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Douk

Payment Ettiquete

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Hello I'm new to the forums. As you can see by my post count. Anyways onto the subject: I plan to have a team of 3 or 4 people to work on a game for outlets like XBLA and Steam, I'm new to working with others but not to the expected work and skills required. And I was wondering, how does everyone like to get paid? Up front by a guy in a suit or split profits after sales? I figure the last one is hard to pull off because of the dedication needed, and without it it forces all other developers to make free hobby games. So, whats the deal guys, I'd like to know.

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Quote:
Original post by Douk
And I was wondering, how does everyone like to get paid? Up front by a guy in a suit or split profits after sales?


Upfront. Once a month is good enough for regular jobs, once per two weeks with first payment in advance if working remotely only (online collaboration).

Quote:
I figure the last one is hard to pull off because of the dedication needed, and without it it forces all other developers to make free hobby games.


No, it's hard to pull off because 99% of such projects never complete and there are no profits.

And as far as statistics go, only 9/10 of projects that actually launch turn profit. In other words - split profits means no payment. It is better to just say it's a voluntary, non-profit project with a contract clause that eventual revenue would be split evenly.

There are alternatives, but they involve equity and similar methods, usually based on IP, or perhaps expected IPO and whatnot.

Quote:
I find it unfair that only one company is allowed to manufacture the board game Monopoly.


How would you feel if someone took this project you will complete, and start selling it as their own. Perhaps use better distribution network, leaving you with development costs and no revenue.

And you can manufacture Monopoly, it is just a matter of obtaining proper licenses, which likely costs prohibitive amounts of money.

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Quote:
Original post by Douk
how does everyone like to get paid? Up front by a guy in a suit or split profits after sales?

Wrong question.
First, don't worry about what "everyone" likes. Worry about what is best and practical instead.
Second, you listed two bad options. If you pay everyone up front, then what guarantee do you have that they'll do the work? What guarantee do you have that the work will be satisfactory? And if you promise people that the alleged profits will be split after the work is done, then what promise do THEY have that they'll ever actually get paid? And why did you mention a guy wearing a suit?

Better way is to have not only an up-front payment but also ongoing payments throughout, and if there are actually profits to be split afterwards, more afterwards.
Sounds to me like you're talking about an amateur/indie project. Make sure there's a collaboration agreement...
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/article58.htm
http://www.underdevelopmentlaw.com

...and make sure you read these too:
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson29.htm
http://www.igda.org/games-game-september-2008
http://www.igda.org/games-game-october-2008

Quote:
I find it unfair that only one company is allowed to manufacture the board game Monopoly.


Why did you throw that in? Now you're sounding a bit like a crackpot.

BTW, payments for a team is a business question. Intellectual property law is a legal question. So I'm moving this to Business/Legal.

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About the monopoly thing, there was an option to add my signature and I thought it would be below a set of underscores separating it from the post haha, disregard that. It was a joke on what the world monopoly means.

Thank you both I realize I have a lot to learn about business haha. I only do art so whaddaya expect. By upfront I meant a salary, and yes I was talking about amateur/indie projects which are almost always done voluntarily so any money gained from using a platform like Steam or XBLA is a profit isn't it?

Or maybe you can sell the game yourself to reduce paycuts, but I want to know how everyone feels about working for free to get known while making a modest salary.

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Quote:
Original post by Douk
1. About the monopoly thing... It was a joke on what the [word] monopoly means.
2. By upfront I meant a salary
3. any money gained from using a platform like Steam or XBLA is a profit isn't it?
4. Or maybe you can sell the game yourself to reduce paycuts
5. I want to know how everyone feels about working for free to get known
6. while making a modest salary.

1. I get it now! It's actually funny! (^_^)
2. You should expect people to misunderstand you if you use words to mean something other than their accepted/standard meaning. "Upfront" is a completely different word from "salary."
3. No. Not if you spent any money making the game or getting it onto that service. "Profit" means "income minus upfront [there's that word again] costs."
4. Huh??
5. You'll likely find a plethora of different opinions, don't you think?
6. Working for free while making a salary? That's kinda confusing.


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Douk, if this is your first project, then try to find a team willing to work with only for a percentage of the profit gained (there's a difference between revenue and profit REMEMBER THAT).

To be clear, that means that nobody gets payed anything until after the game is completed and money is being generated. Try to give everyone an equal share (like, there are 5 people in the team, so everybody gets 20%).

I've found that its easier to start new projects in this way.

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I've got a couple of professional games to my credit and do this kind of thing as a job so my time is valuable. Personally, I won't waste my time on the "work now, play later" projects. With the nature of indie projects there is very little chance the project will actually get completed. Getting paid regulary means that the project manager is serious about getting something done. Of course this doesn't mean you can't get a successful project done with no pay. But it is going to be much harder to keep people around as the months go by. If you are super serious about getting something released you need some kind of bone. And at the sametime you need to be a lot more strict about who your hire so you don't get deadbeats.

Certainly don't want to pay an internet group up front and then hope they don't disappear on you. Getting paid monthy or bi weekly keeps everybody safe. I'd be willing to take reduced pay for part of the royalties.

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Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
Quote:
Original post by Douk
1. About the monopoly thing... It was a joke on what the [word] monopoly means.
2. By upfront I meant a salary
3. any money gained from using a platform like Steam or XBLA is a profit isn't it?
4. Or maybe you can sell the game yourself to reduce paycuts
5. I want to know how everyone feels about working for free to get known
6. while making a modest salary.

1. I get it now! It's actually funny! (^_^)
2. You should expect people to misunderstand you if you use words to mean something other than their accepted/standard meaning. "Upfront" is a completely different word from "salary."
3. No. Not if you spent any money making the game or getting it onto that service. "Profit" means "income minus upfront [there's that word again] costs."
4. Huh??
5. You'll likely find a plethora of different opinions, don't you think?
6. Working for free while making a salary? That's kinda confusing.


Ahh, sorry for being confusing haha. I'm just not used to this haven't slept in 2 days actually...

New questions that will hopefully be clear:
a. Does selling the game yourself through your own site typically pay more (per sale) than if you used Steam of XBLA, which I assume take a cut of the pay?
b. What the statistics are for which options people choose when publishing games, just for my own curiosity :)
c. Does 'nobody gets paid till after sales' actually work as much as I think it does? Not counting unfinished projects.

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Quote:
Original post by Douk
c. Does 'nobody gets paid till after sales' actually work as much as I think it does?

Read:
http://www.igda.org/games-game-september-2008
http://www.igda.org/games-game-october-2008
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson29.htm

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Quote:
Original post by jrjellybean
Douk, if this is your first project, then try to find a team willing to work with only for a percentage of the profit gained (there's a difference between revenue and profit REMEMBER THAT).

To be clear, that means that nobody gets payed anything until after the game is completed and money is being generated. Try to give everyone an equal share (like, there are 5 people in the team, so everybody gets 20%).

I've found that its easier to start new projects in this way.


I'd never work for a project that only promised a share of the profits unless i could veto any expenses, otherwise its way too easy for the project manager to reduce the projects profits to zero while still lining his pockets.

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