A fund designed to support independent developers by offering them an alternative way to bankroll their projects has been set up by a group which includes Braid creator Jonathan Blow, and Flower creator Kellee Santiago.
The new Indie Fund is a new funding source for independent developers created in order to encourage the next generation of game developers, which has already backed several unnamed projects to be announced shortly.
Other backers of the fund include Ron Carmel and Kyle Gabler of 2D Boy, the studio behind World of Goo, Critter Crunch maker Nathan Vella, Flashbang Studio's Matthew Wegner and AppAbove Games' Aaron Isaksen.
"Most developers today fund their games by bootstrapping or by signing a publishing deal. In many cases, those indies that sign a publishing deal don't really need a publisher; they just need funding and can easily handle everything else themselves," explained Ron Carmel, speaking to Gamasutra. "Indie Fund provides the funding, but without the overhead or the loss of freedom associated with a publishing deal."
Developers will have full control over their IP, publishing rights and so on, and while the team will lend its expertise, the developer will have the final say on everything, he added.
Once the developer has repaid the investment amount, they will share revenue with the Indie Fund for a limited time. Carmel said the Fund hopes to make its terms public once it has established a model that works.
"2008 was a big year for indies with a number of commercially successful releases. There was Audiosurf, then Braid, Castle Crashers, and World of Goo. This set up the two things required to make Indie Fund happen," said Carmel.
"First, it proved that an investment in indie games can be very profitable. Second, it allowed us to raise the money from within the indie community instead of having to seek outside investors. Now that we have a few years of indie developers who have successfully self published, we can help the next round of developers who need to get their games out in a much more competitive space."