You’re looking at getting a game design degree, you’ve got a great idea, and you have a team, but you don’t have the money to fund it. What can you do?
Before three years ago, there was nothing that could be done for you. You would send your idea to a big developer and watch it get snatched away from you. But with the emergence of sites like Kickstarter.com and Indiegogo.com, developers big and small have seen their projects become reality in a matter of months.
Crowdfunding has become a useful and practical solution for game developers on a budget. The idea behind crowdfunding with gaming is simple: present your idea for a great new game, along with some footage of your development and the work you have put into said idea to the community. Offer a variety of awards and varying degrees of access into the development process to the community. After that, you continue work on the game while, hopefully, people dedicate money to your production. And there you go. You don’t lose your idea to a big-budget developer, you get the money necessary to publish your great idea, and you already have an audience waiting for it.
Because of the rise of crowdfunding, gamers have seen some amazing original ideas alongside the rebirth of dead franchises. While big developers have to ponder the possible monetary game of a new/old idea, crowdfunded games have their answer from the start.
This provides a number of opportunities for new developers and students of game design. For example, a game design student could create a prototype as part of a class project, use that as a basis of their Kickstarter campaign, get funded and create a fully-fledged title out of it.
Students at dePaul University utilized a similar formula to not only get their game Octodad: Dadliest Catch funded, but also to form their company Young Horses Inc. The first title, Octodad, was developed by a group of students struggling to come up with an original idea. Released for free, the game caught on with gamers and from there, the developers knew they had something big.
In 2011, Young Horses Inc put together a Kickstarter for a sequel Dadliest Catch with a funding goal of $20,000. When funding ended in August 2011, Dadliest Catch had received $24,320 and they were well on their way towards development.
Game design degree students, independent developers, and even big companies have looked towards crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo as a method of creating their new games. If your latest prototype or school project has some legs, it may be worth considering.
Get information on game design degrees using the form on this page. School representatives will guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have about the various programs that are available to help you earn your game design degree.
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