Indie Fund is GO!


Yay! Indie Fund is officially open for business!  We’ve opened up our submission process and are looking forward to seeing all the weird, amazing, surprising, silly, scary, titillating games you’re willing to throw at us.

  • xot

    Best of luck with Indie Fund! These are exciting times to be a small developer.

  • http://twitter.com/NachoLabs Nacho

    Amazing! I have complete faith in this project. I'm sure it will be remembered later on as one of the first true steps towards a legitimate, open game industry. You my good sires are doing good.

  • Alex Vostrov

    Great job guys. I'm self-funding right now so its out of the picture for me, but this is a major positive step for the community.

  • Jon

    Congratulations! Although it will be over a year before I have anything to work with, I can't wait to see what new and creative games this group will be funding. I'm positive that it will pave the way for innovative games that will be both a joy to play and an inspiration to the rest of us indies.

  • Can

    Good luck guys! I hope this encourages many more indie games to developed. Also, is it (or will it be) possible to donate to the Indie Fund? It would be awesome if you guys implemented it.

  • Roger

    You did not mention a deadline. You will obviously need to decide at some time about your investment, so a clear submission deadline would definitely make sense to all parties.

    • MatthewFBS

      We expect to fund 5-6 games over the next 2-3 years. There isn't a hard deadline, but the limited amount of funds means if you wait 2 years to show us a project we may be tapped out by then.

  • Kellee

    Hey Roger-

    You can see on the “apply” page we are looking to fund 5-6 games over the next 2-3 years. Until all of those slots are taken, we will be taking submissions!

  • Kurt

    I can make 2d/3d animations of my game ideas, but I can't really code, so a prototype is out of the question.

    Anyone know any competitions that don't require anything playable? Something like Activision's comp without the IP grab. I'd use the money to start a team, of course.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/YBJDXABFOPN2TR363AZ5HKNX5E Shokuninja

      I think that's the point Kurt… if you're really serious about making the game, you'll find a programmer. There are plenty of 'em out there!

      • Kurt

        What I mean is a truly serious dev wouldn't need to enter.

        • BatAttack

          Why not? They may already have programmers, artists etc., and a playable demo, but may need cash so they can justify working on it for months longer, or for getting through the XBLA certification process, for example. And if they have gotten as far as making a demo, they will not submit to one 'competition' (as you have called it), they will keep searching until they find funding somewhere, or are forced to give up and disband.
          Kurt, what you are expressing is called 'risk aversion', and it is rare in this world to get a reward without taking some risk.

          • Kurt

            You're right. It is risk aversion.

    • http://www.rocketbeargames.com Alex Vostrov

      Kurt, not to sound like an ass, but ideas are dirt cheap. Everyone's got barrels of ideas. What counts is the ability to execute well.

      My suggestion for you is to find a coder who you can work with and to make some small games. Then you'll have a proven track record and a small team that you can go forward with.

      • Kurt

        But any programmer worth their salt could execute the idea well if the gameplay's completely laid out in a design doc with full animations of gameplay.

        I just don't see the point in spending a lot of time (time can be money) for a competition you might not win.

        • Wyrmling

          I think it's worth pointing out that this isn't a competition. It's meant for people looking to be able to make their game ideas and have pretty much everything set up except for the funds. You aren't getting these funds for free either, you do have to pay it back when your game is released and making a profit.

        • BatAttack

          Just as Wyrmling says, this is not a competition. In a competition, they are bound to give money to the winner, so they try to pick the best or most exciting, imaginative (or whatever) entry.
          This is a fund – they are not bound to give money to a winner. They can lend money to no one, or to many teams. And they lend money to the teams they think can make a succesful game, so that they can get their money back from the profits.
          Thus – if you can't show up with a playable prototype, just some animations, they cannot have faith that you have what it takes to bring your game project to completion. I forget the stats, but something like 90% to 99% of projects are abandoned prior to completion. Part of the submission process is to demonstrate that you are not a flake.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/YBJDXABFOPN2TR363AZ5HKNX5E Shokuninja

    Congratulations on getting this off the ground guys. We need fresh ideas if our industry is to find its wings… and I'm impressed that you have banded together to make sure we get them!

  • Stranger

    I don't understand. Who will be the publisher of the game?
    Are you the publisher? Or are you the investor only?
    (and the developer would have to find the publisher by himself)

    • http://2dboy.com ron

      we are primarily an investor and would expect the developer to self-publish their game. we can offer guidance and assistance on many fronts but our goal is to help developers become fully independent and we'd be undermining that if we tried to take over important responsibilities from the developer.

  • Jake

    You guys are awesome for doing this! I guess I'd better hurry up and get my prototype working, now. I'm normally kind of slow at things like this, but I do so much better when there is competition (e.g. to get in on Indie Fund) or when people are depending on me (e.g. investors). Even I don't make it in, the very existence of Indie Fund will be good for me!

  • Huw

    Why is there no button for “donate to the fund?”

    I mean i get throwing money into a wild blue yonder isn't everyones idea of fun but if I want to support indie gaming with no strings attached and you already have a pool of money and means of dishing it out, how do I add a few drops more?

    • Voii

      Second that.

      • treeform

        Thirded

        • SystemErrorDave

          Fourth that

    • Jake

      I suspect the situation is complicated by the fact that the guys running this fund are treating this as an investment strategy and not a charity. I have a feeling they are nice people, and they'd probably love to use donated money to help fund indie games, but I think there would be some morally and legally questionable gray area concerning who benefits from the donations.

      • http://twitter.com/DraconisRavenix Draconis Ravenix

        If they've gotten this far with such an endeavor, I'm sure it would be easy to stash donated money until it reaches a sufficient amount to be used as a 100% no strings attached “grant” towards their investments. Even if only used as a form of special award, publicity/marketing, etc.

        I have to agree though, tons of gray area.

  • Erico

    I have a project to submit, but I'm from Brazil. Does anyone know if Indie Fund would accept an oversea's project?

    • MatthewFBS

      Yup! We aren't limiting this to American projects.

  • Evgeni I Petrov

    Go guys! I am expecting some crazy concepts and incredible art.

  • Topagae

    Yahoo! Expect a submission soon!

  • Tom Hughes

    Wow, I'm still so impressed with you guys. You're all heroes

  • Stranger

    Great idea and great site. Long live the indies!

  • Thorbinator

    Hey, this seems like a great initiative, but I have some questions.

    Do the submissions keep their IP?
    What level of oversight do you have?
    Does a project have to say they have you as an investor?
    (they will probably be proud, just asking)
    At what point would you cut off funding for a project?
    Are there size limits on the projects(scope, time invested so far, etc)?

    • MatthewFBS

      Great questions! We'll do a blog post with a longer answer to some of these. The short responses:

      - Funded projects keep 100% control of their IP.

      - We provide feedback to projects, but we aren't using a milestone approval process.

      - We will be announcing all of our funded projects. The first games will be announced soon.

      - We'd cut funding if we thought the project was irrevocably off track (team fractures, work halts, something else totally dire happens).

      - Size is limited by how much funding a project is seeking. The submissions page has some ballpark figures here.

      Hope this helps!

  • http://twitter.com/marronigames MEE

    Indie Fund is go!!11
    Alan Parsons Project's on
    Too f'in' awesome, dudes

  • Frostdawn

    Man, guess I'd better actually hurry up and learn programming in the first place then. :P I've been putting it off for a while, hopefully this will motivate me a bit.

  • Dave

    I am but a lowly computer science university student. Hopefully in a couple years I'll have enough knowledge to start something up; but I guess some hands on experience at a big name corporation might be the first thing I should do after Uni.
    I'm looking forward to the outcome of this fund.

  • andrewjb

    Is there a rough deadline for submissions? Our tech demo won't be done for another 2-3 weeks, but we would like to attempt the first round of funding, if possible.

  • Dscott

    I don't see the email address or link for submitting a project. Am I missing something?

    • http://2dboy.com ron

      it's on the “apply” page, step 3.

  • PP

    I've a game and it's in a playable state – I think it has some unique ideas which I would like to protect. Is there a possibility that I could get an NDA signed by you before submission ?

    • http://2dboy.com ron

      NDAs make sense for multi-million dollar deal. for indie games, NDAs aren't worth the paper they're printed on. the legal cost of enforcing an NDA will likely cause any indie to go bankrupt even if they win. if it makes any difference we all have our reputations on the line here, we're not out to steal ideas. so the answer to your question is no, we don't do NDA's. if you feel uneasy about sharing your idea with us, then don't. it's a good rule for life too, not just indie games :)

  • krisvek

    Best of wishes to this endeavor! I'm excited to see the results!

  • Marine

    By “share a small percentage of the revenue”, what do you really mean? After the game is launched do you get all the profits for a while until you recover 100% of the investment plus a percentage? What percentage would that be?

    • http://2dboy.com ron

      let's say a developer receives $100k in funding. the first $100k the game earns will go back to indie fund. from that point on the developer will pay a percentage of the revenue the game generates back into the fund, until the agreement expires. the exact percentage is proportional to the amount of funding the developer receives, so if you receive $100k in funding you'll end up paying twice as much as you would have had you taken only $50k in funding.

      • Marine

        Ok, so assuming a developer receives $200k in funding, how long after the 200k is payed does he have to continue paying, and how much would the percentage be in this case?

        • http://2dboy.com ron

          we're not making this information public yet.

          • http://twitter.com/daemonpants Eli Delventhal

            So in making these games, say I ask for $100k, that means I should plan to have the game released after $80k in order to have $20k to support myself and the team while you guys are paying yourselves back the $100k? I'm a little bit hesitant that absolutely all the money after release goes back to the fund, as that means that for a certain period of time my team is not getting paid. If that's the case, why get the fund in general, seeing as it means that we're not getting paid after release, rather than not getting paid during development? Seems like it's just a tradeoff.

          • http://2dboy.com ron

            based on that logic, nobody should ever take a loan, because it's just a tradeoff. but to answer your question, no, that's not how it works. if you submit your game and we want to fund it we can discuss these finer points.

          • http://twitter.com/daemonpants Eli Delventhal

            Great, that sounds good. Expect to see my game sometime in the upcoming months. :-)

  • Smee

    Is the Fund open to independent studios based outside the US?
    Thanks.

    • smee

      Sorry, the answer (yes) is below!

  • Hank

    Is there a approximate submission date that you guys have in mind?

  • http://www.david-mcgraw.com David McGraw

    This is absolute madness! Madness I say!

    I wish the fund all the best in that we see some incredibly innovative games that come out that are able to keep this fund going for many, many years. Good luck!

  • http://www.sakurariver.ca Alfe Clemencio

    I'm trying to plan my costs for the next indie game I would like to produce. Would you guys be willing to fund a game for around $60k-$80k range?

    About the prototype, what if you already have an indie game produced and self-published? Could we submit that as a prototype?

  • Asbjoern

    best of luck with this – I really hope that you guys will succeed!

  • SystemErrorDave

    Do you consider sports games? I am working on a sports game(soccer), but i have a feeling you guys aren't into sports…is this a no no for your guys?

    • Dstankol

      “introduces something new to gaming” is essentially the only requirement. So yeah, a sports game would work, too.

  • http://twitter.com/DMXell DMXell

    Prepping a game for submission with my team at the moment. Really just more interested in knowing if you guys think it'll be marketable or not though. But funding is something we still definitely need.

  • Stry

    I have an amazing idea for a game, and have been learning all I can to start making a Proof-Of-Concept/Prototype of my Idea, but dang is it difficult. Had I been more ahead in knowing what it is I need to do to get this off the ground, then this would be it, and I know my game would sell, its one of those games like Flow, and like Flower, that just changes things, makes you say wow, and its an easy idea to implement, I just have no clue how to get to THAT point. *sigh*. If anyone can give me some pointers, or tips on where to start and with what to learn, that'd be great, then I could maybe make some use of this. stry8993 (at) live (dot) com if ya could.

  • Felix Kytt

    Got to say seeing the names such as the 2D Boy's and the Flashbang Studios here is most awesome and reassuring, still I've gotta wonder when we may hear some more details on this, not that I'm in any kind of hurry with this, me and a couple of friends have only just started prototyping, still interesting timing with the announcement, sweet! :)

  • True Valhalla

    This is a brilliant project. I just ask that you guys aren't too quick to hand out cash so I can get a working prototype up and running =P

    Is there any restriction on genré, or any preference? I'm working on a unique MMORPG (I know, hard to believe, right?) — would this type of project be any less likely to receive funding than another, based on the genré?

    Good luck with the project! I'll be checking back consistantly =)

  • Erico

    Just submitted a project…
    Thanks again for the opportunity.
    This will be great to watch.

  • Xyus

    Why didn't I find out about this project earlier? I can't wait to see the awesome games that come out of this.

    I have a question:

    Is there a preference for any specific systems? Would whether a game is planned to be developed for, for example, a desktop computer system, a console through services such as Xbox Live Marketplace or WiiWare, or a smartphone influence your decision to fund that game? And would the number of consoles a developer plans to develop for influence the decision?

    For example, I primarily develop for Windows and Linux(I don't own a Mac currently, though theoretically my programs should compile and run fine there with minimal changes – I'm somewhat obsessed with cross-platform development) – would that make a game I develop more/less likely to be funded than a game that will produced for XbLive Marketplace and WiiWare, if they were both at the same level of quality and fun-ness?

    I'm guessing at such a cross-roads, you would take into account the number of users of the systems/consoles in question, and the general interests of the users of said systems/consoles, such as preferred genre?

    That asked, I'll probably have to wait until the next round of funding – seeing as I am 17, and probably not able to legally enter any contracts. Oh well, such is life.

  • ZuperZ

    Which Program can I Use?

    I Know Programming at “Adobe Flash”, but I'm Know a Lot of “Game Maker” Scripts…

    Please Answer, I'm Interested in this!

    • https://launchpad.net/~knarf Frank "knarF" M. Eriksson

      Last time I checked, GameMaker did not even support M-dimentional arrays, which is fairly easy to implement into a programming language. GML feels like PHP to me, i.e. being both too much and too little at the same time.

    • https://launchpad.net/~knarf Frank "knarF" M. Eriksson

      I apologize for My somewhat bitter post last day, It was not very helpful.

      Surely You can do games using Game Maker, But I would recommend you to learn another programming language.
      I would not recommend You to learn C and C++, if You do not want to be a Game Engine's programmer of course; Otherwise it would be better to learn something like Python and PyGame I believe.

      If you are mostly interested in the online Gaming Platform, then You should not without any doubt learn haXe, and as You state that You already know Flash, You will probably be able to pick up that easier than I do. There is also something called GameHaxe that apparently allows one to use the Flash API to create applications for the iPhone too (You know, the platform that Apple banned Flash from).

      Lua is also used for many games, and there is löve2d for those who want to do Lua games.

      Well, that is probably about it.

  • Guest

    rf

  • Guest

    rf

  • ZuperZ_Games

    Sorry, Which programs can we use?

  • ZuperZ_Games

    Which Program can I Use?

    I Know Programming at “Adobe Flash”, but I'm Know a Lot of “Game Maker” Scripts…

    Please Answer, I'm Interested in this!

  • http://roaringheart.wordpress.com/ Yamisan

    Hm, thats interesting. I think i'll try it when i'll be able to show more.