Sunless Sea developer Failbetter Games launch Fundbetter, a funding option for narrative games

Sunless Sea Map Concept

Fallen London and Sunless Sea developer Failbetter Games have launched Fundbetter, a funding process for indie developers who want to make small narrative games or interactive fiction.

There are some indies with strong narratives in our list of the best indie games on PC. Perhaps we’ll see some games born through Fundbetter make their way onto it in years to come.

Failbetter explained their narrative game fund in a blog post: “We want to pay our luck forward, and support game designers and writers from all kinds of backgrounds: first-timers, veteran game makers, LGBT+ and black and minority ethnic creators, people whose backgrounds are in linear fiction, theatre, radio, TV and film.

“We’re open-minded on the meaning of ‘narrative’ and ‘game,’ though we’re most excited by text-centric projects. Your idea could be a game with a strong linear storyline; a choice-based narrative using Twine or a similar technology; a piece of parser-based interactive fiction; a card game where story emerges from the mechanics; or a dozen other things we haven’t thought of.”

Funding will sit within the£2K-£20K range, but Failbetter say they’re willing to go higher for promising projects, particularly if said project can match the funding through Kickstarter or something similar. Generally they’re looking for low cost, text-based games, but they’re open to other ideas.

“What does Failbetter get out of this?” You’re probably wondering. Well, they will take 50% of all of the project’s revenue until they’ve made their initial investment back, and then they’ll take 20% following that. Successfully funded developers will aslo be expected to credit Failbetter, obviously. So, money and exposure is the answer.

Any idea that doesn’t make back the initial funding aren’t tied into anything and will be free to go about their lives with a look of disappointment on their faces.

“We will consider funding exceptionally interesting low-budget projects with no obvious revenue potential,” says Failbetter. “We’re a business, but we’re serious about the importance of shared perspectives, and we want to help advance the craft. The bar for non-commercial projects is necessarily higher, but if you think you’ve got something extraordinary, give it a shot.”

It seems like a pretty great thing all around, and it will be interesting to see if any hidden talent is uncovered through this alternate funding option. If you’re a developer who fancies giving it a shot, head over to the Failbetter announcementfor details on applying.