January 04, 2013


It dawns on me today I overlooked some significant questions regarding being a developer, in particular a small dev. So today I start a series on actually getting your feet on the ground.

First thing first is you can't get far without some kind of funding. Funding isn't only money it's resources. Feel free to think outside the box on what you really need, what would you spend the money on. You'll need computers, so find perhaps a hardware company that might help you get some hardware in return for advertising in game somewhere or might sponsor you in exchange for something else. That's money you don't have to spend there and helps you along with your goals.

You also need programmers and artists, writers, etc. Establish a small budget or try various crowdsourcing sites to see what kind of talent you can get with what you already have. What you really need is just a very basic prototype up and running so you can start your pre production funding marketing. You take this to prospective investors as something to show to convince them their money is best spent helping you. Alternatively you can take it to crowdfunding sites like kickstarter to show the world where you're going with your idea.

There's also venture capitalists always looking for new businesses, and if you can get 3 to 4 of them together on your project they have great insight on how to get it up and running with the smallest cost and highest return. That's not to say just hand it over but collaborate with them and see what they think, as they make a living off of helping new companies start. Granted they do expect their returns from your first game sales but if you do it right that won't be a problem. The second important thing to remember is that they're also taking the risk that they don't get a return if you flop, and they're prepared for that so while they have a vested interest in your success they won't destroy your life if you fail.

There are other funding options, people who will help put up some of the money if you put up half up front if you have that kind of cash to begin with. Then depending on where you live various governments have grants available that you don't have to pay back that can be used for starting a new company. I'm in the United States and thus our government has a substantial number of grants available for new businesses. Really I'd say this is where you should start. If you're unfamiliar with the grant writing process there's plenty of information online, and even college courses, in particular public services like job corp or talent banks have education funding that can pay for these college classes. The only real trick is finding which grants to apply for, there isn't a limit but you have to know exactly what you're applying for, it's not like fafsa where you just fill out a form and you're automatically applying for all possible grants, you have to fill out a form for each grant you want to apply for and each form can be different so you have to do a little research. The good news is though is that grants never have to be paid back. 

Which brings me to my last bit, is that I've finally got a small budget together. If any programmers are reading this and know unrealscript or could learn, I can pay on a per project basis with negotiable rates, feel free to contact me.

1 comment:

  1. I don't get online often, but when I do I appreciate posts like this. Thank you for this informative run-down on funding.