Here’s an excerpt of what is the Indie Fund taken on thier website:
Indie Fund is a brand new funding source for independent developers, created by a group of successful indies looking to encourage the next wave of game developers. It was established as a serious alternative to the traditional publisher funding model. Our aim is to support the growth of games as a medium by helping indie developers get financially independent and stay financially independent.
Additional details about the need for Indie Fund and the rationale behind it will be shared at the Game Developers Conference in the talk titled Indies and Publishers: Fixing a System that Never Worked.
That in itself is a powerful initiative and the people that are in that fund are quite impressive themselves:
- Ron Carmel and Kyle Gabler, 2D BOY (World of Goo)
- Jonathan Blow, Number None (Braid)
- Kellee Santiago, thatgamecompany (flOwer)
- Nathan Vella, Capy (Critter Crunch)
- Matthew Wegner, Flashbang Studios (Off-Road Velociraptor Safari)
- Aaron Isaksen, AppAbove Games (Armadillo Gold Rush)
I think you see my point.
I did a post on the francophone community for indie games called Dijiko. If you fancy your french, please go ahead.
I’ll will translate my point here and of course, my point has been mainly and explained on gamasutra.com. Please feel free to see the write-up from GDC there. They might have a better writting style than I do (yes, they do).
Anyhow, I’ll restate my point here too and explain a little bit how Project Caelum and the Indie Fund adress the same problem and are complementary in many ways.
When we were thinking about how and why Project Caelum, we came to the same conclusions as these guys on the fact that the publisher-Indie relationship was off. A publisher that invest in game will want to invest a lot of money per game. If you have 25 millions to invest, you don’t want to invest your time and money in 500 games at 50 000 each. That 500 times more work that doing five 5 millions investments. Much more effective and it makes sense. This is not effective for the independent because there is a lot of paperwork that come with the big money and a lot of milestones that are planned well in advance, maybe a producer that will supervise the work, etc. It’s heavy.
Publisher do not offer that much value for independents theses days with digital distribution. All the pakage that is designed toward retail is pretty much useless to the indie. Or, even worse, the indie could do most of the work himself.
The indie fund will fund games that they beleive will succeed because the team is great and the game will be great. They are angels for the indie games (angels are people that invest in startup companies sums of 25k to 250k, generally). And they have a nice quote taken from the gamasutra exerpt:
Next, they seek no IP ownership. “We want for the developer to own the IP and for the developer to be master of their own destiny,” Carmel says. This means no IP control either — “We don’t want to tell you how to make your game,” he states. “If we provide funding for a game, then that’s a vote of confidence in the team that they have a vision and that they can execute it,” he says. “If I do know better than you what’s right for your game, then we probably shouldn’t be funding your game.”
I think you can get the idea and it is a powerful one. Now, where Project Caelum stands is that we want to offer to the indie, funded or not, all the tools and help that the’d like to get from a publisher, on the indie scale. I could go list all the features that I could think of for Project Caelum, yet we don’t know which ones will get implemented first. The idea if to build a Steam-like platform, designed for the independent game, both player and maker.
The core that we will start with will be a distribution platform with basic features. Nothing fancy because we want to hear from the user what they want so we can get our priorities straight. One feature that we have worked on, that will be optionnal of course, is a piracy-protection feature for the games on the platform. Our system is designed to be seemless to the user.
It’s a nice start to have a distribution platform with a piracy-protection feature available to the indie while keeping control of everything about the game. We will then add up what is critical to improve the platform to help the indie with the business side of his games (like pricing advice, or a ready to use sound effect for the upcoming games, tracking of stats about the game and the meaning of those stats from a business standpoint, etc.).
Indie fund will fund 5 to 25 games a years, we want to help hundreds to give it a go (and build a portfolio to maybe get funded
A marvellous day to you
I’ve read an article about a new website, Glyde. It enables its users to sell used medias, and lately it has been “taken over” by gamers. Even though the physical support for videogames will tend to disapear (for PC games at least), I think it’s not that much of a good new for the developpers. There has always been quite a big loss from the resale of their games. It’s a problem that my fellow comrades and I have tought about for quite a while and here’s our idea:
Since we plan on building a platform to sell indie videogames without physical support, we tought it could be nice to integrate ourselves a system to satisfy this reselling habit that some gamers have. Before they find a way to do it themselves, that is. Since downloading a game is more about the licenses than the game itself, we wondered if it could be popular if the gamers could sell their licenses to get a discount on their next game.
Wouldn’t that be a good alternative?
Googling “Augmented reality RPG” (without quotes) returns about 150 000 results, for me, here in Québec. 150 000 results for an idea that catchy means crap. It says “it doesn’t exist”. And it’s a shame.
Social geotagging games, like Foursquare and Gowalla, are growing exponentially. I love Foursquare. I’m the Mayor of my workplace, of my favorite bar and of the bookstore where one of my friends works. I check-in at the library, at the restaurant, on the ferry. It’s useless but I enjoy it (hey, isn’t it the core definition of a game?)
What if someone takes the idea of tagging your hangouts and puts it fantasy? (The idea could go sci-fi or steampunk, but let’s keep it fantasy for now) One could build a STRONG real-time RPG on smartphones/handheld devices.
You could begin by giving your city a better name. Québec could become Fort Quebec. Now, you could remap the venues and give them a fantasy flavor. The shopping mall becomes the public market. The drugstore is an apoticary. The liquor store is a brewry. Your usual garage becomes a farrier house, and, well, you get the idea.
Now, adds some character classes and/or races. The fearsome wizard, or the sneaky ninja, or whatever. You start 1st level, and when you check-in somewhere, and have some free time, you could play some random encounters. Or buy some gear at the blacksmith’s shop. With cash you gain by checkiin-in at your job. (For moderation purpose, you could have that many “action points” per day) You could fight gangs of burglars in the streets, or boost your stats at the gym (eh, I mean, the training grounds) or study some new spells in the library of your local academy.
Now add some multiplayer capacities. What if you’d see some stranger beating the crap out of your favorite bartender. So you’d dash there, check-in, and make that felon pay. Or you could join a friend in a co-op battle against a dangerous necromancer storming the halls of the academy. What if another player noticed your attempt at stealing some gear from a scroll shop?
The possibilities of adding your physical location to a virtual world RPG are countless. I’d love to see such a game to life. What are you waiting for, indies?
If you’re looking for me, I’ll be at the inn. There’s a band of new bards in town, don’t want to miss it.
What are YOUR dream game? Any unresolved desires laying around? Any wish for a brave new game? Drop a comment!
UPDATE: A reader pointed this game to me, subject related.
- Notre concept de base a été validé par quelqu’un d’expérience.(Update: voir commentaire de Samuel)
- Il nous faut probablement segmenter encore plus notre approche. Le jeux vidéo indépendant dans son entièreté est peut-être un marché trop grand pour percer de façon admirable. Il nous faut donc choisir un genre sur lequel se concentrer.
- La poule ou l’oeuf; notre projet est une plateforme, et il faut se concentrer soit sur les développeurs, soit sur les joueurs. De la même façon que duproprio.com a du choisir entre se concentrer sur acheteurs OU vendeurs de maison en premier. Pour citer Gary Vee,
“Dude, get off the bitch train and just pick one” (http://bitchtrain.com/)
Mon choix est fait
- Le milieux des affaires et du capital de risque est à un net négatif au Québec, ce qui explique pourquoi les investisseurs sont frileux. Comme objectif personnel de leur donner une “petite shot de Caribou pour les réchauffer”, c’est pas mauvais J’en profiterai peut-être pas, mais ceux qui suivront auront peut-être la vie plus facile. Je crois en l’entreprenariat et à son pouvoir de développement à long terme (surtout pour les régions…).
- Les startups au Québec sont souvent déconnectées vis-à-vis le recrutement étudiant, alors que les finissants sont généralement les meilleurs dans les startups car ils n’ont pas encore de mauvaises habitudes de travail ni de responsabilités personnelles élevées.
Bon bien, la merveilleuse journée à vous!
Ian Gordon at www.StartupDaddy.com mentioned the twitter pitch. The idea is roughly the same as the Elevator Pitch, but in 140 characters. That is quite some test to put your idea through.
I distilled the caelum project in a short statements and was facing a little problem; who was I talking to.
A gamer won’t like an investor pitch, nor will a independent developer see value in a hiring pitch. (at least I believe so).
I need to customize my twitter pitch to my audience. Somebody must already have named that “adapting to your audience”.
So who do I need to adress with my idea?
- Indie Game Developpers,
- Indie Gamers,
- Helpers and Hires.
That seems about right. So here I go, need your input to make this even better.
@Investor PC is a business-solution to help indie game dev to better monetize thier games through marketing advice and piracy-strong distribution platform
@GameDev PC is the place to find the ressources needed to boost the business side of your games and people to make it even better
@Gamer PC makes you in direct contact with the GameDev and access the real indie games and you can manage your games like you would hard-copies.
@Helper Look at the other pitchs, you can tackle that challenge and be part of it.
Okay, that’s the first draft of my twitter pitchs. Let’s make them better.
An interesting post came up at www.gameproducer.net a few days ago.
Long story short, a question of what could be a totally new genre of games. Personnaly, I don’t believe that it will come out of the blue, but some might evolve over time. There will be new genres in 10 years that I can’t imagine yet.
I can give my opinion on probable evolution path that some genre will go through though. There was the rise of the casual game recently. Those games came from the fact that gamers grew up and went in the workforce and then the people around then ended up liking it too.
So what’s next? Gamers with babies? Baby gamers? Kid gamers with parents that understand games? Educational games maybe? Yes the next big trend to develop, in my humble opinion will be educational games. And by that I do not mean university sponsored (and well intentionned) game that lack…the fun factor. Project reasearch are good, but are not made by game designers of experience, or in the reverse not made by actual teachers. It might works well for elementary concepts but I never saw a game designed to teach high school math or chemestry that was fun and immersive.
Imagine, let’s say, a major MMORPG which alchemy system was based on actual chemestry (then add some magic there and there). That requires a talented game designer (that listened in chemestry class) to pull it off. I beleive it will become a great selling point in the not so far future though.
(DISCLAMER: I am the founder of learnbynovels.com) Another that I am working on is the language teaching game. I’ve learnt english and japanese through RPGs and immersion and I am not alone in this situation. So the natural reflexion, being a gamer, is to make a game that focus on teaching languages while being an actual good game. Will my games be good at first? Over time they will. So, here were are again in about the same timeframe for the rise of the educational games.
So, if universities can’t make real fun games (because the focus is different) and that it is a hugh risk for a big business to do it, who will champion this change?
You knew it, independent games.
Let’s see if I get in the same category as Moores on predictions
Marvellous days to you!
Je faisais le tour de la liste des finalistes de la 12ème édition du Independent Games Festival et je me suis mis à me poser quelques question concernant la manière dont se structurent les développeurs. Plus spécifiquement, je m’interrogeais sur la formation des équipes de développement.
Il semble y avoir une certaine hétérogénéité quant à la nature des équipes. Majoritairement, les gens forment des studios et font plusieurs projets ensemble, mais j’ai été agréablement surpris de voir que des partenariats temporaires se créent pour la réalisation d’un seul projet. Je suis convaincu que c’est ce genre d’approche qui va permettre au Jeu Indépendant d’atteindre l’originalité et la qualité nécessaire à sa pérennité.
I mentionned previously about my own indie game project and thus wanted to mention our project blog over at www.learnbynovels.com
I’ll post here when we reach major milestones but for the minute details, it’ll be over there.
Nice thing about the game in regard to caelum project is that we’ll use it to test Caelum project modules. Integrating everything together won’t be easy but modules by modules, make sure that it work smoothly out in the wild wild web
Take care people and a very merry marvellous christmas!
Welcome to Caelum Project’s Blog.
I’m Mathieu and me and my partners Alex and Alex will be blogging from time to time. The Blog will be bilingual in both in French and English, but there might be delays in the translation between the two, sorry for that.
Caelum is quite a huge undertaking and will take some time to come to fruition, meanwhile in my spare time I am also working on my first commercial indie game.
I recently came upon an interesting post by Edy Kajang about how to reduce piracy in commercial indie games that hit the mark with me on both Caelum and my indie game.
There are 2 approaches – by focusing the effort on either pirate or player themselves. For strategy that focus on pirate, the idea is to make the game harder for them to share it. This involves coming up with copy protection and digital right management (DRM) system built into the game. I don’t want to discuss this strategy because a lot of people have discuss this stuff on many places on the Internet.
What I want to discuss is on player themselves. How can we indie game developer want to encourage people that is worthwhile for them to purchase our game instead of just getting it from pirate sites all across the Internet? This is my friend is 1 million dollar question because whoever managed to answer this question and apply it is sure going to reap the benefit.
The approach focusing on the player is, well, what should have been done from the beginning and is probably worth way more than a single million. I will try it out and see how well I fare with my game and how he fares with his. For Caelum, most of it was already in our plans to facilitate those tips in our model. We might just be able to make life easier for a lot people.
As the approach that focuses on the pirate, well, we have something for that thought through in Caelum Project that might just solve most of the problem for indie games makesrs but more details unto that later
A marvellous day to you all.
Le jeu indépendant commence à se faire connaître par le commun des mortels. Plus besoin d’être une bête du jeu vidéo, la mode est lancée. Si bien même que les grandes entreprises de l’industrie commence à s’intéresser aux niches que les indépendants ont commencés à exploités. On a lancé tout récemment les “minis” pour la PSP; on offre à n’importe qui la possibilité de publier leurs matériel sur la plateforme de Sony. Bien qu’il y ait là d’intéressantes possibilités, je me demande si l’industrie ne cherche pas à aller couper l’herbe sous le pied des indépendants, en offrant au consommateur des produits reproduisant exactement le travail de ceux qui développent à leur compte.
Je vois deux alternatives pour le jeu indépendant tel qu’on l’a connu; soit ça se termine comme le cinéma indépendant, plus ou moins lucratif, soit on assiste à la naissance d’une nouvelle manière de publier, semblable à ce qui est arrivé dans le domaine de la musique. Pour ma part, je suis très confiant tant qu’à la pérennité du concept de distribution à son compte. Il faudra par contre s’assurer que les droits d’auteurs soient respectés et que l’innovation ne soit pas étouffée par des carcans parfois trop simplistes de distribution “clé en main”.