Game Designer Petter Schanke Olsen black and white picture in the right hand section of the image. With Streamlined Gaming's logo and url in the bottom. An Image of Petter's game called Donning the Purple in the background with the image of his board game box in the far left

Int. 22 – Petter Schanke Olsen of Tompet Games: Kickstarter and Marketing Your Board Game

As I become more and more interested in actually publishing a game, the more I become fascinated with crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter.

It is very common for first time game designers to raise money through these crowdfunding sites. Though it can be a bit misleading when all your brain wants to notice is the multi million dollar campaigns. I know I get confused. This is why I researched successful Kickstarter pages. And also why I interview people like today’s guest.

Petter Schanke Olsen has his own website where he interviews board game designers about their Kickstarter experiences. So naturally I was excited to ask him a lot of questions revolving around what he has learned through his interviews of other game designers. And also what he has learned from Kickstarting his own board games.

In fact, he ran a successful Kickstarter for his board game in early 2018. Check out Donning the Purple’s Kickstarter campaign he ran here.

Where to Find Petter Schanke Olsen of Tompet Games

You can keep up to date with Petter and his company Tompet Games here:
See his Kickstarter Campaign for Donning the Purple
Read his Interviews with Board Game Designers about Kickstarter
Tompet Games website

Or reach out to him on social media here:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Now onto the interview we go!

Questions Centered Around Creating a Kickstarter Campaign for Your Board Game that is Likely to Succeed

1. What are some of the most important ideas you have learned about Kickstarting a board game from interviewing other board game designers?

  • You need to bring your own crowd to the campaign. Don’t expect Kickstarter to do this for you. Building up a crowd takes a long time and is a lot of work.
  • Emails have the best conversion rate. Build your list by collecting emails after public playtesting, through Facebook ads and by talking about your game online.
  • The things you put on the top of you campaign page need to look beautiful and capture the backer’s attention. That is because you have to convince the potential backer that your game is something to back within a few seconds when they are visiting your page.

2. Who created the videos for your Kickstarter? 

The video for Donning the purple was made by me. I work as a video producer by day so I made it after hours. I guess I saved a couple of 1000 $ by doing it like that. I also made a teaser trailer that I posted online a month before I launched the Kickstarter.

I would recommend having the video done early so you can post it online before the KS goes live. Also, don’t have a long video. People are less likely to watch a video if they see that the duration is over 45 seconds.

3. Where did you find the artists for your board game?

I found Joeri Lefevre (the box and card art artist) through his Artstation profile. I think I found Daniel (my cartographer) on Instagram.

My total art budget was around $1500-2000. It is not much but I think I have gotten a lot out of my money. It’s also important to post your art online to attract attention to your project.

4. Do you have any tips or tricks for getting your game reviewed? Any advice for reaching out to reviewers?

Every time I see a game reviewer, I put him/her on a list where I write down how many subscribers they have and what I think of their quality. Then 4 months before I launch I sort that list and put those I want at the top and start contacting them one by one. I always make several review copies so I can do a lot of reviews during this period. If everything works out I will have around 10-15 reviews and previews of Donning the Purple on the Kickstarter page.

I would also recommend:

  • Subscribing to the reviewers a while before you contact them.
  • And only contact reviewers that make reviews about your type of games.

If you do, they are more likely to take on your game.

Questions about Marketing Your Board Game, Donning the Purple

5. Where have you marketed your game pre Kickstarter?

Every time I see a relevant blog about board games I write them down on a list. I do the same if I see a podcast, Twitter and Instagram account. When it is close to launch I start on the top of that list and work my way down to the end. I send them info about my game and ask if I can do anything for them.

Then I try to line up as many blog posts and such as possible and have them publish their stories and interviews when we launch. It also does not hurt if you like their blog and comment on their stuff before you approach them.

6. Where do you plan on marketing your game post Kickstarter?

I will use that same list again.

7. Do you plan on selling your board game outside of Kickstarter?

Hopefully a distributor will be interested but most likely through our website and a few board game stores. But the best thing to do if you want to make sure you get a copy of Donning the Purple is to back us on Kickstarter.

And a Question for All Board Game Designers

Thanks for sharing your knowledge on Kickstarter and setting up your board game to be a success, Petter.

Now I am curious to hear from other board game designers like you. Tell us something you have learned about promoting your board game in the comments below.

It could be something you have learned about Kickstarter. Or maybe something about running ads to drive traffic to your campaign. Whatever you think is interesting about spreading the word of your board game.

I find it enjoyable learning from all board game designers and would be happy to learn from you as well!

 

(Related – Ever thought about making a board game? Get the answers to many questions new board game designers have here.)

Board Game Design Frequently Asked Questions Call to Action image for Streamlined Gaming. "Board Game Design FAQs" typed in the left side with "Get My Answers" typed in the bottom right with pamphlets in top right.