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Backer Centred Crowdfunding

Board game crowdfunding is vital for a lot of creators to be able to publish their games, but it requires an awful lot of trust and patience by backers to pay money for something well in advance of it being finished, produced, and shipped to them. For new creators (or creators attracting first time backers) that trust hasn’t yet been established, and instead we have to fallback on the trust of crowdfunding in general. For a lot of people, that trust is deteriorating.

Recently, Doomsday Robots (creators of Zoo-ography and Bridges to Nowhere) posted here about what it calls Backer-Centred Crowdfunding. Highlighting some of the problems that have caused this trust to erode, Doomsday Robots sets out policies that it intends to abide by that it hopes to improve not just their own backers experience but also trust in the system.

A while back I posted an article on the principles I operate Prometheus Game Labs by, chief of which was to Delight People Throughout the Journey. That includes the crowdfunding part which for many is their first step on that journey. I love what Doomsday Robots has done, and I’m setting out my own intentions for crowdfunding, which will be posted on campaign pages in future:

  1. I will not create unrealistic funding goals. If the project funds, I will not cancel it later.
  2. I will accurately represent shipping costs – even if I choose to subsidize them.
  3. I commit to include backers as partners in the process of creation, and not just pre-order customers.
  4. I will give at least one progress update monthly to backers until general fulfillment is complete.
  5. Backer funds will only be used for the project for which they are crowdfunded until general fulfillment is complete.
  6. I will not sell product via conventions or distribution to non-backers until general fulfillment is complete.
  7. The MSRP of games will not be lower than the equivalent pledge amount.
  8. I will not censor criticism or frustration by backers (with the exception of abuse), and will respond to comments with honesty and integrity.

I’ll be including this pledge in all future campaigns (you can find me on Kickstarter or Gamefound) so that backers can trust that this is a Backer Centred campaign and hold me accountable.

Note: This page has been updated since the original post to clarify the intentions around sale to non-backers

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