A Case Study of my Journey down the Rabbit Hole of backing Board Game Projects on Kickstarter


“This your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

Morpheus – The Matrix
Wavelength – My entrance into the Rabbit Hole

It all started when I stumbled across Wavelength on social media. Talk of the game lead me to its active project on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding website that I had heard much about but never actually delved into. Wavelength’s colorful, psychedelic art design drew me in like an unsuspecting Alice. I clicked play on the campaign video, and down the rabbit hole I fell.

Mad props to whoever made that video, by the way. If anyone needs a case study in how to hook potential backers and reel them in like a fish, just check out that whole page. After combing through the entire pitch, I wasn’t just excited about the concept, I was compelled to help bring about its existence.

This is the crux of Kickstarter… when a person or group dream up an incredible idea, pitch it to a crowd, and they collectively pledge their resources and efforts to make it a reality. This is old news to many backers and creators who have been using crowdfunding for years. We’ve even reached a point where many desensitized backers call Kickstarter a pre-order system, especially in the tabletop games category.

The magic of Kickstarter

While that’s not entirely false, there is still something magical about joining a community of passionate dreamers and embarking on a journey of creation. When you support an exciting project and it fully delivers on its lofty promises, there is no better feeling. Fortunately for Kickstarter, Wavelength hit a homerun (just read my review of the game), and I’ve kept more projects on my radar ever since.


Projects that Earned My Pledge and How They Did It

Wavelength

The first domino

Let’s talk a bit more about Wavelength’s campaign video. If you clicked the link above and watched it, you’ll notice something incredibly unique about it compared to most other campaign videos. How much time was spent showcasing or explaining the game? Practically none. You hardly even see a single game component in the entire video, yet it has a laser focus on what makes Wavelength special.

Instead of explaining to us how the game plays, the creators of this video opted to show us the game through the players’ emotions, reactions, and interactions. It paints a very clear picture to its viewers of what they can expect to experience with their family and friends. Most importantly, it briefly and succinctly shows the viewer the exact outcome they want from this kind of game and then leaves the rest of the project page to fill in the details of how they’ll get to that outcome.

Contrast this to many other campaign videos that quickly lose me… Usually they get caught up in fancy thematic narratives with fluffy animations and take far too long to get to the point of why I should back their project. In my opinion, if your campaign video is the first thing people see on your project page, then it should absolutely feature the hook of your concept and nothing else. Let the rest of the page take care of the details, once the hook is set.

I had never even visited Kickstarter.com before encountering Wavelength, but that campaign page had my pledge within minutes because it knew how reach me on a personal and emotional level.


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