Today is a good day. We’re proud to announce that we have secured a first outside investment of 100.000 EUR ($136,000) for the project. This money will enable us to make the next step and get a significant amount closer to making the game we’re all waiting for.
But first let’s go back in time: We started working full-time on Das Tal in 2013 - Alex in January and Sebi in April. That makes 31 man-months spent developing the game by the founding team. Michail and Dave joined the team in October. That adds another 8 man-months if we assume that they spent half their time working on the game on average (which is probably on the low end).
For all this time we’ve been bootstrapping the company. That means we had no outside investments and were burning through our savings to make the game and pay our bills. And while we did live as frugal as possible and had saved up some money in our old jobs, we knew that this money would end at some point. That point is pretty close to today.
So this is why I spent a significant amount of time over the last six to nine months not doing game design but instead raising the capital we need to continue the development of the game. Today I’m happy to announce that we’ve signed contracts that will bring 100.000 EUR ($136,000) into our war chest. 20% of those have been funded by an old business partner of ours who is also an angel investor.
80% of the budget come from the Bavarian Games Fund. This is money that our local government has set aside to promote the development of “games with cutural and educational value”. They have in the past funded some great games, including The Last TInker - City of Colors by our friends at Mimimi Productions and Mercury Shift 3D by our friends at Klonk Games. So we are in really good company here. If you want to learn more about the funding program, do check out their web site (though it’s in German only).
As compared to your normal publishing deal, these funds come with barely no strings attached. We are - of course - expected to pay back the money and then some. But our creative and business decisions are in no way restricted by this outside funding. It enables us to carry on and finally start realizing our vision for the game, increasing the team by a few very skilled people and then actually start paying all those people for their work.
So what’s next? We have a development plan that roughly covers the next nine months. In this time we plan to implement and iterate on the core features of the game: The client/server technology. Characters and animations. Combat and skills. The first city & clan features. Resource warfare. Basic PvE and crafting. We won’t give you a detailed scope or timeline for this yet because we’re still so early in development that a certain amount of change is inevitable. But we promise to keep you updated here on our web site, in the forums, on facebook and on twitter.
If you want to be among the first few people to actually play the game during our upcoming alpha tests and alpha weekends then don’t forget to sign up in the newsletter (find the box in the side bar to the left). This is where we’re gonna draft our first testers from.
Cheers & kind regards
PS: To our investors and everybody who made this possible: Thank you for your trust.