Marketing tips

10 Crowdfunding Platforms to Consider for Indie Projects

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By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

So, you have a great idea and maybe even an awesome team working on it already! That is an excellent start, however, the often tricky issue of financing your project may be something you have yet to decide on and to have set up for you.

Are you sure that you have the funds to see your exciting project through? If not, then crowdfunding may be something for you to consider.

I’m a composer (get to know me more!) and also a great supporter of indie projects. My work has enabled me to connect with many indie game developers, indie film makers and a wealth of other amazingly talented individuals and teams. One area that is often very challenging from what I’ve seen, no matter what stage you and your project may be at, is ensuring that you have enough funds to keep the development of the ideas and resources going.

From the work that I do, I can see that there are many challenges that one comes across when trying to pull together an indie project. That’s why on my blog I try to help where I can, and so I’ve pulled together this list of interesting crowdfunding sites for you to explore further…

Rewards-based Crowdfunding sites:

1. Kickstarter

https://www.kickstarter.com

This is the probably the most popular crowdfunding site out there. You will receive the amount that you ask for (minus fees), if you hit your target, but it is an all-or-nothing approach. Kickstarter is probably the most well-known of the crowdfunding platforms on this list and thus offers great marketing reach for your project, but there is a risk that you may not get any funding for your project at all, if you don’t reach the specified target.

2. Indiegogo

https://www.indiegogo.com

Indiegogo lets you choose between two funding options: flexible (where you keep what is raised), or fixed funding (all-or-nothing). The fee is 4% if your goal is reached or 9% for flexible funding if your goal isn’t reached.  It is less well-known than Kickstarter but does give you the opportunity to make sure that you receive all the money that your supporters have given to your project, should you reach your target or not.

3. CrowdFunder

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk

This claims to be the UK’s number 1 crowdsourcing platform and offers both flexible and fixed funding options. Similarly to Indiegogo and Kickstarter, it’s a rewards based platform and so backers pledge money in return for specific rewards.

4. Patreon

https://www.patreon.com

Patreon is a subscription-based crowdfunding platform.  Investors pay a certain amount each month in return for specific rewards set and organised by you. It’s a great option if you want to harness the on-going support for you and your projects.

5. Ulule

https://www.ulule.com

Ulule launched in Oct 2010 and since then has become the leading European crowdfunding site. They boast having financed over 21k projects and to have over 1.9 million members worldwide. They offer personalised coaching for all projects – before, during and after each campaign, and swear by this approach. They’re all about enabling creative, innovative and community-minded projects to test their idea, build a community and make it grow.

Equity-based Crowdfunding sites:

6. Seedrs

https://www.seedrs.com

Seedrs is an equity crowdfunding platform, meaning that supporters of your project are investing their money in return for a percentage of your business. The platform lets you choose how much equity is on offer and you have 60 days to raise the investment. You also get access to mentorships, networking and more. The ethos is around offering support before, during and after fundraising.

7. Crowdcube

https://www.crowdcube.com

With over 500,000 members, Crowdcube claims to be Europe’s leading equity crowdfunding platform. You can select your preferred fundraising option – of equity or mini-bonds, and then start pitching to investors. You can share videos, a business plan and details about why you’re seeking funding for your project.

Other options:

8. Fig

https://www.fig.co

Fig advertises itself as a community funding and publishing platform for indie game developers. I’ve put this one in the ‘other options’ section as it offers both the usual rewards-based crowdfunding option but also lets you earn returns from game sales. So investors can invest in the game title in return for a share of the profits.

9. Launcht

http://www.launcht.com

Launcht is a white label crowdfunding and crowdvoting platform which enables you to crowdfund on your own website. If you have a strong brand and following already, then you may want to explore going it alone! This option will definitely not be for everyone but it is one to be aware of if you feel confident enough in your following to use it. 

10. Thrinacia

https://www.thrinacia.com

Thrinacia is a platform that enables you to set up your very own crowdfunding website. They describe themselves as delivering the next generation of CrowdFunding tools and essentially let you create CrowdFunding Portals so that you can run your own set of campaigns however you wish to. 

Some of these sites you may already be aware of, but it can be useful to explore all of the options available to you when it comes to crowdfunding and also any other funding opportunities for your project. Combining options can also work well rather than relying solely on one of these to work for you, so get creative, do your research and make sure that you pick the right funding source for you and your project.


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About the author: Ninichi is an experienced game music and film music composer. She creates music for games, film and other media, and would be delighted to help you create the music for your game or project. 

Contact Ninichi to explore working with her now and follow her @ninichimusic

10 Places to Find Beta Testers for Your Indie Game

Fantasy, sci-fi, gaming image of girl standing on an earth-like ball crossing a bridge of city towers

By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

One of the challenges before launching your game is finding people who are willing to test it and offer you useful feedback on it.  Getting friends and family to check it out is certainly useful but isn’t always enough. Understanding your user and ensuring that the user experience is as good as it can be before releasing your game into the market, is a hugely important part of the process.

As a game music composer, I’m not really able to offer much advice on how to develop your game but from my experiences in working with many amazingly talented indie game developers (see my credit list), I know that one area which is often tricky, is in knowing where to source those beta testers.  So, I’ve had a go at compiling a list of places that could be useful to be aware of and to check out.

I know that the game development journey can be a long one and hope that this article helps you a little bit along the way…

1. Alpha Beta Gamer

Alphabetagamer is ‘the worlds biggest beta testing site’. They cover alpha and betas on all platforms and do so for free, however they will only play your game if it’s free or if you give them some keys to distribute and offer through their website. They aim to add new games to their website each day.

2. Indie Quality Assurance

IndieQA was created in 2015 by a group of playtesters wanting to support Indie developers with their games. They offer a free service to beta test games as long as you provide keys for your game for your preferred platform.

3. Beta Family

Beta Family has over 65,000 testers that you can invite to test your game and target based on demographics and device. They have an easy to use test builder and 3 different price plans (from free to $399/month) for you to choose from.

4. PreApps

PreApps is a site that helps people to discover and test new apps before they are released. They cover apps on both iOS and Android and offer various services to help with the launch and promotion of your mobile app. This includes submitting your app to over 150 sites for review.

5. UberTesting

UberTesting provides access to real users to test and offer feedback on apps, websites and more.  For mobile game developers it can be a great way to get feedback on your game. You don’t need to integrate SDK, you can target specific user segments, set up surveys, interviews, focus groups and more.

6. Betalist

Betalist is a place to discover and showcase new startups. It’s a community of creators and early adopters. If your mobile app or game offers something exciting for early adopters to get their teeth into then check it out.

7. Playtest Cloud

PlaytestCloud offers a one-stop solution for playtesting mobile and browser games during all key stages of game development cycle i.e. prototyping, development, soft launch and after release.  You can easily set up a playtest, specify your target audience and then watch and listen to videos of people playing your game. There are 4 different products and various prices associated with the kind of survey or test you’re looking to implement. Prices range from $9 per response right up to over $1000 for longer studies.

8. Roast My Game

Roastmygame is a site which encourages indie game developers to post their games so that they can gather ‘sugarfree’ feedback on it.  Anyone can post a game and anyone can offer feedback.

9. Reddit

There are various subreddits, which allow you to share your game and ask for feedback. Check the rules for each subreddit to make sure it’s ok to post something there before doing so. Here are a few to maybe take a look at:

  • /r/gamedev
  • /r/playtesters
  • /r/playmygame
  • /r/inat
  • /r/gamedevclassifieds
  • /r/gamedevscreens
  • /r/testmyapp
  • /r/alphaandbetausers
  • /r/androidapptesters
  • /r/startups
  • /r/indiegaming
  • /r/iosgaming

10. Twitter

There is a huge gaming and gamedev community on Twitter with many people very willing to take a look at and support your game. Find me there @ninichimusic! If you have a strong following on Twitter, then ask your followers if they want to beta test your game. As well as that, here are some hashtags that may be useful for you:

  • #gamedev
  • #indiedev
  • #indiegame
  • #indiegames
  • #indiegaming
  • #betatesting
  • #betatesters
  • #testmyapp
  • #apptesting
  • #mobileapptesting

Read next: How to Promote Your Game on Twitter


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About the author: Ninichi is an experienced game music and film music composer. She creates music for games, film and other media, and would be delighted to help you create the music for your game or project. 

Contact Ninichi to explore working with her now and follow her @ninichimusic

5 Top Tips for Indie Game Developers

As a big supporter of indie game developers and someone who is working with many within the game community (usually supporting them with their game music and/or marketing), I am frequently asked to share more marketing tips on my blog.  So, here are 5 top tips that I hope will be useful to you, whether you are a solo indie developer, a small team of game developers or a larger game studio...

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