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Oct 11 13 8:13 AM

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After taking in a lot of your feedback and talking to the licensors in Japan, I've made some significant changes in the KickStarter.

Looking forward to your comments. You can see the new version here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1216340396/708365687?token=107d75bf

Update 10/13: made some more changes. Blu-Ray only, lower price and goal.

Update 10/17: new lower levels, early adopter level, added a Commemorative Challenge Coin.

Last Edited By: madoverlord Oct 17 13 5:04 AM. Edited 2 times

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#1 [url]

Oct 11 13 8:22 AM

The $50 dollar tier to receive the set is fine, as it coincides with the supplier discount prices places like Right Stuf etc. offer for Blu-Ray Anime sets. You might want to add either a $5, $10, or $25 dollar (or all 3) supporter tier, where their names will be in the credits, for supporting the project, but only tiers $50 or higher will receive the final product. It gives people who already have the DVD set and don't want to upgrade, and those who want to support the project but don't want or need the final product the ability to do so.

Last Edited By: Series5Ranger Oct 11 13 8:27 AM. Edited 2 times.

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#5 [url]

Oct 12 13 6:05 AM

madoverlord Yeah, I understand the reasoning, but given the nature of the project, I'm really uneasy about not providing something tangible.

How so? Kickstarter is not a pre-order store. It's for donations. One donates for an interesting project, and can choose to get something in return if the funding is successful.
Be it a letter of thanks (virtual/physical) or a life-size statue of Nene and the box set. Getting an item is always optional. :)

Are you afraid that the amount of $5 donators would significantly exceed the upper tiers? There are stretch goals too...

Last Edited By: psptzjchpksfhtbwdfqvyplltyefn Oct 12 13 7:47 AM. Edited 3 times.

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#6 [url]

Oct 13 13 5:00 AM

Well, on the one-hand it's true that quite a number of successful kick-starter projects are run like pre-order drives (i.e. paying for tangible merchandise ahead of time, and paying more to increase the merchandise you receive).  On the other hand, you almost always see on those Kickstarter projects at least a $5 or $10 pure donation pledge amount.  There are bound to be people who see the starting pledge and won't pay for it no matter what it comes with, either because they can't afford it or aren't interested in the tangible merchandise, but who still want to donate to the project to help out.  One way to give a sense of incentive in those cases is to have a non-physical, but still meaningful reward --- for example, a special thank you video posted online with the backers names either scrolling or read aloud, or a special page on the company website thanking them specifically, maybe with a fun photo starring the project founders.

Another point I thought would be worth mentioning is that the most popular pledge amount on Kickstarter is $25.  It's the sweet spot for the average backer, because it's usually the entry level amount for getting the most stripped-down, tangible reward.  Admittedly, I do feel that the current $50 pledge amount seems fairly reasonable for a blu-ray collector's set, but I don't know, that may not be the case for the average backer.  If there was a way to provide a bare bones version of the set (for example, no slip case, Blu-Ray discs only, less content etc.) it might help with bringing in more overall funding to the project, if it's an open possibility anyways.  It may be a fine line to tread, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

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#7 [url]

Oct 13 13 4:21 PM

I also agree about a low level $5-10 support pledge. I think there are a tangible number of people that would like to see the project happen, but are wary about slapping down for the full-set this far in advance of release. But are otherwise happy to chip in.

Also I really think there need to be more pledge levels in general. Kickstarters without many levels just simply do not seem to do as well, people like having options.

I see the appeal of what you have created, not having to create anything to give to pledgers (beyond the BD set of course), you have everything you need already. It is a very safe and to be honest logical way of doing the Kickstarter, something which most Kickstarters are not, they leave so much room for error which you are not doing here. However at the same time there is a very real risk with the current setup that you simply won't reach the goal. There is a risk the higher tiers will sell out very quickly, and then people will have less motivation to pledge. It looks ugly having everything sold out.

For all my quibbles about Animesols, I think looking at their setup would be a good idea. They offer a bunch of simple and relatively cheaply produced merchandise at all tiers, and have a broad spread of tiers. I think you should look at doing something similar. Posters, bookmarks, postcards, stickers etc. Simple things that you can give out simply to say thanks and a bit of fun. Such tiers in addition to your limited cel tiers, bumping the limited cel tiers to a higher cost, would be a decent way of doing things I think. I think the idea of your "CrowdProduction" is really good, however you also need something tangible within the KS itself. 

One of the reasons people come to KS I think is that there is usually some tangible benefit to pledging (apart from getting the product of course). Afterall when the product is finally released publically, everyone can get one, it is not very special. Being able to get things you may not otherwise get is where the real money comes from. Just look at the popularity spike in Time of EvE, when it started offering merch like the coffee cups and canisters. I really think you should look at the possibility of offering something limited and special before the KS is complete rather than after, something that can be produced in a large quantity, but limited to the KS campaign, so you can have a higher tier without a limit on it. Is there an artbook or something you could bring across?

Last Edited By: skittles Oct 13 13 4:38 PM. Edited 4 times.

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#8 [url]

Oct 13 13 5:20 PM

Artbooks can be very, very expensive in small quantities.

Keep in mind the final product will be exclusive, and not available anywhere else. And I'm pretty sure they'll be money in the budget to include a unique custom goodie or two.

I really have a philosophical problem with people supporting and not getting the final core product.

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#9 [url]

Oct 14 13 1:44 AM

madoverlord
I really have a philosophical problem with people supporting and not getting the final core product.

You should leave that up to the potential backers. If they see the value in donating without getting a physical product in return, that's good for them and good for you. Plus you could always make the downloadable omake materials be the reward for sub-$50 donations. That way they're still getting something.

Everyone is right about offering lower pricing tiers and more donation tiers in general. Successful Kickstarters are hard to do because campaigns that don't gain sufficient momentum early on are unlikely to get it later in the campaign. If you overlook the basic components of successful Kickstarters (including compelling stretch goals) and just run this like a preorder drive, I fear that nobody will donate more than $50, people who can't afford $50 but would like to support the project will go unserved, and the campaign won't succeed.

Also, I found a mistake in the draft:
We can definitely include AD Police if the budget allows it (a new HD telecine transfer will be needed) and you decide that's the best use for it. However, for a variety of reasons, we make the same commitment about Bubblegum Crash at this time.

It looks like the phrase "we make the same commitment" is missing the word not.

Last Edited By: eastx Oct 14 13 2:35 AM. Edited 4 times.

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#10 [url]

Oct 15 13 4:11 AM

Let's make up some tiers, shall we?
If a digital download isn't possible, feel free to take it out.

$
2 - THANK YOU: Receive a digital thank you letter signed by the AnimEigo founder.
10 - HENCHMAN: Receive a random uncompressed HD still from the OVA in PNG format, your name listed on the AnimEigo website and all of the above.
30 - KNIGHT SABER: DRM-free 720p download of the OVA/Digital Omake archive and all of the above.
45 - BASIC: The Blu-ray box set, DRM-free HD 1080p download/Digital Omake archive and all of the above. You will will also to get to decide in the CrowdProduction process.
65 - BASIC PLUS: Omake archive on disc, a printed thank you letter and all of the above.
100 - PREMIUM: All of the above, a film reel still replica and part of your contribution will go into a special Premium production budget that you will help allocate to create special rewards!
200 - PATRON LISA/LARGO1/LARGO2/LARGO3/MASON: All of the above, plus you'll receive an original, one of a kind production cel.
1000 - SUPER BOOMER: All of the above, and receive AnimEigo's favorite Largo original production cel and be listed on the packaging! See the main description for details.
2500 - MEGATOKYO: Receive a signed sketch by Kenichi Sonoda and all of the above (cel excluded).
10,000 - ULTIMATE FAN: A tour of the facilities at AIC and all of the above (cel excluded). Travel costs not included.

How's that? image

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#11 [url]

Oct 15 13 5:04 AM

ComSRLet's make up some tiers, shall we?

Good thinking! Here's my version. Each tier would include the rewards from all tiers below it in price, up until the $1000 tier.
  • $5 - Get your name in backer credits, access to backer-only events
  • $15 - Exclusive high resolution wallpapers
  • $30 - DRM-free 720p download of the Digital Omake
  • $45 - Blu-ray box set, DRM-free HD 1080p download/Digital Omake archive and all of the above. You will will also to get to decide in the CrowdProduction process.
  • $65 - Omake archive on Blu-ray disc
  • $100 - All of the above, plus a physical bonus item (at least one tier needs a t-shirt) but it could be a different tier
  • $200 - PATRON LISA/LARGO1/LARGO2/LARGO3/MASON: All of the above, plus you'll receive an original, one of a kind production cel.
  • $500 - Receive a signed sketch by Kenichi Sonoda and all of the above (cel excluded).
  • $1000 - Receive AnimEigo's favorite Largo original production cel and be listed on the packaging!
  • $10,000 - Watch the remastered series BEFORE its release on a projection screen with the AnimEigo staff in Wilmington, North Carolina. Travel costs not included.

Two points I'd like to make here. First, it's important that AnimEigo secures the involvement of an original Japanese production member BEFORE the Kickstarter goes public. Kenichi Sonoda would be a good catch, but anybody who did something for the series such as voice actors, etc. could be called upon to autograph items for higher level reward tiers and/or contribute to bonus materials in some way. Getting at least one person lined up in advance will create some momentum, which Robert could hopefully increase as the campaign goes on by announcing another 1-2 celebrity participants. Another celebrity participant you could go for (and would probably be easier to get) would be a North American voice actor. The idea, of course being that someone who would participate in the new dub lends his or her name to the campaign.

Second, the bonus materials, new English dub, soundtrack, inclusion of AD Police, etc. should be solidified as stretch goals before the campaign begins. The idea that contributors can help vote on what bonus materials AnimEigo pursues is nice, but I guarantee that concrete stretch goals will prove way more enticing than abstract promises. I would make AD Police the highest level stretch goal because that's probably the biggest deal out of the proposed bonuses. IMO the new dub is most important to future sales of the set and thus should be a lower level stretch goal. You could also separate new dub and new recording of the songs into two separate goals in order to create more milestones for the campaign to shoot for.

Last Edited By: eastx Oct 15 13 5:13 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#12 [url]

Oct 15 13 6:47 AM

@eastx: nice catch, thanks.

@comSR: economies of scale strongly push towards the model of "everybody gets the same stuff". For example, the cost of giving everyone Omake on disc is not that much higher than just giving it to higher-level supporters, especially when you consider it means two types of packaging, two types of shipping.

We are talking to the licensor about special goodies.

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#13 [url]

Oct 15 13 7:57 PM

madoverlord
@comSR: economies of scale strongly push towards the model of "everybody gets the same stuff". For example, the cost of giving everyone Omake on disc is not that much higher than just giving it to higher-level supporters, especially when you consider it means two types of packaging, two types of shipping.

We are talking to the licensor about special goodies.

You do increase your costs by adding physical goods to some orders and not others. But the important thing IMO is that those goods will entice people to donate above and beyond the minimum donation required to get the Blu-ray set. If you make more money by charging some people $65 instead of $45, then the Kickstarter is that much more likely to succeed.

I haven't participated in a Kickstarter for a home video release, but I have pitched in or closely watched a number of successful campaigns for games. You've probably already looked at existing campaigns, but here are a few examples that would be good to follow: The obvious difference with a gaming Kickstarter is they can offer far more digital incentives (like in-game items) than a home video release, and those incentives cost them pretty much nothing to offer. But you could look at the tiers, stretch goals, and updates to see how these campaigns gained momentum and kept it till the end. The Mighty No. 9 campaign especially did such a strong job of updating the campaign and getting fans involved. An easy element you could borrow from their updates would be sharing Bubblegum Crisis fan art in your updates. The people who send in art are probably going to be good evangelists for the campaign.

-Paul Acevedo
 Games Editor, Mobile Nations

Last Edited By: eastx Oct 15 13 8:06 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#14 [url]

Oct 15 13 8:52 PM

The problem with pointing those four Kickstarters in particular are they aren't exactly the norm.

Mighty No. 9 to a decent degree was sold on it basically being Mega Man and Inafune being a well known guy among the more hardcore gaming fans.
DoubleFine was sold based on the pedigree of their history as developers.
Star Citizen has over promised and under delivered based on playing the game based on what they initially promised, which is making people wary of crowdsourcing, not to mention that let's be honest... it doesn't use the Trek brand, but I don't know anyone who tossed in on that without going STAR TREK!
Shantae was a known brand, even if it wasn't a super popular one.

There are plenty of Kickstarters for even known things that squeaked on by, or failed.

I believe part of wanting to keep it simple is Animeigo being aware that anime fans can be very fickle, and there is no guarantee that based on people remembering it that they will buy it, and adding complexity to is giving people an excuse to just pass on it, ala- if the most someone can afford is 'x' but what they really want is 'x + 20' they might just decide not to do anything (I won't speak for anyone else, but this happened with me on a few Kickstarters.)

And of course, keeping it simple makes it easier to keep the goal at a lower price, since you don't have to worry about crazier more complex things that could swallow up money potentially.

Last Edited By: MarcFBR Oct 15 13 8:56 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#15 [url]

Oct 15 13 9:10 PM

MarcFBRThe problem with pointing those four Kickstarters in particular are they aren't exactly the norm.

There are plenty of Kickstarters for even known things that squeaked on by, or failed.

I believe part of wanting to keep it simple is Animeigo being aware that anime fans can be very fickle, and there is no guarantee that based on people remembering it that they will buy it, and adding complexity to is giving people an excuse to just pass on it, ala- if the most someone can afford is 'x' but what they really want is 'x + 20' they might just decide not to do anything (I won't speak for anyone else, but this happened with me on a few Kickstarters.)

And of course, keeping it simple makes it easier to keep the goal at a lower price, since you don't have to worry about crazier more complex things that could swallow up money potentially.

Of course succeeding at Kickstarter isn't the norm, and each of those projects had something special that helped it succeed. So does this project - it has Bubblegum Crisis. It's not an unknown quantity at all, nor is AnimEigo.

I obviously don't watch every Kickstarter but I have also seen some failed ones. Among those, they tended to have a weak pitch video/not enough promotional content at the beginning of the project, weak reward tiers, and weak stretch goals. These projects scrambled to fill in those blanks after the start of the campaign, but it's usually too late at that point. You need the early momentum to keep the campaign going strong.

I just noticed this project doesn't seem to have a pitch video either, which is worrying. Give it a good video and you can possibly appeal to people who haven't seen the original Bubblegum Crisis in addition to established fans. I could imagine a video consisting of Robert talking about AnimEigo and the Bubble Crisis series (showcasing VHS and DVD packaging and merchandise would be cool), DVD footage of the original Bubblegum Crisis, and then a smidgen of remastered footage. A DVD/remastered comparison would be very compelling. I suppose the challenge would be if AnimEigo doesn't have the new master to work with yet.

I strongly disagree that offering better rewards at higher tiers discourages people from participating in the Kickstarter at all. Beyond your personal preference, there's simply no evidence to support that being an actual trend. Of course, I'm arguing from preference too, but my whole preference is based on successful campaigns. ~ ~

You're right that adding better rewards adds to the potential cost though. I addressed that in my last comment - it all depends on whether the rewards encourage people to spend more than they would otherwise spend. If they do encourage that, the rewards still pay for themselves.

-Paul Acevedo
 Games Editor, Mobile Nations

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#16 [url]

Oct 15 13 9:21 PM

I didn't explain one of the things I meant very well, let me try again.

Better rewards can end up not paying for themselves based on if not enough people jump on them (economy of scale.)

A few people have suggested a custom design flash drive. What's the price difference based on scale for such a product? What if only 100 people end up jumping on that specific level for a flash drive so the difference might not pay for itself, does that idea get tossed, or do they take away money from potentially other stuff to make that happen?

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#17 [url]

Oct 15 13 9:26 PM

If you're going blu-ray only you might want to make sure you change the first line:

The groundbreaking anime series, subtitled and dubbed in English, released on Blu-Ray and DVD, with a boatload of extras!

I also agree, as others have said, that you'd benefit from adding more tiers. There's a lot of leaps between tiers. When I look at a kickstarter I'm thinking of backing, I'm much more likely to move up a tier that's $10 or $15 more for something extra, but twice the cost to the next tier is a bit harder to consider and easier to dismiss.

I'm not sure how enticing the premium tier as it stands is either since the extra money you're putting for it is simply an unknown. That means that depending on the voting, people who pledge at that level may be unhappy with what they get. If you at least show a preset list of options, ie: it will either be A, B, or C, then people who pledge that level will already know in advance what they're actually pledging for, and while it may not be the option they wanted, at least its something they hopefully won't be upset with.

In addition to more tiers, some early-bird tiers for different levels are also very enticing and can help drive the campaign early on.

As for the suggested tiers mentioned by others earlier in the thread, I like what I see for most of them, but I don't think omake being on the disc should be a pledge tier. If it can't make it at the initial goal, it would make a better stretch goal so everyone can enjoy the material.

Last Edited By: covnam Oct 15 13 9:28 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#18 [url]

Oct 15 13 10:20 PM

MarcFBR
Better rewards can end up not paying for themselves based on if not enough people jump on them (economy of scale.)

A few people have suggested a custom design flash drive. What's the price difference based on scale for such a product? What if only 100 people end up jumping on that specific level for a flash drive so the difference might not pay for itself, does that idea get tossed, or do they take away money from potentially other stuff to make that happen?

Now I see what you're saying. Whether it's even a good idea to do any particular physical item, I have no idea. I just know you need to have them, and people like t-shirts.

I think the best way around the issue of physical goods' cost is to cushion it by taking the cost of the physical product into account in the initial campaign goal. That way, if the campaign succeeds at all, the goods are paid for no matter what. You'd want to make sure the goods were offered at an enticing price point instead of one that's too high in order to help them actually move. But leftover product could always be sold on its own through the website, at conventions, etc. or used in giveaways.

covnam
As for the suggested tiers mentioned by others earlier in the thread, I like what I see for most of them, but I don't think omake being on the disc should be a pledge tier. If it can't make it at the initial goal, it would make a better stretch goal so everyone can enjoy the material.

All great points, man. Making the omake disc a stretch goal is a nice idea. That takes care of Robert's concern about having to buy two different types of Blu-ray cases. (BTW, my list of rewards was a quick and dirty suggestion and does leave room for improvement.)

-Paul Acevedo
 Games Editor, Mobile Nations

Last Edited By: eastx Oct 15 13 10:24 PM. Edited 3 times.

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#19 [url]

Oct 16 13 7:44 AM

Excellent discussion, keep it up. I had a video in the v1.0 draft, but it became obsolete as things developed. Once we have the final details locked down, I'll do one with me making promises and Largo making threats.

My current thinking is to:

1) Add a special goody -- probably something like a custom Challenge Coin -- to the basic package.

2) Add two low-priced tiers that give you the digital omake and the omake + goody.

3) Add a limited "early adopter" tier to reward the people who get in early (which will be mostly people like you who have been helping refine the project).

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#20 [url]

Oct 17 13 7:47 AM

madoverlord
Update 10/17: new lower levels, early adopter level, added a Commemorative Challenge Coin.

Getting there...  but that early adopter tier bumped up the basic one to $50. My earlier suggestions still apply (creative license allowed).
What if there was someone who has ten grand burning a hole in the pocket and wants to meet a party involved in this release (US or Japan side)?

Let's look at some more Kickstarters.
Licensed releases.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/digitalmanga/publish-osamu-tezukas-unico-in-english-in-full-col
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/370924922/lupin-the-third-the-expansion-1 (Only three tiers.)
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kansaiclub/limited-edition-translation-of-osamu-tezukas-the-c (Successful, but lost many backers due to mishandled shipping.)

Independent releases.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1311401276/little-witch-academia-2
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/693293489/time-of-eve-the-movie-on-blu-ray
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/production-ig/masaaki-yuasas-kick-heart
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/755475144/cristina-vees-animated-music-video-studio-appp-jap

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/617502838/shadow-of-the-eternals-0 (This game project failed twice and was not without controversy.)
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/annunziata/the-next-ecco-the-dolphin-adventure-game (Many promises, not much to show.)

Edit: I see more rewards were added:
  • Pledge $150 or more Limited (1 left of 1) Patron Pillowcase - all of the benefits of Premium, plus you will receive the "Night Night Knight Sabers" Satin Pillowcase and be listed when the disc loads. See the main description for details.Estimated delivery: Aug 2014Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $150 or more Limited (1 left of 1) Patron Figures - all of the benefits of Premium, plus you will receive the set of Metal Figures and be listed when the disc loads. See the main description for details.Estimated delivery: Aug 2014Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $175 or more Limited (2 left of 2) Patron Garage Kit - all of the benefits of Premium, plus you will receive a Nene Garage Kit and be listed when the disc loads. See the main description for details.

Last Edited By: psptzjchpksfhtbwdfqvyplltyefn Oct 17 13 2:16 PM. Edited 3 times.

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