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Arklan

Financial compenstation for selling game submissions?

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i work at a game publisher who is currently seeking idea submissions. myself and some friends have been working on concept work and design docs for an action adventure title for the next gen consoles, and i'm tryign to get a rough idea of what kind of money we could be looking at in the future, assuming the project were to actually be taken up by the publisher. now, dont get me wrong. i know the probablitiy is slim to none, and thats fine. i just want to know what i'm looking at. no sense in working for months and then giving away the whole deal for fifty bucks and a handshake. i also dont expect to actually land a job as a full lead designer at an alreayd established developer. heck, i dont even want that. i dont want to develop the project myself. i dont have that sort of skillset. i am perfectly happy to just take the design docs and concept work and sell it off in full to a publisher who could give it the proper execution. now, the way i figure it is this: there currently about half a dozen people working on this in various aspects. some documenting things like myself, others doing concept art, aand a few others actually peicing together a prerendered cutscene to get the visual idea of the actual game across. we aren't halfassing this stuff. we are all a talented bunch. everyone has prior expeirence in the games industry (though largely just testing...) and some have enve worked in television and film. this is a professional quality project. so, way i see it, at a minimum, if we sell it all flat out, including control of all the associated intelectual property and such, we should be fairly compenstated. something to the tune of a years salary for each person, roughly 50,000 each, totallying about 300,000. like i said, i realize i may be totally out of my mind here. thats why i am asking. i would just ask the publisher, but then then may well just give me lower then the work is actually worth. and, even if they gave me what i asked for, well hell, what if it were worth 3 million or something? i just want a rough idea of what to expect before i go making a fool of myself a few months from now when i actually try to make a presentation. thanks for any advice and assitance you guys can offer. ps: great website here. cant belive i havent seen it before.

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First thing I'd check is whether there isn't a clause in my contract stating that all the game ideas I have belongs to my employer. [evil]

Beyond that, I'm afraid I can't give you any advice. Good luck.

PS. Welcome to gamedev.net. Enjoy your stay. Do not feed the trolls. [wink]

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Quote:
Original post by Arklan
i work at a game publisher who is currently seeking idea submissions. myself and some friends have been working on concept work and design docs for an action adventure title for the next gen consoles, and i'm tryign to get a rough idea of what kind of money we could be looking at in the future, assuming the project were to actually be taken up by the publisher.


Welcome to GameDev :-)

You mentioned that you work at the publishing company? Well, why not ask somebody there, I'm sure a few of your fellow co-workers could give you a ballpark figure, what exactly do you do at the publishing company?

Also has anybody on your team succesfully done this before, maybe one of them would know?

Just curious :-)

If none of you have ever done this before, you should be happy to get anything. And just count it towards experience.

I can tell you that publishers don't shell out $100,000s of dollars easily, especially for a concept that they'd then have to turn around and invest all of the development costs into as well. But maybe your publishing company is different than the ones I've dealt with lol.

- Dan

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like i said, most of us currently work as testers, some lowlevel managment. the contracts actually say whatever ideas we have are ours until such time the company makes other arrangments, but isnt specific.

as for anyone at work knowing... well, theres a general meeting for those with ideas (this isa new program ,see...) tomorrow at lunch... suppose i canfind otu then. just dont want to tip my hand, as it were. thus the posting here.

and as for not dishing out 100,000s easily, true enough. they are, of cours,e very stingy. any business is. the trick is, i've been lucky enough to stumble my way into a license for a well known and popular book. not really a best seller, but one of those ones most people have heard of. the author was an old friend of the family, so, i got lucky. looking at it from this perspectiv,e i cant help but compare it to movie licenses, which go for millions up front plus royalties on the wholesale price. now, obivousl,y i dont have a major blockbuster summer movie here, but there is a potentially large installed base of fans already. the movie licenseing practices was what i was basing my numbers on, of course significantly reducing them to account for the relative in experience ofthe team and various other factors.

howeve,r i certainly see your point, givne our lack of experience as a professional developer. expeirence never hurts, afterall.

thanks again guys.

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i've been lucky enough to stumble my way into a license for a well known and popular book. not really a best seller, but one of those ones most people have heard of.

Well you shoulda mentioned that earlier, that's quite different than walking in with just a design doc.

About the only way you're getting $300k for an idea from a publisher, is if you've got an AK-47 too ;-)

Interesting situation you're in though, good luck with that. I'd be interested in finding out how your pitch goes.

You can't say the name of the book can ya? Sorry, I'm a curious bastard :-)

- Dan

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i could, sure. but then.. .that would just ruin the surpris,e wouldnt it? for now, i'm tryign to keep things a little... underwraps.

thanks for the advice. muchly apreciated. glad to know i'm not the only one who finds the situation a tad confusing.

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Can you give me the first 3 letters of each word in the title, I bet I could figure it out then.

- Dan

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Well in the end this situation is like all others. Your design and your book rights are worth exactly how much someone will pay for them.

I would be upfront with anyone you have access to within your company. That doesn't mean you have to tell them anything more than they need to know. But if you have a simple question like 'How often do we buy idea submissions?' 'What is the lowest and highest amount paid for some past submissions?' You will probably get the answers. And that would be more than someone working outside of your compant would get.

In the end you'll have to feel it out for yourself. You are working for a company and companies like team players. It would probably do you well to drop your paranoia, be upfront, and professional.

With that said, I'm not advising being stupid either. If I were you I would definitely seek clarification about who owns the ideas you come up with while under their employment.

If you are free and clear, then it would be in your best interest to be forthcoming and proactive about your submission. Start making moves now, before it is even finished. Find out what they are 'looking' for, what they have bought in the past, and possibly conform your design.

Start being a salesmen. Because your project is only worth how much someone is willing to pay for it. But with some foresight and professionalism you might be able to ease thier willingness.

Just my 2 cents.

EDIT: And don't be greedy.

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Internal designs at publishers are usually not paid...neither in royalties nor upfront.

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