QuizWitz for Life!

Dear lab cats!

December is the most wonderful time of the year, we get presents and celebrate Christmas and the new year! It’s also a time for love and charity, and we want to help Music For Life here in Belgium. We’ll organize two live streaming events on Youtube which you can watch and join at QuizWitzforLife.be. (This quiz will be in Dutch, but everyone’s welcome to join and help out!)

Every penny we earn during these events will go to Lejo, an inspiring organization that supports youngsters who face doubts and other problems with activities, camps and all important personal conversations.

The QuizWitz Crowdfunding Story, Part two: Prepping

Crowdfunding is not worth your time, unless you’re willing to spend nearly every waking moment running your campaign. It takes a lot of time and effort and even before your campaign starts, you’ll have reached a whole new level of game developer.

In this second post in our series of three, we’ll look into the preparations we made before the start of our campaign. We’ll talk about our decision to run a local campaign and getting our story straight. Let me give you one thing upfront: it will require a lot of brainstorming and arguments among your team. That’s okay though. You will get to know each other like never before! Click this link if you want to know what we talked about last time before you coninue!

Many helping hands

As we were on the brink of discussing our campaign, we were all into Kickstarter as it was the only platform we really knew. We also thought the biggest possible platform would grant us the best visibility. That’s not true though. Crowdfunding platforms don’t give you nearly any visibility or none at all. They are professional frameworks that allows visitors to support your project. It’s still up to you to to bring your ambassadors to the tool. Before you decide to comment on this, being featured on the biggest platform would help very well of course. You’re just never sure if and when you’ll get featured, and if that doesn’t happen, the platform remains just a tool.

During that time, we decided to join a crowdfunding course at VoKa, a Flemish organization that helps entrepreneurs on their way. We talked about this a bit before. At VoKa, we joined three other entrepreneurs as we tried to gather as much information as possible. We read blogs, news posts and scoutet Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for information. Knowledge is key!

Perks of running a local campaign

As you have to bring visitors to your campaign yourself, we understood that the first people who back your project have to be friends and family; people who know you personally. Furthermore, we decided the international market was just too big for our team of 3 and small existing community. When we discovered that we could be one of the first projects on a new bank-backed Belgian platform, we decided to run a national campaign.

Actually, our project was visible on two platforms. Hello Crowd! and Ulule, of which the latter is the platform Hello crowd! was built around. The former’s launch date was delayed untill after two big conventions we were attending, so we started off on Ulule. It obviously is better to be on one platform only, as this will prevent possible ambassadors being confused by the change of scenery.

We started to organize a crowdfunding campaign launch party, wrote our texts in Dutch and English and knew we would enjoy the perks of being the first. One of those would be a professional camera team to make our video with, as well as being a part of the platform’s communication strategy and having our texts translated in French. French is one of Belgium’s national languages. We have three, and we’re proud of it!

Another important pro was the fact that we’re present on our own market. We can be physically present at conventions, pitching events, meet up with people who are interested and get to know our own market.

Be prepared, be very prepared!

Our preparations had to be rushed slightly because of two big Belgian conventions we had arranged to be a part of. F.A.C.T.S. and GameForce both attract lots of visitors. Would we do things differently with what we know now? YES! Preparation is an important key to crowdfunding success. We’d take at least 1 month to prepare the campaign as well as the communications strategy. More on that in the next post in this series.

The details

  • Timeframe: This is an important factor in crowdfunding campaigns. They thrive on the feeling of necessity. If you give people too much time to think things over, you might lose their interest entirely. We ran for 40 days to make sure we could reach enough people, which gave us some time to iterate. Again: extra preparation and a shorter campaign helps!
  • Target goal: To decide the target amount, you’ll have to be realistic! What’s the minimum you need to achieve the “project” goal you pinned down in the Crowdfunding Canvas? Read our previous post to know hat this means. Add to that the amount you’ll need to pay all the rewards and then add the platform fee and taxes. Make sure you decide if you’ll ex- or include the shipping costs for physical rewards! Our goal ended up being 5k.
  • Rewards: These are tough! Think about these strategically. In hindsight, we didn’t do that enough. Stick to 5 to 7 rewards and align them with the story you’re telling with the campaign. We had too many options that ranged from live events to development and even playing cards. You have to keep in mind that everything has a cost, and if your community is still small, you might end up confusing your audience. We noticed the rewards that were chosen most ware in the price ranges 5-20-50-70. Except for our higher tiers, every reward has been bought at least once.
  • Texts: These texts require you to think about your game in detail. Again, we’ll redirect to the Crowdfunding Canvas. You’ll have to explain the project in an engaging way and immediately convey the “project” goal you want to achieve with the crowdfunding campaign. It’s the first few lines that will make visitors decide if they want to support the cause. In short, you have to include an explanation about your game and what you want to achieve with the campaign, what you’ll be using the money for specifically and some information about yourself and the studio. We were lucky to receive help from the people at Ulule and Hello Crowd.
  • Video: As we said before, we had the chance to film our video with a professional film crew thanks to our choice of platform. Prepare this well, as many visitors will only read the introduction and watch the video, or even skip the introduction entirely. Keep in mind the attention span of your audience! Watch our video to enjoy 3 people in lab coats!

It’s advisable to ask feedback from your existing community, friends and family. Send them your texts and rewards, or even organize a brainstorming session. Don’t forget your team. You’ll get vaulable insights and create your first die-hard ambassadors. Never do this alone, don’t stay on your deserted island.

The main takeaways

And that’s it from us today! What did we learn?

  • Welcome all the help and support you can get.
  • Preparation makes all the difference in crowdfunding.
  • A campaign requires a limited scope and has to convey 1 “project” story. More on this in our previous post.

Thanks for sticking with us this far and next time, we’ll look into communication strategy. We’ll also tell you if we’d do it all again. Be sure to add your thoughts and comments in the whiskers box below. We’d love to hear your experiences with crowdfunding!

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date!

The QuizWitz Crowdfunding story, part one: the basics

Game developers like you and me, we love Kickstarter. We’re familiar with the rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns, but did you know there are actually 4 different types of crowdfunding? Did you know there’s hundreds of platforms that all differ in just a few ways? More importantly, did you know money is only a part of its benefits?

A series of 3 posts

In this series of three, we’re going to look back on our campaign for QuizWitz and try to give you as many new insights as we can. Boy, it has been a learning experience! First, I’d like to stress that despite its benefits, it does not mean easy money. On the contrary: you have to take a lot of time to prepare your campaign and you’ll also have to make sure you stay on top of EVERYTHING. From PR to social media to updates, blog posts, development updates, offline communications, continue development, …

Each of the posts will concentrate on a different topic. The first one will explain everything theory. Next time, we’ll look into our campaign in depth and talk about our own preparations. The last one will be an overview of our communications during the campaign.

Why crowdfunding?

First of all, let’s look into the benefits of crowdfunding. The obvious one is that you can start a campaign to raise funding, but that’s not all there is to it. Here’s an overview of some other, at least equally important benefits.

  • Crowdfunding helped us to engage a new or existing audience to become ambassadors of our project. Yes, there’s always like-minded people out there that think like you. Once people are ambassadors, they’ll feel a connection to your project and start speaking out about its awesomeness. In short, it helps you to build up a community, and we tried to bring people together as much as possible.
  • Next to that, the risks are fairly limited. Most platforms only require you to pay a fee if you manage to get funded. That allows you to test the waters, but it also means you’ll get no dime if you don’t make it. This forces you to think very carefully about your goals and the course of the campaign. It also makes sure you’ll be able to pay for the promised rewards. In a way, this lowers two risks.
  • A crowdfunding campaign is also designed to show people what you’re doing and what you want to achieve. To do this, you’ll have to get your story straight and think about who you’re talking to. In the end, it will be a proof of concept that shows future customers and funders that there’s an interest for your project. Even if you don’t reach your goal, you’ll build up a collective of enthusiasts.
  • You will get feedback, and lots of it. You want people to feel connected to the project and if they care about what you’re doing, they’re going to try to help. Which is an awesome thing! We tried to facilitate this as much as we could, since we loved to hear what people were thinking. Maybe we just loved the compliments about the our quiz concept.
  • Two more terms: learning experience and market validation. Obviously, you’ll be working your furry socks off to prepare the campaign and as you go. You’ll learn new things about your project thanks to before mentioned feedback, you’ll meet lots of new people and you will be able to collect information about your audience. What’s the background of the people I’m engaging, who is sharing my message? Which groups and interests do they share? All of this information will be interesting in the long run as well!

The 4 types of crowdfunding

As we said in our intro, there are actually 4 types of crowdfunding. So let’s see what they are.

  • First there’s donation, in which funders don’t get anything in return. Naturally, this type is mostly popular for social causes or in charity oriented campaigns.
  • The rewards-based system can serve as a pre-sale. Funders get strategic rewards that bring a feeling of being part of your project. This type is one of the best solutions for developers, since it also builds community and can engage players.
  • The two last types are financial ones and are less suitable to build community. But if you’re in need of large sums of money, you can start a lending or equity campaign. A lending campaign allows you to raise funds in the form of loans, while an equity campaign is an actual exchange of shares. You’d be able to set investor caps and minimum pledges as well.

Which type works best for you is entirely up to what you’re aiming to achieve. For most game developers, the added value you get from reward-based campaigns will probably be of great importance. We chose to go for a reards-based campaign, as we are a young studio with a limited community.

The many, many platforms

Once you’ve chosen What type of campaign you will be running (yes, you’ll be running your own campaign, and you’ll be the manager more than the presidency candidate), you can start thinking about a platform. There are hundreds upon hundreds of them, even though the most popular and famous one is Kickstarter. The Soho Loft has a list of many of the crowdfunding platforms out there today.

Don’t go over this without considering every one of your goals. Each platform has its own capabilities user fee percentage and a unique design. Some support different payment methods and are aimed at a different geographic area. We chose to go for a local campaign for example. There’s a lot of story surrounding this choice. We’ll tell you more about it in the next blog post because…

A handy tool

First, we’ll introduce you to a handy tool we discovered during a crowdfunding workshop we attended in Belgium organized by Crowdfundingwerkt.be. It was lead by the awesome people at Douw&Koren, which is a crowdfunding consultancy bureau from The Netherlands.

The tool requires you to fill out every blank space. That way, you will get a clear view of each aspect of your campaign. You’ll be able to tell if you’re ready to go for crowdfunding.

Especially the first two spots are very important. The ‘Why’ and the ‘Project’ can give you a deeper understanding of your own campaign goals, and are inherently related to one another. The ‘Why’ focuses on the bigger picture of your project as a whole, without thinking about crowdfunding. You’ll have to fill out the big dream you want to achieve by working on the project you’re starting a campaign for.

A crowdfunding campaign on the other hand has a reachable target goal and is limited in time, so it requires you to define the scope of the campaign in detail. The ‘project’ refers to the crowdfunding campaign. So you have to answer the question: what do I want to achieve by running this crowdfunding campaign?

The other blank spaces you have to fill out will follow from your answers on the first two:

  • Proposition: Here you fill out the rewards and their prices.
  • Infrastructure: Deceide wich platform you’re going to use and add some important details about it here.
  • Promotion: Which communication channels and actions are going to be vital to your campaign?
  • Community: Which people will you reach out to? This includes people you know very well, acquaintances and connections via
  • Costs: Make a thorough breakdown of the costs you’ll be making in terms of rewards, taxes, marketing, fees and more.
  • Funding Target: Based on the costs and the budget you need to complete the goals for your campaign, you’ll define a fixed budget.

So what did we learn today?

  1. Crowdfunding has a lot of benefits, but it requires LOTS of work and dedication
  2. You can choose between no less than 4 types of crowdfunding for your campaign
  3. There are hundreds and hundreds of different platforms; choose wisely

There are 3 stages in every crowdfunding campaign too. We’ll get back to that in the last post in this series. In the next we will look into the preparations we made for QuizWitz. It was a lot of work in a short time!

We hope you learned a lot and join us next week to read about our campaign more in detail!

Successful Crowdfunding and QuizWitz Live

Dear Lab cats

Good news! Our crowdfunding campaign ended successfully! So we’d like to send out a big thank you to our ambassadors any place we can. It was a tough ride, but thanks to our contributors, we were victorious in the end!

You can still visit our campaign to see what happened!

QuizWitz Live

During our campaign, we learned a lot. From how to plan and set up a crowdfunding campaign to how we can be creative with our projects. On this last note, we started working on an additional version of QuizWitz. One that we feel can speed up the quizzing revolution too!

QuizWitz Live allows people to create quizzes for their organizations! How does it work? Well, you create a quiz with long questions to read out loud, and short ones to show on the big screen. You then announce the quiz and allow people to play in teams. Each team needs a smartphone or tablet to answer questions.

What makes it so much fun? We tested it, and received great feedback! People loved how they received feedback about the answers and their added points immediately. They had to wait for no one to count points.

We are organizing our own events, and will allow Pro users to use it in the future as well! More news will follow.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date!

Update: A Detailed Budget Overview

Dear Lab cats!

As you’re all well aware, our crowdfunding campaign is well beyond its midpoint and we’re going strong! We’ve reached 73%! To explain why we really need the full 5K , we’ll look into our target budget in detail with you. > What could we do with your support?

You can find our campaign at QuizWitz.com/ambassador for only 6 more days!

The crowdfunding costs – 25%

A crowdfunding campaign isn’t free of charge for a studio. Though most platforms, like the one we’re on, only require you to pay them if you reach your target budget. On Indiegogo on the other hand those costs would be charged if you decide to cash in the pledged amount. You can do this even if you don’t reach your target budget. For us, that’s 8% platform fee and about 17% taxes (depending on the reward you choose).

Physical rewards & QuizWitz Live – 20%

As you can see in our graph, we added a separate percentage for the physical rewards and for the QuizWitz Live event. That is because we actually have only one physical reward, which is our set of QuizWitz playing cards. The Live event then will require a fair budget for its own development and organization.

So what is QuizWitz Live? It’s a live event that takes the traditional quiz evening a step further. We want to bring our new technology and live quiz events together. Our aim is to make it feel like a television quiz experience as much as possible, with spotlights, a show host and prizes!

Development plans – 55%

QuizWitz is the game and project you’re supporting with this campaign. It goes without saying more than half of the budget we raise will go into its development. As our game is still in its beta phase, we really want it to grow and become a community in which every quizzer can find a place.

What does this mean? We will be developing a game client for Windows, Mac and Linux. The version for Steam already has a beta master and should be available in the next coming weeks.

“Additional game rounds and flow” then means we will improve the flow of the game. For example, the points allocation screen will be improved so that more than 12 players can play at the same time. We will also get rid of minor bugs and improve the loading speed of the entire game. Most of these issues come from feedback reports provided by our ambassadors already, which is a great thing!

In addition, new rounds will add refreshing styles of play. We’re thinking of developing a lightning round, where only the fastest player can answer the question, or a round in which players vote on each other’s imitation performances or drawing skills. Of course you will be able to create these types of rounds yourself.

Note: It may seem that we’re live on 2 crowdfunding platforms, but the fact is that our official one was still in development when we started our campaign. Hello crowd! is the new kid on the block in Belgium and Ulule is their supporting partner. This still means the fee mentioned above is only applicable for Hello crowd!.

The campaigns:

We want everyone in the world to be able to test and share their knowledge! And QuizWitz is the project with which we can achieve this goal. Each and every supporter becomes an ambassador, just until November 7! Let’s create a global community together!

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date!