Funding Fun for Everyone

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Necessity is the mother of invention.

The Great Recession brought out the entrepreneurs in droves.People have been finding their own way in the world rather than relying on the workplace to provide for them.

One of the hardest parts of chasing a dream or making a business come to life is financing. Financing is especially difficult in the arts arena, with many artists not having the business experience to inspire faith and financial support from their hometown bank.

Hence, the birth of Kickstarter in 2009. Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects, not an avenue to cover start up costs associated with starting a new business. These projects include publishing, film, music, games, technology, theater, software, dance, design, fashion, and photography.

In our experience, the most reassuring part of being a backer is the Zero Risk Model. If the project fails to reach its funding goals, we aren’t charged anything. The most gratifying part of being a backer is watching new creative projects succeed and being on the ground floor. The rewards are a perk, but being part of making someone’s dream come true is why we do it.

Since Kickstarter’s inception, more than 30,000 projects have been backed with more than 2.5 million people. Music has had the most projects funded, followed by film, then art.. Overall, a total of 44 percent of all Kickstarter projects have been funded. According to the Huffington Post, only 13 percent of small business loans were approved at 100 percent last year.

What we are seeing is a shift from financing to alternate ways of fund raising. Etsy is an avenue where artists can promote and sell their products. Crowdfunding sites (such as Rockethub, Kickstarter and Indigogo) are avenues of funds and support for launching a project on a backer level, but may grow to more with the JOBs law being passed last April (and still being worked out). Industry leaders are stepping up with new start-ups loans and coaching, such as Samuel Adams Brewing company.

The shift in funding alternatives are offering hope. Now entrepreneurs, dreamers, and people venturing out on their own have support and different avenues to find success. The banks no longer have the final word, and as long as you can find an interest in your project and a pool of people who will support you, you can chase your dream.

There are also a plethora of coaching and support options when beginning your project. In our case, we found a site and a podcast called “Funding the Dream” hosted by Richard Bliss. He is very specialized and focuses solely on crowdfunding  projects, and he has provided a wealth of information for us.

It seems coincidental to me that these Crowdfunding avenues are newly available after the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Muhammad Yunus in 2006 for his work in Bangladesh and his pioneer work in micro-credit and micro-financing. Whether his work inspired these new avenues or not, I would still like to recognize and appreciate him. It’s rare that an economist is recognized for humanitarian work, but it shouldn’t be.

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Whatever your dream, there’s likely a way to chase it with one of the above resources. If there is nothing available that meets your specific needs, I bet there will be shortly.

Finally, a link to our own Kickstarter project:

The Goblin Pit Fight

Now, get off your butt and start your project. The main obstacle isn’t such a high hurdle anymore, so that excuse no longer applies. When you get out there, we will be your biggest cheerleaders!

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Anticipation

As we are working on furthering our marketing, adjusting the artwork, and narrowing our focus, we find ourselves in a constant state of anticipation. Did they answer our email? Are the mock ups ready? Which are the best avenues for us to spend our precious little time on? Our excitement is hardly containable.

It’s similar to online dating, obsessively checking our phones, updating each other with any development or idea via text, eagerly awaiting the outcome. It’s every bit as thrilling and exhilarating, but even more rewarding because we are doing it together.

Tonight’s update is not going to be about our project, but about a cool project that’s happening in our own community in Boulder, CO. I hope you don’t mind the change of pace.

Today’s lessons include:

1. Even the best iPhone batteries can only handle so many refresh requests.

2. Patience is something we are learning, whether we like it or not.

3. We aren’t the only people with an awesome project.

Project Update:

Tonight, we are sharing another Kickstarter campaign that launched close to the same time we did. This campaign is for the Boulder Outdoor Theater. The girls met in film school at the University of Colorado and have been actively involved with the Theater ever since. Their request is to replace a 17 year old screen.

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We wish them the best of luck, because this project serves the entire community. Please check out their page:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/190104776/kickstart-boulder-outdoor-cinema-were-goin-mobile

And while you are there, make sure you swing by our Goblin Pit Fight, too!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1284196867/goblin-pit-fight

Schooled by Eighth Graders

I know I introduced myself as Corey and Christina – Scribelife Games – and though I didn’t mean to be misleading, I was slightly misleading. I (Christina) am the blog writer, blog follower, blog blogger. This is our joint project, but I am who you are reading when you stumble upon our little corner of WordPress. I am clearing that up now, because I want to tell you about my day.

Today I visited five girls in the school. These girls are eighth graders who are working on a project called “Students are Authors”, and the story they are writing about is the story of a little girl I lost to cancer some years ago. We have been communicating back and forth sharing a Google doc, they ask questions, I write answers – they write paragraphs, I write corrections – they draw artwork, I upload my daughter’s artwork. We have been doing this for several weeks and today was the first time I met them in person.

What an experience! Initially, they were too intimidated to ask many questions. I imagine the scenario they wanted to avoid was a broken hearted mother crying on their tender 13 year old shoulders, and who can blame them? Once I proved myself solid and no tears sprung from my eyes, they began to show enthusiasm for their story. They talked about how to spin it, what to focus on, how to market it. Their eyes shone with excitement and enthusiasm for their project. They couldn’t write fast enough. Ideas flew from their mouths faster than anyone could type and their project time ended far too soon.

That is the kind of passion I want to embrace with every project. That is the kind of dedication, dreaming, creating that is needed when embarking on a new journey.

Today, I learned from eighth graders what it takes to make ideas happen.

Today’s lessons include:

1. I really am not smarter than a 13 year old.

2. Passion is contagious.

3. Dreaming big is the only way to go.

4. Don’t invest half your heart in anything, give it all if it is worth doing.

5. Student toilets are much lower to the floor.

Project update:

Hurray! We have an artist who is drawing goblins for our cards, and we should have them ready by Monday! I hope to have something ready to post very soon.

We are working on our marketing campaign and you will definitely hear me beating the goblin drums! Our consultation with Richard Bliss (The Game Whisperer) was so helpful that we are in the same place the eighth graders are – too many ideas to count!

Here is our project link:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1284196867/goblin-pit-fight

Focus…Focus….

It is close to the end of the day and we haven’t reached our ten percent goal, but I am not even too discouraged about that anymore.

We were fortunate enough to have a free consultation with Richard Bliss, The Game Whisperer! The time spent with him was the most valuable time we have spent since launching this project and his advice was encouraging, practical, and applicable. Everything he suggested is immediately actionable, and now it is time to get to work.

Right now we need to narrow down the who – Who are we targeting? Who will enjoy this game? Who is it made for?

We also need to get focused on the how – How are we going to get the word out? How are we going to reach our target audience? How are we going to catch and hold their attention? How are we going to deliver to their expectations?

No need to focus on the when – The when is now.

It’s going to be a busy 5 weeks, but the wealth we are gaining in knowledge and experience is immeasurable.

There are so many points he made, I couldn’t list them all here if I tried. The coaching and steering he offered was worth more than I can express. Sometimes you get just what you need, just when you need it.

Today’s lessons include:

1. Seek advice. Even if it is listening to a podcast and reading a blog rather than soliciting someone’s help personally, it will be the best effort you can make towards reaching your goal. Here is how you can read more about Richard Bliss, who I highly recommend.

2. Seek out the stories of those who have gone before you. We are now looking at other projects to draw the lessons to be learned there, too.

3.And finally, seek out people who will support you. Don’t spend time with people who will naysay your project, chide you for having a dream, or discount the notion of succeeding with the intent of being realistic. They may mean well, but they aren’t what you need when you are putting this much effort into your dream.

Again, our project link is:

 

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1284196867/goblin-pit-fight

 

Ten percent or not, today was a success.

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Introduction

Hello, and welcome to our page! We are a married, thirty something, two kids and a dog couple who are after hours geeks. We love playing games of all types, and recently we have decided to make the plunge from gamers to developing our own games. Yes, you heard me right. We have decided to become entrepreneurs.

The seeds of a new game idea came from a summer camping trip in the mountains. No better way to pass the time than a cooler full of beer and a cribbage board! We began making our own tweaks on the game, and having fun watching what direction we could take this. We named our game idea The Goblin Pit Fight.  Following this idea came many hours of working out game ideas, mechanics, and design. From designing artwork on a new software program to play testing at our kitchen table, our little project transformed from a fun hobby to a dream of publishing and selling our game.

We heard about Kickstarter.com from a friend of ours and thought we found a way to make our dreams reality. We ordered a few test copies of our game, backed a few other Kickstarter projects, and hoped we knew enough to launch a project of our own! We had no idea that we were in over our heads and hadn’t thought through any marketing. We were under the impression that we could Ready-Set-Launch and people would find us. We were under the impression of, “You built it, and they will come!”

The first day, we posted to our Facebook accounts and sent out an email to our friends and family. We were also featured on the newly launched game page, and we had a fabulous first day! We received more than $500 in backers and were off to a great start!

The next day…

wait for it….

crickets.

We were quickly kicked out of our elated state and are now very concerned about our project.

This is when we found the “Funding the Dream” podcast by Game Whisperer, Richard Bliss (www.purplepawn.com) and panic started to set it. I began listening to his programs starting with Jan 2012 and forward, each episode leaving me with an idea of where we went wrong. It is now 6 days into the project and we are stalled at 7 percent of the $10,000 goal with 37 backers.

This podcast and his practical advice is what is inspiring this blog. I will be posting a link and updates to our project every time I post, but I am not only blogging about this project  The purpose of our blog is to document this journey, make note of where we went wrong as well as where we went right, and following our journey from nerdy dreamers to game developers.

Our sincerest appreciation to our friends, family and project supporters and to you, Richard Bliss. You are helping us make sense out of this very emotional, unclear journey!

And with no further ado, please check out our kickstarter project. We welcome all feedback, positive and negative.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1284196867/goblin-pit-fight

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