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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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neptune123

Need Advice: Regards to Working With People on a Game Project

3 posts in this topic

Hi, 

 

I and another person have formed an LLC in California together to start making games.

 

In particular, there are other people who wish to work with us on a project on the sole basis of profit share only, no other form of payment. They are working with us in our office and are free to work whatever hours they wish. We do not want to consider them employees because we literally have no money to pay them. We all just want to work together for only the duration of this project and split whatever profits we get from it based on contribution. 

 

Legally, is this kind of setup allowed? Is there any problem that the company or co-founders can face?   

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Thank you for the response. I have read through all of the links provided, and they seem to focus on internal agreement issues between the members. We all have agreed on an arrangement that is clear to everyone and everyone is happy with. We (the company) are concerned that because they are working with us in our company office, they would be considered employees, and that we might be obligated to abide by such rules such as paying them a salary. With the research we did, it looks like they have to either be considered employees or independent contractors, but since they are working here in the office, even if we make an agreement that they are independent contractors, it might not hold.

 

Does anyone have any information regarding this? 

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Yes. Talk to your business lawyer.

The law regarding employees is nuanced. Do it wrong and the Department of Labor might come knocking. Penalties for violations can be severe.

You may discover to your horror that something was amiss, that you must back pay to every one of them at a fair market value for all the time they gave you, plus pay back taxes on their missed wages, back unemployment insurance, and other back-dated fees. Suddenly your no-cost venture would jump to a six-digit or seven-digit government ordered cost. Figure three 'helpers' turned into back-dated employees with a year or two years or three years of salaries and taxes and other costs due for each of them, and suddenly your little mistake costs a half million dollars, maybe a million dollars, maybe even more. That's before punitive damages and a tax evasion lawsuit (which can mean jail time) are threatened.

It is not an area for guesswork. The cost of business lawyer time is very cheap. If you aren't comfortable with the cost, you might think of it as insurance against a potentially expensive error. We pay insurance hoping it is never an issue but knowing the risks are real. Failure to clear this type of action with your lawyer makes those risks all the more dangerous. You might be far better paying either a minimum wage or some other "valuable consideration" of a few dollars (determined by your lawyer) paid at each milestone. Get your lawyer's input. It is inexpensive by comparison. Edited by frob
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