GDC: Crowd sourcing tips from the pros

GDC: Crowd sourcing tips from the pros
Seth Tipps

By Seth Tipps

March 7th 2012 at 2:07AM

Kickstarter veterans address 6th annual Indie Games Summit

Julie Coniglio of Awkward Hug and Cindy Au of Kickstarter gave the audience at the 6th annual Indie Games Summit a best-practices guide to crowdsourcing.

The talk, "A strategic approach to crowdsourcing," gave a breakdown of the trends seen in successful Kickstarter campaigns, as well as advice from the producer of Socks Incorporated, a game where players make their own sock puppets and take them on real-world adventures, which raised $7,500 through the site.

Coniglio talked the audience through her campaign, and broke down the decisions they made which helped the campaign come to a successful conclusion.

"Do your research," she advised.

"Most successful campaigns target $5,000 or less. We had a goal of $6,000, so we were faced with several choices."

Those choices were to re-evaluate, be bold, or to break it down into smaller projects.

Awkward hug chose to be bold, and rely on excellent presentation, good rewards for contributions, and a well considered, personal digital media campaign targeting big-name influencers who might take a liking to the project.

According to Au, who presented a breakdown of the numbers, video game projects have the lowest success rate, at 25 per cent.

"It's hard to communicate something like a video game to contributors," she said.

But last year still saw 730 per cent growth for games projects, and recent successes have drawn even more potential investors to the platform.

"It's important to make your game playable at low levels of investment," said Au.

"The $10 and $25 dollar levels are particularly important."

Kickstarter gained the attention of the industry last month, as Tim Schafer's kickstarter adventure shattered records and raised $2 million.