The Kickstarter Blog

Introducing Prototype Gallery

One of the best things about being a Kickstarter backer is getting a behind-the-scenes look at how things are made. Our Design and Technology creators share their earliest sketches and latest prototypes, tracing the evolution of their ideas and the iterative process behind bringing a complex project to life. That sense of authorship and access to a product's design history is largely absent elsewhere in culture. We’ve been working on a new feature that will make it easier for creators to showcase that hard work and creativity while allowing backers to understand the project's current stage of development.

The new Prototype Gallery will let creators add photos and videos of each step in their project’s development. They can dive deep into the back story without overloading their project page — everything will be neatly contained within the gallery. By flipping through, potential backers can see how an early proof of concept becomes a raw but functioning device and then takes on its final design. We selected a few creators to test out this feature starting today before releasing more widely in the coming months. Here are some examples from their galleries showing the five common stages of prototyping we’ve outlined:

Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Petcube: "For the Petcube Camera, created an Arduino-based prototype on a tripod mount, assembled with a laser pointer and rubber bands. Petcube Play is the next-gen version."
Petcube: "For the Petcube Camera, created an Arduino-based prototype on a tripod mount, assembled with a laser pointer and rubber bands. Petcube Play is the next-gen version."

Functional Prototype Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Mune: "Our second functional 3D printed prototype! Much more slick - but still felt a bit like a toy."
Mune: "Our second functional 3D printed prototype! Much more slick - but still felt a bit like a toy."

Appearance Prototype
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Alchema: "This is our CNC model before spray painting! CNC stands for "computer numerical control" where a machine shaves a big chunk of plastic into shapes we want."
Alchema: "This is our CNC model before spray painting! CNC stands for "computer numerical control" where a machine shaves a big chunk of plastic into shapes we want."

Design Prototype
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Shoka Bell: "CNC machined ABS and bicycle grade aluminium parts."
Shoka Bell: "CNC machined ABS and bicycle grade aluminium parts."

Production Prototype
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

Mune: "Our first production prototype with custom-designed touch sensors. At last!"
Mune: "Our first production prototype with custom-designed touch sensors. At last!"

After this test period we plan to make the Prototype Gallery available to all creators launching Technology, Design, and Gaming Hardware projects. Details are in our FAQ. We hope this feature is useful to both creators and backers, and helps everyone appreciate all the ingenuity and effort that goes into the smallest details of these projects.

Follow Creators, Find Projects

We’re excited to announce a fun new way to discover projects. Starting today you can follow creators directly and be first to find out when their next projects launch. You’ll also be notified when they’ve backed a project that’s just getting off the ground. There are thousands of creative projects on Kickstarter at any given moment, and following creators you admire to get a sense of what inspires them is a great way to explore projects that are likely to speak to you — or to discover something completely unexpected and delightful.

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Discover Your Creative Potential With Kickstarter & Skillshare

The summer is coming to a close and it's officially back-to-school season. Why not kick-off September with a new creative challenge? One that requires you to start making stuff and tinker on the internet. That’s why we partnered with our friends at Skillshare. We’ve created a list of incredible classes taught by creators across 15 Kickstarter categories. Pick the classes you want to learn from and be inspired by the process. Of course, we can tell you 100 reasons why you should watch each class (Adam J. Kurtz's Unsolicited Advice is always a motivator!), however, we decided to let the student reviews speak for themselves. If you want to share your thoughts on our Skillshare roundup, send us a tweet @KickstarterTips!

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50 Ideas for Sending Great Project Updates

It's pretty much a given that a successful Kickstarter campaign includes a great project description, outreach plan and a solid community of backers. Of equal importance are the updates that creators send their backers. Project updates don’t just appear on each project page, they’re also delivered directly to backers’ inboxes, and can be a powerful tool for engaging backers and motivating them to share a project.Think of project updates as a window into a project’s development, featuring images, video and the ongoing story of the project. (Tip: We also consider a project’s updates when choosing whether or not to feature it or make it a Project We Love.)

There’s no magic to the right number or frequency of updates; we recommend posting consistently and often, and to start brainstorming and even drafting updates before you launch. Fun fact: Creators on Kickstarter send about 6,000 updates a week. Here’s a list of fifty ideas for inspiration!

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5 Tips on Making Art & Getting Scrappy at Burning Man

Creators Yelena Filipchuk and Serge Beaulieu could never have predicted how Burning Man would change their lives — or how 70,000 people camping in the desert of Nevada could provide an endless stream of inspiration. “The playa,” as it’s affectionately known, is filled with mesmerizing, surreal art installations, like artwork inspired by the dendritic forms of medieval vaulting, intriguing cubic structures, and carnival-like sculptures. 

It was in this stimulating environment with temperatures rising above 100°F that HYBYCOZO was brought to life. (HYBYCOZO is short for the Hyperspace Bypass Construction Zone.) Yelena and Serge premiered their first Kickstarter-funded installation at the Burning Man Festival in August 2014 and are currently working on their third project, Heart of Gold. In our latest Creator Hangout, the creative duo talk about the importance of getting “scrappy,” protecting your artwork, and creating one-of-a-kind backer rewards. 

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Join Kickstarter + Cards Against Humanity at Gen Con 2016

Hundreds of Games creators, award-winning artists, and sci-fi and fantasy enthusiasts will descend on Indianapolis from August 4–7 for Gen Con, one of the largest tabletop gaming conventions in North America — and we’ve teamed up with Cards Against Humanity to host a brilliant bunch of games for your dice-rolling, tile-laying, card-swapping pleasure. Adventure awaits!

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We're headed to Edinburgh Fringe!

Over in the UK, the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe is almost upon us, and we’re entering a state of Fringe frenzy! We’re extra excited to see so many Kickstarter-funded projects this year, from the serious to the funny to the delightfully bizarre. Whether you’re heading to the Fringe or cheering on artists from afar, here are some of the amazing projects you’ll find there this year. 

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