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A platform for the games industry to help out the smaller budgets of indie developers and bring people closer together.
A platform for the games industry to help out the smaller budgets of indie developers and bring people closer together.
291 backers pledged CHF 11,699 to help bring this project to life.

About

indiecouch.org - free accommodation for indie devs! project video thumbnail
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CHF 11,699

291

Stretch Goal: Fund Ludoria

Progress: 76% 5h to go

Latest Update: We did it! Stretch goal: Fund Ludoria!

We love going to game events and festivals to show our games, find new friends and to chase chances. As indie devs we don't have a lot of money and spending it on expensive accommodation hurts. Time for a solution! 

After I went full indie in July 2015, meaning quitting a well-paid job, giving up my flat and selling almost all my belongings, I started to work abroad as a volunteer in exchange for food and accommodation. This way I could make a living from my earnings as a game journalist but I faced another challenge: How on earth can I now continue to visit important game conventions? As a frequent traveler and user of "that website where you can surf on couches" since 2008, the solution came to me quickly:

Open a platform for developers to offer their couches to one another during events for free. A platform that lets you meet fellow people from the games industry and makes it even easier to connect with each other.

Read about the seven months journey of indiecouch from the idea to a kickstarter on Gamasutra.

indiecouch.org will be centered around game festivals from all over the world and make it easy for you to find what you need. You are going to GDC but have not yet a place to stay? No problem, all people who still got space and offer their couch within the festival radius are just one click away. Various search filters will help you to optimize the results.

The use of the website is not limited to events, you can find all users through the basic search, whether it's for a meetup to exchange ideas or you're looking for someone to help you with your project, our platform will make it easier to find the right people

indiecouch.org is not only for developers, we target everyone working in the games industry. To help identify the special field the users are working in, we color code them accordingly. Instantly you will see if someone is working in for example marketing, sound design or just simply an enthusiast who supports the cause.

We got big plans and hope the platform will grow to become the place to be for anyone attending game events. Last year we partnered up with Ludicious Festival and designed an alpha version for their needs from the ground up within a deadline of only two months . The people loved it so much, we couldn't take it away from them after the festival ended. It's working but very basic, you can find the link below, set up your account and start you indiecouch.org adventure today.

See Alpha page

We got a lot of ideas how to further develop the website over time but for the initial launch we focus on the core features, rather than what is nice to have. We will listen carefully to user feedback and gather their thoughts. From this opinions we will create a poll where the majority of people will decide what feature we are going to implement next. Once the majority of the work is done and the website up and running we will begin programming a mobile app. Our design is responsive so you will still be able to use indiecouch.org on your mobile phone in the meantime.

We already finished wireframing and started with the web design. Simultaneously the backend is being programmed. Pictures speak more than words, here's a first look of what the final website may look like:

People have been asking us again and again how we will guarantee the safety of the hosts. The truth is, we can not give you a 100% guarantee because in the end it will always be your decision who you let stay with you but we plan to have certain features to prevent abuse:

  • Verification of address: Users will be able to verify their address via postcard.
  • Verification of mobile phone number: Users will be able to verify their mobile phone number via SMS.

A verified user is automatically more trustworthy because the information entered is legit and if something should happen we would have access to this data.

  • References: Within a glimpse you will be able to see how many references a user has gotten and if they are positive, neutral or negative.
  • Choose who can contact you: Users can activate the option that only certain people will be able to see their profile to send messages & requests.

This option will be turned of by default because we would like for people to stay open-minded. Most users will use the website for business purposes. If they want to stay with someone it's likely because they are showing their game or have meetings at a close-by event. We are talking about the indie scene where people spent their whole free - or day - time to build something they love. If something should occur, bad behavior or worse, people will know and the person responsible risks losing his reputation.

Before you let someone stay with you we appeal on your common sense. Check their profile, exchange messages and ask why they would like to stay with you. If it just doesn't work out with your guest, talk to them first because different cultures have different manners. Should that not work out explain them why and tell them nice and friendly to leave. If possible give them the address of a hostel close by. People who use this kind of websites are usually open-minded and easy going. In 8 years I never had any troubles. Sure, you'll never know, but talking to people helps in most situations.

The use of the website will be free but should it get known outside the games industry and people start using it as an alternative to other similar services and therefore higher the risk for abuse, we will implement a  paywall. We're talking about a small amount of 5$ for a year's access to prevent just anyone from signing up. Already registered users will get the first year for free as a thank you. We do not want to implement this and only time will tell if it will be necessary.

 HERO REWARDS



STANDARD REWARDS

We will use most of the money to hire another developer, get legal & business advice and to travel to various events to forge new connections and meet the users of indiecouch. In short: The money will give us the opportunity to build a startup and be sustainable for the first months.

The whole process is very similar to developing a game. There is a lot of programming, bug fixing and testing involved for which we will take our time to make sure everything runs smoothly once we launch. 

A small piece of the cake (12%) will be used for myself, allowing me to work full time on the project for a maximum amount of half a year. I will use the money to rent a very cheap flat because right now I'm living and working in a hostel in Italy, which is great, but high season is slowly approaching and will make it very difficult to constantly work on the project. 

Of course Michael and Philomena are not left dry. They are included in visiting game events and will get their cut once the site is up and running but right now they both have paid jobs and an already busy life, so money would not allow them to have more time to work on the project. 

Patrick, 26 - Founder
Patrick, 26 - Founder

I started supporting the indie scene back in 2013 when I opened a Youtube channel covering only indie games. After one year and 500 videos I got the chance to produce videos and write for website, where I learnt my first experiences as a games journalist. One night around E3 2014 I discovered that the domain indiegames.ch was still available and from there on the real journey started. 

In the past two years I went to Gamescom, Ludicious, GameZfestival, Berlin Games Week including A Maze Berlin, EGX, Fantasy Basel and Paris Games Week. I was part in various selection commitees for festival awards, organized the third screening of GameLoading: Rise of the Indies in Europe, helped programming the website of Playful Oasis, a collective around nature centered indie games and gave my first talk about indiecouch at gameZfestival as you can see in the picture above.

Michael, 27 - Software Engineer
Michael, 27 - Software Engineer

Michael is a passionate software engineer with a bachelor degree in computer science with a specialization in distributed software systems. He’s currently working at the University of Applied Science Northwestern Switzerland as a Senior Research Assistant.

When he first heard of the idea of indiecouch, he was totally convinced that this is an amazing idea which needs to be realized. One of his dreams was always to work independently, this is the first step in this direction. His long lasting experience in the field of complex software architecture and his excellent java programming skills complete the indiecouch team perfectly.

Philomena, 26 - Web Design
Philomena, 26 - Web Design

Philomena Schwab is a game design master student from Zurich, Switzerland. She greatly enjoys working on game related projects, taking on roles from art to programming to marketing. Her second big passion, biology, becomes obvious when looking at her current game project "Niche - a genetics survival game“. Recently she founded the indie collective Playful Oasis to spread the word about nature and biology related games. As a member of the gameZ and Swiss Game Developers Association Philomena is very active in organizing events and helping the local game scene grow. 

Meeting many great people and seeing them struggle to visit important events because of money was Philomena’s reason to join the indiecouch team. Taking on the role of web designer and PR assistant she supports the project with her experience in graphic design and marketing.

In August 2015 we announced the project with a simple landing page where you could sign up for a newsletter and fill out a survey for market research. Shortly after we built our current alpha page for Ludicious Zürich Game Festival which gave us some starting money to cover the server costs for a few months. At the end of the year we started looking for a second programmer through our subscribers (~200 at this point) but got no response. We also set up a Patreon but there were not enough people to know about the project to make this a viable option.

We got in contact with some investors but decided against them, it just didn't feel right and we thought Kickstarter would be the ideal place to see how many people are truly invested in this idea and also to spread the word about it. All of us have a day job and with the money pledged we hope to speed things up and make sure legally everything is fine. Your support will allow us to make that platform you want and deserve with the professional background it needs.

Risks and challenges

We build the website from the ground up and as in game developing there most certainly will be delays. We want the page to run as smoothly as possible and will therefore invest a lot of time in testing before we go online.

We are also new when it comes to legal issues and some business related stuff. We'll have to rely on external personal for that matter, which also could slow things down.

Other than that I think we're ready to roll!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CHF 1 or more About $1.00

    [Approx. 1 Euro / 1 USD ]

    *Supporter*

    Access to backer updates and your name on a "supported by"-list on indiecouch.org + special 1$-supporter badge on your indiecouch.org profile.

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    14 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge CHF 5 or more About $5

    [Approx. 5 Euro / 5 USD ]

    *Badge*

    Get a badge on your profile picture on indiecouch.org to show people your support for the project + a beautiful wallpaper designed by Philomena.

    + Everything above, except you get a much nicer badge.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge CHF 15 or more About $15

    [Approx. 14 Euro / 15 USD ]

    *Beta access*

    You'll receive beta access to the website and can help with your feedback to directly shape the site. You will also get access to our backer exclusive forum.

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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CHF 20 or more About $20

    [Approx. 18 Euro / 20 USD ]

    *IdeasForGames*

    IdeasForGames is a great set of cards for brainstorming game ideas. It was developed by Beat Suter and Anja Fritsch from GameLab ZHdK.

    + *Beta access*

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    Pledge CHF 25 or more About $25

    [Approx. 23 Euro / 25 USD ]

    *Drawing Basics and Video Game Art*

    Receive a physical copy of Drawing Basics and Video Game Art: Classic to Cutting-Edge Art Techniques for Winning Video Game Design by Chris Solarski. If you wish so he will sign it for you with whatever you want.

    + Everything above

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CHF 30 or more About $30

    [Approx. 28 Euro / 30 USD ]

    *Your game on indiecouch.org*

    Once our project goes live we will feature your game with a link to your website for one week on indiecouch.org

    Backers will be considered in chronological order. Be quick to get that very important spot at the week after launch.

    + *Beta access*

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    Pledge CHF 50 or more About $50

    [Approx. 46 Euro / 50 USD ]

    *Nordic Game Ticket*

    Festival ticket for the Indie Day of Nordic Game, 20th May 2016 in Malmö, Sweden.

    + *Your game on indiecouch.org*

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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CHF 50 or more About $50

    [Approx. 46 Euro / 50 USD ]

    *GameMaker Pro*

    You will receive a license for GameMaker Studio Professional by YoYo Games!

    + *Your game on indiecouch.org*

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge CHF 50 or more About $50

    [Approx. 46 Euro / 50 USD ]

    *indiecouch savior*

    The great feeling of playing a substantial part in making indiecouch happen. Without you the project would have failed.

    + *Your Game on indiecouch.org*

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    Pledge CHF 50 or more About $50

    [Approx. 46 Euro / 50 USD ]

    *Paris Games Week + EIGD*

    Festival ticket for the Paris Games Week AND the European Indie Game Days, 27 - 31 October 2016 in Paris, France.

    + *Your game on indiecouch.org*

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    Pledge CHF 60 or more About $60

    [Approx. 55 Euro / 60 USD ]

    *GIC Developer Pass*

    Developer Pass for the Game Industry Conference in Poznań, Poland from October 21-23, 2016. GIC is three days of talks, featuring over 126 speakers and 2940 attendees and together with collocated Poznań Game Arena expo the biggest game fest in the Central and Eastern Europe.

    + *Your Game on indiecouch.org*

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    Pledge CHF 100 or more About $100

    [Approx. 92 Euro / 100 USD ]

    *A MAZE. / Berlin Ticket*

    Full festvial ticket for A MAZE. / Berlin in Germany from 20. - 23. April 2016. Includes a meet & great with Patrick.

    + *Your Game on indiecouch.org*

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge CHF 100 or more About $100

    [Approx. 92 Euro / 100 USD ]

    *indiecouch savior DELUXE*

    Feel even more supreme with the DELUXE tier. It will keep you warm and fuzzy all night long. It also gives you to right to brag about being the one who saved indiecouch.

    + *Your Game on indiecouch.org*

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge CHF 150 or more About $150

    [Approx. 138 Euro / 150 USD ]

    *SCREENSHAKE 17*

    All-Access duo-ticket for SCREENSHAKE 17 next year in Antwerp, Belgium. The ticket will give you access to the game expo, the parties and all other events during SCREENSHAKE 17 for you AND someone else. The ideal birthday gift!

    + *Your Game on indiecouch.org*

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  15. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CHF 150 or more About $150

    [Approx. 138 Euro / 150 USD ]

    *Respawn Conference Pass*

    Conference Pass for Respawn, August 15 + 16 2016 in Cologne, Germany. The conference simply is the place to be for any game dev to get valuable insights right before the start of Gamescom.

    + *Your Game on indiecouch.org

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    Pledge CHF 200 or more About $200

    [Approx. 184 Euro / 200 USD ]

    *VIP Matchmaking Dinner @ Gamescom 2016*

    On 17th August 2016 in Cologne, Germany the german indie developer community INDIE ARENA will organize an invitation only VIP Matchmaking Dinner with the crème de la crème of international networking partners, press, distributors,...and YOU are invited!

    Travel costs & accomodation excluded. Gamescom ticket not needed.

    + *Your Game on indiecouch.org*

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  17. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CHF 250 or more About $250

    [Approx. 229 Euro / 250 USD ]

    *A MAZE. / Berlin Booth*

    Exhibit your game at A MAZE. / Berlin in Germany from 20. - 23. April 2016! Festival ticket excluded. See section about rewards for more details.

    + *Your Game on indiecouch.org*

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  18. Select this reward

    Pledge CHF 250 or more About $250

    [Approx. 229 Euro / 250 USD ]

    *indiecouch HERO*

    You must be crazy?! Or just super awesome! We love you and your support will push us even closer to the finish line. You will get the most amazing badge on your indiecouch profile you've ever seen!

    + *Your Game on indiecouch.org*

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  19. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CHF 300 or more About $300

    [Approx. 275 Euro / 300 USD ]

    *A MAZE. / Berlin Booth + Ticket*

    Exhibit your game at A MAZE. / Berlin in Germany from 20. - 23. April 2016! Including full festival ticket. See section about rewards for more details.

    + *Your Game on indiecouch.org*

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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  20. Select this reward

    Pledge CHF 500 or more About $500

    [Approx. 458 Euro / 500 USD ]

    *Producer*

    The logo of your company on the front page of indiecouch! With your contribution you will significantly help to bring indiecouch to life.

    + *Your Game on indiecouch.org*

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Funding period

- (30 days)