The Indivisible Indiegogo campaign will begin at 9:00 AM ET / 6:00 AM PT on October 5th! That’s just four days away!
Now, a lot of you are probably wondering how much we need to raise to make Indivisible a reality.
Per our agreement with 505 Games, we need to raise $1,500,000 to fund the game. However, this isn’t the actual budget for the game.
The total budget for Indivisible is $3,500,000.
If we raise our goal of $1,500,000 or more, 505 Games will provide the remaining $2,000,000 we need to complete the game. So, effectively, up to the initial goal your contribution is worth more than double.
And the more we raise beyond the initial goal, the better the game gets and the better the publishing arrangement with 505 gets for Lab Zero.
To be clear, this is not a campaign to “gauge interest” – Indivisible’s budget represents a more equitable funding split, where your support directly influences not only the game, but also the post-release benefits Lab Zero receives.
Indivisible will not happen if we don’t hit our goal. But should the campaign succeed, Lab Zero will have a better outcome than we would’ve gotten through a more traditional publishing deal – that’s the risk we took, and we feel it’s a worthwhile tradeoff.
Additionally, this represents the complete budget for our entire vision of Indivisible. If we are lucky enough to be in that situation, we will not be adding additional gameplay content to the core game as stretch goals. As such, all additional content funded through stretch goals will be released in post-release updates.
So how will this money be used?
Fortunately, it’s pretty straightforward: virtually all of the initial $1,500,000 will go into developing the game, with the exception of the 8% we need to pay Indiegogo and PayPal.
Having a publishing partner means that just about every dollar you give will go towards making the game: 505 Games will be involved in the game development and helping to fill in the gaps in other areas of production, such as QA and localization. Not only does this make budgeting easier, it frees Lab Zero up from distractions so we can focus on delivering the game.
After accounting for pre-production and ramp-up time, the full budget will support a spending rate of around $10,000/man-month – this includes employee salaries, benefits, office rent, utilities, equipment, legal costs, and all other business overhead. This is widely considered a sort of baseline average spending rate for the games industry.
We’d love to break down our budget more, but the reality is that we can only calculate these numbers roughly. Unlike fighting game characters, which have a pre-defined set of things you need to create, each area of the Indivisible will have varying amounts of environment art, characters, monsters, etc.
Let’s take a moment to discuss that playable prototype. Skullgirls backers are playing it now, and everyone else can grab it on Monday when the campaign launches.
We began working on the prototype in early May. Between salaries for the core Lab Zero staff, art contracting and music contracting, we spent around $250,000, which was provided by 505 Games.
We felt that in order to justify asking for so much money, we had to do more than just present an idea for the game, and give players something they could actually touch and enjoy. In addition to making an abstract game idea more concrete, it helped us figure out some important parts of our development pipeline before asking for your money.
Skullgirls Indiegogo backers have the prototype now, but everyone will be able to try it out on Monday when the campaign launches!