Growing up as a gamer can mean two things, either you prefer to have it as a hobby, or you translate your passion into a career of making or playing video games. While we have designers being involved in the makings of highly publicized Triple-A titles, there are those who made it big by creating their own independent IPs. Such successful stories from the indie scene are aplenty, but little did you know that it’s not necessarily a straightforward path during the early days of an independent studio.
There are a few factors to ensure the positive growth of an indie studio, which is oftentimes neglected by aspiring developers. Making a good game is only the basis for sustaining the business, and games accelerator programs realize this as they seek to assist startups in monetizing their products. One such program is Alpha Startups, a South East Asian game accelerating initiative powered by Media Prima Labs. Some of the local indie games that benefitted from this program include The Dreamcatcher, Agent RX and Tell No One.
With that in mind, if you are an aspiring developer living in SEA with the interest to attend such a program, you are in luck as Alpha Startups will be organizing a boot camp in Malaysia from May 29 to June 4. In case you need further convincing before signing up for the program, here are five reasons why Alpha Startups will be helpful in kick-starting your business.
Industry veterans will be present to share their knowledge and expertise
Being a freshman in the industry can be intimidating for some, especially when you are not familiar with the whole mechanics of operating a successful game development studio. Pieces of advice will be helpful in the long run, and you can expect plenty of them from game industry mentors such as developers, publishers, designers, and sound engineers to refine your idea and make it the next big title.
Crucial gaming success factors will be taught
One of the common mistakes made by fresh indie developers is placing too much focus on the fun aspect of the game, without any plans to retain the player base. Based on the influx of mobile games in the market, we know that certain titles can be enjoyable (e.g. Pokemon Go), but it won’t necessarily keep us playing for a long time. There are certain mechanics that needs to be added to keep players coming back for more, which is crucial for the development of the studio, and it’ll be covered in Alpha Startups.
Developers will learn the business side of things as well
As much as indie developers are passionate in making games, they have to know the importance of running a successful business as well, since profit plays a huge role in sustaining the studio. Alpha Startups will focus on this aspect by teaching the marketing aspects of game development, how to target your consumer base, and most importantly, monetizing strategies to create a steady flow of income. This will be important to the growth of your business, as it allows the development team to focus on your next big hit.
Up to RM80,000 in funding will be given to top teams
In order to make money, you’ll have to spend money, and most startups struggle with this aspect as they seek for funds to sustain the early days of the business. Alpha Startups realizes the importance of financial help, as they pledge RM30,000 in funding to the top 5 teams to refine their products before Demo Day, which will be a month after the completion of the course. An extra RM50,000 will also be given to the top 2 Demo Day pitches to help them launch their crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, and if that’s not enough, the winning team will receive further funding of RM50,000 to RM200,000 if the campaign is successful.
Winning teams will receive media coverage to showcase their games
Your game can be fun, and you might have a lot of funding to sustain the startup, but it won’t matter without proper exposure. Media plays a huge role in promoting up and coming video games, and what better way to tell the world about your amazing product by having it featured in media portals, publications, and so on. Alpha Startups will give you all the exposure you need by providing media coverage for winning teams, which is technically free advertising to let everyone know what is your studio and the game is all about.