Game publishers

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by synchar, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. synchar

    Original Member

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    Hi, I also had an Idea for a game that I think could do quite well...VERY well in fact...The first problem I'm having is that I just simply cannot afford to finance it.

    This leads me to my second problem...Where do I find a publisher? I've looked around the boards, around the internet...Really can't find a publisher that would be interested in my type of a game.

    The game would a TCG kind of like Legends of Norrath if I were forced to compare it to something. Again I really have high hopes for the game and think it could do well...I just don't know of any publishers that would finance a game like that.

    I'm honestly not looking to make a lot off of the game and for the most part I don't really care what terms the publisher would have me agree too. At the moment I'm mostly interested in developing good quality games that don't lose me money.

    I suppose I'd perfer a smaller publisher that is going to be a little easier to work with...but beggers can't be choosers I suppose.

    If anyone has worked with a publisher that might be interested in a game like this or even knows of one, I'd really like to get in contact with them.

    Any other help or comments would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Mattias Gustavsson

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    I think you'll need to make the game first, then find a publisher...
     
  3. synchar

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    I should clarify...I'm talking about the kind of publisher that will finance games being created...They're out there even if they're kinda hard to find.

    Edit: I don't want to seems like a cheap skate or anything I just have an idea I think could be really good, however I don't have the resources to get it done myself.
     
    #3 synchar, Feb 13, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2008
  4. Mattias Gustavsson

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    I don't know, nowadays it's usually the publisher coming up with the ideas for games they finance, not the developer. I've gotten the impression that it's pretty much impossible to get funding for original games nowadays.

    But maybe (hopefully) I'm wrong, and there'll be people here who knows differently? :)
     
  5. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    Unless you have at least a prototype, I think you can forget completely about funding...
     
  6. oldschool

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    I have no first hand experience with any of these, but you can read them for yourself.

    http://www.iwin.com/iwin/devzone/faq.jsp

    http://www.alawar.com/publishing.php

    http://corp.oberon-media.com/production.asp

    They all talk of royalty advances or willingness to look at design docs and/or prototypes. Maybe there really not interested anymore but it won't hurt to try them.

    edit: I didn't realize you were making a trading card game. I don't know if any of the above would be interested in that genre. Good luck all the same.
     
  7. synchar

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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I would have the game itself all layed out how it would work, cards designed and what not before I were to contact a publisher. So a good part of the work would already be done. All the publisher would need to finance would be a little graphic design for extra cards and some coding. Not too much to ask for on their end.

    They could actually sit down and play a table top version of it if they liked...So I would have a sort of "prototype"...Kinda.

    Thanks for the links. Never hurts to ask if anyone of them would be interested, I'll look into it.

    Thanks!
     
  8. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Still a bit of a stretch unless you have a strong track record.

    Did you buy StormcloudCreations?
     
  9. synchar

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    True and yes.

    I'm hoping I can get over the little bit of a stretch issue by having every bit of work done before I submit a proposal as I can.

    With any luck and the right company, it'll work.

    Again, any suggestions or coments are welcome.

    Edit: What about contacting a bigger company that has made several games along those lines? Anyone ever tried to contact a large company? If so, is it worth it?

    I was thinking of SOE as they bought out World Apart Productions (http://www.worlds-apart.com). WAP had made several trading card games before being bought out and still are. I'm actually pretty sure that this was the reason SOE bought them...because the rest of their games (so far as I know) didn't bring in much at all.

    Anyway, let me know what you think.
     
    #9 synchar, Feb 13, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2008
  10. Spore Man

    Indie Author

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    Here's the problem... You might have a great idea that you can prove through an extensive design document and other media (maybe a personal pitch in person in the publisher's own office), but can you also convince and prove that you can manage a team, run a company, complete the product on time and on budget, etc, etc, etc... ?
     
  11. OremLK

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    People constantly come on game development forums with posts like these, and frankly, they're pipe dreams.

    You need to prove you, personally, are worth investing in to a publisher. Ideas, regardless of quality, are a dime a dozen; design documents, no matter how complete, are only a little bit less common.

    So how do you prove that you're worth investing in? Get a degree, make some games by yourself or with a small group of other enthusiasts, get a job at game company--in short, put yourself in the shoes of a publisher--who is a businessman in business of making money--and do everything you can to give him the confidence that you can get the job done. Shortcuts. Don't. Work.

    The other alternative is to just make the game yourself, learning whatever skills are necessary and contracting out anything you can't do. And then sell it either directly or through portals. That's what most of the people on this forum do.

    In any case, it's extremely unlikely that your current plan of action will succeed. Sorry to be a downer about it.

    Good luck on whatever you end up doing, though!
     
  12. synchar

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    I'm aware of this. Even if I've not been posting for long, I've been watching these forums for quite a long time. I did try to look through posts like this to find some useful information that might help me...However to be honest...The ones I saw were quite often responded to with short "go away" type posts so I wasn't able to find a whole lot useful there...Again, the ones I saw anyway.


    That said, I appreciate the comments. I'd like to say though, I'm not too worried about convincing some one to pick the game up. Nor am I worried about convicing some one I can run a team/company. Not going to go into detail as to why I'm not because, thats unimportant.


    I do however need to find some one to convince before I can convince them.

    Another question I should ask is what other sources of funding have people used (other then just funding it yourself, which I will do if possible) if any?

    Again, I don't want to seem like I'm trying to skip steps in the whole process or get a free ride up the latter. Having worked with several companies, both good sized and start ups, I realize that it takes a huge amount of work to get anywhere in this market. I just think now is the time to be moving on this and I personally cannot afford to finance it at the moment.

    Thanks!
     
    #12 synchar, Feb 14, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2008
  13. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    This is pretty much spot on. The problem is that you want to work in a business that a lot of folks want to work in - the commodity you bring to the table, game design, is the part lots of folks want to do and believe that they can. There are people on here who are capable of funding you if they believed that you had the next big thing but until you prove you have the goods (typically this means nut up and do it yourself - took me almost 20 years into a programming career for me to consciously realize that the reason I was programming games was so that I could design them) I don't think you are going to get the interview or the cash. The good news is that tools get better everyday - if you really believe that you have the next sliced bread then plunk down for Flash and build a simple website to show why your idea is stinkin' hot. Once you have that announce it, drive the traffic and then folks will be ready to talk to you.
     
  14. dpadam450

    dpadam450 New Member

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    I'm just going to lay out things at random:

    1. You need to think of what scale of a game this is. People on this forum are indies and they self-publish, or publish for a casual market. If your going for something to compete with a AAA game or even a step below that, then your fucked.

    2. To pitch to a publisher your going to need to first start a business and get it registered. Seriously people post shit like this all the time and it seems you have no idea what a game actually is. You have a design, and think it will work well.....heard that 50000 times from people ages 5-45.

    3. If you have never made a game before, then just give up. If you have no experience, then your really not the right guy to be leading a team anyway, even if you did have money to fund a game.

    4. Everyone needs a prototype to pitch.

    5. Even indies like gas powered games (supreme commander) have to search for publishers. Again, unless your doing a very small project like say a flash game, or something casual, then sorry, you wont get anywhere.
     
  15. Mattias Gustavsson

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    One way you could make it is by teaming up with an artist and a programmer, get the game done, and then sell it to a publisher, and split the profits.

    It's going to be very hard to convince a good artist and a good programmer to work for promise of future payment, but as you say your design is good and you're not worried about being able to convince publishers to invest in it, it shouldn't be a problem.

    It will certainly be a lot easier to find a team to work for profit share than to find a publisher willing to fund the whole development.
     
  16. Spore Man

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    We used a combination of government funding and private investment.
     
  17. synchar

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    I've decided I'm not responding to posts that are in no way helpful and just tell me that I'm screwed and should probably bug off.

    Anyway.

    Well, I feel stupid now...I'd honestly not thought of that. Most of the programing I can do myself, what I can't I can probably afford to hire out. As to an artist, I actually know some one who just finished their degree in Graphic Design and has a lot of time on their hands.

    My question then would be, finish the game completely or get it working pretty well and show it to a publisher?

    While this would work and I could get the game completed this way I would still be able to do a better job and flesh the game out more with a publisher's help...Would this cut down on my chances of getting it published too much though?

    Thanks!
     
  18. dpadam450

    dpadam450 New Member

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    I know your talking about my post, but its a reality and stated real facts.

    I said your screwed if you actually are in the position that I gave you. You never mentioned before that you could program or what your experience is with anything in programming/games. See what bothers me is that you stated : "can program most of the game myself", so why don't you have an engine or any code yet....? Look at Gamedev.net, there are people that post amazing things looking for teams, and they don't just have a GDD. They usually have sweet high-quality engines, and they are usually 1-2 people.

    You can always program a game with placeholder art and then buy art later on.... The reason I come off as a bit harsh, is because I actually act on my work and have been working on code for endless hours, and your just coming in saying, "I have a game idea, I want a publisher." Again, maybe you have coded awesome projects before, but if this is true, why dont you have a running prototype..?

    And again, if you gave more info about the project like Target Audience/Platform, then I could format my post better. But at this point, it just seems like your trying to make something to compete with a AAA title, and with no experience, then yes. Your screwed...........seriously.
     
  19. synchar

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    You make a valid point, I wasn't real clear about that. Please forgive.

    I'll explain a bit more then.

    When I say I could do most of the programming myself I mean that I could make the game itself. Well, I could do the programming anyway, not the art as I stated in the last post though, theres some one that I might be able to get to help with that.

    The problem is, as I said, the game is a trading card game. Now while I could make the game easily itself I would need some programming and what not done server side (the game would have the option of playing with other players on the internet, plus buying packs of cards online, thats where revenue would be generated). That I couldn't do. As such I could make a version of the game that would work enough to show kind of how a single player game might work. Useful to show to a publisher but thats about it as quite a bit of it would have to be rewritten before the game was actually released to include networking stuff.

    Then theres the server side stuff itself...Thats a good bit of work right there.

    Now I'm not against learning how to do the server side programming...I'm already learning how as a matter of fact...However I'm pretty sure that I can't get this done myself. I'm also REALLY sure I can't afford to pay some one to help. :p

    Again, I don't want to seem like I'm saying "oh yeah, I've got an idea, everyone else make it" I just know I can't do it all myself.

    I've no plans for this to be anywhere near at AAA title...I know I couldn't (and i'm not sure I'd want to) compete with titles like that.

    As for target audience I'm shooting more for people that like card games but may or may not be people that spend a lot of time on the computer.

    What I'm thinking of is this. I remember when my friends and I used to collect cards. Yeah it was fun but we'd only get together to actually play maybe...Once every two weeks or so. Now think if you could still do that but sit down and play with peole when ever you wanted. Or, if you didn't have any friends online and didn't want to play with a stranger then you could play against the computer.

    So honestly I suppose I'm trying to target people that wouldn't really other wise be playing computer games (mindsweaper donesn't count, it comes with your computer). Thats not to say it wouldn't get any one else, I just wouldn't be targeting them.

    Anyway, again sorry for not being more clear.

    Thanks!
     
  20. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

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    To cut it short, unless you are one of the top 10 famous designers in the world, nobody will give you money with just an idea. Well, you will probably not even get anybody to listen to you.

    So, yes, start working on your game now.

    JC
     

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