[MUD-Dev] A quick business question...

Darrin Hyrup shades at mythicgames.com
Mon Jan 10 17:56:09 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

Its been a while since I jumped in, but this is one subject I have plenty
of experience with...

At 01:35 PM 1/10/00 -0800, Matthew Mihaly wrote:
>On Mon, 10 Jan 2000, Geoffrey A. MacDougall wrote:
>> I have a quick business question to pose to a few of the more seasoned Game
>> Developers on this list.
>> I have a meeting coming up with a new title who wants to enlist my
>> The game has already been conceptualized, so my involvement would not be as
>> a full designer.  I'd be the secondary author/editor of the pre-development
>> document, and an associate designer helping them out with the in-game
>> economy, and the problems of making a "persistent" world (logic abuses,
>> etc.).  There's no money attached to the project yet, so I'd be taking a
>> percentage based on risk instead of a salary.
>> What kind of deal should I be looking for?  The lead designer has already
>> done 75% of the design work, so I'm not looking to ask for anything
>> unreasonable or aggressive.
>The answer to this question depends largely on the expected value of the
>completed project and how much money has been sunk in so far.

Sounds like he's talking pure percentages of 'future profits' and not hard
cash.  That's how a lot of startup online games/companies often handle
aquiring talent being without a budget or income.

That being the case, its all purely subjective, based on what you and your
partners agree on what is reasonable for your time and effort.  If it were
me, I would ballpark about 5-10% based on what you say you'll be doing as a
place to begin negotiations, but chances are, you will end up doing more,
so having an option to renegotiate later based on time and effort is a good
plan.  Considering that 10% is good in a royalty based environment, you
might not be able to get much more than that, depending on factors like how
many other drains there are on the potential profits, investors, equipment
costs, greed factor, etc.  It also depends on if you're talking net or
gross profits, and where the net/gross split occurs.  (Its always best to
talk gross, since if you are negotiating based on net profits, you may end
up with a high percentage of the $0 net profit.)

A few quick observations anyway, based on having been where you are several
times in the last decade and a half or so... take them as you will.
Contract and payment negotiations can be an art form of its own, and a pain
if you're not careful.


Darrin Hyrup
Mythic Entertainment

MUD-Dev maillist  -  MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

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