Friday, November 28, 2008

How to get funding for a game idea?

I have been reviewing game concepts e.g. for the Nordic Game Program (NGP). There are still few lessons to be learned when it comes to pitching a game. My wish is of course to see as many Finnish application on the next round of NGP as possible, thus I though of sharing some ideas which might be useful and helpful for those applying funds for the game production.

Here we go:
1. Follow the instructions
If there is a form, use it and follow the instructions. Do not add any convincing mumbo-jumbo if not asked. Also if an attachment should be 5 pages at the maximum then it is 5 pages max!

2. Credibility
Make sure you have a team which is capable of doing everything you describe at the application. Tell about the business and/or distribution plan. If you have already discussed with some publishers, do not forgot to mention that. Too often there are just vague "online distribution", "pc, xbox, DS, PSP or perhaps mobile" or "Nintendo Wii with 50/50 deal". Eh, yes? Are you sure or perhaps... not?

3. Make the basics very clear
What is the game idea, which platforms, distribution channels, what's the budget, revenue model(s), originality, target group, mechanics, business potential and milestones? Why you are working with this idea? Less and well structured content is more.

4. Application is a written pitch
Think about the application as a whole. It should be easy to read and easy to understand. Picture tells more than 1000 words. Graphics is a way to stand out and add credibility to your application.

5. Address potential problems
Be realistic. The biggest problem cannot be "if we do not get funding, we will not be able to make this game". There are always challenges and problems. Try to address key challenges in beforehand. Perhaps the underlying magic aka technology will generate challenges, maybe marketing is the weakers link? That too will add credibility.

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