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Old 02-29-2012, 09:34 AM
pinkandpurple pinkandpurple is offline
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Default Start company?

How do you actually start a mobile games company as I always wondered how you pay the workers artist etc. when your starting up?
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  #2  
Old 02-29-2012, 09:55 AM
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BravadoWaffle BravadoWaffle is offline
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you don't. you all eat noodles and share a toothbrush for a year.
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:04 PM
tipatat tipatat is offline
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Default start up

there are generally two ways of doing a start up:

1. Boot strap (self funded): Have a day job to pay the bills, work for free on nights and weekends to make your game and find overs who are willing to do the same either for a share in the profits (if any), percentage of the start up, portfolio piece, personal glory. Make the game, then realize you don't know how to market it. apply to a start up incubator...

2. Angel funded: Convince wealthy individuals that you know to give you their money to build a team and make and market a game. Securing funding can be tricky if you don't have experience in the industry and know rich people. Some people are finding like with crowd-funding like kickstarter.com but it's hard to get noticed there. But once you have funding, you can hire talent. Just be sure to save some of your budget for marketing/pr.

I'm sure there are more ways, but those seem to be the most common.

I am in camp 1.

and here is a good read about a games start up http://www.joystiq.com/2012/02/29/th...be-an-indie-d/

Tipatat
www.gameface.me

shameless plug:
download my latest game free:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nomnomface-free/id504398586?mt=8

Last edited by tipatat; 02-29-2012 at 03:09 PM..
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:08 PM
nicolasgb nicolasgb is offline
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My business partner and myself went the 3rd way to start up Majaka. We self-funded the company with our savings, went full-time indie and hired a programmer and an artist. Savings won't last long though so we'll have to make some cash with our games or find money elsewhere (relatives, angel investors...)
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:41 PM
David Phan David Phan is offline
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Each and every startup game developer has their own unique set of circumstances in the formation of their venture based on a variety of factors. The 3 key factors that I've identified so far based on our experiences in kicking-off our mobile game startup www.littleherogames.com recently (January, 2012) are:
COMMITMENT: Are you and/or your co-founders ready to make the commitment to take the startup seriously? Is everyone ready to make that critical step to shift gears to be full-time on the venture? Is everyone ready to make the financial contributions and/or personal sacrifices required to make the startup successful? This is where you need to identify the fence sitters and make a call on whether or not they're a critical part of your startup's foundation and are worth converting over. A startup cannot afford to have any founding members who don't have their hearts 110% into the venture.

CAPITAL: Where's the money coming from to start your venture? As previous posters have mentioned there are a variety of options when it comes to raising capital to get your startup off the ground that include:
- Self funded: You and/or your co-founders have squirreled away money or are ready to liquidate assets (stocks, vehicles etc) in order to finance your startup. To me, this approach is the epitome of bootstrapping your venture as it relies purely on you and/or your co-founders to finance your startup without any external support.
- Friends, Family and Fools: Drumming up money through the people you know and through the relationships you've established. This can either be a private loan or even having these people come onboard as private investors.
- Angel Funding: Seeking a wealthy patron who is willing to come in as a private investor to provide your capital. Often times, you may not know or barely know the Angel Investor on a personal level, but through networking and pounding the pavement you are pitching your startup business to them and willing to give up equity in your startup to the Angel for their financial investment.
Post kickoff, there are several other avenues to acquire additional capital for your startup. These avenues usually require the startup to be somewhat operational and to meet the various criterias required of these third parties.
- Small Business Loan: Taking a loan is a very viable and intelligent way (imo) of increasing your working capital. You have the option of trying to pursue a character based loan which looks at your experience, quality of your business plan and likelihood of turning a profit. Then there's the equity loan which is based on what you're willing to put down as a guarantee for the loan which is typically your home
if you own it.
- Crowd Funding: I don't have a comprehensive understanding of the viability of this funding model for a startup, but I'd make an educated guess that few brand new startups are able to finance their projects from start to finish on budget with crowd funding.
- Venture Capital: Your startup as a business and your product will both need to be fairly polished to get into this type of funding. There are numerous criterias that need be met before you're ready to play with the big boys for this 6 figure+ type of funding.
- Accelerators/Incubators: You are looking to join a network that provides financial assistance, mentorship and office space in return for some of your startup's equity. These outfits have varying criterias for acceptance and what they offer, but essentially they want to put you through a 3-4 month bootcamp to get your product to a polished and presentable state to seek VC funding.
CONNECTIONS: Do you have the network and relationships set to create your game team? Are you expecting to build your team through cold-calls and recruitment or do you have the capability of bringing onboard former colleagues to form your team? Tons of startups never see the light of day because they often start and die-off as a one man operation. If you're business then you need to find a tech partner and vice versa.
For Little Hero Games, these 3 factors of Commitment, Capital and Connections were the primary drivers for taking an email conversation back in November 2011 to setting up an operational and incorporated company with an office space in January 2012. We bootstrapped our company with our own hard earned money, we've all worked with each other and we're not taking a paycheque until we generate revenue. Though we could have had private investors chip-in, we were not comfortable with the idea of investors simply putting in money and having significant equity in a new company without having to do any game development work. We're treading a more risky path using our own money, but it's actually been an extremely strong motivator for us to work hard and drive for success.

Currently, we've just finished our pre-production a couple of weeks ago and are sprinting like madmen now that we're in production. We're all still very excited to get into work each day and I don't see this wearing off ever as we're all deeply committed to making Little Hero Games successful for ourselves and not for investors or publishers.

Apologies for the slightly long winded post, but it's my first post here on Touch Arcade and I wanted to be as solid as possible. I am well aware that there are many other things to consider, but like I said - every startup is going to have their own set of unique circumtstances on how they kick-off. These is just my observations based on our kick-off since it's all fresh in my head.

DP

Last edited by David Phan; 03-03-2012 at 11:54 PM..
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:36 AM
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kohjingyu kohjingyu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BravadoWaffle View Post
you don't. you all eat noodles and share a toothbrush for a year.
I can confirm this is true.
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:10 PM
starcat starcat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tipatat View Post
there are generally two ways of doing a start up:

1. Boot strap (self funded): Have a day job to pay the bills, work for free on nights and weekends to make your game and find overs who are willing to do the same either for a share in the profits (if any), percentage of the start up, portfolio piece, personal glory. Make the game, then realize you don't know how to market it. apply to a start up incubator...

2. Angel funded: Convince wealthy individuals that you know to give you their money to build a team and make and market a game. Securing funding can be tricky if you don't have experience in the industry and know rich people. Some people are finding like with crowd-funding like kickstarter.com but it's hard to get noticed there. But once you have funding, you can hire talent. Just be sure to save some of your budget for marketing/pr.

I'm sure there are more ways, but those seem to be the most common.

I am in camp 1.

and here is a good read about a games start up http://www.joystiq.com/2012/02/29/th...be-an-indie-d/

Tipatat
www.gameface.me

shameless plug:
download my latest game free:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nomnomface-free/id504398586?mt=8
or way 3 / 4. spend no money and have a really good idea and get all your employees for free.
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:12 PM
starcat starcat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Phan View Post
Each and every startup game developer has their own unique set of circumstances in the formation of their venture based on a variety of factors. The 3 key factors that I've identified so far based on our experiences in kicking-off our mobile game startup www.littleherogames.com recently (January, 2012) are:
COMMITMENT: Are you and/or your co-founders ready to make the commitment to take the startup seriously? Is everyone ready to make that critical step to shift gears to be full-time on the venture? Is everyone ready to make the financial contributions and/or personal sacrifices required to make the startup successful? This is where you need to identify the fence sitters and make a call on whether or not they're a critical part of your startup's foundation and are worth converting over. A startup cannot afford to have any founding members who don't have their hearts 110% into the venture.

CAPITAL: Where's the money coming from to start your venture? As previous posters have mentioned there are a variety of options when it comes to raising capital to get your startup off the ground that include:
- Self funded: You and/or your co-founders have squirreled away money or are ready to liquidate assets (stocks, vehicles etc) in order to finance your startup. To me, this approach is the epitome of bootstrapping your venture as it relies purely on you and/or your co-founders to finance your startup without any external support.
- Friends, Family and Fools: Drumming up money through the people you know and through the relationships you've established. This can either be a private loan or even having these people come onboard as private investors.
- Angel Funding: Seeking a wealthy patron who is willing to come in as a private investor to provide your capital. Often times, you may not know or barely know the Angel Investor on a personal level, but through networking and pounding the pavement you are pitching your startup business to them and willing to give up equity in your startup to the Angel for their financial investment.
Post kickoff, there are several other avenues to acquire additional capital for your startup. These avenues usually require the startup to be somewhat operational and to meet the various criterias required of these third parties.
- Small Business Loan: Taking a loan is a very viable and intelligent way (imo) of increasing your working capital. You have the option of trying to pursue a character based loan which looks at your experience, quality of your business plan and likelihood of turning a profit. Then there's the equity loan which is based on what you're willing to put down as a guarantee for the loan which is typically your home
if you own it.
- Crowd Funding: I don't have a comprehensive understanding of the viability of this funding model for a startup, but I'd make an educated guess that few brand new startups are able to finance their projects from start to finish on budget with crowd funding.
- Venture Capital: Your startup as a business and your product will both need to be fairly polished to get into this type of funding. There are numerous criterias that need be met before you're ready to play with the big boys for this 6 figure+ type of funding.
- Accelerators/Incubators: You are looking to join a network that provides financial assistance, mentorship and office space in return for some of your startup's equity. These outfits have varying criterias for acceptance and what they offer, but essentially they want to put you through a 3-4 month bootcamp to get your product to a polished and presentable state to seek VC funding.
CONNECTIONS: Do you have the network and relationships set to create your game team? Are you expecting to build your team through cold-calls and recruitment or do you have the capability of bringing onboard former colleagues to form your team? Tons of startups never see the light of day because they often start and die-off as a one man operation. If you're business then you need to find a tech partner and vice versa.
For Little Hero Games, these 3 factors of Commitment, Capital and Connections were the primary drivers for taking an email conversation back in November 2011 to setting up an operational and incorporated company with an office space in January 2012. We bootstrapped our company with our own hard earned money, we've all worked with each other and we're not taking a paycheque until we generate revenue. Though we could have had private investors chip-in, we were not comfortable with the idea of investors simply putting in money and having significant equity in a new company without having to do any game development work. We're treading a more risky path using our own money, but it's actually been an extremely strong motivator for us to work hard and drive for success.

Currently, we've just finished our pre-production a couple of weeks ago and are sprinting like madmen now that we're in production. We're all still very excited to get into work each day and I don't see this wearing off ever as we're all deeply committed to making Little Hero Games successful for ourselves and not for investors or publishers.

Apologies for the slightly long winded post, but it's my first post here on Touch Arcade and I wanted to be as solid as possible. I am well aware that there are many other things to consider, but like I said - every startup is going to have their own set of unique circumtstances on how they kick-off. These is just my observations based on our kick-off since it's all fresh in my head.

DP
good post.

www.legacytcg.com is one of the only commitment types ive ever seen.
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