Questions about the Accelerator:

Is there a deadline for applications?
The deadline for applying for the Summer 2015 Cohort is 11:59pm on November 22, 2015.
Does my entire team need to be in Montreal?
Your core team needs to be in Montreal for the duration of the program. Part of the experience, especially the learning and teaching part, comes from being in the same physical space. Also there’s the Office Badger…
Do you take studios from outside of Canada?
Absolutely! We can help you get settled if you’re an international team.
Does my team need to be complete before we apply?
Your core team–meaning the team that will be in Montreal for the duration of the Accelerator–needs to be in place prior to submitting your application. This doesn’t mean you can’t bring new folks on board after you leave us, of course.
Does my team already need to be incorporated?
For those legally allowed to work in Canada, we can take teams that are either already incorporated or teams that are not. For international teams, you must be incorporated already.
Can we use contractors if our team is missing a key resource?
Your team’s three keys roles (Business, Tech and Creative) cannot be outsourced. But you can get outside help for other missing pieces. For example, La Hacienda (from award-winning Papo y Yo) is a key partner and they will be able to provide audio production help to any team that needs it.
Can you apply solo or do you have to be part of an existing team?
Based on the criteria you’ll find on the Programs page, you’ll notice that we require a team of no less than 3 people.
Do all team members have to be full-time?
Yes. It’s really, really hard to be a part-time entrepreneur. This should be all you’re focused on during the time you’re with us and beyond.
There is mention of an additional 2 months to work in the Labs after the 3 month program is over. What’s that all about?
There will be a couple months gap between the end of one Accelerator cohort and the start of the next. Teams that are on the verge of signing a deal or finalizing their production funding may be invited to “linger” longer in the Labs to help reduce burn before their funding comes in…and to make sure they don’t run off to Belize with all the money.
What if I want to make a PC game. Are only mobile/tablet games allowed?
We would love for you to apply with a PC or console prototype. We are platform and business model neutral at XL!
How can the funding be used? Are there any restrictions?
The use of the funds is relatively flexible, though we will help you with your budget and planning. And we’ll certainly question that “design retreat cruise” to the Caribbean. The focus should be on using the funds to achieve the goals of the Accelerator, namely refining your game and securing your production funding. That means using it to pay team member and contractor wages, funding a trip to a key conference, paying for a slick trailer, etc.
What’s the deal with the 0.16% equity per $1000 formula?
If you decide to take the maximum amount of money ($50k), we want to cap our equity stake at 14% to make sure your company can raise funds from additional investors down the road. That happens to work out to 0.16% equity per $1000 invested. It’s kind of a weird percentage, but who are we to question math? As another example, if you need $14k in funding through the program, our final equity stake would be 6% + (14 * 0.16%) = 8.24% total. The bottom line is that you decide how much money you need, and the equity you give us varies accordingly.


Questions about the Finishing Fund:

Is there a deadline for applying to the Finishing Fund?
No, there is not! We’re always looking for interesting projects to invest in, so there are no hard deadlines.
My studio is located on Mars? Can we apply?
Technically, yes, because we’ll consider investing in your game no matter where your studio is located.
Whoa, track record of success? How much success are we expected to have had?
We are looking at how many games you have already shipped as a studio, and how well those were received in the marketplace (i.e., press reviews, user ratings, etc.), and to what extent they generated enough revenue to keep your studio alive. We are not expecting team members to be zipping around town in Ferraris due to their past blockbusters.
What determines how much equity we give XL?
The range is generally 2%-9%, depending on a number of factors. Some of the things we consider include how much help you’ll need from XL’s experts, how close you are to launch, the experience of your team, your studio’s past successes, and how much funding we’re providing.


General Questions:

To what extent can XL management or mentors mandate creative decisions (e.g. “Change those ninjas to dragons, sir!”)?
We can’t. We’re here to guide and help, and perhaps in some cases strongly encourage you, but these are your games and your decisions.
If against all odds we fail, what do we “owe” back to XL?
Nothing. These aren’t loans. That said, we do hope that you’ll share your story with others in the XL family so they can learn from your experiences…even if they’re painful!


Playtesting Questions:

Who is Execution Labs?
Execution Labs exists to help game developers become entrepreneurs, providing them with the guidance and resources they need to their games into the hands of people who will enjoy playing them. As part of this process, we invite players to give feedback on unreleased and unfinished video games. Your feedback will help game developers to improve and optimise their games!
What is playtesting?
Game development is a hard and lengthy process, where developers often make creative and novel design decisions, or target a new market. It’s critical for developers to receive feedback from their target audience on how they are doing, and what they should improve in their games. In playtesting, players (representing the target audience) will try unreleased and unfinished games and provide feedback for the game development team.
What is the time commitment?
Playtests are usually single sessions that last about an hour or so.
Do I have enough gaming experience to participate?
We are always looking for a variety of different players, whether you are experienced or a casual player. You might be the target audience of one of our games! Your opinions matter to us, as you represent an important part of the gaming community.
Is there compensation?
We will pay you for your time! The reward varies according to the study, but our typical reward for an hour session is $25. You’ll also get to play unreleased games before anyone else.
Awesome! How do I sign up?
You can complete THIS FORM to sign up for participation in our playtest sessions. It’s very important to complete the form carefully and honestly. We are looking for a variety of players with different levels of experience, so playing more games or owning a certain gaming console won’t necessarily mean you will be invited to participate in more playtests.
What will happen once I sign up?
As soon as you complete the signup form, your name and gaming profile will be added to our database. Every study we conduct requires a variety of participants. Once there is a study that matches your profile you will be contacted by our team.
I am selected for a session but I won’t be able to make it. What should I do?
Please let us know as soon as possible. You can email us at playtesting@executionlabs.com.
Where do I go?
Playtest sessions will take place at Execution Labs. We are located at 1435 rue Staint-Alexandre, Suite 140, Montreal, QC H3A 2G4. The nearest metro station is Station Place-des-Arts.
Please remove me from your list!
Please email us (playtesting@executionlabs.com) and we will remove your name and information from our database.