Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 39

Thread: Game dev competition, win a deal worth 65 000 euros

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Umea, Sweden
    Posts
    158

    Default Game dev competition, win a deal worth 65 000 euros

    We launched a competition today, into which you enter with a game concept and a prototype.
    The winning team walks away with a deal worth 65 000 euros.



    Go check it out now: Make 'em Up

    We are hoping that some of the best entries will come from people on this forum, as it's full of talented people who might not have reached the level of financial success that they deserve.

    Are you a member of another game dev forum? Please consider spreading the word.

    Fire away with the questions and the flames, I'll check for new posts with even higher frequency than usual.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    345

    Default

    Says that marketing, PR, and all development (which I assume includes QA and localization) are handled by the developer. Those are all traditionally publisher roles, but the deal says 50/50. Isn't that a little bit skewed?
    Jorge "Vino" Rodriguez
    Digitanks | SMAK

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Umea, Sweden
    Posts
    158

    Default

    No, I don't think that is skewed since you keep ownership of the IP. Also, it is not an advance to be paid off with the royalties which is the "usual" thing to do. Here you start seeing profits from day one as the game is released, and the development is paid for. What more could you ask? (that's a real question, I want feedback)

    As you keep the IP, this deal is something you can build a nice business upon. When all is said and done, you have a tight team who have worked together on a real project, you have an IP to start building an empire on, and you have a revenue stream from the first title of that IP to keep you going until the next release.

    Does that take away your concern?

  4. #4

    Default

    From the test machines being a PC and Mac, I take it iPhone / iPad / Android are out.

    Also what about MySpace and Facebook games. Ie Social Games?

    Phil

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sussex, UK
    Posts
    2,193

    Default

    Perhaps they're sick of all that stuff and want to promote "real" games?

    *ducks and runs*

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Umea, Sweden
    Posts
    158

    Default

    Hehe... we do say that running inside emulators/simulators is fine. It's up to you how to make that easy for us. Also, just because the target platform for the final game is iPhone, doesn't mean your prototype must run on it.

    I'm certain you can show us that your social game is fun, even if you have to do it outside the social context.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    345

    Default

    Oh I'm not concerned, I'll be entering the competition either way. I just would like to see more involvement from the publisher in the marketing and distribution side of things. QA and i18n I think the developer could probably handle by himself (or ignore) but marketing and distribution really is more of a publisher's job.

    Since the publisher is putting up $80k and the 50/50 is from gross (not net) revenue, I suppose 50/50 is a good deal. The publisher is taking more of a risk in this case than the developer, who gets away scotch free with the prize money if the game makes no money, but the publisher needs the game to make at least $160k in sales to turn a profit. Is that an accurate assessment?

    Also how do you feel about non-European teams?
    Jorge "Vino" Rodriguez
    Digitanks | SMAK

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    141

    Default

    I think the sponsors should supply some of the same information the developers are being asked for. Particularly the Introduction, Previous Games, and maybe examples of the Budgets on the titles they've previously published.


    But then, I'm a particularly suspicious individual.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Umea, Sweden
    Posts
    158

    Default

    Correct, if the game earns less than ~ $160k = overall loss for us, not for the winners

    marketing and distribution really is more of a publisher's job
    We are not acting as publishers in this. We are producers

    We are looking for teams from all over the world, not just the EU.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    345

    Default

    I don't want to be argumentative, but I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean. My understanding is:

    Movie producer ~= Game publisher
    Game producer ~= Project manager

    Which are you?
    Jorge "Vino" Rodriguez
    Digitanks | SMAK

  11. #11
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    1,422

    Default

    Vino: check out the "deal" page. It sums up pretty well how things go.

    P.S. Blogged & sort of tweeted this.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    345

    Default

    Yeah I read the deal page thanks, doesn't really address my question. He says they're going to be a "Producer" and I want him to clarify that. It doesn't look like they want to be a movie-style producer because they don't want to do marketing and distribution, but they don't want to be game-style producers either because they're asking for a full project plan in their application form. I think that they can't have it both ways. It sounds like they just want to be the investor.
    Jorge "Vino" Rodriguez
    Digitanks | SMAK

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Umea, Sweden
    Posts
    158

    Default

    The role of movie producers may not be as clear-cut as you think, and their role has also shifted throughout history.

    But that does not matter. We call ourselves producers in this project. We initiate, raise funds, co-ordinate, and supervise. We do not do the marketing or distribution work, but we will help out with advice and connections. Anything else you need to know, besides which category to place us in, I'll be happy to tell you.

    Thanks for the blog entry, Game Producer.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    345

    Default

    That suits me, thanks.
    Jorge "Vino" Rodriguez
    Digitanks | SMAK

  15. #15

    Default

    65,000 Euros. That sounds like alot of money - about $80 grand US.

    But considering what the developer will be on the hook for, it's not.

    As a developer, if I "win", I have to:

    Pay for my team. That includes my artist, my developer (which is me - but still I gotta feed my kids and pay the bills at home or else my family gets upset) my music composer, my business partner (he makes lots of phone calls and keeps the company's bills paid and the government happy, etc which isn't always easy - he says it's like herding cats), my QA analyst, any sound effects or additional graphics we'll need (my artist is good but even he can't do EVERYTHING), any dev tools we'll need to do additional platforms (we do only PC games at the moment), etc.

    Pay for marketing. Talk about a money pit - you can spend a lot of money really, really fast this way and barely be a blip. I can't believe you guys are taking a bigger cut than a publisher does and you're not even kicking in for marketing. I can burn up 80 grand on my team in 6 months and not even have a finished game yet.

    Finish the game. This sounds obvious but with a backer paying you to create something, you had damn well better deliver and on time. Suppose someone quits, or gets sick, or loses their mind and has a nervous breakdown after only getting paid about $5,000 for their time because the game that they were told would be a smash hit, make them rich, and only take 4 months to finish has dragged on for a year and a half with no end in sight and it just came back from QA *again* with 5 new bugs that weren't found in the previous 5 rounds and the wrong song plays on level 4 and the main character somehow ended up with no eyebrows and the power company just showed up wanting the electric bill paid or else we work by candlelight and gas generator for the computers ... pant, pant? You laugh, but it happens. What then?

    THEN, when you get it ALL DONE and a publisher picks it up and gets their cut, and then the MakeEmUp guys get their cut, and you've finished paying for the divorce lawyer, you might come out ahead if you can magically move, I'd say, what... about 40,000 units at typical portal pay rates? Naah, better make that an even 60,000 to pay the bankruptcy lawyer also.

    Call it sour grapes perhaps, but I can (and have, with the exception of moving 40,000 units - I wish, but someday it'll happen if I keep at it) do all of the above without any sage "advice" from "a producer". So have many others here.

    So thanks, and no disrespect, but personally, I'll pass.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    491

    Default

    btw, similar contest over at activision, but for US indies only:
    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/ac...tition-article

    The rules of that one arent entirely clear (where they publish it, or assist in any dev). It seems like both contests are, basically, prize money - which is fine I guess.

    Personally I dont think I'd risk exposing my 'amazing' game idea /IP but I am paranoid like that. Oh, and I'm doing small scale iphone/web stuff anyway.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    141

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wrote A Game or Two View Post
    65,000 Euros. That sounds like alot of money - about $80 grand US.

    ...

    Call it sour grapes perhaps, but I can (and have, with the exception of moving 40,000 units - I wish, but someday it'll happen if I keep at it) do all of the above without any sage "advice" from "a producer". So have many others here.
    This is basically how I read it, too. 65k Euros is about all I see them bringing to the table. Until they show me something about the man behind the curtain, this is all I know about them.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Terrace, BC, Canada
    Posts
    2,210

    Default

    Coming from a big dev. background I know that 80K ain't much, hardly worth getting out of bed for.

    Having left that big dev. background behind 7+ years ago (gasp)... 80K is actually a bag of money that I'm not sure they will make back. If you look at the #'s on Game Producers website you'll find that many indie's don't come anywhere near earning that kind of money on a release so, if it's real, it's a pretty decent deal for an indie. Or your typical iDeveloper from the #'s I have been reading.

    My biggest concern would be what happens when the game is done and the money isn't there? Some kind of escrow situation wouldn't be a bad idea.

    Better yet? Use the 80K to replace what Reflexive was doing so that we all have a one stop shopping outlet for publishing and affiliating. Turborilla becomes a publisher in one fell swoop, everybody gets 40% from a new portal (like Reflexive used to offer) and everybody can flesh out their stores with titles that have been tested and wrapped (which also would pay 40%). Everybody wins and we are back to the good old days...

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by barrygamer View Post
    btw, similar contest over at activision, but for US indies only:
    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/ac...tition-article

    The rules of that one arent entirely clear (where they publish it, or assist in any dev). It seems like both contests are, basically, prize money - which is fine I guess.
    "Interestingly, the terms of the competition, which must be agreed to, say entrants must "acknowledge" that Activision may make games "similar to the entrant's submission" and must give first right of refusal to Activision for the development or publishing of any submission. "

    Yeah right. No thanks.

    Come on, you'd have to be a complete dope to fall for this stuff, people!

    You want Activision to publish your game? Write it and send it to them like you would any other publisher. Don't put it in a contest where the rules say you have to kiss your rights goodbye just to enter.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Umea, Sweden
    Posts
    158

    Default

    I agree, never enter anything that mentions first and/or last negotiation rights, you have basically lost your ability to go to other publishers then.

    @Wrote a game or two: I think you forgot a couple of things that we do different than how it's "usually" done:

    1. You own and control the IP
    2. You won't have to pay back the "advance" with royalties

    If you do not appreciate the value of owning IP, then I understand your position.

  21. #21
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Poland
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Is it for individuals and teams or maybe establishing company is required ?

  22. #22
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    NW England
    Posts
    40

    Default

    1. You own and control the IP
    Let's be straight up and clear here about how this works because right now, you're not lying but you're certainly skirting important issues.

    The IP is owned by the team. But the producers has the right to 20% on any revenue derived from the IP beyond this particular title.
    So, the author/entrants don't own it outright as you've technically given up a 20% stake of the IP for this cash. Your fingers don't come out of the pie here, do they?

    I'm sure you understand why we find our IP important and might be bothered by this.

    Can we also be clear on terms because right now, you're calling it an "advance" on here but the deal page appears to imply we're talking milestone pay outs. So which is it? Do you get the cash up front and then find you're in for the potential long haul with the milestones or does it get paid out on the milestones or both?

    The "65,000 in total" seems to imply it's the second. Can you clarify that?

    Can you also answer Jebus' questions because I'm sure you'll understand why they're important when we're talking of the clause which allows you to assume control upon "failure to deliver" and when you have the ability to set and move milestones at your own whim. You understand at this point why proof of a good track record is necessary, right?

    Of course, even with a good track record this "deal" is so skewed against the developer and in your favour that I'd probably have to lose a few marbles down the toilet to even consider it but y'know, you've said you'll answer questions and you've been incredibly selective over the ones you've covered so far.

    I'm sure you're not being deliberately evasive and just waiting till you've got half an hour spare or something so go on, let's have 'em.

    Cheers!

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Umea, Sweden
    Posts
    158

    Default

    Wow Oddbob, the hostility...

    The fingers don't come out of the pie, but giving away 20% of revenue of an IP is a long way from giving away the IP.

    I'm glad you think ownership of IP is very important, then you can better appreciate our deal.

    I wrote "advance" to relate to publisher terms since we were being compared to publishers, I put it in qoutation because it is not an advance. It is based on milestones.

    We are not able to set and move milestones on a whim. But I saw now that the text can be interpreted like we set milestone criteria at the start of each milestone, when we actually meant that payments are made at the start of each milestone. I have changed it now, to say this:

    "Together with the team we will define milestones before signing the deal. Payments will be made at the start of each milestone. Milestones are accepted if they meet the criteria, set in the contract, for that particular milestone. In case of non-acceptance, payments for the next milestone are withheld until milestone is accepted."

    Does that make it clearer, Oddbob?

    Can you also answer Jebus' questions
    As for Jebus' questions, there were none. They were just mildly negative statements. Please just ask me a question instead.

    Our track record is in the public, go to our website where you can see the games. All 2 of them. Don't find that impressive? Then just take the money and no advice or help, which we would prefer as long as the winner can handle it.

    this "deal" is so skewed against the developer and in your favour
    I don't understand where this is coming from, where is the risk for you? Please tell me and I'll see if I can fix it. Our risk is that we lose money if game revenue < $160k.

    Honestly we've been talking internally about how this deal is so good for the right developer that the news will spread like wildfire, so at least we're here with good intentions.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    345

    Default

    Guys, chill out. Unlike the Activision deal, Make 'em Up isn't forcing you to agree to any of these terms in order to enter the contest. (Right?)
    Jorge "Vino" Rodriguez
    Digitanks | SMAK

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Umea, Sweden
    Posts
    158

    Default

    Correct, Vino.

  26. #26
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    France
    Posts
    20

    Default

    My impressions after a 30 mins reading here and there:

    1- good deal, I mean the overall impression is good. Reason #1 is your tone here on the forum, rather than the real deal by itself.

    2- Missing legal document (I may not have found it, please let me know where it is) with everything in. I mean put a "contest rules.pdf" on the landing page of your website (otherwise we need to read forums, FAQ, etc and we're even not sure we have read all what is important), this is far more important than a media kit... For example, a legal doc should state which court is legitimate in case of a conflict with the developer. It's different if that's UK or US. I know that's a detail, but legal stuffs are all about details. More important: we don't know who wrote all that, I don't know what is your real name, your real address, if you run a company, etc. Having a legal doc implies a high degree of transparency (because every actor, especially the contest organizer, is clearly identified).

    3- Embarrassing "20% on any revenue derived from the IP" (see the comment on Game Producer blog, I was about to say something similar). It's strange to read "The IP is owned by the team" in the previous sentence, because if there are royalties then there can't be any full ownership from anybody. Legal terms should have always 1 meaning, otherwise it's ambiguous, and only a judge can decide who is true or wrong if there is a conflict.

    4- because "2" and "3", I think you don't have any legal advisor (I mean someone whose paid job is to write legal docs). I pay every month a legal man to write legal docs. The cost per doc is roughly 500 euros.

    5- To clarify a few questions, add to the FAQ: What we do more than a "blind" investor?

    6- Remove or clarify "Creative guidance" in the "What we bring to the Table". Too ambiguous.

    My conclusion :
    + honest, good will, nice people
    + 65 K
    - legally amateurish
    = still a good deal, needs clarification

    Sorry if I missed the legal data on your website, please tell me where I can find it if it exists (and please put them on page #1 on your website).

    -lonestarr

  27. #27

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias View Post
    If you do not appreciate the value of owning IP, then I understand your position.
    Seriously?

    Ummm yeah...I think that pretty much says it all. Good luck with your contest.

  28. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    141

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias View Post
    As for Jebus' questions, there were none. They were just mildly negative statements. Please just ask me a question instead.
    I'm sorry if it seemed like all I was doing was bashing you, because that wasn't my intention. It's true that they were mildly negative statements, but they were meant to be constructive criticism. I suggested things for you to do to make the whole thing better. I, and others, would appreciate if you took those suggestions to heart.

  29. #29
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    NW England
    Posts
    40

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias View Post
    Wow Oddbob, the hostility...

    The fingers don't come out of the pie, but giving away 20% of revenue of an IP is a long way from giving away the IP.

    I'm glad you think ownership of IP is very important, then you can better appreciate our deal.
    Taking 20% of the revenue of any future use of the IP isn't quite as clear cut as "you own the IP entirely" either.

    Yes, you *may* technically still retain the IP but you're still forking out 20% of the revenue to an outside party who aside from funding the first title, has absolutely squit all to do with the development of said future title(s)*.

    It's getting into the realms of semantics and vagaries and I believe that in a competition (as much as this is one) and in what will be a working relationship between the developer and the investor, it's not starting from the best point possible.

    It's also something I'd leave to the reader discretion to decide, when an Indie's strongest asset is his IP, as to whether handing over in permanence, 20% of revenues of the IP is a sensible move.

    I would argue it's not. YMMV, natch. And I fully appreciate that as investors (and more so investors who think it's a reasonable clause to insert in the first place) you will have an opinion that differs. No doubt other developers will have opinions that differ from mine also. So it goes.

    I'm not writing this to be hostile to you, I'm writing it to ensure that folks understand precisely what they're getting themselves into here. Which is, whether your intention or not (and I do believe that it's not your intention) muddied by promising statements like "you retain your IP" without mention of the caveats.


    ...snipped for brevity...

    I have changed it now, to say this:

    "Together with the team we will define milestones before signing the deal. Payments will be made at the start of each milestone. Milestones are accepted if they meet the criteria, set in the contract, for that particular milestone. In case of non-acceptance, payments for the next milestone are withheld until milestone is accepted."

    Does that make it clearer, Oddbob?
    Yes, indeed it does. Thank you.

    As for Jebus' questions, there were none. They were just mildly negative statements. Please just ask me a question instead.

    Our track record is in the public, go to our website where you can see the games. All 2 of them. Don't find that impressive? Then just take the money and no advice or help, which we would prefer as long as the winner can handle it.
    Well, put a question mark after them then

    I think his points (as you may have guessed) are valid ones. We have approximately no information about who you are - 2 games on a website is next to meaningless aside from telling us you have 2 games on your website. Context is important. Trust is important.

    This will, after all, become a working relationship given the financing model you've chosen. Given this, it's important for the entrants to know precisely who they're dealing with and what experience the financing party has. In fact, I'd say that's crucial and a "if you don't like what little we tell you..." response isn't going to engender the trust I'd need to enter into a working relationship with someone no matter how much a benefactor they believe themselves to be (or indeed, could be)

    I don't understand where this is coming from, where is the risk for you?
    I don't know. What could possibly go wrong?

    *on the assumption that the winner chooses not to work with you again/you choose not to work with the winner again after the first title is complete.

  30. #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,578

    Default

    A public escrow account to validate funds ahead of time would probably go a long way in getting real interest.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •