Thinking about launching your board game on Kickstarter? If so, at least one gamer has probably asked you about Gamefound, a rival crowdfunding platform. A lot of board game creators are migrating there to raise funds.
Gamefound is exclusively focused on board games. But the platform itself also offers a lot of attractive features including, a built-in pledge manager and a customizable pre-launch page. But, of course, fewer people actively check Gamefound on a regular basis when compared to Kickstarter.
So how do Gamefound’s pros stack up against its cons? In this post, we’ll discuss Gamefound and help you decide if it’s a good fit for your project.
Then we’ll guide you through setting up your campaign, avoiding common mistakes, handling add-ons and stretch goals, writing project updates, finding manufacturers, handling freight and customs, and when to hire help with order fulfillment.
Let’s get started!
Why Choose Gamefound?
We’ve paid close attention to Gamefound ever since it started. Board games are incredibly popular on Kickstarter, and yet creators seem to be growing weary of the platform. Gamefound has been setting out to fix many of the problems creators see on Kickstarter by making their own platform exclusively for board games.
But does it make sense from a business standpoint to use Gamefound? The answer depends on the nature of your campaign. Here are some pros and cons to consider.
One of the biggest advantages of using Gamefound is that it is exclusively for board games. This means that you’ll have a community of passionate gamers who are already familiar with the platform and eager to discover new games. On Gamefound, a much higher percentage of overall users are likely to be in your target audience to start with – assuming you’re making a board game!
Gamefound is also a technically superior system. For example, on Gamefound, stretch goals automatically unlock as you reach your funding goals, which can help keep the momentum going and encourage backers to increase their pledges.
If you’re planning to ship to European countries, Gamefound also makes it easy to handle VAT. They handle the VAT for you, so you don’t have to worry about the complicated logistics of managing international tax regulations.
For those who want to offer the option of paying in installments, Gamefound is a great choice. They make it easy to set up payment plans, which can be a valuable feature for backers who might not have the funds to pledge the full amount upfront.
Another great feature of Gamefound is its built-in pledge manager. This means that you can easily manage backer pledges and add-ons without needing separate software or tools. That means you don’t have to fool with third-party systems like CrowdOx or BackerKit to try to collect shipping information or sell add-ons.
Gamefound also offers a more customizable pre-launch page than many other crowdfunding platforms, allowing you to showcase your game and build excitement before the campaign even begins.
On top of all this, their support team is easy to reach and highly responsive. They even offer a full suite of marketing services to help promote your campaign and get the word out to potential backers. Among their services, you’ll find email and social media marketing, both of which can be painful and repetitive for crowdfunding creators to do on their own.
- Crowdfunding is exclusively for board games
- Stretch goals automatically unlock
- Built-in pledge manager
- Ability to manage add-ons without separate software
- More customizable pre-launch page
- Support team is easy to reach
- Able to accept payments in installments
- Ability to easily handle VAT for European shipments
- Offers a full suite of marketing services
Gamefound doesn’t have that many cons, but the ones it does have are pretty huge.
Let’s start with the obvious – Gamefound is exclusively for board games. If you’re not launching a board game, forget about Gamefound.
Second, Kickstarter is miles ahead of Gamefound in terms of popularity. Launching a game on Kickstarter means you have a very good chance of picking up people who are regularly checking Kickstarter for something to back. That’s just not the case with Gamefound which has a much, much smaller audience. In short, if you launch on Gamefound you have to bring your own entourage.
Lastly, Gamefound has not been around for long. That means that unlike Kickstarter or Indiegogo, it’s surprisingly hard to find videos and written tutorials on how to use the platform. It’s true that Gamefound is user-friendly and well-designed. However, if you get stuck, you will have to reach out to support or to the community for help because the online resources just aren’t robust yet.
- Crowdfunding is exclusively for board games
- Fewer resources available to learn the platform
- Not nearly as popular as Kickstarter or even Indiegogo
When is Gamefound a good fit?
While Gamefound may not be the right choice for every board game campaign, there are certain situations where it can be an excellent fit.
One situation where Gamefound is a good fit is for creators who are deeply invested in the board game community. Because Gamefound is exclusively for board games, it attracts a community of passionate gamers who are already familiar with the platform and eager to discover new games.
If you have an established presence in the board game community, whether through social media, conventions, or other channels, Gamefound can be a great way to connect with your existing fanbase and reach new potential backers.
Gamefound has a lot to like. Their platform makes pledge and stretch goal management easy. It’s the only platform we know of that handles VAT for European shipments, which has long been a frustration of board game creators. In short, it’s a sophisticated platform that’s perfectly made for the unique problems of launching a board game.
Ultimately, the million dollar question here is “can you bring a big enough audience to fund on a relatively obscure platform?”
If the answer is a confident yes, Gamefound will be a breeze to use. If the answer is no or even a hesitant or tentative “yes”, you’re better off using Kickstarter.
Gamefound is ideal for:
- Creators deeply invested in the board game community
- Those with the ability to build a community outside of Kickstarter
Setting Up A Gamefound Campaign
Starting a Gamefound campaign for the first time can be a bit daunting, but the Gamefound Crowdfunding Guide can help you get started. It’s pretty thorough.
It’s important to remember that each campaign should be unique and tailored to your product and its intended audience. To achieve this, we recommend researching and analyzing 10-15 successful campaigns of games with similar art styles and mechanics, learning from their approaches, and adopting what works best for you.
Resources to help you set up your Gamefound campaign
Suppose you’ve chosen Gamefound as your crowdfunding platform of choice. Knowing where to get started is tricky no matter which platform you use. Doubly so if it’s your first time.
To help you get started, we’ve assembled some blog posts to help guide you through the process.
3 common mistakes to avoid
Crowdfunding, as a form of fundraising, attracts a lot of inexperienced or overwhelmed creators. That means no matter which platform you use. The simple fact is that most campaigns arrive late.
Backers get this and are understanding and patient. But it’s still better to avoid delays in the first place. Fortunately, most delays stem from three main errors, which are explained in this video.
In case you can’t watch the video right now, the three mistakes are: setting unrealistic expectations, mishandling shipping logistics, and taking on too many orders without adequate help.
By staying mindful of these issues and proactively preventing them, you can start off better than 80% of other campaigners.
Why pledge managers are useful
One of the main distinguishing features of Gamefound, at least when compared to the board gaming world’s default choice, Kickstarter, is its in-built pledge manager.
Kickstarter requires its creators to use third-party pledge managers like BackerKit and CrowdOx to compensate for missing features. These systems enable creators to manage add-ons, cross-sell, and defer shipping payments until after the campaign has ended.
Since Gamefound incorporates a pledge manager within its platform, there’s no need to set up a separate system for pledge management. Still, we recommend you check out this article on pledge managers. It will give you tips on how you can keep your backers engaged and money coming in even after the campaign ends.
How to handle add-ons and stretch goals
As with most crowdfunding platforms, Gamefound allows creators to exceed their fundraising goal. It’s very common for creators to surpass their initial goal by so much that backers expect the additional funds to be invested in creating a higher-quality product.
Stretch goals and add-ons are how crowdfunding creators improve their product. This informative article covers what they are, why they matter, and how to pick the right ones.
How to write Gamefound project updates
If you want to make your backers mad, here’s a surefire way to do it – go a really long stretch of time between project updates. Make sure you leave your backers in the dark about how their funds are being used.
Project updates are incredibly important. They help keep your backers engaged and satisfied during the long wait to manufacture and fulfill your campaign. This post will help you decide how often to post updates and what to say when you do.
How to find manufacturers
When it comes time to manufacture board games, you need to know a good company to contact. Here is a long list of manufacturers that you can reach out to make games in bulk. You can’t go wrong with Panda Game Manufacturing or LongPack Games!
If you need to make samples, consider the Game Crafter and Board Games Maker. Both are able to create serviceable samples for reviews and playtesting before you commit to a larger print run with an offset manufacturer such as the ones in the linked list.
How to handle freight and customs
If you’ve raised funds through Gamefound for your board game, you will almost certainly need to book a freight shipment from a manufacturer in China to a fulfillment center outside of the country. This involves arranging freight, which may be daunting if you’re unfamiliar with the process.
Check out this guide on how freight works. It’s a good primer on the basics of freight. If you prefer to book freight on your own, check out the video below. It will walk you through the process of booking freight through a freight marketplace.
When importing board games, don’t forget about customs! Make sure your games are compliant with all safety laws of the country that they’re being imported into. Additionally, make sure you have funds set aside to pay the taxes in order for the games to cross the border.
This informative article will help you understand the basics of customs if you are unfamiliar.
When to hire help with order fulfillment
Shipping board games can be complicated, especially for a crowdfunding project. Some creators try to do it on their own, and while this is possible, a lot of others strongly advise against it. Of course, outsourcing fulfillment isn’t free either.
So how do you know when it’s time to ask for help? This video can help you decide.
This is something we can help you with at Fulfillrite, so if you need help shipping your Gamefound orders, request a quote here.
How to migrate to eCommerce
While Gamefound is a great platform for attracting attention and securing funding for your board game, if you want to establish a sustainable board game publishing business, you will need an eCommerce presence. Shopify is a great place to start.
This article explores how you can use crowdfunding to raise funds and draw attention needed for a more sustainable, long-term eCommerce business.
Gamefound can be a great option for board game creators looking to launch a crowdfunding campaign. Its exclusive focus on board games, built-in pledge manager, and customizable pre-launch page are just a few of the advantages that set it apart from other platforms.
It’s not perfect, though. Gamefound is less visible than Kickstarter, and requires creators to do more legwork in advance of the campaign to make sure they have enough backers to fund.
Ultimately, if you are launching a board game and want to use a platform handmade for creators like you, Gamefound is an excellent choice. Just make sure you have the time and patience needed to create an audience independent of a larger platform such as Kickstarter!
You’ve done everything by the book. Your Kickstarter campaign is almost ready to launch.
You made a great product. Built an audience. Set up a campaign page.
But how do you ship it?
We put this checklist together to help you get started. It's free.