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June 15, 2022

Bunny Money

With Trust No Bunny’s beta on the horizon and a new in-game store just implemented, we thought it might be a good time to share some of our thoughts on how we’re going to monetize this game so we can keep developing and updating it for years to come. Now, there’s a lot of thinking that got us here, so keep reading for the full explanation – but here are the most relevant bits right up front and plain as can be:

Let’s get into the nitty gritty of how we arrived at all this.

Make games first, money second

We talked a little before about how Friendly Pixel began, and the kind of games we’re interested in making. To be honest, we weren’t really focused on the M word, because we figured we needed to create a really great game first before it was worth worrying about that. Fast forward a few months, and we’ve got a great little community that keeps on growing. And now we’re looking at not just the months ahead, but the years. Which means there’s a big question on our minds: how do we keep funding development for the foreseeable future?

Keeping the town gates open

We knew from the start that Friendly Pixel games would be best when played with friends, and we wanted there to be as few barriers as possible to getting in game with them. That’s part of why we made our alpha browser-based – it seemed like the single best way to make it accessible for everyone in your life, including folks that don’t have Steam accounts, or those who like to play on something larger than a phone screen.

Making it easy to get in game also meant no purchase required up front. Trials are important to any game, but especially to social multiplayer games like Trust No Bunny – so we knew that at the very least, alpha and beta (aka early access) wouldn’t come with a price tag. But what about after that?

Our goal then, and now, is to keep all Friendly Pixel games as low-cost as possible – or even free to play if we can swing it – and to provide a way for new players (like your friends) to try out the game for free. We still need to develop a longer-term strategy for financing the team, so we don’t want to count out SOME kind of cost for the full downloadable release version of the game – but we’re talking about single digit dollars here. When it comes to Trust No Bunny (and future Friendly Pixel games), we want it to be a stress-free decision to play AND purchase, with no doubt that you’re getting your money’s worth.

So if we’re trying to keep a potential price that low – how do we keep the team funded?

A tried-and-true approach

The Friendly Pixel dev team comes from a variety of backgrounds and experience, but one thing we all share is a belief that purely optional cosmetic items can be a legitimate way to fund a game’s ongoing development, launch, and even live service over years. So while it’s still early days, we’re setting our sights on monetizing primarily through cosmetics – the visual elements you can use to customize your avatar, spice up your playspace, and express yourself down to an exact vibe. And we can promise you right now that anything we offer for cash will never be pay-to-win or provide ANY in-game advantages (besides looking stylish as heck).

You’ve already seen the first cosmetic line: costumes for your Pixi avatar. We’ve been blown away by your reaction to the outfits we’ve come up with for these critters, and we’re planning to keep making ’em – but we’re also exploring a lot more than that! (Stay tuned for a separate article about cosmetics somewhere down the line…) And by the way – any exclusive or limited time costumes you unlock during alpha & beta will carry over to the final release!

Whether you choose to purchase them from the in-game store, or acquire them for free through other means, we’re hoping you end up with multiple costumes for every mood, whether as a pre-existing thematic set or as a mix-and-match combination from various parts in your collection.Once we fully launch Trust No Bunny, we’re planning to have a variety of collectible cosmetics you can unlock through a meaningful progression system, some seasonal / limited time options, and vastly more premium in-store content!

Setting up shop

While we have some grand plans for all the different cosmetics, we’re still deciding exactly how to price them, and we want to give it a lot more thought before settling on anything. However, we didn’t want to delay getting an in-game store implemented either (development does cost time and money, after all)… so the first item you’ll see available for purchase is a bit of an odd duck. Basically, it’s not a good example of how things might be bundled, priced, or even available in the future, so keep those expectations in check!

That said – the Town Founder’s Pack features two brand-new costumes you can only get through the store: the Busy Beekeeper and the Forest King! This pack is really just there for players who have the means and desire to monetarily support continued development of Trust No Bunny. Y’all are a wonderful community and we appreciate everyone who plays TNB no matter what – we don’t want anyone to feel obligated to purchase the pack!

There’s a lot more to consider when it comes to not only the store, but also progression, achievements, and the other systems that could be tied to unlocking collectible cosmetics. Once we’re in beta, we’ll do a deeper dive into how all those systems will work together!

Trust is the most important investment

In Trust No Bunny, it’s part of the game that everyone’s motives are suspicious. But when it comes to the Friendly Pixel team, we never want that to be the case. For us, the most important thing is the trust of this community, and we’ll strive to keep it by communicating as actively and transparently as possible. We’ll no doubt need your patience; game development can be complicated and messy sometimes. But we promise to do right by you, the time you invest playing our games, and any money you decide to spend on them.

So if you like the sound of that – hop in and let us know what you think of all the above.

Thanks for reading.