Studio Update June 2024 #2

What Does My Support Do?

This studio update is going to be a bit more oriented toward the nuts and bolts of running Phoenix Aura as a business, and why I could always use more support in this creative journey.

First up, Idle Space Navy has been huge for me! I cannot stress this enough – ISN has brought in far more than I ever thought it would. We’re up to over $1,800 gross just since the launch of 0.09.0 in January – but there’s more that plays into what I actually receive than just this headline number. In fact, by the time Steam’s share, sales taxes, and state tax comes out, I’m often getting less than $200 a month from it – a very nice sum, but it actually isn’t enough to run Aura on ISN alone.

Fortunately, there’s more than one way to help out. I wanted to make sure that anyone who wanted to support the creative journey could do so – as such, I made sure there were multiple options. I’ll go into them after I show you what all it’s going for.

So, what does your support actually do?

It doesn’t go right into my pocket, that’s for sure. There’s a lot of expenses – nearly $3,000 a year – that have to come out before I see anything. Here’s what there is.

Stuff I can’t do anything without. Obviously, in order to run a business, there are licenses and requirements. There’s an annual filing requirement, and the requirement to retain a registered agent for the business as well. These, all told, come to about $365 a year, or about $30 a month. (I had to estimate my local license cost, as I moved in the middle of the license term, so this may actually be higher or lower by a few dollars.)

Making my games: certificates and stuff. Well, to be able to publish games, I have to have a code signing certificate. Two, in fact, because of course Windows and Mac don’t share infrastructure. Apple is actually the cheaper of the two this time (hilarious to think about), but for me to even be able to securely publish games is $490 a year, and it falls all in one month. There’s also publishing fees ($100 per app for Steam, and other amounts for other stores when I get there).

General art stuffs. Yes, I use Adobe. It’s what I learned, it’s what I’m best at. That costs a lot, but there’s also a need for material to use for intros and video music, as well as some stuff I might be able to use in other media. All told, my art stuff comes to $915 a year (over $75 a month!), which is by far the largest expense I face.

Stream and video specific stuff. Like the music? Yeah, that costs me money – $25 a month! I’m working on phasing this out (potentially) by building a playlist of free-to-stream music that I can use, but this takes time. There’s also the streaming software I use in the form of StreamLabs, which in and of itself has some features in its Prime subscription ($19 a month) that I utilize. All told, it gets pulled to $528 a year.

Keeping the website up. I’m actually in the process of moving to a self-hosted solution, which will likely make this somewhat cheaper in the long run as I move from having to pay for a domain and hosting to just paying for a domain and the website tools. Nevertheless, right now, it’s $609 a year for all the stuff (about $51 a month).

Stuff that doesn’t fit. Obviously, working on computers, things break. I need to have money on hand to replace or upgrade my computer when that happens. I also have to deal with such things as state taxes (usually about $200 a year) – though fortunately not federal (it gets rolled onto my personal taxes, which I already have extra money pulled out of my salary to handle – I am not a tax fraud, don’t fret).

How can you help?

Join the Phoenix Flight through Patreon, StreamLabs, or Discord (coming soon). The best way to support the creative journey is to become a monthly supporter and join the Phoenix Flight. There are three ways to do this – become a Patron on my Patreon page ($2 or more a month), support me monthly on my StreamLabs page ($1 or more a month), or (coming soon) get one of the Phoenix Flight roles from the Phoenix Aura Discord (prices TBD). There’s also likely to be a Ko-fi page coming soon as well.

Tip one time through StreamLabs or Buy Me A Coffee. For those of you who want to support me one time, there’s my StreamLabs page again ($1 or more) or the older Buy Me A Coffee page – in my case, a Buy Me Some Strawberries page ($3 per strawberry).

Buy Neutron Stars in Idle Space Navy. ISN isn’t pay to win – you can earn Neutron Stars through Milestone Achievements and Daily Rewards, but supporting me there is an option as well. You can find Idle Space Navy on Steam – it’s free to play!

Subscribe to my blog, Thoughts of Phoenix. It’s new, but I’m looking forward to doing it. I’ve already made two posts, and I’m going to be making new free posts every week to ten days and paid posts (once there’s a membership) more often than that.

Subscribe through Twitch or cheer some Bits. Now, I don’t recommend these because Twitch takes a huge cut – I get maybe 45% of every Twitch subscription, as opposed to 80-85% of every Patreon subscription or more than 90% of every StreamLabs tip. That being said, it is an option on my Twitch to subscribe or cheer with Bits, especially if you have Amazon Prime or Twitch Prime – which gives you a free sub token every month!

More coming soon. I’m working on new things I might be able to do, such as more games, some digital content, and other ways to tip or support me and receive stuff like credit in videos or behind-the-scenes stuff.

Nothing is required, but every bit of support is hugely appreciated.

Your support helps me focus more on making good content and worry less about where the money to run the business comes from. I’d love to be able to move toward doing stuff full time, and this will help me reach that goal as well. I am immensely grateful to everyone who chooses to support this creative journey in any manner or amount, and still just as grateful to those who enjoy the content even if they can’t actively support it.

For now, though, see you in future endeavors!