Opinion: Trollpants Finances (Or 9 Months Without a Salary)


Editor’s note: The following blog was written by a NordicGameBits.com Opinion-blogger. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the individual writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of NordicGameBits or the other writers and authors of the community. 

Hi everybody! The last two weeks, we’ve given you some reasons why making video game music is fun, and we’ve outlined good reasons for you to go to a game jam. This week, we’re going to focus less on these big, abstract things and more on Trollpants itself – namely, how we earn our keep.

The answer is, we don’t. Not yet anyway.

Where’s the money at?

Unfortunately for me, collecting protection money from the British is no longer a viable source of income. Since we no longer do that, we’ve left many of our industries underdeveloped, and the game industry is one of them. It can be difficult to earn money off video game development no matter where you are, but the Norwegian game industry is fairly small. We have a lot of extremely skilled game developers, but many of us have to do our own marketing, and it’s easy to drown in the global competition if all you know of advertising is half a season of Mad Men. Therefore, many Trollpants members have part time jobs.

But there’s good news for Norway’s developers. According to NordicGameBits, the Norwegian game industry is on the rise. Norwegian games are getting downloads and winning awards. The industry is growing, and skilled people are starting to get noticed for their work. This progress will only continue as the people involved in the industry get better at every aspect of game development, from the business side to the development side. We’re very positive about the future!

What About Game Profits?

The ultimate goal for any game development company is to be able to sustain itself on a game’s profits. We’re confident we’ll reach this goal, but for now, none of our games are funding future development. But that’s okay. Rovio made 51 games and almost went broke before they made Angry Birds, and we all know how that game went.

Whether or not one of our games becomes the C.R.E.A.M. of the crop like Angry Birds or Clash of Clans isn’t our focus – the first step is to make a game that can pay for itself and the next game. We would never say no to a smash hit success, but we know that it’s a fairly rare occurrence. Therefore, our focus is to smear ourselves with patience (a rather bizarre Norwegian expression) and make great games people will want to support!

GRRM

We have enough patience to wait for this man, so a successful game is nothing in comparison.

The Quest For Funding

Luckily for us, the Norwegian government has a very generous public funding program, which allows starving developers to fund their hard work. The Norwegian Film Institute gives out a yearly financial support of 20M NOK, which allows those who receive to finance their development, which allows them to focus on the game rather than juggling jobs, which creates a better product, which has a higher chance of earning. It’s a good way to give many budding companies the boost they need to grow!

We’re currently developing an interesting project that we plan on pitching to NFI in March. This project is going to be a bit bigger than what we’ve done before. I can tell you that we’re aiming for a PC release this time, and that we’re stoked! More information will be released about this project when we feel ready to share with you lovely blog reading Rambo-like badasses!

UniCloud

However, NFI isn’t the only place you can apply for funding. In early November, we applied for funding from Innovation Norway for a special project. Innovation Norway’s mission is to give local ideas global opportunities, and they help out entrepreneurs with taking their idea from concept to product. Our product? A Unity plug-in currently named UniCloud. We are happy to say we received funding from Innovation Norway, and we’re doing them proud by developing like elite Corinthian Code-Warriors.

This may or may not be the current state of Unicloud's development.

This may or may not be the current state of UniCloud’s development.

So what is UniCloud? Very simply put, it’s a plug-in that will make platform specific functionality easy to implement. Stuff like achievements, leaderboards and cloud saving is all found in one place and it’s highly compatible. We will go into much deeper detail in a future blog post, but know that we have something very special brewing for the Unity Asset Store!

Thank you for reading, and if you have any questions about our future projects or business-related things, leave a comment now! Right away! 

Authors

Karstein is the only game designer in the world from Rånåsfoss. He is the CEO at Trollpants and a Secretary/Board Member for Spillmakerlauget Øst. He can easily be seduced with a strong cup of coffee and a bad horror movie.

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