How To Get Your Indie Game Funded (Without Using Kickstarter)
Let’s take a look at some really cool things that I think most Indies should know about. I think it’s really important that you understand your different options when it comes to funding a game. A lot of us have jobs, and we like to work on our games when we come home. A lot of us have freelance gigs and we fund our games that way. Some of us like to use Kickstarter and stuff like that to fund these games. But there are a lot of different avenues and I want to kind of go over some of them. We can’t go over everything obviously because it’s so massive.
I want to go over a few things that I think are especially useful, that you may not have heard of, that will allow you to get some funding for your game. So one of the first things that I want to look at is the Unreal Development grants. The Unreal Engine is a popular engine out there. I love the engine although I don’t use it personally because I think it’s a little overkill for the kind of games that I make. But I know a lot of people that love Unreal, and they have these grants where they’re giving away 5 million dollars, which is 5,000-50,000 per indie with no strings attached. Literally, no strings attached. All you have to do is use their engine.
That’s pretty cool, right? I know a lot of developers, especially those that watch my videos, they’re already using Unreal. If you’re using Unreal, all you have to do is send those guys an email, and you could potentially walk away with 5 to 50 grand in funding to get your game there. Now obviously, I don’t want to oversimplify it. I don’t want to make it to seem like, you send them an email and they’re going to send you 50 grand, because it’s not going to happen. Your game has to look good, has to be uniquely new. Many of their funded projects are really cool.
Obviously, you have to have something about your game, you have to have an identity that stands out, you have to have some cool stuff to get funded. But this is here—this program is here, it’s waiting for you to take advantage of. If you don’t use Unreal, that’s cool. CryEngine has something similar. They’re giving away up to 1 million and their fund is very similar to what we just talked about.
CryEngine and Unreal both have ways for you to get money to fund your indie game. So if you need to get some money, it doesn’t matter what you need money for. It could be for assets, it could be for team members, it could be for just living costs while you’re trying to make the game. I’ve also found Chuckle Fish’s page for indie games. It also offers funding but it seems more for publishing.
The only reason that I show you guys this, even though I’ve never used any of it personally, is because these guys are legit. You’ve noticed some of the games they’ve funded.
A lot of these games are good selling games on Steam. So the stuff that they put out there is very high quality. I’m not affiliated with them in any way. If something happens, I’m sorry I’ve never used them, I’ve never tried any of. But I just want to show you some funding options.
I’ve heard a lot about the Indie fund. It has a lot of high quality people on it. There’s this guy that did World of Goo, there’s Jonathan Blow who did Breed, and there’s Tommy who did Super Meat Boy. There are a lot of really cool developers on this fund. Essentially, they’ll give you money in two payments.
First payment’s upfront, and 2nd payment closer to the completion when the first one runs out. What they want is 25% of their revenue for 2 years until they double their investment. That’s all they want. Then if 2 years passes and you haven’t made back their investment, you don’t have to pay them back anything, and you get full revenue. I think it’s a really fair deal, to be honest. Especially if you need the money to finish development—if you need the money for teams, or assets, or anything, this is a really cool program.
And I know people that have said very positive things about this, so this is something that you should really check out and think about applying for—if you fit some of the criteria. The criteria is very easy, and I love that these guys have made the obligations very clear. Because a lot of times contracts like this are ridiculous, and they have hidden shit in there, and they got a user game for promotion, and there’s all kinds of clauses. It doesn’t seem like that with this. It’s like, “We’re going to double our investment and you get your shit back.” And that’s really cool because then they can fund more indie games from double investment.
In addition to the funds that I’ve mentioned, there are also publishing options. And publishers like Congregate, for example, has a program called Launchpad says it offers funding but it’s more similar to publishing in the fact that they offer certain things. A lot of the web portals have a program similar to this, where they’ll take on your game. Sometimes they’ll give you a lump sum, but sometimes they give you support that’s not financial. They’ll help fund marketing, or they’ll use their audience to help market, which is, in my opinion, better than money sometimes.
From a marketing standpoint, when you’ve got a player that’s someone this huge, that has all these people wanting to play games, they’re right there, they’re waiting. I think it’s pretty awesome to get them involved. So Launchpad is high quality web games. But Launchpad X is really cool because these guys want little crazy games which Indies are great at doing. Crazy or out of the box little games that you’ve never thought of before. And they’ll really help you out. One of them is funding.
So that’s something really cool to look at, but all of these look very promising. But these guys have a lot of big names behind them, so it’s worth looking at. I know for a fact that Unreal Fund and the CryEngine funds are both very credible indie funds. I’ve heard this from a lot of. This is stuff that a lot of Indies don’t know exists. I wanted to share with you guys because I think it could be really cool if you’re looking to get funded. I know a lot of us turn to Kickstarter or Indiegogo or some of these other things. But a lot of people don’t realize how much work that is; Kickstarter is not a marketing campaign.
Kickstarter requires a marketing campaign just to get kick-started. Going through all that is almost like going through a game launch in a way, and you have to do 2 launches because you have to do your launch for your Kickstart and all that. So something like this seems a lot easier, a lot more straightforward. Obviously the criteria is going to be varying, and somewhat high for some of these projects. The production value of space project looks pretty high.
It’s worth a shot, right? You can send these guys an email, see what they say. What do you have to lose? There are other funding options out there, and I want to just share it with you guys and I hope you found it useful.
I would love to hear your comments on this. If you have found anything similar please leave a comment below, or if you have any questions about this, I’ll be happy to answer them.