Writing a text pitch seems like a very simple task.
Just think about your project, write down its most defining characteristics and you’re done. And that is true. If you want to fail on Kickstarter, that is…
While it is true that you should tell people what your project is about, just writing down the things about your project ain’t gonna cut it. There are many things which your pitch needs to be, and being the description of the game is just one of them.
In the previous blog posts, we’ve covered Kickstarter campaign creation in general and the crafting of a great Kickstarter video. Now, let us go and learn what makes a great Kickstarter text pitch.
There are three phases of the Kickstarter text pitch creation process. These are:
- Overall pitch planning
- First draft
So let’s go through them.
Overall pitch planning
As you can probably notice, through almost every one of our guide blog posts, almost every process starts with the planning phase.
The reason why we value planning so much is the fact that without planning you wouldn’t be sure in which direction you are going. A man with a plan is a man that knows what he wants to accomplish, and thanks to crafting a plan, he can find a road that will bring him to his goal.
So, what are the things to think about while planning out your Kickstarter Text Pitch?
Overall idea presentation
The first part to think about is the overall way you are going to present your idea. You should think about how you are going to address your backers through your pitch. Because that is exactly what your pitch is, You talking with your backers about your project. And this is one of the most important conversations which you will have in your life. Therefore, it is very important to dedicate the necessary time to prepare properly.
So, are you going to just explain your game? Are you going to go with a huge number of screenshots and gameplay footage? Are you going to tell a story?
Again, just like we said in our first post about Kickstarter campaigns, your creativity is what will make a decisive difference.
Dividing your idea into segments
After you have determined the overall tone of your text pitch, you should start thinking about presenting your idea in segments. Through each of these segments, you should say something new, strengthen the things you said previously or get connected with your backers.
Each of these segments should have a natural flow, and each next segment should have a logical connection to the previous one. Having a natural flow is important because it makes it a lot easier for your potential backers to connect the small pieces of your idea, that you are sharing with them, into a bigger picture.
Now, that you’ve thought of these basic things, you are ready to start writing the first draft of your Kickstarter text pitch.
This is the phase in which you start writing your first version of the text pitch. You should divide your pitch into multiple segments and then start writing, in as much detail as possible. Don’t think too much about its length, the second phase is for that. Let your imagination and creativity do their magic.
Since we are creating a video game Kickstarter project, we are more familiar with the details about the creation of the video game text pitch. Let’ see what are some of the most often used segments when describing a Kickstarter video game project:
- What is ” your game’s name” ?– In this section, you will be giving an overall description of the game. Sharing some of your goals for this game, as well as pointing out some key selling points would be a great addition to this segment. In this (usually shorter) part of the pitch your goal is to keep your potential backers interested (or to get them interested, if they haven’t already watched your video pitch), so they would read the rest of the pitch and then back your project.
- In the second segment, you will be giving a detailed description of the game. Now, this is the most specific segment of them all. All parts of this segment, are like segments of their own. However, they are all just different aspects of your game. You can divide it in as many parts as you want, but there are three big, basic parts:
- Story section – This is the most usual beginning of a detailed description of the game, the description of the in-game story. Most of the games put the accent on their unique stories, therefore this is one of the best ways to start describing your game.
This is usually one part section but it can go to two or three. It all depends on the story. For example, you can be talking about a kingdom in which rages a war over the throne, and then you can start telling stories of each person that wants the throne for themselves. You should make a choice depending on which big part of the game you consider to be your strongest point.
- Content sections – In this section you are talking about all the content inside your game. In game characters, bosses, items; civilizations, worlds, universes. Everything gets described here. You can give an overall description of all the characters, or you can talk about them individually. Again here you can do the same thing you did in the story section. A number of these sections is your choice of course.
- Gameplay section – In this section, you should explain some of the in-game mechanics. Here you can talk about the innovative, gameplay related things that your game brings to the world. As in other 2 big parts, this segment can be divided into multiple parts. You should point out your biggest innovations, so dividing this segment in at least two (overall gameplay mechanics and the most distinctive and innovative game mechanic) is highly recommended.
So, you can divide any of these parts into as many parts as you want. You can separate the part about Story in general stories and background stories of your characters… You can divide the Gameplay part on Battles, Collecting and Building… You can divide Content part into Heroes, Items, and Warriors…
Choose the option that suits your project best.
- Why Kickstarter – This section is usually used to describe your journey to Kickstarter. You can say what your goals are and most importantly why are you on Kickstarter.
- Meet the team – In this part you can introduce your team. You can talk about things like your education, previous works and so on. You are free to talk about your goals and dreams as well. Show everyone your human side.
- Game timeline – this part isn’t used as much as the other parts, but we think it should be. The reason behind this is that by showcasing that you have a worked out, thought off a plan of creating your game, you are a creator that has a vision of how the development of the game will go. This way you will explain people how long will they have to wait and why will they have to wait that long for your game to get made (because a bit bigger video games usually need at least year and a half to get made). What this also show is a certain level of professionalism, which is required in order to get any video game made.
- Stretch Goals – Now this section is made usually at the beginning of the campaign, by many project creators. However, we would advise not to do this. The reason behind this is the fact that you haven’t even reached the basic funding goal and you are already asking for additional funding. You should go step by step. What you could do, as a middle ground is to create this segment and say that if you were to reach your funding goals, the stretch goals will be unlocked.
- Budget – This is one of the very important parts of the text pitch. In this segment, you will tell your backers how you are going to use the collected funding. You can go in a greater detail about any expenses that you will have to cover while making your game. Here you can also mention if you have plans to add some additional funding from other sources and similar.
- Reward List – this is a highly used section. The best way to use this segment is to showcase pictures of your reward tiers. This way you will show your backers exactly what they are getting in each tier. The effectiveness of presenting rewards with pictures is very high because reading the reward descriptions from the sidebar can be very confusing at times, especially for the more complicated reward systems, which can be seen a lot in video game Kickstarter projects. Another tip is: while you are making pictures of your rewards, make sure that you are putting your rewards in the central place of the picture, and that every new reward (compared to the previous reward tier) is getting the most focus. Why? Because then your backers can clearly see what they are gaining by choosing a higher tier level. Oh yeah, try not to overcrowd the pictures, because then they would get confusing as well.
- Shipping and overall Fulfillment – Now this is a part to which many people don’t pay enough attention. This is a big mistake because even though people are backing your project to help you bring it to life, they are also backing it for the rewards, which they get in return. Therefore, they want to know for sure, that their rewards will be delivered to them. One of the best ways to do this is to show a clearly thought off fulfillment plan. You owe your backers to make this plan.
- Risks and challenges – now this section is mandatory, and it is specially created by Kickstarter. In this section, you can talk about the things that could slow your project down and which could bring its creation in jeopardy. As we are all aware, everything in life has its risks. However, that doesn’t mean that we should be afraid of them. We should calculate them and give our best to reduce the chances of their realization to the minimum. This is exactly what you should tell your fans. Convince them that you will give your everything to make your dream a reality and that you have taken all the necessary measures to ensure your projects realization. Your text pitch, as well as other parts of the Kickstarter campaign, will be your proof of these statements. Oh yeah, all of this makes sense only if you actually thought about the possible risks, because coming to Kickstarter without a clear plan is not a good move, to say the least…
Now we come to the optimization phase, which is in many people’s eyes the most important and difficult part of them all.
Many of you will say: “But in the first draft phase you have to write everything about the project, which is a grueling job”. And that is true, but hear me out for a moment. The importance of the optimization phase isn’t in adding value but enabling the previously written value to get received by the people. What I mean by this is that you can write the and give as much value through your work as you want, but if it isn’t sorted and made easy for the eye of the reader, people won’t read it and its value will be lost.
And this is exactly what happens with many Kickstarter projects. Some of them have very descriptive text pitches, but they don’t spend enough time optimizing them and therefore their readers get tired very easily and a lot of times they just lose the will to read the text to the finish.
Optimization process consists of two phases: the first cut and the final cut.
The first cut
the two important things to worry about here are: how much text will you use and how will that text look.
Your mission here is to decrease the size of the text, to the amount that gives you a lot more detailed explanation of the game than your video did, and less than the amount that would overwhelm and confuse your potential backers.
You need to chew your idea to small bits and then feed it to your fans, so they can fully understand. You can’t just drop 5.000 words on them and expect them to understand you completely. Use short sentences and get straight to the point.
What is also immensely important is to think about the look of your text. That is vital for your success, because the text that is enjoyable to the eye will be read more easily, and only when it is read can its meaning reach your backers.
So, what you need to do, is make your text pitch Scannable.
Making your text scannable is extremely important. Many people see your video and want to read your text pitch, but they don’t have very much time to dedicate to reading it. This is were making scannable text pitch does its magic. By making your text scannable, you are, in a way, pointing out the most important things that your backers need to read, therefore, sparing them extra time and at the same time pointing out your greatest selling points.
Here are few tips that will make your text easier to read and will help your chances of succeeding on Kickstarter:
- Break the text down into paragraphs – When you see a huge pile of text it feels overwhelming and it is very difficult to read. So, instead of having huge text blocks, you should break the text into many paragraphs, so it is easier for the eye of the reader.
- Different fonts and font sizes – if everything is written with one font only, then it all looks the same. When everything looks the same, it feels boring. Use different font sizes to separate headers from the rest of the text. Use different fonts to point out some important parts. Get creative with your text presentation.
- Use Bold, Italics – use bold and italics to point out some of the most important parts of your Kickstarter campaign.
- Use Bullet points and numbering – when you are counting something down, or when you have a list of things that you wish to point out, you should definitely use bullet points and numbering. They make it a lot easier to read and nicer on the eye.
- Move some of the text to pictures – Another way to make the text easier to read is to put some of the most important things on pictures.
The final cut
In this phase, you will be using things that we mentioned at the beginning of this post to their fullest. This is the optimization phase of your Kickstarter text pitch. Your mission here is to decrease the size of the text, to the amount that gives you a lot more detailed explanation of the game than your video did, and less than the amount that would overwhelm and confuse your potential backers.
You need to chew your idea to small bits, so your fans can fully understand it.
The goal here is to say more with fewer words.
Here are some tips that can help you do exactly that:
Use short sentences – Use of shorter sentences is highly encouraged by many experienced writers, journalists, and bloggers. There are two main reasons for this:
- It is really easy to get lost while reading huge sentences.
- It is also more difficult for the writer, not to lose his strings while writing these huge sentences.
Go to the point – it is always nice to use a descriptive way of telling the story. However, sometimes it can be too much. Again the point isn’t to say everything you know about something, but to say what is the most important.
Cut out some of the extra text – just like when you were making the text for the video pitch, here you also need to remove some of the written sentences. However, unlike in the text for the video pitch, in the text pitch, you are trying to give a lot more detailed explanation of your idea. What this allows you to do, is to put in much more sentences than you could in your video. However, even though you can have more, doesn’t always mean that you need/ should have more.
Get rid of the unnecessary sentences and put more focus on the most important ones.
Adding the necessary pictures – once that you have written your perfect Kickstarter text pitch, it is time to put the finishing touch. And that means adding your project’s pictures to your pitch. Use them between paragraphs, between sections, to showcase your rewards and so on…
If you’ve gone through all of these steps successfully, then we can say:
“Congratulations, you just created your perfect Kickstarter text pitch!!!”