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Indie Game Publishers

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I have a personal game in the works and another game I would like to start. I have a few years in the industry as a programmer but just can't quit my day job at this stage to chase my dreams of indie freedom.


So I have been seeing many announcements on publishers who focus on indie game developers. I am aware of the indie-fund but it appears to be a "we come to you" relationship. Also I heard of GOG.com's deal where they give you money and set revenue share to 60/40 until you pay back, then it goes to 70/30. And of course the OUYA's kickstarter 50k fiasco.


Does anyone have experience with indie publishers? Or major publishers who are willing to make small bets?

What range of money should I expect?

What revenue share would they want? Would they want to own IP (I know major publishers do)?
Do publishers give money upfront, milestones, or some other split?

Am I way too inexperienced to be talking to a publishers?


My game that is in progress nearly has the multiplayer portion done, with lots of customizable AI to fight against. I was planning on submitting it to IGF, but I am very confident there isn't enough substance without the single player portion to become a finalist/honorable mention. From previous experience, I believe I could finish both games on multiple platforms in ~6months (given I outsource art/audio).


Let me know what you think. Also feel free to move this if this is the wrong section

Edited by emcconnell

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Don't bother.  Publishers are dangerous, you might get a genuinely nice and charitable deal somewhere but its not likely.  Some smaller companies will all-out rob you in the worst case.  But even the trustworthy ones are only in it to make money out of you.

That said the GOG deal looks pretty good.

Kickstarter can be good, but also has its risks (failing the target, paypal freezes, angry backers etc)


If you think you can finish the game in 6 months and are working alone then why do you even need funding?  I recommend you work a part-time job (not a programming job) to keep yourself afloat and just work at it.  You'll be much better off for it when you've finished.  The goal when making a game should be to make it with the minimum of help and funding as possible.

Also depending on the type of game, alpha-funding works wonders.


Good luck!

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You can get the money in a lot of ways


Crowed sourcing, like Kickstarter:
- if you are not well known, you need to be able to show case that you can do it, proof of concept, not talking pretty pictures, in game footage that you are in the game.

Check this link out for help for making a kickstarter: http://99u.com/articles/7143/kicking-ass-taking-donations-9-tips-on-funding-your-kickstarter-project

With kickstarter, be prepared to put A LOT of time into it. People I talked to who made a kickstarter tell me it's a full time job for one person, at least. And research other successful kickstarter and see what they have done.



- Angel investors, people who has a lot of money and want to invest, taking a bigger risk, but want more in return. They usually range between $50-100,000 as investment and they want around 130-150% back on their deal, a few years later of course. You could be able to find a angel investor who wants to be your mentor as well, helping you out with your idea.


- Investors: Other investors will probably take your company and your IP, better watch out what the contract says.


- Bank loan - If you have a good credit, you can take a loan without security and get the game started, sure, not as nice as investors who you could convince that you need a few more months to pay back, Banks, not going to be easy.


- Funding - In Canada and in Sweden, there is different government and companies who gives out funding, some is "free" money, you don't need to pay it back, but you need to prove that the money is going to the project. Some is they lend you the money and they ask for the money back and a bit more in return, usually around 5-15%, if I remember correctly

- Family and friend, if you really believe in it, ask your friends and family for it, they love you (I hope) and they usually support you for your first project, goes well in hand with crowed sourcing.


- As Spacejim said, you can take a part time job, you can do a programmer job, as long as it says in the contract that you can keep your IP and also work on other projects. Start making connections with other people around the industry to have them help you out, convince them that it will make profit and they will get a share. I'm thinking that you are a programmer, usually programmer don't have a strong sense of art, if you are great at art, AWESOME! Keep at it!


Think that pretty much covers everything, if you want to know more about something, please feel free to contact me =)

Edited by HeroBiX

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You can generally self-publish an indie-game. I'd also recommend that you do that with your first titles.


Part of the reason is that it will force you to grease a lot of 'wheels' you might not know about.

PR comes to mind. Though a Publisher can help in that regard, it doesn't hurt that you spend your first few projects trying to understand how it all works, otherwise, you won't have a great relationship with your publisher anyway.


Is your game on indieDB? Do you have a Devlog on your own website (or elsewhere)?

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