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steelstrung

Issues with creative conflict for small unpaid team

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19 hours ago, frob said:

You should be.

Each person owns their own individual contribution. In a joint work each person becomes a co-owner of the work, and once merged they are generally considered inseparable. Even if you revert their changes, that person may still be able to demand payments  or block various uses.  If you cannot get all the co-owners to agree, for example when licensing the product to another group or publishing the game, then the project can be legally tainted. All it takes is one disgruntled person, or one person who seems to have vanished from the earth, and your project enters a bad state.

That is exactly why they become a joint owner of the work and it is usually considered inseparable. 

Get with a lawyer to help you make a collaboration agreement, contracting agreement, rights assignment, or various other contract. Your lawyer can tell you the difference, and you'll need forms for each person on the project.

For the person that left, tell them there are no hard feelings, tell them that since the project needs to go on you need to make sure you still have legal rights to use what they contributed, tell them they can still claim credit for whatever they want, and perhaps even give them twenty bucks (which the rights assignment form will call "valuable consideration") in exchange for their signature.

Everyone else on the project should sign an agreement as well. They'll probably get collaboration agreements since they are still contributing on the team.

Yeah I had a talk with that pretty much went like that.

I offered to buy out his ideas but he said he was going to use it for his own game he is making, so he asked me to delete all his stuff which I did.

Honestly he was only involved for a month and the few contributions he made will not be in  the game. If he had any ownership it would be the tiniest fraction. If anything came of it I would probably pay out 40$ for the 2 hours of work he put in.

And @Geri that was pretty unhelpful. I'm neither a monster nor a wimp who would let someone who barely put any effort in to have a lot of control over my brainchild. Being submissive is the wrong answer here. I should probably also say that while there are thousands of people who come up with ideas and are creative, there are far fewer who actually see it to completion or are up to the challenge of ensuring its success as I am. This is what sets me apart from all those people. Im sure there is someone else like that, and if this project ever became large enough I would even consider partnering with someone.

I have found that in general though, people do not want to be involved to a very big degree. When the project started and there was no story, I was 100% open about my thinking and offered everyone to give it shape. Nobody stepped up, so I went and spent hours upon hours creating a story that would at least be a solid foundation others would be comfortable working on.

It is not about getting others to submit. It is about getting others to make peace with what is already laid down. If I were to allow anyone to put in whatever the heck they want just because they can, this whole thing would turn into a total mess and would actually make for a worse development environment imho. It might work for other games whose selling point is their randomness or chaos, but not this one.

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1 hour ago, steelstrung said:

I should probably also say that while there are thousands of people who come up with ideas and are creative, there are far fewer who actually see it to completion or are up to the challenge of ensuring its success as I am. This is what sets me apart from all those people. Im sure there is someone else like that, and if this project ever became large enough I would even consider partnering with someone.

I have found that in general though, people do not want to be involved to a very big degree. When the project started and there was no story, I was 100% open about my thinking and offered everyone to give it shape. Nobody stepped up, so I went and spent hours upon hours creating a story that would at least be a solid foundation others would be comfortable working on.

It is not about getting others to submit. It is about getting others to make peace with what is already laid down. If I were to allow anyone to put in whatever the heck they want just because they can, this whole thing would turn into a total mess and would actually make for a worse development environment imho. It might work for other games whose selling point is their randomness or chaos, but not this one.

Unpaid projects lead to this. People get a whole lot more dedicated when they're paid in real time during the project. While there are thousands of people who come up with ideas and don't have money to pay anyone, the ones who have money to pay their team members tend to get things done to completion with a lot less randomness and chaos.

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steelstrung, i never said anything from the level of your commitment, or from you. i wrote the oppinion about your situation. about the situation you created for yourself. and now you are talking about ,,2 hours of work'' from him that he contributed in an 1 month of time range.

 

what.

seriously.

instead of opening the topic and typing the answers, you could redone that 2 hours of work probably, and this is now introduced all of the possible dark clouds over this story, which i alreday forseen even before starting to type my first comment. at this point please forget i even wrote a comment here, i dissociate myself to even form an oppinion from topics like this in the future. i promised myself a year ago that i will NEVER again will take part of conversations on forums unless someone pays it, but it seems i never learn. 

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Took me 5 minutes to write, and I have already redone his work. Thanks for your dark divinations and omniscient foresight however, and good luck with your fortune telling on another thread.

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17 hours ago, steelstrung said:

And @Geri that was pretty unhelpful. I'm neither a monster nor a wimp who would let someone who barely put any effort in to have a lot of control over my brainchild.

I think what @Geri was saying is that without paying your team members they have no obligation or incentive to work your project. Your depending on there good will and charity.

You will have to make it worth there time and you can't make demands.

No one is saying that you did something wrong, what we are saying is that this is how hobby projects work; each and every one of them. In fact your doing well if you even reached this point.

17 hours ago, steelstrung said:

I have found that in general though, people do not want to be involved to a very big degree.

17 hours ago, steelstrung said:

It is not about getting others to submit. It is about getting others to make peace with what is already laid down.

These two parts are why you have no real concerns. People don't want to do extra work, they will talk about it but in the end nothing comes from it.

The problem with working with others is that they will make changes to your work, large and small. In the end all you can do is decide where to compromise. Also dumb ideas can often be discarded by a team vote, if it passes then maybe it isn't as dumb as first thought. 

 

The best thing you can do right now is to lead. When you reach a new point, start working on it before anyone can second guess your ideas. It means you will fail more, but if you take the blame for your mistakes the others will follow you blindly because there is little risk to them self.

You should study game theory while your at it, it's more a study of human nature than mechanics.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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5 hours ago, Scouting Ninja said:

I think what @Geri was saying is that without paying your team members they have no obligation or incentive to work your project. Your depending on there good will and charity.

You will have to make it worth there time and you can't make demands.

No one is saying that you did something wrong, what we are saying is that this is how hobby projects work; each and every one of them. In fact your doing well if you even reached this point.

These two parts are why you have no real concerns. People don't want to do extra work, they will talk about it but in the end nothing comes from it.

The problem with working with others is that they will make changes to your work, large and small. In the end all you can do is decide where to compromise. Also dumb ideas can often be discarded by a team vote, if it passes then maybe it isn't as dumb as first thought. 

 

The best thing you can do right now is to lead. When you reach a new point, start working on it before anyone can second guess your ideas. It means you will fail more, but if you take the blame for your mistakes the others will follow you blindly because there is little risk to them self.

You should study game theory while your at it, it's more a study of human nature than mechanics.

@Scouting Ninja I understand what you are saying.  But my original question was really about how to resolve conflicts when they go against the basic framework of the game, not really trying to repress others' ideas and I fully recognize there will be many compromises to be made - I make a ton and my ideas get some revisions every time we meet, but it always works to polish our ideas and make them better.  Thank you for your prior answer though, I crafted a GDD and Dev agreement and my developers actually really liked it since it gives them clarity on what is concrete. Some revisions still get made if we have an awesome idea that needs a tweaking of what is already laid down to work, but for the most part the GDD is like the games Bible. 

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