In February I announced I'd be making a little "company donation" of sorts to the appeal fund set up by the Australian Red Cross to help victims of the bushfires that were ravaging the Australian state of Victoria back then. In short, I promised to donate 50% of the proceeds received by yours truly from sales of this game between Feb 7th and March 14th to said bushfire appeal.

Due to the inevitable lengthy delays involved in getting money from distributors and having it wired overseas, this little thing I've got going on called "final year of university", and me not having a particular fondness for doing complicated accounting (this was harder to sort out than you'd think), I hadn't done it until today.

Well, now I have. Which means I can reveal how much money we raised:

$1,055.02. That's one thousand and fifty-five dollars. And 2 cents. In Australian dollars - it's "only" about $837 in flimsy-green-paper-money* - but still, a grand is a grand! And this is a pretty grand grand! Cue rimshot. Lame puns aside, I'm seriously impressed it got that high.

(For the record, the sales curve shows that, as expected, my sales did not double during Feb 7th-March 14th - they merely continued their steep post-Steam-release decline - meaning that I now have less money than I would have if I hadn't done this. I did it for its own sake, not as a nefarious capitalist stunt as some people have claimed.)

Unfortunately the bushfire appeal which I was intending to donate it to actually ended before I received the money (doh!), so I rounded up to $1,100 and donated the money to the Australian Red Cross's "Where It's Needed - Australia" category, that being the closest available. Mea culpa. I hope nobody is too disappointed with the category switch.

And here's my receipt for proof (somewhat redacted, for all you stalker types out there - wave to the internet stalkers, everyone!), complete with nice form letter:

* Funny story: The first time I tried to put a US bank note in my wallet, I nearly shredded it in half by accident. It was a $50 note too! Didn't even notice until I pulled it out and tried to use it. The cashier was not impressed, but I brazened it out.
Adjusting to US money after having used Aussie money for one's entire life is difficult; pennies are annoying, and the bank notes are impossible to differentiate at a glance and will rip themselves to shreds if you give them so much as a dirty look. Now I understand why you guys felt the need to invent the credit card. (Us Aussies just ditched our 1c and 2c coins and started making our notes out of plastic.)
Next you can donate to the 'Nadrew is starving' fund. =P
You're surviving quite a while for someone who's starving - which is good to see, I might add. :-)

Ooh, BYOND blog comments are a little bit spiffier since last time I looked.
I manage, but I recently ran dry on food supplies. Been a few days since I last ate. Getting a little goofy now, heh.
It's probably a good thing that you've gone with another charity. The whole thing got to the point where there just wasn't anything more cash could do.

Crispy wrote:
(Us Aussies just ditched our 1c and 2c coins and started making our notes out of plastic.)

I think it's about time we got rid of 5c coins as well. I'm sick of them. I use them pretty much exclusively with ticket machines now simply because it's embarrassing to hand someone more than one 5c cent coin.

I know their money is worth more, but I really would have thought they would have ditched pennies by this point. I'm guessing people are paranoid about removal of 1c and 2c coins like we were in the early 90's (or was it late 80's?). I get that potentially stores may round prices up, but seriously a years worth of that sort of 'highway robbery' adds up to what, $20 tops? Is your dignity really worth it?
Not to mention that duh, it's $4.99 for a reason. If there's any rounding to be done it'll be down to $4.95 so they can keep it under a flat $5.
We still use pennies quite a lot actually, and I've had plenty of instances where collecting pennies was the only way I'd be able to eat.
I'm confused, you're doing your last year of uni in the US?
@DarkView: Yeah, apparently there has been talk at times of getting rid of them, but nothing ever happens. Same with the polymer bank notes - they ran some trials but it didn't really fly. Something about whether the public would accept non-green greenbacks. I guess Aussies are a lot more laid-back about these things! Also, we like to think of ourselves as a "clever country", so home-grown technology like polymer bank notes (CSIRO invented them) always wins public appeal points.

@Nadz: There are rules about how you're supposed to round which should cause the pennies to cancel out. So you could probably collect 5c pieces instead of pennies.

@Tib: No, I just visited San Francisco for GDC last year. =) I'm at home.
Ah, that makes more sense.


I'm fairly sure that the old one and two cent coins you see floating around are still legal currency in Australia. Same goes for the one dollar and two dollar notes that are still here and there. (Actually, we have a couple of them, but that was back during the times of paper money, so they are in very poor condition unfortunately. We also have circle fifty-cent pieces. =D)
US Paper money is quite durable. Working in retail I would regularly see bills up to about 40 years old that were still in decent condition. That said, I don't use cash except for private money exchanges anymore. Credit/Debit is so much easier.

Also, a "$50 note" is called a 50 dollar bill, or a 50 for short. A 5c piece is a nickle. Also, much of our money is no longer green. Although green is often the primary color, it is faded with other colors. Although I agree that paper is out dated, it is still cheap to produce and hard to replicate(when you take into account the "feel" of the paper). They could do away with the penny and I'm sure many people would be happy, but I really don't care, as I rarely use cash.
On the main topic, congratulations for getting it done. If you would like, I'll make a post on the BYOND Steam group to try to raise interest in it again. Perhaps I should organize a BYOND Steam group play date for it.
On the side topic, like Daniel.Beta points out, US paper money is actually fairly durable... Bills do tear now and then, but only either from very harsh treatment, or if they're simply really old and worn... They're actually more like a paper-esque fabric (being made out of cotton and linen, with other fibers woven in), and have a fairly decent tensile strength...

That said, though, I too have all but abandonned paper and coin currency in favor of debit/credit card use... If not for the occasional need to get something out of a vending machine that only accepts paper and/or coin currency (some more modern machines do indeed have a debit card swipe slot, but the majority still only accept hard currency), or the various other odd instances where an establishment does not have the capacity to accept card transactions, I could go the rest of my life without ever touching a bill or coin... Heck, with my paycheck being direct deposited into my account and all of my bills being paid electronically, I don't even ever need to set foot in a bank anymore...

As for the lowly penny, I'm all for its demise, and have been for most of my life (even before I made the switch to a virtually all-electronic monetary system) In fact, they're so low in my esteem that if I find one on the floor when cleaning up, I'm more likely to just throw it in the trash with whatever other refuse I've picked up, rather than keep it (sorry, Nadrew!) I honestly wouldn't mind having everything rounded to the nearest 5 cents (heck, lets get rid of that, too, and go to ten cent increments!) Of course, if everyone would just make the switch to all-electronic transactions, we could do away with all of the coins altogether, and not even have to round anything...
Tiberath wrote:
I'm fairly sure that the old one and two cent coins you see floating around are still legal currency in Australia.

I thought that they weren't legal currency but banks are forced to buy them off you (and obviously they can't give them out). So using them is more like people are buying/trading coins worth exactly 1c/2c than actually making a cash transaction.
I was pretty young when they phased them out so I might be wrong. I should probably just look it up on Wikipedia tomorrow.

Crispy wrote:
Also, we like to think of ourselves as a "clever country", so home-grown technology like polymer bank notes (CSIRO invented them) always wins public appeal points.

That and being able to refer to a $50 note as a pineapple. Big crowd pleaser. =P
That was my impression, too, DarkView. I don't care enough to look it up though. =)

Can't say I've heard the pineapple joke before!

@Danial: Right, thanks. I couldn't remember the US terminology for X-dollar-notes. (Which is how I intended "$50 note" to be pronounced - "fifty-dollar note".) I knew about nickels but I don't particularly like that terminology; it's just more words to remember. I actually had to ask a local to make sure I was using those terms (penny/nickel/dime/quarter) right, since we just don't use them here. I was right, mostly thanks to BYOND - I knew pennies were the smallest denomination in Britain so I figured they had to be 1c in the US, and a quarter is of course just a quarter dollar so 25c, but I wasn't sure about nickels and dimes until I remembered that 1 BYONDime was 10c. So nickels are 5c by process of elimination.

See? BYOND is edumacational!

We do refer to notes by their value too (like "fifty" for a $50 note/bill), but less frequently, possibly because it's ambiguous. A "fifty" is also a 50c coin. Our coins come in the same denominations as our notes: 5, 10, 20, 50. And 100, but you almost never see 100s.

Thanks for offering to set up some Mayhem Intergalactic games... it all helps! =)

@everyone leaping to the defence of paper money: Well, OK. That was the only one I managed to rip (probably because I was a lot more careful after that). Perhaps that particular ATM was just stocked with really old bills! Or perhaps my wallet is related to Chuck Norris. In all seriousness, I do think the polymer notes are stronger. I have become used to none-too-gently shoving them into my sturdy wallet and having them survive just fine apart from the occasional major crease (they flatten out OK eventually), so perhaps I've been spoilt by their unusually high tensile strength. Also, you can get them wet and it doesn't matter one bit!
I seriously think the hold up Americans have over getting rid of the penny is based on the way most of us think of the cent as being the lowest, and non-divisible, unit of currency. If you tell them that the penny will be eliminated, you will immediately be challenged with "Well then, how will you pay for something that costs $7.48 cents?" Most of us just don't get that this question is as easy to answer as "how do you pay for something that costs $7.48 and 6/10 of a cent?"

Americans think of a dollar as 100 cents. If you get ride of the penny, the nickle will still be "5 cents", but there's no longer such a concept as a cent. The dollar becomes twenty nickles, a non power of ten division. The quarter switches its definition (in peoples' minds) from 25 cents to 5 nickles. Us penny eliminators get a lot of resistance from people who don't want to jumble around all the values of coins, or do a bunch of magical rounding operations every time they want to buy gum (even though this already happens to the tenths of a cent tacked on via tax).

I'm not arguing that any of the above makes sense, only that it's the sort of thing you run into when advocating the removal of the penny. I say get rid of them. While we're at it, get rid of the dime (When the nickle effectively becomes a 1, the dime will become 2, and denominations of 2 have never fared well in America). Once that's done we can finally make a successful push for the everyday use of a $1 coin.

Crispy wrote (#14):
Also, you can get them wet and it doesn't matter one bit!

Same with our greenbacks. I regularly add to a "long term storage fund" which I keep in my apartment. To store these more easily, I iron the bills with my iron's high steam setting. They never have a problem with the water.