I have some questions about game development teams in which the developers are not paid (they volunteer to help develop the game). I'm asking because I may want to try this in the future, and I want to approach it in the most professional way possible. So, I'm hoping to get answers to some more specific questions, as well as general advice on the "do's and dont's" when it comes to recruiting volunteer teams.
I understand that, since the developers would not be paid for their work, it's expected that the game would be released for free if it's finished. In this case, any volunteers you would attract would most likely be contributing because they want a finished game where their work is displayed, so they can reference this in their portfolio.
The other case would be when they are promised a share of the profits that the game makes, and they want to rake in the cash when the project is released and sold in the millions. I hear these types of approaches very rarely work out and usually end in either a failed project or a finished project that makes no revenue.
So here are my questions:
1) Is it a bad idea to even attempt to get a bunch of volunteer developers together to make a game? Do these kinds of teams work out often, even if the project is of a reasonable scope?
2) Do those projects which promise a share of profits ever really work out? What must be done to make a project like this proper and professional (e.g. contracts, licenses, and all that legal stuff)?
3) If you finish a game project with a volunteer team, will they expect you to have other game projects ready to develop with them, or will the team split off and do their own thing afterwards?
4) Should the team mark the game with a "company name" or splash screen once it's finished? If the team splits up and the leader later creates a new team to make another game, should the same "company name" be used? Or should there be no such thing used whatsoever, just a "credits" menu in-game which details all of the contributors to the project?
Ok, I think that's all. Feel free to share any advice you can on the matter!
Casey HardmanMember Since 08 Feb 2011
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Game design, game programming, writing