Jump to content
Double Fine Action Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Greg Rice

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

Recommended Posts

Seems the more difficult part is sorted. Whew! Now for the easy part: making the awesome documentary and mind-blowing game :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome update. I think the DFA finance transparency here demands praise. It is an important piece of the game design process and a starting point for the teams involved to start working their individual magic on this fine endeavor. I am sure most backers would have loved all the cash to go straight to doublefine, but expecting fees, rewards, etc. etc., seeing the majority of it end up in DF hands is a pleasure.

:cheese:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is Ron Gilbert part of Double Fine's Eleven or can't he work full time on DFA because of his own game right now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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!

Seems to me that it's pretty good value. They hosted the entire campaign on their site for the month, handled sign Ups, logins, a message board and gave it publicity which accounted for a significant percentage of pledges. The value they brought to the project far exceeds what they took.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only 11 people working on the game. Wow, that's not a big team. :)

But I guess the classic adventure games didnt have huge teams either. Keepin' it old-school!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How does Amazon factor in to this? Does Kickstarter use Amazonpay (or whatever it is called) only? I didn't notice when I was paying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does Kickstarter use Amazonpay (or whatever it is called) only?

Yes. They used Amazon's payment system.

Thanks a lot for the insight into the distribution of the money.

Any chances that we might get to see another tasty pie chart that shows the distribution of the "Double Fine part" of the money (what percentage of the money goes to VO, localisation, music etc.)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fascinating news and insights. I feel flattered and cajoled to be worth such "private" information.

That makes me really believe I am a part of the development process. How exciting!! :]

This is definitely history in the (game) making! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does Kickstarter use Amazonpay (or whatever it is called) only?

Yes. They used Amazon's payment system.

Thanks a lot for the insight into the distribution of the money.

Any chances that we might get to see another tasty pie chart that shows the distribution of the "Double Fine part" of the money (what percentage of the money goes to VO, localisation, music etc.)?

Probably gonna take abit more planning till they know the game allocation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Only 11 people working on the game. Wow, that's not a big team. :)

But I guess the classic adventure games didnt have huge teams either. Keepin' it old-school!

Well, let's have a look at the credits for Full Throttle and see how that bears out, for fun. That is everyone apart from actors and let's say testers (I doubt the 11 includes testers) and other people who end up in credits but didn't actually make the game. Since it seems plausible the music might be outsourced to Peter McConnell, too, let's leave out the composers. Difficult to say how the voice recordings will be managed, but let's say that that stuff is outsourced too:

Writer, Designer & Project Leader Tim Schafer

Lead Artist Peter Chan

Lead Animator Larry Ahern

Lead Programmer Stephen R. Shaw

Programmers Mark Crowley, Hwei-Li Tsao, Tim Schafer, Jonathan Ackley, Dave Grossman

System Programmer Aric Wilmunder

Production Managers Casey Donahue Ackley, Tamlynn Barra

Animators Pete Tsacle, Anson Jew, Charlie Ramos

Background Artists Peter Chan, Brian Rich

3D Vehicle Models Richard Green

Character Designs Larry Ahern

Vehicle Designs Peter Chan

3D Artists David Vallone, Dan Colon, Richard Green

Art Technicians Lleslle Aclaro, Michele Harrell, Kim Balestreri

Additional Programming by Paul D. LeFevre, Matthew Russell

Lead Sound Designer Clint Bajakian

Sound Designers Jonathan Hoffberg, Mark Crowley

At a quick count, that's 24 unique names on the Full Throttle team. It seems they probably won't need 3D artists this time around (but you never know, maybe they'll 3D model something) and it's doubtful all those people were on the team for the whole of production, but I think it's pretty safe to say that this will be a slightly smaller team than they had the luxury of drawing from at LucasArts. Even if you take out everyone but the main programmers and 2D artists and animators and Tim, that's still 13 people.

Of course, it's very difficult to compare: working processes are different now, tools are more efficient, the roles have changed, salaries as well (and probably not simply in line with inflation) so it's very hard to compare how much adventure game a team of 11 (plus outsourced stuff) for 1 year gets you now compared to a team of 13 (plus a whole lot of additional staff) for however long Full Throttle took, for about the same amount of money.

Making the comparison is fun, but there are so many variables that it's perhaps not particularly telling. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad 2PP gets a higher cut to do the documentary. All the rest was quite expected.

Now, what are you guys doing in the forum? Go back to work!! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for being so transparent about this - in fact, once the whole project is wrapped up, I think it would be a great idea to make this information publicly available as an object lesson for people planning their own Kickstarters. The reminder that the Amazon/Kickstarter cut and the cost of making and shipping all of those sweet rewards all have to be paid is a pretty important one!

I'd be interested to see another pie chart breakdown later on of how the game budget itself gets divided up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course, it's very difficult to compare: working processes are different now, tools are more efficient, the roles have changed, salaries as well (and probably not simply in line with inflation) so it's very hard to compare how much adventure game a team of 11 (plus outsourced stuff) for 1 year gets you now compared to a team of 13 (plus a whole lot of additional staff) for however long Full Throttle took, for about the same amount of money.

Making the comparison is fun, but there are so many variables that it's perhaps not particularly telling. :)

Yeah man, those credits are everyone who worked on the game at all. Our core team will be 11, but there will likely be people who come on the project for a couple days or outsource for a month that get credited. And yes, that 11 does not count musicians, actors, and other shared company resources like our localization producer, test lead, etc. It's a good solid amount, about the size of the Stacking team.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seeing stuff like this is why I signed up.

But are you going to keep the transparency going. I for one (as would many others) would love to see this continued - so we can start delving into the murky world of dev tool costs, distribution fees, moneys paid to platform holders, etc

I know a lot of this is tied up in NDA's etc. But surely this is the opportunity to "blow the place open" and spill all the beans! As we are NOT consumers and more... we are investors and therefore have a right to see where our money goes?

C'mon DF... time to REALLY show us how money disappears into those corporate sinkholes :)

FQ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah man, those credits are everyone who worked on the game at all. Our core team will be 11, but there will likely be people who come on the project for a couple days or outsource for a month that get credited. And yes, that 11 does not count musicians, actors, and other shared company resources like our localization producer, test lead, etc. It's a good solid amount, about the size of the Stacking team.

So if I'm to understand right, you'll have a core team of 11 people for whom DFA will be a primary job (or even their sole job) for an entire year? That sounds very promising!

I was wondering - how much time and money are you guys saving in not having to deal with a publisher and their input? I imagine it varies depends on how micro-managey a particular publisher is but I'm sure there must be a cost associated with reporting back to a publisher on the progress of a game and soliciting their feedback. I know we Backers are sort of standing in for the publishers on that front but keeping the fanbase informed via the forums and writing up proper reports for the publisher's purposes are (I imagine) very different tasks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very much appreciated and feels like an honor to be a part of this. We trust you, you trust us. You love what you do and we love playing great and creative games. I sincerely hope this model of financing really gains momentum. I'm fed up with some of parts of the market today (the ME3/BioWare/EA catastrophy springs to mind). It's time for something new (or back to the roots you might say).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually around $21,414 was lost in failed transactions. The $110,000 of premium pledges didn't have Amazon and Kickstarter fees taken out and then Kickstarter's 5% comes out of the amount after Amazon fees are out. So it should have been a bit higher. Still, really good and we thought for sure more would fail. That's less than 1% of the money!

As for team size, that's not for the full year. We keep the team small during pre-production as we don't really have anything for people like sound guys or animators to work on early in a project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really like seeing this. Having an open window into the process here is really why I backed the project. I mean, I want the game too, but I especially want to see what goes on behind the curtain. Things like this only help to show that it's not all smoke and mirrors, as with that phony Wizard guy who hangs out in Oz (wait, isn't that a prison show? :D )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be honest i don't understand why the Kickstarter funds are being used for shipping the rewards, shouldn't the company cover this with its own funds?

If you had exactly $300.000 at the end of the KS campaign (not considering th 2PP share) it would've meant that you had way less than that to develop the game...was that already accounted for when you decided the amount of money to ask? Because it sounded like "ok we need $300.000 to develop the game" and not "ok we need $300.000 between developing the game and shipping rewards".

Also i'm not enjoying too much the idea that maybe my money isn't going to be used to improve the game, but to ship some t-shirts

Just to be clear: i love you guys, i love your games, i'd marry Tim etc etc etc (so maybe i can avoid hate messages), i just like to have a clear picture of the thing :)

Thanks (and sorry for my english)!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given that all the international backers were asked to kick in an extra $10 to cover shipping costs, I think domestic shipping costs (along with cost of producing the rewards) were probably factored to the pledge amounts, at least initially. I'm expecting that may have changed somewhere along the way (as by the end you got more stuff for the same pledge amount), but I don't think you should think of it that your money is going to ship T-shirts - your money is going to pay for (and ship) whatever reward you pledged for, along with some of it for making the game better. If you pledged at the $15 level then pretty much all of what you pledged really is going towards making the game more awesome (excluding fees, etc. of course).

Anyway, thanks for this Greg - really interesting and great to see! Second all the other people who want more of the same - it's a great insight into the process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To be honest i don't understand why the Kickstarter funds are being used for shipping the rewards, shouldn't the company cover this with its own funds?

If you had exactly $300.000 at the end of the KS campaign (not considering th 2PP share) it would've meant that you had way less than that to develop the game...was that already accounted for when you decided the amount of money to ask? Because it sounded like "ok we need $300.000 to develop the game" and not "ok we need $300.000 between developing the game and shipping rewards".

Also i'm not enjoying too much the idea that maybe my money isn't going to be used to improve the game, but to ship some t-shirts

Just to be clear: i love you guys, i love your games, i'd marry Tim etc etc etc (so maybe i can avoid hate messages), i just like to have a clear picture of the thing :)

Thanks (and sorry for my english)!

International pledges were increased by 10$ shipping cost, so I think there's no reason to start that drama. I'm sure the exact bytes of electronic money you transferred will be used to pay for the most funny part of the story, not some t-shirts. Guaranteed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To be honest i don't understand why the Kickstarter funds are being used for shipping the rewards, shouldn't the company cover this with its own funds?

If you had exactly $300.000 at the end of the KS campaign (not considering th 2PP share) it would've meant that you had way less than that to develop the game...was that already accounted for when you decided the amount of money to ask? Because it sounded like "ok we need $300.000 to develop the game" and not "ok we need $300.000 between developing the game and shipping rewards".

Also i'm not enjoying too much the idea that maybe my money isn't going to be used to improve the game, but to ship some t-shirts

Just to be clear: i love you guys, i love your games, i'd marry Tim etc etc etc (so maybe i can avoid hate messages), i just like to have a clear picture of the thing :)

Thanks (and sorry for my english)!

I thought it'd be rather obvious that some of the money you pledged would be paying for the reward you selected! Unless you genuinely think they should give away 500k of rewards, essentially for free... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't want to start any drama, i'm just asking politely. I'm part of the project (even it sounds funny just saying it) so i'm asking details about it :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...