An Interview with the Creators of Age of Comics
Lirius Games completed their Kickstarter campaign for Age of Comics: The Golden Years recently, bringing in 4,189 backers and raising €223,567. It was their first campaign and it was incredibly successful, so I reached out to Giacomo and Sonia of Lirius Games to better understand the story of their success.
I hope you enjoy the interview and learn a lot from these wonderful creators.
What is Age of Comics all about and how did you come up with the idea?
Age of Comics: The Golden Years is a medium-light worker-placement board game. In which the players have to run a fictional comic book publishing company during the golden age of comics (circa 1938-56)
We are comic books fans and we realized that there was no worker placement board game about this industry. We thought that the mix of old-style comic book covers and the historical background would have been an interesting one.
How long were you working on Age of Comics before you launched your Kickstarter? What were the major changes that you made during the development of the game?
We started to develop the game during the 2020 lockdown. We had little experience in the development of games so the first versions were drastically longer and very complicated. We must apologize to our first playtesters 🙂
Based on the number of backers for your game and your ability to get your game funded in only 4 hours, you must have had quite a good following before you launched. Can you share with us how many followers you had before the launch on your notification page, email list, Instagram, and any other channels you used?
We had collectively around 5000 emails (many were overlapping between social media).
What social channels or channels did you use that you found to be the most effective? Were there any methods or platforms you used that weren’t nearly as helpful?
We don’t have the hard data, also because at that time Kickstarter didn’t allow the integration of the Meta pixel. For us, Meta was instrumental in collecting emails and giving visibility to the project. We also used Instagram as a faster way to vehiculate the distinctive graphics of our game. All the platforms used worked as expected or at least of what we read online.
What was your secret for building up your audience so successfully before your launch?
There is an incredible amount of resources online (Stonemeier games, Tabletop mentorship program, BGG, Protospiel online). I guess being spontaneous and engaging on Instagram was also a plus.
Did you run any paid ads for your campaign, and if so, what platforms did you use for your ads, and did you run these ads before or during your campaign?
Yes, mainly Meta. Both before and during the campaign.
I noticed that you offered both a standard version of your game plus a deluxe edition. Even at €20 more, you had 94% of backers who purchased a physical copy of your game choose the deluxe edition. Did this surprise you? Would you recommend other creators take a similar approach?
We wanted to give something special to the backers. We studied the market and this seems to be a trend common to many crowdfunding projects. Every campaign is different, but making the edition special and unique was probably the right strategy.
What were the biggest lessons you learned from running your first Kickstarter campaign?
Nothing can prepare you for the level of stress you are going to endure before and after. Plus, start to test and run your Meta ads far in advance, the platform is not super intuitive and might add stress to the already stressful campaign.
If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently on your Age of Comics campaign?
Maybe printing more prototypes to be shipped to social media creators and playtesters. We had requests that we couldn’t satisfy.
What advice do you have for new creators thinking about running their crowdfunding campaign?
Build up your fan base far in advance, check the numbers you have in your email list and group members on Facebook (Meta) and Instagram.
If you missed the Kickstarter for Age of Comics, you can still check out their pledge manager https://gamefound.com/projects/liriusgames/age-of-comics-the-golden-years to learn more and make a late pledge if this game interests you.
Thanks again, Giacomo and Sonia, for the interview!
Thank you, Joe!
Questions? Please leave a comment!