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Red Rush-In

Creating a demo on a non licensed engine

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I am wondering how a demo would be distributed to potential publishers for a game based on an engine that has not yet been licensed. You can have the demo fully developed but not be able to actually distribute the engine’s exe because you don’t have the money to buy a license yet. Catch 22: You can’t send out the demo for the publisher to see because you don’t have a license to distribute the engine. But you can’t buy the license without the funding from the publisher. How do developers that produce titles on big name engines get around this problem? How feasible is it for a start-up to develop their first title on a big name engine?

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Quote:
Original post by Red Rush-In
I am wondering how a demo would be distributed to potential publishers for a game based on an engine that has not yet been licensed.


Unless you negociated permission with the engine's licensor (how did you get the engine in the first place?), you don't.

Quote:
How do developers that produce titles on big name engines get around this problem? How feasible is it for a start-up to develop their first title on a big name engine?


They either take bank loans or commit their life savings. Getting the loan will require negociation, a business plan, etc...

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I’m just trying to figure out a way to produce a demo and get it to a publisher without having to license the engine up front. If this isn’t possible, so be it.

Is the following scenario feasible?
Instead of licensing engine X for the demo you buy 100 copies of game X (which is based on the X engine). Game X costs $50 and you want to send a demo to 100 potential publishers. $50 x 100 = $5,000 This is much cheaper than having to license the engine which may cost at the absolute least $100,000. This all depends on if the $50 license would allow you to roll up the engine into your own install.

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essentially you're talking about MODing. you can't write a game using an engine unless you have an API for that engine (i.e. something to program with). You can't get the API for a big name engine unless you pay hundreds of thousands of dollars. MODing is an open and relatively free community thing so check out the MOD friendly engines like Unreal and Half-Life. If you're talking about writing a game using something like the stolen Half-Life 2 code, not only will a publisher not publish your game but they will, in all likely-hood, black-list you for using pirated software code.

-me

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Quote:
Original post by Red Rush-In
I’m just trying to figure out a way to produce a demo and get it to a publisher without having to license the engine up front. If this isn’t possible, so be it.

Contact and negociate with the company that licenses the engine. It is entirely up to them.

Quote:
Is the following scenario feasible?

No.

Quote:
This all depends on if the $50 license would allow you to roll up the engine into your own install.

Buying game X does not give you a license to engine X.

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Original post by Fruny
Quote:
This all depends on if the $50 license would allow you to roll up the engine into your own install.

Buying game X does not give you a license to engine X.


not only that, but buying game X doesn't necessarily give you the engine in a format that you'd even be able to do anything with. you can't buy Doom3 and then create a game with the DOOM3 engine. you'd need to get libraries and header files to program towards which you wouldn't get unless you specifically negotiated a deal with them. as i mentioned earlier, some game are released in a MOD friendly format so you can just script your own game into existence. if the game is friendly that way, and if the license/docs that come with the game allow it, then by all means, MOD away. :)

-me

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I guess the only options are to acquire a bank loan or negotiate a preliminary deal with the engines licensor. Both are hard to do as a start up.

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The Torque Game Engine costs $100 per license, $250 if you want the latest shader engine they're still working on, no need to get a loan for that kind of money I think, or at least not if you were planing to buy $5000 worth of "game x".

With Torque you get the FULL source code, so you're only limited by your coding skills.

Isn't the Quake 3 source GPL too already? use it, show demo to investor, get money, write ID a check for the comercial license.

[Edited by - Kwizatz on August 3, 2004 11:23:21 PM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Definitely agree with Kwizatz here, he actually took the words right out of my mouth.

Torque is a great engine and at a wallet relaxing $250 a liscense for the latest shader engine is definitely a low risk investment wether you suceed or not as it would be more resume material either way.

Would definitely recommend Torque.

You could try negotiating a deal with developers. I have had some talks with some pretty big companies (ATI, Alienware Computers, Nvidia etc.) and have found that most are willing to negotiate. HOWEVER, you are going to need a great business plan, preferably someone with lots of experience in the industry to head up the project and/or legal advisor who knows the industry well and is well known in return, who can represent you if you you lack experience. (i.e. lack previous titles, years of experience, proven leadership skills, previous and sucessful business endeavors etc.)

So negotiating isnt easy, but I think people would be surprised to see how open developers are for the right situation if the party starting the talks really knows what they are doing.



We are currently planning on using the "Dawn of Fantasy" engine as a future liscensed engine. Very developer friendl, extremely moddable, more than any other game in the genre and it can easily be used as a RTS, RPG or even FPS without much difficulty. (Or all 3.)

Check out some screens here:
http://reverieentertainment.net/dof/

Best Regards,
Micah Hymer
Reverie Entertainment, LLC
www.reverieentertainment.com

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