Winner for best ears ever on an avatar... Kitsukin Minkin! :) We are having the Kindling Party today for the Kitsukin Minkin! Majas and I worked on the design and Am'God is the artist that worked on this cute, little fennec fox kitsune. Degu did the adorable Butler and Gar did a final positioning pass. Majas and Rat did the exclusive desctag that comes with the presale! This is the second in our Minkin series of avatars and I hear that the Primes Jujinka, Beekin, and Syndira will come again to gather more magic for its making! A big 'Thank you' to Althia for helping to DragonSpeak the magic gathering game and to Juliet for getting the advertising graphics together! The event is tonight at 8 pm FST and we hope to see you there!
Majas has been leading the Pixels in getting yet another version update on the 32-bit default art ready for this party too! Arialonomus has been working on the floors and the new wood floors and cobblestones are amazing. Sylvernight has been working on the water, but I don't think that is quite ready for you all to see. Akoi Meexx has just joined the team and is learning our methods. The Shadow Rider and Degu have been heping Majas with the plants and trees. Suzy, Allen, Pye, and Muse have been busy with all kind of bits and bobs. You've got to come see all the loveliness! I can't wait until Treeki finishes getting the Double size working in the editor so we can see them that way too! Be sure to come see and thank the artists for this awesome work they are doing for all of you!
Some concern has been expressed about us continuing to put out new avatars when we don't have The Second Dreaming finished. I'll do a post soon about the state of TSD, but I wanted to explain again the difference between new Avatars and the development work. Money from Digo Market sales goes directly to Dragon's Eye Productions to pay for the day to day running of Furcadia. That would be new avatars and desctags and such. We have a minimum amount we need to run the company each month. Those sales pay for community staff, customer support, tech support, maintenance, events, health insurance, office expenses, taxes, accountants, server machines, softrware and everything else it takes to run a company. That is a lot more money than you might expect.
Since the recession, we've had to cut expenses over and over. That's why Gar, Felorin, Fox and Talz work elsewhere now. We could no longer afford them. While I have continued to work for DEP and Catnip, I haven't taken regular pay from either for over 3 years. Digo Sales have continued to drop though. Recently we also had to let Rei-jin go because we could no longer afford to pay her. Felorin had already been supplementing DEP funds from his own paycheck, but this month sales fell low enough that he needed that money to pay for the servers instead of Rei-jin. She also has a really excellent offer to work at another game company and I think this move will be wonderful for her. We will miss her so much though and it does add more work to the rest of the Team. However, we NEED to put out new avatars to keep sales up enough to keep the game running while we finish The Second Dreaming. DEP pays for the few artists who work on those avatars.
The Second Dreaming donations are actually kept in a totally separate bank account and are only used to pay for development on the new things. We have two full time contract Coders (Always our biggest expense), several part time staff members, and many lovely volunteers who are helping to save Furcadia using your donations. Felorin, Gar, Talz, and myself have not used any of TSD money for ourselves, even though we volunteer our time to the project as well. We also have to pay for taxes, accountants, software, fees and much else since this side of things are a business too. We are being very frugal and stretching the money as far as we can so there is time to finish everything! All of the staff works for way under the going rate for what they do, if they take money at all. Like those of you who donated, we do this for the love of the Furcadia community and all it has given us. We are confident that we will get TSD client out and Furcadia will grow again, but until it does, we need to keep the Digo Market bringing in money and donations to TSD fund help as well! Felorin likes to say, everyone wants to have fast, good and cheap, but you can only pick two. We have chosen quality and inexpensive, which means it will take longer to get work done but never fear, we are making excellent progress!