Funding is, by and large, the elephant in the room of Indie Game Development: Indie development means that you are sacrificing the financial security of the funding of a separate publisher for the freedom to do exactly what you want with your own game. More and more, however, it seems like there are less and less sacrifices that have to be made in regards to funding. Crowd Funding has taken of and is an entirely reasonable funding platform for many, and more and more organizations are popping up with the goal of helping indie development teams.
Today I learned about one of these groups called Indie Fund, frontlined by Johnathan Blow (of Braid fame) and Kelle Santiago (of Ouya and thatgamecompany), who seem to be growing even more and more, and spreading its reach to even more indie games.
Indie Fund has been around for a while, but have just announced a new way forward: hopefully ensuring more funding for a wider variety of independent game development companies and their works:
The original 7 partners of Indie Fund started in 2010 with the goal to support the growth of games as a medium by helping independent developers get and stay financially independent. We’ve helped fund over 30 great independent games, and almost all of them have met our internal success benchmark in that they allowed their developers to self fund their next game from the revenue of the game we funded.
However, after doing anything for 5 years, life changes — kids arrive, people start new projects, games come and go — and we started to feel like we needed to change the way the fund operated. Fortunately, many more independent developers have had their own success in the last five years, and have now come on to help out.
Last year we started partnering with individual investors outside of the fund with good results. More people got to participate, which meant developers had access to more capital, ideas and advice. With this more ad-hoc model, investors could vary the amount they wanted to put into each game, allowing more flexibility depending on life changes, interest in the specific projects, and how much money is available. Games like Future Unfolding, Duskers, and now Armello have been funded with this more flexible model.
Specifically, today Indie Fund announced they would be funding Armello, a fantastic turn based strategy game I’ve covered before, and that I’ve already sunk a handful of hours into in it’s beta state.
This means more ways to contact us, more brains to pick, more available funds, and hopefully more games! We’ve funded a couple games under this new model, and we are proud to announce the new expanded Indie Fund is now funding Armello, due to launch later this year.
Armello is a procedurally generated, turn-based strategy game where one to four players vie for the throne of a mad king through loyalty, hostility, or treachery. It combines the best elements of card and board games with the capabilities of digital platforms for an experience that’s simple to start but deeply complex and replayable. While stories within individual sessions will differ, Armello is set in a rich and beautiful world reminiscent of Game of Thrones – were the warring houses of Westeros replaced by clans of woodland creatures.