Monday, August 13, 2018

Understanding Kicktraq Project Pages - Part Three

In our first article on Kicktraq, we examined the top third of a project page and moved our way down to the middle third where all the data nerd chart goodness lives.

In the third and last article in our Kicktraq primer series we talk about the final third of the project page as well as some other interesting parts of Kicktraq.

Kicktraq Project Page Bottom Third

The bottom third of the Kicktraq page shows the “Latest News” from the project.

This latest news feed derives from updates posted on the Kickstarter project. A potential backer researching your project can see the updates for your project without having to be on the Kickstarter page.

Engagement with your community is a key component of running a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Don’t go too long without an update or making comments – even if its just to check in and let everyone know what is going on in the background.

Backers like to know what is going on with “their project”. Regular updates keep backers in the loop and build the excitement of bringing a project to life together.

Other Cool Kicktraq Page Features

Kickstarter News

Let’s turn our attention back to the landing page of Kicktraq.

The first thing you see front and center is a search box for finding projects. This search box is analogous to the search bar in the upper right of all the site pages.

The front page is split into three sections – a news section, a top ten list and the Kicktraq Twitter feed.

The front page of Kicktraq functions as a news aggregator for all things Kickstarter culled from blogs around the Interwebs.

Get your project reviewed and featured on review blogs like Victory Condition Gaming and raise your visibility on this page and others.

Not only is it good for your project – its good for your brand as well.

On the right side of the page there is the top ten projects for the day. This will reflect the category you have been searching – in the image below you can see my top ten is for table top games, the category I look at most, if not all times.

If you look at the bottom of the top ten list, you will see a link for all Hot List projects.

Just below the top ten Hot List items for your category is the Kicktraq Twitter feed.

The Twitter feed is another place to mine for great projects to back.

Note to creators: If you look at who Kicktraq follows you can mine their followers for influencers for your own campaigns!

Day One Listings – Project Owners

While Kicktraq does not require you to do anything to be listed on their site, if you go to their site the day you launch your project and use the search function to locate your project, Kicktraq will give you a little extra goodness.

Getting your project tracked by Kicktraq from day one allows more data and more accurate tracking. As a reward for this, Kicktraq will list your project on the "Day-1 Projects" page at the very top of the category navigation.

Day-1 Project tracking is useful for reassuring backers you will reach your goal throughout the life of your project.

Kicktraq also offers free graphics to show you are a Day-One project and helping to get your project listed on the Hot List on this page.

Browser Add-ons

Kicktraq does offer Browser add-ons for the Firefox, Chrome and Opera browsers.

Once you download and install the browser extension, you can visit your Kickstarter backed projects or just browse.

The browser extension will display one of the various charts located in the middle third of the project page above the Kickstarter project image or video. The charts rotate and below whatever chart displays are links to the projects Kicktraq page for Funding Progress, Daily Data and Project News.

The add-ons are a handy way to get a snapshot on the analytics of a project.

The only downside I see to them is that the Kicktraq analytics can take a little bit of time to load initially. Once they are loaded that initial time, subsequently building the charts takes a lot less time.

Kicktraq Primer Conclusion

So this concludes our three part primer series on Kicktraq. I sincerely hope that it has been of benefit to you.

In future articles, I plan to do some post-mortem analysis on both failed and successful Kickstarter projects, interviews with successful creators and much more.

Thanks for reading and all the best!

About the Author

Michael Harrington is a cybersecurity course designer and instructor by trade and an self-diagnosed RPG addict. He first started playing TTRPGs with the original TSR Dungeons and Dragons back in elementary school.

He does freelance writing on the side and is the author of a book on using Google Earth in digital forensics. His Twitter account is @voidmarked and he’s working on a new website -

Thursday, August 9, 2018

VCG chats with... Jonathan Ying - Bargain Quest

Y'all as excited about @BargainQuest as much as I am? Such a great blend of art, theme and mechanics! No wonder the second printing is going crazy on Kickstarter!
Hear all about it here - 
Then go back it here -

Monday, August 6, 2018

Understanding Kicktraq Project Pages - Part Two

In part one of my primer on using Kicktraq, I  explained the upper third of the Kicktraq project page and in another previous piece I also looked at the Kicktraq Hot List in relation to a Kickstarter project.

In this week’s article we’ll continue examining a project’s Kicktraq page, this time concentrating on the middle third of the page.

The Kicktraq Project Page Middle Third

The middle third of a Kicktraq project page contains five different tabs that contain more granular information about a particular Kickstarter project.

The information in these tabs is useful for both project backers and creators.

Let’s look at each of the tabs in a little more detail.

The Funding Progress Tab

The funding progress tab tracks a Kickstarter project’s progress toward its funding goal from the beginning date of the project to the ending date.

The Y access of the chart shows the pledged amount starting at zero. The amount shown on the Y axis increases in increments of 5k.

Along the X axis are the dates of the project is active.

The chart shows a blue dotted line across the graph for the funding goal. It will also show a green dotted line that adjusts for the project funding trend.

Kicktraq will plot a point at each day for the project’s funding.

We’ll cover the uses of this and other tabs in a bit. For now remember that when looking at the funding trend it is important to keep in mind that the trend is not 100% accurate.

Daily Data

The Daily Data tab contains three separate charts – Pledges Per Day, Backers Per Day, and Comments Per Day.

Pledges Per Day

This chart tracks the amount pledged by backers for each day of the Kickstarter project campaign. This chart shows a purple dotted line for the average amount pledged per day. This is summarized in the upper right of the chart.

Backers Per Day

This chart mimics the Pledges Per Day chart replacing pledge amount with the average amount of backers per day. Averages are shown as per the Pledges Per Day chart.

Comments Per Day

This charts the average comments per day on the Kickstarter project like the above two charts.

Projection (Experimental Build)

The Projection tab displays the current funding data for the project and gives a projection of the end funding.

Currently this project is called the “Project Cone”. Be aware that the way this tab displays as Kicktraq experiments with how to display and predict data will change.

The project’s goal is shown as a straight dashed horizontal blue line across the graph.

This projection is expressed as a high and low dollar range and summarized in the upper right of the chart and shown as a purple line.

As I stated before and has been mentioned by Kicktraq themselves, projection data is not 100% and depends on several factors.

However, Kicktraq gets about a 70-92% average correct prediction on many projects.

You should expect this to be a work in progress and while the projection is not a 100% guarantee, it never-the less is an important tool to use when adjusting your Kickstarter campaigns and pledges.

Trend (Beta)

While the X and Y axis are familiar – dollar amount on the x axis and date on they axis - the data presented on this tab can look confusing.

At the very top of the chart there is a dashed gray line indicating the initial funding trend. From the very top a green line with plotted points slopes down to meet the dashed green trending line.

Just below the trending line is the dashed blue goal line and beneath that the actual funding plotted over the days of the campaign.

Why is that green line curving down to meet the blue one and why did it start so high?

Well, the trend is based on daily data and a variety of different weighted metrics. If the project owner did a lot of pre-launch work and built anticipation a project and then launched with a huge surge the numbers will be high.

This huge surge can be very important to build momentum and drive toward funding and beyond. This is one of the keys to success to Kickstarter campaigns that we will discuss in future articles.

The green line should eventually begin to move in concert with the actual funding numbers


This tab provides a nice summary of the project stats as well as a chart of the last ten days of campaign funding (a subset of the projection), a “battery meter” chart as well of summaries of the total pledged amount, average pledges per day, the current daily pledge and time left in the campaign.

On the right-hand side of this tab you can find ways to embed the chart to share on websites, forums and Reddit.

This data is dynamic and updates from the Kicktraq site.

Using Middle Tier Information for Research

While an in-depth discussion of how to use Kicktraq’s middle third for working your Kickstarter campaign – or following one if you are a backer- is out of the scope of this article, I will cover this topic in further posts.

For now, here are a few suggestions on how to use the data on the Kicktraq project middle third to work a campaign or help promote it as a backer.

Research Successful and Failed Campaigns

Search for and research past projects that are similar to your campaign and go over the day by day funding and backer trends.

Then look at the Kickstarter campaign itself and correlate the data to the numbers.
Learn from the successes and failures.

Kickstarter Engagement

Use the data on the tabs to find out where the lulls are in your campaign.

You will want to encourage your backers and fans to share the Kicktraq page, suggest tags and post to forums and websites.

The more engagement you generate the better your numbers will be.

Social Media

Take screen caps of tabs and share across your social media networks. People love to see charts and summaries.

Not only will this build buzz on your project but it’s a great way to add content to social media feeds which in turn drives more organic traffic to project pages and your website.

Kicktraq’s Middle Page – Summary

The middle third of the Kicktraq project page is chock full of information that will help you adjust your Kickstarter campaigns in mid-flight.

You can also use the information in the tabs to help generate interest on forums and social media.

As a backer, you can track projects you are interested in and use the data to adjust your level of involvement.

In our next article we will talk about the final section of the Kicktraq project page.

Until then – Game On!

About the Author

Michael Harrington is a cybersecurity course designer and instructor by trade and an self-diagnosed RPG addict. He first started playing TTRPGs with the original TSR Dungeons and Dragons back in elementary school.

He does freelance writing on the side and is the author of a book on using Google Earth in digital forensics. His Twitter account is @voidmarked and he’s working on a new website -

Monday, July 30, 2018

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Understanding Kicktraq Project Pages - Part One

I’ll admit it - I have an Kickstarter problem.

I’m on the platform several times a day checking for new RPG games to back and watching the comments and updates on the projects I’ve already backed.

I love the community and seeing the creativity of all the game designers plus I’ve met some awesome people like Doug Shute of Victory Condition Gaming and Alan Bahr of Gallant Knight Games.  

There are some seriously talented and creative people breathing life into worlds and game frameworks on Kickstarter.

If you are a Kickstarter and RPG game addict like me who wants to get more involved in the success of your backed projects, or a game designer who wants to get his or her table top RPG or board game funded, there is a tool that you should be utilizing - Kicktraq.

If you have never heard of Kicktraq - despair not! In this series of posts, I’ll cover the basics of Kicktraq including how to use it to both find great projects to back and how to help boost your backed projects. 

If you are a RPG game designer, Kicktraq is definitely a tool that you want to do a little research and leverage for successful campaigns.

Now let’s dig into Kicktraq and discover the goodies.

Finding RPG Kickstarter Projects on Kicktraq

There are a few ways to find your backed RPG projects on the Kicktraq website.

First, you can type in the name of the project in the upper left hand search page. The field will remember past searches if you choose to use this in the future.

You can also select the link for the Kicktraq Hotlist. I cover the Hotlist in detail in a separate article.

The Hot List is of course, only a small portion of the main Kicktraq page - in another article in the series we’ll look at the other details main page menu.

The Kicktraq Project Page 

The Kicktraq project page for a Kickstarter project has several areas that are useful for tracking your created or backed project.

The pages is actually split into thirds - you have the project summary, the dynamic charts and then the news section.

In this article we’ll cover the upper third of the project page.

The KickTraq Product Summary

The project summary is the upper third of the Kicktraq project page.

Let’s go over each of the separate sections of this upper third.

At the top of the upper third is a header. This contains the title of the project on the left and a countdown to the end of the project’s Kickstarter campaign on the right.

On the far left of the page in this section you have a thumbnail of the project. This is taken from the picture - or the first frame of a the video - on the campaign tab of the Kickstarter project page.

Directly underneath this picture are links to the project and for social sharing.

We’ll cover the use of these links in a future article on how project creators can use these buttons to increase the visibility of their project and engagement of their backer community.

The middle column of the the top third of the Kicktraq project page contains a bunch of information starting off with a short description of the project - this is actually the subtitle of the project as it appears on the actual Kickstarter page.

Below that in a gray band is the category of the project - also taken from it’s listed category in Kickstarter.

Just below the category is a summary of the project which includes

  • Backers
  • Average daily pledges
  • Average pledge per backer
  • Total funding of the project compared to its goal
  • The dates of the project
  • The creators of the project - this is a link to the creator’s bio on Kickstarter.

The final piece of the middle column is a place for project creators to add tags to the project.

As the Kicktraq staff mentions in an article on tagging, creators should take some time to add tags to their projects to increase visibility in searches. 

To add tags click the  “+Suggest” button to get a dialog to look for approved tags. If you don’t see a tag that fits your project you can click on the link just below the suggestion field to submit a tag for Kicktraq’s consideration.

The final area of the top third is an a glance summary of the current funding as expressed in money and percentage of goal as well as the general trend of what the project may get for funding by the end of the campaign. 

The general trend is also expressed as a monetary amount and percentage of goal.

We will cover projections and trends in the next article on the middle third of the Kicktraq project page.

Until then - onward and upward with your Kickstarter campaigns!

About the Author

Michael Harrington is a cyber security course designer and instructor by trade and an self-diagnosed RPG addict. He first started playing RPGS with the original TSR Dungeons and Dragons back in elementary school.

He does freelance writing on the side and is the author of a book on using Google Earth in digital forensics. His Twitter account is @voidmarked and he’s working on a new website -

Thursday, July 26, 2018

How To Use The Kicktraq Hot List To Find Awesome Projects and Boost Your Kickstarter Campaigns

If you want to quickly look at what the hotness is in tabletop RPG games on Kickstarter you need look no further than the Hot List.

The Hot List is where any obsessed TTRPG – Table Top Role Playing Game – fan can find the freshest, newest and hottest games being produced.

It is also a great tool for game designers to leverage to boost their Kickstarter campaigns.

Click on the link from the home page or access it directly by going to List/.

From there you can filter by the category you are interested in on the left- hand side of the page.

The Hot List gives you a quick rundown of the current and previous day’s top 25 Kickstarter campaigns. The lists are hyperlinked to the campaigns and also provide a snap shot of information about the campaign which includes:
  • If the campaign is new
  • If the campaign has increased in ranking
  • If the campaign has dropped in ranking
  • If the campaign is in its same ranking
  •  How long the campaign has remaining

How Does the Hot List Work?

Here is a brief synopsis though of how Kicktraq decides who is on the Hot List.

Getting on the Kicktraq list for RPGs or Tabletop games is a combination of three factors:

Kickstarter/Kicktraq Crossover

If you want to rank on the Kicktraq Hot List you need your backers to also be Kicktraq users.

Encourage your backers to:
  • Share one of the Kicktraq charts and/or encourage backers users to embed Kicktraq charts for your project on websites for maximum exposure.
  • Link to your projects Kicktraq project page 
  • Share your project’s latest funding status via social media using Kicktraq’s social sharing features.
  •  Have backers install the Kicktraq pluginsfor Chrome or Firefox. This embeds one of the charts for each project right on the top of its Kickstarter project page and encourages visits to your Kicktraq project page.

Campaign Momentum

The number of backers and pledges you get from day to day matters as does the momentum your project shows.

If you have consistent engagement and sharing you will sustain momentum and up your odds of landing on the Kicktraq Hot List.


Comments really matter.

Kicktraq looks at the quantity of comments on your project when determining Hot List status. You need to make sure you are engaging your backers in the comments section answering questions, generating interest and buzz.

You can also drive this to some extent by keeping your project in the news and active in social media.

This will encourage new and existing backers who may use Kicktraq to track projects.

These things ultimately really combine to one ultimate key to getting on the Kicktraq Hot List - backer engagement.

The more engaged and excited your backers are - sharing your projects Kicktraq, commenting on the project etc., the more likely your project will get on the Hot List.

The Kicktraq Hotlist Can Mean Wild Success

If your project gets on the Hot List - and does so consistently - that is a very good sign that your project will get funded and made. This ultimately translates to raving champions for your brand and products.

Achieving the Hot List means you are getting your Kickstarter campaign and business right.

About the Author

Michael Harrington is a cyber security course designer and instructor by trade and an self-diagnosed RPG addict. He first started playing RPGS with the original TSR Dungeons and Dragons back in elementary school.

He does freelance writing on the side and is the author of a book on using Google Earth in digital forensics. His Twitter account is @voidmarked and he’s working on a new website -