The £60,000 question

It’s been another week of wrangling and reiteration, as we refine our vision for the core game components ever-further. It’s an essential process to ensure that we can make the most of our limited art budget, and also that our Kickstarter campaign is correctly costed.

The last point is particularly salient. Our primary goal is to bring the sequel product to market, and this means we need to be very clear on what making it will entail, and how much it is likely to cost.

Most of the discussion has focused on what the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is going to look like. This is the core game experience we can build and launch if we hit our first funding goal on Kickstarter. Many of the features we’d like to add to the game would require we hit “stretch goal” funding targets making them difficult to design for. We estimate that the MVP will cost in the region of 60,000 British pounds. That will allow us to run a four-person team full-time, albeit on subsistence wages, for about 6 months, thus taking Fate of the World forward for the first time since 2011.

To hit the figure of £60,000, we took a close look at our feature list to work out which parts of the game are critical to the experience we envision. Our list of potential improvements is long, and it is hard to rule out features we’ve grown fond of. Tempers have occasionally frayed, but overall it’s been a very healthy process, and one which has exposed more than one necessary design pivot.

Of course, we’re secretly hoping we soar way past that minimum figure once the campaign goes live so that we get to implement all our exciting new designs, with nothing left on the drawing board. However, we feel we must be realistic about what can be achieved through crowdfunding. We’d much rather be in a position where we succeed in moving the game forward for our fans. Each feature that we detail comes with a cost in effort and complexity, and much of our debate has been around how much work to invest in stretch goals that may not eventuate in this round. At present we feel nailing the core negotiation game and deferring other features to a later round could be the right path.

Overall, we’re feeling positive. 2016 had a lot of lessons for us as a company, but we managed to come through them largely intact and wiser for the experience. 2017 is shaping up to be productive.

As always, thanks for reading, and we’ll be back with another update next week.

The Fate team