Andromeda Acolytes Kickstarter planning notes PDF

I was going to post the following in my blog, but I didn’t because I can’t attach a PDF to my blog without having to host it elsewhere first.

During my 2022 Andromeda Acolytes Kickstarter, I said on this forum that after it was over, I would share my planning notes. It’s a good thing the campaign succeeded as it makes me feel a lot better about sharing the notes!

What these notes may be good for

  • You want to run an IF Kickstarter
  • You want to run some other kind of Kickstarter
  • You’re curious about what’s involved in running a Kickstarter: There’s a ton of research and scheduling involved
  • You want a mid-2022 researched list of websites and Reddit groups where you can promote or discuss IF
  • You want insight into the logistics involved in dealing with developer entities like Steam, Apple and Discord

Where did these notes come from

I started planning my campaign seriously about eighteen months before I launched it. A point came where just making written to-do lists or editing them in the form of a word processing document was no longer working. The timelines and interactions had become too complex. I needed the ability to group like events on the fly and drag and drop to rearrange anything. And I needed the document to be more live, to be both a planning instrument and a record of what I’d done as I completed steps. To this end, I did some research, then bought a Mac app called “Things” which turned out to be exactly what I needed.

The notes PDF I will present to you at the end of this post is a printout of my Things document as it was when the campaign was over. I’ve redacted most individual’s names and some other stuff. Not that the names are very sensitive. It’s just a courtesy so they don’t show up in Google searches for actions they took in private.

A bit more background

For additional context on the Kickstarter, you may want to review my Kickstarter tagged posts in my blog, or at least the one subtitled “About the IF Competitions, Kickstarter prep and avoiding the Stanford Prison Experiment”. It gives an idea of the volume of time and attention I spent on preparing and running the Discord-based gaming competitions in advance of the Kickstarter. Those competitions were the “new” thing I was trying – nobody had done that for IF in the context of a Kickstarter – but they did not generate the critical mass of potential backers I wanted or needed, which was their primary purpose in my mind.

Nevertheless, it is impossible for me to say the whole campaign could have succeeded without them. I mean, it’s just not knowable. I can point to all the good things that came from them: I learned all about Discord (from scratch), built a Discord server and worked with a friend to create a Discord bot. The comps forced me to plan and execute in public in a concrete way ahead of the Kickstarter. Once I launched them, I had to commit to them for the planned three weeks. Promoting them, I warmed up my presence in many of the venues I would use during the Kickstarter. Psychologically, they induced in me an initial bout of grief that I got over so that I was armoured for any further bouts I might face if the Kickstarter didn’t succeed. I grew closer to all the people who did come to help on the Discord or play the games, and they supported me in all kinds of ways. By the last competition, we had more players and were having fun, too. In all of the PR, logistical and psychological senses, the Discord weeks prepared me for the Kickstarter. They just didn’t bring many pre-sold people along to it.

The six weeks – three on the Discord comps, three in the Kickstarter – were a period of relentless work. I’m not being hyperbolic if I say I found new dimensions in myself. I felt like I used every skill I ever had, cultivated new ones, and accepted, or came to believe anew, that I have a certain kind of fortitude. This last point came to me slowly and not from within. It was something onlookers often said along the lines that they weren’t sure how I was able to keep it up, whether aiming and hoping for success every day, or trying to come up with new practical actions I could take every day to advance the campaign.

The last days of the campaign reminded me of a tribal council at the end of a season of Survivor: You’ve done all you can and it feels like the power shifts to your peers. Angels may seem to descend to help you. They did in all sorts of venues for me. Friends and supporters on intfiction here grouped together. The far networked, old friends, gaming acquaintances, total strangers who really liked the look of what I was doing. It was amazing to me.

Here’s my Things planning document. If you peruse it and have questions about any part of it, feel free to ask.


andac-kickstarter-things.pdf (89.7 KB)