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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:24 pm 
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Starting a new thread where all updates can be kept in one place over a period of time beyond one volume. All of my reports have been in the Streemerz Bundle thus far.

First a recap of my last reports to catch this thread up to date:

Action 53 vol 1, Limited edition clear 50 copies full report
Code:
total cost/game   $11.758096
games made        50
TOTAL EXP:   $587.9048

Sales:
14 contributor carts sold @ $35ea
33 general public carts sold @ $40ea
$35*14 + $40*33 - $71.13 paypal fees = $1738.87 total sales for run 1.

Profit:
$1738.87 (sales) - $587.91 (carts) = $1150.96

2011 Prize money
Some prizes were paid by koitsu out of pocket so we'll pay him back and payout remaining prizes
$100 + $50 + $25 = $175

Profit - 2011 prizes:
=$975.96


Action 53 vol 1, regular edition grey 100 copies full report
Code:
Streemerz bundle LE 50 copies +$1150.96
2011 compo prizes -$175
Streemerz bundle RE 100 copies +$2525
-RE cart cost came to $14.75, copies sold for $40, so $25.25 was earned per cart
2014 compo cash prizes -$850
2014 SNES mice prizes -$20.99
TOTAL REMAINING BALANCE: $2629.97


Since those last updates we've spent money on printed materials for volume 2, assembled and shipped most contributor carts, and had several month's worth of sales for regular edition volume 2.

First let's subtract cost of printed materials from our balance:
Code:
Prior balance: $2629.97
Traditional boxes 300 printed @ $1.70ea = -$510
Front cartridge labels 500 printed @ $0.181ea = -$90.50
Balance after printed material expenses: $2029.47


Cart cost for vol 2, ends up being equivalent to vol 1 RE @ $14.75ea but now includes dust sleeve, manual. Additionally I'm donating the styros for CIB's to make things simple.

Sale price is $40 for loose cart, $48 for CIB. Since the printed material cost is already spent, we don't need to amortize their cost. Because of that, loose cart and CIB have same cartidge expense per cart. Earnings per loose cart remains $25.25ea, and CIB is $33.25ea, only other item left to subtract is paypal fees.

In total 18 Limited editions were made for contributors:
Code:
balance after printed materials: $2029.47
LE copies expense: $14.75 * 18 = -$265.50
remaining balance prior to vol 2 sales: $1763.97


Since release of double action volume 2, we've sold:
2015 total: 55 copies, 11 loose cart, 44 CIB
Code:
balance prior to vol 2 sales: $1763.97
2015 sales:
Loose cart: $25.25 * 11 = +$277.75
CIB: $33.25 * 44 = +$1463
2015 paypal fees = -$109.55
2015 year end balance $3395.17


2016 YTD: 8 copies, 3 loose cart, 5 CIB
Code:
2015 year end balance $3395.17
2016 YTD sales:
Loose cart: $25.25 * 3 = +$75.75
CIB: $33.25 * 5 = +$166.25
2015 paypal fees = -$16.11
Current nesdev balance: $3621.06


If NESHomebrew could double check me on those sales numbers with all the auto-forwarded paypal sales that'd be great.

Phew! So lets analyze some things now that we're done with that.

So far we've sold 63 copies which doesn't seem like a whole lot compared to the 150 vol 1 sold in about the same 7 month period. One thing to keep in mind though is that the 150 of vol 1 included the 14 contributor carts. If we include the 18 contributor carts that brings total vol2 carts to 81. Some other possible reasons behind the number difference is that vol1 had a LE auction which sold 33 copies in a matter of minutes. There were a number of questionings as to why we didn't do that again especially from collectors over at NA. So perhaps the lack of auction and attention gained from that, we had fewer sales with vol2..?

Something else to look at is how we did CIB option this time around, when we didn't last time. CIB's had total sale value of $8ea * 49CIBs = $392 income from CIBs. We spent $510 on traditional boxes, so we still haven't recovered our expenses on the traditional box cost. But as you can see the CIB is a popular choice. Once we sell another 15 CIBs we'll have fully recovered the cost of the boxes.

In all, we had $3500.96 after the end of vol1 sales around year end 2013. We then had the 2014 compo, and released vol2 leaving us with a balance of $3621.06. So to date, we've only earned about $120 from the second compo. So the good news is we're effectively sustainable at this rate. Bummer is one might have hoped we would have had better growth. But we're not a corporation in the business of making money. We're in the business of making homebrew games, so there's nothing really wrong with what we've done. Safe to say we've learned some things, and now armed with more data we can decide what aligns with our goals of the compo and cart sales.

I'm 100% open to input and ideas of how we spend this money as a community. It's not my money, I'm merely the curator. I'd like to see it go towards things like hosting fees for everyone's benefit. I reached out to WhoaMan about this today to see if he can share some of his expenses. I saw NintendoAge was running a fund raiser for hosting fees. Not sure what everyone else thinks, but I think we should pitch in as they are a part of the competition. Have a hard time coming up with an amount. Perhaps if we can get an idea of WhoaMan's hosting expenses over the past couple years we could donate a matching amount to both nesdev and NA hosting.

I have lots of ideas of things for upcoming compos and action53 volumes, but I'll put those in their respective threads. Trying to keep this thread devoted to discussions that are specifically about finances. I'm curious to hear what people think about our financial situation here, it's been mostly crickets in the past when I've tried to get feedback on the matter.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:39 pm 
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If you look at the sales figures for other homebrew NES games on places like nintendoage, these are actually pretty good figures. Most games I've seen seem to be able to sell about 50 copies, with games that people really like selling about 100. You've already done over 100 for vol 2. This is kindof a niche, I doubt anyone is going to get rich from NES games anytime soon, but it's good to see that we have enough demand to support selling >100 copies of homebrew games (especially considering the cost of homebrew games). I'd be interested to know statistics about the people who buy these games. I don't know how you would possibly collect such statistics, but it'd be interesting to know certain things.

CIB is so popular that it might almost make sense to only offer CIB.

I also like the idea of putting the money back toward the community somehow. I don't know how to accomplish this, but if you could somehow use some of the money to do some marketing to try to get more people interested in buying/owning homebrew NES games. No idea how to do that, but expanding the market could be beneficial to everyone.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:01 am 
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Yeah we've only actually sold 63 copies of vol2, I was mainly comparing to vol1 which sold 150 in that same period. I'm thinking the lesson learned is that selling limited editions helps promote sales and makes the small market we do have more aware that the new homebrew title is releasing. I initially thought making LE's only for contributors would help motivate people to contribute, but it's really too late at that point. And people who collect games are rarely the same crowd as people interested in making a homebrew, some guys on NA are the exception.

There really isn't much extra effort in providing loose carts, and this break down of loose cart vs CIB is pretty common. Majority of initial sales are CIB. Then as sales slow down to a 'trickle' loose carts make up ~1/3 of sales. I assume people buying the loose carts appreciate the extra $8 in their pocket compared to the box so I like providing that option.

I think you're right about trying to use the money to attract people to the community as a good use. The competition alone makes an effort to do that with the prizes. One idea I've been considering is providing something more along the lines of a homebrew developer tool/hardware as a prize compared to a copy of the game. Or perhaps a choice between the two. I'm working on a new product that might be fitting for something like that, but if it were one of my products I'd be inclined to just donate them.

Honestly though we have a large number of people on the forum here who already make games/demos for the NES, but didn't submit entries to the competition. I'm curious if any said people have input as to what types of things might motivate them to submit an entry. I'm guessing it's mostly not lack of motivation, but personal reasons like time limitations etc. But perhaps there are to how the competition is ran might be able to help out.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:06 am 
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Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
infiniteneslives wrote:
One idea I've been considering is providing something more along the lines of a homebrew developer tool/hardware as a prize compared to a copy of the game.

An adapter from PS/2 mouse to NES/SNES might be useful for promoting development of more mouse-driven games, both on your NES boards and on your Hi/LoROM board.

Quote:
Honestly though we have a large number of people on the forum here who already make games/demos for the NES, but didn't submit entries to the competition. I'm curious if any said people have input as to what types of things might motivate them to submit an entry. I'm guessing it's mostly not lack of motivation, but personal reasons like time limitations etc. But perhaps there are to how the competition is ran might be able to help out.

Another problem I'm going to have over the next five months is contract work taking away some of my time from the hobby. I guess being recognized for professional-quality NES work is both a blessing and a curse.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:49 am 
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infiniteneslives wrote:
Yeah we've only actually sold 63 copies of vol2, I was mainly comparing to vol1 which sold 150 in that same period.

Well, volume 1 did have a really cool action game in the form of Streemerz as a big selling point. That made all the difference, IMO.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:53 am 
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tokumaru wrote:
Well, volume 1 did have a really cool action game in the form of Streemerz as a big selling point. That made all the difference, IMO.


Yeah that's a good point, but I think it's effect would be over the long term sales more so than the first few mins of release where all 33 copies sold out immediately. There was quite the excitement on NA when they first went for sale and lots of people disappointed they missed out, so they quickly snatched up a regular edition once those released.

Regardless of the sales numbers the NA guys enjoy the limited editions, and don't see a good reason to not provide them next time around. We can differentiate the contributor copies with the title screen messages making contributor's message personalized, where general public LE's would be numbered. I'd prefer to keep it first come first serve though where the LE's are a fixed price vs auctions that can get pretty crazy.

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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 10:33 am 
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Time for an update of our current status of funds.

Code:
2015 year end balance $3395.17
2016 total sales:
Loose cart: $25.25 * 13 = +$328.25
CIB: $33.25 * 19 = +$631.75
2016 paypal fees = -$63.66
2016 earnings = $896.34
2016 year end balance = $3395.17 + $896.34 = $4291.51


Since then, we've paid out 2016 compo prizes, and sold a total of 2 copies. I'm going to ignore the copies sold for this report, and we'll tally them up next time we tally up sales for volume3.

Code:
2016 year end balance: $4291.51
2016 compo prizes: (512+256+128+64+32) = -$992
current balance: $3299.51


So now it's time to look forward to volume 3 publishing plan. We've got $3.3k in our pocket which is more than enough to cover us for launch of volume 3.

Cartridges for volume 3 will cost a little more than prior volumes due to 1Mbyte rom and it's requirement to run at 3v. Prior year volumes cost $14.75, vol3 will cost $16.75 for grey copies. I plan on offering 60pin famicom at the same price as well. However that does include the cartridge labels this time around as I'm printing them in house compared to year's past. I'll include dust sleeves at that price too, but I'm not certain we'll use them for CIBs.

My records show we have 17 compo entrants for both categories. Plus NEShomebrew and myself as organizers, and M-Tee for the artwork. That's a total of 20 carts, with a starting price for contributor carts of $16.75. Limited edition clear cases cost an extra $1.50, so in total about $365 for contributor cart prizes, plus printed materials, or extras we may add.

If we choose traditional cardboard boxes for CIB's, we're looking at $500-600 investment from our current balance. M-Tee is also working on a poster to be included with CIB's in place of a multi-page color manual. Current estimate for the posters is $300-400.

So here's a projection of our balance just prior to launching volume 3 sales, the latter options are just estimates and still optional.
Code:
current balance: $3299.51
vol 3 contributor cartridges $350-400
vol 3 poster for CIBs $300-400
vol 3 traditional boxes  $500-600
balance prior to vol 3 launch: $1900-2100


I've decided to start a new poll thread to discuss options, details and pricing of printed materials for volume 3 in effort to keep topics separate.

Looking back at volume 2, we effectively broke even on choosing to invest the $500 in traditional boxes. And we still have somewhere around 200 of the original 300 boxes remaining. Overall our sales were a little slow in comparison to volume 1. I think a good option to help remedy these issues is to offer limited edition copies to the public. I'm thinking somewhere around 25-50 copies as limited edition with clear cases similar to contributor copies, and then selling them at a $10-20 premium compared to regular editions. I can't think of a good way to offer limited editions in any form besides 72pin NES however as I don't have clear famicom cases available.

Not that we're strapped for money, but doing this alone would help offset the large investment in printed materials and help gain sales attention. The main point of this idea is that I expect the extra earnings from limited edition copies would allow us to break even on printed materials within a month of launch, instead of a couple years afterwards.

I have received requests from some contributors to be allowed to purchase additional cartridges at discounted price. Considering the rule of only one contributor cart per 'team' and only one prize for top submission, I feel it's more than fair to allow contributors to buy extra copies at production cost within reason. Thinking it's best and simplest to limit this to regular edition grey cartridges however.

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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 1:21 pm 
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infiniteneslives wrote:
I'd prefer to keep it first come first serve though where the LE's are a fixed price vs auctions that can get pretty crazy.

becauseā€¦?
Not like you can't do both (though you'd want to not release the FCFS LE carts, numbered higher, until the auctions cleared).


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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 1:44 pm 
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Myask wrote:
infiniteneslives wrote:
I'd prefer to keep it first come first serve though where the LE's are a fixed price vs auctions that can get pretty crazy.

becauseā€¦?
Not like you can't do both (though you'd want to not release the FCFS LE carts, numbered higher, until the auctions cleared).


Personally I'm not looking to run a typical NA limited edition auction thread. I also don't see it as our goal to try and make as much money as possible from a limited edition batch with an auction or scarcity. I'd expect 50 limited edition copies to take more than a few mins to sell out. Goal would be a qty that takes a few hours hours/days to sell out depending on the price we set. Maybe that number would need to be larger to ensure that. I'm a supporter of making a larger number of limited editions equally available to people who would like to spend a little extra for them at launch and support the compo. I'm not looking to create scarcity and a second hand market by only making them available to a small number of people with the deepest wallets. I think this aligns better with the compos goals of inclusion not exclusion.

It's not all about my thoughts though, if people feel differently my ears are open and I'd like to entertain other's views/ideas.

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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 2:06 pm 
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No real feedback other than I wanted to say thanks for your hard work on this.

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