Amazu Media and the Shrug Island Kickstarter

In this digital era, crowdfunding has proven to be a valuable tool for independent developers who wish to visualize a project on their own. These projects seem to vary from book, animation, movies and in this case, a game.

The idea of the Shrug Island has been in development for quite some time, several years to be exact. Alina from Amazu Media, a young Danish game development company, explains how the shrug universe was first publicly introduced at Annecy back in 2009, when the animated short “Shrug” won a Jury Junior Award for a graduation film. But, the universe itself was visualized a long time before that.

The initial preparations for the Shrug Island Kickstarter started no less than 2 months before the actual launch. Planning, doing research and making sure that everything was ready proved to be a full time job.

Alina from Amazu Media explains that before launch, very extensive research on the use of Social Medias was necessary in order to have any chance of success.
She goes on to explain that it also was a good idea to know who your target audience was so you can streamline your future communication to appeal to them more effectively.

When Amazu Media launched the Kickstarter campaign, they admit that they were only about 75% prepared. The main reason for not waiting longer was because the project was timed to launch at the same time as an important conference, Casual Connect in Amsterdam, from which the Kickstarter could get a lot of initial publicity.

In the first week of the Kickstarter, effective communication was difficult to maintain because a presskit had not been developed yet, meaning others were not clear on how to represent the project. With this, Amazu Media learned that they needed to be flexible. You can plan a lot beforehand, but things may not turn out as you thought they would. Backers might ask for specific things or maybe you will run into unforeseen problems.

Another important aspect of the Shrug Island Kickstarter campaign was managing the slow period in the middle. Amazu Media learned the importance of a lot of interesting updates, and that you will have to spread out the content as much as possible.

The key to success for this particular kickstarter comes from the fact that many people were interested, even before the actual launch, because the shrug universe has existed for such a long time. Doing this time, many people have had an interest in the project and some people even had a large influence on its development. When the kickstarter launched, these people had as much an interest in seeing the kickstarter successful, as the founder of the kickstarter. This kind of support is most likely the main reason why the Kickstarter was a success, and unfortunately, not something you easily replicate on short notice. After all, commitment takes time.