Tag Archives: indie fund

Why Indie Fund is backing an XBLA flop

Why Indie Fund is backing an XBLA flop

Indie Fund, a group of independent developers that offers “angel”-style funding to other indie game makers, has decided to back The Splatters, an unusual puzzle game that failed to find an audience when it launched on XBLA in April.

Developer Spiky Snail is now revising the game and bringing it to Windows, Mac, and Linux, and Indie Fund believes that these new, updated versions could help the studio find real financial success.

Indie Fund’s decision to back The Splatters is a bit usual for the group, as it has previously backed games like Dear Esther and Q.U.B.E. before their initial debuts. As Indie Fund says on its official blog, backing a port of a game that didn’t make money isn’t typically a smart investment.

But the group believes The Splatters is different. Indie Fund says Spiky Snail has learned from its mistakes on XBLA, and is showing enough promise with its updated ports that Indie Fund has decided to try something new.

While The Splatters marks a departure from Indie Fund’s typical funding strategy, the group says it represents exactly what the Indie Fund was created to support: “promising teams with low overhead who are focused on design.”

If The Splatters succeeds, the game would also help prove one of the Indie Fund’s driving philosophies — that focusing on design can play a key role in a game’s financial performance.

Indie Fund was founded in 2010 by independent developers such as Braid creator Jonathan Blow, thatgamecompany co-founder Kellee Santiago, Capy’s Nathan Vella, among others.

Source: Gamasutra

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Kickstarter’s Cindy Au breaks down a successful game fundraiser

At the time of this writing, the Double Fine Kickstarter drive has raised an astonishing $2,830,877 for the development of an untitled and entirely unseen adventure game, with thirty hours to go before the fundraiser’s end. It reached the studio’s lofty $400,000 goal seven times over, and — if the promotion manages a last-minute push before its termination — could reach a cool three million (update: It just did!).

That number is quite an outlier, but Double Fine is not the only studio to seek and find funding from Kickstarter’s crowdsources. The list of successful video game funding drives propagates with surprising frequency, listing titles which will hopefully become realized thanks to their newfound fungible support. Some of the more recently backed titles include Code Hero, a game which teaches users to make games — which pulled in $170,954 during its pledge drive — and an online, Tecmo Bowl-inspired football title Gridiron Heroes, which made $7,613.

For every one of these successful game-funding projects, however, there are three that failed to meet their goal, according to Kickstarter community support staffer Cindy Au. She spoke at large about this phenomenon during a SXSW Interactive panel titled “Alternate Funding for Game Development,” which explored options like Sony’s Pub Fund and the IndieFund.

According to Au, the categories of “Board and Card games” and “General games” sport a 45 percent success ratio, which is the (shockingly high) average for all projects on the site. However, video game projects are only successfully funded 25 percent of the time. That may be because there are more video game projects on the site (653, to be exact, a bit more than the 400 board and card games and 221 general games). Regardless, Au pointed out some traits of successful Kickstarter pleas to help bring up that success rate.

The most important factor is the inclusion of an explanatory video on the user’s project page. Another is offering desirable rewards for the correct price ranges — the most popular donation levels are $10 and $15, Au explained, but the average donation to a successful video game project is $42. Setting the right goal is also important, as the stats gathered by Kickstarter indicate that a user should aim low, but hope high.

“The average goal for a successful video game project is $5,400,” Au explained, “but the average raise of a successful project is $11,200.”

Cashflow for game developers to tap into on the site is increasing, as the $60,000 donated to games in 2009 grew to $3.8 million in 2011. Just three and a half months into 2012, games have brought in $3.6 million.

“Now … there is one project,” Au said before being interrupted by a peal of laughter from the audience. “So, yeah, this graphic is a little skewed. But it’s safe to say that the games category in general is experiencing a really healthy growth.”

QUBE Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion Porting to Linux

Looking for Linux game developers to port QUBE

Toxic Games need support from game developement community porting their wildly successful game Q.U.B.E. (Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion) to Linux.

”qube-game”

Q.U.B.E. was originally started as a student project back in 2009. Followed by the former classmates establishing their UK-based game developer team in 2010, Toxic Games.
But like most game development projects, sometimes independent game developers need help too.
So, seeking out an investment from independent game development, the Indie Fund. Toxic Games were able to bring Q.U.B.E. to life using the Unreal Development Kit and no programming expertise. Acclimating their game developer experience from just a hobby to graduating University as independent developers.

Having had a look at Q.U.B.E. myself, I cannot help but think I found some rendition of Portal mixed with classic Half-Life.
However, the gameplay is far more intriguing than I expected yet straight forward. Keeping you bound in creative indulgence and making the player “think”, as they are taken through what seems simple, to a further more challenging experience. All in a first-person setting that is loaded with polished graphics, thought out puzzles, and everything you would expect to see in a commercial game.

Here’s a brief explanation of Q.U.B.E. from the Toxic Games website:
“Set in a mysterious and abstract sterile environment, Q.U.B.E. (Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion) is a first-person puzzle game that challenges players to navigate each level by manipulating coloured cubes that surround them. There’s little to go on as the game begins – the player is dropped into an all-white room with few instructions, and simply has to figure their way out. The tone of game changes as the player finds small and big alterations to their environment, supported by an original score, inviting each player to let their imagination take over as to where they might be. Through experimentation and discovery, players will progress through an ever-evolving series of cube puzzles that will challenge them with logic, physics, platforming.”

Q.U.B.E. Game Play Trailer
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s21rMdmM0VA&w=480&h=274]

Currently the game is only available on PC and doing exceedingly well. Taking only 4 days on Steam to generate enough revenue for Toxic Games to repay the full investment amount of $90k. Selling over 12,000 copies and the first Indie Fund-ed game to go to market.

Congratulations Toxic Games!!!!

Q.U.B.E. – Gameplay
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rrbgRiRzoY&w=480&h=274]

So having received an email from Daniel Da Rocha recently, asking how Q.U.B.E. might run on Linux. I was both amazed and shocked.
Needless to say, I highlighted a few options but realized none of the choices would really take full advantage of their efforts.
Still being curious, I followed up with a phone call to see where things were at and a brief explanation of Toxic Games’ full intent.
To my astonishment, porting the game to Linux with sights on the Humble Bundle have been their ideal for some time. After all, Q.U.B.E. is an indie game and it is all about the “community” with Linux

The Request

Now, being that the Toxic Games team are game developers, admittedly they are not programmers. And further support from the Linux community would indeed be in order.
Therefore, if you are a programmer and keen to get involved with an amazing game development, this is your chance.

Linux has not seen a major first-person games release for some time. So this would be somewhat epic to say the least.

IF you are serious about being apart of this endeavour.

Contact Toxic Games at [email protected].

(PLEASE include “Linux Port” in the subject)

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