Skullgirls dev seeks $150,000 to crowd-fund DLC character

By Brenna Hillier
26 February 2013 01:37 GMT

Skullgirls developer Lab Zero Games has launched a crowd-funding campaign to fund a new DLC character for the 2D fighter.

Lab Zero Games is seeking $150,000 via IndieGogo. Although the new character, Squigly, will be premium DLC, she will be made available for free for a limited time if the target is met.

$150,000 sounds like a heck of a lot, but Lab Zero provided a breakdown of where the money will go:

  • $48,000: Staff Salaries – 8 people for 10 weeks
  • $30,000: Animation and Clean-up Contracting
  • $4,000: Voice recording
  • $2,000: Hit-box Contracting
  • $5,000: Audio Implementation Contracting
  • $20,000: QA Testing
  • $10,000: 1st Party Certification
  • $10,500: IndieGoGo and Payment Processing Fees
  • $20,500: Manufacturing and Shipping Physical Perks

Speaking with Siliconera, Lab Zero CEO Peter Bartholow said Squigly’s actually quite cheap as far as fighter DLC goes.

“We’ve heard rumors that Street Fighter IV characters cost more than $1M each,” he said.

“For comparison, though, the core Skullgirls characters cost between $200-250k to create, and we have it on pretty good authority that is actually quite cheap, especially for the amount of animation we put into our characters.”

As of time of writing, the campaign has been in effect for less than a day and has already accumulated over $95,000. The faster Lab Zero reaches its target, the sooner it can begin work on the character. It also nominated a number of stretch goals including a character-specific stage and two more DLC characters. The campaign boasts a number of rewards both physical and digital.

Visit IndieGogo to read all about Squigly and throw a few dollars in the hat.

Why crowd-fund?
The team which developed Skullgirls was once part of Reverge Labs but was unceremoniously laid off almost as soon as it shipped. Having reformed as an independent studio, Lab Zero Games got the greenlight from Skullgirls publisher Autumn Games to continue working on the title, starting with a couple of patches.

Unfortunately, Autumn Games hasn’t got much cash to spare right now, and although it seems keen to fund a sequel, has apparently not ponied up for DLC. The lack of publisher has increased the amount of cash Lab Zero needs.

“When you’re funded by a publisher you don’t need to allocate large amount of money for testing, submission costs, and physical reward items,” Bartholow said. “There are no reward items, of course, and the publisher handles the testing and submission costs themselves.”

Lab Zero has taken extreme measures to try and reduce costs, too.

“The main thing we did was just take pay cuts. The price was also lowered from previous characters a bit just because she was already partially completed when we were laid off,” Bartholemew noted.

“Since a lot of the other things involve contractors and our contracting rates are already on the low side, it wasn’t really possible to get those any lower.”

Skullgirls is headed to the Japanese PSN and a PC port is on the cards thanks to a funding deal with Marvellous AQL.

Thanks, Develop.

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