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fgnm

How to find investors to build a very expensive game?

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Hello!

Almost two years ago, I've imagined a game. Something that goes quite beyond the simple idea of "game", I've imaged a community, a society. I've spent the last two years to make a project of my idea. I've built a document where I explain everything about it: any functionality and gameplay.

Soon I've realized that this "social revolution", as I have in mind, cannot be created by a single person (or few) and cannot be created with a little investment (100k$ are very few...). So, now that I've finished the project and all the design I'm wondering: how can I produce that?

A very hard question for me, and I need some help. First, I'm a programmer (soon will graduate in MoS in Computer Science), but I'm a designer too. So, for many aspects I can contribute in the development not just as a game designer or producer but also as programmer and technical. Indeed, there are some core function that I must develop from myself (i.e. the in-game currency that should follow my own algorithm).

What I need? I need just someone that believe in my idea and sees how big could be. I've designed everything, from landscape to gamers' psychology, and I'm sure that if I will explain my project to anyone smart, he/she will understand its potential. An important thing (I hope :D) is that my primary aim are not the monies but improve people's life, the game could be of course a gold mine just as like Facebook. I'm willing to transfer all royalties to anyone will accept, a pact that it will be developed exactly as I want.

So, the real question is: where I can find investors in gaming industry? (Events, forums, chats, anything I can use to find the person I need) Have you any tips? Have you some real life examples?

Many thanks, we can discuss :)

 

I hope that this is the right section, if not, please move my thread.

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Posted (edited)

Short answer: Forget it.

Long answer: Finding an investor is genuily hard, they usually invest in teams with experience, i.e. people who have worked in a leading position on one or multiple successful games in the past. You may have luck if you have a small project that requires $100k or less but since you are looking for an investment of I guess more than $1 million you have a higher chance of winning the lottery than finding an investor.

You will need a prototype anyway. You can then try to get money via crowdfunding and investors will probably contact you if your campaign is successful. But getting there is already hard and you will need money, probably in excess of $20k, just for the marketing and PR for your crowdfunding campaign.

But realistically you won't get more than maybe $200k with that approach since it is your first game. I know of a team who got something between $100k and $200k and those people did kind of lie (claimed to have experience and a large team when in reality the people with the experience were freelancers and the actual team without freelancers was just 2 people - the CEO and the CEO's little brother who was hired as a programmer despite him having little experience).

Edited by Magogan

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2 hours ago, fgnm said:

Have you any tips?

I wrote some here. How much industry experience do you have? How many industry contacts? Got a business plan? How much can you invest for starters?

2 hours ago, fgnm said:

I hope that this is the right section, if not, please move my thread.

Done.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Tom Sloper said:

I wrote some here.

That piece is from 2003, updated in 2010. While it sounds like reasonable advice to me, I'm curious about to what degree it still applies today? It feels like a lot has changed in the games industry: Crowdfunding, Unity & UE4, Steam Direct, ...

Edited by Magogan

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3 hours ago, Magogan said:

While it sounds like reasonable advice to me, I'm curious about to what degree it still applies today?

All of it. Crowdfunding can be added (not substituted for something in the article). Engines are irrelevant to the question.

 

A lot of the links in that article had gone dead, so I've deleted them.  

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Your document: does it have rough estimates for hardware, personnel (full-time and contract), and art needs as well as a timeline ranging from:
Demo that's a proof a concept on one platform-> to....(in the order that suits you, your project ) multiple platforms, multiple languages, scaling for multiple users, marketing projections and costs, etc. 

I've been with a startup (now scrubbed from the Internet)--not a founder, but far from the last hire--and from my limited experience, if I were a potential source of funds, the first thing I would do with your document is turn to the appendix where the projected schedule and cash need breakdowns are present. Even with the expectation that the estimates may change wildly, if that doesn't look really well thought out, prepared, no idea or presentation will be compelling enough. 

What you learn in your research and preparation of this appendix may be more valuable than much of your technical knowledge. 
 

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29 minutes ago, Mosker said:

if I were a potential source of funds, the first thing I would do with your document is turn to the appendix where the projected schedule and cash need breakdowns are present. Even with the expectation that the estimates may change wildly, if that doesn't look really well thought out, prepared, no idea or presentation will be compelling enough. 

What you learn in your research and preparation of this appendix may be more valuable than much of your technical knowledge. 

Absolutely. Investors want to know what the plan is, so they can decide if they want to risk their money on it.

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Thanks to all who are answering! 

I'm writing a business plan and I've estimated around $1 million to create an alpha with most of features, even able to generate some revenue.

13 hours ago, Tom Sloper said:

How much can you invest for starters?

I can work for 2-3 years, as graduate it's quite easy to find a good jobs in Computer Science, both as freelance and as employed.. But I need experience, you right. On design point of view I can choose the things I need, but I lack in partical. So, I have to do some quality games, small, but good, even just to have a name in this industry.

Meanwhile I have to do a prototype... that's could be the hardest part, because I've just two friends that could help me but they are graphics.

13 hours ago, Tom Sloper said:

I wrote some here.

I'll carefully read this, many thanks!

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2 hours ago, fgnm said:
15 hours ago, Tom Sloper said:

How much can you invest for starters?

I can work for 2-3 years

In other words, "zero." Not having any money to invest yourself greatly reduces your chances of getting investors. It's looking like Magogan's short answer is the answer to your question. 

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1 hour ago, Tom Sloper said:

In other words, "zero." Not having any money to invest yourself greatly reduces your chances of getting investors. It's looking like Magogan's short answer is the answer to your question. 

Yes, I've understood... But work = money to invest myself -> chances of getting investors, am I wrong?

It should be what you have explained in the link you've post. Education first, then experience and finally a chance to achieve this goal... Why should I "forget it"? I've already a bachelor’s degree, and in the next year I'll get the master’s degree. I've already found some courses with my university about Business and Management that I'll follow after master’s degree... Meanwhile I can find a job in gaming industry to get: experience and monies, at least to create a prototype in order to start a crowdfunding campaign and then get some investors, or if I'm lucky, to get investors without the campaign... is it really so impossible?

I want just to point out that my idea is not a game as you intend. Of course, people will download it on their pc or console, and they will play it, but the project will not be limited to this, so it's not the umpteenth MMO on the market 😄.

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