View Full Version : advice needed

08-29-2004, 08:57 AM
Some people designing a computer game would like some artwork but im not sure how these things work,

theyre a group already experienced in the games industry apparently but want to do things their way from scratch rather than for sombody else. they are doing this as a commercial project (and for the love of it), they have a team and have various parts of the game done and in progress.
they want artwork in particular for the game(windows based) itself, backgrounds mostly it seems but other things might come to the fore also.
copyright will be mine for my work but id have to licence use for them to use.
They offer paymment as a proportion of the final profits from the game dependant on my input(how they quantify it im not sure)they suggest it would be 5-15%, huh?!!
or, I could agree to work to a certain extent and they could manage to pay for work done.

thoughts or suggestions?
how do I charge for this sort of work?

Gav :confused:

08-29-2004, 10:08 AM
I'd discourage you from doing anything based on pure royalties, for the obvious reasons. While it's good to include royalties, they can often go into the negative. Make sure you get an advance and that it's nonrefundable. Make sure the rights you transfer are only for computer entertainment, and only for the countries they're planning on releasing to. Leave your agreement open to negotiate separately for ancillary rights. For a small company, the GAG pricing book suggests rates of $700.00 to $1500.00 for full screen illustrations.

My rule of thumb is to take whatever price seems fair to you and double it. Use that figure and then negotiate from there. Also to consider whether, after all the work is done and you've received your fee, whether you feel like you were justly compensated.

Other things all weigh, of course... whether it looks like you'll be doing a lot of work for these guys; if this is the area you wish to expand into; your standard of living; how much these guys want you particularly, etc.

If you're unsure of their present financial stability, ask for half your fee up front and the balance upon completion.

08-29-2004, 11:31 AM
I've been offered a few of these jobs in the past. Several times. Usually they'll seak me out over one of my websites, or art galleries I'm members of. They'll send you a fancy, very professional looking offer through an email or whatnot, saying they have team members working on all these proffessional projects, working for disney, and pro animators, yaddi yaddi yadda. There'll be no money up front, but you'll get a cut of the final prophit. That is. If theres any prophit to be made at all.

I only ever said yes t othe first one. Being a naive little one who was extatic that anyone would want *me* working with them on such a big project!! I think I was only 16 at the time so it was really quite something! But then I got working with it. Found out that the lot of these folks I'm working with were merely other punk kids who didn't really know what they were doing, and didnt seam to really care. They just wanted to make a video game, and then hope that it might make them millions of dollars.

Lord knows what happened with it. I quit before I got in too far. I was frustrated that they didn't seam to know what they wanted *me* to do, and were very unnorganized and hard to get information out of. One of my worst clients ever! lol

The best advice I can give is actually get a lawyers advice, first of all, and get contracts signed if you - and them - are serious! I couldnt get my people to sign a contract for the life of me, which was when I started to think that the project really wasn't everything it was cracked up to be.

A lot of people out there are trying to do this too. They'll go searching for artists on websites like Elfwood and Epiloque, random people on the web, and send out emails to everyone they think might join to build the team. A few of my other friends have been pulled into similar situations, either as programmers, or modelers, and I've never seen a single game actually... become a game! I'd expect it would be very rare to create something and actually make any amount of money from it. There seams to be a lot of people out there looking to do this.

Anyways I can only tell you what my experience has been. I've been offered a few more jobs like this since then. And I've just started to chalk it up as artist spam lol If you do go for it, then I say GOOD LUCK TO YOU!!!! There's nothing that says this *can't* work out! But I really advice you get to see what kind of people your working with, learn more about their business plan, and how serious they are about this before you commit to anything.

Goodluck :D

08-30-2004, 01:34 PM
You've already got great advice from Ted and Axl. All I can add is to go with your gut feeling. Usually, untill you reach the top, percentages don't get you anything but trouble. So If your gut is telling you something ain't quite right - DON'T DO IT.

Offering percentages in loo of actual money is just a way to get something for nothing. I was talking to a honest self-made business man over the week end. We had a great discussion on the entreprenurial spirit. Anyway, one thing he said to me that is pertinent here is: "you would be surprised at how many people in business have made their money on the backs of others."

In other words - No matter what they tell you, they are in it for themselves. You don't mean squat as to their final intentions. Get your money upfront!

I too have had things offered that sound wonderful or too good to be true. Thats usually what they are. Too good to be true.

08-30-2004, 01:39 PM
I just had to chuckle after I posted that.

Look at us. The grissled vets. Settin things straight. Lining 'em out! :D

Look maybe they're on the up-an-up. I don't know, I'm not there. If you decide to go for it, just be careful.