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Author Topic: Finding a publisher  (Read 6917 times)

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alelink

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Finding a publisher
« on: July 15, 2005, 04:25:22 PM »

Hello,
anyone has some tips about finding a publisher?
I'm starting a game project with WME, and soon we begin to release some
news and shots about it.


thanks
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odnorf

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Re: Finding a publisher
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2005, 06:16:21 PM »

I don't have the experience and I know there are people in this board that can help you more than I can. But imo you need three things before starting knocking on doors. First you need a stable team that can work with a schedule, second you need to have the full script of the game and be ready to give any details/answers about it and third a playable demo as big as possible. If/when you meet those three requirements then it's a good time to start annoying some people  ;)

And another thing. You are talking about a publisher and not a funder. In the case of a funder things imo are way way way more difficult (not that finding a publisher is easy).
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alelink

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Re: Finding a publisher
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2005, 06:22:21 PM »

thanks Odnorf!

we are a team and we have yet the story and the script,
now we are working to really made a demo, playable as big we can  :)

please let me know the difference between a publisher and a finder.
a publisher "buy" your game or it distibute it only?


thanks
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odnorf

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Re: Finding a publisher
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2005, 08:17:24 PM »

A publisher just... publish the game  ;) and distribute it which means they are responsible for putting the game on the shelves. It has nothing to do with the game development. (What money they get and/or the team gets it depends on the contract.) A funder pays the team and their expenses while they are developing the game. In other words they "hire" the team members. Imo it's very difficult for an unknown developer/team to find a funder for a 2d adventure game but I wish you good luck in whatever you need/want.  ::thumbup
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odnorf

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Re: Finding a publisher
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2005, 09:00:48 PM »

Two more things I forgot to say.
1)Sometimes a publishers can be also a funder at the same time (it's obvious but I just want to make sure)
2)There are two more ways to publish a game. One is from the internet like what valve is doing with half life etc but that's not really an easy option for a small developer. And second you can still print/publish your game yourself but that can be too expensive (unless you are sure you are going to sell a few thousands), plus it doesn't help people to know your game easily (in most cases I know companies are only selling boxed version on internet order only. It's not easy to put your self-published game on shelves.)
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Nihil

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Re: Finding a publisher
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2005, 10:43:03 PM »

I'd say that the publisher not only sometimes funds the game, but that that is the usual case. Not many development teams can pre-pay the production of a whole game, at least not if it's going to be something bigger. It may work for budget titles, but not for full length games.

Nihil

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Re: Finding a publisher
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2005, 11:43:07 PM »

@alelink

First I have to say that I never dealt with a publisher myself, so all the tips I can give you are purely theoretical :-)
But if you plan something bigger, be very careful with every step. If you create a demo, be sure that everything in it works perfectly, I guess there can be nothing worse then presenting your game and it crashes after a minute or so (that is something you can do when your name is Bill Gates, but it's not recommendable for a new no-name team ;-) ) I guess the best idea is that if possible you visit the publisher at his office and take your PC/Laptop with you to demonstrate you game, on hardware you know it runs on :-) But that's of course only possible if the desired publisher isn't too far away from you.

And then, if you are lucky and a publisher shows interest, contact a lawyer to help you with all legal stuff, preferably one who knows enough about the gaming industry. Be sure that if you finally sign a contract it's waterproof. You wouldn't be the first team who got ripped off by a publisher :-(
If you work fulltime on the game that means you have to quit your jobs therefore, and so everything regarding the fincial side must be clear in the contract, like milestone payments, royalities and so, the development time, estimated release date, who is responsible for beta testing, marketing, who holds the intellectual property, publishing area (just one country or worldwide), who pays for dubbing if planned, and, what is also very important: What happens if the project blows up?

The last point is something you most likely don't want to think about, but it can surely happen, so the contract should be clear about what happens then - for example the publisher decides to drop the project, what happens to the code, graphics, music etc you already created? What happens with the payments the publisher has already done? Who holds the IP then (remember Lucasarts and Sierra) ... and so on.

There are a thousand things more to think about I bet, maybe some of the pro's here like to share some of their real knowledge with us?  ;)
« Last Edit: July 17, 2005, 04:39:38 PM by Nihil »
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alelink

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Re: Finding a publisher
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2005, 02:59:21 AM »

Thanks Nihil,
your suggestion are very useful!


how many games using WME are published, or will be published?

thanks again
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Nihil

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Re: Finding a publisher
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2005, 10:21:42 PM »

So far no games are published, but at least two - The Sapphire Claw and Destinies - are going commercial. And members of that two teams have already worked on commercial titles, that's why I hoped they share some of their experience with us :-)

odnorf

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Re: Finding a publisher
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2005, 06:09:05 PM »

I'd say that the publisher not only sometimes funds the game, but that that is the usual case. Not many development teams can pre-pay the production of a whole game, at least not if it's going to be something bigger. It may work for budget titles, but not for full length games.

I'm not sure this is the usual case. "The Adventure Company" for example publishes 20/30 adventures a year and I don't think they fund all those titles. For sure they didn't fund the two Dark Fall games.
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odnorf

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Re: Finding a publisher
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2005, 06:11:34 PM »

So far no games are published, but at least two - The Sapphire Claw and Destinies - are going commercial. And members of that two teams have already worked on commercial titles, that's why I hoped they share some of their experience with us :-)

Don't forget "Project Joe" and "Limbo of the lost".
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Nihil

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Re: Finding a publisher
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2005, 08:19:20 PM »

I'm not sure this is the usual case. "The Adventure Company" for example publishes 20/30 adventures a year and I don't think they fund all those titles. For sure they didn't fund the two Dark Fall games.

Oh, ok, but TAC is very often only the publisher for the USA, or? I guess they mostly buy the US-rights from other publishers who initially funded the game and back up their investment that way because they have no own distribution channels in the USA.
Dark Fall is a special case as it's more or less a one man show, or?

But well, as I said, I have no own practise on that field, so I just guessed, may of course be completely wrong ;-)

But I wonder how a develeoper team should stem the financing of a title that takes more than a year for 5 or 10 people fulltime. Maybe if they already have some good selling games in their track record which they still get royalities from, but other than that a bank credit would be nearly the only option, or? And I know that at least here in Germany it's everything but easy to get one, especially for a newbie team - and just imagine what would hppen if the title would be a flop then which no publisher wants it? That would bring the team into a dramatical financial situation.

For puplishers it's not THAT dangerous, because they have way more titles running at the same time to back up such risks - and some of them hopefully produce enough cash to catch possible losses of other titles. If not, they should be more careful with the titles they chose ;-)

And I really forgot PJ and Limbo and the lost ... they should make more noise at the forum  ;-)

odnorf

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Re: Finding a publisher
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2005, 09:05:31 PM »

Well, well... I'm one of those optimistic adventurers that believe that a commercial-quality adventure can be created without the need of a funder (and sometimes I feel I'm the only one believing that... but that's another story). It will just take more time and have a much much much greater risk of left abandoned and die.

Dark Fall titles is an example. The fact they are one-man show games (and doesn't have in-game animated characters and much speech) doesn't change much imo.
Another example is imo the Tierra/AGDI team. They have created (and still do) some excellent quality games in their free time (with very good speech as well). OK, ok they are remakes but still they have put so many hours into those without get paid. And guess what, now they have the experience and they will take the commercial path as Himalaya Studios.

The possibility is there. It just difficult enough to discourage most people/teams.
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Nihil

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Re: Finding a publisher
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2005, 09:14:15 PM »

I don't say that it's not possible, I just think it isn't the optimal way. I - for myself - would prefer to have the possibility to work fulltime on the game instead of doing it in my spare time. I'm sure that would boost not only the developement speed but also the quality to an entire new level because I could concetrate fully and work constantly on it instead of doing a little bit here and there every now and then.

Though one really big plus of not going the publisher-way is that you have the total freedom over your game without having someone who tells you that you have to change this and that. That's indeed a good thing, especially when you want to do something that doesn't follow the main stream.

leucome

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Re: Finding a publisher
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2006, 02:54:35 PM »

Story about a guy named Daniel Langlois.
 This guy was trying to find money to make his new software . nobody from the software industry wanted to put money in this project .

.. But one day he saw the humoriste called Yvon Deschamps ... These guy and few other humorists who decide to give money for his project.... And the project was completed and he could make a great contract with Steven Spielberg for Jurasic Park ....

 And today . Anybody know Softimage .... Ho this is a great software .... If only i invested money , i could be millionaire .... Yes Yvon Deschamps have get about 2 millions ...

Conlcusion ... Try to find funding somewhere the other game dev have never think of .... I think it is easyer to convince an actor, restorant manager and a construction company . How your game is good than convince EA or Ubisof of thinking that .....

I'm sure the millionair contractor or farmer close to you have never been called to invest on a game ... That's why i think they could be interested ..
« Last Edit: January 18, 2006, 03:04:33 PM by leucome »
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