Round 10 will open soon, with applicants having until Wednesday 2nd November to submit a full application (full details about the criteria and what a submission to Round 10 must include will be released shortly).
In advance of the open date, Founder and CEO of UKGTF – Paul Durrant – shares his thoughts on what applicants should be aware of.
Round 10 sees a return to the pitch development route for applications where successful applicants will receive funding in two tranches, why is that?
We’ve been experimenting with different approaches and various criteria over the past six years and the pitch development approach has been very popular as we’ve been able to help a wider range and larger number of applicants. We’ve also seen better than average progression for applicants through this route in terms of the level of advancement they make.
What is the UKGF looking for in applications this time?
We’re hoping to see strong and well-balanced teams with shared visions around good ideas supported by an understanding of the target audience. The first phase of funding (£12,000) – which must be incurred and defrayed January – March 2023 – will allow gaps in any of these requirements to be filled before the final pitch for up to £18,000.
What about games with other motives beyond entertainment?
These applications remain challenging to assess because they often lack evidence of the claimed efficacy in their field – and we don’t fund research and development. If an applicant has already undertaken externally-validated, comparative cohort trials evidencing potential then that might make them fundable, but sadly that’s not very common.
Can solo developers apply?
Yes they can – and the two stage pitch development route is ideal for them as long as they are minded towards achieving the economic impacts that UKGTF is here to generate and also that they set up a limited company with expansion ambitions. Applications from solo developers usually show up gaps that need to be addressed before our full commitment and the first phase of funding will allow that to happen.
Do grant recipients need to be a limited company?
Yes, preferably their founding will pre-date the application by a reasonable period. However, as I noted with regard to solo developers, a company could be set up once an award has been confirmed by us.
What will you be expecting to see in terms of filling gaps during the first phase of funding?
We often see that single founders don’t have all the skills and experience to make a credible case for becoming a growth studio so we’ll be encouraging ways to reinforce the founding team to ensure that a stronger case can be made.
If we believe any applicants to Round 10 have well-balanced founding teams and are ready to move on with development (perhaps associated with a publishing deal/early interest) we will consider that possibility.
There will also an opportunity for applicants to reference positive endorsements from our funded community in their application. What’s the thinking there?
It’s not compulsory, but our funded community is large enough and well-dispersed across the UK to be reachable by most applicants through their local networks. We’ll be asking our community to spend some time with potential applicants and help them shape up their ideas sufficiently for them to say that it is a worthy application. With physical events back on the calendar there are good opportunities for applicants to network locally ahead of their applications. For us, evidence of peer support in this way is a strong validator.
Are there any other notable changes in Round 10?
We’re increasing our interest in the positive impact our funding has on freelancers and contractors working on supported projects. That means that we will be keen to hear about the way your project will develop strong business and creative relationships that endure.
How to apply to Round 10
Details about the criteria, key dates and eligibility will be released soon.