8 Nov 2011

Indie Advice: Don't Self-Fund

This post makes no sense to creationists
If you're making an indie game with the intention of making a profit then do not self-fund the whole project. This is the exact opposite route to that which I took, so you can count this in the "we learn from mistakes" category.

Think of seeking funding as a natural selection process. Normally this survival-of-the-fittest happens after you've spend time and money making a game, and it's available for sale somewhere. By learning the hard lessons early, you save yourself from bankruptcy and heartache.

If you have a game idea or prototype compelling enough that other people are willing to invest in it, then you will end up with a game compelling enough that the media will cover it and people will tell their friends about it.

If your game is not exciting enough to attract either traditional funding, crowd-funding, or pay-to-finish, then the chances are it's not going to be exciting enough for people to want to buy it. Just because you can make a game doesn't mean that you should.

You can save yourself a lot of money, effort and heartache by short-circuiting the design and marketing process by seeking funding after making a prototype. It might be hard to accept that no-one loves your game concept, but this is something that will be much easier to swallow before spending your life savings seeing it through to retail.

Seeking funding doesn't have to be a one-off event. Stick it on KickStarter, fail to get enough money, then tweak the design in your own time whilst still doing your day job. Try again, and maybe you'll have some momentum from the last time, and increased awareness to boot.