Indie Game Contest - $10k grand prize + publishing deals to consoles!

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by 2BeeGames, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. Sybixsus

    Original Member

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    That's my understanding of it too. The trouble is, it doesn't really matter whether I believe it's intentional or not. Even if I believe that's not the intention and that it wouldn't happen, it would be more than enough to discourage other people signing contracts with me, because they would be signing up to a game which - for all they know - could be competing with a completely free version of itself.
     
  2. JeBuS

    JeBuS New Member

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    Yes, if I removed / shifted commas, it would make much more sense. But the fact that those commas are there in the places they are could have some legal significance. I'm not a lawyer, but apparently a real lawyer did write that up. So I have to err on the side of saying it obviously does matter that the commas are where they currently reside, rather than where a normal English writer would put them.

    And I think it speaks volumes that more people are discussing the legal terms of the contest than there are discussing actually joining it.
     
  3. speeler

    Indie Author

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    IMO, that's what happens when you get lawyers involved.
     
  4. 2BeeGames

    2BeeGames New Member

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    We allow all independent developers - even small studios. But can't allow employees of companies like EA etc since many times they can claim the game was created on their time/hardware and employees often have non compete agreements etc. Maybe the way PAX worded it makes sense, "You are an independent developer without a traditional publisher-developer relationship in place." That's the same spirit as us but its still a bit ambiguous.

    Will try to fix this in the rules but unsure of how to do so at the moment. The FAQ does a better job of spelling it out though. Pretty much we came to the lawyers (ugh) with our FAQs and told them to translate it into official rules which the parent company needed us to do.

    Seriously. But its the only way that the parent company would sponsor this idea as its very risky to host user generated content. However, things have gotten a LOT better with a new legal team we're working with.

    About Rule #5 We have done our best to fix this up already.
    I wanted to keep this part under wraps for a while but after the contest is up, the site is going to become a gamer/developer community.
    The developers will have admin access to their games, can update them and add information and DEFINITELY CAN TAKE THE GAMES OFF ANYTIME :)
    We're not making a flash arcade.

    We wanted it to be for developers to show games that are W.I.P. and want feedback to shape and finish them or
    developers who have finished games they want to port and want the community to get behind them.
    We are also going to be posting tutorials on game creation and updating the community on the status of any games we reach agreements to publish onto consoles.

    We will be showing bits and pieces of the full site at GDC and posting it on forums in the upcoming weeks.
     
    #24 2BeeGames, Mar 13, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2009
  5. ChrisP

    Indie Author

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    Comes to the same thing, really. I'd like to enter the contest, but only if I'm absolutely sure that the legalese won't grant rights that I don't want to grant. Currently I can't be sure. I intend to enter if I become sufficiently reassured.

    I hope to see some additional rule revisions in future to clear up the potential issues that have been mentioned... :)
     
  6. RinkuHero

    RinkuHero New Member

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    Interesting that this reaction to the rules wasn't specific to indiegames.com and tigsource.com. Although I do think the rules are mostly agreeable now -- though I too wish they were simpler and written more clearly.

    I still find this passage a bit iffy though:

    Isn't that saying that acceptance of a prize means it's okay to publish the game and not pay the developers other compensation / royalties? I may be misreading it, and I know that you've said that isn't your intent, but even if I were to trust you completely, the contest is owned by the parent company, Zoo Games, not the people who have been saying that it isn't their intention to do anything nefarious (so those types of promises mean nothing legally).
     
  7. 2BeeGames

    2BeeGames New Member

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    all uses of the Entry by Sponsor or its agents that are permitted or granted hereunder. No where in the rules does it state that we can publish the game without compensation/royalties etc. It means that after accepting the prize. The obligations to each other are completed. We would need permission otherwise as it states so.

    I do wish the rules were written simpler. Maybe the next time we do this it will be (although I cringe at the thought of bringing it to another firm to revise again). We did add some language that hopefully will explain things easier in the sections.

    I definitely understand that developers would be overprotective and skeptical when dealing with something as important the games that they worked long and hard on. I just hope that we have done enough to show that our intentions are genuine. We should be announcing more interesting things in the near future after GDC.

    -Tony
     
  8. RinkuHero

    RinkuHero New Member

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    Thanks for the clarification, again. I wonder if all this discussion about the rules increased rather than decreased the contestants, since the contest seems more well known for the rules issues than for the contest itself, and might not have been as widely know otherwise. :)

    For clarity, the IGF rules might be good to look at by way of comparison: http://www.igf.com/rules.html -- they're fairly easy to understand. Although they do force finalists to physically attend the GDC or be disqualified, which I also don't like, since it could wind up costing the finalists travel costs with nothing in return. :(

    Anyway! Maybe I'll enter something now, since it doesn't cost anything and since I don't want to seem overly critical when you guys have made efforts to change the rules in response to criticism of it.
     
  9. 2BeeGames

    2BeeGames New Member

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    I think the reason why our rules are a little bit rougher is because of the fact that the games will be playable by the users on the site.
    User generated content causes a lot of headaches and the companies have to protect themselves from unnecessary litigation.
    Art, photo and video contests usually have the same type of language. Combine that with a possible publishing deals and the fact that we're a company that publishes our own games as well and you get this whole mess.

    The IGF doesn't make games or host the games on their own site for play. That's probably the best reason for the stark differences in the rule sets.

    Best of luck if you decide to enter! :)
     
  10. 2BeeGames

    2BeeGames New Member

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    Had a great time at the IGS. If anyone is going to be around for the GDC expo, come by and chill at booth #6149 (next to the IGF)
     
  11. Jeff

    Indie Author

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    Why the 250 mb limit? That disqualifies Wolfire. :(
     
  12. AlexWeldon

    AlexWeldon New Member

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    Regarding legalese, I believe the shortest will ever accepted as legal read "All to wife." Things don't have to be written in legalese to stand up in court... there are two reasons why it's used.

    The first is to avoid relying on a judge's interpretation in the case of a dispute - even a crappy lawyer can write you a fairly airtight contract, whereas it might take a good one to convince a judge of what you actually meant if you write it yourself and the other guy decides to twist your words around later.

    The second is simply that it's good business for lawyers to write things only lawyers can understand, as it generates repeat customers. If they wrote things in a way you could feel comfortable moving a comma without fear that you're waiving all your rights for perpetuity, then you'd do so. Obviously, they prefer that you come back and get them to move the comma for $500.
     
  13. 2BeeGames

    2BeeGames New Member

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    If you can make a smaller demo then it would be alright :) we're just doing it to keep our bandwidth manageable.
     
  14. Jeff

    Indie Author

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    Bandwidth is a problem that has been pretty much solved at this point. It would be a shame to disqualify indie developers for something as arbitrary as file size. Hit me up on AIM or MSN and I am sure I can help you with your bandwidth problems.
     
  15. Tobias

    Indie Author

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    So, the deadline is near. Was about to enter, but then I saw the following:
    Sorry to bring up the rules again. I guess they feel entitled to this because they are giving away cash, and they have the right to do this of course. I just want to give a word of caution to other developers.

    I have heard this might be a really bad thing for your game:
    I've sent them an email asking for the removal of that clause, but it's most likely not going to happen I think.
     
  16. RinkuHero

    RinkuHero New Member

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    Hm, good catch, I didn't exactly know what last rights are. I've no idea why they think these types of clauses are acceptable.
     
  17. 2BeeGames

    2BeeGames New Member

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    Hey Tobias,
    Like i said in the email, the sponsoring company needs that there so they can be sure that a larger company like EA doesn't swoop in and take the winner.
    I understand your apprehension especially with a relatively new company. Maybe further down the line, the clause will not be needed.

    Last rights means the right to match an offer by another publisher.
    If that wasn't in there, they probably wouldn't have let us throw the contest.
    Also, that applies only to the winner.

    Any deal constructed would try to be mutually beneficial, the last matching rights thing is just there to protect them a little bit. Obviously if a large company comes with a huge offer, they may not be able to match anyway.
    Just gives more options.

    If you guys have interesting indie games that would like to be published onto consoles outside of the contest, you can contact me at Tony@2BeeGames.com.
    Keep an eye on the site as it will undergo drastic changes when the finalist voting starts. You can see the full community site then :)

    Less that 2 days left for submissions!

    -Tony
     
    #37 2BeeGames, Apr 29, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2009
  18. Scharlo

    Original Member

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    I hope the fact that your parent company (Zoo Games) owes me well over $200,000 will be a warning to indie developers out there.
    I won't disclose the details because the case is about to be brought to court, but Zoo Games is not the publisher anyone should trust.
     

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