David

David

The Co-Creator of RPGSmith and avid Gamer. He just hates all the book keeping that comes with it.

Kickstarter Failed. Again. What went wrong this time?

"Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm."

Winston Churchill

Hey, our kickstarter failed.

Should we take this as a sign to cease our efforts? Stop enhancing RPGSmith? Perhaps we’ve been delusional in our belief of how awesome this tool is and how much it can improve TableTop Gaming. So, should we pack up our proverbial tents and call it quits??? Hell No.

Sure, it’s disappointing, but honestly, like any other success story, we’ve failed a lot to get to this point so a non-funding kickstarter is not going to keep us from enhancing RPGSmith to become the most complete tool set for running and playing your preferred TableTop RPG.

What have we learned from the kickstarter?

Basically, this kickstarter has taught us 2 things.

1. How important Marketing is. Something I personally struggle with is the fact that if you spend 5 thousand dollars building an application and 50 thousand dollars promoting the application, you’ll make a good amount of money, with an inferior product. But, if you spend 50 thousand creating the product and 5 thousand promoting, you’ll have a much better product, that no one knows about. To this point we’ve spent more time and effort around adding features and fixing bugs than we have promoting. As a result this hasn’t initially yielded the results for which we we’re looking.

2. We suck at marketing. We hoped that by merely having a Kickstarter word would get around more about the application. I get messages daily (honestly, I got one today) about how this is a great tool and they are surprised they just now heard about it. I’m showing my age a bit but I’ve personally never cared for how marketing is so ubiquitous now. I’ve always tried to avoid the pushy salesmen type of mindset, but I’m realizing we’re going to need to adopt some of that mentality a bit more if we’re going to be successful.

What does the Failed KS mean?

All it really means is that it ‘may’ take us a little longer to get the all of the planned features out and ready for use. The intent of the KS was never to get all the funds needed to continue building the app. It was meant to help with awareness, and kick-start our effort to get more features out the door quickly.

Many of you may be aware of the Project Management Triangle which identify 3 different aspects for a given project. The consensus is that you can only have 2 of 3 listed below.

·         Cost – You can build the solution inexpensively

·         Time – You can build the solution quickly

·         Quality – You can build a high quality solution

 

So, which 2 do we pick? For us this has always been which 1 are we going to pick as we would never sacrifice Quality, even to make a buck. The kickstarter was meant to allow us to provide the solution quickly, as we could spend more to get it done faster. We’ll have to scale back our aggressive plans to get all of the stuff in place, but in some ways it’s better to take a more methodical approach to deploying our offerings. This will allow us to adjust and fine tune the features we do release, rather than scramble to catch up if we push out too much too soon.

All the failed kickstarter really means is that we’re exchanging Time for Cost. But even that won’t be as bad as you may think…

What’s Coming?

We are launching the Base GM tools for RPGSmith within 3 months. By the end of July 2019 you will have the ability to convert your Player account to a GM account. All of the base features identified in the kickstarter will be included in this. Those are well document elsewhere so I won’t go into too much detail here but this is essentially includes all of the basic tools needed for a GM to run a campaign with players through RPGSmith, and a dash extra.

Up to this point we haven’t made a penny from RPGSmith. For obvious reasons we have to make adjustments to help us pay to ‘keep the lights on’. Those adjustments will include the following:

  • GM Account– There will be a cost associated with GM accounts. There will be very affordable permanent and subscription option when these launch in the near future.
  • Expansion Options – When the GM tools are launched, we will also provide the ability for the purchase of additional Character Slots, Player Slots (GM can invite more people to join their game, 5 included by default), Rule Set/Campaign Slots, and other add on options.
  • Ads – Much to my disdain for ads, we’ll have to add those into the app by default. But there will be an inexpensive option to purchase the permanent removal of those.
  • Officially Licensed Content – We’re also in negotiations with several tabletop RPG distributors to sell licensed content. We’ll still have the free OGL content and the ability for you to create and even share your own. But if you want to purchase Rule Sets/Campaigns with hundreds or even thousands of records, dashboards, character stats and more already built for use, those are coming.

With the exception of the GM subscription option (again permanent purchase available), everything listed above is a one-time, forever purchase. As long as you have your account, your purchased items will be with you, no expiration.

Stay Tuned.

I hope this post gives you a sense of our determination and stubbornness to continue to build the best tool we can. We’re not going anywhere.

To this point I would like to sincerely thank:

·         Those that backed us on Kickstarter

·         Those that wrote a post or article about us on their website

·         Those who sent us a note or made a post just to show your support for what we’re building

·         Anyone who has asked a question about RPGSmith or how to accomplish something in the tool

·         And the content creators who are building Rule Sets for public use in RPGSmith. Keep an eye out for these smaller, indie games coming out on soon!

 A final Big Thank You to those that have discovered us and are following along in our journey to build out the next generation of gaming tools. Please continue to spread the word and help us Forge An Epic Game!

 ~David