As an experiment, Artemis Games current project, Shards: Worldbuilding Zine, abandoned stretch goals and replaced them with a new way of expanding the project: Shared Rewards.
We’ve always had superbacker levels – those levels that cost many times more than the product but have something truly special like incorporating you into a piece of artwork in the final product, or having a meal with the creator – and sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.
Shared Rewards are a different kind of superbacker level. They still allow the backer to gain something unique for themselves – in our case, incorporation of some form into the Zine – but they augment that with a communal bonus; a Shared Rewards backer adds not only to their own experience but to that of all the other backers.
In the case of Shards this has taken the form of adding extra pages to the zine that everyone gets access to. Like a stretch goal the whole product has gotten bigger, but unlike a stretch goal there is one person who can be thanked for it.
We’re not yet sure if the experiment was a success, and whether a future project may combine both methods of expansion, but it has certainly had some interesting results. Our two highest shared reward levels, at £250 each, went in under 6 hours; and one of our lower, £75, levels has gone to someone who has stated unequivocally that the personal bonus doesn’t interest them – it’s purely the fact that they’re making the project better for everyone that makes it worthwhile.
If there’s one thing I can certainly say about the shared rewards experiment it’s this: It has made me smile to see people backing philanthropically – actively paying extra so that other people can enjoy the product more!
If you want to take a look at our implementation of Shared Rewards – or are intrigued by the idea of a Worldbuilding Zine, check it out on Kickstarter
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