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How Kickstarter Creators Are Coping with the Coronavirus

Mar 6 2020
Peak Design's Travel Tripods at the factory
Peak Design's Travel Tripods at the factory


Creators making everything from electronic devices to tarot cards are putting health and safety first as they update backers on how the outbreak is affecting their projects.


Kickstarter brings together creators and backers from all seven continents (yes, even Antarctica). So when there’s a global disruption on the scale of the coronavirus outbreak, we can see the ripple effects pretty quickly.

To better understand how this outbreak is affecting creators and their projects, we’ve been keeping an eye on project updates that mention the virus, and we’ve pulled together a few takeaways. This situation is evolving, and we’ll continue to update this post with any significant new information.

First, a bit of perspective from Peak Design, who wrote on February 13 that a travel and shipping ban in China was temporarily preventing around 900 of its Travel Tripods from reaching backers in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The company wrote:

“But what is far more important are the hundreds of millions of people affected by this crisis. Over a thousand people have died. Many more are suffering from illness. And many, many more continue to have their lives and livelihoods upended—by losing loved ones, being separated from their families, being unable to return home to their jobs, being unable to open their stores and factories for business, or simply from the dread and uncertainty brought forth by the outbreak of disease.”

Like our friends at Peak Design, our hearts go out to those in communities directly affected by the coronavirus. To creators in these areas, we understand that your safety and the safety of your families needs to be your priority right now. 


Factory closures in China have delayed fulfillment for some creators

Kickstarter projects often provide a behind-the-scenes look at how creative work gets made. For many projects, this involves updates from factories in China—and many of those factories were forced to shut down.

The spread of the virus came at a time when factories throughout China were already taking a break for the Chinese New Year holiday. Travel restrictions and public health precautions within China caused many factories to remain closed for weeks longer than expected. This means many Kickstarter creators who depend on Chinese factories for manufacturing products or sourcing materials are experiencing delays in production and uncertainty about when they will be able to fulfill rewards—although there are signs that the worst may be over.

It’s important to remember that Kickstarter serves independent creators who usually don't have the resources of a large corporation. Apple has said it is facing production delays because of the virus. When a company of that size is struggling, it should come as no surprise that smaller creators who don't have that kind of leverage, experience, or staffing will also face significant challenges.

The Morus team assembles a prototype
The Morus team assembles a prototype

 In a February 24 update to backers who supported their countertop clothes dryer, members of the Morus team, based in China, explained how travel restrictions were affecting them:

“The coronavirus outbreak has postponed our post-holiday return to work. Corporates like us as well as our manufacturer partners need to apply for approval to resume work. We've [gotten] approved after some efforts. Most of our team members just returned to the office today. A few of our colleagues from Hubei Province will work remotely from home. Meanwhile, we will sanitize the [workplace] and monitor the health status of the team daily… We are doing our best here to make up the time loss due to the epidemic. We will keep coordinating with our manufacturer and hopefully we [will be able] to update you in our next post about how long it will delay the shipping. Stay healthy, my friends.”

Even creators who make their products in other countries can be affected if they use parts or materials from China. Eric Fox, of the legendary synthesizer company Buchla, wrote in an update on February 13 that its manufacturer in San Francisco was waiting on electrical components from Asia.

Buchla's synthesizers are made in the Bay Area but use parts sourced from China
Buchla's synthesizers are made in the Bay Area but use parts sourced from China

Many updates share the good news that factories are starting to reopen—but getting back to full capacity will take time. In a February 19 update, the makers of Woojer Edge, a kind of wearable subwoofer, told backers:

“Employees are starting to gradually return back to work from their hometown, but are obliged to [undergo] a 14-day self-isolation before getting back to the production line. The factory estimates they will operate at approximately 30% capacity by the end of the month. The factory also faces a huge amount of backorders and will do their best to work through the backlog.”

Closures are affecting creators across categories

While a lot of reporting on the coronavirus’s economic impact has focused on the tech sector, creators work with factories in China to realize all kinds of projects. We’ve seen virus-related updates from creators making home products, tabletop games, enamel pins, comic books, clothing, stuffed animals, and even tarot cards.

One consistent theme in these updates is creators expressing their understanding and appreciation that factory owners are taking precautions to keep their employees safe.

Twenty One Toys makes games that aim to help players develop empathy and resilience in the face of failure. So it’s no surprise that their February 24 update addressing the coronavirus kept things in perspective:

“We have hit a bit of a hiccup in terms of toy production… The wonderful Taiwanese family business that we work with to make all of our Empathy and Failure Toys is based in China and has let us know that they are keeping the factory partly closed right now to ensure that their team and their families are staying healthy. We're really happy to hear that they are all okay, and we're hoping that the factory will reopen soon.”

Some creators are coming up with workarounds to try to stay on track

Making a complex product often involves working with multiple partners and devoting significant time and resources to developing custom manufacturing equipment and processes. For most teams, it’s not realistic to come up with a plan B when unforeseen circumstances delay production. But some creators, particularly those doing smaller product runs, are looking for alternative solutions.

Relio's modular photo lighting
Relio's modular photo lighting

The northern Italian startup Relio makes modular lighting for photographers. As the coronavirus spread to that region, they anticipated a slowdown in manufacturing and mapped out a way to keep production going:

“We decided to bring all the 3D printing of Relio accessories and shapers in-house. So, if factories or suppliers will be forced to close for some time, Relio production will keep going! We ordered four high-grade 3D printers (made in EU) that are now being assembled by the manufacturer and will be delivered to us in one to two weeks. Then, we will immediately set up an in-house ‘printing farm’ and we will start printing without the need to rely on any external company. Just in case.”

There’s no evidence that packages from affected countries are a health risk

Backers often ask whether there’s any risk of contracting the virus from packages shipped from China. In response, creators have been sharing resources like this NPR report and the CDC’s coronavirus FAQ, which notes that “because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures.”

Backers have been understanding and supportive

Australia-based Espresso Displays posted a detailed update on February 21 from mechanical engineer Will Scuderi, who has been working in Shenzhen, the Chinese manufacturing hub:

“As I decided to stay in Shenzhen during this time, I’ve been able to see the precautions here that have been set in place to lower the impact of the spread of the virus. For example, in my apartment building, no one can leave or enter without having their temperature checked (photo of me getting scanned on the way to lunch), and to touch the elevator buttons, you need to use a tissue from a tissue box that has been mounted to the wall!

Will Scuderi of Espresso Displays gets a temperature check
Will Scuderi of Espresso Displays gets a temperature check

"Things like this give me confidence that we will be returning to normal soon. But it is important to remember [that] the safety of our team and of all the hundreds of people involved in making your Espresso Displays comes first. I decided to stay in Shenzhen [at] this time so that the day that our suppliers reopened their doors, I could be there to finish off the final pre-production unit of the display. This means that we’ll be back on track soon to [get]getting your displays into your hands. I was also very aware of the risks associated with remaining in China during this time and made the appropriate personal decision that where I was located was safe to stay. Where I am, in the province of Guangdong, there has only been one death from the coronavirus.

"Your displays’ components and accessories come from many different suppliers, and this means they don’t all start back at the same time. For example, the factory that your Espresso Displays’ speakers come from have already reopened and production has commenced, but the factory where the LED panel gets mounted onto the touch panel is still waiting to reopen. Had things gone as normal, we would have been very close to delivering on our promised timeline of shipping out the first units by the end of February. This delay is unfortunate to all of you waiting for your displays, but I know we have your support through this period and we can’t wait to get back on track and show you that first production unit!”

The replies from Espresso Displays’ backers express a common sentiment:

“Please stay safe. Of all the reasons for items to be delayed, this is most certainly the most understandable!”

“Please do not put your health and well-being at risk. I, for one, will be prepared to accept a delay in shipment. Totally understandable and excusable!”

“Your passion is exemplary! Thank you for putting all this effort [into] this beautiful project and keep yourself and your team safe. We can wait.”

This has been the response to most of these project updates about virus-related delays. As excited as people are to see the projects they’ve backed come to fruition, there’s a shared understanding that supporting creators right now means being patient. And while they wait, backers are getting a unique perspective on the crisis through these firsthand accounts.

Kickstarter y el Festival Internacional de Cine de Guanajuato presentan 12 proyectos cinematográficos dirigidos por estudiantes universitarios en México

Feb 28 2020

This article is also available in English.

Por cuarto año consecutivo, Kickstarter se asocia con el Festival Internacional de Cine de Guanajuato para apoyar a los cineastas mexicanos emergentes a través de talleres, capacitación y campañas de Kickstarter.

Desde 2017, Kickstarter se ha asociado con el Festival Internacional de Cine de Guanajuato (GIFF) para apoyar a equipos de cineastas emergentes en universidades de todo México. Los 12 proyectos cinematográficos de este año, seleccionados por GIFF, tienen actualmente sus proyectos en campaña en Kickstarter para completar cortometrajes narrativos y documentales que se estrenarán en el festival en julio.

GIFF es el único festival de cine en México que ofrece un programa educativo para estudiantes. Cada año, los estudiantes de universidades de todo el país son elegidos para participar en talleres y capacitaciones para ayudar a dar vida a sus proyectos cinematográficos.

El programa se divide en dos iniciativas: el Rally Universitario, que reta a los estudiantes a producir una narración corta en sólo 48 horas, e Identidad y Pertenencia, que presenta seis cortos documentales que exploran la identidad regional y los desafíos actuales de la vida en Guanajuato, México.

Las películas financiadas por Kickstarter que se estrenaron en GIFF en los últimos años han sido seleccionadas por más de 20 festivales nacionales e internacionales, llegando a países como Túnez, Reino Unido, Italia, India, Rusia, Irlanda, Bélgica, Estados Unidos, entre otros.

Conoce los 12 increíbles proyectos que se estrenarán en el 23º Festival Internacional de Cine de Guanajuato este verano, y ayuda a hacerlos realidad patrocinándolos ahora mismo.

Rally Universitario: cortos de ficción

Ana juega a las escondidas, por Daniela Márquez García

Ana juega a las escondidas empieza con este famoso juego infantil para ilustrar los miedos a los cuales nos enfrentamos todos pero que solemos esconder o disipar. Este grupo de estudiantes de la Universidad Iberoamericana Torreón inicia su carrera en el cine con este cortometraje de ficción.

Ana juega a las escondidas
Ana juega a las escondidas

Eres una estrella, por Daniel Acosta

Estudiantes de la Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, México presentan su primer cortometraje de ficción; la travesía de una estrella bajado del cielo para iluminar y guiar a los demás.

Eres una estrella
Eres una estrella

Muerte en Guanajuato, por Ernesto Pérez Medina

Muerte en Guanajuato es una comedia oscura sobre dos amigos que descubren un cuerpo muerto al llegar a casa, y deciden encargarse de su desaparición ellos mismos.

Muerte en Guanajuato
Muerte en Guanajuato

¡Remedios!, por Vanessa Castellanos

Con la protagonista de este cortometraje, el equipo de cineastas busca ilustrar la falta de comunicación entre una madre y una joven de 16 años en pleno despertar sexual, para denunciar la falta de confianza y seguridad al hablar de sexualidad durante la adolescencia.

¡Remedios!
¡Remedios!

Los incomprendidos, por Gonzalo de la Torre Amaya

Los incomprendidos es una comedia de de ficción sobre la vida de artistas desconocidos tratando de vivir de su arte, hasta que uno de ellos tome una decisión que cambiará su carrera artística para siempre, y la de sus amigos.

Los incomprendidos
Los incomprendidos

Renata, por Jossué Roman

Los estudiantes detrás de este cortometraje tratarán del tema de la depresión: cómo uno logra sanarse. Contarán esta historia a través de Renata una joven que sufre de esta enfermedad.

Renata
Renata

Identidad y Pertenencia: cortos documentales

El Torito, por Roberto Salazar

En Silao, Guanajuato, se manifiesta la tradicional Danza del Torito de manera especial, este documental da a conocer las vidas de Ricardo Anguiano (La Gata) y Margarito Rodriguez (La Cacahuata), dos protagonistas de la danza.

El Torito
El Torito

Toda la vida, por Orlando Terrones

Estudiantes de la universidad de LaSalle Bajío investigan sobre los aficionados del equipo de fútbol de León, Guanajuato y cómo esa pasión impacta a la comunidad y a sus estilos de vida.

Toda la vida
Toda la vida

Memoria sumergida, por Juan Salvador Ybarra Quintero

En el 1949, todo el pueblo de Chupicuaro, fue forzado a evacuar por la construcción de la presa Solís. A través de la memoria de tres de sus habitantes el equipo detrás de Memoria Sumergida investiga, ¿cómo se pudo mudar la cultura y la identidad este pueblo?

Memoria sumergida
Memoria sumergida

Esperanza, por José María Melchor Rangel

Esperanza es el nombre de la muñeca de cartón regalada por la abuela de la familia. A través del linaje femenino de dicha familia, el equipo detrás de este documental busca valorar y reconocer el oficio de cartonería de la Comunidad de Tenería del Santuario, municipio de Celaya, Guanajuato.

Esperanza
Esperanza

Metamorfosis, por Maricela Abigail Ayala Valadez

Metamorfosis relata la historia de vida de Rubén Escalante, hombre de 63 años originario de la ciudad de Ocampo, Guanajuato. El cortometraje documental explora el proceso de transformación y cotidianidad de la vida a través de la historia de Rubén y su labor social como panadero.

Metamorfosis
Metamorfosis

¡Hasta la madre!, por Uriel Alejandro Pérez Tinoco

La ciudad de Celaya, Guanajuato, ha experimentado un alto nivel de inseguridad en los últimos años, los estudiantes en enfermería y mercadotecnia de la universidad de Guanajuato, a través de “¡Hasta la madre!” quieren denunciar el nivel de violencia que se vive y exigir más seguridad en la región.

¡Hasta la madre!
¡Hasta la madre!

 Descubre todos los proyectos del GIFF en Kickstarter aquí.

Kickstarter and Guanajuato International Film Festival to Feature 12 Student-Led Film Projects in Mexico

Feb 28 2020

También disponible en español.

For the fourth year in a row, Kickstarter is teaming up with Guanajuato International Film Festival to support emerging Mexican filmmakers through workshops, training, and Kickstarter campaigns.

Since 2017, Kickstarter has partnered with the Guanajuato International Film Festival (GIFF) to support teams of emerging filmmakers at universities across Mexico. This year’s 12 film projects, selected by GIFF, are all currently running projects on Kickstarter to complete short narrative and documentary films that will premiere at the festival in July.

GIFF is the only film festival in Mexico to offer an educational program for students. Each year, students from universities across the country are chosen to take part in workshops and training to help bring their film projects to life.

The program is divided into two initiatives: Rally Universitario (University Rally), which challenges students to produce a narrative short in just 48 hours, and Identidad y Pertenencia (Identity and Belonging), which features six documentary shorts that explore the regional identity and contemporary challenges of life in Guanajuato, Mexico.

Kickstarter-funded films that premiered at GIFF in past years have gone on to be selected in more than 20 national and international festivals, reaching countries such as Tunisia, the UK, Italy, India, Russia, Ireland, Belgium, the United States, among others.

Learn more about these 12 incredible projects premiering at GIFF this summer, and help them come to life by backing them.

Rally universitario: Narrative Shorts

Ana juega a las escondidas, by Daniela Márquez García

Ana juega a las escondidas begins with this famous children's game (hide and seek) to illustrate the fears we all face but that we usually hide or dispel. This group of students from Universidad Iberoamericana Torreón start their film career with this fiction short film.

Ana Juega A Las Escondidas
Ana Juega A Las Escondidas

Eres una estrella, by Daniel Acosta

Students of Universidad Autónoma of Baja California, Mexico present their first fiction short film; the journey of a star down from the sky to illuminate and guide others.

Eres Una Estrella
Eres Una Estrella

Muerte en Guanajuato, by Ernesto Pérez Medina 

Muerte en Guanajuato is a dark comedy about two friends who discover a dead body at home, and decide to take care of the body themselves.

Muerte En Guanajuato
Muerte En Guanajuato

¡Remedios!, by Vanessa Castellanos 

With the protagonist of this short film, the team of filmmakers seeks to illustrate the lack of communication between a mother and a 16-year-old girl in full sexual awakening, to denounce the lack of confidence and security that can be present when talking about sexuality during adolescence.

Remedios!
Remedios!

Los incomprendidos, by Gonzalo de la Torre Amaya 

Los incomprendidos is a fiction comedy about the life of unknown artists trying to live from their art, until one of them makes a decision that will change his and his friend’s career forever.

Los Incomprendidos
Los Incomprendidos

Renata, by Jossué Roman

The students behind this short film will deal with the issue of depression: how one manages to heal. They will tell this story through Renata, a young woman suffering from this illness.

Renata
Renata

Identidad y Pertenencia: Documentary Shorts

El Torito, by Roberto Salazar 

In Silao, Guanajuato, the traditional dance, Danza del Torito, is manifested in a special way, this documentary tells the story of Ricardo Anguiano (La Gata) and Margarito Rodriguez (La Cacahuata), two protagonists of this dance.

El Torito
El Torito

Toda la vida, by Orlando Terrones 

Students from the University of LaSalle Bajío investigate fans of the local soccer team of León, Guanajuato and how this passion impacts the community and their lifestyles.

Toda La Vida
Toda La Vida

Memoria sumergida, by Juan Salvador Ybarra Quintero 

In 1949, the entire town of Chupicuaro was forced to evacuate due to the construction of the Solís dam. Through the memory of three of its inhabitants, the team behind Memoria Sumergida looks into how this town was able to move its culture and identity to a new territory.

Memoria Sumergida
Memoria Sumergida

Esperanza, by José María Melchor Rangel 

Esperanza is the name of a cardboard doll given by the family's grandmother. Through this family’s feminine lineage, the team behind this documentary seeks to value and recognize the cardboard trade of the Comunidad de Tenería del Santuario, in the municipality of Celaya, Guanajuato.

Esperanza
Esperanza

Metamorfosis, by Maricela Abigail Ayala Valadez 

Metamorphosis tells the life story of Rubén Escalante, a 63-year-old man from the city of Ocampo, Guanajuato. The documentary short explores the process of transformation and everyday life through Rubén's history and his work as a baker.

Metamorfosis
Metamorfosis

¡Hasta la madre!, by Uriel Alejandro Pérez Tinoco 

The city of Celaya, Guanajuato, has experienced high levels of insecurity in recent years. Through "¡Hasta la madre!", students of nursing and marketing at the University of Guanajuato want to denounce the violence experienced and demand more security in the region.

¡Hasta la madre!
¡Hasta la madre!

Explore all past and present GIFF projects on Kickstarter.

How to Participate in Signs of Change, Kickstarter’s Upcoming Open Call

Feb 26 2020

Signs of Change is Kickstarter’s upcoming open call for posters, signs, zines, and broadsides, launching in Summer 2020. 

Here, we answer some questions creators might have about taking part. 

What is Signs of Change? 

Signs of Change is an invitation for artists, designers, printers, and writers to launch projects that make a statement. Your voice—and your work—matters, and we're here to help you get it out of your head and into your community. 

What can I make? 

Use printed materials to share an idea that matters to you or a call to action. You could screenprint signs for a march, Xerox zines for your band, or print poetry broadsides for your readers. 

Does my project have to be political? 

No. For example, you could create a zine about how to work with local libraries or a poster outlining your community's best parks for bird-watching. 

Do stickers count? 

Yep, projects to create stickers count. (Projects to create enamel pins do not.)

How do I participate? 

To participate in Signs of Change, follow these steps: 

  • Create a Kickstarter project for a poster, sign, zine, or broadside 
  • Put Signs of Change in your project title or short description 
  • Launch your project anytime between July 13 and August 31, 2020

Reach out to us with additional questions at signsofchange [at] kickstarter [dot] com and we’ll do our best to help out. 

How will Kickstarter promote Signs of Change projects? 

Throughout July and August, we’ll share live Signs of Change projects on our site, on social media, and in our newsletters. 

How long does my campaign need to run? And do I have to raise a certain amount? 

When it comes to campaign duration, the shorter the sweeter. Consider running a campaign for a week, then fulfill it the following week. The same thing goes for your funding goal: consider setting it at $500-$750; if you raise more, you can always up your production run. 

What types of projects will not be considered? 

We will only consider creative projects that follow Kickstarter's rules. This means we will not consider any projects containing hate speech, raising money for a political candidate, or fundraising for a charity. We will not consider any projects that feature prohibited items.

Ready to start drafting your Signs of Change project? Head here to get started.

Mexican Game Designer Héctor Pérez Funded Four Games on Kickstarter—Here Are His Tips for International Campaigns

Feb 19 2020

He’ll be speaking at tabletop games convention Mega XP with Kickstarter February 29 and March 1—this is the sneak peek of insights he’ll share there.

También disponible en español.

Héctor Pérez and his Enigmacards
Héctor Pérez and his Enigmacards

Héctor Pérez is one of the first 30 Mexico-based creators to fund a project since Kickstarter opened here in late 2016. He’s led two campaigns for his artful Enigmacards playing card decks, four more with Sextante Studio, and he has collaborated and advised on several more. Ahead of his educational workshop with Kickstarter at tabletop games convention Mega XP, we asked him a few questions about running international campaigns, so we can share his insights beyond the convention.

You have published four projects on Kickstarter in the past three years, can you tell us about your experience on your very first project?

The truth is it was a bittersweet experience. It was very positive, with lots of learning opportunities, but there are many things you can’t know until you run a project.

What I remember most is that we thought we knew who our audience was, but we soon realized our prices were too high for a lot of backers in Mexico—there’s a cultural perspective here that a deck of cards shouldn’t cost more than $10 and that the customer shouldn’t have to pay for shipping on top of that, so it was a tough sell locally. We didn’t think we would get into foreign audiences so quickly, but Kickstarter’s deck community liked our project. We realized we needed to translate the page from Spanish to English—which took us 15 days.

That first project was also the first time we had to deal with shipping. There were 340 people around the world waiting for their rewards, and I have to say fulfilment was a challenge. You have to know the product perfectly: how much it weighs, how much space it takes up, what packing paper you will need, how much the envelope or box weighs, how many trips it’ll take to get it all to the post office, and how much gasoline that takes. It goes beyond calculating the cost of the single envelope.

For our type of project we now know it’s key to plan this before launching the project, because with good planning you can save a lot of money. Our first project had 340 backers and the last we ran got 1,806, but we manage the logistics all by ourselves and now we are pretty good at it.

We use the local post office, Correos de México, which is extremely economical. I see most Mexican creators wanting to go with companies like DHL and FedEx to ship their rewards, but they are far too expensive. In Mexico we rarely mail packages in our daily life, so we don’t have much confidence in that service. We tend to think foreign companies like DHL do a better job, but really I don’t recommend it.

These are the kind of issues that marked our first campaign, which fortunately was successful. Our brand also grew, thanks to the visibility our Kickstarter project gave us. 

 How did you start building community around your project?

In Mexico, three years ago, we had to educate people about Kickstarter—we needed to explain how to use the platform. So our strategy was to ask PKM—a YouTube influencer for poker players and card deck audiences in general—to post a video about our Kickstarter project and explain how Kickstarter works. He made a step-by-step tutorial that saved us a lot of time answering basic questions. Most importantly, it helped us reach PKM’s community and people we wouldn’t have reached on our own.

Of course we couldn’t count only on that influencer’s community and his willingness to share our project. We also hosted casual events with friends and family where we would carry an iPad or laptop and teach them how to back and explain why it was so important to us.

Then, we started to look at foreign markets: the U.S. and Europe. We worked with more influencers to spread the word—we sent them prototypes of our deck and some of them agreed to post videos.

When the project is live, it’s important to keep building the community you have by always sharing news, posting updates, answering questions in the comments, and being very aware of all the messages coming in. It gets interesting when you are in Mexico and you have people from Europe commenting—you have to be fast and organize around that time difference.

What happens when your project ends and you have delivered every reward? How do you keep in touch with the community long-term? For a while, you continue talking to people like you did through your campaign. After delivering everything for our first project, it was about three months before we made a final update and said, “It's over, we finished this project,” but we kept replying to new comments or messages.

For the third campaign—a deck featuring the axolotl, a salamander native to Mexico—we continue posting updates because we are still helping other institutions with conservation efforts related to the campaign.

On the other end of the spectrum, we launched our latest project knowing we would cut off our updates after about two months because we knew we’d be busy creating the next campaign.

It has been a learning process for us since the first project so we are still adapting and finding the best way to do it.

This is just some of what you will be able to learn from Héctor at his talk on Sunday March 1 in Expo Reforma, Mexico City. We’ll be at Mega XP that whole weekend with him and other successful games creators like Gnomosapiens, Weapon Wars, DOXA, Draco studio, and Tattoo Brawl. Join us to learn more about Kickstarter and play some games.

El diseñador de juegos mexicano, Héctor Pérez, financió cuatro proyectos en Kickstarter. Estos son sus consejos para llevar a cabo campañas internacionales

Feb 19 2020

Hablará con Kickstarter en la convención de juegos de mesa Mega XP el 29 de febrero y el 1 de marzo. Este es el adelanto de los conocimientos que compartirá allí.

This article is also available in English.

Héctor Pérez
Héctor Pérez

Héctor Pérez es uno de los primeros 30 creadores mexicanos en financiar un proyecto desde que Kickstarter está disponible aquí a finales de 2016. Ha dirigido dos campañas para sus artísticas barajas de cartas Enigmacards, cuatro más con Sextante Studio, y ha colaborado y asesorado en varias más. 

 Anticipándonos a su taller educativo con Kickstarter en la convención de juegos de mesa Mega XP, le hicimos algunas preguntas sobre cómo llevar a cabo campañas internacionales y así poder compartir sus conocimientos en otros lugares. 

En los últimos tres años, has publicado cuatro proyectos en Kickstarter, ¿puedes contarnos cómo fue tu experiencia en tu primer proyecto? 

La verdad es que fue una experiencia agridulce. Fue muy positiva, con muchas oportunidades de aprendizaje, pero hay muchas cosas que no puedes anticipar hasta que empiezas a dirigir un proyecto. 

Lo que más recuerdo es que pensábamos que sabíamos quién era nuestra audiencia, pero pronto notamos que nuestros precios eran demasiado altos para muchos patrocinadores de México. Aquí hay una percepción cultural de que una baraja de cartas no puede costar más de USD 10 y que el cliente no debería, además, tener que pagar por el envío, así que fue una experiencia de venta difícil a nivel local. Jamás pensamos que nos insertaríamos en el mercado extranjero tan rápidamente. Sin embargo, a la comunidad de barajas de cartas de Kickstarter le gustó nuestro proyecto. Entonces, decidimos que era necesario traducir la página del español al inglés, lo que nos llevó 15 días. 

En ese primer proyecto fue también la primera vez que tuvimos que lidiar con los envíos. Teníamos 340 personas en todo el mundo esperando sus recompensas, y tengo que decir que la entrega fue un desafío. Tienes que conocer el producto a la perfección: cuánto pesa, cuánto espacio ocupa, qué tipo de papel de embalaje necesitas, cuánto pesa el sobre o la caja, cuántos viajes tienes que hacer para llevar todo a la oficina de correos y cuánta gasolina necesitas. Va más allá de calcular sólo el costo del sobre. 

Para un proyecto como el nuestro, ya sabemos que es fundamental planificar esto antes de publicar el proyecto, ya que con una buena planificación se puede ahorrar mucho dinero. Nuestro primer proyecto tuvo 340 patrocinadores y el último que llevamos a cabo tuvo 1806, pero manejamos toda la logística por nuestra cuenta y ahora nos desempeñamos bastante bien en esa tarea. 

Utilizamos la oficina de correos local, Correos de México, que es extremadamente económica. He notado que la mayoría de los creadores mexicanos prefieren utilizar empresas como DHL o FedEx para enviar sus recompensas, pero son demasiado caras. En México, rara vez enviamos paquetes en nuestra rutina diaria, así que no confiamos mucho en ese servicio. Tendemos a pensar que las empresas extranjeras como DHL hacen un mejor trabajo, pero realmente no las recomiendo. 

Estos fueron los problemas que marcaron nuestra primera campaña, que afortunadamente fue un éxito. Nuestra marca también creció, gracias a la visibilidad que nos dio nuestro proyecto en Kickstarter. 

¿Cómo empezaste a construir una comunidad en torno a tu proyecto? 

En México, hace tres años, tuvimos que contarle a la gente qué era Kickstarter y explicarle cómo usar la plataforma. Así que nuestra estrategia fue contactar a PKM, un influyente de YouTube cuya audiencia son jugadores de póquer y aficionados a los juegos de cartas en general. Le pedimos que publique un video sobre nuestro proyecto en Kickstarter y que explique cómo funciona Kickstarter. Hizo un tutorial paso a paso que nos ahorró perder mucho tiempo respondiendo preguntas básicas. Lo más importante es que nos permitió llegar a la comunidad de PKM y a personas a las que no hubiéramos tenido acceso por nuestra cuenta. 

Por supuesto que no podíamos contar sólo con la comunidad de ese influyente y su voluntad de compartir nuestro proyecto. También organizamos eventos informales con amigos y familiares. Con un iPad o una computadora portátil les enseñamos a patrocinar un proyecto y les explicamos por qué el proyecto era tan importante para nosotros. 

Después, empezamos a analizar los mercados extranjeros: Estados Unidos y Europa. Trabajamos con más influyentes para que nos ayudaran a correr la voz, les enviamos prototipos de nuestra baraja de cartas y algunos de ellos aceptaron publicar videos. 

Cuando el proyecto está activo, es importante seguir desarrollando la comunidad existente y nunca dejar de compartir novedades, publicar actualizaciones, responder preguntas en los comentarios y estar muy atentos a todos los mensajes que llegan. Se pone interesante cuando estás en México y recibes comentarios de gente de Europa, tienes que ser rápido y organizarte con la diferencia horaria. 

¿Qué sucede cuando tu proyecto termina y has entregado todas las recompensas? ¿Cómo te mantienes en contacto con la comunidad a largo plazo? 

Durante un tiempo, sigues hablando con la gente como lo hiciste durante tu campaña. Después de unos tres meses de haber entregado todo lo relacionado con nuestro primer proyecto, publicamos la última actualización y dijimos: "Listo, este proyecto terminó", pero seguimos respondiendo nuevos comentarios y mensajes. 

En la tercera campaña, una baraja en la que aparece un ajolote, una salamandra nativa de México, continuamos publicando actualizaciones, ya que seguimos ayudando a otras instituciones con tareas de conservación relacionadas con la campaña. 

En el otro extremo del espectro, publicamos nuestro último proyecto sabiendo que interrumpiríamos las actualizaciones después de aproximadamente dos meses, ya que teníamos que ocuparnos de crear la siguiente campaña. 

Fuimos experimentando un proceso de aprendizaje desde el primer proyecto, por lo que todavía nos estamos adaptando y encontrando la mejor manera de hacer las cosas. 

Este es sólo un adelanto de lo que podrán aprender de Héctor en su charla del domingo 1 de marzo en Expo Reforma, Ciudad de México. Estaremos en Mega XP todo ese fin de semana con él y otros creadores de juegos exitosos como Gnomosapiens, Weapon Wars, DOXA, Draco studio y Tattoo Brawl. Únete para conocer más sobre Kickstarter y disfrutar de algunos juegos. 

Kickstarter Statement on Union Vote

Feb 18 2020

A statement from Aziz Hasan, Kickstarter’s CEO, on the outcome of the staff vote on unionization:


Today we learned that in a 46 to 37 vote, our staff has decided to unionize. We support and respect this decision, and we are proud of the fair and democratic process that got us here. We’ve worked hard over the last decade to build a different kind of company, one that measures its success by how well it achieves its mission: helping to bring creative projects to life. Our mission has been common ground for everyone here during this process, and it will continue to guide us as we enter this new phase together. 

Kickstarterで資金調達に成功した短編映画『Hair Love』が、アカデミー賞短編アニメ賞を授賞

Feb 10 2020
Matthew Cherry
Matthew Cherry

This article is also available in English.

Kickstarter で資金調達に成功した短編映画『Hair Love』が、先日開催されたアカデミー賞にて短編アニメーション賞に輝きました。Kickstarter 出身の映画がアカデミー賞を授賞したのは『Hair Love』で3作目となります。さらにこの2020年は、Kickstarter でファンディングを行ったプロジェクトが10年連続してアカデミー賞にノミネートされた記念の年となりました。

『Hair Love』は映画監督であり元NFLのワイド・レシーバーでもある Matthew A. Cherry 氏によって制作され、 2017 年の夏に Kickstarter キャンペーンとして始動しました。Cherry 氏はそれ以前にも Kickstarter を使って『9 Rides』(2016) や『The Last Fall』(2012) という長編映画のファンディングを行った経験があります。

感動的なこの短編映画では、アフリカ系アメリカ人の娘の髪を初めてセットしようと悪戦苦闘する父親の様子が描かれています。有色人種の若者たちの間で自分たちの髪に対する愛着を深めてもらうため、そして黒人の父親に対して持たれがちな「父親不在」の固定観念を取り払い、主流アニメ映画で黒人が取り上げられることが滅多にない事実に対抗するため、このプロジェクトのアイデアが生まれました。

プロジェクトはアメリカ全土で注目をあび、2017年8月のキャンペーン終了時には4,981人のバッカーから合計$284,058 (約3,117万円) ものプレッジが集まりました。これは Cherry 氏の当初の目標であった$75,000 (約823万円) の4倍近くの額で、Kickstarter の短編アニメ映画部門の記録を塗り替える結果となりました。

アカデミー賞授賞式当日の朝、Cherry 氏はそんなバッカー達に以下のメッセージを送りました:

I just wanted to take the time this morning to thank each and everyone one of you for supporting and believing in Hair Love as early as you did. No matter what happens tonight we already won and you all are a part of an Oscar nominated animated short film and a New York Times Best Selling Picture Book. Thank you again for your support.

今朝はバッカーの皆さんそれぞれに感謝の気持ちを伝えたいと思います。早い時期から『Hair Love』を信じてサポートしてくださり本当にありがとうございます。今夜どういう結果になろうとも、既に勝利を手にしたような気持ちです。バッカーの皆さん一人ひとりがこの「アカデミー賞短編アニメ映画ノミネート作品」そして「ニューヨークタイムズ絵本部門ベストセラー作品」の一部です。改めて心からお礼を申し上げます!

Kickstarter もこの素晴らしい映画の実現に貢献することができ、大変光栄です。Cherry 氏並びに『Hair Love』チームの皆さま、おめでとうございます!

Kickstarter での短編映画の活躍は目覚ましいものです。2011年以降、7,332件以上の短編映画プロジェクトがファンディングに成功し、総計4100万ドル(約45億円)以上がバッカーからプレッジされました。

今年は、3月に開催される『ロングストーリー、ショートフィルム』のイニシアチブの一環として、映画製作者の皆さまに新しい短編映画キャンペーンのローンチを奨励しています! このイニシアチブでは、3月を通して Kickstarter プラットフォームで短編映画プロジェクトの数々を紹介し、ファンディングやプログラミング、権利獲得、配信といった様々な業界や部門の皆さまに新しい才能を見つけ出し、プロジェクトを追跡していただきたいと思っています。

これまでに Kickstarter で資金を得た16のアカデミー賞ノミネート作品のうち、7作品が短編映画部門でのノミネートでした。まずは小さな一歩から始めながらも、ビジョンや野望は大きく持ち、プロジェクト実現までの過程すべてにおいてコミュニティにも関与してもらいたい——そんな映画製作者の皆さまの持てる力と可能性を Kickstarter は信じています。Kickstarter では、この『ロングストーリー、ショートフィルム』 のイニシアチブを通して、より多くの短編映画製作者の方々に世界に向けてプロジェクトをローンチするきっかけを提供できればと思っています。