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Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Tobias, Jun 1, 2010.
Is it for individuals and teams or maybe establishing company is required ?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?)
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).
Ummm yeah...I think that pretty much says it all. Good luck with your contest.
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.
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.
Yes, indeed it does. Thank you.
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 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.
A public escrow account to validate funds ahead of time would probably go a long way in getting real interest.
Thanks lonestarr, great stuff. And you are indeed correct.
Jebus, thanks for the clarification.
JGOware: You think so? cause we still have this: "If none of the prototypes submitted prove to be a good match with the skills and resources we bring to the table we will not proceed with the deal." So we always have an out anyway (until the deal is signed)
EDIT: 'eh nevermind. I don't read anyways.
I think it's pretty good looking deal there and while the indie race is the most suspicious race on the planet... there's not many 5-fig public deals on the planet, so this one is a fresh take on things. Good luck with the contest.
(just approved this post, so thought to reply)
According the FAQ: "Yes. We will however evaluate how likely your project is to finish based on your documented experience. Being a team helps. If it’s needed we can help you find talented people to fill in the positions you need to finish the project."
So, I'd guess company is not absolutely required.
Thanks everyone for your input. I have been talking with Blue Systems about the concerns, and we do agree that some things need to be changed. We're dropping the 20% on future revenue, for one thing. We're going to clarify what we will do to help. We'll most likely change some things about what we are looking for to tighten it up a bit. And more.
I hope you understand I can't just turn around immediately whenever the wind blows, but that I am listening carefully. It's just that it takes a few days to think, discuss, and decide.
I'm glad I announced it on this forum first which has kept the internet hating from rearing its ugly head and has provided really valuable input. Should have done it before the press release also. Well, we live and learn.
Let's continue the discussion in a few days when we have made the changes.
A company is not required at the time of entry, but at some point it has to be set up. The winners will be the ones raking in the hopefully huge wads of cash from sales, and I don't think for example Steam pays to individuals. Trust me, having a company will make a lot of issues easier to deal with.
I didn't have any problem with the 20% thing. I thought it was a bit extensive that it applied to all future games, I would have put a 1-2 title cap on it, but I wasn't going to nitpick that here. After all, those sequels would likely have not been released if not for Turborilla's involvement, and they are taking all the risk.
It's incentive to end the franchise after 1 game, unless it's a monster of a hit that you can't ignore.
Wow it should not take 30 minutes to understand any contest. I found this website to be too fancy and the content is lacking. It feels like these guys don't know their audience: game developers want to get the gist of what you're saying and then quickly decide if it's worth their time or not. We want to get back to making games, guys; don't waste our time.
So I spent 5 minutes on the site, couldn't understand the basics like what the timeframe is, and then shrugged it off. Sounds promising but I wouldn't really know
We have changed a lot of things based on the feedback received here:
* Deal: No more 20% on future revenue of the IP. Totally owned by the winners.
* Home: What we bring to the table:
65 000 Euros (~ $80 000)
Marketing and distribution plans
Experience in self-publishing
* Contest: Three independent parties will create a game together. Blue Systems brings the money, Turborilla the experience of making and marketing games from start to finish, and you bring the idea and development team.
* Deal: Turborilla’s responsibilities include continually helping the team to focus on defining, building and polishing the game, and forming a clear vision of how to market and distribute it. Turborilla will also, at least initially, handle the contacts with distribution partners.
* Inspiration: We are not necessarily looking for mass appeal, but rather something which has the potential to become a classic. Something fresh, something new. Take a chance, don’t play it safe.
* FAQ: Who is Turborilla? We are a small game development company in Sweden. We have developed and self-published Mad Skills Motocross and Planet M.U.L.E. Read more on our web site.
And some other minor things. We have also set up a forum via GetSatisfaction, making discussions as open as possible.
Please, let me know what you think about the changes.
Is there still anything specific holding you back from entering?
The "20% of future revenue" has now been dropped but I just wanted to point out that 80% of something is better than 100% of nothing.
If you can make your game without their 60,000 Euros then do so and keep all future profits. However, if you need funding to get a game made then that is actually a damn good deal because (despite the posts above) you own your own IP. Yes you may be giving away a % of future revenue but you own the IP 100% and that means you get to decide when/where/how to use it.
I do agree however that 20% is too high. 5-10% would be more reasonable. All moot now however as the 20% is gone.