So much confusion about this, which is understandable.
There were two sources of money for the kickstarter, previously:
1. From the kickstarter itself.
2. From paypal, which doesn't get shown in the big total on kickstarter
At the time the campaign closed:
1. We were about $300 short of the fourth stretch goal (interplanetary weapons) on kickstarter.
2. We had enough extra from paypal at the time to put us $90 over the goal for interplanetary weapons!
That total was reached with literally 11 minutes to spare.
NOW the situation is there are three sources:
1. Kickstarter itself, which will not have its number rise ever again for this particular campaign.
2. Paypal, which can still take money -- and is presently at $411.
, which can raise money from addons and late pledges and so on.
It's entirely possible that by the end of January we could hit the fifth stretch goal. It's also entirely possible that we will NOT.
But at any rate, we plan on counting all monies in from these three sources as going toward the remaining stretch goal(s) until the game enters Early Access in late May.
When The Stretch Goals End
After early access starts, we'll probably cut off the stretch goals for the current funding round, because then we're getting into the area where I start actually getting paid back for some of the expenses I've incurred that the kicsktarter doesn't cover. The kickstarter covers plenty to finish the project, no worries there, but it doesn't cover the amounts I've already spent, or my otherwise-unpaid labor for various pieces over the coming months.
Most campaigns end their stretch goals when their kickstarter itself ends, although there are some notable campaigns that haven't done that. We're taking kind of a mixed approach, to reflect our mixed funding so to speak (I've footed the bill for well into the five figures on this project, to go with what backers put in).
Further Stretch Goals After Early Access
Whatever the case, however much funding is raised before early accessstarts, there's going to come a point where we go "okay, there's still more stuff we would love to do." Even with our first kickstarter with the $300k budget, that was already the case. We could work on this for years... as I suppose is evidenced by the first AI War.
At any rate, with the first AI War we funded this by periodically creating new DLC expansion packs that also then added new AI War Collection versions. This worked super well for us in the past, and we sold over 1m units of DLC through steam alone.
Unfortunately, with the way the Steam market is right now, I think that DLC released in a traditional manner would get lost in the shuffle. So we have a couple of options, which we'll explore later:
1. Roll the dice and do the DLC in a traditional "buy it when it's done" sort of way, but the first DLC might be the last (ala what happened to Skyward Collapse).
2. Go back to kickstarter to fund the DLC, and the size of the kickstarter determines how big the DLC gets.
3. Go for Patreon, and basically take the Dwarf Fortress model of "we give you ongoing updates and you collectively pay us for them as much as you are willing and able. Depending on how much is coming in monthly from the collective, that determines how much we can afford to work on it that month."
There are pros and cons to all three approaches. Both in terms of value for money for backers/patrons/purchasers/whatever, as well as risk for Arcen, as well as viability of adding to the game over the long haul. For the most part we're not going to really get into to deep of discussion of this until late next year when 1.0 is approaching and we're trying to figure out next steps from there. There should be a lot more clarity for all of us as to what makes the most sense for all involved at that time.