Developer Contest

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by mjuricek, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. mjuricek

    mjuricek New Member

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    Hello,

    We have announced a contest for any game developing teams out there.
    The prize includes:
    - $100,000 cash advance
    - paid game engine license up to $1 million (any commercial game engine available)
    - standard dev team royalties from shipped title

    Estimated duration of the project is until November 2008. However, it is best to get involved and collaborating with our community right away!

    For more details and the rules of the contest, go here:
    http://www.videogameteam.com/modcenter/rules.html

    Please contact me directly or post if you have any questions!

    Martin
     
  2. papillon

    Indie Author

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    wait, am I reading this right? You want people to work for you unpaid for a full year and then you get to keep complete rights to all the games and only pay for one of them?
     
  3. Andy

    Original Member

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    Where have you read this? ;)
    As far as I'm able to understand with my poor English they keep the right both to cancel the competition on any stage or/and to postpone the final date as long as they would like... :D

    PS Must be I should ask someone to translate and explain their terms to me.
     
  4. papillon

    Indie Author

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    "6. Any team entering the Competition agrees to and does hereby grant Acclaim Games Inc., their subsidiaries, affiliates and agents an exclusive and irrevocable worldwide right to publish their entry as a professional video game and that the game will be the sole property of Acclaim."
     
  5. Andy

    Original Member

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    Pardon, lady! ;)
    But I've quoted the doubtful part of your pervious message. ;)
     
  6. Ricardo C

    Original Member

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    So every entrant will be providing Acclaim with a videogame it may publish (or mine for ideas/content/code) regardless of whether it wins the contest?? That seems to be the gist of the rules.

    It's like the corporate version of one of those "I have a great idea for a MMORPG" GameDev posts.

    ps-- How can it be a "$100,000 cash advance" when the work has already been completed?
     
  7. mjuricek

    mjuricek New Member

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    Thank you guys for your feedback.I appologize for rules not being completely clear.


    All teams will be the owners of what they created.

    The winning development team will also get industry standard royalties + cash advances from Acclaim based on all revenue sources for this title, for as long as they stay committed to supporting the game.
    game.

    cash advances are from the royalties

    teams will own all asset they made. in case of non winning team they can release their game as long as it's not associated with this game or basing off of same design
     
  8. Ricardo C

    Original Member

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    Thanks for clarifying the rules, Jim, they do seem a lot more reasonable now.

    I'm still failing to see how an advance against royalties is any sort of prize, though, especially after spending a year developing a self-financed game. "Spend a year building an AAA game and you might recoup your costs!" ;)
     
  9. Garthy

    Indie Author

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    Oh My...

    So to summarise...

    - You have to work for free for a year;
    - If you enter, win or lose, the corp owns your game and can publish it ("6. Any team entering the Competition agrees to and does hereby grant...");
    - If you win, they'll loan (not give) you $100 000 at the end from any royalties you were otherwise entitled ("cash advances are from the royalties"); and
    - Any royalties you do make will be made with you negotiating a rate post-transfer of ownership to the corp (see clause 6 again). Any ideas what sort of rate comes out of that kind of negotiating position?

    I realise I might be burning bridges here, but....

    what

    the

    heck?

    If it's just an honest mistake, and not an attempt to blatantly rip people off, it might be worth cleaning up the conditions of entry just a little.
     
  10. bjgil2

    Original Member

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    There was a similar competition to this one running in Australia earlier this year with just as dismal rules of entry.

    So... let me get this straight

    except when

    And furthermore,

    A team builds a fantasy RTS, submits it to the competition, but doesn't win.
    They now have:
    1. A game they don't own since even losing submissions become the property of Acclaim
    2. Assets they can't use, since any game they make with them will necessarily be "off of the same design"

    I believe you really do think you are doing something good for struggling developers by offering them the chance to get a game published. However, with the terms of entry as they stand, all I see is a massive sink of developer's IP.

    Cheers,
    Brett
     
  11. mairsil

    Indie Author

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    Took you long enough to find this place Martin :D

    I can see how this contest can look bad, but the best way to look at it is to think of it as bidding for a contract. The specs are/will be laid out by the community for the developers to work with. In the end, the team which delivers the "best" product conforming to the specifications wins the contract. This is a common occurrence for large engineering projects.
     
  12. Garthy

    Indie Author

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    I've seen this sort of bidding first-hand, but I don't recall seeing any "we own everything, even on a failed bid" clauses in engineering bids before. ;) (at least not in any that were taken seriously!)

    It is probably meant to be less sinister than it appears, but whilst the loaded language remains there is a problem...
     
  13. Andy

    Original Member

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    Have they implemented any changes on their site?
    Because explanations in forums - correct or not - have no any connection to what every participant should sign up...

    This is really a miracle to see such kind of cheating from well-known reputable companies like Acclaim - another wave of managers or what?.. :confused:
     
  14. Ricardo C

    Original Member

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    Requiring the job to be finished before the contract is awarded sounds like a ridiculous working arrangement, and to present it as some sort of "prize" is borderline insulting. Sounds like the polar opposite of "indie": Not only are you creating a product for a third party, you're doing so with no compensation for a year in the best-case scenario, and for no compensation at all should you lose.
     
  15. Sysiphus

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    Being an artist, and not fan of doing large projects, am out of this anyway, but... I never do those bidding per contract unless I already have a different safer target for the project, only that is a secondary possible target, the contest. If aren't clear (in the rules at their website, as yep, is the only way) about the ownership of non winning ones... I don't see how anyone would spend a year. maybe some passionate students are the target. But usually those don't get a well polished in graphics,sound, game design and code, project, if they ever end. So I wouldn't even see the practical point. MORPGS kind of projects are of the type of most often started projects between the kids, and it's like 99,9% of them to die in a week. Serious developers, do engage smaller games, unless paid already.
     
  16. Oaf

    Oaf
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    Acclaim: "Hey let's do what we do for a living anyway, but by calling it a competition we get to mop up lots of IP and get lots of PR in the process!".

    Genius.
     
  17. Teeth

    Original Member

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    Acclaim LOL
     
  18. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Pretty appalling. I'm all for free market forces sorting things out and I guess that's what we are doing here but the job they are asking to have completed is worth way more than 100k as a contract. To offer it as a prize with all associated risks is just goofy.

    If you really thought that these guys were somebody that you HAD to work with then why wouldn't you develop the thing independently and then show them the thing when done - that way you retain control over your IP and the ability to negotiate a decent deal if the thing turns out great. And if it doesn't then you aren't going to win their little contest anyhow - but at least you will still own your code and assets.

    Anyhow, beating a dead horse as everybody has already taken a swipe at this but... man, some people.
     
  19. Agent 4125

    Indie Author

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    This is wrong.

    Bottom line: if someone produces something for you, you should compensate them, regardless of whether it is chosen or not.

    If I go to two different artists asking for designs, with the intention of only using one set, I pay them both. When my musician offered to give me an extra song for free, I insisted on paying him extra for his time.

    Asking for a year of free work on a complete game with a precise specification... that's exploitation.

    That's intentional. If you enter this contest, Acclaim owns your work. Why? They wrote the contract. They have the army of lawyers. Their interpretation is the correct one.
     
  20. Sammgus

    Sammgus New Member

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    Hmm, as mentioned it seems like a new development model for the company that goes something like this:

    1. We think there's a gap in the market for a game of type X.
    2. If we could buy a type X game, how much would it be worth to us?
    3. Divide this number by 10 and call it a prize.
    4. Offer a 'free' competition whereby people create this game, we give them the money as a prize, and we take the game.

    PROBLEM: Some of the non-winning entries might be good enough to compete with the winning entry, thus diluting the market and reducing profit.
    SOLUTION: Add a clause stating that we own all entries, thus preventing any other entrants from competing.

    I'm pretty sure this is how management sees it. It's disgusting to see how limited the parameters for the game's design are. They even tell you up front:
    Let me translate:
    "The challenge is first to show us YOUR (implementation) for OUR design, then (do all of the project management) to actually make the game."

    Artists get really shafted. You make the best mount model they've seen? Here, have an iPod. If it's really good, but not the best, we'll take it anyway!
     

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