All right, everybody, we come to you today with what you could not strictly call good news. We've had a successful Kickstarter campaign, everyone is totally pumped for the new game, and we're in high gear when it comes to producing, polishing and heading toward our end goal.
But in every road there are potholes, and alas, we've just found ours. Kickstarter is an exciting new experience and an awesome platform, but it has pitfalls, too.
The project has funded, and for the vast majority of you, your pledges have winged their way to our accounts and are even now being divvied up between artists and staff and manufacturers. However, some peoples' pledges "bounced" - that is, for one reason or another, Kickstarter was unable to process them and we unable to receive them. This can happen for any number of reasons (insufficient funds, bank problems, glitches, whatever), and isn't really a problem; we know that little bit of that happens to every crowd-funded project, and that a few pledges will always end up falling by the wayside.
Unfortunately, however, the pledges that fell by the wayside in our case added up to a substantial amount - so substantial that we couldn't have planned for them. Some pretty high rollers came up bounced, and the end result is that we're looking at a final amount of money raised that is significantly below the what the project clocked in at. To be precise, we have exactly $2,991 in pledges that have not gone through, which is just over 14% of the final total.
Now, there's not necessarily any need to panic yet. As we said above, there are lots of reasons folks' pledges might not have gone through, and Kickstarter gives them several days to try to find and correct the issue, so it's possible that those funds will still make it through (some people have already sorted theirs out, and we salute them for being awesome!). We've contacted all the bounced backers to offer our help in fixing the problem if we need it, and we still have time before the deadline when Kickstarter will officially declare the pledges dead. It's still entirely possible that there won't be any problem at all.
But, on the chance that we end up with such a sizable deficit still in play at the end of the pledge grace period, we felt it was important to tell all of you. You're the people who are helping make this game happen, and we want you to know what's going on and how it might affect Hero's Journey and our end product.
If it happens that we end up a couple of thousand dollars under our estimated final funding, we will actually not have reached our final stretch goal, the one adding cosmological maps of each pantheon's important sites. Much as we would love to produce them anyway, they require a lot of time and monetary investment in artists, and it is likely that we won't be able to do that if our ending funding amount is so low (which is why we set it for $20k in the first place, since we knew that was about what we'd need to do them justice). We absolutely do not want that to happen, but we have to be realistic about the chance that it might, and all of you also deserve to know about that possibility.
However, even if that does happen, the rest of the Hero's Journey goodies you've been promised will not change. All other stretch goals were still reached and are already in processing, all of the things we've told you about the game's content are still true, and we are just as committed to making it an epic reality.
We wanted to make sure all of you were in the loop (and we'll be posting this update on Kickstarter later tonight, too - apologies if you get it twice!), but don't despair; even if those maps can't be part of the core rulebook, we know there will be a place for them in future additions to the game line.
We'll keep you posted as things develop on our end, so keep being awesome and we'll keep journeying onward with you!