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You dont need a million dollars ok?????


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#1 cliffski   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 22 May 2000 - 09:02 AM

Time for my first semi-rant post. Am I the only person who is sick of posts along the lines of "I am putting together the design document for my first game, I reckon the budget is about 3 million dollars, anybody know who i should submit it to?" What planet are you all on? nobody is going to give you a hundred dollars, let alone a million to make your first (or second game). By the time you have the experience and skills required to do a ''triple a title'' (im so sick of that phrase) you will know enough industry people to not have to ask these questions here. Sorry for the rant, but i feel this board has a lot of potential to help the small Lone-wolf and 2/3 man teams , but gets clogged up with people dreaming about multimillion dollar deals before theyve written a pong clone. Glad i got that out of my system :-) http://www.positech.co.uk

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#2 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 22 May 2000 - 09:20 AM

I definately agree, but there are alot of new people that need to be guided...I do think that GameDev should open up a newbie section (or direct them to AmaDev ) so we can weed out most of these posts.

Btw cliff, is Star Miner selling well? Arent you guys published with Crystal Interactive?



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#3 Tiso   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 22 May 2000 - 09:34 AM

Amen

#4 cliffski   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 22 May 2000 - 09:49 AM

Crystal have so far got my game published by egames (www.egames.com) They sell the games in a lot of places but the royalty percentage is very low. Crystal are planning on retailing my game direct which (so they say...) should do much better.

http://www.positech.co.uk

#5 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 22 May 2000 - 12:00 PM

what''s with the anti newbie posts lately. And all the stupid people who say "Right on girlfriend" after the post. I haven''t seen a single post asking for money, and I''ve only seen a very small amount of design docs.

#6 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 23 May 2000 - 12:49 AM

Do you earn one dollar per copy? They say so. Look in the topic breakin in buisness.
If 100.000 is sold, you will earn $100.000

#7 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 23 May 2000 - 12:55 AM

This is what crystal said.

A Developer will earn at least $1 for each copy sold, IF his product goes out as a stand alone. So a small Pac-man game will always end up on a 5-pack or even a 10-pack. So then the dollar will become "pro rata". We always try to give our people more then a dollar a copy sold though. So you can make at least $10.000 in the worst case scenario when your game ''only'' sells 10.000 units. But you''d really have to have written an absolute pants game in order to achieve this abismal figure. Usually we sell between 25.000 and 50.000 units of a ''normal'' game. So between $25.000 and $50.000 should be reasonable I''d say.

But with who do they work? Have they there own channels.

#8 Crystal Interactive CEO   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 23 May 2000 - 01:31 AM

Dear Readers,

Once again there''s a lot of controversy about my company I notice... But as always I''m ready to explain.

We guarantee our people $1 a unit sold as a bare minimum. So even if we''d have a Martian Space Ship throw 50.000 units into a black hole you''d have to be happy, as long as we give you a check for $50.000 right?. Now our distribution does not reach as far as Planet Mars, nor do we have unorthodox methods to distribute products like I described before. We sell into all of the major retail stores either direct or through GT Interactive''s subsidiary "Slash Corporation". Our sales reps always push in new products with CompUSA, EB, K-Mart, Wal-mart, Best Buys (through GT) and many other retail chains. The retail contracts are very expensive to buy if you''re a new publisher ($50.000 just to be ''allowed'' to sell your games into a retail chain) but since our contracts date back to 1987 they were a lot cheaper back then. Check out our "Nutridata" product range.

I''m a bit tired having to explain our relationship with eGames. My good friend "Cliffski" works with us for over a year now and he''s seen his game "Star Miner" being sub-licensed to eGames. Now eGames will not sell the full version in retail. This will only be sold on-line. A ''light'' version (with 50% of the levels) went on 2 collection CD products which did make it into retail. Since we only sell full version products in retail ourselves we decided to let eGames market a version we''d never sell ourselves. This way we made "Cliffski" some extra cash before he starts earning on his full version product which we are publishing in a stand alone jewel case.

Now I hope this is the last time I have to explain our relationship to eGames. We are NOT game agents and I strongly object to people accusing us of taking 50% for filling out some paperwork. We occasionally choose to SUPPLEMENT our distribution with an exclusive or non-exclusive sub-license if we feel it can benefit the maximalisation of the sales potential of a particular product. I value eGames as a competent yet relatively slow business partner and even though they''re technically our competitors I can recommend them if you''re into producing "family friendly" budget software. But then again you can earn much more money if you go with us.

I''d say look at it as you''re standing in a supermarket and you have the choice between a number of different products. Shop around and compare the offers. Don''t take MY word for it, but judge for yourself.

Thanks and take care,

Alex de Vries
President and CEO
Crystal Interactive LLC
"A Nutridata Company"
http://www.crystal-interactive.com
alexdv@nutridata.com

#9 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 23 May 2000 - 02:05 AM

Your offer looks very good.
Is it possible to live of the earnings, this is by the way more general mentioned for budget titles.



#10 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 24 May 2000 - 03:41 AM

Dear Mr. de Vries,

Is it possible to work full time as a internal game developer for your company Crystal Interactive.
The earning is a month salary plus some royalties of the developed product.
I am very much interested in joining your company.
What are the possibilities?

#11 AtypicalAlex   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 24 May 2000 - 04:23 PM

I have two questions for the CEO of Crystal:

1) I have heard that essentially you just sell THROUGH egames and possibly other publishers. So why should anyone publish with you when they could publish with egames directly?

2) I have also heard that you have a warez mole within the company. What do you have to say regarding that?

#12 Crystal Interactive CEO   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 24 May 2000 - 08:45 PM

Dear Anonymous posters and Atypical Alex,

I''ll answer you one at a time.

Anonymous 1: Well, you can make anything between $10.000 and $150.000 a game if they''re published as stand alones. Our distribution includes a racking program in drug stores which could set pre-orders for your game as high as 150.000 units. With a $1 a unit royalty you should be able to get $150.000. Living off budget games is only possible if you write 3 or 4 a year I guess. Which is not that hard to do.

Anonymous 2: We hire in-house programmers and artists for our development teams but currently we have no openings. If you submit your resume you''ll end up in our database and we always consult that one for new projects first

AtypicalAlex: (Sigh...) I''m growing VERY tired of this line of questions as you clearly haven''t bothered to read my other postings or any of the E-mails I sent you as a response to your first round of questions... But then again I''m never reluctant to explain for the 19th time!

1) We do NOT sell "THROUGH" eGames!!! This is really the last time I ever want to hear about this since the answer is also more or less displayed 3 postings before this reply. We are a publisher selling DIRECTLY into retail and we merely use distributors like Ingram Micro, Navarre and GT Interactive''s subsidiary "Slash Corporation" to get our products into stores like Best Buys. This is the same thing eGames does so why on earth would we need them to sell products??? Our relationship with eGames is limited to a simple sub-licensing of 3 of our titles for digital downloads and bundle packs. We retained the retail rights of the full versions and eGames are merely selling an on-line version and a 50% light version which goes on collections and bundles. So why do we do this? To get our developers some extra cash since we don''t sell 50% light versions ourselves! Ever heard of licensing BETWEEN companies? We certainly don''t take a route one to eGames for every game we license from a developer. HOW COULD WE PAY YOU $1 A UNIT IF WE DID THAT????? The royalties of eGames are certainly FAR less then $1 a unit sold...

Sorry to be so emotional about this but you basically accused us of being game agents who take 50% for doing something you could easily do yourself. I strongly resent this as we may not be the biggest publisher around but we certainly do not shop our games around as common game agents!!!

2) Warez Mole? Who told you this? First of all we NEVER let any of the samples sent in to us leave the building without signing a contract for it with the developer first. If a sample is rejected we either store it in a secured warehouse, return it to the developer or destroy it. Whichever way the developer prefers. We also do not make our files available electronically (via internet) and we have no connections to software pirates. Fact is that games get pirated, we try just as hard to stop it as EIDOS, EA and Activision do! I find the accusation (which was not made by you, but by a prior poster) ridiculous and without any basis or proof to back it up. My company employs about 50 people and we have severe penalties for "taking home a game to make a copy for personal use". I''ll fire anyone who does on the spot!!!

I hope this explains our policies. Please again excuse the emotional signature of my comments as I''m normally a relaxed and friendly person, but this sort of cr*p talk really gets me steamin'' with anger since it''s fundamentally untrue!

Regards,

Alex de Vries
http://www.crystal-interactive.com

#13 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 24 May 2000 - 10:06 PM

Mr. de Vries,

I don''t blame you at all for becoming a bit emotional. People are being pretty rough on you here. It''s pretty admirable that you''re posting here and talking to everyone quite freely though

#14 Crystal Interactive CEO   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 25 May 2000 - 02:52 AM

Dear Nazrix,

Thank you. I''m merely trying to run an honest business here. I know people don''t have to take my word for it, but I''d really like them to check the facts before they post a wild accusation.

I''m open to inform anyone about my company and I''m willing to take criticism IF it''s based on facts.

Thanks again and take care,

Alex de Vries
http://www.crystal-interactive.com

#15 m1dn1ght   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 25 May 2000 - 03:15 AM

Ok, the warez-mole thing is entirely my fault and got blown out of proportion. I apologize. This was simply based on the fact, that I do monitor activities of certain shady groups on the internet, and I have seen Subspace released on the net a week before it hit stores. Therfore, the conclusion was that either the publisher shipped the game way ahead of time to retailers (a rare case) or someone employed by the publisher leaked it (usually the case).
I understand that I should have rather emailed you on this subject rather than rant-posting it, and I again apologize for this.
Security or not, many publishers do have these moles and they are very good at covering their tracks, sometimes even occupying high level positions. EA was a good example of this, and I think the one they found was a Sales & Marketing Exec., he managed to leak about 5 games way before release before he got caught (eg. Sim City 3000 and Alpha Centauri to name two). As soon as he was fired, all of a sudden someone else took over for him. It''s a horrible dilemma for everyone, especially since you cannot please every employee and pissed employees often like to take random acts of revenge. I remember before QA was a major factor in the industry, some games were released with virii placed into the code by an angry programmer. Always a problem, always a dilemma.
I tryed to make it clear to everyone in my posts that I was speaking from MY experience and observations, and all I asked for was for developers to be careful, and check their publishers out. I did not intend to turn this into a Crystal bashing frenzy. I''m sorry.

#16 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 25 May 2000 - 07:28 AM

Dear Mr de Vries,

Your offer sounds interesting, so I have some questions.

A game like pac man, the called chase/maze games will be placed on a collection cd rom of 5 or 10 games? So it will not be placed on an own stand alone cd rom?
Are also other games like the pac man game, for instance
a frogger game, space invader or a not scrolling platform game etc. examples of games who will be placed on a collection cd rom? What kind of games will be sold on an own stand alone cd rom?

Means pro rata that number games of developer (for example 1) will be shared to the number of the total games on the collection (5 or 10) and than multiplied to 1 dollar (1 game /5 * $1 or 1 game /10 * $1)? The final result will be multiplied to the number of sold units. And that is between 10.000 and 150.000 units. Could you give a little example how it will be calculated in a formula?

Before QA do both parties need to sign a NDA by the way?
How long will it take if a game is accepted after the 7 days of QA testing, to bring the game in to sales, production (packing and duplication), distribution (transport to the retailers) to the consumer market. So about how many week(s) after the 7 days can the developer receives his first royalty check after the mentioned process between positive QA test and the first month check?

I find it very interesting how the process works from bringing the game on the retail market. Could you explain this a little bit please? So I have an impression about what happens in mean while with the game before it comes into the hands of the consumer.

Is it possible for you to publish several chase clones or other games types, who you already have on a collection cd rom or an own stand alone cd rom on the market? Or are you more searching to orginal games.

The contract is for two years, is it possible to continue the contract after the two years. Do I have the right to sell the game after the mentioned two years to another publisher if it won''t be continued.


Thank you very much for answering these questions.

#17 Crystal Interactive CEO   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 25 May 2000 - 09:00 AM

Dear M1dn1ghT,

Thank you for your apology. It takes a good person to admit you''re acting a bit premature.

I know that the problem of warez moles is common within companies but why blame the end publisher? You said Subspace got pirated before it got shipped into retail? Well, even though we can never prove this it could be the developer/development team who leaks games. These people often come from the demo coding scene and ave connections to warez swappers (they have to in order to get their demos out to everyone). So this may be the logical source where piracy starts... But you''re right, an executive could have a cousin who''s a software pirate and pass on games to him. Perhaps not even realising the consequences. This is the age of internet, not of 5.25" and 3.5" disks...

Take care,

Alex de Vries
http://www.crystal-interactive.com

#18 Crystal Interactive CEO   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 25 May 2000 - 09:19 AM

Dear Mr. Anonymous,

Thank you for your interest in our publishing process. First of all the quality of games is not derived from the type. Often we bundle small games together on one CD, but if a small game is quirky enough we''ll release it as a stand alone. We do not have a standard "Pac Man goes on Collection" type of policy.

Pro rata means that the royalty percentage is shared by the authors of the games on a collection CD. So 20% pro rata on a 2 game collection CD product means 10% per game.

After Evaluation we give our developers either a contract proposal or a summary of what should be changed in order to get their game approved. We never discard game ideas after 1 submission. If the game gets approved we handle all of the legal issues and sign the contract. An NDA prior to submitting something for evaluation is not common, but we do accept it without problems. When the contract is signed we request from you some artwork + screenshots and our artwork specialist starts working on a mock-up of the retail packaging for your product. Can take anywhere from a week to a month, depending on how good it should be. You don''t want to approve the first thing you see of course.

When the box mock-up is ready we manufacture 10-20 of these and our sales reps take these with them during their appointments with the buyers at Wal-mart, K-Mart, Best Buys and all of the other big chains. Based on the preliminary box design we gather "Purchase Orders". This is as simple as the buyer at EB saying "I want 2.000 units)". We take about 2 to 3 weeks to manufacture this PO and after that we ship them to the retailers. Which takes a week, two weeks tops. At the time of pre-orders (Purchase Orders) we can already write developers a check if they want an advance, but usually we wait for 1 month until all initial pre-sales are done. In 3-4 months time a product will gradually get into all of the retail chains since they buy POs one after another.

I hope this clearifies our publishing process a bit. It''s fairly simple as you can see. You do of course need a retail contract in place which ''allows'' you to sell into retail chains. A starters retail contract with Babbages costs you $50.000. A lot of money for a start-up so that''s why you see many developers go through ourselves or another publisher. The publishing process itself is easy. The marketing process isn''t...

Take care,

Alex

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Posted 25 May 2000 - 10:17 AM

Dear Mr. de Vries,

>Pro rata means that the royalty percentage is shared by >the authors of the games on a collection CD. So 20% pro >rata on a 2 game collection CD product means 10% per game.

How much will the author then earn of each copy for example?
Will the author earn about 10% of the price the product is bought by the distributor or the retailer. Let say 10% of the $5 = $0.50 On a 5 game pack $0.50 / 5 = 0,10 result
0.10 * 50000 units = total earning $5000 after two years





#20 motherfucker   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 25 May 2000 - 11:46 PM

It sounds not pretty much.
Or is the calculation wrong?




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