I’ll admit it. I’m something of a nerd. As such I’ve enjoyed a lot of web comics, especially during my college days. Most of them harkening to some sort of DnD-style roleplaying perspective. One of these delightful comics is called Goblins by Tarol Hunt. The storyline is inventive, the humor engaging and the artwork is top notch.
In 2008 Tarol decided to try something I hadn’t experienced before. He created a KickStarter-style game (before Kickstarter existed) in which donations would determine the survival or death of a goblin named “Tempts Fate”. The first comic started with $50 increments for each trap or obstacle with the promise that if the donations didn’t reach the goal by the allotted date, Tempts Fate would die.
The donations didn’t reach the final $200. They exceeded it. Over TRIPLE the final goal.
This spawned a regular (but not too regular) diversion from the regular characters in which higher and higher donation goals would be set for more and more difficult quests for the lovable, ever adventurous Tempts Fate. The latest one, which was used as a fundraiser to help Tarol buy a home, raised over $46,000!!!
All this because he decided to try something new, interactive and engaging to his audience. Because he rewarded them with the ownership of this side character, engagement in a story arc and lots of fourth-wall-breaking jokes.
Don’t let the fact something hasn’t been done before get in the way of connecting with your customers and giving them a chance to alter the reality of something you’d normally have full control over. You never know when you’ll hit a gold mine.