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About Obscure

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    Moderator - The Business & Law of Game Development
  1. [quote name='dre38w' timestamp='1330729838' post='4918737'] I originally wanted to charge a 20 dollar hourly rate as that seems to be around the norm for new to the field freelancers. But I'm going to charge a weekly rate that'll be slightly cheaper than what my desired hourly rate would add up to. Possibly this method will leave the client feeling like they aren't paying so frequently .....[/quote] The amount you charge won't alter how your clients feel about the frequency with which they pay you. The two aren't the same thing. You can charge by the hour or by the week but if you bill monthly there is no difference to the client.
  2. example non disclosure agreement

    There doesn't actually appear to be a question in the quote you posted so not really sure what you want beyond a suggestion to Google "example non-disclosure agreement" and read one of the hundreds of samples. If you have a specific question then obviously please do post again.
  3. [quote name='GHMP' timestamp='1331452692' post='4921067'] What about selling games via the Android Market, Steam, etc.? Will you simply have to adhere to the rules and such set up by those applications/websites?[/quote] It doesn't matter how you sell them. If you make money you need to act in accordance with your country's tax and business laws. [quote]If I wanted to make a splash screen show up when running the game, could I use my company name and logo/image and under that, put a copyright disclaimer like "© 2012 Mr. G. HMP"? [/quote] Yes, provided that name is not already being used as a trademark by another company/person.
  4. I have an idea...

    [quote name='AshleyWaldorf' timestamp='1320782272' post='4881870'] I'm just getting started in the industry but I feel like I have a good idea for a game and I'm wondering how or when I'd be able to make it happen.[/quote] That would depend entirely on the policy of the company you work for. They may be happy for you to pitch the idea or they may feel it necessary that you get experience developing games first.
  5. Looking for publishers

    [quote name='Moriquendi' timestamp='1313745177' post='4851117'] So do you know any publishers that reply to ''young developers''...?[/quote] No. Publishers aren't interested in young developers, they are only interested in good developers (regardless of their age) who understand business. [quote]I mean - many people say PopCap etc... come on. They won't even read my e-mail... I want to make time-management games for example, so simply - casual 2D games. [/quote] Then your emails obviously aren't presenting your product well or you are pitching to the wrong publishers. Other developers have been published by Popcap so obviously they do like some of the stuff they are sent. First you need to identify which publishers are publishing the sort of games you make. Second, you need to be 100% sure that your games are of the same quality as the ones they are publishing. Thirdly, find out who handles licensing/acquisitions and talk to them. Fourthly, make sure that when you send your game you provide them with a high quality, polished build and all the information they need to review it.
  6. Royalties to use racetrack?

    [quote]1) What laws if any might prevent us from using a hand modeled 3D representation of the road and its surroundings in our game without obtaining any sort of permission or license to do so?[/quote] Sods law My G/F works for the government education bureau. In theory they can make "fair use" of copyright materials for educational purposes. The reality is they won't because people sue and the only way to prove fair use is to incur the cost of going to court. Someone owns the racetrack. Even if it is public land someone is responsible for looking after it (maybe the local government). If you use it without permission there is a chance they will sue you, which will be the sort of PR the auto-manufacturer really wont want. Some elements of the track may be protected under copyright or design rights and names/logos protected by trademark - or these may have all lapsed. They may also make a claim of passing off - implying some link or support from the race track for your venture. [quote]2) Does anyone have experience in this sort of thing? What were your experiences?[/quote] Yes, I have worked on dozens of products that had some element of licensing and the one thing I learn is don't mess with other people's stuff without permission. [quote]3) What would be the closest representation we can use without breaking any rules? (Slightly altered track geometry, change the name a bit etc.)[/quote] One that is totally different. If it is recognisable then the owners may recognise and sue. If it isn't recognisable then you aren't actually using it so what is the point. Conclusion Find out who runs it and get permission, even if that means paying a license. Auto-manufacturers spend billions making cars and many millions advertising. A license fee is the cost of not incurring bad PR. Alternatively use a fictional track.
  7. Royalty Question

    I have to agree with DarklyDreaming. This appears to be a "studio" with no track record and no money. Unless they have proven otherwise this is just the same as any other hobby project you will find in the Help Wanted forum. The chance of an unfunded project even getting finished are minimal and even if it ships there is only a tiny chance that it will make any meaningful money. In short you are basically working for free. Also, as others have said, 5% of what? Retail, wholesale, gross sales, net sales?
  8. Do I need a gambling license?

    [quote name='polyfrag' timestamp='1313540560' post='4850091'] I only need a gambling license if I'm holding ticket raffles, poker, independent bingos, wheel of fortune, etc. [url="http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/gaming/licences/"]http://www.pssg.gov....aming/licences/[/url] So I don't need an attorney. Unless I start making lots of money. [/quote] What about the law in all the other countries you are intending to offer this service? Have you checked those. The laws regarding gambling (and what constitutes gambling) differs from country to country and state to state. That is why you need an experienced gaming (gambling) lawyer.
  9. Intellectual Property: Who owns what.

    [quote name='taneugene' timestamp='1313426419' post='4849448'] Interesting that you mentioned Notch and Angry Birds. They cost less to produce (compared to AAA games) and does not go through giant publishers. Doesn't that make one think "the bigger the game, the less you make (money wise)"? [/quote] No. there are many Triple A games that have made $billions. You can have success with big games or with small games.
  10. Two Questions?

    [quote name='Verdict' timestamp='1312573682' post='4845175'] 1. I would like to get a team that will work for free to get the game started, then reimbursed when the game is launched.[/quote] Why would anyone want to work on your game for free when they can work on their own game for free and keep all the money* [quote]So excluding that part, how much am I looking to be spending on getting the game launched. The game is kinda like a Zynga style game, your own game, but its still interactive with others who are playing it.[/quote] $1 million+ if you want to compete with Zynga you will need to match or exceed their marketing budget. [quote]2. I live in Worcester, MA. 2 of the top 10 game design schools is located in here. Would it be best to get a team from the schools or better to work with others who have a bit more experience in gaming. Mainly the advantage of working with the team personally rather than online.[/quote] See my point above. Why would any of these people want to work on your idea. People learn to make games because they have ideas they want to see turned into games. Given a choice between making your idea (for no pay) or making their own idea, why would they choose yours? *Note: You are assuming that your game will make any money. The reality is that it almost certainly won't. you should research the reality of indie development before proceeding.
  11. About being an anonymous developer

    [quote name='Mark135' timestamp='1311688532' post='4840530'] Okay, my question is if its possible to release a commercial game without revealing your identity to anyone. [/quote] No. If you enter into a legal agreement or accept any form of payment (apart from cash) then your business partners will need to know your legal identity (if only due to money laundering regulations). If you use a trading name most countries require that you clearly state {real name} trading as {trade name} on your paperwork. If you register a Ltd company you will need to provide proof of your identity to the accountant/lawyer setting up the company for you (money laundering again) and your name as a Director or Shareholder of the company would be a matter of public record. What you could do is limit the number of people who know. Your bank will know because they have to (yep money laundering again) but you could hire an agent to act for you and keep your identity secret. They would handle all business and then just pass the proceeds to you. However, if by "publish" you actually mean "distribute" then it might be possible. You could anonymously send a disk to a magazine and hope they include the game on their cover DVD.
  12. How DO I Register A (Game) Company Name?

    [quote name='Michael Spiral' timestamp='1311180789' post='4838035'] So to make certain I am getting all of this correctly, I could secure the name "Clown Baby Software" for a studio prior to registering the business? Wouldn't I need to [i]prove [/i]I have a reason for trademarking the name? [/quote] In the UK you can register a trademark if you use it to trade or intend to use it to trade. I don't know if there is some requirement to prove that you intend to trade - I assume that there is a limited time from registration of the mark to commencing its use in trade.
  13. [quote name='Odin1985' timestamp='1311640397' post='4840291'] Not sure if we would need a team of lawyers for what would be the project.... [/quote] He wasn't suggesting a team of lawyers but that you should have different lawyers for different jobs. Game industry/intellectual property lawyers are very expensive because this is a special field of law. Because they are expensive you don't want to use them to do basic business work. Get a basic (cheaper) commercial lawyer for that.
  14. Names, legalities, and such

    This is one of those "how do I get around the law" or "how much of something can I copy without getting caught" questions. As such you are right - only a lawyer (or actually a court) can answer. Having said that just because your parents named you "Coke" that wouldn't give you any right to make and sell "Coke's Cola". Your name is just your name - it has nothing to do with trademark law, copyright law or passing off.
  15. From Editor to Designer

    [quote name='ProfKrauf' timestamp='1309385362' post='4829265'] Well I don't know for sure if he had a degree, but from what he said I don't think he did. He didn't mention college at all only high school and working as a reviewer.[/quote] How long did your friend spend learning to write reviews and doing reviews before he became an editor? How long did he spend being an editor before he got the internship as a designer? You should also note that he didn't get a job but an internship, which later became a job. That is quite a drop in status. It is certainly possible for someone from another industry to break into game design but that doesn't mean it is a better way to get into the industry. You still have to get good at whatever it is you do in that other industry (journalism, TV production, film script writing etc) before it will be of any help in getting in. You should also know that the industry is very different now than it was in 1998. I know quite a few game journalists who who moved into game design or production in the late 80s and early 90s; but in those days very few people had relevant degrees (almost all programmers were self taught). The industry has changed a lot since then and it is much harder to impress.
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