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Zeppelin Attack! is a lean, fightin' deck builder where you play a villainous mastermind in command of a fleet of deadly dirigibles!
1,200 backers pledged $35,524 to help bring this project to life.

Zeppelin Attack! Stretch Goals On Tuesday; The Math Behind the Goal

Posted by Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions (Creator)

Happy Friday, folks!

We're over the hump, clearing the 50% mark by a couple percentage points. If each one of you finds a friend to back at the same level you have, we'll clear the goal handily. Good times!

Today I want to talk a bit more about our goals. There will be math involved, a bit further down this post. But first...

Stretch Goals Announcement Draws Near!

Right now we're planning on announcing a couple stretch goals on this coming Tuesday. I've committed that I'll reveal at least one if not both of them early, if we hit our funding goal or reach 500 backers before then. I like early! Make me be early.

Here's a teaser image.

Does it whet your appetite? Should I be twirling my robotic moustache? (What? They laughed at me at the University when I said a robotic moustache was possible, THEY LAUGHED...!) 

The Math Behind Our Goal

Long story short: turns out Algebra is useful for something, and it's making Kickstarter calculations. If you dig learning more about that, keep reading!

First, the money this goal doesn't cover: We've spent a few thousand dollars on getting our art and graphic design elements for this project done. That, we're paying for out of pocket. Eric Vogel personally sank a lot of time and a bit of his own money into developing and fabricating prototypes. The fee we've paid him isn't a factor either. At the end of the day, our Kickstarter philosophy always involves us paying for some number of expenses ourselves. We're asking you to put your money, time, and sweat into making our game possible; we sure as heck should be doing the same. So rather than cover all our costs entirely with the Kickstarter, we're taking on these, and focusing on asking the backers to help with manufacturing costs. So what's left?

The money we actually need to manufacture the game: There are some flat costs — die-cuts, film proofs, prototyping — that we know already. Those are about $1,000, essentially as what it costs to set things up. Our card-printer (same as the folks who manufacture our Fate Dice line) is Grand Prix International; they don't do manufacturing runs smaller than 5000 units. 5000 units of Zeppelin Attack! will cost us a bit over $10,000. Some parts of manufacture involve costs we don't yet know, so had to guess: the cost of safety testing and the cost of freight to get the games to our shipping warehouse in the USA. We're estimating that at $2,000, making our approximate real funding target about $13,000.

But wait, $13,000 is a lot lower than $21,700: Yup! That's because prototyping, proofing, printing, packing, and ... uh, shipping (it's got a p in the middle) only gets 5000 games into a warehouse in Indiana. It does nothing at all to get the games out to you! So we needed to figure out a formula that helped us understand how much we'd need to fund in order to ship the games out and still have $13,000 left after those expenses. (Spoiler: we need an extra $8,700—wait you already figured that out? MAAATH!!! *shakes fist*)

Here comes the mathemagic: So here's how we built the formula. First off, we have to consider the payment processing fees that come with running a project on Kickstarter. Kickstarter takes 5%, full stop. Amazon payment processing takes 3-5%, and it's always safest to rely on the highest number — considering that we'll also be spending 1% on our pledge management software from BackerKit, the smart move is to look at us as getting 10% taken off the top for all of that mix. That's part one. The other is figuring out (okay: guessing) which tier's going to be our most popular one and working the math based on how it breaks down between actual funding contribution and shipping components. That's our $30 tier (as we guessed, and has been borne out; two thirds of our backers have landed on that one). Our $30 tier (as you know from Update #2) has real costs that break down to $10 shipping and handling, with the rest going for our $20 game. 

You mentioned the Algebra. SHOW IT TO ME: All that makes this formula:

F = .9B * ( R - S )
F: Actual funding amount needed (known to be 13,000) 
B: Number of backers needed to reach goal
R: Reward tier value (known to be 30) 
S: Cost of shipping & handling for that tier (known to be 10)

Plugging in the numbers:

13000 = .9B * ( 30 - 10 )

We solve for B:

B = 13000 / ( 0.9 * 20 ) = about 722 backers at the $30 reward level

Knowing the backers, we now multiply that number by the reward tier value (30), and get $21,660. We decided to add $40 and call it $21,700 because it's actually fractionally more than 722 backers.

So that's how we got to our quirky goal number! That's how much it'll cost for us to cover shipping and handling to our backers, after payment processing costs get removed, and still have the actual funding we need to manufacture the game at its minimum quantity, without covering our art, graphic design, game design, and editing costs. Of course, reality isn't as homogenous as this model, but we knew that if this math worked out, reality should work out close enough to make us get at least close to the real funding amount we're after.

And thanks to you we've already reached half that amount! We really appreciate such a strong, early showing of support for this game. Please continue to get the word out, and we'll get to our first goal in no time. :)

See you Tuesday...

Ben Gerber, Gregory Matyola, and 1 more person like this update.


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    1. Eric B Vogel on

      No, you still have to twirl the electronic mustache by hand. It just has less tar, nicotine and offensive odor than ordinary mustaches.

    2. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 14-time creator

      Quiet, you!

    3. Missing avatar

      Brandon Gagne on

      But Fred, the whole point of a robotic moustache is so that it can twirl itself!

    4. Eric B Vogel on

      Which I then used to buy soda crackers, but (I hasten to add) a very large quantity of soda crackers (I love soda crackers).

    5. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 14-time creator

      Delicious spendy money!

    6. Eric B Vogel on

      Just to be clear, when Fred says "the fee we paid him isn't a factor either" he means "we did not factor Vogel's fee into the funding goal" not "we paid Vogel in soda crackers". They paid me appropriately in leafy greeney spendy money.

    7. Adán Tejada on

      Dang! Gregory beat me to it.

      Awesome update. Me like maths.

    8. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 14-time creator


    9. Gregory Matyola

      Fred: substitute "post(-ing)" for "shipping", and you'll have straight P's.