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Member Since 18 May 2014
Offline Last Active May 27 2016 10:21 PM

#5287461 Contract for this situation?

Posted by GeneralJist on 18 April 2016 - 08:07 AM


 I got this issue settled, talked to a lawyer, and using his contract. 

thanks everyone.

#5285359 Contract for this situation?

Posted by GeneralJist on 05 April 2016 - 05:25 PM


So, I've been leading a "Mod" team  for a while now.

We're all unpaid volunteers, and been recruiting as such.


We're very close to Alpha, but am missing a lot of the animations. We've tried finding animators, and only got a few, not enough to finish.

So, now, I'm willing to set aside a budget out of my own pocket to pay to get us over the threshold on schedule.   (this summer)


I want to make sure I cover myself legally, and find a proper or get written a proper contract for this kind of situation.


I'm planning the budget for these 2-3 months, and will be sitting down with our creative director and lead animator to work out an exact schedule, and a per animation cost. (I won't be able to do per hour) that wood get too messy.


We're not a register company yet.


Is a contract even necessary for this?

Is there a type that covers this kind of situation, or will I need to get a custom contract drafted?

Would I be able to draft something myself and pass it by a lawyer? without a lawyer?


Any cost will come out of my own pocket, and if lucky, will be reimbursed by donations after we release the Alpha.

Any legal cost will also have to be coming out of the budget, decreasing what they all get.


What are the pros and cons of not having a contract in this situation?

I'll be having all the work checked before anyone is paid.


If I don't get this done on schedule I suspect we will drag for too long, and miss out on critical windows of opportunity. 


Are there any critical questions I should ask freelancers?


I'm new to managing paid people, how should I change my management style?


Thanks for your time and consideration,


#5273589 Free Idea to Anyone Looking For One - Not Trolling, Not Spam

Posted by GeneralJist on 31 January 2016 - 09:55 PM

ok, you look new, welcome, being new, know that I'm going to treat you just like if a veteran posted this, and don't take this as this is how the community at large thinks.


Disclaimer aside,

It's easy to have ideas, putting them into action is what is hard, so if, someone was so taken with the above idea to make a whole game, then the credit would go to them., not you.


Furthermore, if your not inspired enough to make the time to learn how to put your ideas, your dreams into a reality, why do you think someone else will?And is the idea really that good if the originator doesn't  feel motivated to try?




If you were on a book writing forum, would you post an idea for a book, for someone else to make?

Your a member on a faceless member on a forum board, why would another faceless member be inspired to make you ultra happy?


If you believe in it enough, you might be able to make it one day, hell 5-6  years ago I was posting and discussing on a forum just like you, and was hoping  the big time Devs would pick up my ideas, but then I got a chance to put those ideas into action, and now I lead a similar project.


It's not easy, it's not fast, and sometimes, more often than you think, it's mot fun, but it is rewarding beyond your dreams, even if you don't succeed.


If your content to sit back, then sit back, but if you actually want to see it a reality, then figure something out, you don't have to be an artist or a coder to make it work.


I'd say, just try, maybe one day you'll have the game of your dreams, and you can say you had a direct hand in making that happen, your more capable than you think, most people are.


good luck then, whatever happens,

#5272769 How to call this government system

Posted by GeneralJist on 26 January 2016 - 05:52 PM

That actually sounds good, that'dbe a story I'd sink my teeth in.


Well, is this all meant to be just pure lore for world buildings sake? or is any of this meant to be later reflected in design and mechanics?



Don't get me wrong, I don't deny that these kinds of threads are interesting and worth wile, I just think having a team/ partner to work with would make some of these topics more rewarding for the OP to discuss and implement.


I love a purely intellectual discussion maybe more than most, and was content to just discuss on forums for years, but over time, I've realized that's trumped by actually operationalizing it.

Guess it might depend on where a person is on the scale of theoretical to hands on.  


By all means, continue doing what you’re doing it seems to be working for you, I'm just used to trying to improve and tweak systems until they reach the optimum levels of efficiency & effectiveness.

#5272546 How to call this government system

Posted by GeneralJist on 24 January 2016 - 11:19 PM

hmm, maybe call it the monarch machine?

since for all intents and purposes this ruler (the player) is eternal, and being able to do all the things it does is more akin to an AI than an actual person, genetically perfected or not. Not to mention the irony of the name, since it's a game.


Also, @OP,

don't mean to bring this up again, but the way your critically critiquing some of our comments and discussion of ideas is more like using us as a sounding bord than an actual discussion of your topics.


Given the frequency of concerns and specificity of feedback you seem to be wanting from this community, wouldn't it be better for you to just recruit some qualified person to help you on your game?

This way they can potentially see the big picture with you, and come up with more tailored feedback and serve as more a discussion and collaboration specifically for the project, adding whatever qualified skill(s) they’d bring to the table.


You’ve been outsourcing to this forum community for some time now, and although we are all qualified in our own respective rights, we're not exactly your specific game community, which is what it seems like your treating us as.


I'd really advise you to find someone, this way they also get their due credit in feedback, and helping you generate ideas. You already told me how you think actually crediting anyone who comes up with a workable idea you select would not be feasible, given the volume of feedback you request. Finding a single, or a few specific people to join you would really benefit you in the long run. From sounding board, to speeding up development, to networking, to giving you leadership/ management experience, it would really help boost you and your game’s viability and credibility.


Trying to do everything yourself isn’t healthy or sustainable in most game development cases, I’ve seen it destroy my former project lead, and now I hold his position...

Transitions occurred, and each time the team roughly  quadrupled in size, from 1 to 4 to 16...

He eventually got so burrned out that he wants nothing to do with the project he co founded. (nor will we ever let him on again)


It may feel like recruiting and on boarding would  take too much time in the beginning, but think of it as an investment in saving you time in the future.


Unless of course, you want to try and have complete and total control of your vision and implementation, like the emperor your simulating.... 

#5268361 How Well would a series of mystery/crime action novels translate to a single...

Posted by GeneralJist on 29 December 2015 - 01:00 PM



That makes more sense, I was operating under the assumption you wanted the same story would be told in both.


Sounds like kind of?


Guess all that;s left now is to make it.

#5268249 How Well would a series of mystery/crime action novels translate to a single...

Posted by GeneralJist on 28 December 2015 - 08:54 PM

So, your question is on how to write a branching story, and have the game be consistent with the end choices that are made by the player?


Sorry, had to read your post a few times, either it's me, os something about it is confusing, I think it might be both the lack of detail, and the inclusion of side info that may confound the core question.


So, if that is indeed your question, you have a few things to consider before you go and tackle this.

Let me make sure I'm getting the basic trajectory


A. You want to write a series of 7 books

B. you want to base a single game of this said series

C. you want it to be narrative intensive, and have branching dialog trees, which will effect the outcome of the story, and ergo, the game.

D. The books & the game are not yet satisfactorily fleshed out on paper yet.


If those hold true, then the specific details of your actual narrative and story would actually just clutter your core question.


Sounds like your trying to plan out this entire undertaking, but the issue is your trying to planning 2 different projects right now.


The books


The Game


Each requires a different mindset, each requires a different narrative structure.


Your trying to jump to the game based on the books, when the books haven't even been written yet. what's that saying? the horse before the cart?


The question you should ask yourself if you really want to have both books and game, is how will the story be different in each?

A question so far ahead, that there's no way of answering it.


Your assuming if you write the books, game adaptation will happen fluidly.


A writer friend once told me she preferred books to all other forms of media, because nothing could beat her imagination. 

When you’re just writing, you need to play on that, but when you’re making a game, it's up to you as the writer to communicate to everyone else (mainly the artists), what things could look like, not how it should look. (unless you’re paying them up front to carry out your specific vision).


The power of a writer is not the same as in all other forms of media, it's much more fluid in games. Even if you’re doing a narrative based game, your job then is to map out every branching dialog tree, and every sub branch, as many as you need, but it becomes the coders' job to make that actually work in game.


Anything you write has the potential to become hours, months, or even years of work for the developers, so you need to be very careful about how far you go, the farther you go, the more work, more time, and more motivation you and the team will need to just get to a playable demo. 


Take a look at :



That has already staggering dialog trees and choices.


Sorry due, but from the information you gave us,

my best advice is to decide which you want to write more, a book series or a game, trying to plan both at the same time will require more than just an author/ script writer.


Not to mention, unless you’re working for a AA studio, script writing won't help you for conventional game writing, it's too long and drawn out, and most of the time, you don't have time to present your player with a 10+ page story.


But if you still want to do this, just know, if you want dialog choices that matter, they will need to be categorized and standardized across all choices, if you want both, but if they're not meaningful, they become frivolous, and a waste of design and effort. 


I don't mean to rain on your parade, but know what you’re potentially getting into. 


As the above poster said,

Defining the narrative relationship between the books and the game will allow you to decide where to start.


The best way I'd see this working, is you write and finish all the books, then make a game that highlights key decision points in the books, allowing you to explore critical road not taken paths, it becomes a "what wold have happened if" kind of experience, than an "explore the established story line"


The question becomes which you want more?


Player Agency?




Story line coherence/ consistancy


You also might find this interesting:






#5266943 Indie Game Company Names

Posted by GeneralJist on 18 December 2015 - 04:07 PM

Maybe something like, "Gunrose" Games (GRG)?


If you like that kind of music...


But it also matters who your target audiences are for your products, games or not.


The above might not be appropriate if your  target is for say kids under 15.


factor that in, and maybe  how many core people your starting with, might inform your a # tack on, or # of rose petals for your logo,  like Red 5Studios.

#5266565 Paying someone to work on a "mod"?+ "games that started as "m...

Posted by GeneralJist on 15 December 2015 - 05:22 PM

I think the payment itself is no issue.
It's what you're planning with the mod after it's finished, that you might have to check legally

Ahh, that's what I was concerned about.


Up until now, we've all been unpaid, and no money has been transacted in any way. (As most mods are).


In this case, we'd be just like all the other mods out there for this game, and under the same previsions/ limitations/ rights. (There's company made moding tools, with documentation, guess I'll need to have a 2nd look at that, with a fine toothed comb.)


All releases up until the conclusion of the project will be free to the community to download and play as they wish.


(There's talk of potentially going full stand alone, if:

A. when the "mod" is concluded, to take all our original assets, into our own IP, and redesigning all links to the former IP, so they can be properly clipped.


B. if community support dries up/ stagnates, despite our 1st faction Alpha being released, signifying that "moding" the existing IP won't bring the attention,  growth and professional  outcomes that we feel are justified or validated  in proportion to the effort & time we've put in. 



I'm  mainly concerned that if we do go ahead, write up a contract, pay them for the assets that go into our project, that this may somehow tip us over into a different legal category all together, and potentially be a ticking time bomb / proximity mine, that taints the project as a whole, leaving us potentially open to new legal concerns that would never have been an issue if we didn't decide to pay someone for their work.


Team morale and social ramifications aside, this is the crux of my concern.


Another thing that comes to mind, is, what if we pay someone to make us a website?


As of now, we're primarily  using moddb as our main page, as far as I understand, you can have money for site maintenance, but what about it's creation?


As well as the domain name concern, since the project is a  mod, it uses the word "Tiberium" in the title, an IP owned by EA. So, if we made a domain name, what should we do?


There's loads of fan sites out there for games and the like, but not sure how they handle it but at the same time, if we didn't call the domain "Tiberium Secrets" or have that in there some  way, I'd make finding us  harder. (need to make sure it's Search Engine Optimized (SEO).


From what I've seen, It might be just better to come up with a team name/ company name, which we'd use as an actual registered company name for the future.


Let me know what yall think,


#5266407 Paying someone to work on a "mod"?+ "games that started as "m...

Posted by GeneralJist on 15 December 2015 - 12:20 AM

Would we have to approach the original IP owning company in any way? (even though EA would likely not care to even respond)




Can we just handle this between the parties + a games layer?

#5266405 From a "mod" to a "game"?

Posted by GeneralJist on 15 December 2015 - 12:16 AM


As known, there are many "games" that started as mods, once upon a time.


I'm interested in finding out what all would be required to do this legally.


I'm asking about the business & legal requirements of such a process, not a discussion on how likely that is to happen for my case.


As well as having a discussion about any key "games" that would be good examples to look into.


Doubtless we've all heard of Counter strike, and Dota 2, but lets see wich others come  to mind, and maybe look at any common challenges or themes they had to deal with. 


Also, if you've been involved in making such a product, I'd be very interested in hearing how you got rid of what I'd call "load baring designs", that needed to be taken out / replaced for the core foundations of the new "game" to become a true stand alone., vs. a total conversion or total overhaul.

#5266387 Paying someone to work on a "mod"?+ "games that started as "m...

Posted by GeneralJist on 14 December 2015 - 10:10 PM



[continued discussion on "games" that started as "mods"]


So, to some of you this is a weird questions, and to others, it's cut and dry.


The details would just complicate this question.


1. I've been working on a mod for a while now, a passion project

2. we're reaching our 1st release point.

3. There are key things that need to be done to finish, and despite all our efforts,  it's been really hard to find, and keep good animators. 


We have a huge list of potential freelancers or industry contacts we've networked throughout the years, so finding an appropriate candidate is no issue. However, since we're technically a "mod", we've had to turn them away. 


But, we've now so close, that we're willing to pay them out of our pocket.


So, the questions is,

Is this "legally" ok?


And if so, what kind of contract would we need to draft?


For the purposes of our project & this question, anything they'd be working on was made by scratch from us, and then added into the base game.


Not ripped out, reworked, and and reused.


Curious what the answer would be if it was, for example if we could hire a UI  person to redo the UI of the "mod".


We are technically a mod, but  the level of new content we're adding is more on the indie level .


Thanks for your time and perspectives,



#5266383 Sell or development

Posted by GeneralJist on 14 December 2015 - 09:41 PM


I'm going to cop out, and just say you shouldn't leave such an important decision to potential experienced strangers on the internet.  


If you act on any of our [perspectives, even if any of us are wildly famous and or successful, the decision is and should be with you and your team.


What you ultimately decide inpacts us in no way, but impacts you a whole lot.  Given such an imbalance, I'd take anything we say with a few grains of salt.


Or some how pay a professional of some kind, the help you lay out all the details, most likelly there will be things you haven't told us, because you didn't know we should know. 


It's like if you were at Vegas, and you asked random near by players what you should do with your hand in poker, and you show them your hand.


In the end,

Trust your gut, and trust the people who you have mutual respect for.

#5249645 Politics in games' storyline

Posted by GeneralJist on 29 August 2015 - 10:56 PM


Posted Today, 09:56 PM


It depends what you mean by "benefit of the doubt".

Do you mean:

1. playing through, experiencing the political issues anc views abd going with those train of thoughts?


2. Not questioning the validity of the political views?


3. Something else entirely?


I could see a largely story and dialogue based game in where you go to a war torn place, say as a reporter, or just a curious tourist exploring and interacting through dialog choices to learn about what is actually going on the ground.


But the issue is if you don't want the player to have combative roles or purposes, you'll need to figure story and mechanics to keep the player engaged.


Most people don't like being beat over the head with propaganda in a game, hell, we experience that every day in life, most people don't want to hear the same political views parented back at them in their down time.


The thing is, if you want to make a game about politics, you will likely have a short time in the spotlight. Because political issues change so fast. However, if you make a game with political philosophy, then you have the chance for long time success.


same with religion vs. religious philosophy.

(actually, to think of it, there aren't many games about  a specific Religion, but loads on religious philosophies.)


There also isn't any kind of "religion simulator" where people gather and pray and connect, that wouldn't really be "fun", religious exploration and fun don't really go hand in hand, but political exploration and simulation exists in games such as Democracy 3 and the like.

But philosophy doesn't just happen in a vacuum, it requires lots of history and deep thought, where politics can happen in between 2 people in any situation.   

#5241628 Story First? Story Last?

Posted by GeneralJist on 20 July 2015 - 06:17 PM

Well, as all have said, it depends on what your core experience is.


Ideally, game play and story go hand in hand, each supporting each other in a continuous feedback loop.

Sometimes an interesting story will inform a novel mechanic and sometimes a mechanic inspires a story.


What you don't want is one to contradict each other too much, if at all.


In fact, we have an issue right now regarding an upgrade mechanic that I made into a story. A long time ago, we had an idea to use some of a mechanic inspired from another game, the discussion was rather vague, and we wanted to tailor the mechanic to our theme, so I wrote a story, featuring that mechanic, to get it into our theme.

Now, we're finally at the point of coding it in, and it makes more logical sense of just to dispense with the story, and just make the mechanic exactly as it plays out in our inspiration.

Is this a good thing? or a bad thing?


On one hand, we could make it mechanically consistent, yet that would take out the original spin we put on it. 

On the other hand, we could keep the mechanic as the story has it written,  keeping the theme consistent, but potentially mechanically problematic.


So what's the right answer?

IDK yet.


My point is, a story is meant to inform and engage your player, every mechanic, if done to its full potential could inform narrative and theme, without spelling everything out in a story.


writing story is a continuous process, our jobs as writers are to do our best in fleshing out the world long before anyone else gets to that point in development.

Once the development reaches that point, that is the true test of your team, and how much they respect the writers.

Do they follow your directions as to what was set down, with some or no alterations?


do they think writing is completely malleable, and start taking the story in new directions, without your input or even notifying you of their objections before they act?


Sometimes, you'll get those extremes, but more likely you'll get in between somewhere.  How do you as the writer respond to that?


Writing is both the most powerful aspect of a game, and the weakest. 1st in, last out.


Your question is more accurately asking what the place of story is in a game, how much power do the writers have over everything else in the game. And by association, whether it's better to have a story before gameplay or have gameplay before story. 


Story shouldn't be really thought of as 1st or last in a game, but all over the place, all at once.


The way I personally do it?

write the story 1st, then the gameplay, compare to maintain consistency, rinse and repeat.  However, at times, I've looked at the roles needed in the mechanics, and use that to inform what direction the story goes.


What if you write a story about the player flying a  helicopter into  or out of a war zone, but the gameplay and design mechanics don't go in that direction?

What if you write a story about a stealth assassin, yet there are no silencer wapons in the game?


As a writer, your place is everywhere, yet nowhere, so far ahead, that your behind. So detailed in the descriptions of the scenes, yet the engine nor the artists are able to create it.

A story should both guide yet be transparent. It should both be the backbone of the game, yet also be able to be ignored, It should be so vivid that no one will see, and so clear that if missed, it can adapt.


It should provide the setting, and also provide the details.

It should be so good that 2 concept artists reading it, can provide both an identical image and a disparate version. So  immersive that it is everything and nothing at the same time.


So clear that readers  can have different images of the characters and settings. 


Q: does story come 1st or last in a game?

A: Yes.