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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Telepath Tactics - Brass Tacks and Sales Stats #1

Default Telepath Tactics - Brass Tacks and Sales Stats #1

June 24th, 2015, 07:07
Craig Stern let us take a in depth-look in the finance-books:
I’ve posted a lot about the development of Telepath Tactics: my design philosophy, my month-to-month progress, and so on. Now, a couple of months out from the game’s release, I want to take an in-depth look at Telepath Tactics from a financial standpoint.

Prior to Telepath Tactics’s release, I did not make games full-time. Rather, I had to maintain a day job in order to pay my bills (and to hedge against the possibility that Telepath Tactics might not be commercially successful).

I haven’t made a secret of the fact that I dislike having to compromise like this, nor have I hidden the fact that I very much want to go full-time with game development. Will Telepath Tactics tip the balance of my finances in favor of being able to quit my day job and develop games for a living? That depends entirely upon some cold, hard numbers, which we will now examine!

What did it cost to make?

I began developing the Telepath Tactics engine in April 2009, a little over 6 years ago. I worked on it only occasionally until March 2012, at which point I began regularly devoting 10-20 hours a week to the game on top of my regular full-time employment. For a four-month period during the summer of 2013, I took a sabbatical from my day job and worked on the game for 40 hours per week. Other than that sabbatical, I did not receive pay for any of the time I spent working on the game.

In total, I spent $13,266.25 out of my own pocket to pay for art, tools, and marketing opportunities for Telepath Tactics over the past three years. Of that, $6,034.38 was spent before (and during) its second Kickstarter campaign, all on expenditures to secure the assets and attention needed to crowdfund the game successfully.

The game’s first Kickstarter campaign did not succeed. The second Kickstarter campaign, however, raised $41,259.00, or 275% of its funding goal. After accounting for Amazon’s cut, Kickstarter’s cut, and pledges that didn’t go through, I eventually received $37,161.75. Of that, I was able to spend $29,560.78 on the game before the end of 2013, thereby dramatically reducing the taxes I would owe on the Kickstarter money come April 15, 2014. Still, I ended up owing several thousand dollars more in taxes for 2013 than I did the year before as a direct result of what I’d raised on Kickstarter; these taxes ultimately had to come out of the Kickstarter funds as well.
(…)
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June 24th, 2015, 07:08
Interesting read for every new indie developer.
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June 24th, 2015, 09:57
Fans too. Great peek behind the veil. Looking forward to the next article.
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June 24th, 2015, 11:02
Very interesting. As usual it is the middlemen who make the most money. With around 30% cut Steam must be coining it in, although presumably larger devs and publishers get a better deal. The problem is that when a particular middleman reaches a critical market share they shut out all other competition, becoming effective monopolies, since producers need to be on that site to maximize revenue almost regardless of commission.
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June 24th, 2015, 11:04
I am neither a developer nor a fan and i found it a very interesting read.
I am hooked and awaiting for the next piece.
Never thought that reading a finance report would be interesting,maybe he should consider writing a novel for some extra cash
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