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Orymus3

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About Orymus3

  • Rank
    4th Place - The Week of Awesome 2014

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  • Interests
    Business
    Design
    Production
    Programming
  1. Hey folks, Turns out I completed work on Red Cell - Agent Green and it is now on Itch.io! Bit of a throwback retro title, I'll admit, but for any arcade / Amiga fan, could be in for a real treat (and the music is a great track by Nils 505 Feske!) (Video doesn't do it nearly justice, but for the sake of showing something). Oh did I mention local Coop? Just hook two gamepads to that rig of yours and beat the crap out of that game!
  2. Welcome Agent Green... And here we go, Red Cell: Agent Green is finally released on Itch.io! Don't believe me? Now you should! It was quite the journey from simple gamejam entry for the Week of Awesome III to here, but I'm glad I stuck with it. The game is now coop, has leaderboards (thanks Gamesparks!) and is a lot harder to deal with. Hoping to add new modes in the future too! See the whole story here I won't take more of your time, until I actually add more to it. (If you DO play the game, do drop me a line, I'm always curious to hear what people thing!)
  3. Opinion?

    Which is what I do right, but it's nonetheless tiring...
  4. Opinion?

    Of course, I don't ever ask for a plumber, I do my own plumbing, but I can easily translate your example to that of an electrician which, in my book, requires an expert (if you screw up, well you can die basically). And I agree, there's much to be said of code architecture: a lot of prospect clients come to me with 'almost finished games' and I end up telling them: 5k to fix it, 3k to start from scratch and finish it. Your pick And they don't get it. Anyway, didn't want to come across as someone that don't enjoy my work or my clients, it's just the rev-share guys (the arrogant ones specifically, as the others are easy to discuss with, even though I still don't get why they'd reply to me knowing I'm not into rev-share...)
  5. Opinion?

    I'm not disputing any of that, what I don't get is when they say they were, for all intents and purposes, expecting you'd do this for free while they wait for you to get done with their idea. I can only imagine, if one agreed to it, they'd probably do some seagull management and come asking 'why isn't it done yet?' too...
  6. Opinion?

    Been having trouble with the website (or with my brain?) lately and haven't been able to see either of your replies to this thread before (and I was kinda hoping you'd chime in!) Note here though that my 'indie' rate is about half yours, and that it isn't uncommon for me to have a very similar discussion to the above except the second to last line looks more like "Are you crazy? People are starving in the world and it's your fault" type of stuff Must be because I'm Canadian, people think they can throw pretty much anything at us.
  7. Opinion?

    I wouldn't got as far as say this is the majority though. I don't really have that much insight into 'my competitors' beyond what my clients tell me (why they chose to work with me, etc.).
  8. Opinion?

    Uh? Well, in my experience, contracting out can be very profitable (both ways). Whether for assets (short term) or more involved work (development etc.) I've worked for clients that have turned up a (significant) profit, and I've contracted people whose work ended up being profitable. I think your skepticism may either be based on your inability to do the work or your general distrust of contractors in general, or even the actual ROI of the idea itself, but is certainly not grounded in the actual value of the work that could result from someone (the right person, of course). It feels to me like your argument has more to do with the distrust part, and the perceived low likelihood you would turn up such a contractor, moreso than the actual value of the work, which is a bit outside the scope of what I was going for: there are a lot of frauds out there, few of which actually have a reputation to back their claims. Within my circle, dev recommendations are far from rare, and I've had several clients vouch for me on new potential assignments to date, so I don't think that, in my particular case, the 'rev-share first' part comes from a perceived risk on picking the wrong contractor.
  9. Opinion?

    I think it goes a bit further than that though: If I partnered up with, say, an artist, on his game, and he'd offer rev-share, I'd be like: So, you do (roughly) 50% of the work, you control the IP, and we split the sales? Even then I feel this isn't exactly fair, as he still owns the IP, etc. But in essence, yes, this is more or less the problem I see.
  10. Opinion?

    I wouldn't say making games is futile. The amount of 'luck needed' decreases significantly with experience. Sometimes it's because of the experience itself (making fewer rookie mistakes, resulting in a genuinely better game) and sometimes it is based on a bias (AAA veteran dropoff studios get more press than a 18 years old basement indie on average, but not always). What's more, there are 'yes-men' everywhere, they will tell someone else their idea has value, even if it doesn't. I've put myself in a position where I can afford to say no, I pick my projects, and I never have to take on projects I don't think genuinely stand a chance. Of course, some projects are more risky, but the work being done isn't any less valuable there. I've always been very self-conscious about my value in the industry, and for the past 6-7 years, I've kept a close watch on whether I was 'profitable' (even before, when I was still an employee). It matters to me. I also engaged in gamejams (notably the Week of Awesome II, III, IV) just to make sure I'm still relevant, that I can still do the work, etc. I'd hate to be a fraud, so I keep on testing myself to measure the extent of my abilities. So, it is entirely possible to be inspired, but getting paid is also the means through which you secure serious developers: people that aren't just there because they need to (if you want some of THOSE, there's thousands on freelancer.com, and my experience working with them is consistently bad at best!) My line of reasoning is, if the work I did so far has proven time and time again that my work is worth (more than) the $ I'm asking for, this is fair, and nothing like 'dreaming'. Now, how to assemble that work in such a way that it has value, that's actually the other person's role (it's their game after all) but even there I try to help because I do care about what I work on. I'm past the point of needing to work on projects for the sake of money, I'm at a point where I want these projects to have a legacy of their own. But luck still plays a huge part, and though I take serious risks on my own games, I shouldn't take the bulk of the risk when working on someone else's idea, that's where I draw the line. It is a professional service exchanges, in a market that's governed by capitalism. There's nothing wrong with it, and even if there were, these are the rules we've all agreed to operate with (although I'll admit I've done more than my share of barter to lessen costs). It would be different if we were talking about 50 50 partnerships, which we're not: my contracts clearly state that the ownership of the work is my clients, not me. They get to reap the massive upside, so it makes sense to also face the appropriate level of risk. If one of these projects skyrocket, they make tons, whereas I won't, so why should I take that kind of risk? Also, the simpler, shorter answer is: I can afford to say no to every rev-share because I've got more than enough paid projects, so why should I take any risk if there's simply no upside to it? (whatever will be said of rev-share based projects, they're still generally less promising because the reasons that led someone to rev-share in the first place is a good indicator of how shaky the foundation is).
  11. Contract Work

    Note: 'Hire that out'. In today's world, you might find that harder than it sounds. I've been struggling the past 3 months trying to compromise between my work ethic and current market trends. The free agents out there are rarely someone I'd actually want to hire, which is the crux of the problem. I half-expected at least half of the programmers I'd meet to be 'good enough or more', but that couldn't be further from the truth. It seems that, lately, everyone that's ever written a line of code calls themselves a programmer, while I, refused to call myself one until recently (after I realized that's what I've been doing most of my days for the past year) even though I started at age 7 and didn't spend a month in my life without doing it. What I found to be working for me, as an entrepreneur, is to ship out very specific pieces of work that unload my pipeline. I create a very clear document of what I need done, even if it takes time (and half-defeats the purpose of hiring to get it done) and I get someone to work on that very narrow piece. Obviously, it only makes sense for complex and heavy systems (think, 'crafting' and the likes). This allows me to 'be in control' about the projects, as I don't lose my grip on them. Control-freak? maybe... but it works at least.
  12. Opinion?

    Yeah, and that's my business approach too, but typically, this falls down to a few replies down the line while considering the work. But agreed,
  13. Opinion?

    Well, I find it insulting when, in the end, throughout the discussion, the very reason they want me to do it 'for free' is because they wouldn't want to do it, and somehow think it's ok to ask me to. I mean, in essence, they're valuing their time as something inherently more important than mine to make this kind of assessment, and that's annoying at best. Thanks for the feedback Tom, as per usual!
  14. Opinion?

    That's correct. And since my business does part-time work-for-hire, it's hard to articulate an ad that: A - Doesn't entirely repulse potential clients AND B - Avoids tons of people asking for a rev-share or deferred payment compensation strategy In the past, I've tried being 'clearer', but that's when I'd yield much fewer prospects, and I found that the best clients did not respond positively to an ad that focused so much on the concept of compensation (largely because it was a 'given' to them, I hypothesized). So being a bit less direct (I did specify I'm not into rev-share, but somehow that appears to make it open bar for deferred payment it seems) is a problem too. The thing is, it is not uncommon for people to present themselves without mentioning this, so I still spend a lot of time doing back and forth before the compensation discussion happens, and I find it is typically bad practice to bring up compensation too early with actual clients because 1 - I'm actually quite negotiable, and 2 - if the relationship isn't established, it feels awkward and they're likely to 'think it over'. So even a polite no only happens after several back and forth most of the time, which I still can't reason why people would do this, but we're not just talking isolated incidents here. And I agree, I don't owe an explanation, I figured I'd reply this one time, and probably paste that into our blog so people know once stance on this (and I can send them the URL the next time anybody asks). I'm not trying to be a serial asshole here, and I understand the concept of sales comes with a lot of deals that fall-out, but that approach just feels problematic and I know I'm not the only one enduring this (it is kind of a running gag here, and I can only assume it is also elsewhere). Well here's the thing, I'm not opposed to what they're doing in principle, and ignoring people isn't what I'm trying to achieve. My actual target clients aren't that far-off from this, except they've decided to dedicate some kind of a budget to their production efforts, and I can only presume that, not too long ago, they were on the other side of that fence, before realizing that rev-share and deferred payment are very unlikely to turn up anything good let alone finished. So I'm not looking for a way to tell them all to 'fuck-off' (although that'd save me a lot of time trying to figure out whether they're just hiding their true intentions to go for rev-share only), but I'm just trying to find the origin of that problem and potential solutions. And there's no denying that after several hundreds (maybe thousands by now?) of such discussions, it takes its toll, and it gets harder and harder to ignore the implied insult, even though it may be inherently be just pure ignorance. It's probably a maturity process. I think people need to go certain phases to realize that it's hard to make games, that it makes sense to ask for money, and that though game jams can be made under 48 hours, a MMO simply cannot. When I was green myself, lurking these forums way-back-when, I can distinctly remember that people were going through these phases even then, which means this isn't new (not just an 'indie-bubble' thing). And I think it makes sense that newcomers have a lot of hopes, and that the few that survive these hopes getting crushed repeatedly end up actually making games, but even knowing this still doesn't come close to making it right. Eh, I might just be getting too old, but thanks for 'hearing me out'.
  15. Opinion?

    Been a while since I had the chance to start a topic on here... so I figured it was about time I did: I'm not really one to second guess myself much, but in the interest of not becoming an intolerable human being, I try to gather some feedback from time to time when I feel I may learn from the process and somehow do 'better next time'. Last year, I founded my own C-corp and went full-time. Things have been doing amazingly well since, for which I feel blessed and am very thankful. We've had amazing projects, and we're really getting traction. Suffice it to say that, as far as the 'indie scene' is concerned, we're probably in the top 20-30% right now (studios that actually have a change to survive more than 5 years). We make our own games, and we work with aspiring indies that want to get their games on the market and are not sure where to start. I know how that sounds, but you'd be surprised by the amount of dedicated individuals that turn out to be much MUCH more than the 'idea guys', and what they can bring to the table. That being said, there's a recurring problem I've come across the past... (25 years?) that's refusing to go away, and I know it's a broken record to a lot of people around here. Let me first say that I am not against hobby rev-share projects. I have (and had) my own too. That's fine. What I am deliberately opposed to is people taking their hobby rev-share projects so seriously they feel everyone should agree to these terms. You know, people with a day job that are not taking any significant risk, but somehow expect you/me to. Most times, I just ignore them, as I find it better to do so than to jump in an argument, but today was the 'one-too-many' and I felt like venting (the canadian way, so no cursing!). Here's what this individual actually sent: This is the integral transcript, so apologies for the typos and lack of opening or closure... (the original post didn't have any bold). Here's what the 7-lines short ad he referenced actually had to say about rev-share: I'm sorry, what's that? but surely... you must be ok with rev-share right? Therefore, I went ahead and replied: I'm not seeking validation here and though I feel that reopening the whole 'biz vs hobby' discussion is pointless, I'm actually interested in finding strategies to avoid having to get that sort of mail which, frankly, is kind of insulting when you consider what they're saying: I don't have 10k to spend, and I'm not going to bother to do anything about this, but here's a cool idea, you get to make it and maybe we split it 50/50. I mean, how much more of that crap can a man take? And, where are these people taking this idea from? I remember being green and wanting to make a rev-share game more than once (heck, if you look hard enough, you'll likely find a few of these posts on here!), but I don't recall going straight to people who did this for a living and asking them to do it for rev-share because I didn't have 10k on me... I made it my business' mission to help out aspiring entrepreneurs and indies so that fresh games would get made, so I'm DEFINITELY NOT AGAINST people trying to make it out there. Hopefully that doesn't stir some PR mess... I had to get it out of my system, and if anyone wishes to contribute constructively, I'm all ears.
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