I’ve taken a lot of flack in the reactions to the blog for being a useless business major. So, allow me to show you one of my OTHER nerdy hobbies! It’s called regression analysis.
For those of you who haven’t taken higher-level math, regression analysis is essentially using existing data to develop a model that can predict future behavior. Such models are used extensively in everything from stock trading to horse racing. The most simple type is a linear regression, which is used on websites like Kicktraq.com. It’s great if you have a steady progression of pledges; however, it’s often true that the number of pledges starts out high and then trickles off.
I’ve found what I consider to be a best-fit exponential regression curve for the data present, and then used a median pledge value to calculate a projected ending value for the Pathfinder Online Tech Demo Kickstarter. Keep in mind that this is a projection only, and that any change in behavior (such as people pledging greater values) will change the results.
My analysis results in a total figure of $120,463.20 at the end of the thirty days. (For those of you who know what this means, the coefficient of determination is 0.89.) I’m throwing my “bet” up here; I may revise it as we get more data, but I sincerely doubt that the result will be altered without a significant change in pledging behavior.
Perhaps I’m missing something there, but it appears that the Tech Demo isn’t offering anything more interesting than was available in BioWare’s 2002 title Neverwinter Nights. Maybe the “basic game mechanics” will be a bit different, but that term is so vague as to be meaningless. It’s unlikely that a $50k budget is going to show off any real sandbox potential, despite ‘sandbox’ being a key feature that PathO is trying to stand out on. Even linear theme park MMOs look sandbox-ish if there are only 5 people in-game.
If Goblinworks couldn’t find $50k to develop their own Tech Demo, then forget about PathO – the title should be considered the walking dead already. After developing the Tech Demo comes the period of time shopping it around to potential investors and publishers. The team pulled in to work on the Tech Demo will either need to be let go or continue being on payroll during this period and both options effects PathO’s resources moving forward. Publishers / investors will want time to consider their options. Time will burn money. So, again, if Goblinworks couldn’t afford $50k now for a pre-pre-pre-alpha build, PathO is already on the edge of a cliff.