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cebugdev

Need advice, art work will be outsourced to other company

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Hi, we are planning to contract a 3rd party art provider to work on our games, we have already secured the funding and budget, however since this is our first rodeo ride with 3rd party doing assets for us, can you guys give advice on how to handle such things?

1. Will they take credits to the game as well or not? maybe arrange special discount that they will be included in the credits for a certain discount or something?

2. can they  use their art as portfolio to their company as well or not? 

I know that most of the answer will be "depends on your contract or agreement" but what would be the best scenario/contract/agreement for this.

Any professional advice is a great help!

Thanks!

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2 hours ago, cebugdev said:

1. Will they take credits to the game as well or not? maybe arrange special discount that they will be included in the credits for a certain discount or something?

Well, why wouldn't they be in the credits? Anyone who works on the game, film, etc. should be credited. Without being in the credits, how can they prove they worked on your project? Especially given the fact that they are supplying a core element of the game!

2 hours ago, cebugdev said:

2. can they  use their art as portfolio to their company as well or not? 

I doubt most any creative professional would agree to contribute if they could not use at least some of the assets for portfolio purpose.

I would personally never agree to a deal that did not include me in the credits (esp. if it's a low-paying project) nor allow me to use some of my creations for demonstration purposes.  

Edited by Chris Schmidt

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I know some one who would quote 10x the budget for not giving him a credit (no name in the credit + no portfolio). And yes it depends on the contract you have with them. 

Not giving someone credit for their work is kinda immoral IMO. And I think, if you want to do that, paying them more for not having their credits is quite fair.

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1 minute ago, mr_tawan said:

I know some one who would quote 10x the budget for not giving him a credit (no name in the credit + no portfolio). And yes it depends on the contract you have with them. 

Not giving someone credit for their work is kinda immoral IMO. And I think, if you want to do that, paying them more for not having their credits is quite fair.

To be frank: There is no reason to not credit someone unless they say they don't want to be, no matter how much you're paying them. It takes no effort to credit them; it's basically taking credit for everything, including work you didn't do.

To each his/her own, but if you aren't in the credits for the work you've done, you've been screwed.

Hans Zimmer gets paid around 2 million per picture and still gets in the credits.

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1 hour ago, cebugdev said:

Hi, we are planning to contract a 3rd party art provider to work on our games, we have already secured the funding and budget, however since this is our first rodeo ride with 3rd party doing assets for us, can you guys give advice on how to handle such things?

1. Will they take credits to the game as well or not? maybe arrange special discount that they will be included in the credits for a certain discount or something?

2. can they  use their art as portfolio to their company as well or not? 

I know that most of the answer will be "depends on your contract or agreement" but what would be the best scenario/contract/agreement for this.

Any professional advice is a great help!

Thanks!

Depending on what you have in your contract will determine if you fully own the graphics, or you have a "license" to use them, ect...

If you buy ownership of the intellectual property then you don't have to say anything in terms of credits, and the artist would require permission from you to use the art in any capacity. If you're only buying the rights to use the art then your conditions will be based on what is agreed upon.

Bottom line, get everything in writing and signed off. If you're planning on using the art in a commercial project then you need to have everything in order regarding usage or ownership of said graphics, and it needs to be very clearly defined. If your game makes a lot of money the last thing you need is a dispute of usage rights. I've seen commercial games get pulled just for expired or disputed licenses. You also don't want to get a lawsuit from the other party claiming you owe them.

I would suggest you have a lawyer who handles intellectual property law draft up agreements for you.

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15 minutes ago, Chris Schmidt said:

Hans Zimmer gets paid around 2 million per picture and still gets in the credits.

In some cases I'm pretty sure he gets paid 2 million to have his name in the credits as a selling point (as much as the music itself) ... :)

As with the others, I'd take it as a given that people who contribute will expect to be credited, HOWEVER I would always ask if possible, and ask how people want to be credited.

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Those two points are pretty inconsequential and don't really impact you. If this is your first time with outsourcing, you should be worried about how you can actually get the results that you want. How much detail needs to go into work briefs? How specific do conventions need to be?  What are the criteria for acceptance / rejection? What's the payment / milestone structure? Is there a producer and/or art director on their end? On your end? What are the communication channels? What is the process for asset development? Do you have to approve WIP assets at different stages before they continue? Is there concepting involved as well as production? Is there a clause for re-work on assets even if they do meet the acceptance criteria, but you have a change of mind? What happens if they don't meet the time constraints of a milestone? What happens if you don't pay for a milestone? What happens if they say they need more time or money to finish? 

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On 7/19/2018 at 1:33 AM, cebugdev said:

1. Will they take credits to the game as well or not? maybe arrange special discount that they will be included in the credits for a certain discount or something?

2. can they  use their art as portfolio to their company as well or not? 

I know that most of the answer will be "depends on your contract or agreement" but what would be the best scenario/contract/agreement for this.

Any professional advice is a great help!

Thanks!

1. Credits are usually discussed as part of the contract. Common options are to list the outsource company, or to list the company plus names.  When the agreement allows for uncredited work, most profoessionals will increase the cost since they aren't getting the value of their name on the product.

2. Every contract should include these details. If your lawyer doesn't include them you need a better lawyer.

2a.  It is standard to allow everyone to put the product in their portfolio with demos and screen captures of what they did. Sometimes publication is specifically excluded until after the product goes public, the product is cancelled, or a certain amount of time has elapsed; this protects the product owner from premature discovery, and protects the worker so they can talk about what they worked on even if the project fails.  This is true for employment contracts as well, industry practice is that individual workers take samples of their work through screen shots and similar even when that isn't explicit in the contract. The assumption is that once the game is publicly released workers should be able to point out features and screen captures to point out "I did that."

2b. Contractors are different from employees, and legally contractors are expected to bring their own tools to the work site, and contractors generally retain ownership of intermediate things they create even when they transfer ownership of the final work. That is, if a contract programming firm creates some custom tools to build a game then generally the contractor owns those tools, not the hiring company.  Similarly for art, if artists create intermediate tools they retain ownership of those things that aren't the final product.  Not only can they be used in the contractor's portfolio, the contractor continues to own them; unless the contract specifically calls it out the group hiring them has no claim on those tools and intermediate works.

2c. Exclusivity of work is an important part of every contract.  Exactly what ownership gets transferred must be explicitly stated in the contract. Anything that isn't specifically transferred is retained by the contractor. The contract should state if the transfer is exclusive to the one company, or if the transfer is nonexclusive and can be reused in future work.  Generally exclusive work is more expensive since the contractor cannot reuse it on future projects.

 

All of this is subject to your lawyer reviewing the contracts.  These are items that are frequently redlined in contracts, so expect negotiation on the details if you're working with a professional.

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