Katanas & Trenchcoats: Endgame

Alright, it’s now April 2nd, so I can speak some truths with only the normal amount of skepticism. :)

Spoiler: I’m gonna reveal parts of the joke. If that’s not your bag, you really should turn away now.

At the time of me writing this (which is just after midnight on April 2nd), I’m around $700 in profit. That’s a rough guess, as I haven’t had time to do any serious accounting on this in the last 24 hours. Anyway, remember this part of yesterday’s post:

Merely Part One…

There’s more to this announcement than meets the eye! An entire second post will have to happen to cover the majesty of it, which’ll be up tomorrow. Let’s just say the children are our future.

Yeah, about that…

The profits from Katanas & Trenchcoats, Episode 1: Welcome to Darkest Vancouver are being donated to the Seattle Children’s Hospital.

This was the plan fairly early in the process, sparked by talking with Justin Achilli about being a part of the project, and him saying that he’d prefer if I gave his writing fee to a charity instead—with “like a childrens hospital” being one he was cool with. I loved that idea so much that I decided the whole project should be for charity.

SCH has treated friends and family of mine really well, so I have a person (if indirect) connection to them. That makes me happy to put what would be my gains to the SCH. Some of the other writers are doing the same thing, which is cool!

Why not announce this yesterday?

It took days of work to get many of you to believe that a release on 4/1 would be a real product. If I just released it on 4/1 without the days of previews beforehand? Possibly would have fallen flat, or at least been a crazy slow growth at best. People laughed with the leaks, and a good time was had. I didn’t want to make that weird by, too early, saying “hey, also charity!” And if I mentioned that on 4/1, there would be enough skepticism and assumption of dishonesty regarding the message that it would just be a mess. So today, the earliest I can do it without fucking up the joke, is when I tell you that I’m doing this thing with the money. :)

Why am I doing this?

Here’s my thing about April Fools Day stuff: I loathe pranks. I love shared, good-spirited laughter. Katanas & Trenchcoats is us laughing together, cheering together, having fun together. Since I have a day job that allows me to not worry about which bills I don’t pay on a given month, I don’t need this income—so rather than just line my pockets with it, I’d rather keep that good spirit going by giving it to a worthy cause, while also paying back my creative team for making this amazing thing.

(That does mean I’m not investing profits into other K&T things or doing what companies do when they have profits, so this is not from a business perspective healthy. Thankfully, right now I’m not trying to run a business.)

The Origin of the Editions

The only reason I could do something like “pay double for almost literally not more, but it’s called Premium!” came after the decision to make this a for-charity project. At that point, we didn’t know what Grandeur exactly did, but once we did it made sense that being Premium is totally a Grandeuresque thing. :D

The Immortal Edition came from “well, why do Kickstarters get to have all the fun of special exclusive releases?”, which became solid once I decided we were gonna do this Premium thing. I was not at all expecting 50 orders to happen at all, let alone in a few hours. That alone paid the production costs and then a little more.

What About Me?

I’m keeping a tiny slice beyond the writing and development fee I’d charge another company—enough for a nice sushi dinner as a way to repay my wife for putting up with “No, honey, I’m sure a 16-page comedy project won’t be that much work.”

(Yes, it was 16 pages. Then 20. Then 24. It kept growing.)

I learned from my first book, Finis: A Book of Endings, that it’s wise to declare a cap on charity stuff. So I’ll probably turn it back into a kept-profit deal at the end of the quarter, since the sales will be dull by then.


Also, the game is actually functional. That’s worth explicitly calling out. While it’s a joke, and there are some weird-ass things in the book, the core of the game was tested fairly hard in the compressed timespan I had. I started K&T as an actual project around the middle or end of January, after someone jokingly suggested it would be a good April Fools Day thing.

I would love to get behind-the-scenes on this! But instead of blogging, that’s probably better as some podcast interviews.

Anyway, be well y’all.


– Ryan


One Response to Katanas & Trenchcoats: Endgame

  1. Alyssa Hillen says:

    I’m actually really sad I didn’t spring for the Immortal edition now – and I think this is a really great, really fun project. The fact that it benefits a charity is just icing on the ridiculous, 90s-themed-cake. Keep up the good work!