Posted by jekagames on Mar 04, 2022

Jess here with some great news, folks. The Cadences IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign has passed the 100%-funded threshold! Whoo! (ICYMI or are interested in funding community copies: we are celebrating by matching all community copy donations. Currently, that means we have 22 community copies!)

Since we're about two-thirds of the way through, I thought I'd talk a bit about the experience of crowdfunding as part of ZineMonth and off of Kickstarter. 


First Things First

First, the basics, because I had no idea how much I didn't know until I realized that I didn't know it. We are funding a low-stakes ZineMonth project (where our funding goal was low and we weren't too dependent on the results). The decision, compared to many crowdfunding projects, was relatively late. Most people prepare for months before they launch a campaign -- getting a big mailing list together that goes out at launch, for example, and filming a fancy trailer (instead of getting their spouse to brood prettily on the Verdun boardwalk), and all sorts of other things to do with journalists and press coverage. There are loads of articles about this. You can learn about conversation rates and mid-campaign slumps and all sorts of stuff. 

Did you know that apparently, the best time to launch a crowdfunding campaign is on a Tuesday morning between 8AM and 12PM in your target audience's region? Yeah, me neither. But the many crowdfunding sites out there seem to agree that it's the case.

So, naturally, we launched on a Friday because we wanted to launch before Valentine's Day so people could have a neat activity to do. 


The Tyranny of Kickstarter

We decided not to fund on Kickstarter because of their disrespect for the community when it comes to their plans for a crypto-based platform and the sudden move of ZineQuest to August. As we started the campaign, our hearts sank a little as we began to understand the huge gap between Kickstarter-based projects and everyone else. Kickstarter projects similar to ours were 1000%-funded in two days, while other platforms languished and lagged behind. Having seen this, I fully understand why so many people literally can't afford to leave Kickstarter right now -- not until there's consensus about another platform, I don't think. That's really sad! I hope we can change this together. (That's one of the reasons that we've chosen to be here on Comradery rather than on Patreon. We believe in the cooperative model and in creators taking part in the decisions that affect them.) 


The Dangers of Always Being On

Early on in the campaign, I realized that it had started to take up all my time because I could literally always be on social media, doing some preparation work for the campaign, or helping to manage pledges as they came in. So, we held a promotional meeting where we made a schedule of what we would promote and when, to the best of our abilities. Not everything was within our control, such as when a particular interview or play session might be posted. The point is that we made something flexible but that helped us timebox the work. 


It's Fun.

Coming up with ways to share the game in a sincere way that reflected who we are as creators and as a cooperative was actually a ton of fun. Two of my favourites so far were interviewing Allison about her role as the project's art director and Allison making the three of us as Bird People, similar to one of our art prints. I also really enjoyed being on the Party of One Podcast with Jeff Stormer for an actual play of the game. 



The three members of Soft Chaos as birds with human heads.



It's Hard.

Here's one last thing that I'll say about this process. Even knowing that there are mid-campaign slumps and that I can only do so much to promote the game, no matter how wonderful and meaningful and lovely it is, it's difficult not to feel as though I'm not doing enough. It's easy to attribute a quiet pledge day to me not managing to get the word out the right way, or not resonating with people. Us humans always think we'll be the exception. But these things happen in almost every campaign, and Cadences is no less wonderful for us having a day where no one decides to pledge. 


And that's that! These are the lessons I've learned so far. Since we've got 10 days left to go, I imagine I'm also about to learn a whole lot more. Thanks for reading!


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