Back to Queen Bee
Back To Queen Bee
From January thru April 15th my professional life as a CPA demands a lot of time as I busily work to try and complete as many tax returns as possible. Pretty much all areas of my life get neglected - including my spouse, my children, my exercise, etc. I do my best to balance it all - but there simply aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. January thru April 15th is an exciting time at work but I am also happy when it is over.
Now that the daunting deadline has come and gone I am excited to get to the things that I love doing. This includes spending time with my family, returning to some of my hobbies and... getting back to Queen Bee at full speed. Granted, I haven't been completely inattentive to Queen Bee - I've tried to stay active on social media and have grown the Queen Bee community quite a bit (at the time of this posting I have 937 followers on facebook, 812 followers on instagram and 77 followers on twitter). That is a significant increase from where I was at after the initial Kickstarter campaign of Queen Bee. Thank you all for the support!
At the conclusion of my previous Kickstarter campaign I made a list of areas that I need to focus on before the re-launch of Queen Bee. After doing some research, that list has changed a little bit - but here are my four main areas of focus:
1. Build a community of Queen Bee supporters. Every game has a following of people that are really enthusiastic about it. I may not have the resources to attract a worldwide audience - but I do have my corner of the world that I can gain support from. I am thankful to my 168 original Kickstarter backers and the hundreds of you who have joined the community since then. Additionally, I have made the game more accessible to try by having print-and-play files as well as a digital version of the game. I am hopeful that the community will continue to grow.
2. Update and finalize the game art. During my original campaign I had buttoned down MOST of the artwork with the hope and intent to get feedback on areas that needed to be improved - particularly on the game board. Prior to my campaign, all my boards were functional - but none were aesthetically appealing. It's come a long way from where that was but it still has a ways to go. My artist is very busy and updating art is a "hurry up and wait" situation as I have great ideas for artwork but have to wait on him for the time.
3. Refine the project. Overall I thought I did great on the campaign page for a first time creator. Looking back on it now I would certainly do things differently. But my initial campaign failed because of multiple external factors - not because I had a bad campaign page. By mitigating some of those external factors and refining my project page I am confident the next campaign will go so much better.
4. Adjust the pricing. One thing that I have learned about Kickstarter is that there are A LOT of games that show up every week... and people don't have infinite amounts of money to spend on games. How do I create the "must have" experience for people so that they choose my game over the competition? I don't think my game was overpriced at all (and some might suggest it is underpriced) but it is more of a premium game as it has a lot of high quality components (60 miniatures in the four player game). I don't think I can come down on price for Kickstarter on the MINIATURES version of the game. But I am looking at adding a base version of the game that has cubes/markers representing the bees. This would bring down costs significantly and could possibly allow me to offer a $25-$30 version of the game. I think this might draw more people to the game that either don't want a premium game or have a more humble budget for games. The game-play essentially stays the same - but the components would be different for this base version of the game.
So - with the above items I have a lot of work to do and decisions to make... :)
One of the main areas of focus from now until my relaunch (date still to be determined) is growing the Queen Bee community. This is done by being active on social media, going to conventions and just generally talking about Queen Bee. Let me tell you... it is a slow process. But for the most part it is fairly enjoyable. I have gotten to know many great people in the gaming community. I've recently had the chance to play Queen Bee with a person from Canada and another from Belgium all because of the digital version of Queen Bee that I developed. So... let it be known that there has been some "behind the scenes" community development of Queen Bee. :) A successful relaunch won't happen unless this community grows - so I am focusing a lot of effort on gaining additional reach so that I can get people from Belgium, Canada and other parts of the world involved in making this the great game that I believe it to be.
One other area that I have been focusing on is to finalize more of the artwork. Frankly, Kickstarter use to be a platform where crowdfunding money was used to help complete a project. Now it has evolved more to a "pre-order" site where games have to be extremely polished and 99%-100% complete. My game on the initial launch was almost complete - I just needed final board art, tray inserts completed, and some other minor artwork. These loose ends ultimately didn't fly well and so my initial attempt failed. I (somewhat naively) expected to gain a community on KS and have that group of backers help me wrap up the project. Nevertheless, I'm excited to tie up these loose ends and to come to Kickstarter this next go around with an extremely polished campaign page and game. If you are interested in playing me, please shoot me an email and I'll coordinate a time to play on Tabletopia.
Thanks for reading - and I hope to post another update for you soon. If you would like to get an email update when I post my next article please subscribe to my email list below.