Here are the numbers, and one giant post...
14 contributor carts sold
33 general public carts sold
EDIT: $71.13 in paypal fees
$35*14 + $40*33 - 71.13 = $1738.87 earned on sales for run 1.
sales tax 6% 0.158496
eprom 512K 2
TOTAL EXP: 587.9048
$1738.87 - $587.91 = $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:
So that's how much money we've got right now.
Things that may change or are pending with another run:
- Case cost might change a little, I've yet to pay shipping or get the cases in hand. I'll hopefully have these around the end of the month. They will come with screws however...
- Labels: I'd buy these pre-cut this time around, not sure how much that'll cost.
- Parts: pretty comparable in overall price, I'm not paying ID sales tax anymore. But overall this would be fairly constant cost.
- Labor: I assembled the first 50 on my own time. This was the main contributor to the delay of the release. This time I'd hire out the labor which will cost us ~$3 a board. This should include programming, as well.
Note: the I've rounded numbers for the following estimates:
So carts will cost us around $15 each roughly once again. Selling them at $40 each would mean we'd earn $25 per cart. If we dumped all ~$1150 our available funds into carts right now we could cover ~65 carts. Resale of those 65 carts is all earnings since we don't have to payback expenses to me once it's all over. We'd have around $2.6k in the bank assuming they all sold. If we were ambitious, and listed up 100 for pre-sale it would give us a little extra buffer allowing us to be more flexible. Those 45 extra carts wouldn't have to be assembled unless they were expected to all sell. And if those extra 45 sold we'd earn $25/cart for ~$1100 more earned.
Breakdown of potential end balances assuming all carts sell:
- we now have: $1150
- if we do a run of 65 we'd have $2.6k afterwards
- if we sold 100 with presale we'd have $3.7k afterwards
So one question is how many can we sell? Based on the first 30-50 only lasting 10min and the number of people emailing me asking to sell them a cart which doesn't exist currently, I'd say we can easily sell 50-65 carts in under a month. I if we did the 100 I think it'd give people a chance to buy carts that may not have heard about it until after the fact. Will we sell all 100 carts? IDK, but over the summer I'd expect we could.
If we can commit to a run of 30-100 I can commit to an expected ship date of the first 30 carts at the end of August. The cart would be expected to trickle out the door over the next month or so depending on how many there were. Cases and labels are still pending mind you, but end of August is reasonable. Once we settle on a number I'll list em on my site for pre-sale if that's the route we'd like to go.
The bigger question is what would we like to do with this money, and how much money do we think we NEED? The $1150 we have right now is great, but we will spend it quickly on another compo and limited number cart release.
- Compo prizes: $100-25 last time, I think we can do better than that next time. Doing this would resolve some of the issue of reimbursing the contributors for their long/hard/great work on games. Something like $500/250/100 sounds better to me, maybe even higher. That would be $850 in prizes, and I think we should pay those out immediately upon posting winners. I think this would get a lot of people to pick up the keyboard and start making great homebrew games, it's easy to pass off $100 prize. But $500+ is very enticing I think.
- Compo entires: Free carts to all entries that are 'greater than pong' It's got to be something more than a demo for us to include it in the action53. This would cost us ~$15/entry = 20-40 entries? = $300-600?. To make this a little better we could have the limited edition carts be the contributor carts. Collectors would have to put in the effort to make a game if they wanted a special edition 'numbered' release of the cart. This motivates people to get involved that don't expect to take 1st,2nd,3rd place, but will put in the effort to create a novel game/tool. It might be helpful to have per-registeration to get a feel for how many entries we'll have, but I don't think we should require it.
- Cart release for volume 2: One of the main difficulties right now is cases in large volume. I've worked with Retrozone to get runs of cases in quantities of 500 or more. Best part is we can get ANY color for the most part. It takes awhile to get them though, and price can depend on lead time. Last time they quoted $3.50-$3.75 each for 6week-6month lead time respectively. So ideally we could order a batch of 500 cases for ~$1750-$1875. That would cover us pretty well for release of volume 2 which would include the next compo's entries. If we don't have this money before the compo ends, we'll have difficulty obtaining cases with issues of limited and/or delayed releases like we're dealing with right now.
- Cartridge cost for release of volume 2. Things may change a few dollars depending on how we handle things, but $15 is a pretty good estimate. Increasing game data may require more expense, but increasing volume can save us money too. I think it's safe to say we'd easily sell 100-200 carts for volume 2. But if we're biting off 500 cases maybe we just want to go for 500 games. This number gets kind of big, but one thing we may be able to do is pre-sell volume 2 once the compo is nearing or is over and we've got the hardware design nailed down. $15/cart: release 100-$1500, release 200-$3000, release 500-$7500. Maybe we make sure we've got enough for 200 carts, and pre-sale could allow a buffered judgement on more copies. If we have a bunch of left over cases, we can hang on to them for the next release.
- Printed material like boxes/manuals? I'm not certain at the moment, but I'd expect if we were interested in doing this we'd have to pay a $100-300 depending on initial print quantity. This could in turn earn us more money though effectively paying for itself.
- Other expenses? It'd be nice for income like this to cover our hosting expenses, although I don't know what that currently entails.
TL;DR above summary;
Pending everyone else's thoughts, my estimates for volume 2 with next compo's entries would be:
- Prizes: $850-1000
- Special edition carts to compo entrants: $300-600
- 500 cases (min qty): ~$1800
- Parts/assembly: 200=$3k 500=7.5k
- Others? $500?
That's like $6k for a 'low' estimate.
There are quite a few high thoughts and wants more than NEEDS for a release of volume 2 with the next compo. Doing 100 carts right now would get us ~$3.7k which is a pretty good start. That'd cover immediate prize payout, and purchase of cases and get things started on assembly. A release of 200-500 carts would require pre-sale or several cascading releases. Pre-sale is nice and all, but it requires trust from the people who are paying for a cart, and expecting it to materialize at a later date. The release of these first 50 carts, and another followup run of 50-100 carts gives us some experience and building of trust. Good execution of this current release builds trust for subsequent ones. And having cash on hand give compo entrants trust that they'll receive their sizable prize promptly without it coming out of other members pockets with little in return.
What do y'all think? If there are no objections from contributors, my gut says go for it and post up 100 carts right now for pre-sale. The community just wants carts because they were unable to get the first 50, so it sounds like their vote is yes for any extra release that lets them buy something. If that's the plan, then I'll use the money to start buying parts needed and get things in place to start shipping carts (at least the first 30) by end of August.