T&G Interviews Elan Lee about Exploding Kittens

July 19, 2015 - 8:30pm
elan leeElan Lee is a designer of Exploding Kittens, a nifty card game essentially sporting a "Russian Roulette" mechanic. From the game's website: "The game is essentially Russian Roulette; you draw cards until you draw a kitten, at which point you lose. All the other cards can be used to defend, attack, skip your turn, or defuse the kitten using various action cards." Outside of being a fantastic little card game, it more than blew away it's $10k funding goal, having raised nearly $8.8 mil with nearly 220 THOUSAND supporters! Well, T&G had recently met with Elan to discuss the project:

WERE YOU EXPECTING IT TO BE SUCH A SUCCESS?

Our original goal was $10,000 to print up about 500 decks of cards.  We hoped it would do better than that, but none of us expected what actually happened.

WHAT DO YOU THINK CAUSED IT TO GO VIRAL?

The easy answer to that is The Oatmeal.  Matt has such a huge following, that simply posting to his social media accounts was the entirety of our initial marketing plan.  However, four days after our initial surge, our numbers were dwindling, and we knew that we had tapped out The Oatmeal audience.  We had to change our strategy.  I decided to roll out the community building strategies I’d used for the last decade in building Alternate Reality Games.  We pivoted to build a Kickstarter page that was 100% community focused including activities, live parties, charity events, and user generated content sprinkled over everything.  The entire team worked around the clock for the next 25 days to host the largest party in Kickstarter history.

WHAT ADVICE TO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER DESIGNERS LOOKING AT PUTTING THEIR GAME ON KICKSTARTER?

Read everything you can from previous kickstarter success and failures.  Creators want to talk, and they do it A LOT.  Read everything.
You can read the entire article, over at T&G, here.