Unless my accounting is off somewhere, that’s the amount I’ve put into Dreamblazers so far. And there’s a long way to go; right now my best estimate is that for the entire game (let me repeat the words “the entire game” since I’ll come back to this point), I need somewhere between $28,500 and $37,500 to wrap everything up for art assets of the type we’ve been doing already. You see, that’s what I’d need for more of all this:
And more of this:
But, of course, there are actually other types of art assets I need that we haven’t been doing yet. Like what? Like item icons and menu skins and magic effects and weapon effects and GUI elements and probably other things I’m not even thinking of right now.
And then on top of all that I still need music and sound effects.
Oh, and of course I can’t neglect to mention that Kickstarter takes a cut of funds raised…
I’ve had to come to terms with all of this while putting together a pitch and figuring out the budget, and it’s a major reason (probably the major reason) why my posting has slowed down since it’s not an easy reality to face. There are many unknowns and what is known isn’t pretty. How can I talk about this rationally?
If I were a pixel artist and could handle some percentage of the work myself, it would certainly make things much more affordable—and more time-consuming, sure, but I think it’s easier to ask people for less money and a longer wait than more money and a shorter wait.
At one point I started asking myself whether I should release individual chapters of Dreamblazers for some small amount of money each and go forward from there. (Later on I found out this is already a thing in the world called “episodic games.” No, even I don’t know how I managed to live this long never knowing about it!) Could I sell 8 parts of a game for $1.25 each—or whatever the amount is—instead of a single game for $15?
Then something hit me while writing this post. Yes, I was seriously taking this very post in a completely different direction, but putting it on digital paper spurred me to thinking:
Do I “need” to fund the entire game in a single campaign?
With a few exceptions, I’ve been very careful to hyper-focus the art assets on the early segments of Dreamblazers. So what if I don’t go for more tilesets and more character sprites and more enemy sprites just yet, since I already have a lot to work with on those fronts for the early game, but I “only” seek funding for the music (and not all of it), sound effects (and not all of them), menu skins, item icons, and battle effects? I could basically run a much smaller-scale campaign with the intent of getting to a minimum viable product, then I can go for the big home run swing later after the game gets to strut its stuff in public.
These are the kinds of thoughts I have at 6 AM, mind you, and I don’t know how I’ll feel after waking up, but that sure seems like a safer way to go about it.
…actually, yeah. I think I’ll end it there for now and see how I do feel after waking up, then come back and update again. (There you go, an episodic blog post! :P)