Our Budget Explained

One question I've received often since launching the Kickstarter is “Why is your funding goal so high?” and now I'd like to spend a little time answering this. Although the goal seems high at first, if you break it down into each expense that must be covered during the game's development, it really isn't that much money for a game that several people will be working on over the course of nearly 18 months.

Here's the budget breakdown chart from The Last Goddess Kickstarter page:

Let's tackle the bottom section—Campaign Fees & Expenses—first. The Kickstarter fees and Payment Processing fees are fixed, percentage-based fees. The Taxes expense is what I estimate I'll need to pay as government taxes (in the United States). The Backer Rewards expense includes the costs associated with producing (and shipping) the rewards for backers. (For example, if a backer is supposed to get a printed poster, then I have to pay for the poster to be printed and mailed to that person.) All of the expenses in the Campaign category account for 38 percent of the total funding goal.

The top section of the chart—Development—includes the costs associated with actually making the game. Programming includes all technical work to make the game run. Point-and-click adventure games typically (and The Last Goddess is no exception) require a lot of scripting for each room, puzzle, and character that the player interacts with. Art expenses include all the costs for producing background, character, user interface, and object artwork. This also includes any animation frames that may be required. Game Design expenses account for tasks such as final puzzle design, game structure refinement, as well as dialogue writing and editing. In adventure games there's typically a lot of dialogue that needs to be written, and a portion of this expense accounts for that work.

Music & Sound expenses are fairly straightforward. What you hear in the game is paid for out of this budget category. Some music, like the song you hear in the Kickstarter video, are licensed (by paying fees). New music will be created for much of the game's soundtrack. Sound effects and environmental sounds will need to be added to the game. Quality Assurance & Testing expenses account for making sure that technical issues with the game (freezes, crashes, unsolvable puzzles, etc.) are caught prior to release. Together, Development expenses account for 62 percent of the total funding goal. So, the budget for developing the game is actually $93,000—not the full $150,000 funding goal amount.

Pre-production for The Last Goddess began nearly two years ago on a part-time basis. If we reach the Kickstarter goal, development for the game will continue full-time until the final release in March 2018. I've tried to keep costs as low as possible by carefully controlling the scope of the game, and by keeping the development team small. I believe our funding goal for the Kickstarter is reasonable and realistic for the game's scope and development timeframe. If you have any questions or concerns, please email me, and I'll try my best to address to them.

Thank you,
Dean Sullivan
Twitter: @parallaxdreams