Monday, June 23, 2014

Kickstarter Update: What's Up With Budgets

All right, all you fine people out there - normally, we use Monday blogs to talk about something in regards to Hero's Journey's system or background, but today with the end of the Kickstarter this weekend, we need to do a quick nuts-and-bolts business update about what's going on with that. Our apologies if you weren't involved in the Kickstarter or don't care about boring budgets and logistics - we'll get back to the mythology tomorrow!

First of all, you all deserve our undying gratitude, and we want to make sure you know it. Watching everyone pull together to make this game a reality was incredible - people came from all over the place, the forums were a constant hotbed of encouragement, and we were overwhelmed by your generosity. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. This game wouldn't be happening without all of you.

So, let's talk about what happens now that the Kickstarter is over and we're heading into the Land of Eternal Production. Several folks have asked for an overview of where all this money is going, which we think is a totally reasonable thing to want to know, so here's a quick and dirty pie chart with the approximate breakdown of our budget:

(Yeah, that's some beautiful Microsoft Excel pie-charting going on right there, I know. The art department is asleep and I had to fend for myself.)

As you can see, production is where the bulk of the money goes, and that means directly creating the rewards for all of you - printing books, casting dice, and otherwise actually making real live stuff appear that will eventually be in all of your real live hands. The next runner-up is art, which involves paying our fantastical art team for, among other things, portraits of the divine patron gods of the book, cover artwork, and other beautiful things to make the inside of the book more interesting than just columns of text. Coming in third is shipping, which is an adventure in getting the final product out to all of you, followed by creation costs, which are boring but necessary things that we need to successfully create Hero's Journey - stuff like office supplies, purchasing access to research materials, registering our trademarks and other needful things. And finally, Kickstarter and Amazon Prime take their piece of the pie for enabling us to get to this point.

Of course, we're still a few months out from the final product being actually in all our hands and sent out into the wild, so as always, weird stuff could still happen. But now you all know where we're starting from!

So what do you all need to do? Happily, the answer is not much! We'll be contacting some people directly to make sure we know what add-ons you got; if you're an international backer and haven't yet talked to us about shipping, we'll get in contact with you for that, and if you're one of the few backers whose payment didn't process, you'll hear from us to get that sorted out, too, but other than that, you're golden.

You've done your part, and now it's our turn to do ours. We've started sending out surveys to collect information from all of you to get the fulfillment train ready to leave the station, and once we've heard back from most of you, we'll start sending out what we can. The physical rewards are not realities yet, of course, but look for forum badges and wallpapers heading out some time in the near future as we truck through all 200+ of you and make sure you get what you pledged for.

Finally, we'll close this out with an oops moment. This is our first Kickstarter and already it's been a sort of trial-by-fire learning experience, so unfortunately it couldn't be long until we accidentally dropped a ball. In this case, we forgot to include in the survey for those who pledged for dice anywhere to indicate what color dice you wanted, which obviously causes a significant problem in making sure we do it right! So if you jumped in for dice, you'll be getting a message from us to clarify your color choice. Our faces our red, but at least it's an easy fix!

Thank you again, to all of you with pledges great and small, for your incredible enthusiasm, support and excitement. We're going to stop blogging now and go work our fingers off on this game!