Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to the survey that we sent out in the last update. We are excited to share the results! First, we're going to give you an executive summary, and then we'll go into details on each category of responses. Here.... we... go!
As you likely know, the survey simply asked you for 1 suggestion of what you think we should consider changing to have a more successful re-launch. In addition to asking you in our last update, we also asked the same question to some industry insiders, to a segment of our newsletter and prefundia subscribers who viewed the campaign page and may or may not have backed, and some Kickstarter experts. In total, we had over 200 responses. A rough estimate is that around 75% were backers and 25% were not backers. The graph below shows the percentages for categories where we received at least 3 responses.
Since the campaign ended, we’ve been poring over these responses and working on improving the areas that received the most feedback. So in general, the higher the percentage in the graph, the more attention we're giving it, but we're also taking care of low hanging fruit across the board. Once we’re done with improvements, we’ll re-launch, which is looking like it will be in January.
This summary might have been enough for many of you, but for those who want more specifics, we're going to go through most of these categories talking about the kind of feedback we received and either the changes that are in progress or those we are considering making.
As you can see, BY FAR the most common response was that we just need to make more people aware of the campaign. We didn't spend much on advertising since we have made some mistakes in that area recently and we wanted to be extra cautious this time but we seem to have been too conservative on this campaign. We're coming up with some ways to get the word out better on the re-launch, but if you have any specific suggestions on how to do that, please let us know with a comment here, a Kickstarter message, or an email to email@example.com.
The next most popular response to the question about what we can improve was that we should not make any changes and just re-launch. Even many responses in other categories were prefaced with something like, “you probably don’t need to make any changes, but if you do, …” Since many who felt no changes need to be made probably didn't respond to the survey at all, this category represents a very large chunk of possible respondents. This makes us want to be careful not to make too many changes, but we will definitely improve most/all of these categories in some way.
Tied for the second most popular response was that the timing wasn’t very good because of how many other large campaigns were launching around the same time. We don’t have any metrics on how much funding was pulled out of the Kickstarter economy during the time we were live, but it certainly felt like it was more than usual. Since timing was an issue this time, we want to be careful when we choose to re-launch and we at least want to make sure we wait until the holidays pass. It’s also encouraging that the top 3 categories (Awareness, No Changes, Timing) had nothing to do with the game or campaign itself.
This one represents various suggestions for how we can make the imagery on the campaign page more appealing. This could be including certain things in the images, making them bigger, changing certain images, or comments about the graphic design or layout of the page. One common one was that there was too much burlap in there, which was too plain, especially since Andrea created so much incredible art -- we need to show off more of that.
For video-related suggestions, the most common one was to add a voice-over in addition to the text on the screen. The other common one here was that we make it shorter. We probably don't need to go into as much detail on the exact rules, but instead we can focus more on the theme and high-level mechanics. Making changes to the video are the most difficult so we probably won't overhaul it, but these suggestions will help us make it better.
1st Edition Support
This category is a compilation of various questions from 1st Edition owners about how this will work with their game. Some didn’t quite get how it would fit in their existing box or they wanted a way to get the larger 2nd Edition box without backing for that level or they wanted to know how it would work with their GameTrayz accessory. Some also weren’t sure exactly what the gameplay and component changes were and why we decided to make them. We're checking with the manufacturer to see if we can offer just the bigger 2nd Edition box somehow and we will also work to make this information clearer on the re-launch page through FAQs or maybe even have this type of information in its own section.
Feature 2nd Edition
A surprising number of you suggested that, since we don’t have that many 1st Edition owners out there, we should focus more on making the campaign more inviting to those who do not own the game. The fact that the campaign is called “New Salem: The Constable” and we talk so much about the expansion might have made those who do not own it just pass it by. Based on your feedback, we're actually thinking about renaming the campaign to "New Salem 2nd Edition" and replacing references to "expansion" with "upgrade kit" since you could really look at the expansion as an upgrade to 2nd Edition.
We also heard that we had too many reward tiers and that the ones that were there were confusing. We had a nice spread of those who backed at each level so we're a little hesitant to remove any but we’ll look for ways to streamline them and most importantly, make them clearer. We love it when people back for $1 to follow along or show their support, but they could still do that if we removed that level, so we’re considering doing that. We’re also wondering if we could remove the PnP level if we found a way to reduce the EU shipping costs, since we suspect many of the PnP backers did so because they felt the shipping cost was too high in their area. More on this in the Shipping section.
This one is interesting because we had some people saying it was too expensive and some people saying we should have charged more since we are so far below MSRP. I don’t think anyone would complain if we find ways to lower the price or add value to the existing reward levels so we’ll see what we can do one or both.
We had a few people ask for a play-through video and some others who had questions about how the game plays so we will either film a new play-through video or link to the existing one that Unfiltered Gamer hosted.
We’re a little surprised we didn’t have more responses from those in the EU because we know shipping to many of those countries was quite high compared to our previous campaigns. We actually lost a lot of money on EU shipping on the Barker's Row campaign but the good news is that this time we knew exactly how much it costs since New Salem 2nd Edition is about the same size and weight as Barker’s Row. After giving a hefty subsidy in the reward price, we simply charged how much it costs to ship to each country and pay for the VAT on it. I wish there was a way around VAT, but there just isn’t. That being said, we may be able to lower the price by optimizing our fulfillment strategy for the EU so we have been talking to other fulfillment partners to see if they can offer us lower prices.
Most of the other feedback we received was more specific, like a particular add-on someone wanted to see offered or a rule change that was being requested. Those are very helpful and changes will result from many of them as well.
Many of these changes are already being tackled on a new campaign page that we are creating for the re-launch. Next month we'll let you know exactly which changes we're making or have made and give you an exact launch date.
Thanks again to everyone backed or commented or responded to the survey or sent us a message about this. Your support makes a huge difference and we're unbelievably excited for round 2 of this campaign! If you have further thoughts, feel free to email us, sends us a message, or comment here.
-Clayton and Brian