We launched Mob Rules Games with a Kickstarter program that was supported by the Lewis Charitable Foundation but which failed to reach its goal. The LCF then agreed to invest directly in the winning project, Haunts: The Manse Macabre. Mob Rules and LCF agreed on a three milestone schedule:
$12,500 was paid in December, 2011 with the completion of Milestone 1, a proof of concept and basic tools.
$20,000 was paid in February, 2012 for the completion of Milestone 2, which included core gameplay, graphical, and art elements.
$10,000 was paid in April, 2012 for the completion of Milestone 3, a playable prototype of the single-player game.
Total investment from The Lewis Charitable Foundation is $42,500.
Crowd Funding Efforts
Our initial Kickstarter to Raise $20,000, October to November, 2011 failed to meet its goal, but we still got some interest and support from gamers who voted to pick which of three games we would make. Since then, investments have allowed us to continue development, but we need to raise a final chunk of cash to complete the game.
Starting May 7, 2012, we’re launching a Kickstarter to raise at least $25,000 to finish the game. If we raise additional funds, we will be able to include more features and port the game to more platforms.
Mob Rules Games has three full-time employees and one contract employee. None of these employees are getting paid at their full, industry rate. Instead they have agreed to defer some or all of their salary until the game is released. Deferred salaries will be paid back at a top priority, even over compensating investors.
All our employees work from home and we conduct our regular meetings over free video conferencing services, so Mob Rules Games has very little in the way of overhead. We still incur costs from purchasing software licenses, web services, legal fees, and promotional costs.
$5200 per month is paid out to employees ($62,000 per year)
$9300 per month is deferred to post-release payment ($112,000 per year)
Our audio work costs at $25/hour, budgeted for $5000. Our musician/sound effects contractor has generously deferred payment until after release.
We’ve paid for PR services to do press releases and have purchased ads on the podcast My Brother, My Brother, and Me to help promote the May Kickstarter. We hope to do some other promotional work as well. Our total pre-release promotional budget is $4000.
Total Budget for Finished Game
Software and Web Services: $800
Business and Legal: $700 (plus additional services paid for by LCF)
Software Licenses: $2000
Total: $ 64,500
Minus LCF Investment: $42,500
Total Needed $22,000
Kickstarter Goal: $25,000
Minus Kickstarter Fees: $2000
Total to be Raised: $23,000
Deferred Salaries and Payments
$5000 contract labor
At the beginning of May, as of our Kickstarter’s launch, Haunts: The Manse Macabre is in good shape. We have most of the core gameplay systems in place (movement, actions, combat, line of sight, core AI functionality) and a representative selection of our different art needs. There’s still a ton of work to do between now and our planned release at the end of September, but we’re on schedule.
June, 2012 we plan to be feature complete
July 2012 we want to have a closed beta release
August 2012 we want a public beta
October 1, 2012 is our planned release date. If we can’t get a haunted house game on sale for the month leading up to Halloween, something’s gone very wrong.
Post release we will use monies raised to continue to support the game and to develop and release a planned anthology of all new levels and scenarios as DLC.