Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 20, 2012.

Update #19

What does a big Kickstarter project look like in prize form?

Greetings again, fans of strategy and physical prizes!

As promised not two days prior, we've put together a video laying out the result of producing a comical number of prizes. We had 20,000 backers, but only 4000 of them got physical prizes. That doesn't seem so bad, right? Watch the video below...

The Banner Saga was certainly not the biggest campaign Kickstarter has ever seen. Double Fine had 80k backers, Wasteland 2 had 60k, Shadowrun had over 30k, not to mention non-games. But unlike these larger, somewhat established developers we're packaging and mailing our own prizes. If we had raised 3.3 million it would be a no-brainer; use that money to outsource the work. We raised $723k, and while that is a lot of funding, we had to think twice about what would be the most cost effective solution.

The quick answer is that so far things are going according to plan and we've budgeted correctly!

The longer answer is this breakdown:

  • Of $730k, 10% immediately comes out for amazon, kickstarter and failed payments. We actually had a shockingly low number of these failed payments, but this alone leaves us with roughly $650k.
  • Actual prizes cost us about $22k to produce. $22,000 certainly is a lot for posters, tshirts and some fancy art, but this was not a surprise to us since we had gotten estimates and set prices based on that.
  • Shipping costs are a bit troublesome, especially since we have a fair number of international backers. We estimated that shipping would cost roughly an amount equal to the prizes themselves. When comparing our prices to other kickstarter campaigns we felt that we couldn't ask for more than the standard international shipping rate- between $10 and $20. This helps but does not cover the cost. Now any time I see a campaign asking for an extra $10 for international shipping I just assume they have no idea what they're talking about. That said, it's not like this will cut into our budget by a significant amount with the kind of volume we're pushing. Between prizes and shipping that's another 18% of our total funds.
  • Once we've dealt with all that business we've got about $600k to work with. I want to re-emphasize that this came as a surprise to none of us!
  • As for development, contractor salaries take the lions share. We've now contracted (not hired) two programmers, a sound design team, a dedicated composer, a QA specialist, a writer, an interface artist, a community manager and an entire animation production house working for us to produce more content than we ever dreamed at higher quality. That, my friends, is currently where a good 50% of our total funding goes.
  • We've got the mundane business expenses like a (rather miniscule) office lease, software like adobe products, dropbox and fmod, computer upgrades, and hardware coming out to about 5% of our budget.
  • We're anticipating the relatively small operation costs of maintaining our own server-side data on amazon's cloud so people can download the game from us and play online without Steam.
  • Lastly, we've put aside the remaining funding as our safety net which will be re-evaluated as we go. You never know when things are going to go unexpectedly wrong.
  • We're still not taking personal salaries. We'll be living off our savings until our game starts making income.

To summarize: so far, so good.

Skal!
Alex, Arnie and John

Comments

    1. Pa_profile_4.small

      Creator wijse on July 9, 2012

      What about the landscape art?

    2. Adam.small

      Creator Adam Diran on June 28, 2012

      That my friends is a sound business plan, especially socking away the cash for the inevitable rainy day. I look forward to your success :-)

    3. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Conor Toleson on June 27, 2012

      See, now you should be thankful I just wanted the digital stuff! I am contributing to less work and paperless office here!

    4. Missing_small

      Creator am on June 25, 2012

      one of the 680, no big deal....

    5. Missing_small

      Creator am on June 25, 2012

      Strong headwings keeps me floating, unable to log in, rarely making landfall long enough to participate in the blogging, by Odin me wonders if i be on the poster list by Thor's thunder?

    6. Missing_small

      Creator Isak on June 25, 2012

      Cant wait to get my hands on the first part of the saga!
      Skål!

    7. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Michael Matzat on June 25, 2012

      Sending out posters might be a lot cheaper when you use triangle boxes instead of tubes.

    8. Me.small

      Creator ABCHEE Alex on June 24, 2012

      Awesome guys good luck for the packaging

    9. Epi.small

      Creator Irfon-Kim Ahmad on June 22, 2012

      I think I paid for international shipping for a poster, on the assumption that the extra cost covered the shipping. I do have a U.S. friend who I see every few weeks who I could have you ship to instead if that helps at all. I know it'll probably only save you a few bucks and to look through all your records for one person is probably not worth it, but if mine's not packed and mailed yet, I'm happy to do that.

    10. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Jacob Kohl on June 22, 2012

      Really wish I could help, that looks so overwhelming...

    11. 154446_1000264181349_21496572_n.small

      Creator Jonathan Blunden on June 21, 2012

      That poster looks awesome. So glad I upped my pledge!

    12. Blue_chewie.small

      Creator Chooi on June 21, 2012

      amazing video..one does not realise what a few thousand 'simple' prizes would take up, space wise! Thanks for the great insight! Good luck!

      PS-great looking poster! Wish I got one!

    13. Images.small

      Creator kewlpersin on June 21, 2012

      That is so cool! Behind the scenes are the best kind of scenes. I hated all those cg trailers during E3.

    14. Missing_small

      Creator James Whittaker on June 21, 2012

      Don't forget to recycle the leftover packaging :)
      Hehe, really regretting not getting one of those posters now...

    15. Banner-saga-crestv2_short_neck_bigger.small

      Creator Erik de Vos on June 21, 2012

      Good update, thank you! Also thanks for being so open and honest about everything.

    16. Geek_patrolks.small

      Creator Bryy Miller on June 21, 2012

      Awesome! Glad to see the prizes did not take an unexpected toll!

    17. Untitled.small

      Creator Matt Stein on June 21, 2012

      damn wish i would have gotten one of those posters, they turned out amazing!

    18. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Michael on June 21, 2012

      Good to know my money is in capable (yet soon to be tired from signing) hands .

    19. Don't%20panic%202.small

      Creator Diego on June 21, 2012

      Don't overdo, whatch out for carpal tunnel syndrome!!!!!

    20. 297443_530851667816_97500200_30649743_1621633_n.small

      Creator Dean Browell on June 21, 2012

      Seriously impressed by the transparency, quality and management. You guys are doing fantastic. I'm proud to be a backer.

    21. Mcduck.small

      Creator St. McDuck on June 21, 2012

      THAT is transparency, right there. Awesome work, fellas.

    22. Missing_small

      Creator Mikael Öhman on June 21, 2012

      Xphile, you actually forgot about the additional shipping cost ($10 on all those tiers), but on the other hand, you also didn't take into account the cost of having people roll these up and ship em out. Still, its something like +$90k for those tiers including shipping.

    23. Banner%20for%20banner%20saga%20-%20tiger.small

      Creator SinoSamba <(-'.'-)> on June 21, 2012

      Awesome update. I'm now regretting not upping the pledge to get one of the physical prizes. Will there be any leftovers? I'm willing to pay for Banner Saga merchandise.

    24. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Joseph-Dylan Quintinita on June 21, 2012

      x2. Nice to know what it takes for projects like this.

    25. 2013-12-30.small

      Creator Nathanael Cole on June 21, 2012

      Quite frankly, I'd rather you put the money spent on my physical rewards into the actual game development, and then send me my stuff after the game finally exists. Why do so many projects insist on fulfilling rewards _first_ when the core product is more important? Take your time! I'm more interested in the game than the posters and such.

    26. Missing_small

      Creator Joseph Patrevito on June 21, 2012

      Thanks for the update! Really looking forward to this game!

    27. Missing_small

      Creator Guilherme Sionek on June 21, 2012

      It makes me feel good to know these are the guys that are taking care of our money. Look at the size the project took from the initial purpose and even tough they managed to plan it well and as a result everything runs smooth. I can only expect for and awesome game from you. I am very excited. Congratulations to you Stoic!

    28. Monica.small

      Creator Monica Caples on June 21, 2012

      I just wanted to say thanks for the update, and for being such amazing guys. Just the concept alone that you are not taking personal salaries, despite having a couple hundred thousand dollars remaining just reminds me of why I backed your game. I absolutely cannot wait to play it, and to see what Stoic will do in the future. You rock!

    29. Sdogs.small

      Creator Norb on June 21, 2012

      When we saw the posters, I was thinking, "okay, no problem". Then we saw the tube boxes. Oh my! It's a cardboard invasion!! You almost have to release rewards in stages to make room.
      Thanks for your commitment to this project. Maybe the boxes can be an Easter egg level, defending ourselves against papercuts and chapped hands :0)

    30. Halloweenself_portrait2.small

      Creator Harley on June 21, 2012

      Thanks for this.

      I'm very impressed with the planning gone into the actual funds themselves and I applaud you for not taking a sum for yourselves for the time being.

      It shows your loyal backers that you truly believe in the project- as do we all!

      Look forward to seeing more of the actual game. However I have to say I've enjoyed the art and story blog posts.

      Keep up the good work!

    31. Missing_small

      Creator Henri Clinch on June 21, 2012

      great update, thanks for taking the time to explain the backstage stuff

    32. Missing_small

      Creator David on June 21, 2012

      Thanks for the great update! I love the transparency. Thanks for all your hard work and for making this game!

    33. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator eXoScoriae on June 21, 2012

      You guys are doing a great job with this project.

    34. 228823_2279876918731_1303033550_2740885_819816_n.small

      Creator Robert DeBusk on June 21, 2012

      Tubes! Wow, thanks for the awesome update. I never realized how massive an undertaking it is just to handle the rewards.

    35. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Jennifer Barrix Dunham on June 21, 2012

      need any volunteers?

    36. Sleipnir.small

      Creator Mark Doherty on June 21, 2012

      And that doesn't even include soundtracks, cels, landscapes...

    37. File.small

      Creator bl0m5t3r on June 21, 2012

      nice clip.

    38. Chipiijpg.small

      Creator Søren Høeg Pedersen on June 21, 2012

      Where do you sleep?? :P

    39. Pat90x90.small

      Creator secondOption on June 21, 2012

      Guys, since you already used FedEx, you might want to make a corporate account with them.
      If there are large volumes of shipping, you can get a discounted rate, especially considering you will have to ship the boxed games again later on.

    40. Missing_small

      Creator Indyxt on June 21, 2012

      This is crazy. In a good way tho. Best of luck guys!

    41. Missing_small

      Creator Ryan Jarrell on June 21, 2012

      Posters look awesome. Any hope of a PC wallpaper in the future?

    42. Missing_small

      Creator James Siddle on June 21, 2012

      Have you thought about asking your backers if they would mind you using some of the money for living expenses (etc). Unless otherwise stated, I usually assume that a proportion of the money from each kickstarter will be used in this way.

    43. Missing_small

      Creator Niymiae on June 21, 2012

      Is there any way to provide additional funding?

    44. Missing_small

      Creator Sean on June 21, 2012

      Just to echo other comments, thank you for the breakdown - it's comforting to know that everything is going well.

    45. Missing_small

      Creator Xphile on June 21, 2012

      @Nick Bouton You say that, but they made plenty of money for funding off of the prizes. Assuming that if they didn't have them, these people would have paid $25 for the special edition, they were able to gather $41,625 from posters (1850*25 - 10%), $25,393.5 from limited edition posters (513*55 - 10%) and $45,900 from the t-shirt/poster combo ($75 * 680 - 10%). So while the prizes did eat a chunk of change to make and ship out, if it only took 50,000 to make and ship, they easily were able to collect an additional $50,000 just from the prizes that can go into the development of the game.

    46. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Vadym Jankovsky on June 21, 2012

      It's nice to get one of those, knowing that it was at the house of one of developers. Every item now has it's story, and you can say: "Maybe it was mine there, on the video!".

    47. Me_couch_sq.small

      Creator Nick Bouton on June 21, 2012

      That's an impressive amount of work. Surprised at the amount of cash you're having to drop on the prizes and shipping, kinda sucks to see that much of the funding disappear into non-game-related costs, but still, guess it's part of the deal.

      Good luck with the packing! Really looking forward to the game.

    48. Sf%20avatar.small

      Creator Peter Jacob on June 21, 2012

      Thanks for the update guys and keep fighting the good fight. This sort of transparency gives interested observers and the big eyed young'uns a good sense of scope/process.

    49. Tumblr_m2ohvo2xuf1r3n4hyo2_400.small

      Creator Rachel Teng on June 21, 2012

      I wish I could come over and help, hahaha!

    50. Gasseous_entity_sdavatar__party_goat.small

      Creator S.D. on June 21, 2012

      Stoic; have you considered taking pre-orders via PayPal on The Banner Saga website for like $15-30 a pop (or similar), like DFA, Wasteland 2, Pinkerton Road (Jane Jensen), Big Finish Games (Tex Murphy), Two Guys From Andromeda (SpaceVenture)... etc. I imagine you'd collect another $500-1000/mo or so to go into your family's budgets. Just an idea!

20,042
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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    35 backers

    An exclusive desktop WALLPAPER for your PC, Mac, tablet or mobile device, along with our heartfelt thanks. Choose with or without the logo. Be a part of the movement!

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    9031 backers

    A copy of THE BANNER SAGA with all the Chapter 1 content, along with all the big upgrades we're planning to add to the multiplayer, distributed digitally on PC or Mac. Includes all previous rewards.

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    4710 backers

    Get the AWESOME SPECIAL EDITION of The Banner Saga. The single player game as described above, plus the digital art book including production art and design sketches, the original soundtrack and desktop wallpaper. On top of all that, as a special thanks we'll include your name in the OFFICIAL CREDITS for the game.

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    2735 backers

    Be a real part of The Banner Saga! At this tier we'll provide you a template and you provide us with YOUR OWN CREST DESIGN which we'll put into the actual game. In both single and multiplayer, players will choose a family crest that represent them; this is your chance to get your family or guild symbol into the Banner Saga (must meet a few reasonable decency guidelines - see the FAQ). Includes all previous rewards.

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    1850 backers

    SPECIAL POSTER PROMOTION: We've gotten so many requests for just the poster that we can't ignore them any longer! For this special reward, get just the poster (unsigned) and the special edition of the game, no frills. This prize does NOT include the button or the guild crest but DOES include your name in the credits. All higher level donations continue to get the $80 version of this prize. Include an additional $10 for shipping outside the US & Canada.

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    513 backers

    A limited edition print of the official game POSTER for The Banner Saga in full movie poster size (24 x 36 inches), SIGNED by the team at Stoic. Look to the left to check out the art. Also, to show off your viking spirit in public we'll include a BUTTON that looks just like the main character's brooch. Includes all previous rewards - please add $10 for shipping outside the US & Canada.

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    680 backers

    Your generous donation guarantees that you'll get not just the poster but a T-SHIRT designed exclusively for the Kickstarter campaign (check the art to the left). Once it's over we won't be making any more! Includes all previous rewards - please add $10 for shipping outside the US & Canada.

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    241 backers

    Austin Wintory, composer of the hit game "Journey", will be providing limited edition PHYSICAL COPIES OF THE SOUNDTRACK, hand-signed by the composer himself. Different from the official soundtrack, once the campaign ends these special edition CDs won't be available again. As part of the special music promotion, the donations we receive from this prize category go directly to help fund an all-out, full orchestral score for the game, recorded in a live studio! Includes all previous rewards.

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    47 backers Limited (3 left of 50)

    Don't just support the Banner Saga, own a piece of art from it. This tier features a physical, numbered ANIMATION CEL from the game, just like how they used to do it back in days of yore. Choose one of two pivotal characters from the game. Includes all previous rewards - please add $15 for shipping outside the US & Canada.

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    17 backers Limited (33 left of 50)

    Get an autographed copy of the performance parts from the recording sessions; the SHEET MUSIC used by the actual musicians who play on the score. Needless to say, this prize will be a limited run. As part of the special music promotion, the donations we receive from this prize category go directly to help fund an all-out, full orchestral score for the game, recorded in a live studio! Includes all previous rewards.

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    50 backers All gone!

    Kickstarter is a chance not just to fund the game but to offer art for the sake of art. Get a full-sized, 12 x 36 FRAMED LANDSCAPE work of art inspired by the incredible American master Eyvind Earle. No logos, no gimmicks; numbered and signed by the artist. Check it out in the details to the left. Includes all previous rewards - please add $20 for shipping outside the US & Canada.

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    17 backers Limited (8 left of 25)

    Immortalize something meaningful to you in The Banner Saga. Send us a photo of YOUR OWN HEIRLOOM, memento or just something you'd like to show your friends and we'll turn it into a relic of value and power. We'll work with you to come up with a unique name and description that could include anything from a mysterious inscription to giving off a certain aura. You'll personalize it and make a coveted piece of gameplay by choosing from a list of rarities and in-game bonuses it provides. Doesn't look very viking-themed you say? That's ok, the marketplaces trade in items pillaged from all over the world. Because this includes all previous rewards, please add $20 for shipping outside the US and Canada

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    10 backers All gone!

    We're incredibly excited about this one. We've partnered with an amazing artist to turn our landscape artwork into a 3-dimensional SHADOWBOX that replicates the feeling of parallax you get from traveling across the land. Framed with a glass cover and coming in at 20 x 16 inches this is a serious piece of art. Numbered and signed. Includes all previous rewards - don't worry about the shipping cost; you're good.

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    7 backers All gone!

    The gods may be dead but they're not forgotten. BECOME A VIKING GOD in the actual game. We'll create a unique deity with your likeness and work with you on a great name and backstory for him or her. You'll appear in the game in various forms of effigy and be written into the lore, where all may see. Includes all previous rewards. Email us for more info.

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    You are invited to personally ATTEND the music's recording sessions in Los Angeles or elsewhere later this year. This will include a day of hanging out with all of us at the recording studio, and lunch (on us). You will also receive a signed, leather-bound book compiling all of the game's music (produced as a one-off and therefore never commercially for sale) and earn a Music Associate Producer credit in the game and on the album. Not enough? Austin will personally compose an original 30-second ringtone, just for you! As part of the special music promotion, the donations we receive from this prize category go directly to help fund an all-out, full orchestral score in the game recorded in a live studio! Please note: this is a special case prize. While it does include the signed CD and the sheet music, it does not include any of the previous rewards. This one's for serious music fans. You must be able to travel to the Los Angeles area or elsewhere. If you're interested in this prize you must contact us to make arrangements before the end of the Kickstarter campaign.

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    3 backers All gone!

    We'll rotoscope and ANIMATE YOU, personally, into the game doing an attack or using a special ability so you, too, can look like a badass viking. How many chances will you have to be animated into a 2D game? Backers must be local or able to travel to the Austin/Georgetown area. Afterwards, let's get some lunch. Includes all previous rewards, do we even need to say it at this point? Email us for more info.

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    1 backer All gone!

    We have so many prizes now we had to compile them all into ONE FINAL, HUGE MEGA-PRIZE. The Executive gives you every prize we have to offer (except for the rotoscope shoot), including the viking god and attending the recording session. On top of that, you will be given an Executive Music Producer credit in the game and on the album. Lastly, receive a framed copy of the Banner Saga main theme, each note inscribed by hand by Austin Wintory, who will also be kind enough to sign his work. Has anything like this even been done before? Please contact us before donating at this tier.

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Funding period

- (32 days)