Justin Bailey ------

Justin Bailey

The CEO of Fig, a new crowd-funding site for games that offers equity.

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON August 18, 2015

Discussion

Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
Hi, I'm Justin. I'm addicted to all things video games. My name is even a legendary cheat code. I programming my first graphic adventure game in assembly language when I was eight. I went to programming camp. I got my first job at age 14 working at a software store called Babbage's. Then I entered the word of finance and business. But when my oldest daughter was born, I decided I needed to get back to what I love - GAMES! Since then I've helped fund and publish free-to-play, premium, and mobile games at multiple publishers. I even had the honor of running the business side of Double Fine for three years and meeting the best game developers in the world - some of whom are among my personal idols, who's games I played back when I was eight. Now I run Fig (https://www.fig.co/), a company helping fund games through reward and investment based crowdfunding! What a ride :)
Russ Frushtick
Russ Frushtick@russfrushtick
@justinbailey12d Hey Justin, thanks for joining us! Any advice for running a successful crowd-funding campaign (on Fig or elsewhere)?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
Have a strong community. That's part of what fig is designed to do - to tap in and allow creators who have a huge amount of potential to discover their own community by being associated with those who have successfully navigated the crowdfunding waters before. Most crowdfunding sites are really just places to organize your existing community. There's very little if any organic discovery and all the heavy lifting is put on the shoulders of the project manager. So if you don't have a huge community, you have to tap into others who do.
Tao Ma
Tao Ma@tinjaw314
@justinbailey12d Is it the case for projects of all categories?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@tinjaw314 It's true with entertainment, but I can't comment with any authority outside of that category.
@justinbailey12d Hi Justin. For many game developers, services like Kickstarter are important because they stop corporate influence from encroaching on developer freedoms and creativity. Are you worried that enabling equity for project backers could open the door up for such things? If not, how is Fig designed to stop it?
@pkcheap Woops. Didn't mean to upvote my own question!
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@pkcheap I felt this needed an answer! What we're about at Fig is helping developers get the budget they need so they can retain IP ownership and creative control. Consequently, we also think this leads to the best games! In terms of the investment in titles, the games will always be community informed not community driven - that won't change.
Robert Bowling
Robert Bowling@fourzerotwo · Founder of GamePump
Hey Justin - I notice that on Fig, the number of backers is public but the specifics on who backed is not. What was the reasoning behind that decision, and do you think that showing who backed it would instill confidence in other backers, especially exposing who the Accredited Investors are?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@fourzerotwo Hey Robert! We feel it's very important that we respect investors privacy. We feel it's up to them to reveal their identity. In the future we'll probably build some tools to allow them to do so!
Adriaan
Adriaan@adriaandejongh · Game Designer
Hey Justin, If I understand correctly, Fig will only crowdfund curated games, is that correct? How will you handle the potential load of hundreds of games?
Adriaan
Adriaan@adriaandejongh · Game Designer
Another question: I have the feeling Fig is looking for projects that 'have that X factor', so how is a pitch to Fig different from a pitch to say, IndieFund?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@adriaandejongh Great question Adriaan! We're different in that we're actually ok if a campaign fails. If there's a project we're not sure about, but the developer has a proven track record and obvious ability to deliver quality - we'll probably give them a shot. After all, we're ultimately trying to let the market decide. So in a sense, this is the pitch.
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
Got to run! Thanks for all the questions and please support Outer Wilds if you haven't already..! :)
JGM.io
JGM.io@jgm_io · JGM.io
@justinbailey12d so fast already? :(
Oliver Judge
Oliver Judge@oliverjudge · Marketing and Business Development Guy
@justinbailey12d Hi Justin! Is there a certain kind of game you're looking at for Fig? Are your sights primarily set on larger scale indies?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@oliverjudge not really, we're looking for a mix of indie and well know titles so the two can build off each other. The main focus is on quality and the ability to deliver.
Eric Willis
Eric Willis@erictwillis · Working on something new
Thanks for doing this AMA, Justin. What impact do you think bitcoin will have on crowdfunding?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@erictwillis I was just chatting with my head of product today about how you can merge bitcoin and investment! I was half-joking but it's a very interesting concept, but one will probably tread carefully with :)
Corley
Corley@corleyh · COO @ Product Hunt
Hi there Justin! What a cool life story. It sounds like you were destined to do Fig. Quick Question - What sort of frequency will we expect to see on Fig? How many titles are you looking to support in a given month?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@corleyh Hi Corley, we're looking to do two projects a month as our normal cadence - one large "iii" game and one unknown indie title with a lot of promise
Ben Casnocha
Ben Casnocha@bencasnocha
How would you rank/assess the existing crowd funding sites like Indiegogo, GoFundMe, Kickstarter, etc.?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@bencasnocha I think they all have a similar approach and are horizontally oriented. Interestingly, it seems most the equity site are vertically oriented, and that's where I see the future.
graham gockley
graham gockley@gegockley · CorpDev @GREE
Hey Justin - thanks for the time and Fig looks like a very promising platform. Can you speak to the different type of investing options that the Fig platform will support? Equity, debt, convertible, etc?
Jaime Manjavacas
Jaime Manjavacas@cuentafakejaime · Jaime Manjavacas Cordoba
@justinbailey12d Hi Justin. I've heard a lot about promoting apps on social media, but personally, Which do you think is the best way to promote an app nowadays if you don't want to spend money?
Mauro Sicard
Mauro Sicard@maurosicard · Bookicious.com
Hi there Justin, just check out Fig, great work! Do you think it is possible in the future to have full VR games just like Sword Art Online or another series?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@maurosicard VR is very interesting to me, I have my eye on that sector and would love to find a way to use crowdfunding to help bring more titles to market!
Dipesh
Dipesh@dipeshparashar · Ideas Evangelist
Hey Justin. About your vision at Fig. Not all games get popular. But when they do, they earn millions. So when a game earns a fortune, do the funders get any benefits. ( I do not suggest such a feature but would be great to know, your take on it )
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@dipeshparashar If you mean the investors, yes - the business model is built on people being able to participate in a portion of an acquisition.
Nascent Games, LLC
Nascent Games, LLC@nascentgames · Founder, Nascent Games, LLC
Hi & good afternoon, Justin. Congrats on this new site & idea! I have my 1st upcoming game that will be released in episodes, later this Fall. How will Fig help a new Indie Studio like myself stand out?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@nascentgames Great questions! We'll help developers figure out if crowdfunding is right for them, we help in constructing the campaign, we help in production, and with sales.
Sam Houston
Sam Houston@samhouston · Senior Community Manager, Bugcrowd
@justinbailey12d Hi Justin! What inspired you to leave Double Fine and start Fig? Was there a specific moment/event that convinced you to create this product?
Doug Astor
Doug Astor@theezaven · product hunter-gatherer
Hey Justin - what do you think is the future of advertising for mobile gaming? Would be interested to hear your state of the current space as well.
Shikher Aatrey
Shikher Aatrey@shikher_iam
@justinbailey12d Hey Justin, If you're a student, and you have to do some out-of-the-field work ( turning some ideas into reality) , it's hard to manage time. Any advise?
364
364@3sixtyfour · N/A
Hi Justin. With programming and asset creation becoming more and more accessible each year, do you think the value of game-design (new mechanics, modes, stories etc) will become the most important skill in the industry?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@3sixtyfour I hope so! When I was young, it was all about the technical advancement and pushing the graphics. Recently, I've gone back and played games from that era, and what strikes me is how fun a lot of the games are that are design heavy because of their technical constraints. Indie games seem to be a lot of the design heavy games these days that are taking chances, and I think it's actually the financial constraints, and difficulties with discovery, that have lead to that.
Jaime Manjavacas
Jaime Manjavacas@cuentafakejaime · Jaime Manjavacas Cordoba
If I have an app intended for gamers, called #GamersCube (is just a searcher of gaming events) and I want to make it known by gamers, how could I attract their attention?
ValentineDessertenne
ValentineDessertenne@vdessertenne · Studios illogika
@justinbailey12d Hi Justin! So "Kickstarter fatigue" is now a thing (or so I hear), do you think that backers having a stake in the game's future will help gain back people's faith in crowdfunding? Also how do you feel about the mega gaming crowdfunding projects? Are they helping get interest for crowdfunding or flooding the platforms and leaving crumbs for the little guys?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@vdessertenne Crowdfunding fatigue is a real thing, and I think it has to do with the increasing expectations of the consumer - expectations that I think are appropriate. If a game is raising millions of dollars, I think the supporters have a right to expect the opportunity to be able to invest, and so we're encouraging game devs to give them that option. Interesting enough, developers seem very willing, so all that's really needed is a site that gives them that option.
David McGraw
David McGraw@xmcgraw · Founder • Builder • U.S. Marine Veteran
@justinbailey12d Thanks for sharing some time here today! It's great to see a dedicated environment for game crowd-funding. The addition of accredited investors is really sweet. If a project doesn't hit the funding goal do the creators get what was raised? Do you plan to build in a way to accept support after a campaign ends?
Jacqueline von Tesmar
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
Justin! Having worked at Double Fine, you obviously have a lot of experience with crowd funding. What were the biggest features that Fig offers that you weren't finding with other services?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@jacqvon The top thing is investment, but also curation, customization, better fulfillment, and a network of people vested in your success :)
Andreas Zecher
Andreas Zecher@andreaszecher · Web Developer
@justinbailey12d Hi! Will it be possible for people or companies outside the US to invest in games via Fig?
JGM.io
JGM.io@jgm_io · JGM.io
Hey @justinbailey12d, first of all congratulations on this great new venture! My question is : do you think this model could solve the high work pressure environment the (AAA) games industry is known for... With the money factor relatively weighing less?
Nate
Nate@gameon_nate
Hey Justin. What is the #1 thing you think non-game developers could learn from game developers? Thanks!
Tyler Ruby
Tyler Ruby@tyleraruby · Future Founder
Why did you choose to make Fig only for accredited investors? Doesn't allowing investors of all types by utilizing Reg A+ create for a better Fig?
Robert Bowling
Robert Bowling@fourzerotwo · Founder of GamePump
Hey Justin - Since unlike Kickstarter nowadays, Fig will be a curated experience, delivering only projects that have been vetted and approved by the team and board, what advice can you give for what you like to see included in a pitch? For example, an idea is great, but do you recommend having a prototype already in hand, concept artwork, a team already committed? What combination of assets and info do you think make the best pitch and fundraising campaign?
AJ
AJ@alanaut24 · Engitrepresigner
@Justinbailey12d Awesome work on Fig. How do you resist the urge to put out a complete product rather than a MVP?
johann
johann@thatjohann · Product Lead
@justinbailey12d what was it like working at Babbage's? Did it influence at all your decision to pursue gaming?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@thatjohann It was pretty boring actually. I waited with baited breath for every new game that would come out and just devoured them. I read the covers front and back. At that time, there were only a handful of games that released each month, now we're living with a virtual treasure trove of great titles coming out every week!
Seth Louey
Seth Louey@sethlouey · 🙌 2017 & 2016 Maker of the Year Nominee
@justinbailey12d Is there any software out there to help develop a game if your are strictly a designer and only know HTML/CSS and some JS?
Joel Pykkonen
Joel Pykkonen@jpykko · Account Manager, Marketing Architects
What funding platform(s) do you feel would be best suited for an educational game? Games with a user group of young teens but marketed toward adult purchasers 35+ is slightly different than a prototypical game you find on funding sites.
Janis
Janis@646yumeng
@justinbailey12d Hi! Nice to talk to you. What's your favorite video game of all time?
Melissa Joy Kong
Melissa Joy Kong@melissajoykong · Content, Product Hunt
Could you talk a bit about the inspiration for the name of the site?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@melissajoykong Ha! Yes. So it's not actually named after the hotel, that was just an inspiration after I came up with the name. Kinda like, "oh, that's cool". It can mean many things to many different people, and I like that everyone is guessing what it could mean as an acronym. Ultimately though, I think the company brings the value to the name, not the other way around.
Hi Justin! Do you have plans to expand Fig to any other niche markets?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@ogirginc I think like verticals are interesting. What's really missing though from the existing crowdfunding offerings is a central community. Discovery just doesn't really happen on them. I think that's b/c there's no real focus and so I want to keep that focus with Fig. If we were to expand it would be because gamers are interested in something else, and we can bring value to that market.
Guillaume Taillefer
Guillaume Taillefer@guitail · Product manager, Hibernum
Hi Justin, thank you for your time, What would be the prerequisites to build a community form scratch for a middle-sized video game developer?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@guitail Hey Guillaume, I've looked at that from several angles and Fig is actually my best attempt to help solve that problem. I think you get a community as a developer by getting on the radar of other communities that already exist and have similar interests to what your doing - which is why it was so important to me that we start with a coalition of studios that have communities with different interests. And those studios have different strengths and weakness that developer who use the platform can tap into.
Death2Videodrome
Death2Videodrome@midian31107807
Throughout the years Kickstarter has had a lot of bad press on the video gaming side. To me it seems this really hurt & impacted the funding for video games. What do you guys plan to do differently in the ways of accountability with projects that fail after being funded & aren't able to make the promises that they initially set forth? I have funded about 80 or so projects on Kickstarter & have had only 1 fall through due to shady business practices (it was not a gaming Kickstarter). For a backer that really hurts & puts a sour taste in your mouth. What cushion do backers have over this?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@midian31107807 This is one reason the platform is curated. It's also another reason why we've engaged developers who know the space and can help advise up front to avoid the failures. We're also opening up investments so developers can be more transparent about their true budgets and to feel confident they can get the money they need to do their properties justice.
Max Pelzner
Max Pelzner@whoismaxpelzner · Co-Founder, GHOST PXL
@justinbailey12d Hi Justin, thanks for joining PH Live! Where do you see the future of games going with the Apple Watch and push notifications, like the game Lifeline?
Martin Bavio
Martin Bavio@mbavio · Full Stack Designer
Hi there Justin. How is it to work with Tim Shafer?
Justin Bailey ------
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@mbavio It was awesome - is awesome. He's the best boss I ever had and I'm thrilled I still get a chance to work with him. He's also really funny :)
Andreas Klinger
Andreas Klinger@andreasklinger · Tech at Product Hunt 💃
Not super related to Fig but you are in the core of the reality of game development! What would you recommend "tech guys" who are interesting into working on a game / maybe even launching one? What's the one advice you would give "them" (read potentially me) as early as possible? :)
JGM.io
JGM.io@jgm_io · JGM.io
@andreasklinger start building
Andreas Klinger
Andreas Klinger@andreasklinger · Tech at Product Hunt 💃
Melissa Joy Kong
Melissa Joy Kong@melissajoykong · Content, Product Hunt
If you could start your career all over again, what one decision would you have made differently, and why?
Ilosz
Ilosz@theilosz
@justinbailey12d Hi! My question is related more to the creation side of the game. I am basically more of a writer person, who is geniue at fabricating storiesand i write poems, short and long stories on a regular basis. It is quite my passion. So my question is how should i approach indie or big companies with ideas?
Rustam
Rustam@eynaliyev
Hi justin, how would you suggest starting a community? Especially when you're just starting out -w hat are the first step? How do you get the word out if most tech blogs don't want to write about new upstarts?
Anton Sekatskii
Anton Sekatskii@deleted-84932 · Seeking worldly wisdom...
@eynaliyev Starting a blog is a good practice. For example, creators of BADLAND had started writing a year before they released the game. Actually, we're working on niche blog platform for IT blogs only (unlike Medium, which aims to become a general content platform) and we believe we could help, for example, indie developers to say about their product to the world easily. Feel free to write me if you are interested.
Matt Wiseman
Matt Wiseman@mattwiseman · Product guy ex-Google, YouTube
Have you considered partnering with or been approached by any big studios or brands? What do you think about working with them?
scott penton
scott penton@scottpenton · Web Designer - SEO
@justinbailey12d how much should a small startup ask when just beginning a crowd-funding campaign? Thanks
Michael Calvert
Michael Calvert@deleted-199090 · Game artist in the pursuit of dopesness
@justinbailey12d How is Fig different from Angel.co and Kickstarter?
serversurfer
serversurfer@theserversurfer · Bearded Llama
What if a dev wanted to arrange additional funding/investment outside of Fig? How would that work?
Gibbous
Gibbous @gibbousgame
@justinbailey12d Hi Justin - we're a small indie from Romania working on a point and click adventure and we'd love to get a shot at being on Fig - are there geographical limitations? Do we have to have representation in the US or anything like that? So excited about this new platform!