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Everything posted by SamLuo

  1. Thanks for all the encouragement! To be clear, I didn't post here with the intention of fishing for support or compliments, but it's certainly a nice surprise to have been greeted by such kinda words (: I was really just curious what other people's experiences are.    I agree that a lot of successful teams are inexperienced, but I wouldn't say that's what makes a successful team. Furthermore, the hypersuccessful titles like Minecraft, Amnesia, and Kenshi are devs who have at least worked on other titles, even if they didn't ship. I place a lot of the success of many indie games on the humblebundle's marketing strategy. Not to say they aren't good games on their own, but they don't have the solo marketing experience.   In the same vein, they definitely have yet to experience the number of art assets for an RPG, the number of subsystems to code, the number of AI rules, and the sheer time commitment. I agree we are probably better without them, but I guess we saw this as an opportunity to reach out to individuals we saw as we once were.   I've never heard the '3 other games' rule, but that's a good thing to keep in mind. After this stint we have started talking business and deciding what we want to do in terms of profit. I want to say with confidence we will make it to market before these guys, but I can't be sure. Though I think the fact that we have been around for quite some time already, and have more knowledge of what lies ahead would indicate positive things perhaps. I'd also like to think that the quality of our game will outmatch theirs because we know our stuff already.   Ego was definitely the main problem with negotiations here. I know none of us wanted to step down to being peons if you will, since we work collaboratively on design which may not be the most efficient but since there's only 3 of us, it works. But we were willing to bring more into our circle and make them equals with us, and work in a 5 person collaborative design structure. I think our team fits into the side where we are further down the road, more effectively managed, with the exception that we aren't large, but our team is of higher quality.   It's great to know that this is just a lone experience and that you've had good experiences starbasecitadel. I guess I'll just have to wait until something that works comes along; indiewhite used bide! indiewhite is storing energy!
  2. Recently, I've encountered something I find very perplexing. Often I hear people say "join another team" in reference to games that are rather large for an indie team (ie, MMOs, RPGs, etc). Well I am part of a team that is making a rather ambitious game. We've definitely been told before to find other likeminded people and join teams, or otherwise collaborate. This has never really applied to us because we've never seen another game trying to do the same thing as us. But just last month, we found a team on reddit making a game nearly identical to ours, only a few days old. We brushed it off and said 'hey, let's finally put that advice to good use!' and approached them about joining forces as equals to create something we both wanted to make. Well, I have to say the experience definitely left an insanely bitter taste in my mouth. They started right on the offensive, claiming that they owned the IP to our game that's been in development for quite some time, and requested that we join their project under their leadership simply because they had more active members.Unfortunately it ended with them slinging insults and threats of legal action. Needless to say we were IP banned from even viewing any of their content in any way and we don't sit on pleasant ground.   I imagine not every interaction with another indie dev is like this, but I haven't had enough to judge. What are your experiences, and have you ever encountered a situation similar to mine? What was the outcome/process?
  3. @Orymus3: The first situation that you described is basically the one I just got through dealing with. Unfortunately, I believe they plan on selling their game, and I know they've taken a few aspects from us, but I no longer have access to their forums (registration is closed, viewable only to members) to see if they're still pillaging our IP. I'm sorry to hear about the second game you described, that sounds pretty miserable ): I've only ever done collaboration agreements, what /should/ have been done in that instance?   I guess it's unavoidable that the authorities are not going to play nice at least at first because no one wants to cut someone else a slice of their pie. While I can understand, I think their point of view was incredibly ignorant considering they could have used at least 1 person with any prior development experience. I mean, you can be king and boss around a bunch of fools, but what good does that do you?    @Norman: right now our project is not for profit, but I believe they intend to sell in some way. I think we could have easily sorted our differences since we were all pretty much on the same page ideas wise (especially considering many of our concepts and art have made their way into their design). I think it really came down to the fact that they didn't want to split what they had more ways than they had to, and they thought it would be fun to play god and manipulate people into making things for them (remember that their leadership group are all beginners in their field). I think they're too ambitious and didn't see that what we were bringing to the table - people with management skills in both the professional and indie world, and people highly experienced in what they do - is more than what they will be able to learn in a few weeks. 
  4. I can understand them being defensive about their project, but I didn't want to get into too much detail about my situation because I didn't want it to come off as a rant. But let me fill in the rest of the details:   We sent their leaders an email while their project was 2 days old, only having primary communications through a dedicated subreddit. At this point they had no ideas save the main one that was "it would be cool if we made a martial arts game! But lets make it the new big thing by adding water guns!" (it wasn't really martial arts, just an example). We contacted them proposing a 50/50 merge, and handed them the legal contacts that we have all signed (a collaboration agreement). We have an enormous amount of design done, but we only just started programming a few months ago. So we proposed that our two groups join up, and start over from scratch with our design as a foundation since they had little to nothing. We never once suggested that they join our project; we wanted to create something new inspired by both our projects, and we made that clear. A little more background, our team is 3 people, misc writer/artist, 3d artist, and programmer (all semi-pros), and their team is comprised of 1 semi-pro programmer and a number of hobbiest who have never worked on a game previously. In return to our proposal, we receive a counter-proposal from them offering to take our three members in under the leadership of their group and absorb our project into theirs (which still only has "martial arts, yeahh!" as their design). We turned them down on this 'offer' because frankly we were all insulted. In return we explained that we didn't feel their offer was fair considering the amount of work we had done (yeah it was like being asked to give up a baby) and it was rude considering what we had originally offered. Then their responses blew up. They accused us of trying to steal interest in their project by posting recruitment threads in reddit on public boards, and stealing their ideas, and breaking the trust they had 'bestowed upon us'.    I believe that their legal threats were simply empty threats. I talked to a lawyer that I personally know and he said they have no foundation for a case. They were talking about how our game had copied aspects of their game, and how we had copied business methods an example of which was 'creating a twitter'. These were people who obviously were pissed off and didn't know the law. I also don't believe that they have any internal legal files since they scoffed at our collab agreement.   I just find it interesting that some indie dev communities just want to make a game and put it out into the world, and others are really closed off and selective about other devs.   The whole experience just left an insanely bitter taste in my mouth, and I can't help but feel that everyone in the dev community is like this, selfish and douchebaggy (I realize it isn't true).
  6. assenthel, p-unity, and shitva? Anyone else see a trend in game engines?
  7. SamLuo

    RPG Funding

    What is the kind of cost that a small scale company would face funding a large scale game like RPG or MMO? A lot of small groups doing this that look to bring in artists or auxiliary programmers offer profit share, but say if the company was paying everyone a wage or commission, what would be the average cost? What are other steps that small companies take to secure funding for large scale games? Of course I realize the high cost is the reason a lot of companies don't do this. But I'm just curious (:
  8. SamLuo

    RPG Funding

    and a telling fact about those types of groups is that they'll almost always be working on a Mod, or working with an engine license (Unity, Unreal, etc).[/quote] This is a positive or negative thing? That sounds really suspect. Are they even "companies" at all, in the legal sense of the word? Use of the word "hobby" makes it sound like they're not really companies...[/quote] I use the term company loosely as well. I've seen groups with contracts ready for help that include a salary or a profit share, and I've seen groups who haven't even though of contracts. Of course I'd prefer groups that conduct themselves professionally, regardless of whether they are registered with the local jurisdiction. If an individual (not a registered company and no contract) pays another person for work, say a character model, would that be the same as the first example you gave? The payer would then retain the rights regardless of a change of heart from the second person?
  9. SamLuo

    RPG Funding

    [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif]1. A small game development company is one that employs fewer than 30. A large game development company is one that employs over 100. (In my opinion.) Medium would be in between. What difference does it make (why do you ask this)? [/font] [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif]2. One way is the track record. Look at the games they've made, see how many games they've made, see what metacritic scores they've garnered. Another way is to go drinking with people from that company, see if they grouse a lot or really enjoy their jobs. Not sure what you're trying to figure out here...? And what these questions have to do with funding your own company? [/font][/quote] 1. I'm asking because several hobby companies that have asked me to join have said they are large companies (being only 50 or so people) so their ambitions are not unrealistic. I'm always wary when considering joining hobby companies that want to remake skyrim so I was just wondering what would actually qualify as a "large" team. 2. I'm just entirely clueless. I've always wondered how the big companies got started, and I figured the best way to figure out is to examine the companies that work, and ask get opinions from people who have actually worked the industry. It's mostly to satisfy my own thirst for knowledge. I'm unable to find the source again, but I recently read an article about an indie team of 4 running on a budget of about 15k per month [/quote] Interesting. I'll have to read more. Thanks for the info guys. I guess I'm mostly curious since I'd like to run a team (certainly not anytime soon but one day), but I have no idea the logistics or the business side of things. Cause right now being a student it seems like funding a team for a medium to large scale game is a huuuuge undertaking and I wouldn't even know where to begin.
  10. SamLuo

    RPG Funding

    The average salary for a US game dev is ~$80,000 p/a. So a team of 24 staff would require ~$2M per year just to cover payroll[/quote] Cool beans, thanks! What is the average staff size for say a medium to large scale team? I guess I'm mostly interested in the management side of this since its something that has always eluded me in my observations of games. Cause for a while now, I've been looking for a stable, solid team to join (hobby not "professional") and those seem to be teams on the larger side, but I have no idea what to look for in what makes up a good group and good management.
  11. YEAH! er.... no thanks
  12. Wait, blood, milk AND sky?
  13. SOPA is bullshit.
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