Traditionally, mobile games were developed by developers who took the risk, and reaped the rewards. A studio called Bravado Waffle has decided to try and turn this process over by using “venture capital” contributed by users.

Read on to find out more about them…

Please tell us more about yourself and your company
I’m Stephen, the CEO and Game Designer for Bravado Waffle Studios. We are a startup mobile game development company based in San Francisco. We are made up of 3 team members right now and we have been working for the past seven months on our debut title RoboArena for the iPhone and iPad iOS devices. RoboArena will be a multiplayer casual strategy game inspired by the classic board game RoboRally, and is just the first of many titles we have slated to develop.

Please describe the program for which you seek crowd funding
We are turning to Kickstarter for fund raising to help us complete the development of RoboArena and start the marketing. Kickstarter is an exciting platform that allows small startup companies and entrepreneurs crowd source their fund raising. Supporters pledge money to the projects they would like to see completed, and get to be a direct part in the development cycle. What makes it even more exciting is the fact that it not only allows you to raise funds, it lets you build a community of loyal invested supporters and fans. These fans are what will make or break your success, especially in the competitive world of iOS Apps. Crowd Funding is fund raising, market research, and community building all wrapped into one!

Traditionally, developers have born the risk of development costs themselves. What has motivated you to deviate from this strategy
Traditions are old and crusty, they are made to be overturned. My question is: Why bear all the financial risk if you don’t have to? Web 2.0 has brought us many ways to waste our time, but it has also brought new and exciting ways for savvy startups to raise funds and build their fan bases. Going the crowd funding route, you literally have nothing to loose and everything to gain. It lets you interact directly with your fans, it lets them be a part of the process and feel like they are part of something bigger, it can endear you to your fan base, and it lets you see just how interesting your ideas really are!

How did you set up the crowd funding process
We researched what it took to run a successful campaign and structured ours so that it had the best chance to succeed. We planned the pledge tiers carefully and weighed the costs involved so that we could set a reasonable and fair funding goal. We decided to go with Kickstarter even though it limits us to a US audience since it is the most popular platform out there and has the biggest audience. This is important for us since we didn’t come into the campaign with a fan base to start out.

Above, you mention that you expect support from the fans who invested into the game. What kind of support do you expect?
Well these fans that are willing to invest in your campaign will likely help you in spreading the word to their friends, and giving your game great reviews. They get to feel like they are a big part of the games production, and indeed they are. Word of mouth recommendations is the very best way to market and advertise a game, and it’s probably the hardest as well.

Given that this is an iOS title, I always include a few generic questions. Do you still see sense in supporting OS 3?
Of course. There’s a ton of older devices out there, and not supporting the previous OS systems would be like shooting ourselves in the foot. Especially since our game is 2D and *hopefully* will be easy to run on them. I don’t know the numbers of those who run the older iOS versions, but I’m guessing it’s surprisingly high.

Do you plan to port your products to other platforms
We’d love to port it to Android as well as release the game on the Mac App store. Steam is also an option for the future that we are considering since it is very indie game friendly.

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