kdog77

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About kdog77

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  1. So let me get this straight. You have (a) no money, (b) no team and (c) not actual experience designing or producing games? Kickstarter is not the right place for you to try and learn how to make games on someone else's dime. People contribute to developers who have talent, experience and quite frankly something to show them. Double Fine raised $3.3M because of Tim Schaefer and a track record of finishing quality games. Ouya raised $4M because they had a slick video and a pitch tailored to the indie development crowd (everything can be hacked - um yay). You would be torn to pieces if all you had was "Vague Diablo 2 clone + unknown and not proven design concepts known only to you". People expect something in return for their pledges. BTW - $10-20M is the low end of AAA games these days. There is no real telling how much Blizzard puts into its titles because they only ship "when they are finished". Larger games are nearing $100M and 400-500 developers. So you need to tailor your expectations with your current capacity. If you want to work in games, then may I suggest working at an established developer or publisher. Crawl. Walk. Run.
  2. @ redfella, I think you deserve some honest feedback if you plan to start a development company and not just invest the 100k in a team that is up and running. To be blunt - your stated goals exceeds your current capacity. Let me explain: [u]Budget[/u]: $100K is not enough to develop a decent FPS on PC and survive in this market, let alone a decent MMO. 38 Studios spent in excess of $100M and still ended up getting shut down without releasing a game. Even low end iOS/Android "casual" titles have budgets over $100K these days. I think if you want to get experience developing for PC, then start with taking an existing game and development tools to create a mod (e.g. Half-Life). This is a tried and true method for relatively inexperienced developers to hone their skills at lower risk. [u]Salaries[/u]: A good rule of thumb for hiring professional developers is about $10/K per man/month. So hiring 3 good people with decent experience to develop your game would probably burn through your $100K in about 3 months. This doesn't include employment taxes and other withholdings that you would be obligated to remit to the IRS/NC state tax board as the employer. You may be able to contract parts of the game's development to cheaper vendors located outside the US, but merely offering profit participation is not sufficient incentive to acquire top talent. Have you considered taking on partners? [u]Experience[/u]: Even experienced and well-financed developers fail (e.g. Kaos studios). You stated that you have some ideas, but no background in game design. How do you expect to recruit and lead a team to develop the game? Again it may help if you have something concrete (such as a mod) to show potential partners. [u]Location[/u]: Unless you have home insurance that includes workman's comp and amazingly fast internet, it would probably be a better to allow the team to work remotely. In addition to the meager salary, you won't find many people willing to move to NC for a short term project to work in some random dude's house (sorry but this its true). [u]First Game[/u]: Please look at the background and experience of guys like Notch and Jonathan Blow before aiming to match them. Those were not their first attempts at developing a commercial game and they often took years to complete. Again, you need to match your expectations with your capacity and skills. Investing in a private game developer may be another way to get in the door, but that is an entirely different subject. Good luck.
  3. Income earned in the US by foreign companies is more than likely subject to US tax laws. FYI - do a search for "Australia Tax Treaty" on the IRS website (www.irs.gov) and ask your accountant to confirm how it should apply to monies received from the US. Some US companies will withhold a percentage of royalties and report it to the IRS, unless you sign a Form W8BEN to get a reduced rate.
  4. "I just want to get 'rich' in a few years"...might I suggest trying another business? BTW - I am being serious. Developers and publishers rarely buy just the IP, they buy the talent making the IP. OMGPOP was bought by Zynga for 180M. OMGPOP's founders are still working for Zynga because the value of the deal vests over time and Zynga wants to extract value from the talent as well as the IP. Secondly, "garbage in, garbage out" still applies to game development. If you produce mediocre games, no amount of marketing will help increase revenue and no one will want to buy your company (its talent or IP) to "fix it" for you. Sorry but devs who make bad games generally go out of business. Same as any other business. There are easier ways to make money than game development. Make games because you love making them, not because you love making money.
  5. 1. I have seen placeholders in pitch books and story-boards for internal meetings at publishers, but I have not seen anyone using them on public sites like Kickstarter because everyone will know you are a wannabe and not a real developer. Go get the art you want to use (legally) from established artists or develop some original concept art before advertising/displaying your game to the public. Otherwise it might be misleading representation of what you intend to create or piss off other copyright holders. 2. Use Linkedin.com to find experienced artists. Good luck!
  6. Contracts and Profits Sharing

    Make sure you check your contract with your current employer. Many employee agreements contain clauses that limit outside activities that compete with the employer's business or that require IP assignment to inventions created outside of work that are in the same line of business. This often comes up for developers working at big publishers. Moonlighting is often tacitly condoned or ignored, but there is always a chance your employer is not that enlightened. Good luck!
  7. Pitching a game to TV network

    OP: You want to know how much the network that owns the TV show will pay you for your game? The answer to that question is easy - Zero point Zero dollars. Entertainment companies license their IP to 3rd parties to make games and make money from such licensing transactions. I repeat - no one is going to pay you for your work without some idea how you plan to monetize it. So, how do you plan to pay the IP holder for those rights and do you have sufficient funds to publish the game within a reasonable time frame and with a business plan to monetize the IP? You stated this is a "part-time" job, so you may want to re-consider your options and lower your expectations. Unless you are really willing put up funds to go into full time production on a finished product that will come out in a reasonable time frame, pitching the IP owner for the rights may be a futile venture. Good luck!
  8. Funding without investor control

    @OP: As Promit already noted above retaining creative control over your game after taking investment depends on who provides the funds. Traditional publishers and VCs generally expect to exert a fair amount of control over development of the game, in addition to marketing it and the final business model. However that being said, it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain traditional funding for just one game concept proposed by an unknown developer with an unnamed (possibly untested) game engine. It just doesn't happen. Here is a breakdown of VC funding last year by Gamesbeat: http://venturebeat.com/2012/01/06/deanbeat-game-companies-raised-a-record-breaking-1-55b-in-2011/ Most if not all of the big money (excluding IPOs) went to companies run by vet developers who are launching their own platform or a whole smorgasbord of games on mobile and social platforms in order to reach mass audiences over fairly open distribution platforms to acquire user eyeballs. VCs are not interested in content so much as they are interested in ROI. They may not even listen to your pitch unless is ladened with acronyms such as MAU, DAU and AARPU. Crowdfunding sites seem to offer a new glimmer of hope for indies to fund their dream projects, but it is still uncertain that each project (no matter how worthy) will reach their goal without some star talent attached. Time will tell. Good luck!
  9. Building on Tetris - legal issues?

    Using "Tetris" in the title of your game would certainly be trademark infringement. The other questions would be best answered by your attorney. Good luck!
  10. RocketHub or KickStarter?

    @ Turch. I know many indie devs who skimp on those costs.
  11. RocketHub or KickStarter?

    OP: I think this is a business decision that you need to make after evaluating similar projects on both sites and following their success rate (or lack thereof). Kickstarter had a big hit with the Double Find campaign, but the bigger question is why do you need funds if you are close to publishing on your own? Do you have a specific plan on how to use the funds or is this just to create buzz?
  12. Writing original code for a client and installing customized licensed software for a client are two separate things. Most "off the shelf" software comes with end user license agreements that disclaims warranties b/c the licensor has no idea how the customer will use it or if their hardware can support it. Depending on the nature of your work you may need to contact a local solicitor to help you devise a contract that covers the type of services you are performing for your clients. "Googling" software licenses that you think might apply could lead to disastrous results. Good luck!
  13. Team names

    The answer depends on who will own the IP in the assets created by team members: (1) your company or (2) individual team members. If Option 1, you need a work for hire agreement. If Option 2, you need either a collaboration agreement or a license. Obviously your team name is not a separate entity yet so you will need to either incorporate under the laws of your state or identify the individuals that own the company. Good luck!
  14. Finance guy with an idea

    Finance guy + idea = slim to no chance making game (devs don't need your ideas) Finance guy + idea + money = better chance of making (devs will listen to your idea and maybe build it in exchange for cash) Finance guy + idea + money + biz plan to market game = much better chance (devs + investors will listen to your idea and possibly want to fund it) There are numerous designers, consultants, marketers, producers and strategists who will talk your ears off about the hazards of game development if you buy them a beer at GDC. Or you can just read Tom's website which covers more ground then most.
  15. The copyright in the artwork will be owned by the artist unless you have a (1) written agreement that states (2) it is a "work for hire" and that all IP rights in the artwork are assigned by the artist to your company. Compensation for the work is between you and the artist. It might be a good idea to reach out to a lawyer with an IP background to give you some forms to use in connection with the project to ensure you are getting clear chain of title to all the assets. Good luck!