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MikeDiz

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  1. Hi guys, Atana Chronicles: The Great Lords is a 4X strategy game, with elements of grand strategy, turn-based tactics, RPG and a political system. The project already has most of the people needed to get the ball rolling, but it's still looking for a 3D Artist and a Unity gameplay programmer. The game is being hosted on Crowdsourcer.io which is a collaboration platform that automatically handles revenue-sharing so everyone gets paid fairly. You can apply to the project at the bottom of this page: https://crowdsourcer.io/project/107 Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, Mike
  2. Hi André, Thanks for the comments and for the kind words. I greatly appreciate it. As discussed with Xaviersythe, I completely agree. As I now know the specifics, it's essential I get them on there. As for information on the actual mechanics, there's more info on the /features page. Better yet, see for yourself, I just accepted your project Back of the net (world cup pun). You've got that spot on. I see what you mean. But the alternative is charging people for services which I really don't want to do. I want this to be completely free at the point of contact and only charge people once they themselves are earning money from their project. We're essentially doing a Stripe model (seems to be working well for them) and by handling all the money, transactions and costs of such, we charge 5%. Just to reiterate what I've said in earlier messages that 5% will be for paying contributors from external sources. Selling things through the CSio store will cost about 15-20% which is substantially cheaper than most stores. Plus you'll have the added benefit of being able to sell on your own website etc via widgets. Your message has been wonderful, thank you It's much appreciated and I know full well that there's lots to be improved. I've been working on it for 2 years now and it still feels like I need an extra 100 hands working on it!! We'll get there eventually though, don't you worry. Also if you do like CSio and want to port over to the platform, let me know and we can get the last 4 years of work by you and your team retrospectively added so you can be rewarded with the correct level of contribution points. Once again, thanks for the message. Mike
  3. Hey Rutin, I’ll try to keep this quick as it’s getting late here. Right, so we’re acting as a way for people to formalise their rev-share schemes, as well as finding people to work with + offer a marketplace and selling tools to sell the fruits of their labour. There’s absolutely no crowdfunding element to it. The only investment there is, is your time - that’s whole point, collaborating together without undertaking financial risk, working as little or as much as you want to earn a fair share of the profits. The proportion of the share of profits people get is based on how much they contribute and this is tracked by contribution points earned by completing tasks. Which leads on to sales. Sales on the platform literally means people going to crowdsourcer.io, seeing your product and buying it. That’s when we take 15-20%. Similarly if you use the widgets to make sales through your site (it’s simply an elaborate redirect back through to the site) that’s also considered on the platform. Anything else, sales through steam or whatever (anything collected in a company bank account) that are distributed through the payroll system is where the 5% comes in. It’s that low because we will want people to be willing to payout through it to ensure the Rev-share scheme is stuck to. I appreciate that this side of things has only just been discussed and I’ll put something more formal on the site in the coming days. Cheers, Mike
  4. First off, thanks for the reply. It means a great deal and I'm relieved to see you've come up with genuine and specific criticisms that I can actually address and remedy. I can see how the above is a real problem and it was largely, originally because I honestly didn't know the specifics myself - but now that I do know, it's ridiculous for me to hope/assume people will commit to the platform without this information. For the record, I'm currently aiming to take 15-20% (inc. all costs) of sales that occur through the platform and 5% of payments into the platform from external sources (again, inc. all costs.). As for these, it's incredibly astute of you to pick up on this and again the confusion caused by all these messages is an oversight on my part. The first bullet point regarding getting people to put their own time and money in instead of you is one that's present in all open source and crowdsourced and even crowdfunded projects. The solution has always been to offer something back to the public in return for this. With this model, what's given back is a pseudo equity/proportionate share of the profits in a business, which is a lot more than all other models out there. As for barriers to entry, I believe it creates a meritocratic process for creating new products. You as a contributor are essentially an investor (of time. I want to emphasise that it's not an investment of money as you suggested) and if you don't think a project is good enough, as an expert in the field, you move on. In an ideal world that's the perfect barrier to entry, not personal wealth, not network & connections, but the quality and execution of an idea. Having experienced individuals appraise an idea is substantially better than going to a VC with a wealth of cash, cash that you convince them to give to you after showing graphs of exponential growth, complete market capitalisation and zero cash flows. Of course, in some cases, this can work for a project, but as a way of building meaningful and sustainable businesses in the tech/software sector, I'm yet to see this work out as well. The idea behind "Less competition to deal with" is all about not having to compete directly with the big players in a market, and this I do believe (again) to be true, though I concur that it's not applicable in all situations (e.g. iOS apps where you're forced to deal with the App Store). I'm not implying that Crowdsourcer.io is going to reduce market saturation - not by a long shot - and I can see how I need to put forward this point markedly better. A quick example of the kind of marketplace that achieves this beautifully is Itch.io, though it's not without its own problems. "Meanwhile, some of your other messaging and your comments here are trying to make us think it's about making project controllers accountable to their contributors (whether fiscal or material), and yet also about open source ideals (contribution is its own reward)." - Again this is a problem with how I'm pitching the idea and it's something I need to resolve if it's causing confusion. The platform does both these things. It champions venture creation by technicals rather than idea/money people and does so in such a way that 'project controllers' (as you put it) can't just sit back and reap the rewards (well they could but they wouldn't get much profit from it). Similarly, contributors are contributing their time having appraised a project - perhaps initially to increase their skills or as a hobby - with the hope that the project becomes financially profitable at which point they earn a fair and equitable share of the profits. The balance between controllers and contributors is kept in check by voting rights, project management rights and other mechanics that contributors have access to as they progress. No one individual or group of individuals should have an overruling power and the projects themselves, ideally, should be autonomous. Again, I'm not saying we're there yet, but that's the end goal: a mutually beneficial way of collaborating together for the financial benefit of all in the project. I've saved many of your quotes in my development boards and I'll work to ensure that all that you've said is factored into clearer and more digestible information. Since starting this venture I've become to believe that one of the hardest parts is explaining ideas succinctly - and this conversation is proving it! Thanks once again for the time you've put into crafting these responses, it's appreciated a lot. Mike
  5. Hi Wyrframe, Thanks for the feedback on the site. I was wondering if you could elaborate on why it feels off-colour? It's something I'm directly trying to tackle as so many people's gut reactions are that it's shady. Perhaps people thought the same about Kickstarter or Indiegogo at the outset of crowdfunding, but then again, perhaps not, and if not, I want to get down to the crux of why the first impression of Crowdsourcer.io is one of distrust - so perhaps you could go into it a little. The main reason for this is that the payment processing side of things is not live yet and even when it is live it's going to be a gradual rollout of more and more features. At the moment, I'm not entirely sure exactly what features will make phase 1 in July. What I've built so far are widgets (like Paypal 'Add to cart' and 'Buy now' buttons) so you can sell through your own website, product and inventory management, sales through Crowdsourcer.io itself, the payout system (how people get paid), account linking (Stripe only currently) to receive money and a couple more bits and bobs. What I'm certain will make it in for July is also the ability to run 'Payroll' which allows people in a project to pay out any money collected externally - though the technicalities of this could well change. Lastly, logging, creating and tracking expenses is something I'd like to get in, but can't be certain of finishing it in time. What exactly rings alarm bells here? Going back to my earlier point, this could be really helpful for me when writing further copy for the platform and understanding what peoples' gut reaction is when looking at the site. Does Open core/open source ring alarm bells for you? What about crowdsourcing in general? And if not, what's different to cause a disparity between those and this, other than the fact that they've been in use for a while now? I wish I had only spent as much time as that thinking about the site. But alas, it's years in the software industry (as a project manager) watching the exploitation of technicals, a degree in finance and lengthy research into finance in new ventures (of interest to me, in particular, is VC backed ventures). Had it been just a flick through of a coursebook for students, perhaps it would matter to me less what people thought of the site. Thanks, and again, I'd be grateful for your thoughts. Mike
  6. Crowdsourcer.io is a growing concept, it allows projects/small businesses to bring in collaborators on a revenue share basis to help them grow and expand. Felicity Toad is one of many projects that is successfully developing their game through this platform and we want to share some insights with you. Felicity Toad has started as a labour of love and grown into a team of co-operative people who are willing to work on the final vision of this original game. Its foundations lay with one Neil Badman, who being 43, has decided to go with a dream. He had spent many years in menial jobs, the most recent being in care, but working in the health sector gave him purpose and meaning, which would profoundly alter the way in which he saw his life. Unfortunately, after a time he fell into disarray, which ended with a breakdown, but without this event Neil would never have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, a much stigmatized illness, in part thanks to Hollywood and other uneducated outlets, he says. Unperturbed and with a new and hopefully temporary found freedom, he wondered what to do with his time out of work. He began a band, but couldn’t quite find the sound he wanted despite many auditions and help from friends, so he put this project aside for the time being and pondered what was next. A gamer turned developer Before his breakdown he had found himself playing various computer games in his spare time, something he had always loved, and stumbled across a game called Oolite, a cooperatively built game reverse engineered from an old classic called Elite, a 3D space game that ran on 32k and even less for the Vic-20, a remarkable technical achievement. Oolite was a modern take on this classic, and being cooperatively built allowed you to construct your own content that would go up on the game’s site, for other people to download. Being a lifelong drawer and creative he took to looking at what other people weren’t particularly working on, settling with the look of the stars and the nebula’s generated from various images within the file system. He spent a year perfecting the use of the nebula generator, which was extremely popular with the player base. After creating a few different assets for this game he moved on and discovered a game called Battle For Wesnoth, a tongue in cheek strategy game that was simple, but very fun. It too was a labour of love by a very involved community and was not only moddable but had its own programming language. It was around here he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and suddenly found himself with a lot of free time, a very frightening time but free nonetheless. Neil needed to find something to occupy himself with, a distraction therapy from the nightmarish voices that were plaguing him, this was when he started to explore and start the band. He found himself returning to Battle For Wesnoth, as it was a perfect platform to learn something new, whilst creating a story and the characters in it, the start of a therapeutic addiction that instantly rang true for him. This was nearly but not quite all his loves combined, he discovered the joy of creating through programming, despite his extremely messy first attempts. The code was however functional, and a story emerged. Neil wondered what it would be to have total creative freedom other than modding someone else’s build, so he researched and soon found Unity3D, a platform for developing games from scratch that is free up until you make a certain amount of money, if any. The start of something new Now he needed an idea, he went through the motions of beginning to create the basics of a game, but soon found the technology wasn’t quite there yet to do what he wanted, so it was back to the drawing board. This was the birth of Felicity Toad, a tongue in cheek adventure, but dark and gritty in places. This would be a labour of love, a therapy, and a possible path back into work. It seemed perfect. The Beginnings of Felicity Toad Soon the idea was growing, and Neil realized if he was going to build the game it would take years of learning all the different aspects, and as much as he had the drive to get on with it, technology is changing at a rate, and in the supposed time he took to build the game it would be out of date by the time he finished, surrounded by up and coming virtual reality and holographic technology, would a 2D platformer survive in this environment? He needed a team, he didn’t have money and finding people who would fall in love with his game and join up seemed extremely unlikely. After posting on numerous sites, sometimes in the wrong places, he garnered a small amount of interest, but it was through exploring the different sites he could try that he stumbled upon a suggestion posted by someone for someone else. A site called Crowdsourcer.io was up and coming, promising to set people such as himself on the right path with the right help. There was nothing to lose. Progress Made on Felicity Toad After Signing Up On Crowdsourcer.io Crowdsourcer.io has helped the project to get its creative foothold in a world already swimming in games, so what would be different about it? Well, firstly he decided he needed to be doing something doable as a first game, so he settled on a 2D platformer, but there are many 2D indie games out there and being developed, even AAA companies still produce 2D platformers of extremely and unobtainable quality to compete with. There was still hope, a large sector of society has a love of independently made games, simply because they can take risks big AAA companies can’t afford to, and the 2D style is very reminiscent yet appealing to all age ranges. So what could be different? What needs to be familiar? This was a balance that needed to be assessed, and the Felicity Toad team have gone a way to addressing this interesting situation. Neil is still working on the game and making strides to finishing it every day. You can learn more about Neil’s project, Felicity Toad by following the link or finding his project on www.crowdsourcer.io. If you would like to contribute to Neil’s project you can find it here and can apply to contribute! View the full article
  7. Yea, I've been in discussion with Kevin for a while now. He's a very generous person and I was grateful for his empathy and understanding towards a new platform like this one.
  8. Hey Xaviersythe, I'm the creator of the site. I'm sorry you think it sounds sketchy. Is there any particular concerns you've got or a specific element of the platform that doesn't add up? Building the site has been a massive labour of love, and it's something I made so people have a better chance of making a game (or whatever) without having to spend money, quit their day job etc. etc. I appreciate this model is a little different to how people currently work (though it's not a mile off the open source methodology) but I genuinely believe the model can work and benefit developers. Cheers, Mike
  9. Revenue share models (often shortened to rev-share and synonymous with profit sharing models) are a way for businesses and startups to pay the members of their teams. In this article we’ll explore what exactly is a rev-share model and how one might be used with collaborative game development on a small budget. What is a revenue and profit sharing model? Imagine you have a business or a startup with no product. You decide that you and a team are going to build it together. Rather than make them your employees you decide to treat them as investors. The benefit of this is that you no longer have to take out a loan or find finance to pay employees, and better yet, you can get in as many team members as you need. Because they’re considered investors, however, their remuneration comes once the business starts making a profit and for their investment (for instance, of time) they get a proportional share of the profit, normally operating profit. This is essentially a rev-share or profit sharing agreement. There are many takes on such models, but the crux of it is that you treat the people who contribute to your product as investors and thus give them a representative share of the profits. Contributors receive a share of the profits proportionate to, and in return for their time investment How to create a collaborative game development environment With this in mind, you might be wondering how it’s possible to turn a rev-share model into a viable model for developing a game. Well, wonder no more! Here are some points to get you going. 1) Find the right platform for you The first thing to do is figure out how you’re going to organise the structure of what is essentially a business. This can become a little tricky if you’re going to rev-share. Many rev-share agreements are informal and tough to enforce, so you’re best going to a specific platform such as Crowdsourcer.io to formalise the profit sharing model. If you want to go down the route of splitting equity with contributors, legally, then perhaps look into registering a partnership agreement with your country’s company register. If you decide to do this make sure you’re doing thorough background checks on anyone who you haven’t met and interviewed in person. Want to form a rev-share team and build your game for free? Check out Crowdsourcer.io 2) Get contributors and game devs Next up is to get the right people into your project. Not everyone is going to be up for investing their time for a share of the profits, life can often be too busy for that. Therefore, it can take some time to find people who are both willing to invest their time and believe in your project, but being a part of the right communities can make a massive difference in speeding up this process. For starters, have a look at GameDev.net and TigSource.com, get involved with their communities and see if you can’t get a bite or two. If you want more info on what type of developers you’ll need, see this article. 3) Paying collaborators equitably with a profit share model At last, we come to the crux of it. As with all employees or investors, eventually, they’re required to be paid. If you’re doing an informal rev-share model or are working with people spread out all over the world this can not only be a nuisance but introduce some trust issues. That’s why it’s so important to find the right platform and method for formalising your rev-share agreement. Crowdsourcer.io, for instance, makes life easy by automatically routing sales proportionately to all contributors in a project without anyone having to chase people up or request bank account information. However, if you’ve not gone down this route, it may be necessary to request bank information from all the collaborators and distribute their share of the profit manually. Lastly, if you’ve not formalised the model, i.e. you’re not using a platform that does all the work for you, one of the most important things to do is make all earnings completely transparent to your contributors, so come payday they can tot up the numbers themselves, helping to avoid any disputes. A good way of doing this is to invite contributors into your merchant accounts with any retailers (e.g. Steam), and if possible invite them in as accountants – granting them access only to sales figures whilst preventing them from editing/removing the uploaded binary or store pages. And with that, I hope we’ve made the concepts of rev-share models more digestible and given you an idea of how you might practically implement them to develop a game. Until next time, folks! View the full article
  10. MikeDiz

    Game Developer Looking for Art

    Hey Paul, If you're after a rev-share model with the team check out Crowdsourcer.io, it helps to formalise it all and get everyone paid fairly. There was actually an artist on there who I know was building his ArtStation profile a bit. Let me see if I can't dig it up. Mike
  11. Rule 1: Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you’re new to the industry and want to get your foot in the door with your own ambitious project, it might worth taking a step back and considering your scope. While the games industry is full of lots of wonderful projects and games successfully making their way to steam and many other platforms, it took skilled and experienced individuals to get them there, many of them can tell you about their portfolio projects or their failed team projects of the past, but almost every one of them will tell you how worthwhile the experience was and how it helped mould the skills they have today. Show you know where the project’s going. If you want to succeed and get awesome people to come help you with your project, you need to show them it’s worth the time and worth the effort, demonstrate you know your project in and out and let them know that their opinions are also valued. When you first put pen to paper, make sure you know what you are making, a good way to start is to pick a fundamental mechanic that you enjoyed in another game, or even something you have come up with yourself, use that mechanic as the basis for your game idea, and try to mould the game world around it. Try to gather as much information as you can to showcase your game. This is particularly helpful when you’re trying to get new members or contributors to your project, at the end of the day, the best functioning projects are when everyone is on the same page and understands the project to work towards the same goal. Put yourself in the shoes of your teammates. Remember that in a team project, they need to trust you, and you need to trust them, you need to demonstrate that you are willing to spend the time on the project as much as they are. To coincide with this it is also important to demonstrate an understanding of artistic integrity, everyone has their thoughts and opinions and it is only right to be willing to hear out your team members to help build that trust and teamwork! View the full article
  12. Hey ET, Might be worth checking out Crowdsourcer.io and using that to formalise a rev-share with all the memebers. Just a thought, good luck with the game. I'll keep an eye out for concept artists etc. Mike
  13. Hey Robert, been speaking to a couple of people who are making games on crowdsourcer.io and all probably have a place for you. It's all rev-share focussed so you'd get paid (if the game actually get's made haha). I'd check out https://crowdsourcer.io/project/68 which needs a unity programmer, and this one which is being built in unreal: https://crowdsourcer.io/project/66 Hope this has given you some inspiration. Mike
  14. So, you’ve got an aspiration to build a game, but aren’t entirely sure where to start. Have no fear, we’ve got you sorted! 1) Plan & spec First things first, get a plan together. It doesn’t necessarily have to be technical, but planning mechanics, the engine, consoles and whatnot can provide a good platform to launch off of. If you haven’t already, coming up with a name for your game and thinking about how you want to present it can help garner interest when it comes to getting in team members and advertising your pre-development stages. One last thing that’s worth doing is prototyping. If you’ve got the skills required, it may be worth implementing some of the mechanics in a cheap and cheerful way to begin the iterative process of analysing and refactoring core mechanics. 2) Get team members together You’re going to need team members to help you out, and here’s a good starting point for deciding who and what you’ll need most. Programmers Programmers are pretty important to any game, and you’re going to need experienced ones to get down into the nitty-gritty of the codebase that forms your game. Programmers can often help with more than just coding though, by providing debugging support and QA testing. Artists From concept art that sets the feel and direction of the game, through to 3D assets that appear in the final release, artists are key to creating a quality game with an identity. Artists will work with almost all the members of the team to ensure the game’s visuals deliver. You may need more than one artist, splitting up 3D Artists who create the assets used in the game and traditional artists who create concept art or things like 2D backgrounds. It can sometimes help to use open source assets such as those found at OpenGameArt.org. Sounds Designers While you’re free to use open source and free sound assets such as from Freesound.org it’s still always important to get dedicated sound designers in to boost the quality of your production. Sound designers will be responsible for creating all the sound effects in your game, and for the music, you may find it necessary to hire a dedicated composer. Writers It’s a common mistake to leave the writing of scripts, lore and dialogue to team members who have a little free time, but this can doom a game if the quality isn’t there. Afterall, who wants to play a game if the story or dialogue is rubbish? Instead, it’s best to get an experienced individual who knows what they’re doing and won’t let grammatical mistakes slip through to the release version of your game. Want to form a team and build your game for free? Check out Crowdsourcer.io 3) Get to it There’s no time like the present. Once you’ve got your team members together, strike while the iron is hot and get going. Bring together your teammates and your project management tools of choice and get started. If you’re not entirely sure about the project management side of things, check out this article, from which is a short list of tools to get you going. Task management tools Trello Atlassian Jira Basecamp Communication tools Slack Mattermost (Self-hosted) Stride (formerly Hipchat) Hangouts I hope this has been a good quickstart guide to help you get going on your game. If this was useful or if you want to show off what you and your team have managed to achieve, then drop a comment or hit me up! View the full article
  15. MikeDiz

    Soulanity Looking for Unreal Programmer

    Game_Passion_Itself, If you should need a platform to help with selling your game and pay everyone fairly, checkout https://crowdsourcer.io.
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