Platypus 2? Hmm...

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by Andy, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. Dylan McCall

    Dylan McCall New Member

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    Those are exactly my thoughts, Sirrus.

    If Platypus was such a success, it was probably - bad contract or not - thanks to the efforts of Anthony.
    So what maniac decides that, to ride that success, they'll get someone else to do it?

    Maybe Anthony knows something that we don't...
     
  2. the2bears

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    Just look at the shite in the screenshots... they're re-using graphics from the original and rendering on top of that. They'll not get a penny from me, nor a word or link.

    Bill
     
  3. Lerc

    Indie Author

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    Of course idigi con are legally allowed to do this. And we've all heard more than a few times that Anthony shouldn't have sold his IP. To me this is a moral issue. In this particular round of the platypus saga I think it's the customers who are being hurt. It's not much different from the Non-Indie game industry. IP is always getting shipped off to other companies to do knock off games. The result is usually something that is awful. People get sucked into buying by marketing and the hope that it's good as the thing that built the IP up in the first place.

    Customers probably want a Platypus 2. and they probably want it made by the creater of the original. You usually only get a chance to rip people off once. First round was the dev, second round is the players. It's not a great long term strategy.

    Here's a question.

    How many of you told Anthony not to sell the IP before platypus had been made.
     
  4. Sakura Games

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    money isn't everything...

    Don't know because the game is very old, correct? :) probably anthony wasn't even frequenting dexterity forums at those times, otherwise he would have got different advice.

    About the moral aspect: surely idigicon can do that legally etc. but how many other devs are going with them in future after this? I think that publishers who always look only at the business site and not at the "moral" (i.e. build good relationships!) will inevitably fail over time :mad:
     
  5. PoV

    PoV
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    Yeah, hasn't anyone downloaded the game and checked the credits yet?
     
  6. Lerc

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    That's sort of my point. Someone starting out doesn't necessarily know the pitfalls, or know where the good forums are.

    For all the advice that gets thrown around on what should have been done, it's usually being given to people who, by the very fact they are hanging around in the right places to see the advice are probably the ones who don't need it.

    The thing that bothers me is that this will happen again. It'll happen to someone who hasn't yet made a game. They won't yet be known to any of us but they'll make something great and get screwed over.

    As an aside to this... something that a number of people have noted is that this happens most to the truly creative ones. If ideasĀ¹ come freely then they don't view them in the same way as uncreative people. For some the idea is a rare commodity that must be jealously guarded until ever last little drop can be squeezed from it. For others it doesn't need to be that way because the next idea is not far away. They aren't as protective of it as they might be if they realized that others don't see things the same way.

    I don't really know if this is how it went for Anthony and Platypus. This is more of a general observation rather than specific to this instance. But Anthony's comments on copyrights would suggest that he's not in the 'Ideas are commodities' camp.

    [this is now officially a ramble, something occurred to me as I was typing]

    It just occurred to meĀ², Some artists do jealously guard their ideas, but that is like the polar opposite of the way that ideas are seen by people who try to squeeze the most out of each idea. They guard the ownership of the idea not because it can be used for revenue or similar, but to protect the idea itself. The idea is the end not the means. Losing ownership may end up with the idea being diluted, or worse, corrupted. This comes down to the personality of the creator I think. Some are bothered by works based on their ideas, others can read the erotic furry fanfic based upon their work with an amused smile.

    1, I'm really talking more than just ideas here. It's the entire creative process but I'm not sure of the appropriate term (actually if the english language lacks a good term for what I'm trying to say it's probably symptomatic of the problem)

    2. see
     
  7. Anthony Flack

    Indie Author

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    I appreciate the sentiments, people. But yes indeed, I did sign the original contract a long time ago (seven years? Eight?) - not only was it before I had met any other indie authors, but it was also before I had become aware of the downloadable games industry (such as it was in those pre-portal days) at all, if you can believe it. Heck, I'd only just recently gotten connected to the internet myself. The game was initially a CD-ROM release, remember.

    Really, the most surprising thing to me is how this little game is still kicking around so many years later. But like the original game, the wheels were set in motion for this sequel a long time ago. Idigicon are certainly within their rights to make one, and I have long expected to see it appear. So I feel like I've already been through all the motions, so to speak.

    Certainly I do give a lot of thought to what the customers will think; that was a large part of what made me put the extra effort in with the original game all that time ago. But you know, this isn't a CD-ROM in a shop any more; and in the end this sequel will live or die by the shareware ethic - try-before-you-buy. If people like it then that's well and good; if they don't then they can leave it.

    Still, I daresay everyone involved would agree that the situation up to this point could have been handled better. But it's all old news now, based on long-passed decisions, and I'm looking forward to the future. Really, I have effectively been inactive in the games business for several years, but they have been productive and busy years for me in other ways. But I'm hoping to be back with a bang soon enough. The fact that Platypus still has legs so many years after I made it is encouraging at least, and maybe it too will receive a fitting epilogue one day. I still have affection for it; all in all it wasn't too bad for a first game...

    Anyway, don't feel bad on my behalf; I'm feeling quite cheerful today.
     
  8. H&K

    H&K
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    Happens to Everyone

    This is what buisness is like. Activistion tried to do it to Sid Myers.
    Look at the XCom series, the Gallops sold the rights, but were commistioned to write the sequal (DreamLand).
    Year and a half into development, they were sacked and development moved to the Czech Republic and three new games were produced, these games had the rights to the "UFO" title. The Gallops had to go back to before the Xcom series and remake "Laser Squad".
     
  9. Sakura Games

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    Happens to everyone isn't anymore an excuse. Happened to Anthony because was inexpert at those times. But I really want to see someone, at least from this forum's readers, to sell the whole IPs. They should be quite desperate and very unsure of the quality of their game!
     
  10. H&K

    H&K
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    I wasnt suddjesting that it was an excuse, I was pointing out that dealing with any business is like swimming with sharks, or hand feeding lions. Just cos they are smiling doesnt mean that they are being nice to you.

    When ever you deal with them, you have to assume that anything you are not sure about, will be in there favour.

    My main point is that its Anthonys fault for not knowing this, (Or more probably, he did know this, and its just third party moaning on his behalf). To say a company should give anyone more money, unless its contractaly obbliged to is untenable.

    Its the sellers responsibility to know how much the product is worth, and if they accept a deal, thats it. Done dusted. To say "Never sell the rights to the IP", is also only possible it someone is willing to buy it without the rights, and if they are not, then what do you do? Market it yourself?

    I agree that in this situation it would have been morraly better for Anthony to have been approched to make the sequal.

    In the words of Ricky Gervais, "I dont care if 'The American Office' is anygood or not. I sold them the rights"
     
  11. Sakura Games

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    Yes, market it myself like all the people on this forums are doing. Surely better than giving someone the right to exploit your creativity. Of course, unless you're desperate for money, but that's another matter.
     
  12. Fost

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    True, I recall in the past pointing out that all big business will always **** you in the *** and it offended some people (Real Arcade representatives for instance who now have a Platypus 2 exclusive, thus proving my point...). However the fact that it still goes on is the fault of everyone who allows companies like aDodgyCon to exist. That's - every portal that carries Platypus, and every affiliate that carries it. They should all drop it and stop making those tramps money. Why should we suffer these fools?


    PS: who are you H&K?
     
  13. sillytuna

    Indie Author

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    Heh, this subject really gets people's backs up. Here's my view, for what it's worth.

    Idigicon's non-educational business is buying up lots of small, usually carp games. They then do various deals to make a few quid from each one. This provides small tickover cash and the chance to sign a winner (e.g. the old Acid Software/Black Magic stuff, back in the day - they were known as Guildhall Leisure then).

    Anthony was paid just like everyone else, and I'm sorry with anyone that disagrees with the deal but that is what it was. It's easy to shout and scream about how "unfair" it was, but for every Platypus there are 100 rubbish titles handled the same way. It was probably a surprise to everyone that Platypus did so well - it's easy for us to say "well it was obvious" after the event.

    Like it or not, the deal was legal, it wasn't forced upon anyone - certainly compared to how it works within the mainstream industry.

    What's wrong about it isn't the original deal per se - that was down to inexperience as much as anything, it's the morality of not involving Anthony, even just as a paid consultant, in ports and sequels. I doubt Anthony is in a position to actually do the work himself in all honesty - like he said, he's moved on, and he has a full-time job as it is.

    Fost, I understand your sentiments, but I think you're being overly harsh, particularly on portals selling the game. This is not a legal dispute, and hell, even morally it's not the original game's creator going on a crusade against the title, it's that the indie community feels that someone has been let down.

    Move on, support Anthony when his next game comes out, and forget about Platypus. Like someone said, if a bad job is done on it, it won't sell.
     
  14. Anthony Flack

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    I've never called for people to stop selling Platypus and really, I wouldn't ever have wanted anyone to boycott it. I made the game for people to play, after all. And I knew when I made it that I wasn't going to get any royalties, but I still tried hard and I still wanted people to buy it!

    I saw it as an my apprenticeship in a way, and that's exactly what it was, really. I didn't expect to be able to get a better deal than what I got, because I had no track record at all. Would you give a heap of money to someone with no training or industry experience, who'd never made a game before?

    Well, now I have made a game, and the only reason anyone takes me even half-seriously today is because I can say that. Sure, I should have asked for conditions that would have covered these eventualities, but who knew? Live and learn.

    What really surprised me was:

    * That half-a-decade later it would still be seeing fresh releases
    * That it would be developed by other people without my involvement
    * That half-a-decade later I still would not have released my second game!

    It's certainly been a lot of fuss over such a simple little game though, hasn't it? Honestly though, I was upset about this, like, a year ago. Now I'm not. I've never been a victim, except perhaps of my own self-inflicted perfectionism, and I'm happy to bear that particular burden. I will probably always end up working harder than I'm getting paid to do, since that's just the way I am, but my life has not exactly been tragic and I'm far from helpless.

    I've had a really good weekend, and I got a heap of Cletus work done too, and I'm really feeling like the future is looking up in lots of ways. It's been a long time coming but I think I will soon be turning the corner.

    Oh, and I'll be making my final mortgage payment next month. So yay!
     
  15. Fost

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    Yawn, let's all defend the portals because we wouldn't want to upset any of those money grabbing bastards would we. Why are you even here Alex? You aren't an indie game development company. Oh I forgot, you are thinking of setting up your own portal aren't you? Thinking of carrying Platypus?

    Anyone who starts whining about how it's was all legal is a moron. A twat is a twat, it's a simple as that.

    PS, what the fuck do I have to do to get banned around here?
     
  16. Andy

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    Got a bad weekend Nick? Come here, we will drink some beer, talk to each other what do we think about that money grabbing bastards and you will feel better. Promise... :)
     
  17. sillytuna

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    Cheer up Nick. The sun was out today and everything!

    In answer to your comments on portals, I just don't see what this has to do with them. They do a job, just like retailers. Don't like portals, don't use them. For your titles you may not benefit much, if at all, from using most portals, but you'd know better than me.

    If you have a problem with anyone, it should be the publisher involved for having a standard contract that has little upside for the developer. Some publishers offer first drafts like this, some don't.

    Whether we sell Platypus or not has nothing to do with this conversation, but as it happens I would leave it up to Anthony to decide entirely.
     
  18. Uhfgood

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    Anthony at least Platypus was good. My first complete game isn't even remembered ;-)
     
  19. Chris Evans

    Moderator Original Member

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    I thought that Caveman/Barbarian game was your first? :cool:
     
  20. Anthony Flack

    Indie Author

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    I don't count that because it was abandoned fairly early on; it wasn't really a viable game and it had no real chance of being finished without a complete overhaul. If anything, that one demonstrated that I couldn't make games. Some nice animation, though.
     

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