Here's the master estimation document:
The estimates are broken into three regimes:
- Essential - This is the bare minimum needed to complete the project. It would be done by a 3 person team over 12 months. There would be no illustrations, only pictures and images.
- Desired - This is a good mid-range for the project. It would be done by a 5 person team over 9 months. Illustrations would be created as they can be afforded, and there would be a devoted animator.
- Awesome - This would be the ideal project. It would be done by a 10 person team over 9 months. Sound, cut-scenes, an dedicated illustration team, and professional voice actors all make a superb product.
Kickstarter is a good metric for game success; we should expect
Yearly Revenue ~ x10 Kickstarter Funding
If we can make three years of profitability, then the venture can become self-sustaining.
There are five basic ways we can make money:
- Sell game rights / get investment money. Kim would strongly prefer not to go this route for reasons of dilution and control, even though this would be the easiest to do. However, something like Kickstarter seems like a desirable first goal to work toward. Even a MicroVentures wouldn’t be so bad, if we had buyback options.
- Sell our game to users. This is possible if we make a sophisticated enough game. More likely is if we get a solid user base, we might be able to sell expansions.
- Have a premium shop. This is the current focus. It’s an already proven model among flash and facebook games. It could also be a way to deploy expansion packs easily.
- Subscriptions. This is another good idea. Power players would be willing to pay for tactical advantage, advanced info, priority, and prestige. This really depends on whether our revenues are concentrated among few users or distributed among many, which is currently unknown.
- Advertising. This contends with premium shops for revenue. Kim doesn’t like advertising, but it also a proven model (especially among mobile. Most mobile apps make the majority of their money in advertisements)
- Allow users to sell cards they have and content they create and take a slice of the profit or provide the ability to make the transactions as a subscription service
- accelerators for users to level up their cards without actually playing
- buy cards directly from premium shop. Rotating, one of a kind, featured cards
- Limit play to 2 hours per day and offer an accelerator. Common flash game tactic to milk money from heavy players. Also needed to protect against bots
- sell access to campaigns
- tournament fees
- gambling mechanic
- sell data access (card stats, player collections, game replays, tournament replays, etc.)
- sell fantasy / unlimited deck game play
- Sports commentators!