So Monday marked the start of my work on a new Kickstarter project. I stopped working on game development, and started putting my full effort toward creating a Kickstarter project which I will launch a day or so before the Boston Festival of Indie Games, which I'm showing King Randall's Party at. Yesterday I started out with one of the more important aspects of running a Kickstarter: figuring out your burn rate.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a burn rate is simply the amount of money you use per month in order to sustain yourself at whatever your standard of living is. The burn rate could apply to an entire company or, as is the case here, just to me. The real challenge involved in figuring out your burn rate is taxes. Say you need $20,000 per year in order to survive. Well, you can't just make 20k and be all right, you need to earn some amount that, after you remove taxes, is over 20k. Since taxes vary greatly based on what state you live in, and what kind of deductibles you can apply to your revenue, this can quickly get complicated. Add in Self-Employment tax, which anyone who is part of an LLC, Sole-Proprietorship, or Partnership that makes over $400 in revenues must pay, and things can get out of hand pretty quickly.
So yesterday I spent the day putting together an Excel spreadsheet that does a pretty good job of approximating how much taxes I will pay based on any particular income. When figuring out how much I need in order to finish King Randall's Party, I can test out different incomes until I find one that provides the correct amount of funding to finish the game, and then use that as my Kickstarter goal (factoring in Kickstarter's cut of the funding).
Having finished that yesterday, today I'm working on revamping my feature list for the game so that I can estimate how much time I'll need to finish the game, and how much money I'll need for hiring artists and animators to finish off the games visuals. That's a pretty tough task in itself, but the challenge is mostly about making sure to dig down as deep as I can into the guts of the feature list and listing as much as I can. As with all game development, there will be some features or assets that I either can't think of when creating the list, or their need won't become apparent until further into development, so it's also important to build some buffer into the projects budget.
More updates coming as I get further into the process. Also, here is the latest video of the game!