Crowdfunding Tips: The Tetris Challenge

Posted on: by Michael Tringe

Have you ever done something amazing and had no witnesses? The Tetris Challenge is a film conceived by Helen Stephens that will document the ultimate triumph of any Game Boy geek – getting above 205 lines – and ultimately finding the UK Tetris Champ. The cooler thing is that the campaign will also go towards creating a Tetris Championship. Helen’s idea was inspired by the film King of Kong. One of her biggest challenges with her campaign was making the pitch video, and one of her most successful strategies has been reaching out to retro gamers. Here’s a look at her campaign.

Check out Helen’s campaign here, and here are some of my initial thoughts on what’s working and what could be added in updates to help them hit their goal:

STORY: The Tetris Challenge: Finding the UK Gameboy Classic Tetris Champion

EMOTION: I get excited about Tetris since I remember playing it more than any other game on Game Boy. I’d love to see a bit more of the excitement Tetris creates in all of us when we get to a certain level – maybe she could show some more footage in updates of people beating their best and the excitement it brings them? I wish the pitch video had more of that excitement – but seeing her boyfriend open up the gift of the Game Boy was a good start.

PERSONALITY: Helen seems like a fun game lover who could make this happen – and that comes across.

CONCEPT: Finding the UK Tetris champ – it must be done!

UNIQUE: I’ve never heard of this before – so seems like a great way to tap into the gamer audience of Game Boy days.

FEEL: The project feels like it will have a very personal touch.

BIOGRAPHY: Helen is doing this in part to recapture the moment where her boyfriend hit the leader-board – a truly momentous achievement.

CLARITY: I do get a little bit confused about whether this is about the film or the tournament or maybe just both.

PACE: A bit slow.

SCOPE: About right.

DESIGN: The landing page could really use a lot more visuals to make it engaging and interesting.

CreatorUp: What inspired your project?

“The project was inspired by the film King of Kong really. For me, the film seemed to portray a pretty closed rank mentality at Twin Galaxies. The determination for Billy Mitchell to still be the record holder. Towards the end Walter Day did the right thing and apologised to Steve Weibe for the way he’d been treated. But it got me thinking – how easy is it, really, to get a place on the leader board? If I, in the UK, submitted video evidence of a new high score, would they fly over to check my console? Would they insist I fly over there and prove my skill in public?

So I decided I wanted to do something more localised. My other half, always talks about his personal best score on Gameboy Tetris and when he checked how it compared against the Twin Galaxies leaderboard he was surprised to see it would have been a 4th place score. I decided to challenge him to try and meet his personal best and submit it. The idea for a Tetris tournament came about as I realised that there must be millions of people with the same story as my boyfriend.”

CreatorUp: What has been your biggest challenge with your campaign?

When the idea came about, the biggest challenge was financing it. I am self employed and my boyfriend was made redundant last year. He’s a freelance video editor now, but only just starting out on his own. While we could film him playing Tetris easily enough, we couldn’t possibly fund a tournament. So we decided to turn to Kickstarter.

For me the biggest challenge in launching the campaign was making the pitch video. I hate being on camera – and despite living with a film maker, i was too self conscious to ask him to film me. So i had to cobble something together using a webcam and iMovie.

CreatorUp: What has been the most successful strategy with your campaign?

“We’re only 3 days into the campaign so far, but we already have 11 backers and our Twitter account has 55 followers in 2 days, which I’m pretty pleased with. My strategy has been to follow retro gamer accounts and then direct message anyone that follows me back and ask them to share the url for the campaign. So far this seems to be working well. We’ve even had one article written about our campaign on the Nintendo Life website, as a result of twitter.”

Please share in the comments what you think of the video or the campaign? What do you love? What could be done to improve or help the creator reach their goal, or what crowdfunding tips do you have to share?

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy these educational articles with a few more great crowdfunding tips.

Make a Crowdfunding Action Plan in Two Hours

How to Develop a Crowdfunding Video

Crowdfunding Tips to Meet Your Goal

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Written by Michael Tringe

Mike Tringe earned his MFA in Film Production from USC and has worked at Creative Artists Agency Film Sales (Paranormal Activity, Black Swan), Vuguru, Michael Eisner's multi-platform studio, (The Booth at the End (Hulu), Don't Ask, Don't Tell (Snag), Little Women Big Cars (AOL), and Blip Networks (300 million monthly views, Smosh, Annoying Orange, Nostalgia Critic).

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