Alpha Colony needs to raise only 50k from our upcoming Kickstarter campaign to see the light of day. While 50k isn’t anything to shake a stick at… I know it’s a lot of money to me, and it probably is to you as well, but is it enough to make a game? No.
Games Cost a Lot:
If you don’t want to take my word for it, check out this article by Tim Schafer of Double Fine, for some reference about modern video game budgets. Games these days can cost $50M, and even for casual and indie games $100k is a pretty shoestring budget.
Where does all that money go? As a producer, I can tell you most of it goes into personnel. We have a pretty small team here, but when you take into account salary, insurance, office space, licenses and equipment for even a small team over months of development, it really ads up fast. In fact, the real cost of the full game we’d like to make, plus the cost of fulfilling rewards, plus fees is probably a lot closer to 500k.
How can DreamQuest deliver a 500k game for 50k?:
There are quite a lot of factors, but here are the biggest:
- We’ve already invested quite a bit into Alpha Colony. We’re not building the game from scratch, and we’re not asking you to pay for what we’ve already put in.
- We’ve secured a significant amount of additional outside funding.
- We’ve surveyed the Alpha Colony fan base and determined the most important features. We prioritized those, and cut the fluff you didn’t care about. This, I’ll talk about in more detail…
We want this game to be awesome across the board. For example, we wanted really top-notch voice acting. Survey said, no one really cared about voice acting. So we cut this from the budget. We were sad to see it go, but we want to make sure we give you the game that you want, and that we can afford to give it to you so away it went. And it probably won’t be back unless our campaign exceeds all our expectations, and even then we’ll probably ask you what you’d like even more and do that instead.
Then, I have to admit, we had to make tougher decisions. We really wanted to make this a seven platform game. iOS and PC were most important to our fans. But not a lot of people cared if the game comes out on Mac, and even less cared if it appears on Linux. If you’re one of the few who really want to play this game on your Mac, we’re sorry. We really want to deliver a Mac version to you, but there just weren’t enough of you to justify it below 130k. So that’s a stretch goal: Mac and Linux at 130k. It’s something we’d really like to do, so we hope you’ll help us make it possible.
We also realized, that even though we really wanted this to be a multi-player game that the fans were overwhelmingly interested in a single-player campaign. So we’re going to give people what they want, and put as much time and effort as necessary to make a really awesome single player experience. And it isn’t until 250k that we can afford to give the multi-player experience we’d like to offer. That’s going to be a little more difficult, but we’re hoping that you’ll want to see multi-player in the game enough to help us reach our 250k stretch goal.
We’ve got a lot of stretch goals, including more playable races, social media integration, more maps and a map editor. We expect to exceed our minimum goal of 50k, which will make a lot of these things possible. But no matter how much we raise, we’re committed to making the features we do include awesome. Which is why we’ve chosen to cut certain features at lower funding levels. For example, rather than making a medicore game for seven platforms, we’d rather make an awesome game for two platforms. But we can’t do it without you.