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Ran out of funds for my video game

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Hey Guys,

 

So I have been developing a video game and I have invested a lot of money into it (I have a lot of concept art, a full soundtrack built, about a quarter of the 3d models I need and I have been programming some gameplay).

 

However, I have ran out of money and I would like to know how to raise funds.

 

I would go with Kickstarter but I am not sure I can provide items in return as we are low on money.

 

So can I get in touch with a publisher to fund the game or would I have to go down the kickstarter route?

 

Thanks,

Jacob

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Getting crowd funding, investors or skilled help will all depend on how promising your game looks.

If you work hard on the game and people see that you will take it to the end, they will be willing to help you by investing there time and money on it.

 

 

A other option is to look for partners, artist often spend there free time on projects like this. The down side is that they won't work for you full time and that you will have to share the profit.

Unskilled labour is also a option, newbies looking for experience. You won't get AAA quality but it's better than nothing.

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If you have a unique idea and are good at presenting it, you might want to look into what options there are for government funding or other public institutions. Unfortunately I have zero knowledge of what options there are outside of Denmark.

 

Assuming you have something somewhat similar in your country you should look into the application process, and also try to contact developers who have already received similar grants, to get a better idea of what is expected of you. In Denmark the Danish Film Institute gives two types of grants, one for idea development ~10k€ and one for project development ~20-80k€, none of them are particular high, and far from what is needed to complete most full games. But it is enough to reach a point where you can get in touch with investors. Or develop a decent game if you live on cup noodles.

 

This being said, I have no clue if anything similar exists in your country, and if it does the competition for those money are still tough.

 

Regarding the kickstarter, then no. If you've already run out of money then chances are you wont make it. If you have a super impressive idea, with a ready playable demo and polished content you can showcase then maybe, but a lot of successful kickstarters hire outside consulting, and you should dedicate a month or two alone to prepare the campaign = three month close to full time work + if you succeed you have to communicate with the community afterwards. There are tons of talks on this though, so I think google can say this better than me :)

 

 

Most conferences also have some pitching tracks or competitions, that sometimes yields money, but more often they are great ways to showcase your game to potential investors/get a second opinion.

 

But first contact other new/smallish developers in your country, and ask what they did.

Edited by VildNinja

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It really depends on how far you are from a playable demo.

I could just say you did poor project planning and budgeting, if you ran out of money, but that would be if I was a hard ass.

 

Honestly, best option, given the limited info, would be to find some job, and fund it yourself.

 

Now you get to see how much your really want it.

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I would go with Kickstarter but I am not sure I can provide items in return as we are low on money.

The only item you need to provide is your game.
However, a kickstarter campaign is a lot of work. You'll probably want to spend a few months working on the content for it, including hiring people who can do professional video work for you... and running a successful campaign will be almost a full-time job for a month too.

You won't get external funding, get a job to fund it.

No indie project ever, has gotten external funding? Really?

 

Plenty of countries, states, and even local town councils have entrepreneurship grants that are basically free money for struggling local businesses. Sometimes you can get enough money together to pay for anything from a small marketing campaign to half an entire game project by simply asking nicely and doing some paperwork properly.

Plenty of publishers have bought the work of independent studios.

Plenty of investors have gambled on equity in independent studios.

Even Sony/MS hand over cash (with few or many strings) to people who ask them in the right way.

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What is your budget for your game?

Did you plan a budget beforehand and try to stick to it, and have gone over budget, or did you not plan in the first place and have just spent until there is no more to spend?

If you've gone over budget how much more do you think you'll need?

Are you a business and have you considered approaching a bank for loans or other planned business funding?

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+1 for getting a job and +1 for DIY.

 

Both are very important things for Indies that do not have enough in their coffers to spend on contractors or to keep working on their game 100%.

 

Both can be very hard and longer routes.

Learning 3D Modelling for a programmer can be a steep learning process, just as the other way around. But there are things that are easier to do than others. Learn what you can do effectively as a beginner or intermediate "Programmer artist", and then only farm out what you cannot do yourself. That might already cut the cost considerably.

Working a part time job to pay the bills can be both make your game take double as long to develop, and coming home after work and sit down working on your game dev stuff can be tough sometimes. But being able to develop your game while knowing you will not go into the minus on your bank account unless you hit that impossible release date, at least as long as you keep that job, can also be a much less stress ridden expierience.

 

 

I wouldn't go into a Kickstarter unless you have a considerable warchest to spend on the Kickstarter or many months to prepare it yourself. A Kickstarter needs to look and feel professional, needs to be prepared well, and yes, you need good incentives to make people pitch for your game. I feel its nothing you can pull off with a bare bones campaign, unless you are a big name like Molyneux. Then you might excite people with some concept scribbles and a short text because "its a game by Molyneux, what could go wrong?"

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Regarding crowdfunding campaigns, I agree with everyone who mentions that Kickstarter is indeed a lot of work, needs careful planning and a strong community.

There is a new platform, Brightlocker (https://www.brightlocker.com/?aid=231ddf) which has a different take on the crowdfunding aspect, since it is not limited to a 1 month campaign. It still requires quite a bit of work, but you can tweak everything a lot more during the campaign, and slowly build the community as the campaign goes. Additionnally, it brings in monthly revenues from people subscribing. 

Regarding the rewards for crowdfunding campaigns, usually, developping a game provides quite a lot of opportunities, with the artwork, the soundtrack, and adding exclusive content, or offering to work with you to design some content to people. Additionally, with BrightLocker for example, you can also offer people to have short one-on-one chat sessions with you and the rest of the team (if there is a team), to ask you anything. 

If I was in your shoes, and assuming I needed money quickly to pay rent and food, I would find a basica job to pay the bills, and in the meantime prepare and start a BrightLocker campaign to get more funds for the game. Additionally, as VildNinja said, depending on where you are, there are quite a few options to get government funding. If you are based in Canada, I can give you more info on that.

And Finally, you have aquired skills by developping a game, and taking on this specific adventure, that others will be interested to learn from you. This can also be an interesting revenue stream, in a mid to long term strategy.

Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss all those aspects in more details!

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