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Treasure Chest! The secret to fund and run your digital project in Ontario

To create an interactive product from scratch without the certainty of success may seem like a terrifying task and I will tell you a secret: it definitely is! One of my main objectives this year is to develop an interactive presentation web service called Dis+Play. To bring this product from the concept to a fully shippable version seemed something impossible until I discovered about the secret passages that can keep your company and project on the tracks. On the next paragraphs I will show some of the magic that inhabits in these powerful funds.

 

OMDC – IDM Fund

The Interactive Digital Media Fund managed by the Ontario Media Development Corporation is a great option for companies looking for a boost on their projects. Approved applications can receive up to 250.000,00 canadian dollars, this can be an awesome incentive to any company trying to boot up an interactive project.

After a Ontario based company (owned by a canadian) can apply for their yearly process and  if the project and company fit the funds specifications.

Every year dozens of companies like Cococucumber (Riverbond) , Reptoid Studios (Fossil Hunters) and  Asteroid Base (Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime) get their projects running thanks to this fund. Gamers around the world should be thankful to it, that is constantly allowing amazing titles to come to the shelves of stores around the world.

Image result for Riverbond

Cococucumber’s Riverbond is one of the many fantastic titles that received IDM’s aid

 

OIDMTC – Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit

If you are already running a project, Taxes can be one of your worst enemies. Fear not, OMDC also covers that with the  OIDMTC. This tax credit can cover between  35% and 40% over labour expenditures taxes. 

Just as the IDM Fund, the OIDMTC is resposible for the maintenence of many digital media companies around Ontario. To receive the creadit an Ontario based company run by either a canadian or a foreigner has to apply 18 months after the end of your company’s taxation year when you shipped your approved digital product.

 

BDC- Small Business Loan

If all else fails, there is still hope: The Business Development Bank of Canada has a special loan offer of up to 100.000,00 canadian dollars. Their application process is fast and efficient, companies praise BDC as one of the best options to inject quick money to your project. The interest rates are also relatively low compared to regular loans for companies, which is very attractive to companies that will only have profit on the long run.

Be warned that this option is different from the others above, debt is not something to play with, and companies should always be careful and think twice before opting into getting a loan.

 

Conclusion

What you just read above is just a fraction of the funds available for digital media companies in Ontario. The days of old, where your whole life depended on the success of a project are no more while all these economic options are available for inventors and designers.

If you are a game designer and have an awesome idea for an interactive project, go and enjoy this golden age of incentives that we are living right now!

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The Rules of Rules of Play! Or how Kahoot! terms and conditions may apply to your interactive product

As a post-grad student and an avid digital media professional, my main goal for this year is to build the alpha version of my gamified presentation building tool: Dis+Play.

Among the many similar digital products that I found on my competitive analysis , Kahoot! one of the most inspiring titles that I came across.

This norse educational quiz builder is equipped with a fun and colorful interface and a great sense of purpose that led it to invade schools all over the world to make classrooms a fun environment. However, a deeper reading into the terms and conditions, privacy policy and inclusion & accessibility policy of Kahoot have really revealed interesting details about how this company runs their product.

 

Terms and conditions & Privacy policy

Aside from the default terms such as keeping security and privacy as a user’s responsibility and making it clear that accounts and service may be terminated by any reason, Kahoot! has a whole section dedicated to how their rules and tracking apply to children under 13.

They say that only emails and usernames are tracked for children and only with the means of recovering passwords. This kind of concern is very noble and also essential when you are dealing with something like privacy for kids. To establish what accounts should not be tracked they have an special kind of account made only for students under thirteen.

 

Inclusion & Accessibility policy

 

“We believe that learning should include everyone.

We believe in removing barriers to education.

We believe that diversity is an asset that enables us to learn from 

each other, and should therefore be positively encouraged.”

 

Here the company states how their services are made to be as accessible as possible to any and every user. The passage above gives a fantastic insight of how Kahoot designed their tool with a high focus design thinking and empathy for their users.

This is also shown on their objective of keeping up with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)  (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/). Kahoot tries to keep their product percievable, operable and understandable to all of its users.

 

Conclusion

Reading the legal terms behind a company really opens up space for great insights. Hidden behind every rule there is major concerns with both the users and company. I had no idea of the importance of how data tracking for children was such a sensible matter, Dis+Play may will also have children as a great portion of our users and having this in mind from the start can change the whole shape of our analytics plan.

I was aware of the importance of WCAG, but the way Kahoot paired it with the speech about breaking barries for education also inspired my product to follow these guidelines as strictly as possible. Empowering the users despite disabilities, status and other characteristics is essential and should always be one of the main pillars of a well-thought product, specially when the subject is education.