Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Heodox

Going commercial, payment options, distribution...

This topic is 3758 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hi, First of all I want to state I'm very new to business part of game development so bear with me :) I'm still a collage student and in a real need of getting my portfolio richer. I'm going to design an engine and editor for developing an adventure game, and after that I was planning of doing a freeware adventure game, but than I came up with idea of making a commercial game, that would look even better on my resume. Note, I'm not kidding myself and planning on making a AAA retail title, I'm more interested in budget range game with internet distribution with price up to 20$. But I'm planing on a game with game play time and graphics () similar to the retail games on the scene, which I know is no easy task. I think about online distribution quite a lot recently and i have a few questions. How much percent would they keep as a fee (average)? Do I get to chose more than one distributor to sell my game? By what method would they pay me, for example would I be able to use paypal? Since I'm a programmer I will need: 3D artist, 2D background artist, music composer, sound artist and voice actors to complete the game. Since a good artist that would work for free is hard to find, only promises of splitting the profits are hardly good way to capture artist's attention and dedication I was planning on a in-house share system, a person would chose a ratio of payment. For example if he chose the real money profile, he would get only real money, but if he for example chose the distributed profile he would get half of real money, and a number of shares. After the game would be published the shares could be sold for game's profit (payment = profit/2 * shares/number_of_shares, the other part of profit/2 would belong to me for other projects and since I'm founding the project myself). The problem with real money payment portion is of course founding, I have set aside 1000$ for now, but I will probably be able to set aside twice that much when the actual hiring/development begins. And i would encourage the artist to take the shares rather than real money. Would this system be reasonable? Do you have any advices? Protecting myself? An example, I hire a 3D artist to model my character, character gets modeled, i pay him, we are done, i get the game published. Could the artist claim that the model belongs to him, and raise some legal process (assume that the artist is evil conman :) ) that would be able to hurt me? How would i get the protection from that? Contracts? I'm not very skilled in law, and since you are aware of the founding, what would be possible to accomplish? Also is tying my fiances to a USD? Since it is at it lowest, and it can vary. (but also that could be a good thing, since it's so low, i has a grater chance on getting higher, and that way i would earn money simply by having it keep in that valute) Also I'm from Croatia, and here we don't have many computer artists, so i will probably have to go abroad. What problems could I came to? (not development wise, business wise)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
1) Have you finished a game? and 2) Do you have an idea what the game actually is about? It seems you are a bit pre-occupied with the money aspect, rather than the actual developing of the project. If you are a beginning programmer then such business aspects are usually handled by someone who has experience with these things.

Quote:
I'm going to design an engine and editor for developing an adventure game, and after that I was planning of doing a freeware adventure game
I 'd make the freeware game first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Marmin
1) Have you finished a game? and 2) Do you have an idea what the game actually is about?

The game it self is in pre-production state, I'm still designing it, but the engine is almost done, and I started the work on the tools. I have the story lined up, but I'm still developing it (I don't plan on calling anyone to project until I'm finished with both game design and engine/tools).

Quote:
Original post by Marmin
It seems you are a bit pre-occupied with the money aspect, rather than the actual developing of the project. If you are a beginning programmer then such business aspects are usually handled by someone who has experience with these things.

I really am not, but i do find it important and interesting, you might got that idea because i made this post only because i wanted to learn more about business aspect of game industry (it doesn't contain much information about the development). I would gladly have someone else do the law-business stuff but i don't know anyone in that field. And i doubt i have resources to acquire a professional.

Quote:
Original post by MarminI 'd make the freeware game first.

I thought about that for some time, but i decided to go in this direction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Phew... Ok, first:

Must reads:

Sloperama
IGDA articles, columns, and white papers
The Game Attorney
my own blog

The answer to most of your questions can be found there. I'm not familiar with Croatian laws or business process, so you should absolutely consult a reputable lawyer. If you don't have the resources for a decent lawyer who can guide you through the business aspects of creating a commercial game, you may want to reconsider your current portfolio building plan. Developing a freeware game may be more practical.

As for protecting your legal rights, for works that are first published in the US, a work commissioned as a work made for hire is owned by the company or individual who commissioned the work. However, this isn't a standard adopted by every country, which is why most work for hire agreements also include an assignment of rights clause in the event that the work isn't considered a work made for hire. You would definitely need to consult a lawyer familiar with Croatian IP law for this.

Best of luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks, I'll have a read.

However I have a quick question: Would it be possible/legal to but game art (commission art, without contracts), make the game... and then get your work published on site like this, http://adventureshop.gamesplanet.com , without any special interaction with the law?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Heodox
Thanks, I'll have a read.

However I have a quick question: Would it be possible/legal to but game art (commission art, without contracts), make the game... and then get your work published on site like this, http://adventureshop.gamesplanet.com , without any special interaction with the law?


IANAL and this isn't legal advice, but I'm going to have to say no on this one. Any time you sell your game through another site or company where they manage the availability and sale of content, they will likely require that you warrant that you have obtained all of the necessary rights and licenses in all of the components of your game, including artwork, music, and third party software/engines used in your game. In a copyright infringement action you are not limited to suing the original infringer-- you can sue anyone and everyone who has infringed on your copyright, including vicarious and contributory infringers. If a website uses copyrighted images to publish and market your product and you don't own the rights to those images, or if a website sold your game, the publisher-website could also be sued for copyright infringement.

There is a safe harbor for websites that host user generated content under US Law, but that safe harbor probably wouldn't apply in this case because GamePlanet wouldn't qualify as an Online Service Provider for copyright law purposes-- they supply the content to customers, as opposed to acting as conduit between users in a network, which means they're probably subject to the same liability as a retailer.

Even if you distribute independently, you would still need contracts assigning the copyrights in the artwork to you. Independent contractors are presumed the owners of their copyrights to commissioned works unless there is an agreement stating otherwise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think you will have alot of problems hiring freelancers or others with your current budget. You also really need contracts in place to deal with IP issues. I personally wouldn't go for the share thing myself as a freelancer/professional. Just too much of a chance of the game never coming to light, or even if it is finished not being published or making sells.

I suppose costs really depends on who you get to do your work, and what you need. I was looking at doing high polygon 3D models in the 6-10k polygon range, with normal maps from high polygon meshs (1 million plus) which is the current technqiues used in AAA titles, and the costs per model ranged from around 2400-10k each from companies that do game asset outsourceing. Anyways I don't mean to discourage, I just don't think you should think of your current budget as anything that will influence professional artists. You maybe able to find artists that will do the work for basically free, and for the experience of doing it, but I have doubts to them wanting to sign over complete ownership and authorship rights of their works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!