About this project
WE DID IT! MONEY MONEY MONEY
KEEP UP WITH CHEAP GOLF ON TWITTER -> @Cheap__Golf
SPY ON MILES -> @MilesTilmann
ALSO PIXELJAM -> @Pixeljamgames
Cheap Golf is 50% Atari-style mini golf, 40% surreal comedy and 9% rainbow ice cream.
You'll fling a little square boop around dozens of mazes stocked with moving walls, chomping deathtraps, bouncy bumpers, teleporters, keys, doors, and anything else that can be conceived and implemented without much hassle.
All rewards between $5 - $23 are given even if the campaign fails. In other words, you will get existing Pixeljam games even if the project does not reach its funding goal.
15 DOLLAR TIER: If the campaign fails, we'll post an interactive public leaderboard with all of the final pledges.
In other other words: if we don't get funded, you will not be charged for your pledge but you still get free things. Cancelled pledges don't get anything but a lump of coal in their stocking next Christmas.
A couple of reasons I'm doing this:
- I love mini golf (or just balls bouncing around in general)
- I enjoy all things cheap, low-fi, gonzo or absurd
- I want to take a small step towards more casual, lower-risk crowdfunding
- Kickstarter's recent All in 1 event (thanks KS!)
I've helped ship over 20 games (Dino Run is probably our most popular) and I've worked on almost as many that never shipped. I've succeeded and failed a lot, for no better reason than it's fun and satisfying.
I'm grateful for my 12 years in indie gaming, but it's made me somewhat risk-averse.
The best way to get us booping around wacko mazes ASAP is by using HAXE, a wonderful open-source language that can compile to almost any platform, has solid community support and is beholden to no corporate interests whatsoever. When you support HAXE, you are subtly sticking it to the man, which I hear is popular these days.
The engine is HAXEFLIXEL, built on top of HAXE. This allowed us to create a prototype for the game in about 11 hours, complete with all the basics the game will need. Nice!
It's worth mentioning that we estimated the prototype would take 7-10 hours, and it took 11... but we also added some features along the way, like being able to aim and launch the ball while it's still moving. Neat, huh?
BUDGET AND SCHEDULE
How do we get this game done on time and under budget? By speccing it out into small details, or at least as small as we can stand to think about.
When I first had the idea, my ballpark estimation (no formal process) was about 3000-4000 dollars. Let's see how that turned out:
The rate I need in order to not stress, do it right and pay for help is $30/hour. 227 hours X 30 / hour = $6810.
Since all estimates are still wrong even when you do the best you can, let's multiply that number by 1.33 for the official fudge factor, giving us a little insurance against unexpected setbacks and mis-estimation. Larger projects with more unknowns warrant a larger fudge factor.
$6810 X 1.33 = $9057
Kickstarter and payment fees will reduce that to a bit less, but the fudge factor helps.
And... even after all those years of making games, my quick estimates are still pretty bad. That little bit of deeper estimation should help prevent the nightmare of publicly committing myself to a project that's destined to run out of money way before it's done.
I really want to make this game, and I have a solid plan to make it happen. Even if we don't get our funding, you still get some cool Pixeljam stuff. But if we do, the world will get the bizarro golf trip that it so desperately needs.
If we raise over $10000, I will add the option to change the ball color from white to yellow.
If we raise over $12000, I will put a poorly drawn animal (backers will vote to decide) into one of the cutscenes.
TROLL GOAL: If we raise *exactly* $15000, I will remove the drawing from the game, as well as the ball color option. Don't let this happen!
If we raise over $15000, I will put the drawing and ball option back in as well as a secret level full of collectible sausages.
If we raise over $25000, I will be incredibly surprised.
Risks and challenges
First some qualifications and then some disclosure, risk & solution.
I've made over 20 games since 2005, either as coder, designer, producer, manager, musician, or all of the above. They have shipped, you can play them... I know how small games are made and I have a decent track record of getting them done while avoiding show-stopping disasters.
Disclosure: I'm also a flawed human being in an increasingly absurd reality.
Risk: I could be completely full of shit and not even aware of it.
Solution: We all help each other keep our heads on and do the right thing.
Disclosure: I work on lots of things at once... this will not be the only thing I have going on if it gets funded. See the above spec sheet for exactly what my roles will be (design, management and prepping the steam page). This is why I have set the launch date for July, even though I estimate it taking an aggregate 1.5 months from the start of April.
Risk: Something happens that pulls me away from the project.
Solution: I'll take less money from the funds for myself and hire an additional designer. I'll inform the backers and make sure they are comfortable with my choice.
Disclosure: Even when I use some sort of fancy protocol for estimation, I am still really taking a guess. Sometimes my guesses are spot on, and sometimes they are way off.
Risk: The game takes longer (and more money) to make than I think it will.
Solution: hope the fudge factor covers it. If not, consult the backers to see which features they are comfortable with removing - probably just less levels. If additional budget appears in the form of post-launch sales, we will use that money to add them back in later.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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