Also, I just realized that referring to real humans by their Internet handles never stops being weird.
Crowdfunding Campaign Manager
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Have a great idea for a game, but don't have the money or team to see your awesome vision through? That's what crowdfunding is for! Just throw up a page, pull at the heartstrings of the gaming community with nostalgia or pictures of cats, and watch the ducats roll in.
Okay, so it's not quite as easy as that. Still, if you're looking to make bank and not just fleece your parents and that weird neighbor for a couple hundred bucks to fund your hair-removal project, you're on the right track by choosing to make a game. Half of the most funded Kickstarters of all time are game-related.
The less we say about each one losing to a goddamn cooler, the better.
As with any successful newfangled method for getting schmucks to empty their pockets, there's a whole industry of people ready to make a buck off of people looking to make a buck off of games. Consultants continue to flock to this expanding industry, and established marketing and PR companies relish the opportunity to expand their customer bases.
How To Get In:
It's a huge help if you've run a successful crowdfunding campaign yourself. It's hard to talk the talk unless you've walked the walk in a seriously impressive way. You certainly don't need a degree to do that, but you will need to develop a new skill or two -- namely, social media promotion, videography, sales, content marketing, PR, finance, logistics, shipping, and a few other things. Basically, all the boring classes from college.
James Woodson/Digital Vision/Getty Images
You know, the ones you kept skipping to play more video games.
Getting noticed largely comes down to building relationships in your desired niche -- in this case, spending time with local game developers is ideal. Every person who even considers launching a campaign on a site like Kickstarter is propositioned more heavily than a Ferrari cruising through the Tenderloin District (and yes, I did just Google "places with the most prostitutes" to come up with that metaphor). In order to cut through the noise, you'll have to establish trust with your prospective fantasy product mongers. Which is convenient, because building trust with people you're trying to separate from their money is the basis of a successful campaign.
What It's Like On The Inside:
In an effort to break into the industry, wannabe campaign managers will sometimes offer their services for a cut of the proceeds once the project is successful. This can work on occasion, but it can also lead to a "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free" situation.
Successful crowdfunding consultants can easily raise millions of dollars per year. Even if the company that raised $18 million over the course of four years only charged five percent of whatever their clients raised (the amount Kickstarter charges for allowing you to flood their swanky Brooklyn office with champagne and celebrities), they'd still be looking at a sizable payday of almost a million dollars. Once you've proven your worth, of course, you'll want to make sure you get paid up front for all the work you'll put in. Business-wise, it's the difference between being Wedge Antilles and Han Solo.
20th Century Fox
That's the face of a man praying his "blow up the Death Star" paycheck clears this time.
And then you can go back to appeasing the frothing throngs when your client's game inevitably hits development snags and eventually goes to that great cartridge burial ground in the sky.
Watch Emma Larkins muddle through complicated bread mechanics and bask in the glory of Pajamathur on her Twitch channel. You can also check out her first science fiction novel, Mechalarum and follow her on Twitter as she attempts to keep a small segment of society moderately entertained.
For more from Emma on Cracked, check out 5 Movie Romances That Won't Last (According to Science) and 7 Signs of Old Age That Hit Most People When They're Young.
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