“Okay, so what kind of game should we make?” Ket’s question to me was simple and to the point. My response was just as simple, “I have no idea.” As Ketner and I began to talk over the next few days when our schedules allowed we knew we didn’t want to rush into an idea, we wanted to take some time and really think about what our goals should be for the game. We approached it from a perspective of not wanting to just make a game, or try to make several games at once and see what stuck. We agreed that whatever we decided on had to provide us with reaching our goals, and that was probably the most important aspect to this early process.
When we started to create goals for our new venture we didn’t set any kind of goals related to money. We had no reservation or aim to hit a ‘home-run’ making a ton of money, or that we could even come close to what Exploding Kittens had made. Instead, the more we had talked that first week the more we realized that we weren’t just interested in making one game but that we realized Kickstarter could open up the doors for us to make games long into the future. Our first goal was basically just a mindset, knowing that however we started, whatever game we were to make first would be the first of many. Now some people might say this was a mistake, that if you are trying to use Kickstarter to start a business you’re not approaching it from a creative point of view focusing just on one project that you’re passionate about. I would kindly disagree with these people. They aren’t wrong in that if you put the ‘cart before the horse’ you are more likely to fail, because I would agree with them. However, I disagree in that the way Ket and I talked that first week we both realized that making games was something we both were really interested in, and now crowd-funding provided a way to set long term goals because this new business medium allowed you to think about what you’re doing today and what you can be doing down the road.
So we both agreed that even though we could set long-term goals what we needed to do was focus on the short-term. Keep in mind that our short-term goals for our first game was still going to take a long time. To actually make a game and get it released on Kickstarter is a long long process. So knowing this what we decided was that the purpose of this first game was going to be what allowed us to learn all about Kickstarter. We had so much that we had to learn, and we mapped out different areas that had to be addressed in addition to the game. We had to:
- Get a website – Neither one of us knew how to build websites
- Research Manufacturing – Neither one of us had ever had to contact a manufacturer before
- Research Shipping – Neither one of us had ever had to ship anything in bulk
- Find an artist – Neither one of us could draw, let alone use programs like Photoshop, and we had never gone through the process of hiring someone like this to do the work
- Learn about Distribution – Neither of us had experience in this either
The list could go on and on about all the big things and little things that go into a project. Starting from scratch with no experience in so many different categories can be incredibly daunting, but we were bound and determined to start learning piece by piece. The same goes for you if you’re reading this blog and you’re interested in starting a project or even if you’re on your way. There is a MASSIVE amount of information that you have to have, and if you let it overwhelm you then you can get frustrated and just quit. Don’t do that. Keep your head up, admit you don’t know everything, and when you approach a new category that is essential for your project then dive in and learn as much as you can.
So the idea after the first week was pretty solid, at least in our eyes at the time. “Let’s make a simple game, nothing overtly complex. Let’s make something that allows us to learn all the steps we’ll have to take in order to use Kickstarter properly, and as we learn more and more we’ll be able to roll out bigger games down the line, but by then we’ll have all this experience! Aren’t we smart!?!?”. The answer to this question is both yes and no. I’d love to go into detail right now about this but I’m going to save my explanation for a future post. I know that if I start commenting now I’ll go on and on, and that’s not really the point of these early blog posts. I’m trying to set the stage as to what we thought and why we thought the way we did. Trust me, if you’re a creator you’re going to want to read more about why creating something simple, I mean really simple, is really good on paper and in your head, and yet possibly the worst decision you can make.
So after the first week both Ket and I were very happy about the decisions we had made so far. We pledged to talk every Tuesday to go over what we were doing for the project, after having broke down some early job responsibilities. The only thing missing at this point was an idea for a brand new game. As luck would have it, I found this new idea while sitting on a couch watching the slowest traffic jam I had ever witnessed, while the person next to me said, “They have fish tonight. Do you like fish?”.