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January 24th, 2013, 16:53
Corey Cole provides a new update on Hero-U at Kickstarter, with some art and story updates as well as the challenges of balancing the books:
Two of our team members have decided to reduce their involvement in the project for personal and financial reasons. Because we barely scraped by with $9,000 over our minimum goal, we were not able to pay for full-time work to any of our contractors. In fact, my current projections show Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption running at a $50,000 loss, mostly because I underestimated the cost of fulfilling all of the premiums. This includes the art time needed to customize Yearbook pictures, paintings, and statues, so that's good for the artists. But we also need to get all the game art assets, so the premium reward art is an additional expense to the project as a whole.
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January 24th, 2013, 16:53
It wouldn't surprise me to see many of these KS projects coming in over budget. They seem hopelessly optimistic.
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January 28th, 2013, 00:08
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
It wouldn't surprise me to see many of these KS projects coming in over budget. They seem hopelessly optimistic.
I think we'll see many projects for which the Kickstarter goal intentionally represents only a portion of the project budget. For example, there was a project for a Pathfinder Online "tech demo" before they ran their main funding project. And of course there are games that are far along in development before the team runs Kickstarters to complete them. The Kickstarter drive is only funding part of these projects.

Chris Roberts raised over $1 million on his own before starting his Kickstarter for Star Citizen. Loot Drop's "Old School RPG" tried to raise its full million dollar budget on Kickstarter, and that was too ambitious for their project stage.

In the case of Hero-U, we ran it at a level I expected would get funded based on earlier projects. I also worked out a "bare bones budget" based on that amount of funding. After we got the base funding, I realized that we do not have to budget at that level. We can make a better game by treating this as "first round financing", and intending to raise more later. Our successful Kickstarter will give us the leverage to do that, and it will enable us to make a better game.

I want most of the pre-sales money (which we haven't opened yet) to go into funding the second game, but we can allocate as much of it as needed to fulfillment expenses of the first game. For the second game's Kickstarter, we'll have a complete game and assets from it to show, so I think we will have an easier time raising funds for Hero-U 2.
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January 28th, 2013, 01:00
Thanks for the explanation, Corey.
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January 28th, 2013, 01:25
Really looking forward to this new series of games set in the Quest for Glory world. Wish the title for the second game could be Hero-U2: Where the meeps have no name.
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