Game Development Reference
“[I]t's crucial to wait until you have the right idea—the one that you all think is fantastic and you can't wait
to get started on. If you aren't well-known, it's also very useful to have a unique idea and an alpha that you can
show off, to demonstrate that you're serious.”
Here are the key points we covered in this chapter:
Venture capital funding can generate a lot of capital for game development, but at the cost of developers
losing some control of their product. Crowdfunding is also a viable option, but usually raises small
amounts, and the market for crowdfunders may soon reach a saturation point.
VC Nabeel Hyatt commented on what developers should know, when pitching to him: day one retention
is the most important metric (aim for 60 percent), and good developers know why their game is working.
A game should create a long-term aspiration for its players, and a good developer should know his or her
strengths and weaknesses, and be able to state them to a VC.
VC Jeremy Liew discussed what developers should know, when pitching to him: developers worth fund-
ing have the ability to make several hits, and a strategy of discoverability, so their games are easy to
find. Game design is not predictive, compared to user engagement. Instead of launching late in the U.S.
market, launch early in another market. And instead of competing with the game developer giants, find
a niche genre and audience that hasn't been sufficiently entertained on Facebook, the Web, and iOS. Old
genres often have the chance to enjoy a second life on new platforms.
To increase the chance you'll have a successful crowdfunder for your game, be clear, compelling, and
concise about the game you intend to make—and shoot your pitch on video. Create a common-sense re-
ward structure for pledgers, and be transparent and shameless in your promotion of the crowdfunder.
When running a crowdfunder, it's best to have a good, easy-to-understand pitch. In your Kickstarter
video, include as much gameplay footage as possible, but avoid giving out physical item pledge rewards.
If you're a new developer, consider showing off as much gameplay as possible, to prove how serious you