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tribal_warrior

Start Up Development Input/Collaboration

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Greetings- This is going to be kind of a unique post seeking information, so please bear with me. I am posting here in search of some input, advice and/or collaboration with people experienced in the development of business related documents (i.e. business plans, executive overviews etc.) for start up companies in the game development industry. Or if anyone knows of a place to look for people experienced in business development for game dev. While Im still considered a relative youngster in years of experience in game development, I started my first indie game development studio in late 2001. That studio is thriving sucessfully today and its first title in development is in the final stages of publishing negotiations and we are expecting a Q1 2007 release of the title in development. I have been working on researching and gathering information for a second studio for the large part of 2006 and I believe I have gathered enough information to begin laying the groundwork for a very unique studio working on an extremely ambitious multi platform premiere title. Due to the sensitivity of the information, I can not post the details in this forum. Believe me, I understand that with holding information in posts seeking help is considered taboo, but what I can tell you is that I have made contact with outsourcing companies, porting companies, technology liscensing companies and administrative IT companies. It is a very unique company concept based very similar to the previous studio I founded in 2001 but is much larger scale. I have also put together a rough projected budget for the project which is however not in Excel format, just numbers researched and estimated in a doc format. I hope you can understand and bear with the fact I can not post specific details in this post. I will be more than happy to discuss particulars to qualified/interested parties. If you are interested in giving input/advice or possible collarboration with a start up studio, please post your contact details below or mail a resume to: micah@reverieentertainment.net I appreciate your time. Any thoughts or initial input on this topic or information on where to get in contact with experienced business developers would be greatly appreciated!

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Micah wrote:

>This is going to be kind of a unique post seeking information

What's so unique about it?

>I am posting here in search of ... a place to look for people experienced in business development for game dev.

http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson29.htm
http://www.gamasutra.com/contractwork/businesslegal.php

>we are expecting a Q1 2007 release of the title in development.

Congratulations.

>I understand that with holding information in posts seeking help is considered taboo

Nonsense, it's completely understandable.

>I have also put together a rough projected budget for the project which is however not in Excel format, just numbers researched and estimated in a doc format.

You can easily put it in Excel format (and you should).

>I will be more than happy to discuss particulars to qualified/interested parties.

You're prepared to pay these parties, right? My favorite part of this is that here in this post you're seeking a bizdev manager (?) yet on your website it says: "Currently there are no open positions. However Reverie World Studios is always looking to fill different positions, covering many different fields. From programming, design, art, animation, business etc."

>Any thoughts ... on where to get in contact with experienced business developers would be greatly appreciated!

Gamasutra. Click the Companies tab. Click Business & Legal. IGDA website. Click Forums. Click Business & Legal. http://www.creativeheads.net/ or http://www.gamejobs.com/, post a want ad. For starters...

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tsloper:

>"You're prepared to pay these parties, right?"

As the post said, qualifed/interested parties could inquire about more information. Im not planning on paying people who are seeking more information. Heh, sorry.

As for future payments, contracts can be easily arranged to cover the specifics of reimbursement, these can be prepared in advance, but logically when a company is creating business plans and executive overviews they are not paying in advance. Im quite capable of working with both Angel and VC investors and do have a bit of experience doing such- this post however is focused on locating individuals to help develop these business plans, overviews, pro formas etc.

>"My favorite part of this is that here in this post you're seeking a bizdev manager (?) yet on your website it says: "Currently there are no open positions. However Reverie World Studios is always looking to fill different positions, covering many different fields. From programming, design, art, animation, business etc."

Im looking for possibly an executive level businessman looking for a chance to get in at groundlevel. Not a "bizdev manager". And Reverie World Studios, Inc. is in NO WAY affiliated with this company. Which is why their name was never even mentioned.

I appreciate the links and information!

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trib (I forget what he said before his human name was) said:

>As the post said, qualifed/interested parties could inquire about more information.

Yeah, well, you could try actually contacting qualified parties via telephone.

>Im not planning on paying people who are seeking more information. Heh, sorry.

Of course. And that's not what I was saying. Let me spell it out more clearly: No serious party who's got the qualifications you seek is going to work on spec. Hopefully you are planning to actually pay the person you hire, from the get-go. (That was the gist of what I said before.)

>As for future payments, contracts can be easily arranged to cover the specifics of reimbursement, these can be prepared in advance, but logically when a company is creating business plans and executive overviews they are not paying in advance.

Yeah, see, that's what I thought. You're one o' those "work for us now and get paid later" operations. Typical.

>Im quite capable of working with both Angel and VC investors and do have a bit of experience doing such- this post however is focused on locating individuals to help develop these business plans, overviews, pro formas etc.

IMO, to reiterate: nobody who can do that will be willing to do it for no money down. It takes money to make money. If you can't pay him, you're not ready to embark on this venture.

>Im looking for possibly an executive level businessman looking for a chance to get in at groundlevel. Not a "bizdev manager".

Since you hadn't used specific words like that before, I had to make up something. So shoot me.

>And Reverie World Studios, Inc. is in NO WAY affiliated with this company. Which is why their name was never even mentioned.

Yeah, I did forget that part, didn't I. New startup, not continuation of previous one. My bad.

>I appreciate the links and information!

You're welcome.

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Tom-

> "Yeah, well, you could try actually contacting qualified parties via telephone."

I am of course more than willing to contact qualified parties via telephone after attaining contact details of the said interested parties. But Im not going to put my telephone up here unfortunately.

> "Yeah, see, that's what I thought. You're one o' those "work for us now and get paid later" operations. Typical."

I assure you Tom. It is far from "Typical." As specified earlier, with my previous experience in founding a game development studio, I have had very little trouble in locating and working out agreements and future arrangements with outsourcing studios, porting studios, liscensing for next generation technology as well as liscensing for administrative programs to increase productivity. These companies have been addressed and lined up BEFORE a penny of investments were lined up.

Which brings me to my next point-

> "IMO, to reiterate: nobody who can do that will be willing to do it for no money down. It takes money to make money. If you can't pay him, you're not ready to embark on this venture."

Im glad you added "IMO" before you stated that comment because that statement was quite untrue and was simply- just your opinion. Granted the bulk of ventures started without capital down before putting together business documents are probably doomed to failure. But not every venture.

I can vouch that AAA quality people are willing to work for those rare endeavors before investments are secured. I have done it before and intend to do it again. In fact I already am doing it again.

Im not familiar with the number of corporations you have founded or that amount of investments you have secured for your corporations so I apologise if I came across as doubtful to your qualifications to start up corporations. I did see that you have many years of experience in the game industry, but I was curious as to your qualifications and experience in start up game development studios.

That was not intended to sound as an insult and I apologise if it was taken that way, I was just merely looking to see how much experience you have in founding and financing game development studios.

Best Regards,
Micah Hymer

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Micah wrote:

>I am of course more than willing to contact qualified parties via telephone after attaining contact details of the said interested parties. But Im not going to put my telephone up here unfortunately.

Never suggested you should. Most folks conduct their partner searches "offline" (in private, without resorting to public bulletin boards).

I had also written:

>> "Yeah, see, that's what I thought. You're one o' those "work for us now and get paid later" operations. Typical."

>I assure you Tom. It is far from "Typical."

I assure you, Micah. I have gotten numerous inquiries from "I got no money yet" guys like you. It is most definitely typical, in my experience.

I'd also written:

>> "IMO, to reiterate: nobody who can do that will be willing to do it for no money down. It takes money to make money. If you can't pay him, you're not ready to embark on this venture."

And you replied:

>Im glad you added "IMO" before you stated that comment because that statement was quite untrue and was simply- just your opinion.

Yes. I am the only person in the universe who thinks it would be stupid for someone with that sort of valuable qualifications to give his valuable services with nothing more than a promise of payment in the hypothetical future. I am most definitely an idiot in this regard, and I most humbly bow out of this conversation now.

P.S. How odd that I'm the only person who's responded to your post thus far... Wonder why that is... Oh, well.

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Tom-

Your clearly taking this personal and that was not the intention. I appreciate the information you gave off initially and am sorry you were insulted.

>"Yes. I am the only person in the universe who thinks it would be stupid for someone with that sort of valuable qualifications to give his valuable services with nothing more than a promise of payment in the hypothetical future. I am most definitely an idiot in this regard, and I most humbly bow out of this conversation now."

Clearly you were taking this all personally and Im sorry to see that. I never said you were an idiot or even insinuated as much. As I mentioned previously, I noticed you have had a long career in game development and I am not doubting your intellectual capabilities.

>"I assure you, Micah. I have gotten numerous inquiries from "I got no money yet" guys like you. It is most definitely typical, in my experience."

I was not doubting for a second that was not a typical scenario for you. I was however saying that this situation was NOT typical for the many reasons I have listed numerous times in this post. You are aware as well as I am that the scenarios you are referring to probably DID NOT have any previous experience in start up and had not already lined up studios all over the world before they even had a business plan on paper.

>"P.S. How odd that I'm the only person who's responded to your post thus far... Wonder why that is... Oh, well."

Perhaps because they were not qualified or did not have something to mention that would enrich the topic.

>"It is most definitely typical, in my experience."

Speaking of your experience, I notice you evaded my question as to your experience level in startup. So I will repost it.

"Im not familiar with the number of corporations you have founded or that amount of investments you have secured for your corporations so I apologise if I came across as doubtful to your qualifications to start up corporations. I did see that you have many years of experience in the game industry, but I was curious as to your qualifications and experience in start up game development studios."

Thanks Tom!

Best Regards,
Micah Hymer

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In an effort to return this post to its original topic- I am sure most questions you may have had about the company were probably answered by Tom's questions and my answers. If you do have any further questions, please do not hesitate to email me or post any questions here.

I appreciate your time and consideration!

Best Regards,
Micah Hymer
micah@reverieentertainment.net

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Well. Tom has some valid points; the people you want to get involved on this (biz people, ideally with startup experience) know their worth. In most cases, they're harder to involve on 'spec' than programmers/artists/designers who can be convinced to work for free in return for the gold at the mythical end of the rainbow.

There's quite a few high-profile individuals dealing specifically with this kind of structuring and startup support (Obscure springs to mind, seeing as he's the moderator of this forum). In most cases (including Tom's, from the sound of it), they get too many "I have a great idea, help me realize it and I'll let you have a big slice of paper" requests in any given week. While yours may be more realisic than the usual 14-year-old-with-MMOG rubbish, you're still asking them to do work for free.

Allan

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Hey Allan-

Granted yes I'm sure Tom maybe flooded with requests from 14 years olds looking to create a MMORPG, for the reasons I have listed several times throughout this post- this is by far not the typical scenario.

You have to keep in mind that the more companies you get on board just from meetings and talking basic details before you even begin putting down the official business plan on paper, means it will be much easier to get qualified people on board. In fact lining up experienced developers, designers, producers is quite easy when you have experience and have next generation technology lined up for licensing as well as studios ready for porting, outsourcing and other tasks among many things. However- Im not looking for designers, programmers or producers. Im looking for businessman (visionaries) who are looking for an opportunity to get in at ground level in what will be a large independent studio.

Im quite confident that a qualified candidate would be willing to work out an agreement when they looked over the scope of this project and the details already lined up.

Best Regards,
Micah Hymer



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