We value transparency, and strive to share our failures as much as we share our successes in the hope of demystifying the games industry. This edition of our newsletter will go into our application to the Weird Ghosts fund last year, which we did not receive. We also want to shine a light on an amazing group of people doing amazing things.

What is Weird Ghosts?

Weird Ghosts is “an impact fund for studios led by underrepresented founders across Canada.” They support studios from across Canada with grants, investments and community. The founders are also awesome human beings and clearly live their values. (Shoutout to Eileen and Jennie!) They will support studios at three stages: Concept, Early and Growth.

Since we were very excited about Weird Ghosts’ mission, which aligned with our own in many ways, we started working on a pitch deck for the Early stream. You can find more information on their initiative and apply at https://weirdghosts.ca/.

Preparing our pitch deck

The application is very simple; You must submit a studio pitch deck. However, the pitch deck they want to see might be different than what you are used to. The focus should be on studio development activities for the next five years and the areas in which you would like to have an impact. Briefly put, “you need to describe your dream world” and break it down into concrete goals that will bring you closer to it. To guide you in identifying your impact journey, the Weird Ghosts team prepared thorough documentation, which we used religiously to create our pitch deck.

These prompts led to us extracting five impact goals from our past activities and from what we want Caldera to be in the future. The picture below was taken directly from the pitch we sent to the Weird Ghosts team (You can download the full pitch deck below).

Our team worked on our pitch deck from May to November last year. Of course, it does not have to take this long, but we took their mission seriously. It led to us having many discussions amongst ourselves to determine our goals as a studio. Our advice on this subject is to not underestimate the importance of having these talks with your co-founders. It took a lot of time, and our goals went through many iterations before they were ready to pitch.

Based on the impact goals we identified, we set measurable goals to make meaningful contributions to those impact goals over the next five years. We treated this section almost as a wishlist. It is understood that studios need funding to function, and we decided to come up with a best-case scenario. In this case, we believed the money we were asking for would have allowed us to reach these specific goals.

We also wanted to create a studio roadmap that was true to our hopes and dreams regardless of whether or not we’d receive their funding. Meaning that we are still committed to these goals today, although we acknowledge that it will take longer to get there.

What we have learned

Despite not receiving the funding, our studio has grown tremendously through this application process. We learned how to prepare a good studio pitch deck and set measurable goals for our studio. With their feedback, we also know where we should dedicate our efforts to improve. Ultimately, we come out of this experience with pitching experience for the next opportunity.

If you are thinking about applying, feel free to reach out to ask any questions you may have, and we will be more than happy to help.

Project update

Our team has been very busy putting more features and polish into our demo. In our last update, we talked about the team challenge. We don’t want to spoil the experience, but here’s a glimpse into the start of the final challenge…


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