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Our Final Budget Revealed

We got all your money, and we’re totally going to spend it!

Specifically, when all the fees were taken out by Amazon and Kickstarter, we received $26,495. Thanks again everyone, that is awesome! Combined with what we had left in the bank, that puts our current available funds at $30,508.

Getting there cost us some money along the way. Specifically, below are our costs for promoting the Kickstarter and fulfilling the t-shirt rewards. In addition, we’ve had to pay some costs of doing business during the past nine months. Not a lot, but some. And of course our biggest cost, which is ongoing, is salaries for Austin and Jonathan (who’re working way cheap against back-end profit sharing, while I’m working for salary-free against back-end profit-sharing). We’re also considering hiring a fourth person to do two months of work to help us make sure the game gets done on time.

These numbers are all accurate within 5% or so, as they’re based on my own quick calculations and rounding, not detailed accounting records.

Costs Already Paid:

Software and Services (Quickbooks, Survey Monkey, Sublime Text Editor): $550

Legal (State business reports): $450

T-Shirts (production and shipping): $1500

Advertising for Kickstarter (My Brother, My Brother, and Me, Web Ads, Facebook ads): $2500

Salaries $5500/ month January through July (including Federal and State taxes): $38,500

Total Spent Thus Far: $43,505

Costs to Pay Before Completion:

Salaries $5500/month August through October $16500

Possible Freelance/Temp Help: $4000

FMOD license (sound integration tools, don’t have to pay until we ship)  $1500

Total Projected Costs: $22,000

That leaves us with $8,508 left over for advertising and unforeseen costs.

Total Projected Budget: $74,005

So, we should count all the money you fine supporters pledged as being like pre-sales of the game, which means we’ve earned $26,495 from the game already. That means we need to earn another $47,510 to break even.

What actually happens with that sales money when it (hopefully) starts rolling in is a little complicated, but cool. Up to the first $5000 will be used to pay Mark, who’s doing sound and music for the game. That’s his budget, based on his hourly rate. It’s looking like he might come in under budget, so this number might be lower, we’ll see.

After that the income will be split between Me, Jonathan, and Austin in proportion to the amount of salary that we deferred while working on the game. So, Jonathan and Austin both were working at less than half their full salary rate and I was working for nothing. I’ll be paid a little less than half of what comes in and the other two will be paid a split of the rest. For the record, my salary rate is the same as Austin’s, and Jonathan’s is a little higher than ours.

Once we’re all paid back our deferred salaries, then what comes in after that is split between us in proportion based on the amount that we were paid (our salary rate). Now the investor gets paid back too, at a rate based on the investment as if it were salary (i.e., as if the investor had been an employee who’d earned $42,000 or so in salary). A chunk also goes back to Mob Rules Games to cover costs and maybe fund another project.

Quick math (as opposed to detailed analysis), suggests that we need to sell about 15,000 more copies of the game to get make back our budget and then another 10,000 or so to pay off everyone’s deferred salaries. So, if we can sell more than 25,000 copies of the game, then we’ll start seeing those magical residuals/royalties/whatever.

25,000 copies would be great, great numbers for a first-time indie game, but not, I think, impossible. The better the game the better our chance of course, so that’s where all out focus needs to continue to be.

Back to work!



Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all 1,214 of you who pledged your support for Haunts! Our Kickstarter Kicked and I just started the process of transferring $25,075 from Amazon Payments to the Mob Rules Games bank account. We raised $28,739 total, and that $25k is what's left after Kickstarter and Amazon take their piece of the action. A fair trade in my estimation.

Next week I'll write up a more detailed accounting of our budget, costs, and schedule as part of our commitment to transparency. On Monday I'll also be sending out surveys/questionnaires to all our backers, getting stuff like t-shirt sizes and requests for references for portraits and supporter messages. First I need to set up our back-end spreadsheet so I can keep track of all your responses!

Thanks again everyone. I can't wait for you to be able to play our game!



Winning Denizens And Stretch Goals!

A few weeks back we asked supporters of our (recently successful!) Kickstarter to vote on monster designs. Now it's time to announce the winners and the runners up. Why the runners up? We'll get to that in a minute. First, the winners:

Winning Evil Genius


Runner Up Evil Genius


Winning Vampire

Runner Up Vampire


Winning Psychopath

Runner Up Psychopath


Winning Creepy Child

Runner Up Creepy Child


Winning Abomination (by a huge margin, no real runner up)

Ancient Ones - an Exact Tie, down to the vote. We'll do both, because...


Stretching Our Goals!

What to do with those Runners Up? Well, we want to make them too! At least the ones that are also popular. So, the winners in Abominations and Creepy Children were pretty clear. But the others were pretty close.

For Every $1000 we raise over the $25,000 original ask, we'll add in another of these Denizens. Since we're already over $26k, the obvious first Bonus Denizen is the exactly tied Ancient Ones. The rest will come online in the following order:

$27,000 Unlocks The Runner-Up Evil Genius

$28,000 Unlocks the Runner-Up Vampire

$29,000 Unlocks the Runner-Up Psychopath

$30,000 Unlocks the Alternate Creepy Child

$31,000 We'll look at other Abominations

And if we go beyond that, well, we've got more monster designs to show you, rest assured.

Thanks again everyone. Now let's see what other horrors we can bring into being!


Haunts Kickstarter Successful!

Mob Rules Games is pleased as all get out to announce the success of our Kickstarter for Haunts: The Manse Macabre. On June 26th, we hit our target of $25,000 in pledges from nearly 1000 different backers, and we still have more than a week to go. There’s still time to back this project now and get a copy of the game for just $5.

Haunts: The Manse Macabre is a turn-based haunted house game where players can take on the role of either the Intruders exploring the horrifying house or the Denizens that are haunting it’s shadowy corridors. It will include both an in-depth solo campaign that tells the terrifying tale of Tyree Manse and a versus mode for endless variety and replayability. The game’s black and white art style draws its inspiration from famed macabre illustrators Harry Clarke and Edward Gorey.

Every $5 pledged through Kickstarter entitles backers to a download code for a copy of the game (planned for release this October). These codes are transferable and even re-sellable. In addition, higher pledge levels bring other rewards from your name in the credits to t-shirts to cameos in the game itself.

The Haunts: The Manse Macabre Kickstarter ends at midnight on July 5th.


The Winner Is...

We have a winner!

The shirt below, nick-named "asymmetric" in the survey, is the big winner. Kind of fitting, with the whole asymmetric game play thing we've got going on in Haunts.

Speaking of fitting, as I've mentioned before, these are available in every size from S to XXXL, men's and women's styles. We'll ask you for your size in the final questionnaire that goes out to supporters once the Kickstarter ends. 

The printer is using Alternative Apparel's "vintage" style shirts, which are the nicer, more light-weight option. Austin swears by them, and they do feel nice. 

They are black with white and a little red on them. 

This is the only time we will ever make shirts that look anything like this design. If we do a shirt for anyone to buy, the design will be very different and won't feature this house image. I have no idea what it will be, because right now we don't have any plans to make shirts besides these right here. 

Thanks again to the hundreds who voted and to all of you who've pledged your support so far. We're almost there, and if you want of these cooooool shirts, you can help us get all the way to 25k.