[dropcap size=big]K[/dropcap]ickstarter is well-known for being a platform to get ideas funded by fans and without the need to have a publisher breathing down their collective necks. And while it should be enough to give from the kindness of one’s own heart there still needs to be a carrot dangling from the stick to make backers reach deep into their wallets. And that’s where the reward tiers come into play.
While there are the obvious items that everyone expects to see on the tiers listed to the right of the project pitch there are quite a few that are special beyond what one would consider a Kickstarter “pre-order store” given. A copy of the game. A copy of the soundtrack. A copy of the art book. Those are pretty much required to get people interested. Even beta access is a big deal.
But, what can a project creator offer to entice us to climb just a couple extra rungs up the ladder? I know in my own case that’s generally an in-game cameo of some sort. And I know I’m not the only one as these tend to sell out fast and early on. Even just a portrait hanging on the wall in the middle of an abandoned mansion or a statue in a hall of heroes are hungrily snatched up by the masses of glory seeking backers.
And then there are the actual cameos where a sprite is lovingly crafted for the high rollers. Some, like Quest for Infamy‘s dwellers of the dungeon and council members of Tyr even have a part to play in helping the hero take down the bad guy. Or die in the name of saving their captain as in the upcoming Jason the Greek. Or basically just hanging out and having a pint with friends.
But, for those who don’t want to have a moment of glory and immortalized as digital avatars there are still plenty of offerings to grab a backer’s attention. One of the most often asked for tiers, at least as far as the adventure community goes, is for the nostalgic “big box” version of the game. These are generally of decent stock cardboard with a good number of “feelies” if done right. Some, like the Book of Unwritten Tales 2 design, even go so far as to offer a classy look to one’s collection. Others, especially the Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded collector’s box, are an embarrassment to the name.
Kickstarter also allows a creator to give a transparent look at the design process and some projects even offer tiers to help design NPCs, enemies, towns, etc. A few, such as Keith the Magnificent, offer at a relatively high tier extra content. The aforementioned title allowed one to star in a spin-off with up to three friends for £1,400.
What makes one person back at a certain tier is different from others. But, it always come down to what one wants out of their money. While physical copies of games are almost always ones I go for it’s that “special thanks” in the credits or being immortalized as a sprite that drives me to reach just a little deeper into my wallet. For someone else all they care about is getting a copy of the game and that’s it.