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Member Since 10 Aug 2002
Offline Last Active May 11 2015 03:59 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: my first game-publishing contract

24 July 2007 - 12:20 PM

Lot of wierdness here guys..

First off.. Are you of legal age to enter into a business contract? If you arent there is no contract. You need a parent or legal guardian to sign for you. (I only ask because you said you couldnt afford a lawyer)

Secondly, publishing contracts do NOT contain spelling errors or gramatical errors. Many IP battles have been won or lost over poorly worded contracts and this would indicate to me you are dealing with an amatuer.

Thirdly, and most importantly, A contract is not valid unless witnessed. Your signature is worth nothing if someone didnt see you sign it and put their affirmation to that effect on the contract.

How contracts are handled varies greatly from company to company but the fact remains that some basic premise must exist for a contract to be valid. In your case it doesnt sound like any premise exists for a contract.

Just to clarify, are you sure you are signing a contract? Are you sure it isnt just an agreement, in principle? to do X or Y for z? Big difference. An agreemetn is an act of good faith stating in black and white "I Will do X, Y, Z" where as a contract is a legally binding document that generally involves the exchange or express goods and services to entities or individuals.

Whithout seeing what you are running into it sounds to me like you and someone else entered into an agreement but certainly not a contract.

Best of luck.

EDIT: Adding stuff to clarify for you..

In regards to having to get a lawyer in California.. Umm no. Your lawyer works for you. Not the person you are entering into an agreement with. The whole reason for a contract is so that if either party renigs on any or all of their comitments there can be legal reprocussions taken. (Please note this si serious stuff here. I doubt this whole .txt file thing you've got has any kind of contractual obligation to it base don what Im reading but... if you do enter into a contract there CAN be reprocussion to you if you dont follow through. SERIOUS reprocussions and that si why it is absolutely IMPERATIVE you have a lawyer read the contract for YOUR best intrests.)

In the event of a contract dispute or breech, you would file litigation locally against the person involved. If a judge deemed the dispute has merit he could then issue a subpeona to the offending party. The issue here is that alot of states have alot of umbrella laws sheltering bad business practices.. Again.. these are things an atorney will tell you about.

In Topic: Showing the amount of work to a beginner MMO wannabee?

23 July 2007 - 08:24 AM

I think it's all in how you read the document.. If you want to look at it as someone gloating over you telling you it wont get done thats your point of view.. A person who really wants to make a game should appreciate a project that takes the reality of MMO game development and shows people how it's done.

Over 90% of the people making "the next thing in MMOs" have never even installed a database server never mind actually know anything about optimizing one and setting up optimized querries for minimal process cycle activity per client.

Sure a person could come off heavy handed and say DONT make an MMO. I don't believe that at all. I was as green as they come when I started my project. I learned everything that had to be learned one step at a time. I have poured years of effort into my game and I'm prepared to put years more into it.

The truth of the matter is this. Very (Very very) soon a whole new wave of "build your own MMO" kits are going to flood the internet. Prairie Games is on the verge of releasing what is probably the most complete "point and click" build your own MMO kit ever. There are already a ton of groups in on the beta for their MMO Workshop and people can actually get an MMO world up and running, fully populated with NPCs, MOBs, items and quests in less than 24 hours. On a single PC..

If I just wanted to build an MMO world I'd jump on that bandwagon right now and show everyone how cool I am. What I really want though is to learn about game development. Why build your game this way or thatway. What is the most optimization I can do to the datastream. How many clients can I get into my single zone before it bogs. Why does it bog...

This is a hot topic for sure, but the fact remains that very soon the MMO development world will be changing. I suspect the prairie games workshop will make an explosion of MMOs available to the indie community. The prairie games stuff needs a little tweaking before it could be concidered truly triple A but not much. Just a little work on the python performance and they are set.

Anyways I hope anyone planning to work on an MMO does so. I hope they are prepared to spend the next 5 years workign on it and learning some great things about the development cycle. I know I did.

In Topic: How many units do Indies sell?

22 July 2007 - 11:00 AM

This is reality guys. I think it's good that people get to see the facts behind game development.

A couple of points I think should be elaborated on though..

First off, a lot of indie developers are very guilty of laziness. How many times have you downloaded somebody's "demo" only to have the graphics look like pong, the file crash over and over on your PC and half the time they have a virus in the DL. Sure there are some great indie people out there workign on projects but usually the ones that make the most noise are just like a spoiled 3 year old vying for attention. They yell and scream and jump up and down saying "Try me! Try me!" and in the end the product is just riddled with broken graphics, broken code and a very unexciting overall appearance and feel.

Take single plater games.. I funno, like Fable. It's not my ball of wax but it's a recent title. The cost of Fable in stores is 39.95. Now how many indie games have you played even come close to the polish of Fable? Im not saying the game is perfect, hell I didnt really like the game but it was polished. It felt retail and it was worth the $39.95. Now take your average "indie" or "shareware" game at $29.95.. I wouldnt play most of them if they were free. They simply arent up to the calibre of the retail market..

Every once in a while an indie will launch an exceptional piece of software. Those are the success stories you seldom hear about.. Minions of Mirth, an indie MMO developed by 2-3 people over a period of 12 months. Wildly succesful, many awards under its belt and sold over 40k copies. EVE-Online.. another indie development group who hit an MMO home run. So what sets these guys apart? Play the games (EVE online and Minions of Mirth both have free trials/free versions) and it's obvious within minutes that the people developing those products were dead serious about playing in the big leagues.

If an indie developer wants to play with the big boys and is serious about their work they can be just as successful as any big studio. But dont kid yourself. Software development as a business takes market studies, business plans, massive and focussed marketting campaigns at various phases of pre-release/release. If an indie truely knows their target market and knows the buying capacity of that market and what percentage of their target market they have a liklihood of making a consumer out of you should have a good idea well before you get started what your financial return is going to be.

If I make a pacman clone and put up a website and try to sell it.. am I going to be wildly successful? Most likely not. Most likely I'll sell 10-100 copies a year depending on how well I do meta tags on my website to entice search bots to find my site..

Now what if I take my legal pac-man clone, pitch it to Microsoft and have it packaged with every new X-box going out the door?

Pretty clear difference isnt it. The biggest difference is that maybe the pacman I would sell on my shareware website wasnt quite polished enough for the X-Box. But that said then why would I try to pass it off as a retail game. If you want to play big, you have to have the skills to GO big.

Indies stand just as much chance of making money on their software as if they were working for a company. If you have the skills as an indie and can produce the professional quality goods you WILL make money. That said, if you are doing indie game development for the money.... Why are you an indie? Most indies dont have the skills to cut it in the professional game dev world so they work on their own projects to hone their arts. Thats the way it is with me. No way in hell I could develop a triple A MMO in a professional enviro when I Started my game development some 5+ years ago. Today I have a fully scaleably MMO engine under my belt and an "almost" commercial quality game. Sure I could try and sell copies of my game but why? To embarass myself and toss 5 years of hard work into the bargain bin? Hell no. I'll stick it out for as long as it takes untill I can stand up infront of my booth at E3 and announce to the world THIS is Aakrana, developed by indies to showcase their talents, a game every bit as good as all of the other MMO titles on the market today.

There are indie gaming success stories. I think there are exponentially more failures though simply because alot of indies just dont have the skills and arent intrested in developing their skills. If you put in the time and effort you will get the rewards. For me, my reward has been teh massive ammount of learning about game development. Will I get rich on Aakrana ever? Remains to be seen and it's certainly not my motivation for completing the project (Less than 1% of my motivation is money :)

Dont let the numbers discourage you, but more specifically, if they do.. maybe you need to reaccess why you are learning about game development.

In Topic: Showing the amount of work to a beginner MMO wannabee?

21 July 2007 - 02:55 PM

Here is my latest blog on MMO backends. I'm by no means an MM Oauthority I have simply put in literally thousands of hours on my MMO engine and this latest blog was a real brief overview of the database hnadling imparticular.

Something that so many people never realize when they start throwing around the term MMO is that they really are simply making a massive cycle of database calls. Massive in scale compared ot any other type of software production. The only thing that can rival an MMOs database activity is possibly some of the enterprise database server controls for some of your bigger financial instutions head offices. It is LITERAALY that massive.

Your project is a great start. Thats the way to do it. I've done my project slowly and patiently visiting the school of hard knocks on a regular and painful basis. Still though I've come farther in an indie MMO than 99.8% of all other developers. Because I'm smarter? cooler? better? Nope :) Because I dont know when to quit heh. I love what I do and I do it for the learning experience, not to make a million dollars. (This venture has cost me well over $30k to date. and no I am NOT rich I am barely getting by today.) My project is my dream and someday it'll come true.


In Topic: Looking for GI seminar topic ideas

21 July 2007 - 09:53 AM

Completely understandable.

Having the events live and interactive may narrow down your audience slightly but I bet it provides a more direct target audience. You know filling those seminars and making them available for viewing later for a fee isnt a half bad idea really.

Keep up the good work.