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Funding with pre-orders: experiences? (Forums : Development Banter : Funding with pre-orders: experiences? ) Locked
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Oct 5 2012, 7:28am Anchor

Hi, first post here so first a little introduction!
We are a small game company. We are working on our very own IP, an action-adventure. We almost have a demo ready to release to our audience. Getting to this point was quite a struggle, and we're finding ourselves in the position where we need additional funds to finish the development of our game.

We've hit what you could call a breaking point I think.
We don't have the money to fund development of our own IP anymore, but we still really want to finish this project. We're looking at crowdfunding for this, but we don't want to do a thing like Kickstarter. We've already done that, and sadly it failed. Probably because we didn't make it clear enough what we wanted to do with the game and didn't have anything to show except for few very early screenshots. Maybe now we have a demo it could work very well, but doing the same Kickstarter campaign twice after it failed the first time would just look really silly to us.

So we're thinking pre-orders.
We have a few ideas about packages like beta access, throwing in the soundtrack and an artbook for a few bucks extra, that sort of thing. Problem is the payment processors we've talked to about our plan don't want to help us, they don't like the pre-order idea and only want to handle products that already exist. If we would just use Paypal we would have all sorts of difficulties with stuff like taxes, VAT, exchange rates in the case of refunds, those kinds of things. Using a platform like Desura would force us to develop the game even if we reach our funding goal or not, so that's not really an option for us. We can only continue working on this project if we have the money. We also want to be very honest to the people who would invest their money in us. It has to be clear to them that the game they're pre-ordering will only be completed if we reach our funding goal. If not, they'll get their money back.

We have also another idea.
We were thinking about using a system like in mobile ads. Take Tapjoy for example. By click on ads, or watching videos people can generate money. In this case the money would go to us as a way to funding our development. We're thinking like a page on finishing or exiting the demo that explains this to people and let them click on it. Any thoughts on that?

So in short:
We want to fund our game using pre-orders. How should we proceed?
Thanks in advance!

Edited by: Brmbrm

Oct 17 2012, 3:10am Anchor

well, sounds like what you want is actually kickstarter.. you can't do preorders if you are not even sure you're going to finish your game

Syp
Syp
Oct 17 2012, 5:18am Anchor

As Guiboune said, Kickstart seems fit with your expectations.
Of course, several payment providers won't allow you to use their services, you sell something that doesn't exist yet. They can have issues with chargebacks and they take risks (contact me I can suggest you some payment providers who will accept you)
Offer-wall products (tapjoy is only on mobile, you have plenty of offer-wall providers for the web: Sponsorpay, Superewards, SupersonicAds, Trialpay, etc etc) No, don't based your business funding model on advertising. I don't think you need 10 euros per day to fund your game. These products aren't developed for this use.

From what I see, you can:
- re-build a kickstarter project and try to improve your presentation (you have a demo, yes it's always better and offer beta access to your users), and think about ask less money maybe.
- find a publisher to give you funds to finish the dev
- find investors to give you funds to finish the dev

It depends on how much money do you need? and do you want to keep a 100% control of your IP?

I hope it helps (I work in the gaming industry)

Oct 17 2012, 8:03am Anchor

Why don't you guys get part time jobs? Working a several hours a day for three of you (in USD) let's see: $7.25/hour, * 3 people, * 3 hours* 5 days/week * 52/weeks a year = $16,965.

I thought I read somewhere that the one of the Introversion guys sold their house & moved in with their parents to fund their first game. You guys could sell your cars, TV's, X-Box's, etc. The way I look at it, if you wouldn't do it w/o preorders/donations with prizes, it's not a $$ problem it's a drive problem.

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Oct 17 2012, 3:57pm Anchor

I agree with Syp Kickstarter is really your only option unless you go earn money yourselves. People will respect you for coming back to Kickstarter with more development than before and seeing you made progress they might invest into your project. Also it gives you full access over you IP which is another really good bonus and you will also be rooted in indie gaming community. I recommend launching demo on kickstarter what do you got to lose? Its better on Kickstarter than sitting on your pc dormant :)

Syp
Syp
Oct 25 2012, 5:29am Anchor

any news? It's always interesting to share

Oct 26 2012, 1:14pm Anchor

I agree with TheHappyfrier.

Im kind of getting bored of projects begging me for money when ultimately as a potential customer you don't know what the situation is within the team, the actural progress and there is no garantee of the project even seeing the light of day, I have better things to do with my money than piss it away on projects that *might* make it.....like buy/save for my own project.

Admittedly I havent looked into any of the kickstarter style funding systems so don't acturally know what safety nets contributers acturally have but I personally wouldn't be happy to donate to a project that wasn't on the home stretch.

The last few years SHOULD have taught everybody to try living within your means, if that means gettign a job you should do that and save up,get rid of the stuff you don't use and need and reallly get things working, preferbly to a point where there is garantee the project will not collapse.

My 2 cents

John

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