Click to Play!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Brainstorming New Patreon Plans, Rewards, & Goals

I'm brainstorming some new plans for making the Yotes Games Patreon a much bigger deal. My general idea is that I need to put more effort into my YouTube channel due to the level of engagement that gets out of people.

But I'd like to hear some feedback from you! It'd be super great to hear someone else's take on where I should take this crazy train next. Or hear exactly why you personally wouldn't donate to my Patreon but would to another. What rewards would you like to see? Should the project be more polished? I wanna know how to get strangers completely HYPED about this game!

Trying to emulate the success of ALBDifferent, Exiled, & YandereDev here, and a solid YouTube effort is the key ingredient I'm neglecting. Even just read an article today about how Fighting is Magic might not've exploded if that demonstration trailer didn't get shared left and right earning 900,000 views. Nerds like me read development blogs, but everybody watches videos. I outta make some videos.
Check out the huge list of ideas about how I'ma to do just that below the break! (regular gamedev posts coming back tomorrow)

Patreon Improvement

New Goal:  $500 a month

I'm hitting some financially scary times and need to start stocking up cash and proving (to myself and creditors) that Battle Gem Ponies is definitely a game lots of people are willing to pay for. 

Here are some notes I'm pondering over. I'd love to hear your two-cents on this Patreon boost plan because something compelled some of you guys to go all-in and support Battle Gem Ponies, and others to read my blogs weekly for years and still think "Nah. Thanx fam."

I'd like to see how to make this a more enticing and satisfying experience for everyone.

Explain Accumulative Tiers
  • I need to clearly explain the concept that on THIS particular patreon page, it's possible to get into higher tiers by continuing to pay into your current one until you reach a threshold.
  • For example, if you stick around on the $10 tier list for 3 months, you get the rewards of the $25 tier now too!
  • Patreon tracks all that info for me, so it'd be easy to know who qualifies for what rewards.
  • Needs a catchy name. 
  • Something like "Stacked Pledges", or "Pledge Pileups" any ideas?

Improve the Current Rewards
  • Name in credits 
    • not much more possible with that
  • Alpha Access 
    • start making Patron exclusive preview builds
  • Full Beta Access 
    • "Be the first to put it on YouTube!"
  • Your OC Trainer In-Game
    • pitch me your own witty pre-post battle lines
    • I’ll interpret and edit them to fit well with the rest of the game

Possible New Rewards
  • Generic NPC that looks like you 
    • (cheaper version of trainer reward)
  • Generic Trainer of your choice named after you 
    • (even cheaper cameo)
  • Access Behind the Scenes secrets I don’t even post about on the public development blog. 
  • Patron exclusive updates, real talk, and progress screenshots
  • detailed info on game balancing
  • Level / Scenario Previews
  • Game files like select WIP source code scripts, sprite sheets, and audio files. 
    • (if you’re the kind of nerd who likes examining that stuff as much as me)
  • See the secret estimated timeline for the game’s release 
    • (updated weekly)
  • See each week’s development task list
  • character notes & updates
  • I’ll sneak in an easter egg of your choice.
    • Some object hidden in the background
    • Namedrop somebody somewhere
    • Want somebody to say a certain meme? Only for you.
    • (this could go badly in so many ways, I probably shouldn't)
  • Your Name cameos in opening splash screen alongside copyright info.
    • “This game was made possible by donations by generous Patrons like ???” name randomly plucked from list of high tier Patrons.
  • Quarterly Transparency Posts detailing exactly where the money goes.
  • Discord Server
    • chat with me, I’ll check in everyday and respond
    • Ask Me Anything
    • "Sliiide into my DMs"
    • (this could actually be a hinderance, and I answer any email or tweet soon as I see em anyway, kinda pointless)
  • Shoutouts included on YouTube uploads (highest tiers thanked by name, personalized thanks too)
  • Patreon votes on things like next video/tutorial/pony spotlight I should make next
  • Monthly Video Chat
  • Ill draw your pony OC in BGP pixel art form, just for fun
    • concept sprite and overworld
    • No ultra, just a quick big sprite and the mini version with a front, back, and side view.
  • Bigger Shoutout Plug
    • Really Emphasize the high donor shoutouts. 
    • Ad Banner widget on righthand side of my blog
    • I link to your stuff on my blogs & videos?
    • (doesn't this offer only work if I'm already famous?)
  • Access to the WIP “Strategy Guide” I’m using to pace out the story. 
    • The game design document basically [SPOILERS galore]. 
    • (but do I really want the story spoiled for the people MOST hyped for this game? There outta be some secrets and surprises for you guys.)
  • Polls to vote on concepts and game design decisions
    • help me decide between story scenario A or B 
    • this plot twist or that one
    • choice on alternate pony colors
    • which ponies should spawn on a certain route
    • what platforms to port to next
    • which effect looks cooler for a certain move
    • (basically be the tie-breakers every time I get too caught up on a simple decision)
  • Early Access to post-launch DLC builds (Oatmeal Challenge Mode)
  • Quick consultation for your own projects
    • suggestions, tips, feedback, something to push you along

YouTube DevLogs
  • Monthly DevLog Updates
  • Voiceover or Just Text? (my voice may make it more personal)
  • Show Off Coolest Improvements
  • Timelapse of Some Kind in the background
  • Demonstrate a Problem and How it Was Solved
  • Tips for Other Devs
  • Patreon Shoutout

Popularity Improvement
  • YouTube DevLogs like other popular projects.
  • Emphasize getting awesome rewards for donating.
  • be immortalized in the game
  • leave your stamp/hoofprint on this game’s development
  • learn more about making your own games
  • see your character brought to life
  • see your OCs as Battle Gem Ponies
  • The game is coming no matter what, but it’ll come a lot sooner if I don’t have to spend most of the day programming for somebody else.
  • If you can’t donate but want to help, spread the word! Sharing Battle Gem Ponies with your friends is priceless and the true goal at the end of this. I want as many people loving this project as possible even if most can’t spend a dime. 
  • I’m even designing the free version of the game to be it’s own satisfying experience because I already know most people usually just checkout a free demo and maybe a Let’s Play before becoming a fan and deciding if they want to buy the game themselves down the road.
  • Ask for Patron feedback on tiers and goals.
  • Improve Patreon description with bold headers over paragraphs. The text should be easy on the eyes, concise, and persuasive.
  • Update links in "Follow Us" section.
  • On Patreon, Weekly DevBlog posts just be links, then “Development Update June 4th, 2018” followed by a quick summary sentence.
  • On Fridays a Patron exclusive real-talk progress report goes up.
  • explain holdups, current challenges, current task list
  • mention any lofty goals in mind.
  • Transparency posts at the end of each fiscal quarter. Show honesty and be educational about the costs of getting into development & game marketing.
  • Always use big bold headers in patreon text to guide the eye. Others use this trick to great effect.
  • Exclusive Patreon Alpha Demos. Let Patrons playtest levels not to be released til the game is finished. Get some feedback and improve certain segments of the game. (Maps like Dank Cave & Paragon Hideout)
  • New monthly updated builds for Patrons with more polish & features. In addition to the highly polished public demos anyone can play.
  • Share Art celebrating milestones. Look for any reason to shout "Hooray!"

Change Patreon Goals

Use clearer language to emphasize needing to get to the next milestone and we're soooo  close to kickin' this up a notch.

“If we meet this next goal” or “every dollar past $??? goes towards…”

At least $100
  • pay for tools

At least $500
  • no more “pay musicians early”, they told me they're fine waiting.
  • cover basic living expenses so I can work on BGP without picking up a side job or making BGP into a side job.
  • I can get by with $400 a month in my particular situation.

$500 - $1000 ($500 budget)
  • marketing budget
  • custom promotional art commissions
  • spreading the word
  • online merch (bigger budget, better merch)
  • collab with great artists for unique stylish merch
  • (I’ll see about making Patron Only discount codes a thing)

Price Breakdowns
  • $20-$50 for a custom art, fully colored, with background
  • Cheaper ($1-$10) if I find a starving artist on DA
  • $5-$15 for colored character art, add generic background myself
  • Pay $200 upfront for a simple merch design commission
  • Pay $300 for an extravagant merch design commission
  • $500 for small/simple plushie designed for mass production
  • $1000 for big/extravagant plushie designed for mass production
  • $25 tier EQD Patron: 320x100 Banner Ad
  • $15 EQD editorial topic on pony combat viability TierZoo style 
  • $5 blog plug on EQD Twitter
  • $7 YouTube embed on EQD thank you post with 140 char message
  • $10 EQD staff will badly sketch any pony as a meme

$1000 - $1500 ($500 budget)
  • pay musicians early
  • invest in more team members or commissioned artists
  • more pixel artists for tiles, pony animations, items, or npcs
  • pay musicians for extra songs, or get even more musicians to lighten their workload
  • hire video editors to make YouTube vids for me, so I just gotta script out what I want and provide voice recordings
  • commission a comic series from multiple artists to promote the game, give backstories, explain lore, and demonstrate the pony personalities
  • spend extra saving up to take the game to conventions

Price Breakdowns
  • promised musicians at least $600 each, even if the game fails miserably
  • $30 might be enough for a talented pixel artist to improve a tilesheet
  • Estimating at least $100 for a comic page
  • I hear $30-$50 per video is a fair price for freelance editors considering the type of content I'm putting out there.

$1500 - $5000 ($3500 budget)
  • convention/expo savings
  • reserve panel/vendor spots at every brony and indie game convention possible in 2019-2020
  • have a demo vendor booth & sell physical merch
  • Patrons can come up in person and get some free stuff as thanks! (wouldn’t exist without you in the first place)

Price Breakdowns
  • $5K basic reusable game demo booth (supplies and storage)
  • $1K per convention (hotel & flight)
  • $15K professional gaming expo booth (floorspace, extra supplies, assistants, & travel)
  • breaking down exactly where all that money goes outta be its own post
  • Any more than $5,000 a month in donations is just plain bonkers! I’d probably stack the excess on top of expo tour expenses and go demo the game in even more places. 
  • Or maybe stash the extra cash away for localization post-launch. Get this game playable in every language! But I probably wont be able to afford the full translation bill until after launch, assuming the game becomes popular enough. Estimates point to professional localization apparently costing $12K per language for such a text-heavy game, and there's 7 main ones I want BGP to have.

In Conclusion

So what do you guys think of this Patreon revamp? I'm thinking about raising a big hoopla about it once the big demo is out and trying to entice folks to join the Patreon while I polish the game up for an open public release I'll be pushing onto mainstream YouTubers & games press.

In short, I think I need to start making more entertaining and frequent YouTube videos and also more enticing Patreon rewards if I want BGP to get the attention and support it needs to be a success.

What things do YOU think would help Battle Gem Ponies get more popular?

I'm up for any and all suggestions!

No comments:

Post a Comment