You are a game developer and want to start your own company? Then read on, we will cover the basics of starting a game development company in this article.
Here are the 10 things you should know before starting a game development company
1. What platforms you are going to publish your games?
Based on the platform, you have to decide what is going to be your marketplace(app store, steam) and what tools(game engine, modelling etc) are required. Most of the game engines allow you to port to different platforms easily,but the hardware requirements might change. For example, You require a mac and iphone to publish to app store.
2. Team members or employees
The difference between team member and employees is that Team members will work for a share of profit but employees need to be paid on weekly or monthly basis. You must decide whether you are going to have partners or employees. If you are new and don’t have any money to get started then its better to pitch your game idea to potential team members.
Think through the strategic skills you’ll need to launch and consider co-founders with those skill sets.
3. Office space
Whether you are going to have an offline or online office. Setting up an office space is very importance as it creates the right environment for team discussion and development. You can also have an virtual office space. The concept of remote work is getting more and more popular with every member working from different places. This opens up an opportunity to work with people in different countries.
4. Discussion and announcement time
Most people like to work on flexible schedule, but fixing up a time for discussion between team members and announcements can help people to plan their work schedule in advance.This time can also be utilized for brainstorming new ideas, updating the game design document and fixing bugs.
5. Define assets and liabilities
Having a company means having assets and liabilities. You must differentiate between your asset and liabilities. Keep them in check and plan your operational cost. For example subscription cost of your tools will add to your liabilities,but the games and work you have completed that give you revenue are assets. An employee can be a asset or liability depending upon performance.
6. Define your budget
All companies require an initial investment. It is better if you decide how much you are going to spend for the tools, resources and list all your expenses. Always keep some extra reserve for unseen cost implication at later stage.
Provide a forecast of revenues and expenditures. This is achieved by constructing a model of how a business might perform financially if certain strategies, events and plans are carried out.
7. Know the startup laws in your country
Every country has different rule for startups. Some countries give lot of benefits for startups. Some governments even give funding. Its always better to know what your country gives for you and what laws to follow.
You must know at least the basic laws in your country like accounting and tax laws, IT laws, Contract laws, Intellectual property laws.
8. Your one year plan.
This is where you define what you want to accomplish in the first year of your company. This is very important as it gives you an measurement scale for your performance. This also helps you manage your milestones. After a successful first year you must plan for next 2 years and slowly increase the scope of planning.
if you don’t set up the basics, there are all sorts of issues down the line. if you have a successful first year ,then you have done more than just surviving.
9. Money making plans
There are two types of jobs a game development company does. One is make games and publish and the other one is contract jobs. As a new company you need money to keep afloat, so take some contract jobs from larger company for small works. Meanwhile, don’t forget that you are here to develop your own ideas into games.
Having a right balance between working on new games and contract work is the key to survival.
10. Funding strategy
Funding is a very important phase in all companies. It determines whether a startup will survive the initial phase or not. So having a plan for your funding is a must. Also consider crowdfunding as it’s gaining more traction now a days.
Starting a company can help you in lot of cases. Especially, if you are developer who is making money then the tax on a company is less than the income tax on individual in most of the countries. Starting a company can give you a brand and once established it will help sales.
Also Check out our post on getting started with game development.