Back in March 2011 I contacted my 30+ year friend, Rob W., a professional artist, asking him for advice on how to construct a few card holders for my favorite game, Arkham Horror. When he witnessed the dimensions of what proved to be nothing more elaborate than a box with a set of dividers, he said, "Hold on, I've got an idea." Over the next few months, we developed numerous sketches, accepted maybe 1 out of every 7 or 8 drawings, until we finally found the right look for our first few pieces.
From the very beginning of this project, we both envisioned a complete set of card holders and component trays. Early on, we planned for a Neighborhood Display to hold all nine Arkham Encounter card decks. However the piece's size proved massive and its cost exorbitant relative to the other pieces. In time, we decided on the following pieces to comprise the original set:
- Neighborhood Display
- Mythos Fortress
- Cthulhu's Caldera
- Great Old One Display
- Item Deck
- Player's Plate
In October, I attended Arkham Nights at FFG and met several individuals on-staff, with whom I shared our vision and drawings, along with a tiny sculpted piece, serving as a creative Business Card Holder. To the Marketing Representative, I inquired about having their name attached to our great line of products via a Licensing Agreement. Over the next six weeks, I researched all manner of information related to Licensing Agreements and in late January, I submitted our proposal to FFG. While they certainly appreciated our idea and the pieces, in the end, they couldn't make it work on their end. We parted ways with the tacit understanding that while we would create pieces for Arkham Horror, but wouldn't use the company name in any of our advertising.
In February 2012, I completed all of the legal forms to create a Limited Liability Company ~ one month later, Crafthulhu LLC was formed. While the paperwork was filed in March, my partner and I signed the final document on April 1, 2012. Over the next few weeks, I consulted with a number of friends and relatives about how best to market our idea. We examined CraigsList, Facebook, Indigogo and other sites, when two close friends recommended Kickstarter.
In May 2012, I reviewed a ton of information on-line and in print on Kickstarter. The Kickstarter Project process is not arduous, and for newbies to marketing, business, and sales, it's a great tool. Once I had a reasonable draft for the Project I realized it was only the beginning. I still required bank verification with Amazon.com, which immediately propelled me to get all of the company's finances in-order, get a checking account, and write our LLC's Business Plan. During June and July, I cleared these administrative hurdles, as Rob patiently continued to craft our pieces. During the next six weeks, Rob and I had numerous conversations (okay, argued too) about Backers' Rewards. In the last couple of weeks, leading up to our first Launch, Rob crafted nearly one item per two months with stunning detail and I finally completed the Rewards rubric.
On September 10th at 9:30 pm, I sent our Project for review by the Kickstarter Staff. Within 24 hours, I received a confirmation e-mail, stating we were cleared to "Launch" by hitting the Green Button which appeared on our Control Screen. On September 11th, I sent e-mails (or geekmails) to a number of Arkhamites who provided verbal support for our project at boardgamegeek.com, announcing the "September 15, 2012 launch at noon!"
While this started as a personal project, it has become so much more...In the end, this project is for you!
To learn more about the Kickstarter Project, check it out at kickstarter.com