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wyvernfist

Fair/Realistic Profit Sharing Breakdown?

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Howdy all!

I'm looking for input on a profit-share breakdown. This is for an online multiplayer (not MMO) game similar to Counterstrike, but also allowing for persistent character development (classes) / micro transactions / etc. This will be on either Unity3D or HeroEngine.

I personally will take no profit from the game, but my goal is to fund the incorporation of a game studio to contract/employ indie developers.

Here's what my thought was:

25% To the studio
25% 3D Modeling & Level Design (further broken down by amount of this category's workload completed)
25% Programming (further broken down by amount of this category's workload completed)
10% Textures (further broken down by amount of this category's workload completed)
5% Sound Effects (not too many different sounds needed)
5% Music (a few tracks of background music)
5% Background art (one piece, high quality)

Please give your input!

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25% To the studio
25% 3D Modeling & Level Design (further broken down by amount of this category's workload completed)
25% Programming (further broken down by amount of this category's workload completed)
10% Textures (further broken down by amount of this category's workload completed)
5% Sound Effects (not too many different sounds needed)
5% Music (a few tracks of background music)
5% Background art (one piece, high quality)

Please give your input!

Profit sharing like that is generally a bad idea, and there is very good reason that the practice is largely abandoned.

What qualifies as a unit of work? Is the level loader given the same weight as the rendering engine, or the weight of a debuggable container class? Is the code that gets thrown out as the project grows given any weight? What about tools? What about build scripts, are they considered in the units of work? What about automated backups to the cloud, are those scripts considered work? How does one unit of programming work equate to one unit of art work or one unit of music work or one unit of level design work?

Assuming your project is a success and brings in a cash windfall, how are you going to distribute it?

Assume with the cash windfall, a person contributed thousands of hours but produced garbage that is entirely thrown out, does that count as a unit of work? More importantly in that case, when they guy gets mad that he didn't get his share, and sues your now-rich small business for every cent of value, will the judge agree that his discarded effort counts as zero units of effort?

Similarly, what about the guy who thinks his units of work were bigger or more important than another person's? Again after your now-rich startup has money and the disgrundled person sues, what will the legal system say about your contract?

If you have written your agreement as you describe you can be bound in ways that are very painful to everyone. You can be bound in way that make everbody lose and even cause your business to fold. All it takes is one person to disagree with a tiny detail in the contract and you can end up paying a fortune.

Or worse, if you become valuable enough, it is even possible that the poorly-worded agreement will be a poison pill when trying to sell your company; an unintended legal nuance could bind your would-be business partners in an unacceptable way. Imagine a company iike Rovio just about to sell their business for a bajillion dollars only to have the deal fall through at the last second when lawyers discover the flaw in the contract. Once it is found no other company will bother acquiring them knowing about the flaw.



It is generally a far better decision to make any payments discressionary.

You can agree that it is your intent to give a payment, but if you do so ensure that your lawyer works with you in writing it so there is no problem if that payment is never made.

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Howdy all!

I'm looking for input on a profit-share breakdown. This is for an online multiplayer (not MMO) game similar to Counterstrike, but also allowing for persistent character development (classes) / micro transactions / etc. This will be on either Unity3D or HeroEngine.

I personally will take no profit from the game, but my goal is to fund the incorporation of a game studio to contract/employ indie developers.

Here's what my thought was:

25% To the studio
25% 3D Modeling & Level Design (further broken down by amount of this category's workload completed)
25% Programming (further broken down by amount of this category's workload completed)
10% Textures (further broken down by amount of this category's workload completed)
5% Sound Effects (not too many different sounds needed)
5% Music (a few tracks of background music)
5% Background art (one piece, high quality)

Please give your input!


Right now i got 2 projects going, one for PC that i currently can't afford to complete (The required art and level assets would be too expensive) and one smaller project for Android that won't cost me more than $5k(possibly less) + my own labor, neither is anywhere close to CS in scale but has the potential to be profitable (I'm not quitting my job though since it can still fail miserably).
I've actually completed/participated in bigger projects in the past aswell, but as those were entierly non-commercial there was no issues regarding compensation, once money is involved you need to treat things seriously and that means paying your workers regardless of the projects success and scaling down your projects to a level you can afford. (If the studio/you take any share of the profits then it has to also take the financial risk).

Profit sharing can work if you're on a small(2-3 individuals) team where everyone puts in a roughly equal amount of time but you pretty much need to have everyone at the same location for that.

Thus:
Start with something you can actually afford to complete by paying everyone either a salary or a fixed amount for delivered content. (If you want to only pay for delivered content it helps alot if you do all the programming yourself as it is virtually impossible to buy working code for a specific project while things like art, levels, music, etc can quite easily be licensed)

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