Neal Stephenson on What He Learned from Funding His Game Kickstarter CLANG! (at the Last Possible Moment)
Neal Stephenson's swordfighting game on Kickstarter reached its funding goal last weekend at the very last possible moment, heaving over the $500,000 finish line with less than 36 hours to go. I had worried that it wouldn't even reach that point, since failure would likely be interpreted as a waning of interest in game Kickstarters. But Stephenson tells me they were buoyed aloft in the waning days:
"Pledges actually accelerated in the final days, which is how we made our goal," he says by e-mail, "Perhaps not as dramatically as in some cases." (I.E. compared to Double Fine and other blockbuster Kickstarters.) However, he goes on, the comparable slowness for CLANG! was understandable:
"I think this just reflects the fact that we went very viral very early and reached most of the people we wanted to reach during the first week," he says.
I asked Stephenson if he had any larger takeaways to the Kickstarter process:
"I don't know if I have that many 'general lessons' to offer since our campaign was somewhat anomalous," he tells me. "I would say that doing one of these things is a lot of work-- basically a full-time job for multiple people. And it's not that easy to figure out what is working and what isn't. Surges in donations come and go and you can't always tell why.
Emphasis mine, because those are good lessons for other folks of Stephenson's stature, who might launch crowdfunders of their own. And now that CLANG! has successfully raised its target goal, we're much more likely to see more of those soon.