Building a Creative Career on Kickstarter: A Visit to Kingdom Death

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Long before Adam Poots raised a record-breaking $12.4 million on Kickstarter, he raised… much less than that.

Just weeks after Kickstarter launched in 2009, Adam put up a project seeking $1,500 to create a single board-game miniature. He said of his team: “We all share a burning passion for old-school board games, the kind where friends can sit down together at a table playing mighty heroes fighting scary monsters in fantastical settings that fueled our imaginations.”

At the time, just 28 backers embraced Adam’s vision. Adam didn’t know it, but he was tapping into the first stirrings of a huge boom in tabletop games, with Kickstarter as a crucial driver. In late 2012, his first full-blown tabletop project raised $2 million. That was just the warmup for Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5, which wrapped up last month with $12.4 million in pledges, more than any game project in Kickstarter history.

Adam’s story shows the value in sticking with an idea and building it out over time — with the help and support of your Kickstarter fan base. This can be life-changing: A report last year from the University of Pennsylvania found that Kickstarter projects led to an estimated 29,600 new full-time creative careers.

We visited the Kingdom Death studio in Brooklyn to hear Adam’s thoughts on success and chasing a creative dream. Watch the video above!