Neverending Nightmares had a memorable last 48 hours push. It was one of the most enjoyable ones I've experienced on Kickstarter so far. That day had 818 comments on the project.
links to with the final data. It's a bit off from the daily numbers for backers in the Kicktraq data
because I went by midnight PST instead of EST. I also can't see where the funds that came from backers pledging for add-ons went.
The way the tiers are graphed over time through bar charts is lazy but it serves its purpose. It illustrates changes happening in the growth rates of the tiers after specific events. The bar charts take on a shape like stairs and the steeper the stairs are for a portion of the graph the faster the rate of growth for that portion was. For example, the shape of bar chart for the $10 tier segment grows rapidly with a steep slope and then stops with a flat plateau of no growth after September 4th because it was an early-bird tier with a limited number of slots. The same day the early-bird tier was depleted the $15 pre-order tier then saw its growth really start.
The $15 tier was not the only tier to see a boost when the $10 early-bird tier was full. Many of the medium priced tiers see a small increase in their growth rate the same day the early-bird tier was full. I suspect that backers who would otherwise be drawn to backing medium priced tiers are overpowered by the temptation of saving money with an early-bird slot still present. Another possible explanation is that the Markplier Let's Play video went up a day before and the boost from it might not have been over, but I've seen the effect on other campaigns' graphs when their early-bird rewards filled so I don't think it was that. It is a potential reason to avoid having too many early-bird tier slots. For Neverending Nightmares it felt like it either had just enough slots or could have used a couple hundred more.
I also see pledges at the biggest tiers happening in the first few days and the very last days. Big pledges on the first day often come from family, fans and friends that were waiting for the campaign to launch. Big pledges during the last week can come from people that really want to see goals met. If a campaign has poorly structured rewards then the middle period's lack of big pledgers is likely going to be difficult to get through. The slowdown in the middle of many campaigns is still something I'm having difficulty mitigating. With more data I can perhaps design reward structures that ride out the Kickstarter trough softer by having changes like the additions of new tiers or add-ons already planned ahead of the launch. I'm getting good data from Hyper Light Drifter as they were regularly adding new tiers in the first half of the campaign and I was able to see shifting in the tiers as a result. With Taxi Journey I'm getting even better data
about how not to adjust reward tiers because the campaign gutted its momentum by gambling on a new $10 tier that caused negative growth rates in multiple tiers from backers downgrading their pledges.
Since the lower and medium priced tiers tend to fit to a bell curve shape I can use the bar charts to look for places the rewards structure could be improved. Before the $100 tier and after the main tier, I like to see each tier have half the backers of the tier priced just below it. For Neverending Nightmares the "Backers by tier over time" chart has the $75 tier seen dropped enough that inserting a $60 tier could tap into a bit of funding that can still be gained from existing backers.
The $1 tier of Neverending Nightmares is something important to look at. 7% of the backers in the rewards structure chose it with 257 backers by the end of the campaign. So many backers had picked it that it was even complained about on OUYA Forum
. Thoughout the campaign I was occasionally tracking Neverending Nightmare's popularity ranking in the Video Games category and I believe the $1 tier significantly helped keep the campaign from falling down too far in the rankings. Rankings appears to be more about backers per day numbers and less about pledges. The name in the credits reward is being traded for a bit of extra exposure and a little bit of extra funding that I think is very worth it. During the slowest days the $1 tier was a significant percentage of backers for those days so that also made the Kicktraq daily graph look healthier. It was also a pool of backers that can have a percentage upgrade their pledge during the last 48 hours. It is now even harder for me not to recommend having a $1 tier that includes a backer's name in the credits and it is now common in the reward structures I help design.
If you like simulation games such as Prison Architect
then take a look at Rimworld
. It is about managing a colony of random people like accountants and lawyers who now have to adapt to killing buffalo and repelling raiders. This is an example of a campaign without physical rewards.