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Production Update #1: Where does all the $$$$ go?

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Hello backers! One of the key themes of this project is TRANSPARENCY. We really want to share the whole process with you, and that includes something that is usually a big secret on a game: Where does all the money go? Sorry if you don't talk about money in your family, because we're going to talk about it here. As you may know, we recently raised quite a bit. $3,446,371 to be specific. But that money has to go towards a lot of different things, and that's what we've been working on figuring out over the past couple weeks. In order to schedule out and staff this game, we first had to actually figure out what the game's budget would be. And now we can share a bit of insight into that process!

Fees

The first thing to be deducted from our total was Amazon fees. For every payment made through Kickstarter, Amazon took 5%. After that, Kickstarter took their 5%. There were a handful of failed transactions that were never corrected as well, leaving our final total after fees and failed transactions at $3,099,660.

Rewards

The next step of this process was figuring out how much it would cost to make and ship all of the physical rewards we offered. It was important that we set aside all this money up front so we could deliver products that live up to our high standards (holy cow you guys are going to be so stoked when you see this stuff). We also wanted to make sure the process of getting this all shipped out had as little impact on the team as possible, so we hired the amazing folks over at Fangamer to handle manufacturing, storing, packing, and shipping all of the rewards. Here's the breakdown on where it landed:

rewardsa.jpg

It may look like a lot of money, but hey it's a lot of rewards! These numbers were actually all being run while the Kickstarter project was still underway. Each time we prepared to add a new reward we ran the numbers to see how much it would cost to offer the new reward to existing backers. For each new reward, that amount was covered within hours of adding the item to the project, so this amount paid for itself and then some by enticing more of you lovely backers to sign up.

Documentary

After Kickstarter, Amazon, and rewards had been accounted for, we were left with $2,626,429. At this point we were ready to split the money with 2 Player Productions. Originally, 2PP was asking for $100,000, but just like us they were asking for a bare bones budget and their production has expanded quite a bit in reaction to the unexpected amount of support and interest in the project. It meant not just following us for 6 months, but for an entire year. It also meant covering a lot more travel (they're in Portland, we're in SF), buying new equipment, and paying for an amazing score from Terrance Lee. Taking this all into account, we agreed that a fair split would be to give 2PP 15% of the money after fees and rewards. This put the documentary budget at $393,964.

Game

Using the modern miracle that is math, that means we can now deduce that our game budget is $2,232,465. That's way higher than $300,000! And will most definitely ensure that this game is suuuuuuuuuuper awesome! Here's a neat lil' pie graph to help visualize the breakdown:

piecc.jpg

At this point things became much more familiar for us. It turned into an exercise in allocating money for expenditures such as VO, localization, music, marketing, and QA testing, then determining how large the team can be and how long the project will run.

In the end it means we're in a much more ideal situation. Instead of a team of 3 working for around 6 months, we'll have a team of 11 working for around a year, which ultimately will result in a better game. AND IT'S ALL BECAUSE OF YOU!!

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Pie graphs always make me hungry.

Anyway thanks for the information, it's good to finally be able to see where the money is going.

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I don't want this to come across as 'I told you so!' but a lot of people doubted me when I suggested that at least a million of this budget could be put aside for fees, rewards and doc before they even get to the game budget. So, uh.. I told you so? :red:

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I don't want this to come across as 'I told you so!' but a lot of people doubted me when I suggested that at least a million of this budget could be put aside for fees, rewards and doc before they even get to the game budget. So, uh.. I told you so? :red:

Want a cookie? I'm just glad it matches Full Throttle's budget after inflation.

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It's close to what I ended up thinking it would be. Hope 2.2 mil is good enough!

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Wow, was a bit scared reading about all the deductions, but 11 of the finest (even double finest) minds in game development working for a year! That's fantastic, good job everybody! *Patting backers on their backs*

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Yeah, it stinks seeing all that money go to fees - when it could have been used to promote general game awesomeness... But oh well... On the bright side, it sounds like you're getting closer to production, so that makes me happy!

*does a happy dance*

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Awesome Grim Fandango reference SurplusGamer. Yeah, I'm a little saddened that not every cent could be put towards the game or the documentary. BUT, in the end, what matters the most about a Double Fine game? The story. And I have no doubt that whatever the budget may be, they'll put in a really good story with unique characters and an original setting. Plus, on it's own, 2.2 million is a pretty hefty amount of money. Keep in mind that nobody expected to get even a fraction of that.

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Should've made it a pancake graph instead of a pie graph - would've been easier to digest.

Only kidding, but one thing I was wondering though was whether there would be any Steam fees / Taxes or would these only apply to the copies that are sold, rather than given away for free to donors?

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Should've made it a pancake graph instead of a pie graph - would've been easier to digest.

Only kidding, but one thing I was wondering though was whether there would be any Steam fees / Taxes or would these only apply to the copies that are sold, rather than given away for free to donors?

There will not. Steam allows developers to give away as many free copies of their game as they would like!

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Another thing I'm curious about Greg is the calculation of postage - it seems like judging by these forums a very significant number of people are international backers - perhaps even a majority of the high-backers. How were they calculated into this, before getting demographic info? Was it estimated based on how many additional $10 there were, or was some other method used?

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It's tough to see the money go to anything that isn't Double Fine, but that is still a TON of money to make this game. I expect nothing less than amazingness will come from this.

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Woo! It's nice to see it all broken down like this. Thanks for posting it, Greg!

I'm happy to see there's so much money to go around to make a great game and documentary!

Bring it on!

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not to sound stingy but does kickstarter really need over 300k if they didnt even handle the payments?? sure its a good site...but it kinda feels they could be bullied to use a fee roof or at least a lower percentage for higher sums. I mean, for ONE project? that also brought a lot more people and attention to the site??

maybe Im just being tight. anyways thanks for the info greg!

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Wow, that is a lot of money on rewards, but I guess there is a LOT of tangible goods being given away (some of which will be coming my way)! Thanks for sharing Greg.

From my simple math that does seem to suggest that out of $3.3m in pledges there was only about $2000 in non-paid pledges. That is actually fairly impressive.

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I take issue with the idea of calculating 2PP's money based on a percentage, rather than costs and rate, but since they don't really get to sell their product for profit afterwards, I guess we have to cut them some kind of slack. That figure is way higher than I thought.

The rest is not much surprise to me, really.

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Oh, and how screwed would you guys have been if you barely hit $400,000? You'd have like $200,000 to make the game.

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i wonder, what new equipment 2player production will be buying.

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Where has all the money gone?

Long time passing

Where has all the money gone?

Long time ago

Where has all the money gone?

Fans have backed them every one

When will they ever learn?

When will they ever learn?

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Should've made it a pancake graph instead of a pie graph - would've been easier to digest.

Only kidding, but one thing I was wondering though was whether there would be any Steam fees / Taxes or would these only apply to the copies that are sold, rather than given away for free to donors?

The problem with pancake graphs is people get sick of them after about 20 minutes.

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