The past two decades have initiated a remarkable transformation over humankind. Once so very far apart, now we think as one, act as one, breathe as one. Okay, we haven’t advanced that far yet, but it’s hard not to get melodramatic about about how thoroughly the internet has changed our lives. With communications flying at the speed of light, what was once impossible is now typical.
Take, for instance, video game development. Before the advent of the internet, funding a game project required finding a publisher, which, in turn, often resulted in the developer(s) inevitably losing the rights to his or her creative property. There were business alternatives, but they were still costly and involved tremendous financial risk.
Building any kind of game project in this day and age is still a very risky undertaking, but indie devs who have a vision also have funding alternatives beyond selling everything they own and making their dog pull children in a cart for five bucks a pop. Through internet-based crowdsourcing, for instance, a project manager can gather talented people from around the world and put them to work on a single game. There has also been a sharp rise in the popularity of online pledge systems (“crowdfunding”), which typically offer rewards to participants according to the amount of money that’s donated.
Social media website SocialTimes has an article that outlines twelve excellent ways you can get crowdfunding for a game-related project (or any project, as the advice applies to the arts in general). When you’ve worked out a game plan, so to speak, consider which website will manage your pledges. Here are five notable options:
Kickstarter — Probably the most recognizable crowdfunding website to date. Project managers pledge rewards according to the amount of money raised, and Kickstarter takes donations through Amazon Payments. A target goal is set, and a deadline is chosen: if the target amount of money isn’t raised by the set date, no funds are collected.
Each project has to be approved by Kickstarter before it can launch, and the project manager must have a US bank account. Kickstarter keeps 5% of the funds raised, and Amazon nabs an additional 3 to 5%, though the project manager retains ownership of the creative property that’s produced through the fundraising.
8Bit Funding — 8Bit Funding is a crowdfunding site that’s oriented towards helping indie game devs get their dreams off the ground. Though 8Bit Funding charges fees (in addition to PayPal’s automatic fees), it aims to help developers get the money they need without having to deal with banks and investors.
8Bit Funding also encourages people with game-related projects to apply for crowdfunding, including ladies and gentlemen with aspirations towards opening up game stores and cafes.
RocketHub — RocketHub is another crowdfunding option, but with a difference: even if a project manager doesn’t reach his or her monetary goal by the set deadline, he or she is able to keep the money that’s been raised.
IndieGoGo — IndieGoGo likewise collects pledges via crowdfunding, and is, according to its creator Slava Rubin, “about allowing anyone to raise money for any idea.” IndieGoGo is one of the earliest crowdfunding websites on the internet, to date, it has helped raise millions of dollars across 60,000 campaigns. FYI, this is also where the Angry Video Game Nerd, the Internet’s premiere Nintendo loving/hating celebrity, is raising the money he needs to produce his independent movie.
Threadless — Threadless is an internet T-shirt retailer that can help you initiate your crowdfunding project with a creative spin. If you can design a T-shirt that’s clever and also related to your project, it might be selected to sell on Threadless’ online store. You’ll manage to pique interest in your work, and you’ll also net a cool $2,000 that will surely help with some of your development costs.