Saturday, February 1, 2014

Don't Buy My Game… Help Me Fly.

Running a Kickstarter is a tough job. Especially when you have never done it before. There's a new problem lurking around every corner, and some people seem just giddy with excitement about the possibility of watching you fall on your face.

Well, I don't plan on letting that happen.

Let me tell you a little about myself. I am a 40 year old divorced mother of one amazing, autistic son. I have worked in child care for the last 22 years, and I am amazing at it. But I want something different. I want to share my own passion with the world. I want to see my own creations become something real. When I look into my son's face, and tell him I believe in him, I want him to see that I believe in myself too. How can I encourage my son to accomplish his dreams if I don't pursue my own?

So I decided to make my game. 

Flip Flash is a game my cousin and I came up with when we were just kids. Over the years I have changed, tweaked, and perfected it. I have shown it to the top industry professionals, and used their feedback to make it better, and I have played it with the spunkiest little kids, and used their feedback to make it more fun. This game is going to be amazing. It will be a unifying game that parents can play with their kids, and that kids can play with their differently abled friends. 

But there will still be people who don't like it.

That's okay. I know not everyone likes every game. And a few people already have an earlier version of my game called "Nay-Jay". Some people who I know and care about are not going to want this new and vastly improved game. But that's not what kickstarter is about. Sure it is great to get fun, and exciting new games before they hit the stores. It's exciting to receive the exclusive rewards that won't be available to the general public. Being in the know is a great feeling. But it's more than that.

This Kickstarter is really about helping me reach for the stars.

I'm a paycheck-to-paycheck person, who is trying to balance being a mom and paying the bills, and without Kickstarter I might never get the chance to take my nose off the grindstone long enough to notice the stars. When I was a kid we had a big trampoline. Several of my friends and I used to work together to bounce one of us super high in the air, so for just a second we could feel like we were flying. That, ultimately is what kickstarter is all about for someone like me.

So please, don't just buy my game… 

…help me fly.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Kid or Kickstarter?

It occurred to me today that there is a definite similarity between having a child and having a Kickstarter. I mused aloud about this silly parallel with my friend, and we both were soon collapsing in laughter. So for your enjoyment, here are the top five reasons why having a Kickstarter is like having a kid!

1. It's more fun to think about having a Kickstarter than it is to actually "give birth" to one.
It's a LOT of fun coming up with the idea for a Kickstarter, just as it is a lot of fun to "practice" making a baby. I come up with new ideas for Kickstarters pretty often, but when a kickstarter idea actually becomes real, it's a long difficult, but ultimately rewarding journey. This doesn't deter me in the least from coming up with new ideas for more, but I'm much more careful after having one, about whether I'll decide to risk letting another one… take root.

2. Your kid is a lot cuter to you than it is to other people.
Yes, I'm one of those parents who will pull out the pictures and regale you with stories of my son's first bath far more often than I'd like to admit. And turns out, that tendency follows you into the world of having a Kickstarter! Everyone loves their Kickstarter, and we can go on for hours about the process of shooting and editing the video, or choosing the reward tiers. These stories might seem important and interesting to me, but I've learned to reign myself in a little as I see peoples eyes begin to glaze over. 

3. Everyone has an opinion on how you should be running your Kickstarter. Everyone.
When you have a new Kickstarter it is encouraged for you to put out a rough draft and solicit advice on ways to improve it. That is actually hugely helpful, and I highly recommend doing it. However, the advice doesn't stop. Ever. Just like when I visit family sometimes I will be told I need to feed my son "more bread" to "put some meat on his bones" (even though he is allergic to gluten), I am still given daily hints and tips about how to market my kickstarter more effectively. Much of this advice is great, but I have to make choices, and sometimes I'm stuck with the result of my choice and I can't change it. And sometimes the advice I'm given would work much better if I was a big company with a big budget. 

4. Every time your kid does something good, you forgive her for all she's put you through.
My child is a lot of work. Picky, and allergic to tons of things. Intelligent, but unenthused about home-work or house-work. Social, but limited in communication skill by autism. I sometimes feel like the majority of my interactions with him are a bit of a struggle. But then he'll just do one thing right, comfort  a classmate, ace a test, or say "I love you" just when I need it most. I melt and everything is fine again. That is similar to how when your kickstarter goes a day or two with hardly any momentum, it's excruciating. Not to mention all the behind the scenes emailing and marketing you have to do. But then suddenly a big backer will pledge, or a blogger will say yes to an interview, and suddenly everything is wonderful again!

5. You're never really sure if your Kickstarter is going to go out into the world and become a huge success, or if it will end up living in your basement embarrassing you, and costing you money for the rest of your life. But you love it either way.
Yeah, like with your kid. :^)

Anyway, I hope you all have enjoyed my self-indulgent ramblings. I'd love to hear in the comments about how you think having a kid and a kickstarter are similar. And please, take a moment to pop over to my kid… er… kickstarter and become a backer. Every single contribution, no matter how small, is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Playing On Words

Since I settled on the name Flip Flash for my card game I have gotten a constant steam of confessions from friends and family about what the name inspires for them mentally. This has been a source of much amusement for me, and so I thought it would be fun to some of my favorites with all of you.

"Flip Flash makes me think of…"

1. An exhibitionist acrobat

2. A very short skirt in a light breeze.

3. A middle finger raised with a large shiny ring on it.

4. The shine from a coin tossed in the air.

5. The Flash doing acrobatics.

6. An acrobat in a short skirt sans bloomers.

7. A magician flicking back his cloak with a small bright explosion.

8. Renovating a real estate property very quickly.

9. Changing your political opinion very quickly.

All of these bring a grin to my face as I picture them. Some even make me blush a little. How about you? Do you have any meanings for the term Flip Flash that I didn't list here? I'd love to hear them! Please leave them in the comments for me and others to enjoy!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Don't Let Frank Get You Down.

My name is Naomi Tripi, and I just started my first Kickstarter on Monday January 20th, and this is my first post about this journey.

You might be the most confident person on the planet in your normal life, but if you're going to take the journey through Kickstarter ally, be warned, your ego's going to take a pounding. Here's a real conversation between a friend who I'll call Frank, but that's not her real name.

Me: Hi, Frank! Did you check out my Kickstarter yet?
Frank: No, I'm over Kickstarter.
Me: But… this is MY Kickstarter…
Frank: Don't take this the wrong way, but I just don't support crowd-funding things anymore.
Me: Okay, no worries. Why? Did you get burned?
Frank: No, I just don't like seeing them all the time, clogging up my feed.
Me: Ah, yes. That is annoying. But still, don't you think it's a good thing that regular people like me can have a shot at creating something great?
Frank: Sure, I just don't want to hear about it all the time.
Me: You know I'm not going to stop posting about it just because you don't want to support it, right?
Frank: Yeah, I figured.
Me: So would you consider looking at my campaign as an early birthday favor to me?
Frank: Sure. I'll get right on that.
Me: You're not going to look at it are you?
Frank: No. Probably not.

So, Frank is a really good friend, and has been there and supported me through a lot of things in my life. I am not going to let anything ruin that. But come ON! Seriously? Running a Kickstarter for someone like me, just a regular everyday single-mother, is about shooting for my dreams! Since when do we step back and refuse to support our friends and family simply because we find hearing about it annoying?

Thank goodness for that powerful booming voice in my head that just smiles and nods and keeps cheering me on. It reminds me to focus on the amazing people who have stepped up to support me. Strangers I've never met are lending me a hand, and investing in my success. That's a pretty brilliant light of hope and encouragement. Thank you to everyone who has helped me shine!