coffeeandcelluloid.com/… \$\endgroup\$ – user14959 Apr 2 '12 at 14:49
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I did some searching around and found that people occasionally launch a second Kickstarter campaign for the same project, often with success. However I wasn't able to find this situation with a game. The projects I found were for Kickstarting a project to some significant milestone of completion, or to complete to project. Then the second Kickstarter project was to expand the first or add additional elements to an opensource or free project.

People may feel like they're not contributing to much if they're not even donating to help finish a project. If the first Kickstarter were to be solely for art, it may not be successful. Perhaps create it for reaching beta level, perhaps where you can start charging for access and fund yourself to reach your goal of completion. I've found that people like helping other people get to the point of self sufficiency.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. It is my plan for the game to be freely playable by all, whether backers or not, during the development process up to beta. The funding at this stage would be used to help advance the game to beta. Backers would essentially be "pre-purchasing" the beta and final product at a discounted rate, as well as other rewards. \$\endgroup\$ – BerickCook Mar 12 '12 at 20:42
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From Kickstarter's Defining Your Project page:

"What are you raising funds to do? Having a focused and well-defined project with a clear beginning and end is vital. For example: recording a new album is a finite project — the project finishes when the band releases the album — but launching a music career is not. There is no end, just an ongoing effort. Kickstarter is open only to finite projects."

To me, finite projects (in spirit if not in letter) means that the Kickstarter project's completion means the completion of primary work. Which is to say, all work would be complete save for bugfixes and other patches, but you should have a reasonably shippable product at the end of one funding drive.

There's also the question of what you would deliver to people who participated in the first round should the second fall prey to unforeseen circumstances. If you say "Donors of $15 will get a copy of my game, signed by me" in your first round, but find before the second round is completed that you won't be able to finish the game, what do you tell those people whose money is already spent?

In summary, whether or not it goes against the guidelines of Kickstarter (which I believe it does), it seems like an attempt to game the system. If you want to use Kickstarter as a resource, do the work, nail down a budget to total completion/polish/master, and start a project for that much, even if it's $10k instead of $2k.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you, you bring up valid points. It is not my intent to game kickstarter, or anyone else for that matter. Here's why I'm asking this question: At this stage in development, I desperately need good artists. However, good artists cost money. Right now, the game is a lot of fun, but looks like crap. Without good art to draw the casual eye, I doubt I will raise much funding. Once the game is looking better, it will draw more attention. However, if I'm stuck with just the initial $2k, I won't be able to expand my efforts to make the game as good as I feel it can be. \$\endgroup\$ – BerickCook Mar 12 '12 at 20:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ This, it's better to have a single Kickstarter project for all your expected costs than to try to divide your Kickstarter into two. \$\endgroup\$ – thedaian Mar 12 '12 at 20:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BerickCook, don't be afraid to tell people that your game is a work in progress. I know the temptation is there to have everything perfect before it sees the light of day, but as our friend Voltaire says, "the perfect is the enemy of the good". If you're really that concerned about it, maybe find someone on DeviantArt or a site like it whose style you admire, and see if they'd be interested in some rough placeholders, or if there's a Community College or the like near you, maybe an art student. Artists love exposure. \$\endgroup\$ – user9485 Mar 12 '12 at 20:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ I definitely understand that mentality. However, if I sought my actual expected costs at this stage in development, I highly doubt I would achieve the goal with what I have to show at this point. Regardless of which campaign a backer supports (the first small one, or a later large one), they would still have the same end goal: Completion and delivery of the game. \$\endgroup\$ – BerickCook Mar 12 '12 at 20:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BerickCook In that case, you should probably hold off of starting a Kickstarter campaign. They're not that successful unless you have a really well done video or a demo of the game to show off. Unless your game is really, really amazing, you'll have a hard time convincing people to donate to it. \$\endgroup\$ – thedaian Mar 12 '12 at 21:55

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