Earlier today, Failbetter Games, the studio behind Fallen London and Sunless Sea, announced Fundbetter, an initiative to help narrative based games and their indie developers by providing financial funding. This focus on storytelling and on narrative is very mucfocusing many gah in line with Failbetter’s goals and previous products, as both Fallen London and Sunless Sea are very narrative-intensive.
We’re adding a funding initiative for small narrative game projects.
We’re open-minded on the meaning of ‘narrative’ and ‘game’. So this might include: games with a strong linear storyline; choice-based narratives using Twine or a similar technology; parser-based interactive fiction; strategy games where the choices have a storyful feel; card games where story emerges from the mechanics; or a dozen other things we haven’t thought of.
We particularly like text-centric games. These are often a low-cost, high-leverage way to do something interesting and intelligent with an idea. Text-centric doesn’t mean text-only; but games which involve reading are more our bag.
The narrative works in Failbetter’s games are some of the best I have ever run into in gaming, so I certainly trust the team’s ability to identify a good narrative base.
The basic details of funding are as follows, based on the Fundbetter page on the Failbetter Website:
We’re generally looking to fund projects in the £2K-£20K range. We’ll go higher for a promising project, especially if you can get match funding or Kickstarter funding.
This is commercial funding, not a grant, so we’re looking to fund projects which will make the funding back (although see below).
The usual deal is
– we take 50% of the revenue from the project until we get back our initial investment
– we take 20% of the revenue from then on
– we get suitable credit/branding in the game
It’s project-based investment, so if we never make back our initial investment, you’re free to get on with your life.
We will consider funding exceptionally interesting low-budget projects with no obvious revenue potential.
It’s interesting to see a Independent Game Developer take such a substantial turn towards publishing, and the last line does resonate that, while this is very much a business based decision, there is a love for good narrative underlining this directional shift.
There are more details and answers to some frequently asked questions, and application guidelines on the Fundbetter page, and interested parties can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or with application information.