I know this is a bit early to be asking, but do you have a ballpark figure in mind for the Kickstarter? Closer to $100,000, or $10,000?
It really depends on the studio and what their costs wind up being for whatever the final selected style is. There are over 4,000 pieces of art that need to be transitioned as it stands (though a lot of the particle effects and some other minor things like that can remain), not to mention we then need to also have a budget to continue to do art for new enemies and objects and such as we develop out the game further. Arcen can cover a certain amount of that, but depending on the style we go with we're increasing our cost-per-enemy by quite a lot. As it stands, for us to code you a new enemy and do all the art and such typically costs between $20 and $100.
It could be more like $400 per new enemy in the new system, depending on who we go with and what art style we choose; which is why we'd need extra money to carry us further with development of new content. We don't want to hit a point where we simply can't proceed anymore because the code is willing but the art is just too darn expensive.
My gut tells me that $80k to $100k ought to be in the ballpark of what we'd need for this, but I could be undershooting it depending on the style chosen, etc. For a bit of perspective, bear in mind that I've already personally invested more than $200k into this project, or even as high as $300k depending on how you do the accounting (depending on how you allocate various costs, you can make accounting numbers say all sorts of things, eh?). The largest cost for this game has always been the essentially R&D efforts to come up with new ideas and gameplay mechanics, and because we're small that left no room for an art budget that could have easily made the project incomplete-able prior to this point. Remember that we've been working on this project for 18 months straight at this point, with pretty much 3 people fulltime most of that time, and 5 people fulltime for about half that time at this point. That costs.
Anyhow, the $80k to $100k is just my gut ballpark feeling -- this game has a lot of art already, and frankly it has far less art than I'd like it to in order for the sense of exploration to really be palpable as you go through each region, etc. I'm investing probably between $1k and $3k on the prototypes for kickstarter alone (it depends on how far each prototype with each studio we really take this as to what final costs will be), and I look at that as basically art R&D costs since it's doing exploratory work on three different styles of art for the same scene.