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Kickstarter profits and expenses calculation

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impyo
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Joined: 12/31/2015

Hello every one!

I was searching the internet to get some idea on how kickstarter works but i read many different things and i am kind of confused.

So here is a simple example.

I see a board game project that needs 10.000 euro to be successful.

What this price really means? What is included in this price ? Is it the first complete copy of the game ? Are in this price included the expenses for artists, playtesters etc ? Are taxes or shipment expenses included?

And also lets say that this project gets 100.000 euros. How the profit works?

I know that some people in here have successful projects on kickstarter and i also know that its not so easy to explain the whole procedure and expense calculation.

I just need some general information on what you need to calculate on your kickstarter project so that in the end have the correct price for your project.

Thanks in advance!

ddiaz28
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Joined: 12/19/2017
You can probably find some

You can probably find some info about this topic in Jamey Stegmaier's KS blogs here https://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter/full-list-chronological/

Scroll down to the Funding Goal and Budget sections. But if you're thinking of running a Kickstarter I would suggest reading all of his blogs. They are a great resource of first hand knowledge.

ElKobold
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impyo wrote:What this price

impyo wrote:

What this price really means? What is included in this price ? Is it the first complete copy of the game ? Are in this price included the expenses for artists, playtesters etc ? Are taxes or shipment expenses included?

This price does not include:
- Artists
- Playtesters
- Proofreading
- Producing review copies
- Producing a presentation video
- Paid previews
- Advertizement
- Going to cons
- Cost of modeling
- Cost of molds
- Taxes
- Shipment
- Storage

It includes:
- ~80% of the cost required to produce 1000 games at the manufacturer.

The rest is covered from the publisher's pocket. If it just funds, the game will be produced, but publisher is likely to lose money on it.

impyo wrote:

And also lets say that this project gets 100.000 euros. How the profit works?

It goes into adding extra stuff to the game and manufacturing much more copies. That amount would likely be enough to actually cover the expenses and have something left to invest into the next project due to economy of scale.

impyo wrote:

I know that some people in here have successful projects on kickstarter and i also know that its not so easy to explain the whole procedure and expense calculation.

Funded project and manufactured game is not necessarily a "successful" project.

impyo wrote:

I just need some general information on what you need to calculate on your kickstarter project so that in the end have the correct price for your project.

The grim reality is that currently you can't fund if you set a "realistic" goal. As in a goal which covers your expenses.
You will have to spend a ton of money(and time) long before you launch your campaign to have any chance to succeed.
I would strongly advice against going to Kickstarter unless you have considerable disposable income.

Going through a publisher is a much much safer option.

Good luck!
Arty

questccg
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Just one comment

Usually the Funding Goal is enough to produce 1,000 sets of a game. Let's say your goal = $15,000 USD. And if you divide that by 1,000, you get a cost to produce and ship of $15 USD (per game).

The key here is if your game was priced at $50 USD, you would make about $25 USD (I deducted some money for backer shipping) and this means you need about 600 backers. Which is relatively HIGH for a first game created.

The bad news is that you make no money. The good news, your game is funded and will be made. But there are 400 games still left to be sold. You can make deals with local distributors to carry games into their stores.

But the truth is that you should expect around 300 to 400 on a great first time campaign. I say great because it needs to have all of the KS aspects that make for an outstanding campaign.

Let say your funding goal is $10,000 USD. Your cost to make $10 USD and your sales point at around $40 USD ... say $25 USD profit each. This means that you would need about 400 backers to be successful. Not too bad.

As Arty stated this excluded the cost of everything else... All that you hope to recuperate with stretch goals and more backers. It's a tough battle running a KS. As I've stated with some numbers, it's what people who are designers dream about: "Having your game out there in the world for people to know!"

Cheers!

impyo
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Joined: 12/31/2015
Great! Thanks all for your

Great! Thanks all for your comments, now everything is more clear and understandable. When i was searching on my own i was completely lost.

My question about how profit works in these cases is because from my experience ( and i am not some kind of professional or something close to this, i was just creating some simple home games with simple rules with some friends ) even for the simplest design i needed a ton of time for research and playtesting.

I can imagine that when you want to produce a quality game and share it with the world you must have much more time to spend and dedication and money.

That means that you will be fully working on your game all day.

So how can someone commit himself on creating a quality game and spend all his time and money on it for a successful campaign and in the end not even have some descent profit from it(If it is successful of course)?

On the other hand if you dont commit 100% on it and just do it whenever you have some free time it will take way way longer to complete it but at least you will also have money from your "real" work

Anyway these were some random thoughts!

Thanks and Cheers!

questccg
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Very much TRUE!

impyo wrote:
...That means that you will be fully working on your game all day.

So how can someone commit himself on creating a quality game and spend all his time and money on it for a successful campaign and in the end not even have some descent profit from it(If it is successful of course)?

On the other hand if you dont commit 100% on it and just do it whenever you have some free time it will take way way longer to complete it but at least you will also have money from your "real" work...

The problem is that making game is difficult for several reasons:

1. The time to complete a game could take YEARS.

2. The time you take to KS your first game could take another year.

3. The time it takes for your game to get rated might be another year later too!

4. If you're doing it full-time, you'll never make enough money to pay your rent.

5. If you're doing it part-time, it could take longer to complete.

As an "Independent" Game Designer who is sort-of a Hobbiest and a Designer , the problem is that your games won't make you enough money. Unless you have a super "great" game ... and even then, you may not reach your target because it is your first game.

Some people advocate "fail fast and early". I personally think this is a mistake. Why? Because you're trying to build a reputation as someone who designs GOOD and even GREAT games. "Failing fast and early" means you are putting out average and maybe mediocre games. Those type of games will not help your reputation in building a larger fan base.

My recommendation is to work Full-Time and have Game Design as a SERIOUS Hobby. "Serious" because what that means is maybe spending 2 hours a day on ... while dedicated to other full-time work.

Best of luck with your prospects!

... Oh yeah I almost forgot. If you're working full-time be certain to take a couple days off when you LAUNCH your KS. The first 48 hours is usually very critical to the advancement of the KS and your number of backers. You've got to get as many as possible ... because this sets the tone for the remainder of the KS. If you get 200 backers (in the first 48 hours), the odds are you'll probably get 400 or so backers during your campaign. Plan for 50% in the first 48 hours!

Taking a couple days off to monitor the KS, answer questions, add to a FAQ, engage your backers, etc. That kind of stuff can also be very important too...

polyobsessive
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Fail faster

Going a little off-topic, I wanted to pick up on a couple of things...

questccg wrote:
If you're doing it full-time, you'll never make enough money to pay your rent.

If you're doing it full-time, you're probably not dealing with one game at a time. You probably have several games at different stages of development and publishing.

questccg wrote:
Some people advocate "fail fast and early". I personally think this is a mistake. Why? Because you're trying to build a reputation as someone who designs GOOD and even GREAT games. "Failing fast and early" means you are putting out average and maybe mediocre games. Those type of games will not help your reputation in building a larger fan base.

I think you misunderstand the "fail faster" mantra. The usual intent of the phrase is that you create your early prototypes as quickly as you can, probably even before you have designed all aspects of the game. You test early. You find problems early and you are willing to throw away things that don't work. That includes throwing away entire designs when you see that they won't get to be where you want them to be.

And here is the critical thing: dropping a design is not wasting your effort; you should be learning from the experience. You will hopefully know more about why your design wasn't great, and what your skills and limitations are.

The full mantra is usually either:

"Fail faster, fail forward."

or

"Fail faster to succeed sooner."

Either way, nobody is suggesting that you publish a series of crap games. It's about not wasting your time on a doomed project, and moving yourself forward so you can get to those good, or great, games more quickly.

questccg
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My mistake for misunderstanding

polyobsessive wrote:
...I think you misunderstand the "fail faster" mantra. The usual intent of the phrase is that you create your early prototypes as quickly as you can, probably even before you have designed all aspects of the game. You test early. You find problems early and you are willing to throw away things that don't work. That includes throwing away entire designs when you see that they won't get to be where you want them to be quickly.

Ah my apologies... I misunderstood the mantra. With all these people "re-starting" KS campaign ... I thought it had to do with the "fail faster" mantra. I guess it was not clear if this was a "symptom" or the "problem" itself.

A couple years ago it would taboo to put out the "same" game after having failed. Nowadays it seems okay - provided your campaign is better.

ElKobold
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questccg wrote:A couple

questccg wrote:

A couple years ago it would taboo to put out the "same" game after having failed. Nowadays it seems okay - provided your campaign is better.

There's nothing wrong with relaunching - https://www.outerlimitgames.com/single-post/2016/11/17/How-We-Raised-Ove...

Success or Failure of Kickstarter campaign often has nothing to do with the game itself.

questccg wrote:

With all these people "re-starting" KS campaign ... I thought it had to do with the "fail faster" mantra.

You realize, this comes across in a rather rude way, Kris.

questccg
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Nothing personal

ElKobold wrote:
There's nothing wrong with relaunching.

Three to four years ago it would have been like kicking a dead horse. The earlier days of KS - were "if it failed" that was the end of your go...

questccg wrote:

With all these people "re-starting" KS campaign ... I thought it had to do with the "fail faster" mantra.

Not meant to be rude... Just matter of fact! I can count over a dozen games that have re-launched (that I know of). I'm just saying that at one time, you had "one shot" and even distributors wouldn't pick up a KS-ed game either (early days)... It wasn't rude, it was more like "let's try now... if we fail, so what we can try later..." That's what I had understood from the "fail fast" mantra.

However I guess my interpretation is wrong. At least with the "fail fast" ... as far as historically how KS-ing WAS... That is all true and accurate. Changes in how KS are being perceived and what people who have trailblazed the early KS years and how things transpire today. All are very different. That's what I meant by it.

Was not singling anyone out... Sorry!

Furthermore ... my own Publisher KS-ed their own game TWICE! And while the first time was a failure, the 2nd time they made over $100k. So things have changed with how KS is perceived and what potential backers are willing to "accept".

questccg
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I just HOPE...

That nobody on BGDF is suggesting people should try Kickstarter with their game if they are NOT ready. While at times it would seem that people may accept something - because it is BETTER. I'm advocating that most people find someone to "partner" with their KS.

I've seen some campaigns that weren't even READY and ... of course they "failed" (sometimes miserably).

So I just wanted to make sure that "failing fast" had nothing to do with advocating that people should attempt KS-ing games that are not ready.

As with anything in Life, it's perfectly acceptable to have a Second Chance. And that's what KS is demonstrating these days. Who knows, that might change in a year or two. Maybe not.

I agree "there is nothing wrong with it." I'm just saying let's not tell people that they should KS prematurely before both they and their game are ready to be launched...

Cheers!

Mosker
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Tangential question:

What kinds of games do you wish to make? Specifically, what do you envision in terms of components, size, etc. I think of print-and-play and print-on-demand services for RPGs or even card games (Drivethru...). This is a board game site, but in the era of cheap(er) custom 3-D printing, much is possible (including patreon if you want to go a route focused on you more than a company or specific game.)

impyo wrote:
Hello every one!

I was searching the internet to get some idea on how kickstarter works but i read many different things and i am kind of confused.

So here is a simple example.

I see a board game project that needs 10.000 euro to be successful.

What this price really means? What is included in this price ? Is it the first complete copy of the game ? Are in this price included the expenses for artists, playtesters etc ? Are taxes or shipment expenses included?

And also lets say that this project gets 100.000 euros. How the profit works?

I know that some people in here have successful projects on kickstarter and i also know that its not so easy to explain the whole procedure and expense calculation.

I just need some general information on what you need to calculate on your kickstarter project so that in the end have the correct price for your project.

Thanks in advance!

impyo
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Joined: 12/31/2015
@Mosker Well i like dark

@Mosker Well i like dark fantasy/cyberpunk worlds and brutal combat.

I got inspired from RPGs like savage worlds or the riddle of steel so i want to make a game in a dark fantasy setting with tactical combat and hit locations. Probably will be a solo game.

So in terms of size and components i would say something like 10 miniatures for the starter pack, a lot of cards(hit location cards , AI cards, quests), probably different terrain boards, maps and tokens etc.

Thanks for the DriveThru info !

Also i know about patreon but how could this work in this case?

Thanks!

Jay103
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Box art

The one thing on that list (up at the top) that seems like the biggest waste to me is the box design and illustration.

It doesn't give me any benefit in terms of playtesting, and reviewers won't see it either, because the actual box doesn't exist.

But as far as I can tell, it's at least 98% needed for the Kickstarter.

Just commenting, not really complaining. That'll be the single biggest artwork expense in my project, as it's like the in-game art, but huge. I don't think it'll cost a thousand dollars, but still, a lot of money.

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