Friday, December 21, 2012

The Adventures of Rubberkid - A Giveaway!

To celebrate The Adventures of Rubberkid hitting 100% funding on Kickstarter, I've decided to run a giveaway! The prizes are a signed Rubberkid tote bag and 21 games from The Critterverse (all on a signed CD!)

For those who aren't familiar with The Adventures of Rubberkid, it's a free game aimed at elementary school students to teach them how horrible bullying can be.

The project ends on December 30th on Kickstarter with some really fun, awesome rewards (and digital bonuses that you get within 24 hours of pledging), and has hit 100% of its funding! Pledges are still welcomed, encouraged and celebrated, though, because there are additional goals - translation into Spanish, then French, then several extra editions of the game that will be completely different, aimed at tweens and teens (cyberbullying), adults (workplace bullying), even younger kids (a children's book) and a comic!

Money raised is used not only to make the game, but to promote it to libraries and schools across the country. The aim of the game is to get it into as many hands as possible for free, and not everyone has internet access.

If you're interested in learning more, please head over to the Kickstarter page and check it out! If you want to pledge before it ends but can't at the moment, there's even a "remind me" button that will email you 2 days before it ends, so that you can consider it then!

Anyway, good luck and have a very merry Christmas!

Note: The giveaway is open to anyone in the continental US. One winner will be chosen at random at the end; if someone outside of the continental US happens to wins, they will simply get the games as a download (can't afford to ship out of the US)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rubberkid is 74% Funded!!!

Okay, so I haven't blogged in a while because I haven't really had much to blog about. The last week (since I wrote last) has been ALL promoting. Promoting to game news/reviews sites, promoting to libraries, promoting to local news, promoting on Facebook and Twitter, etc. I did also spend a good part of yesterday learning about other Kickstarters and coming up with "immediate rewards" for the campaign that people receive within 24 hours of contributing instead of having to wait til the end (a download of one of my games - The Critterville Christmas Store - and two printable pages, one of which is also a coloring page).

But last night, things REALLY took off. Here's a chart for you, actually, via Kickstarter.

BOOM! And remember that the last dot, the 19th, is today. And it's 11am :) So SWEETNESS!!!!

I'm not 100% sure what happened these last few days to really make it happen. The "immediate rewards" weren't it, I really don't think, and there was absolutely no new news coverage that I'm aware of in that time. I did, however, share it with the Games for Change Facebook group and a few different IGDA groups (IGDA Chicago - where I'm from, and it's about 2 horus away - and IGDA Indianapolis, in the same state as me and about 2.5 hours away). Both groups were SUPER supportive, and I received contributions from numerous people in each. Some have been so supportive that they've shared it with other people too!

Kickstarter (I think? Maybe it was IndieGogo) did say before, too, that it takes a person an average of six times hearing about it before they'll contribute. Perhaps a lot of people just hit that 6th time mark ;)

Regardless of what the reasons are, I am ecstatic!!! People have been incredibly supportive all along, from the very beginning! The only difference is that now I can breathe a bit easier, and the stretch goals are becoming quite possible too! :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Couple Amazing Days for Rubberkid!!!

Wow!!! I can't even begin to explain how excited I am about Rubberkid after today! Over the last couple days, Rubberkid crossed the 20% mark, and there were some AMAZING things that happened... Let's see...

Tuesday, December 11th

  • Yolanda Green of LazyGamer wrote a very true, very awesome article about Rubberkid. She states that "$750 [is] a small price for a big cause if you’d like to help the world kick some bully ass."
  • Diane with Airborne Gamer wrote an article as well, stating that "These days you hear about bullying in the news quite a bit. It’s sad that the world has come to this but if you were a kid who was bullied you are probably happy to see this subject finally addressed. Well how would you like to play a game and help raise awareness for bullying at the same time? With The Adventures of Rubberkid you now can."

Thursday, December 13th

  • JC with JOYSTIQ wrote an article about it!!! SERIOUSLY!!! THE Joystiq!! I woke up with a Facebook message from a friend letting me know about that, then Googled and came up with THIS great article!
  • Donna Nicholson of Digital High (among other really awesome places, and a good friend!) did an interview/discussion with me about Rubberkid and bullying in general, including bullying in online gaming. I will definitely share that when it becomes available :)
  • Lauren with The VGlob wrote an article about Rubberkid as well. Super awesome! 
  • Several other places, including a local newspaper, have requested interviews! WOOHOO!!!

Let's see what the future holds!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Me in a newspaper article?! Check! Rubberkid Kickstarter, Week One? Check!

Well, I just wrote an update for the Kickstarter, and you can find it right here:

And no, I'm not giving you a tl;dr version. The thing is like ten sentences long, and I refuse to be part of a society where people can't read a couple paragraphs ;) Heck, this post is longer than that update!

In addition to that, I'm finally sharing some awesomeness that went down a few weeks ago. I was interviewed by a friend for a newspaper article! We both entered the "Zero-Hour Game Jam" where the goal was to make a game in "zero hours" (the hour between 2am and 2am when the clocks were set back). It's SO awesome to read it in print, like, a real, physical print! I was so honored, and so I'm sharing this and bragging about it :P

You will want to click the image, though, so you can see it in its full-size glory!

Have a super mega awesome weekend!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Me of Many Hats

Hi there, my name is Charlie, and I'm a game developer...

... Only sometimes I'm not. It has been 41 days since I did any game coding or development! Let me say that again... FORTY-ONE! October 26th was the last day!

Well, that sounds kind of lazy... But I swear it's not! In fact, these days it feels like it would be a break to sit down and write code and cuss at the laptop because things aren't working exactly right! Ah, the good old days... Bugs and I holding hands, dancing around in our love-hate relationship... Like a hero who needs an enemy to battle, or (s)he feels incomplete.

What HAVE I been up to, you ask? Well, I finished up When Asteroids Attack, made web pages for it and promoted it, then fixed up The Critterverse and promoted it a little too, and then put together this Kickstarter and I've been promoting it ever since! There is this mysterious allure that false optimism and math combine to create... "Gee, this is such a cool idea, all I have to do is share it a few times and word will spread like wildfire! Even my highest stretch goal, $20,000, would only take 4,000 at $5 to hit! There's no way that won't happen! Heck, I can even finish the game while I watch the money roll in."

Absolutely no.

Don't get me wrong, I am pleased with the results thus far, and they have annihilated the pessimistic view that half of me held. And the support has been great! But it really IS a lot of work!

One day, Flash... One day, you and I will be together again, creating sweet, sweet games, I promise.

The Adventures of Rubberkid Kickstarter: Day 7 - Burnout

Wow!!! They weren't kidding when they said that running and promoting a Kickstarter is a lot of work, were they? I'm on day 7 now, and yesterday was the first day that I didn't get a single contribution. I'm still at a decent point for sure, but it's scary.

I've spent pretty much every waking moment, aside from some Facebooking and some playing Ocarina of Time on Wii, writing to people, asking them to review it and post about it on their blog. I have a pretty massive spreadsheet with awesome bloggers now, actually ;)

By the end of Friday, I'll be done with the promoting to blogs and on to promoting to news outlets. Once that's done, I look forward to getting back to my little sanctuary and developing again! I've met some fantastic people and found some great sites, don't get me wrong, but it's an entirely different world of work!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Adventures of Rubberkid Kickstarter: Day 5 Begins, Project Wonderful Intro

We're coming into day 5 just over 12% of the way there, with 26 days to go! In fact, as of writing, I'm $9 shy of $100! By comparison, my IndieGogo campaign hit $30 in April the entire run! According to Kickstarter, once a project hits between 20-25%, the rest is downhill from there. I sure hope so, we'll see :)

A few days ago I found out about a place called Project Wonderful. It's an advertising site where different websites put placeholder ads on their site, and then people bid on them for placement. For example, if The Critterverse did it, I'd have 4: One leaderboard across the top, a couple squares across the side and then a leaderboard across the bottom. Each one of those would be bid upon by the others on the website.

Now, what's cool about it is that the bid can be absolutely nothing. For a website like The Critterverse, that gets about 40 page views a day, that's about the highest bid I'd get. Free bids don't require anything but an account and the ad itself (and to find it!)... You don't even have to link a bank account to do it. The only catch to free ads is that they can only run for 2 days at a time, so that others get a chance too, and you can only run 200 of them. I gave it a try overnight and found that my ads had over 2,000 views with 0 clicks. Again, this was over night, so it was about 10 hours and it was the slower time of day for browsing.

I deposited a little over $5 into my funds (using paypal, still no bank info whatsoever; in fact, they run on CC or Paypal, no auto-renewal whatsoever) and gave it a full try. Ads have run for a little less than 2 days and I've spent 65 cents, gotten 218,000 displays and 30 clicks. That means that my CPM is 3/10 of a cent, and my cpc is 2 cents. TWO CENTS! This is because, on Project Wonderful, you bid per day, not per click or per view.

Now, mind you, since my bidding amounts were so small, it's a very slow game I'm playing at the moment. I also didn't give a whole lot of attention to where the ads are on each site (if I bid more than 5 cents, I would check, but otherwise didn't care too much).

BUT HERE'S THE KICKER!!! Out of those 30 clicks... 16 of them only cost 3 cents! And they come from mostly small sites! This is definitely going to be something I try differently next time around...

So how valuable were the clicks I received? I don't know. Off the bat, not at all, since I haven't gotten any Kickstarer contributions this way... But perhaps they've told friends, LIKEd the campaign, are waiting for later... Who knows? Either way, I'd definitely call it a pretty valuable site.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Oh No! Kickstarter Has Tracking Statistics For Me?!

I just found out the most horrible thing... When someone contributed to The Adventures of Rubberkid campaign, I clicked the link and found this "Project Activity" page with all kinds of reports... There are all kinds of them!
This one shows funding progress...
...there's also one for the % of contributions that come from Kickstarter and those that come from external links... these external links...
...and then there's one that shows the # of video plays (both on and off Kickstarter) and reward popularity!

If they had ANY idea how hooked I get about graphs...

The Adventures of Rubberkid Kickstarter: Day One Done!

One day over (well, barely over... It launched at 12:24 yesterday and I'm writing this at 12:45) and 5% of the way to the goal. That's AWESOME!!! Thanks so much to those who have helped. If you look at the page, it shows "4 backers" but it's really way more than that: so many others shared it, talked about it, supported me with it... I'm immensely grateful for the support!

And when I woke up this morning, I found a message that the game touched someone so much when they helped Patrick, the learning-disabled boy, and found out he became a teacher to help teach other children with learning issues he actually teared up! I truly aimed this game for children so much that I never realized it would affect adults too, but looking back... It's not difficult to imagine. We've all been affected by bullying in one way or another, many of us still feel it to some degree today, long after the bullying happened... So why wouldn't we feel emotional with it?

I'm working on really promoting it now... I reached out to a few places Friday before learning it's smart to wait until Monday or even Tuesday to email businesses and such since otherwise the emails will end up buried in their inboxes... So I'm searching for awesome bloggers, writers, website-running-people and anyone who might be interested and writing to them, saving the messages for Tuesday around 11am and will send them then.

For now, I'm focusing on social media (FB/Twitter), learning about Reddit and all the other ones and writing about it here!

Have a super awesome weekend everyone! If anything big happens, I'll be sure to blog about it :)