Kickstarter post-mortem

So the Prisonscape Kickstarter didn’t succeed. It was a good run, and we had plenty of coverage from the press and at least people now know about Prisonscape. What comes to reasons for the campaign failing, I really can’t pinpoint any single thing, but here are some of my guesses:

  • We didn’t have a demo or enough gameplay in the KS video. Some of the bigger sites were asking for a build. It’s not given that they’d write about your game, but with stable and polished we would’ve had better chance in getting those big articles
  • Not enough press coverage on the big sites. Not many big sites wrote about us, and so we didn’t get enough traffic on the campaign page.
  • The beginning was too slow. The campaign really needed those big numbers to look like a successful campaign. This could be me speculating, but I checked some successful campaigns and they all had a very strong start.
  • PR mails were sent too late. This could partially explain the slow start. We sent the promo mails AFTER we launched, because we wanted to provide the KS link in the
    e-mails. We got plenty of articles but they were probably too late and people were already speculating that this will another failed Kickstarter.
  • Our goal was too high. This has been said many times, but I still feel that our goal was reasonable when you take a look at the budgeting.

I’m really happy that we have a big number of backers and if you exclude friends and family, all of this money came from organic sources. I know that some people grow their total pledge amount with some of their own money, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but we decided against it and it was fantastic to see that over 1000 people were ready to fund our game.

So what happens now? Well, we keep on making the game, of course! There’s no reason to quit altogether after one adversity – we just have to learn from out mistakes and do things better next time. We have already started by launching a pre-order on Paypal.



Our next goal is to make a great demo for the Prisonscape beta team, the press and for the Youtubers which hopefully brings more attention towards the game. We also want to build a good community which gives us feedback and new ideas about the game, and we’re hoping that YOU would be part of it by pre-ordering the game.

The Prisonscape forum has been opened, and if you’re interested in prison life, I would highly suggest checking out this thread:

Ask an ex-con (almost) anything

Garland is an ex-con who helps us with the game and answers questions about prison life in general. It’s very interesting read!