Have you been following the Pinstripe Kickstarter campaign?  The game looks amazing, the Kickstarter campaign is very well put together, and the original $28,000 funding goal was crushed in about 24 hours.  If you’re a backer then you’ve likely noticed something though; the onslaught of Kickstarter backer updates.  Since launching about 24 hours ago it seems as though the one-man developer show of Thomas Brush has spent more time responding to comments and posting updates than he has sleeping.  In fact, Thomas has posted seven Kickstarter backer updates since the Pinstripe launched; an impressive or annoying amount of communication depending on one’s perspective.

pinstripelogo

I’m not necessarily complaining about the abundance of updates, I can appreciate that Thomas is excited with the early success of the Pinstripe campaign; but it did get me thinking.  How much communication is too much?  What’s the average volume of Kickstarter backer updates look like?  For answers I turned to our handy-dandy Kickstarter Campaign Data File.  After digging through the data I found some interesting info.

By excluding campaigns that were active for less than a day I found that the average Kickstarter video game campaign has about 4 updates posted during the life of its campaign (3.9 if you want to be picky).  Successful campaigns average much higher with 9.6 updates.  Unsuccessful and cancelled campaigns only got 2.7 updates, which makes sense.

updatesperday

The record holder for the most updates during its funding period?  That recognition goes to DrawAndRace 2 with a whopping 90 updates.  Of course, that was with a 60 day campaign, which means backers were still only getting 1.5 updates a day.  That seems positively lazy compared to the update clip Pinstripe has set already.

While the problems with posting too few updates are obvious, what about sharing in excess?  Can over-communication drive away backers?  In reviewing the data I found a number of failed or cancelled campaigns that had higher than average updates per day ratios.

Neo’s Land, a fantasy MMO from Neojac that sought $100k in funding back in September 2013 had a Kickstarter campaign that ran for 24 days before it was cancelled after raising only $15,813.  In those 24 days Neo’s Land backers got 43 updates, which works out to 1.79 updates per day.  However, after looking through the Neo’s Land Kickstarter it doesn’t appear as though the excessive updates were an issue.  There were no comments from backers complaining about the updates, and in fact people seemed to like the daily backer incentives that the updates presented.

Another campaign worth noting is Visionary Realms’ Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen.  This MMO from industry vet Brad McQuaid launched on Kickstarter in January 2014 and only managed to raise $460k of an $800k funding goal before the campaign ended 40 days and 54 backer updates later.  1.35 updates per day hardly seems to be excessive, and the lack of complaints tells me that backers agree.

pinstripe2

So what’s the ideal number of updates?  Based on the numbers it seems to be one every two to three days, but that’s going to depend on the quality of the updates themselves.  It’s tough to argue that Thomas Brush  didn’t go overboard with 7 Pinstripe updates in 24 hours, but the excitement that’s evident in each of them is endearing rather than annoying.  Sure, he may lose a few backers due to the flood of messages (I know of one person that backed out), but the connection he’s making with his supporters far outweighs the loss of a couple bucks.  Besides, if backers don’t like them it’s easy enough to turn off notifications.

Greg Micek

Greg Micek

Editor at Cliqist
Greg Micek has been writing on and off about games since the late nineties, always with a focus on indie games. He started DIYGames.com in 2000, which was one of the earliest gaming sites to focus exclusively on indie games.
Greg Micek

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  • Dawnyaaa

    Too bad, if i had caught a early bird i would have pledge.
    But, i spent too much this month..so, it’ll be a no.
    I’ll probably buy it on a steam sale one day.

    But gorgeous art and impressive work for a one guy team.

    • Yeah, I was pretty surprised how quickly the early birds went on this one.

      Definitely a strong start to February, makes me wonder how the traditionally busy months (March and April) are going to be. It’s shaping up to be a great year so far.

  • I’ll be honest here, I’m the one Greg talked about pulling my pledge. For me, the ideal update release is once every one or two days. Spamming several in one day, especially when they’re so short, is a bit of a turn off for me. I get that he’s excited to see his dream become a reality but I’ve already backed nearly three hundred projects and I get enough notifications between them in a day that I don’t need to see such a deluge. That said, even though I pulled out I do wish him the best and I might end up picking it up during a sale or something down the line.

    I’ve also backed way too many projects this year that I really need to cut back anyway.

    • It’s funny, two campaigns that immediately came to my head were Neverending Nightmares and The Phoenix Project – City of Titans. It felt like I was getting updates from them constantly for a while. However, when I went back and looked I found that many of their updates came after the campaign finished. Guess I can turn notifications for those two back on since they’ve slowed down 🙂

      • I did back Neverending Nightmares and while it’s certainly gotten a lot of updates (it broke three digits if I remember correctly) it wasn’t that bad during the campaign itself. I’ve also gotten to know the developer a bit during the years time during development. I don’t know how many it’s up to now but Pinstripe is the only one that I’ve backed to date that’s spammed so much during the day that I was a backer.

  • Georgi Trenev

    Hmmm… This makes me wonder if a live update type of system implemented into Kickstarter would be beneficial, as it would (in theory) bring backers even closer to content creators. Still, I don’t really see any issue with having a bunch of updates come within a day. But maybe that’s just me being used to browsing through thousands of tweets. 😀

    Ultimately though, I think updates such as Pinstripe’s latest ones are best to be handled on Twitter instead, with bigger and more substantial pieces of info left for Kickstarter.

    • Definitely makes sense to me. Seven in a day is a lot, but I can understand there being far more in the beginning, and the end of the campaign. As it stands now I’ve turned off notifications from a few projects I’ve backed, but not this one.

    • Honestly, I felt that most of the updates that I read through could have been made in one or two longer posts. Sure, they were a quick read but it still cluttered up my inbox too much for me to be comfortable staying in at least until I get the 48-hour notification. Sure, I’ll miss some of the more important updates but that’s the tradeoff of keeping things clean.

  • Sean

    Well even if somebody updates 7 times a day, I don’t need to read them all at once.

    I think it’s nice that he’s so passionate, I think I’d prefer an overeager updater over a lazy updater any day.

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