Like the recent greywalkers kickstarter, if you play the demo and see the quality of the picture and animation and content they are trying to achieve at their kickstarter page, do you think the game can be created with 40k only?
The developers of Graywalkers said they have been in contact with a couple wealthy people who are interested in investing in the game's development if the Kickstarter is successful. (And they're officially funded as of today). Also, they're planning on putting the beta up on Steam Early Access at some point, so they may have some additional funds from that. So I'd guess their total dev budget will end up being something like $250K or more.
Btw, if anyone hasn't voted for Graywalkers on GOG wishlist please do so: http://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/graywalkers_purgatory
I'd really like to see the DRM-free version here.
Another point of interest is that the hourly rate for developers where they are is significantly lower than in Europe and the US so they get more bang for their buck.
They have also been working with pledgers from their first campaign to collect funds to keep the project afloat while they got ready for their second attempt at kickstarting it. Combined with the funds they already put into the game, essentially they are asking for enough money to finish the game, not to develop the whole thing from scratch.
After talking with them about this following their first failed Kickstarter campaign I think they will be able to finish the game at that cost, though covering their entire investment is likely to require a certain amount of sales outside the Kickstarter but that is the way game development has worked for quite a while.
I think Early access and post release sales projections are perfectly legitimate tools to incorporate into the development plan. For many developers Early Access e.g. is providing access to beta testing at a scale they have not be able to before, along with some income to cover incidental work and delays (which let's face it, are likely to happen, after all programming hasn't moved far enough from punchcards to be qualified as easy or predictable).
I am confident, and the team are nice guys with a lot of passion for the project. I think it will be a great game once it arrives.