Giving Indie Devs a little Spark

Some of you may have seen me talking about BizSpark on Twitter recently or at one of the Day of Unity events that I hosted and are wondering what the program is all about and how can it help indie game developers?

In my personal assessment of the program, I really do think that BizSpark is a great program that goes underutilized in the game developer space. The program gives you access to tools and resource for 3 years to help offset the costs of starting your company. This can be invaluable to startups who could already be lightly bootstrapped or starting off with no funds at all. Anything that helps, right?

So, what is BizSpark?

  • Microsoft BizSpark is a free program dedicated to helping startups, even game devs, succeed.
  • It gives you free access to the software and tools to build amazing games, as well as the technology to get into the cloud.
  • You can also connect to thousands of other startups and game devs and 1,500+ startup organizations around the world.

Benefits include

  • Access to tools and support that your studio might need.
  • Looking into cloud computing? Microsoft Azure has serious potential to help bring your games to the cloud.
  • Cloud computing has almost limitless potential for supporting games. Here are just a few examples of what cloud computing is being used for – hosting game servers, serving out game updates, hosting websites, running your own leaderboard service, running cloud-hosted game logic/AI (think Titanfall). Maybe you have the next gamer services platform that you’re building to sell to other studios?
  • BizSpark gives you $150 in Azure credit per month – this goes a really long way during development with the option of paying if needed.
  • Visual Studio – Whether you’re coding your own engine in C++/C#/VB or HTML/JS or maybe scripting in Unity, then there’s no denying that Visual Studio is an awesome IDE. Visual Studio Tools for Unity is now free!
  • Do you plan on building games for Windows or Windows Phone? Get the latest tools to help you out.
  • Other benefits are also available – free Windows developer account, 90 days trial of pluralsight training and access to many other partner offerings directly through the program.

There are some qualification to joining BizSpark:

  • Are you making games?
  • Is your game studio less than 5 years old?
  • Are you making less than $1 million USD in revenue per year?
  • Is your game studio privately held?

If you can answer YES to all of these questions, then you qualify for the program! If you answered NO to any of these questions, then you don’t qualify. If you don’t qualify, then please spread the word to people you know who might! Let’s get the word out about this great program!

This all sounds awesome! How do I sign up?

There’s two ways to sign up:

  • The slow way – you can visit this link to register– this adds you to the review queue, which can take several days to several weeks to complete, or
  • The fast way – if you answered YES to the questions above, you can e-mail me about your game studio and I can pre-qualify you into the program. Please detail your studio name, or yourself if you publish under your name, what projects you’re working on and include any reference material about your studio or projects like links, screenshots, etc. Once I verify you, I can send a special link via e-mail that automatically enrolls you into the program.

My e-mail: jason.fox@microsoft.com

As always, if you have any questions, please hit me up at http://twitter.com/JasonGFox or shoot me an e-mail.

Cheers!

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s