On this week’s episode of the podcast Pontus Mahler, the director of business development at GlobalTopRound, came on to discuss some of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to getting funding for your indie game. Funding can be an intimidating part of the process but in many cases is necessary to get your project both finished as well as improving your chances at success.
The first thing the group discussed was how before attempting to go to outside sources for funding is to use as many of your personal resources as possible that way you can have the best build or demo of your project to later show off to investors or publishers. Another key piece of advice was to be able to know what your pitch deck is before you start working on it. Think about who and what you’re targeting and be sure to be specific and do research. When pitching your game you have to have research on why your game will succeed based on genre or regional demographics, etc. This can be expanded on through what makes your game unique, what you’re doing better than the competition, how your game’s mechanics and progression affect the player’s experience, etc.
Another big thing to note is that Pontus suggests including a slide on your pitch deck about your plans if your project is a huge success. It may seem like you’re getting ahead of yourself with plans for DLC or sequels but publishers like to see how the project could become more long-term. Pontus also talks about how you should have a breakdown of where all your funding will go, he mentions that you should be sure to include a reasonable salary for both you and everyone else that is a part of the team.
One takeaway from this episode of the podcast is the ways in which launching a Steam page before your game’s official launch can impact your options within the future. Some publishers will absolutely refuse to become involved with your game if there is a Steam page as it means they no longer have full control on the message/marketing. On the other hand, if you do have a Steam page publishers will want to know how big of a community you have through wishlist, twitter, discord, etc. These are important to keep in mind as you move forward and understand that there is no “right” decision on having a Steam page early or not.
All and all this episode of the podcast really emphasizes having a plan for your development cycle and doing research before reaching out for funding. To truly be prepared there should be no aspect of your pitch deck that you are unsure about, especially if you want to impress and win over potential publishers. It seems to be the best course of action is to thoroughly research every part of your pitch deck and review it before seeking out funding.
Before looking for funding always exhaust all other personal resources to make the best demo/build possible. Once funding is secured you can pay back friends/family who helped fund your project.
Research research research! Understand your demographic both geographically and overall genre you are trying to appeal to. Also back up every point in your pitch deck with research rather than simply stating your game will be successful because you worked hard.
Always plan ahead. Publishers will be impressed to hear that you do have plans if the project is successful. Potential DLC or sequels should at least be considered in your pitch deck as they can imply confidence in your idea as well.
Understand that whether you have a Steam page or not before looking for funding will influence what options you have. Start building a community around yourself as soon as possible so you can show publishers and investors that you have a following interested in the work you do.
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