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I still can't believe it!

It is November and fall is settling down around me. This is usually a time to play while it is still light in the afternoons. School is in full swing and leaves, even in California, start changing into their golds and reds. The biggest change that I notice is the slant of the sun as it heads southwards. It seems to change my entire perception of time and place. I want to hide acorns! I feel the need to stock up on food, clothing, scarves, anything that feels cozy.

Right now though, is different. I still feel all those autumnal undertones, but on top is a great sense of excitement and newness. My Kickstarter Project: Seek OUT! is coming to a close. That means all my generous backers (many of you readers) have received their rewards. Once those games and accessories ship I can begin selling my nature game in earnest to the public- wow! a release to the world!

I still can't believe where I am now compared to a year ago.

In July of 2020, my mom died after a several-year struggle with cancer. I was her main caretaker thus my dreams of game design and nature play were stifled by that oppressive illness. I had no capacity for anything creative let alone a successful crowdfunding campaign. Seek OUT! lived as notes, sketches, conversations, and curious kids. 2020 was a dark dark fall and winter. No one was excluded from confusion and despair that year.

2021 dawned with renewed hope. (Although not without some frightening moments.) As for me, I put all my hopes and dreams that I could muster into running a Kickstarter campaign for Seek OUT! I needed help to make this game a reality.

I have found that there is nothing better for my motivation than accountability.

So I called on my community of nature lovers and made myself accountable to them. With their financial and moral support, I promised to deliver a fully developed and manufactured nature game.

In talking to colleagues I realized that launching the game through crowdfunding would not hurt my chances of working with a publisher later. In fact, running a funded Kickstarter project is proof of a viable market. Win/Win! So I dove headfirst into research on how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign.

My three greatest resources were Jamie Stegmaier's blog and book A Crowdfunder's Strategy Guide; and Nalin Chuapetcharasopon's Crush Crowdfunding Podcast. I could not have done this without their expertise and advice.

Most Important Crowdfunding Lessons

  1. Running a crowdfunding campaign is hard work

  2. Start with a large network of backers eager to pledge on launch day

  3. Shipping and Fulfillment are really challenging

And all three we backed by my experience. Despite all three, I completed a fully funded campaign. I could not have pulled it off without some of my own capital, some freelancers, and a ton of customer faith. I am eternally grateful to ya'll.

Here I am with a well-designed, professionally produced game ready for GTM (go to market). My bills are paid up. The last backers are receiving their games and the remainder of the decks from the first production run are in customs. This is a very special place for a business owner to be in. I am ready to get this nature game into the hands of kids. Now if I could just hurry them along through customs.....

I will keep you posted when I have them in the warehouse ready to sell through my website.

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