Kickstarter, Patreon, and Fig: How to fund your Indie Game – PAX 2016

Kickstarter, Patreon, and Fig: How to fund your Indie Game – PAX 2016


  • The key to success is community building. Goal is to have the community, marketing, and everything in place and primed so you can email them all for donations on the first day of fundraising and get a big pop.
  • Project must be both cool and attractive. Easy fruit is now picked.
  • 20-40% of funding usually comes from donations the first day, but 75% of successful projects don’t fund the first day. Really goes back to community and press coverage you were working. Forces should be arrayed for a big day 1. Kickstarter robots recognize the pop and automatically promote you.
  • It’s not true that big fundraisers ‘suck the money’ away from smaller projects. Big fundraising efforts like Exploding Kittens help smaller projects. 80% of contributors to big projects turned around and then gave to the smaller ones too.
  • Tabletop games/gamers are the most rabid backers – 2x what others give. Surpassed even video games in total funds raised. Exploding Kittens card game was their biggest fundraiser to date.
  • The money will come and go, but the people that back you will stay with you across projects if you do it right.
  • Growth of crowdfunding is slowing/plateauing. New stuff is coming up and revitalizes the environment regularly though.
  • Biggest change is that the larger/$1000+ donations are disappearing.
  • Feels like a maturing in giving. Much like MMO’s, they see people play a lot, leave, then come back.
  • Sees video game funding fatigue setting in. It’s getting harder for those projects.
  • Pattern of giving breaks into 1/3rds. First day pop, middle trough, end push. 1/3 at end is getting smaller. Sees fatigue coming in at that point more.


  • Subscription based funding is starting to catch on, but not huge yet. A few notable luminaries are making big money. Many make decent, but not livable money.
  • You promise funders deliveries each month of art/content/etc.
  • Very popular with artists.
  • Typical successful artist earns over $1000/month.
  • Average patron gives $8-$10/mo
  • All about community building. Ask what they want and make it. Use polls on their page, make it easy for patrons to contact and interact with you. Take their input/feedback.
  • They see growing amounts of people trying their platform and growing numbers of subscriptions.


  • New investment/rewards platform that has just now become possible due to changes in investment law.
  • Found that projects often do not calculate their budgets well – often underestimated the actual costs of development badly.
  • Budgets of their projects are from $100k – $2M, but some only want $50k with partners and publishers picking up the rest.
  • Projects go through a formal green light process with an experienced advisory board.
  • 80% new IP, 20% existing IP. New ideas are coming from crowdfunding.
  • You are limited to 10% of your annual income for investing in the Fig model by FCC regulation.


  • Aug/Sept are perfect times for launching. Avoid any holidays. Do NOT put first day on a major US holiday – even if overseas. This alone has caused failures of otherwise successful campaigns.

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