A haphazard pile of meeples - roughly human-shaped game pieces - in assorted colors

Content Design for Weekly Board Game Kickstarter Roundups

Overview

When the person who ran the Kickstarter Roundups previously decided to step down, I volunteered to take it over. I had no idea what I was doing, but I’m resourceful – I knew I’d figure it out.

Goal: Provide the /r/boardgames community with regular updates regarding board game campaigns on Kickstarter in a compact format that gives them just enough information.

Dates: December 2015 – infinity and beyond

Target Audiences: Members of the /r/boardgames subreddit (~500k subscribers)

My Roles: Researcher, Data Cruncher, Designer, Copywriter

Outcomes

  • Ascertained what sort of information and types of projects people did and did not want to see in the list.
  • Successfully learned how to scrape web data with R.
  • Content posted to the community weekly.
  • Significantly improved engagement. From 2015 to 2016, average post karma increased over 30% and average comments increased over 46%.
  • Was forced to set up a PayPal tip jar because people kept wanting to give me money for my efforts. A few have even said the posts have become their “Sunday morning ritual.”

Process

I took this project over about 2 years ago. The previous gentleman, who had been running it for 3-4 years, posted something like the following every week. After all those years posting these lists week in and week out, he thought it time to retire and pass on the job to someone else, effective the first Sunday of January 2016.

A reddit post featuring a list of Kickstater projects
An example of the weekly roundup as run by the previous content owner

I had been a semi-regular reader and I had some ideas for some changes so I volunteered. At the time, though, I had no idea how to go about producing these. I had about a month to figure out how to use the one language I know well, R, to scrape information from the source and package it in a presentable way. This was pretty new territory for me. I needed more information in order to guide my process, so I polled the user base.

A sample of some questions asked on a survey
These aren’t all the questions, but it’s the meat of the survey; I kept it short and sweet

I got almost 400 responses, which really helped me to figure out what were majority opinions and what were minority opinions.

bar graphs and pie charts showing results of the survey

There were certainly tradeoffs to be made. But the responses provided enough guidance for me to work out a format for the posts that maintained the spirit of the originals but added my own touch.

a reddit post full of kickstarter links to board game projects
Click through to see the post for yourself