đź’ť Oxygen Grant

Microgrants for indie game developers

Status: accepting applications

What is it?

I am running a microgrant program and donating $100 every week1 to indie game developers to help them finish and release their games under a free license2. No binding agreement, no strings attached.

To apply, you just fill out an application form.

It is a small incentive for game developers to push their projects over the finish line. Even it is a small game, I want you to be proud of it. I want you to say joyfully: "Now, I have a game".

I hope you can expose your journey, not only the destination. We rarely talk about these things, but it is important. I believe in you. You can make something great.

Why?

There are no requirements for being a creator. All you need is to finish a project and share it with the world. I truly believe that every human felt a stirring desire to create, not because someone told you so, but because you have a spiritual connection with your idea. Build an interesting thing out of thin air.

Game development is hard, and if you are just starting out, you may not have the motivation or skills to finish a game. These games don't survive3, and we table them until better times. There is no right answer to this problem, but I will be generous and kind. I know that it is the right thing to do.

I want to give you something, pat you on the back, encourage you to pursue your dream.

Because you are special.

Non Asked Questions

How will applications be assessed?

All grants will be made at my sole discretion and based on a personal evaluation. I don’t have any other criteria at this point.

What does a free license mean?

I mean, it is a license that allows others to use, alter and/or sell a piece of work freely. I believe this definition suits MIT, GPL, CC0, and many other licenses.

It is an important part. I wholeheartedly believe in creating open and rich foundations that can be used by and can inspire other people.

How sustainable is it?

All grants awarded come from my personal money. Currently, the pool size is enough to make it sustainable for a couple of years. If other people like this idea4 and contribute to the pool, I might be looking into restructuring Oxygen Grant.

$100 is a measly sum; what am I supposed to do with it?

Yes, that’s right. Unfortunately, I am not rich. Yet you can subsidize a Steam publisher fee, buy a few bags of coffee beans, or even buy treats for your cat, so she loves you more.

Think of it like this: today is your birthday, and a stranger gives you a gift card to celebrate it in a way you like. You deserve this.

I will give you an example: on average, a Pico-8 game on itch.io makes about $50. The median is about $7. However, if your game is donations only, you will likely receive $0. It is the uncomfortable reality.

My other hope is this will raise awareness among other people, whether they decide to contribute to the pool or run their own microgrant program.

Aren’t you worried that someone won’t deliver the project?

Let’s be honest. The vast majority of projects don't survive. For instance, I logged in to my old Github account. Four out of five projects I followed have been archived or didn’t receive any commits in the last five years or more.

Yet, I don't think it qualifies as a failure. Perhaps, it is training. Focus on your journey, not on the destination. Please write it down, and your future self will say thank you later.

I have an ambitious project but need more than $100. Will you fund me, please?

I would love to! Yet I am not in the luxury position to write a big check. Usually, large projects could be broken down into smaller tasks. If a microgrant helps you deliver a juicy feature, I think it is a win.

Taxes and legal

All grants are personal gifts. There is no legal entity to disburse money. However, I am neither a lawyer nor an accountant, please do your own research.

I don't need money, but I like the idea. Can I contribute to the pool?

Yes. Let's talk.

Can I ask you about something else?

Yes, totally. You can DM @oxygengrant on Twitter or send an email.