mazoku

Ideas for funding of small game dev studio

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Hello,

I have small (one person - me) game development studio that manages its existence and nothing more. Location - eastern Europe. I have some big plans but those plans require money and I am not the businessmen type. So I need a little help on this - ideas how to find money. And I want to mention that I am not actually sure that my accountant and our laws can handle crowdfunding. Help appreciated - money, food, ideas. :)

Mostly ideas for now. 

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You can try finding investors, but you need to already have some games and their potentials. They don't like prototypes unless you are one of the "graduates" from big, popular, reputable game developer/publisher. Usually it won't be just about games, but how your game development business can survive and worth money for investors to spend money for. Then again you said you are not a business man type, and with investors you got to deal with these folks more often than you think.

You can try making a quick, good game and find publishers to buy it or publish on your own. But this only works if you already have enough funding in the first place, which you ask in this thread.

Banks... in this type of business, don't or at least not yet, preferably no. :lol:

My last, most realistic idea is simply find a job (or use some part your current job's salary) until there's good enough money to run your business! :D

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@mazoku actually having a second/part job is making your goal more achievable - you want to be succesful? work hard and prepare for failures, have plan B. doing things based on pure luck is dumb. really really dumb. you want to be successful? then you have to be smart and do whatever steps you need to survive until you make second angry bird story of success.

so don't be dumb and always prepare for failures, do not avoid them. be reasonable, not optimistic.

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Its something of a habit for me to cut my plan B and bet everything on plan A. When I applied for the only decent computer science in only decent university in my country I've chosen to learn only this. They accepted only top scores on exam and I am from small town without decent education so it was fun. So if you don't bet everything you usually lose and live with plan B.

The current problem - no good plan A :)

 

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ok, i see it now - your problem is not about that you are not successful as you want to be. your problem is about your habits. tell me, are you currently studying or if not, how many years of working for someone else do you have?

this is serious question so please, answer with truth.

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My only other solution is you got to make some games now from whatever resources you have right now (which determines your scope) and start selling. This makes sure you have money to run your gamedev business without looking for investors, loans, or a job and keep on living. I mean, really right now.

You just got to do something, really quick, else you are stuck in chicken and egg situation. "I want to make a game but I don't have funding, I need funding but I don't have any game/anything to sell yet."

Let me tell you the truth about game business, or in fact, any business. Most often you may fail. Your plan may fail, your first or second game may fail, until you reach one success, that leads you enough money to reach another success. However, long before you reach one, you are already short in money, whether you got funding or not. So you need contingency plan to keep on surviving, even if it means you got to go back to your day job.

For example if plan A fails what should I do? If I need funding, can this funding fill me to my first and second failure so I can have the third? etc.

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Its unsuccessful because I had no experience in dealing with people or selling. Also I had plans to import and sell certain cosmetics in my country and I had initial success but the company that manufacture them  was closed. This was my backup plan and it was gone before the main one. 

Currently I don't have enough experience in dealing with people. I would like to hire people but I wont be able to manage them.  So I am focused on gaining experience and money. Will be great if I find some funding - for example EU fundings for small business. 

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Disclaimer : I'm no expert, although I've managed to successfully raise some venture capital funding for my company so I have a bit of experience with it.

Having said that... are you really, really sure that you really want to do this? It's important to know what you want to get out of it.

Nobody is ever going to give you money for free. It's always a tradeoff.

Firstly, it's going to take a lot of time and effort to get your first round of funding. When I first did it, I had a very strong background that helped me make a case that people wouldn't be wasting their money by giving some to me. Even then, it took several months to finalise our first VC deal. Think about it, several months. Do you want to spend several months trying to raise funding (which may or may not work out), or do you want to spend that time making a product that you can sell? It's really one or the other, you won't have time for both.

Secondly, all the money that you may get for example from "EU funding for small business", as you say, comes with some strings attached. In most cases, the EU funding will be for creating new jobs in your area. This will be different on a case-by-case basis, but basically it boils down to something like "for every 10k euros that we give you, you have to hire a new employee". But you said that you don't particularly want to spend your time managing people, so consider that carefully: if you are successful, you'll spend much less time coding and much more time managing people (after spending time trying to hire the right people), writing monthly reports for your investors, etc.

A lot of people that seek initial "seed" funding for their business, just do it to have some psychological reassurance, not because they really need the money. It's just to say "Hey look, someone has given me X amount of money to work on my idea, it means it's not such a crazy idea after all". It's just to validate your idea. Sometimes you want to prove this to yourself, sometimes you want to convince the people close to you. And it's great when it works out, but it does come at a (big) cost. You've spent time and energy to get a good deal, and that's most likely affected your original plans - maybe you didn't want to hire as many people as you had to. And once you hired them, maybe you can't work on your original idea anymore because you need some short-term money to pay for the salaries.

To be honest, what was suggested above, i.e. find a part-time job to pay your bills and spend the rest of your time working on your projects until they're ready to ship and generate revenue, is not a bad idea in many cases - I wouldn't dismiss it so quickly.

Good luck :)

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I thought a bit how to answer to this. Its private matter. So no options to work, even remotely is hard enough. And salaries in my country are low enough so currently I am making almost the amount I would if I had a job full time.

A company can make much more wit less efforts, even now at the beginning its making a bit and growing. I can have much faster growth with some sort of funding. I am applying for eu funding, I hope it will work. 

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Patreon would work, but you'll have to make some great portfolio, something that bakers would want to support, not just simple games, but something big, or something that they are missing and would like to get - you'll have to show them best of your skill and years of experience. and this is pure luck, but at least it's better than nothing.

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Caution with EU funding, Patreon etc - back to @Gio 's point - if we spend our time looking for money that's time spent not making money.

@mazoku can you combine your gamedev passions and personal matter (privacy respected) to make something unique, compelling and of high social value?  I doubt many other gamedevs will have been exposed to such insights (so the supply will be lower) while perhaps there may be good demand for the result?  If a Business Plan is about solving a pain in a unique way you may have an advantage in that area?

 

 

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Thank you, I am working towards something certainly. Developing my own studio is fun. It could be great if I find a shortcut or a cheat :) 

 

Edit: EU fundings are not good stuff in my country as I learned today. So basically you offer half of the money and actually pay your needs and additional money to cover some requirements, hire consultants for months and years only to not get the money at the end. I visit a local office for EU programs and as I get it, something like this can kill small businesses. 

Is it really so crazy? So you must spent 2% of the money popularizing the EU programs in local newspapers and tv and so on, not your business but the program?! 

Disappointing 

 

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