Welcome to BackerKit’s High-Five Interview where we ask creators 5 questions revolving around their projects, inspirations, and overall crowdfunding journey.
We spent some time chatting with the one man army behind Cephalofair Games responsible for Gloomhaven and the more recent Founders of Gloomhaven tabletop games. The Gloomhaven games have been hugely successful so we naturally wanted to learn more direct from the source.
Crowdfunding was necessary at the beginning for me because I was a new company and didn’t have the capital needed to manufacture my games up-front. It has become more than that for me now, allowing me to build a strong community around my games and then rely on that community for help with things like playtesting, proofing, and getting creative ideas for making the games better.
What’s the coolest crowdfunding project you’ve ever seen? (Besides your own of course)
Roxley Games’ Kickstarter for the new edition of Brass was a masterclass on running a board game Kickstarter project. I think Gavan Brown is the best in the business in that regard. His projects always look immaculately beautiful, and he goes above and beyond to keep his backers engaged throughout the project.
How did BackerKit change your overall experience?
With the huge volume of orders I receive on my projects, it just makes sense to use a pledge manager. I tried to go without one on the first printing of Gloomhaven, and it was a nightmare of spreadsheets. The survey provided by Kickstarter is just woefully inadequate, and BackerKit’s service does all the time-consuming stuff for me, so I can focus my time elsewhere.
Do you have any hobbies and/or collect anything?
My hobbies are board games and video games, though I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a collector of either. I play games to challenge myself. Nothing feels better than overcoming a difficult challenge.
What’s next? Any upcoming projects you want to share?
I am starting to work on the expansion to Gloomhaven in earnest now. It will be a whole new campaign in a different part of the world, and I’ve mapped out the story, created a handful of new characters, and started some in-house testing. It’s still a very long way off from seeing the light of day, though.
What were your main inspirations while creating the Gloomhaven universe?
My main inspiration for creating the Gloomhaven universe was playing a lot of D&D. Whenever I DM a D&D campaign, I always create my own settings and stories specifically for that campaign. So when I decided to make an epic dungeon crawl campaign board game, it made sense to build up my own world around it.
Can you give new crowdfunding creators a few pieces of advice?
I have two pieces of advice. First, read Jamey Stegmaier’s Kickstarter Lessons blog cover-to-cover. It is an overflowing wealth of useful advice. If you want more specific advice, though, I would say that crowdfunding needs two things to be successful. You need to draw people to your page, and you also need to convince people to support you once they are there. Focus on both of those things equally, because if you do only one, your project will fail.
What’s your favorite vegan cookie recipe?
It’s actually been awhile since I’ve made vegan cookies, but I’ll try to remember my recipe off the top of my head. Mix together 2 cups of unbleached sugar with 1/2 cup of vegan margarine, then add in one whole package of silken tofu and 2 tsp vanilla. Mix until not lumpy. Then add 3 cups of unbleached flour, 1 tsp salt, and 2 tsp baking soda. That should give you a good base, so from there, add whatever you want – chocolate chips, fruit, nuts, pumpkin pie spice – then do the whole cookie sheet thing and bake on 350 for 20 minutes. It might work out. I don’t know, I never really follow recipes when I cook. I just add stuff until it looks right.