Jump to content
Double Fine Action Forums
Sign in to follow this  
DF Chris Remo

Slacker Backer Price Change

Recommended Posts

What's this? Early backers actually getting a BETTER price? I'm so used to Kickstarter games coming out at $5 less than the backers paid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it really depends on what the goal of the pricier Slacker Backer campaign is... If the intent is to really try to bolster the bank account to keep things going smoothly, I think raising the price may be shooting ourselves in the foot, because the die hards that wanted the game have certainly already contributed, and trying to get new blood at double the price for a game that won't be available for many more months is a desperate act for certain. Instead, what we could probably use is a price freeze with a nice big grassroots spreading of the word. Or give all the current backers a chance to "raise" their backing -- maybe for a sheet of stickers or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I think it's a fair price, my concern would fall more along the lines of whether or not it may stop a lot of people from buying it. At 15 dollars it can still easily fall into the realm of an impulse buy in my mind, where 30 dollars pretty much rules that out for most people. We are talking about a game that is mostly sight unseen right now, and if that was something that these people were really, really interested in then they probably would have backed by now. I would be afraid that you would cut your number of slackers in half, making the same amount of money, just charging your customers twice the amount to get it.

Do not take that statement as a comment on what the product is worth. It isn't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a fair price. The documentary alone is awesome, never mind that you're getting the game too. But never mind if its fair - its good marketing! I told a couple of my friends that you guys were thinking about raising the price and at least one of them decided to back the project and the other said he would "definitely look into it". And isn't that the point?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, sure. The couple of days leading up to the price change may see a surge. But will that make up for any drop off that may occur once the price is changed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No need for a long reply, since most of this was hashed out when the slacker backer thing was proposed/started...

I think the price difference is long-overdue. I think the continued use of the term "backer" for these people is a bit wrong and muddles-the-idea-of-backing, especially when a definitive answer on whether the game budget is indeed increasing with these "sales" (donations? pledges?) hasn't been given.

I'd like to see numbers on the slacker backers, and get that answer... otherwise it's a bit of a disservice to the backers that defined the scope of the project. It seems pretty clearly to be a product now.

Or, become a backer of my new album and all is forgiven.

This has been asked and answered a couple times in various places. We have about 4,800 slacker backers so far, so it's still quite a small number relative to the overall project, and not enough to change the budget in a huge way. But it's definitely helpful! If it keeps going well, we'd be able to afford to take a big step like bring another full-time team member onto the project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What's this? Early backers actually getting a BETTER price? I'm so used to Kickstarter games coming out at $5 less than the backers paid.

... We still don't have a just-the-game [no-bonus documentary content, price].

No one will be paying attention to the forum/backers once it's out and they go below $15.

We haven't made a final decision on the price for the game yet, but it is extremely likely to be at least $15. The documentary will also be sold by 2PP, so the $15 Kickstarter pledge is probably the best deal that anyone's likely to be able to get, until it gets to the point where it's in a Steam sale or something, which is probably quite a ways down the line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is a good idea to have two price tags:

$15 to just get the game (like a pre-order).

$30 for access to backer forums and beta as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No need for a long reply, since most of this was hashed out when the slacker backer thing was proposed/started...

I think the price difference is long-overdue. I think the continued use of the term "backer" for these people is a bit wrong and muddles-the-idea-of-backing, especially when a definitive answer on whether the game budget is indeed increasing with these "sales" (donations? pledges?) hasn't been given.

I'd like to see numbers on the slacker backers, and get that answer... otherwise it's a bit of a disservice to the backers that defined the scope of the project. It seems pretty clearly to be a product now.

Or, become a backer of my new album and all is forgiven.

This has been asked and answered a couple times in various places. We have about 4,800 slacker backers so far, so it's still quite a small number relative to the overall project, and not enough to change the budget in a huge way. But it's definitely helpful! If it keeps going well, we'd be able to afford to take a big step like bring another full-time team member onto the project.

To be honest, they also need to earn money

its not like they put evrything they make into games

Even game company workers need to eat and live and extra money is always usefull for example to future projects or the running of the company by a day to day basis.

And yes i do feel 30 is a fair price, but a bundle or preorder shoud still be cheaper than the finnished product or a full retail version.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say $30 sounds like a fair price, but it also sounds way less attractive. Since we've already paid, I doubt anyone here will really feel or express that much outrage, but I wouldn't be surprised if there's some backlash or the rate of slacker backers drops off.

If you guys need a little more cash you could always ask us! Actually I have no idea what the implications of that would be -- probably not good, haha -- but I do know I'd give you another $10 or $20 if you did ask.

Hope the price point change works out well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As time progresses I would expect the cost of entry to the backer forum and all the material to increase as it eventually ceases to be backing and just becomes a pre-order.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I look at the price increase, I kind of feel like it's similar to convention pricing systems.

Like, if you pre-order your badge for the next at the current con, you can get a sweet discount. And if you pre-order it a few months before the con, it's a slightly higher price, and if you buy it at the door, it's an even higher price.

That's how my brain sees the change. It's not a big jump, but it is a result of progressed time, yeah?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When I look at the price increase, I kind of feel like it's similar to convention pricing systems.

Like, if you pre-order your badge for the next at the current con, you can get a sweet discount. And if you pre-order it a few months before the con, it's a slightly higher price, and if you buy it at the door, it's an even higher price.

That's how my brain sees the change. It's not a big jump, but it is a result of progressed time, yeah?

Well and concisely said. I feel like if crowdfunding continues to be viable, a somewhat standard model for community management and price adjustments and all these sorts of questions will take shape after a while and people will just understand it as common sense. They'll just think, "Yeah, of course that's how the price changes" and it won't seem like such a big question. Just like con badges! =]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it's not unlike Kickstarter.

E.g. Some projects have a tier where they offer a product for a discounted price to a limited amount of people (say, 100 people) and then have another tier that gives you the same thing but costs a bit more.

You guys should do what makes sense for you and the DFA project (game and documentary).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When I look at the price increase, I kind of feel like it's similar to convention pricing systems.

Like, if you pre-order your badge for the next at the current con, you can get a sweet discount. And if you pre-order it a few months before the con, it's a slightly higher price, and if you buy it at the door, it's an even higher price.

That's how my brain sees the change. It's not a big jump, but it is a result of progressed time, yeah?

Well and concisely said. I feel like if crowdfunding continues to be viable, a somewhat standard model for community management and price adjustments and all these sorts of questions will take shape after a while and people will just understand it as common sense. They'll just think, "Yeah, of course that's how the price changes" and it won't seem like such a big question. Just like con badges! =]

Those are all still called pre-ordering rather than "backing" / "supporting."

I don't disagree that terms like "back" and "support" are ripe for the taking by people who want to put a hip spin on regular old preorders. It's bound to happen, just as every food product now boasts something "organic" (whatever the hell that even means), and just as major record labels are trying to present the artists they're pushing as indie acts in an attempt to milk the hipster kids. You would expect a fisherman to fish where the fishes are.

But I wouldn't necessarily agree that this means there is zero distinction between "backing" and "pre-ordering" and that all current and future use of the terms "back" and "support" are vapid marketing shenanigans.

The biggest difference, of course, being that with pre-orders, even if nobody pre-orders, the product will still exist (though the marketing might be different). With "backing", if nobody backs, there is no product. There are middle-of-the-road cases that problematize things a little bit, such as with situations like FTL, which is a game that probably would have shown up anyway. Instead of "backers" determining whether the product existed or not, they just determined how much additional funding it got to be an even better game. Something like that seems closer to a pre-order, but there is STILL a difference.

Even with a game like FTL, where the game is mostly done and backers are just "backing" extra dollars, the developers making the game get that money to use while the game is still IN PRODUCTION. With a typical game, such as with pre-ordering Halo 4 at retail, those pre-orders go toward profits that benefit the company, but they don't really benefit the production of Halo 4.

Among other differences. But I still don't disagree that you're probably right that people will try to conflate "backing" with "pre-ordering" to be hip with the indie/crowdfunding scene.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would prefer you announce the end of slacker backer opt ins and instead switch to pre-orders with forum access (and thus to the docu material, i.e. same as slacker backers). I feel that the meaning of the term backer is being washed out and doing the above would make it more natural with a price increase (without using backer as a fluffy (marketing) word for pre-order). I opposed charging more for slacker backers after the end of the kickstarter campaign and I still do. However, as you say at this point it's hardly a promise they are buying or supporting so much as getting a good deal on something that WILL be made no matter what they, individually, decide.

At this point none can say they don't have a credit card (i.e. they needed to use paypal) or needed to wait to the next paycheck or something like that during the campaign. Giving a grace period when they still can become backers (at the same terms) should be enough to satisfy potential backers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Asers post. Switching to it being called a Pre-order with forum access sounds better and less offensive or however you'd put it towards the actual backers, though the problem with pre-orders are that people can cancel them - you can't cancel a "contribution".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with Asers post. Switching to it being called a Pre-order with forum access sounds better and less offensive or however you'd put it towards the actual backers, though the problem with pre-orders are that people can cancel them - you can't cancel a "contribution".

The huge problem with that is that if they spin it that way a lot of people will only care about the Pre-Order bit and not care about the forum access, or even investigate all the cool video content. And then when it is finally released, if it's only about $20 then they'll feel ripped off for being talked into spending an extra $10 on forum access they never used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see it as fair. It is still not pricey for what you are getting but at the same time you missed $15 you are now going to have to do 30.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no problem with the price increase. The amount of content now available on the backer forum more than justifies the price increase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would still consider them backers because they are contributing to the money used to make the game. I assume it isn't going into the bank to sit and look pretty, and would be going into the game. They aren't pre-ordering a finished game, they are paying for the right to access the same stuff as everyone else, just much later than everyone else, and since we can now see what the quality of our product is turning out to be, the value has increased.

To use my con analogy again, if a convention was planned and all the tickets pre-ordered, but the demand was so great for more tickets that the con organizers moved to a bigger location, that opens up room for more attendees. That also means, they will probably raise the price of the tickets they sell at that point. The value increased. Those who bought tickets when it was at the smaller venue wouldn't suffer, and the new attendees wouldn't complain because they get to go and it's better than ever.

They are backing, contributing, making it better than ever. The value of the experience leading to the product has merely increased.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with Asers post. Switching to it being called a Pre-order with forum access sounds better and less offensive or however you'd put it towards the actual backers, though the problem with pre-orders are that people can cancel them - you can't cancel a "contribution".

The huge problem with that is that if they spin it that way a lot of people will only care about the Pre-Order bit and not care about the forum access, or even investigate all the cool video content. And then when it is finally released, if it's only about $20 then they'll feel ripped off for being talked into spending an extra $10 on forum access they never used.

It might be an idea to up the slacker backer price to $30 (incredible value for what you are getting) but at the same time offer a pre-order price to make a clear distinction. You could even just make a statement with the $30 announcement saying, "If you just want the game and don't want to have access to the development posts, videos, etc this might not be for you. We'll let you pre-order the game in good time." Just to avoid any hurt feelings/internet furore later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with Asers post. Switching to it being called a Pre-order with forum access sounds better and less offensive or however you'd put it towards the actual backers, though the problem with pre-orders are that people can cancel them - you can't cancel a "contribution".

The huge problem with that is that if they spin it that way a lot of people will only care about the Pre-Order bit and not care about the forum access, or even investigate all the cool video content. And then when it is finally released, if it's only about $20 then they'll feel ripped off for being talked into spending an extra $10 on forum access they never used.

It might be an idea to up the slacker backer price to $30 (incredible value for what you are getting) but at the same time offer a pre-order price to make a clear distinction. You could even just make a statement with the $30 announcement saying, "If you just want the game and don't want to have access to the development posts, videos, etc this might not be for you. We'll let you pre-order the game in good time." Just to avoid any hurt feelings/internet furore later.

This is a good idea, but not practical with our current system. With Kickstarter, accepting multiple different tiered payments simultaneously is easy because Kickstarter handles all that infrastructure, but on our end, we only have our own backer system set up to accept one kind of payment at a time. For simplicity's sake, we're just going to keep it limited to one kind of payment at a time.

Now, of course eventually we're going to have to switch over to pre-orders and then traditional sales. But by that point we might be working with established digital distribution storefronts and so on, and it might make more sense to just handle that stuff through them. These are all decisions that still need to be locked down, so we don't want to preempt them by introducing too many variables into the system now.

Hope that makes sense!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd say $30 sounds like a fair price, but it also sounds way less attractive. Since we've already paid, I doubt anyone here will really feel or express that much outrage, but I wouldn't be surprised if there's some backlash or the rate of slacker backers drops off.

If you guys need a little more cash you could always ask us! Actually I have no idea what the implications of that would be -- probably not good, haha -- but I do know I'd give you another $10 or $20 if you did ask.

Hope the price point change works out well!

That's it! We should convince them to have a Double Fine Double Down bonus for the backers that bring more money to the project! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with Asers post. Switching to it being called a Pre-order with forum access sounds better and less offensive or however you'd put it towards the actual backers, though the problem with pre-orders are that people can cancel them - you can't cancel a "contribution".

The huge problem with that is that if they spin it that way a lot of people will only care about the Pre-Order bit and not care about the forum access, or even investigate all the cool video content. And then when it is finally released, if it's only about $20 then they'll feel ripped off for being talked into spending an extra $10 on forum access they never used.

It might be an idea to up the slacker backer price to $30 (incredible value for what you are getting) but at the same time offer a pre-order price to make a clear distinction. You could even just make a statement with the $30 announcement saying, "If you just want the game and don't want to have access to the development posts, videos, etc this might not be for you. We'll let you pre-order the game in good time." Just to avoid any hurt feelings/internet furore later.

This is a good idea, but not practical with our current system. With Kickstarter, accepting multiple different tiered payments simultaneously is easy because Kickstarter handles all that infrastructure, but on our end, we only have our own backer system set up to accept one kind of payment at a time. For simplicity's sake, we're just going to keep it limited to one kind of payment at a time.

Now, of course eventually we're going to have to switch over to pre-orders and then traditional sales. But by that point we might be working with established digital distribution storefronts and so on, and it might make more sense to just handle that stuff through them. These are all decisions that still need to be locked down, so we don't want to preempt them by introducing too many variables into the system now.

Hope that makes sense!

Speaking as someone who joined October 19th, I think it would be completely fair, and I don't only say that because I got in under the gun. I really appreciated the option being offered at all. I came late to Kickstarter and by the time I started looking around, I saw a lot of the early successful Kickstarter games- Shadowrun Returns, Doublefine Adventure, Republique- that I wished I could have gotten in on at the time. I thought it was really cool that you guys offered the Slacker Backer option for people like me who missed the first rush, and I would have been fine paying another $15 for it considering how interesting I've found the documentary, never mind the actual game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...