If you came here from our Kickstarter page, thank you for the interest in learning more about our budget breakdown! I didn't want to clutter the campaign page with an insane amount of information, so this should keep things a little more succinct on that side. I'm not a crazy amazing chart creator, so forgive my decision to make it practical vs. pretty.
Since our team is employed on contract, the costs are lower (we aren't asking backers for a salary; we need development money). The prices mentioned have already been discussed with our workers involved and agreed upon, so these numbers aren't guesses—just rounded out for cleanliness in computation. The sole exception is the voice acting, because the method through which we will do the recording is still up in the air. That will affect the overall price, but the current listing is the general costs associated with a single voicing session per character plus associated studio costs.
I wanted to go in at a lower amount than our first crowdfunding attempt this time around, and after calculating everything out and putting in a "cushion" for unexpected expenses, I was able to finagle a lower required funding goal compared to last year. Still, the last thing I want to do is cause backers to worry about the project seeing completion because the funding goal "seems too low." That's why I'm writing up this precise breakdown that details the requirements to get the game completed.
Outstanding Contracts are the contracts that we have already made with a worker but have not paid in full yet. In most cases, the remainder of their fee is due when their work is complete, which is why I'm keeping it separate from the expenses still to come.
Music and Sound is a combination for the remainder of the music score and all sound design. The number of tracks is "soft set," meaning that we have a general number in mind, but based on the musicians' inclinations or our funding status we may end up with more or fewer. Stretch goals can enhance the number of tracks that are "soft set" (for example, if we know 10 more tracks are required, through a stretch goal it may increase to 12).
Remaining Battle Animations involves a large portion of what is left to be done (along with 3D Assets). There are approximately 90 unique Skills in the game, and we have produced around a dozen for use in footage. The good thing is that our Skills adopt the Fire, Fira, Firaga model—this means that when the "first tier" Skills are complete, they will be used as a base for the advanced Skills. This helps keep the costs down, since creating completely different animations for the stronger version of a Skill would just about double, or even triple, the work required.
Battle Voice Acting was touched upon above; this is the estimated cost to record roughly 50 battle lines per character, have them mastered, and pay for associated studio costs.
Remaining Enemy Art is the fee associated with the number of enemies still requiring a final design. We have a good number of enemies completed already, but there are plenty left to go! One of our higher-end tiers will be to submit a photo of yourself (in a specific pose if you'd like) and the enemy artist will design an enemy out of you! We've been able to get the okay to accept FIVE of these (separate cost built into the tier), so they will be a limited backer tier. Be creative, but be T for Teen.
Additional Programming involves various aspects of QA and debugging. We're extremely fortunate to have programmers who are excited about this game and are willing to really sacrifice a lot of revenue to see it to completion. This cost is probably where a lot of the "cushion capital" will go to; it's the only item that is impossible to calculate out because nobody can predict how difficult the QA and debug portion will be. What tiny items will somehow break an entire section of code? It's the wild card of this breakdown.
Crowdfunding Fees is estimating that the platform we use takes a 10 percent cut.
Reward Creation/Shipping details the costs associated with creating the backer rewards and shipping them out. Along with Additional Programming, this cost will be in flux as we work with third-party vendors to get the best deal for the best quality products. But that's why we have the cushion!
3D Assets comprise wall, floor, and ceiling textures and small, medium, and large 3D objects. We used the costs associated with one level's worth of assets to calculate the estimated cost required for the remaining levels. As stretch goals are achieved, we will be able to create more items for added variety and visual oomph. The cost listed here will result in a game with a smaller number of textures and objects.
Operating Costs. The big catch-all. This category involves the costs associated with running a business along with being the location for the "cushion" money. These costs can be distributed as needed, but are used by default for Mr. Tired expenses. Showing the game off at trade shows has associated costs beyond airfare and badge acquisition. Keeping the right kind of secure Internet connection for development with places like Sony is way more expensive than ordinary Internet connections. I'm not asking for a salary, but this section will also help me to pay rent and keep the studio local to Seattle.
That covers the items listed on the chart! Hopefully this helped to bring more clarity to what each slice of the pie is in reference to; please feel free to drop a comment here or on the Kickstarter page if you have any questions!