Tips For Crowd Sourcing Your Fund Raising For App Development

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by BravadoWaffle, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. BravadoWaffle

    BravadoWaffle Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2010
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    #1 BravadoWaffle, Apr 25, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
    Step 1: Using Kickstarter to Raise Funds

    Like most here, we have bootstrapped the development of our game RoboArena for the past seven months. Now we are ready to start spending some money for polishing, testing, and adding the final touches to the game.

    In order to do that we are turning to Kicstarter to raise some money. For those of you who don't know, Kickstarter is a cool platform where people pledge funds to help indie artists, developers, and inventors get their ideas off the ground. It's an awesome community, and I think it's a great place for indie iOS developers to raise some money and gauge market interest.

    Here's the link to our RoboArena Kickstarter campaign.

    Here's our goals of this campaign:
    • Raise $5000 for finishing the development of RoboArena
    • Build some buzz about the game
    • Build a core community of invested (literally) supporters who will help spread the word once it is released and drastically increase our chances of succeeding on an overcrowded app store.

    Kickstarter does three things for you, all of which are incredibly important:

    1. market research
    2. fund raising
    3. community building

    It lets you feel out your market by getting to pitch a game to real people and gauge their reaction. If it turns out you indeed do have a good game on your hands they will pledge money and help you offset development costs. These pledgers then become your biggest fans, will help spread the word, and are literally invested in your success.

    If your campaign isn't successful, either your game just isn't that appealing to others, or you need to hone your pitch and define your goals more clearly. Either way, you now know that you need to redirect your efforts and won't be wasting time on something that won't hit!

    If I could do this all over again, I'd start with this campaign and then develop from there. We've put seven months of our lives into a game that we love now, but have no idea how the market in general will react. If we had started with a kickstarter campaign we would have had a better feel for how people would receive our game, and some cash in our pockets too!

    I believe that crowd sourcing sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are going to become more and more popular in the coming year, especially for game developers!

    Up next: Tips to starting a strong Kickstarter Campaign...
     
  2. MrLeQuack

    MrLeQuack Well-Known Member

    Wow, this is cool stuff.I am really curious how your project goes.
    As I am currently developing my first game, I was thinking of using kickstarter but i don't think i'm ready yet!I am really not that confident that people will donate money to my project!
     
  3. layzerboy

    layzerboy Well-Known Member

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    You also dont want to give out too much considering people might take your idea and get their team to work on it whereas you are 1 person working only..
     
  4. MrLeQuack

    MrLeQuack Well-Known Member

    We are 2 people working on the game, but yeah that is also a risk!but kickstarter is definetly a good tool to fund your ideas!
     
  5. mr.Ugly

    mr.Ugly Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2009
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    well first good luck with kickstarter..


    to take step2 a bit erlier.

    yesterday earlier today there was no video of the game or you, just a text wall.
    but since then you posted a video so this is good..

    to get people pledge anything they should get to see whats they are paying for.

    i don't understand the previous 2 posters warning to be secret about your "ideas" , no one is gonna steal ideas.. no one is interested in your ideas..

    kickstarter is a platform to get people interested INTO your ideas, so you need to show your "hand" how else will you spark any interest..

    i find it always very amusing about indies beng so tightlipped about their next genious flops, which unique ideas seen dozen times before.

    so if you get funds throw what you have at the people, the more the better.. at the end you want their interested and their money.


    so good luck with the fund raising..
     
  6. BravadoWaffle

    BravadoWaffle Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2010
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    Thanks Mr. Ugly. I had the video live from the start, maybe they weren't showing it initially though, glad it's showing for you now! A video is essential as I'll be covering in the next step of the process. Hopefully I can get Hodapp interested enough in this to write about it on the main site. I think it will be of great value to the entire indie community as a whole! The more mainstream we can get this, the easier it will be for developers to get their great ideas funded!

    Everybody, PM Hodapp and tell him about this thread and that he should cover it for the good of indie gaming everywhere!

    I agree, when going this route, you have to show your hand. In my years of experience running my own marketing company, I've come to realize that copycats are by nature lazy. Generally they are too lazy to steal an idea. They will happily copycat something that is already proven, but they aren't entrepreneurial enough to go out on a limb and steal an idea. If they had that kind of vision, they'd be making their own games. Plagarism is still a concern though, so don't post your source code or your sprite sheets without some serious watermarks on them. :D

    Good news by the way! I've got pocketgamer.biz on the line and hopefully a few other sites interested in covering our campaign! If nothing else, this whole thing has been one of the most exciting ventures I've ever done!
     
  7. Noodler

    Noodler Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2010
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    Get a job perhaps?
    OR release equity from property?
     
  8. mobile1up

    mobile1up Well-Known Member

    Nov 6, 2008
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    Technical Director
    Munich, Germany
    i kinda agree with Noodler - i had to put my own cash down to invest into the Caveman development; while i could write all the code, i needed to bring in people externally for artwork and audio/music. it was a small investment - i took a risk with my OWN money, if it pays off.. we are yet to see. how about spending your time working on this and taking a risk rather than wasting time with a campaign that may never actually get anywhere?
     
  9. Eli

    Eli ᕕ┌◕ᗜ◕┐ᕗ
    Staff Member Patreon Silver Patreon Gold

    I think in order to drum up serious interest in Kickstarter you need a remarkably clever idea and an even better video to show it off. The reason I posted about Tweet Land is because I thought using Twitter as your random number generator was a really cool idea. In fact, all of the Kickstarter projects I've seen that I've been compelled to fund, or even link people to could basically be described as "Wow, I can't believe someone didn't think of this before." RoboArena just seems to be iterating on the turn based strategy genre, and doesn't seem to offer much that's new enough or exciting enough to make me be like "Take my money I need to see this project completed."
     
  10. BravadoWaffle

    BravadoWaffle Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2010
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    I agree a remarkably clever idea is an absolute must. Tweetland is a great idea, so is Turf, and so is No Time To Explain. Our idea isn't ground breaking, but hopefully I can manage to change your mind on the "take my money I need to see this project completed" front. :D I'll be getting an in game walkthrough video out soon that explains the unique mechanics and why it's of particular interest to board game fans. Think- words-with-friends style asynchronous gameplay meets cloak-and-dagger chess.

    What I would love to see though, is for indie crowdsourcing sites like kickstarter to become more mainstream in the development process for indie devs all around. Obviously, we all think we have an amazing idea, and running a campaign to raise some funds will GREATLY minimize the risk of failure. It will tell you very quickly if your idea actually has a chance of being successful and piquing interest, or if it will crash and burn.

    Like I said before, I would have much preferred to have done something like this far far earlier in our development process before we sunk hundreds/thousands of man hours into the project.

    That's why I think it would be hugely beneficial to the indie gaming community. It would inform gamers of where they can go to check out new concepts they would like to play, and help devs get invaluable insights early on in the developmental process.
     
  11. mobile1up

    mobile1up Well-Known Member

    Nov 6, 2008
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    no such thing as a "get rich quick system" - time to face reality.
    no risk, no gain. simple math - you are basically gambling with this stuff.

    if you sink hundred/thousands of man hours - your doing something wrong.

    this game looks very simple compared to some of the games i've seen larger studios do - you could whip it up in a few weekends. i've been developing mobile apps for over 10 years now, and programming in general for almost 25... i have a day job and i do Mobile 1UP when i find time - which, i make time for. if it flops; it flops. if it doesn't - at least i can get a beer from it. either stand up; take a risk - or don't bother.

    crowd-sourcing isn't going to change any of this simple mathematics - i'm sorry :)
     
  12. BravadoWaffle

    BravadoWaffle Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2010
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    #12 BravadoWaffle, Apr 25, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
    My question to you is two part: a) why risk your own money when you can raise funds? b) if you could increase the exposure of your app for free, build a dedicated fan base, get free market research, and get paid to do it, all with one campaign, would you?

    Frankly, I don't see a reason why not to at least try it out! It's not like any of the assets you generate for the campaign can't be reused in your marketing efforts later on.

    edit: i do agree, we've spent far too much time developing this app from the ground up and have put a lot of effort and thought into every aspect of the mechanics to increase the depth and replayability. It is our first time developing an app and we are learning as we go, and we've put a lot of love into it.

    I don't subscribe to the idea of volume over quality. I'd rather pour hundreds of hours into a single quality product than whip up consumable and forgettable apps over a few weekends. In the words of one of my entrepreneurial role models: "I don't gamble, I invest."
     
  13. mr.Ugly

    mr.Ugly Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2009
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    well personaly i don't like kickstarts as a platform because its us only.. and alienates well everybody outside of the us..

    but there are several like theese platform like http://www.indiegogo.com/

    or even the new and tiny game dev centered http://www.8bitfunding.com/


    and i disagree on this point



    what has funding todo with the casual market of iOS? i don't see any relation.. i doubt funding success means sucess of the game on the appstore.

    it only means that if it fails, someone elses money is burned..

    my biggest beef with thoose platforms is still that its a donation and no an investment.. you get nothing in return for your money (and no i don't count the swats) .. a paltform like this for investors would be more interesting imho.. but thats off topic..


    again good luck :)
     
  14. BravadoWaffle

    BravadoWaffle Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2010
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    #14 BravadoWaffle, Apr 25, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
    I didn't know about 8bitfunding, thanks for sharing them! This is exactly what I was talking about!


    My though there is that if you can convince enough people to fund you out of the goodness of their hearts, you've probably got a good idea. Plus you will have a dedicated fanbase from the start to help spread the word. Odds of succeeding on app store will be increased. However, at this point, that is still theoretical. I hope I can gather enough evidence to support it!


    A specific platform for Angel Investors would be awesome. There are a few major sites like that... I'll have to dig through and find them if you want the links. What I have heard is that when people have good ideas that attract enough attention on these crowdsourcing sites, VCs and investors contact them directly and ask to invest.

    edit: Here's three platforms for you to do some angel investing Mr. Ugly: VenCorps Go Big Network Go4Funding they're not necessarily micro funding platforms, that's a niche that has yet to be filled... hmmm... perhaps I have the idea for my next startup company!
     
  15. Noodler

    Noodler Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2010
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    #15 Noodler, Apr 25, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
     
  16. artcue

    artcue Well-Known Member

    Mar 30, 2011
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    Gamedeveloper, Co-Founder of Artcue
    Vienna, Austria
    #16 artcue, Apr 25, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
    I just checked kickstarter out....unfortunately you have to have an US bank account to be able to participate :( ( we live in Europe)....

    And I also think Hodapp is right, you have to have a brilliant idea too....
    well we should manage this part ;)

    In fact I think those sites are helping a bit to spread the word about your game, but I´m not so sure about the funding part.....
    8bitfunding for example doesn`t seem to rise more than 50 - 100 dollars per title......
     
  17. mr.Ugly

    mr.Ugly Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2009
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    so your going to steal my idea.. noooooo! :(

    and the investment pages should be game related not general.. a specific place for specific people.. with tight rules, similar to official funding here in germany by the states.. a review board to accepts project and declines them on quality etc. not some open stuff for the next image shuffle puzzler.
     
  18. MrBlue

    MrBlue Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2008
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    Check out AppBackr.com. Specific to iPhone/iPad apps. Investors get a return on their money if the apps sell. With their new catalyst fund, it solves some issues like how to put the money towards marketing.
     
  19. Eli

    Eli ᕕ┌◕ᗜ◕┐ᕗ
    Staff Member Patreon Silver Patreon Gold

    The thing is, if you have a brilliant idea I'm not sure a couple thousand dollars from random weirdos is going to make you any more or less successful.
     
  20. BravadoWaffle

    BravadoWaffle Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2010
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    Thinking you have a brilliant idea, and having independent confirmation that your idea is indeed brilliant by those who are willing to put their money where there mouth is, are two very different things.

    The whole idea of doing this early in the dev process is to see if you actually have a fighting chance at garnering the kind of interest you need to have a chance at being successful on the app store, or if your game will just get lost in the noise.
     

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