10 Changes to our Kickstarter and How You Can Help
Vigilantes! We first announced our (impending) existence at the Austin Board Game Bash back in August. Even at this first stage, we were struck by how earnestly gamers wanted to get involved. This community has been offering help from day one.
It has been an inspiring and humbling experience. Vigilante is a dream with roots that go back over 6 years. I was stunned and pleased to discover it was shared by so many others. I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow this hobby, leverage this passion to create jobs, and provide people with an extraordinary experience. In six months we’ll be sitting in a bar, having a beer, and playing games together.
The idea for a Kickstarter came to us at Board Game Bash: someone asked us if we had Kickstarter plans. Thank you, stranger. We quickly realized Kickstarter is the perfect way to involve our community, continue to get feedback, and demonstrate the strength of our customer base to banks and investors.
More crucially: our team is raising the basic funds to build a new bar/restaurant in Austin. Through a combination of investors, founder capital (our own time and money), and bank loan we will put together a simple establishment. This will represent ~80% of Vigilante’s costs.
But a visionary bar that is equipped and customized for gaming requires us to go above and beyond. We need your help to fund the Vigilante vision we have designed together: custom tables, secret rooms, custom lighting fixtures, call for service button, Looking for Group lights, a reservation system, mobile Point of Sale, an extensive game collection, custom packaging for that collection and so on. With your help we will bring these ideas to life. We will build something unique. We will set a new standard for hobby gaming in the service industry.
Later we’ll be publishing a comprehensive list of what we want to do with our Kickstarter funding. Meanwhile, in the continued spirit of transparency and and gratitude, here’s what we learned from your feedback.
10 Things We Learned from the Kickstarter Survey
T-Shirts are the bomb.
31% of respondents said, “I WANT DIS” to T-Shirts and 47% said, “Cool.” This is 2-3 times the positive response of any other swag item. We had received anecdotal information that T-Shirts were a crummy choice for women to purchase online. We wanted a wearable item for people to show off their support and thought that a few badass jewelry pieces would be good alternatives. The data disagrees: female respondents rated T-Shirts highest and laughed at the idea of a “Vigilante Charm Bracelet.” We did receive concerns about finding shirts that fit properly.
Our solution: carry both a men’s and women’s T-Shirt, sizes XS to XXL.
People really want Vigilante pint glasses. Like really.
20% of comments for tier 1 requested a custom pint glass. We also received comments across other tiers wishing that they could get a pint glass as part of tier 1 or in the other packages. The people have spoken. Pint glasses shall be had.
Our solution: There will now be two options for tier 1: a T-Shirt or a pair of Vigilante pint glasses. Furthermore, if you back us at tier 1, you will have the option of purchasing additional pint glasses and/or shirts by the unit!
People want custom board game boxes.
Nothing received more positive feedback and less negative feedback than our custom game box selection. This one’s a keeper.
People Love Leather Bound Flasks
People who dig flasks are extremely vocal about the quality of said flask. Because we bumped the pint glasses from tier 2 to tier 1, we’ve decided to significantly upgrade the degree of awesome of said flasks. Never fear, sneaky drinkers, this will be a high quality choice.
Tier 3 Was on Point.
Getting a year’s worth of membership at tier 3 was the tier that received a 74% response of, “Perfectly Reasonable” in cost. People liked the idea of the membership, but there was some thirst for details. We will be delving into how a Vigilante Membership will work in a later post.
We did a bad job explaining our math around tier 4.
Upgrading from tier 3 ($185) to tier 4 ($350) is a big jump: for an additional $165 you could get a table for 4 during our Sneak Peek Week. Splitting this additional cost among four people comes out to about $41 a person. We accidentally implied that you would split the whole $350 cost four ways (which is closer to $90 a person).
People Freaking Love Sneak Peek Week
We do too: we get to meet our patrons and serve them for the first time. It gives us a chance to get feedback on our service prior to opening. Ranked the most generous tier by far, we received several comments that we are undervaluing this tier. We also received comments from people who wanted to attend Sneak Peek Week but didn’t want to necessarily invest in earlier tiers.
Our Solution: We are bumping Sneak Peek week to tier 5. The extra cost will be $200 for a table for 4. Backing us at tier 5 gives you first dibs on what day of Sneak Peek Week you’d like your table to be reserved. However, a table for 4 will also be an “Add On:” any backer may purchase any number of tables for 4 for $200 in addition to whatever tier they back us.
Tier 5 was a bad idea. Sorry guys.
We liked the idea of throwing a giant, exclusive Kickstarter opening day shenanigans. Unfortunately nobody else did. It was 3x more likely to be rated, “Unreasonable” than any other tier. It is the only tier where nobody called it, “Stupidly Generous.” Other tiers had comments where people excitedly added on to our ideas: this one didn’t. The number of people who were interested in this event was not large enough for us to project it being successful.
Our solution: buh-bye opening party. It is now Sneak Peek Week!
People Want Things Named After Them
We received gobs of comments from people who were really excited about having SOMETHING named after them at Vigilante. To accommodate, we sought an item that people would look at frequently, would be easy to label, and that we had a large quantity of.
Our Solution: tier 4 is now the “Sponsor a Board Game” tier. Details aside: we will emblazon your name on the label of the custom box for a game of your choice. If we haven’t purchased that game for our collection (and it is less than $100), we will add it to our collection. Finally, we’ll put a short testimonial from you in our game menu!
Tier 6 Wasn’t Very Exciting
The highlight of this luxury tier is putting your name on the Vigilante Monument: a big art display right as you walk in our front door. Unfortunately, the feedback we got was that it was not worth the price and wasn’t all that exciting.
Our Solution: adjust the contribution level from $2,000 to $1,500, and load in more value. Here’s the now what you receive from tier 6:
- All the stuff from previous tiers (except for as modified below)
- Your name on the monument
- Vigilante Black Membership, giving you the rights of Vigilante Membership until Death Do Us Party (and a swagalicious metal membership card)
- All the swag. No choices necessary, you get it all from all tiers.
- Sneak Peek Week reservation for one of our secret private rooms, seating 8 instead of 4
We Should be Audacious in our Appreciation
We challenged the community and the internet to come up with an audacious project to act as a stretch goal, and we received many comments requesting that we find a way to give back to the community that supports us. Growing the hobby of board gaming is in all of our best interest: a big market draws better game design talent, more people to play with, more retailers to sell us games, and now more establishments to play games.
We can’t make any announcements yet, but we are working on an audacious plan to bolster the board game community in Austin. In the meantime, the best way you can help us is by spreading the word! Below is a link to the Vigilante Thunderclap, an app that leverages social media by sharing a single message across many users simultaneously.
We plan for our Kickstarter to go live on February 24th. If you want to help spread the word, sign up for our Thunderclap!
As always, we looking forward to gaming working with you.