Thursday, April 25, 2013

Captain's Log, Supplemental

Back in March, I was approached to write a video game for an Indie Game Studio who shall remain nameless...

A very cool project. How could anyone say no? And when I say write, of course I mean a huge backstory, the narrative, the settings, the characters, the dialog... the whole nine yards, as well as the grunt work (for me): a lot of the promo materials...

Money was discussed, a share of the profits at the end. I didn't give it much thought really... and dove in, body and soul, heart and mind.... This was awesome! I got along with the developers, I was full of ideas, and the lead designer, (famous in game circles), pretty much signed onto everything I came up with.

Two hundred hours later, I came up for air... I started thinking about the money...  I did the math!
Ouch! All that was on the table was a 1/4 of one share... A 1/4 of one share? That's .25 cents on the dollar. WTF? Even if the game made $1 million, I'd wind up with $2500. Like that was even going to happen!

I felt so undervalued... like the writing part of the game was worth nothing...
Depressed? Yes. Feeling foolish? Yes.

I chose to resign from the project.

Anyhow, fast forward a couple of weeks:
Yesterday and today, I get a message from the Game's producer: "maybe some kickstart funding could be used... maybe we could pay you for your time..."

Crap. Now what do I do?

1 comment:

  1. Negotiations have ended... An update...
    The game producer got back to me with this: Unfortunately, nothing has changed on our side from when we started...there is no publisher and we have no budget for anything beyond what XXXX and I are loaning the company for the Kickstarter filming crew and the concept artist... The other developers are all profit sharing and there are no more percentage points left. As I mentioned in the original email, bonuses are used to pay beyond that based on success of the game and the developer's contribution.
    It was my decision alone to bring you on board this game project so I have accepted personal financial responsibility to the team and can offer you $500 for your time up until now...I know it doesn't seem like much, but that's out of pocket from my XXXX earnings and we have a baby coming any day now (no joke). If the $500 is not enough for you to finish up any loose ends for the Kickstarter funding, then hopefully it covers what you've done until now. Let me know as soon as possible.

    tl;dr: $500 for 150 hours of writing =$3.33 per hour.

    I declined the offer.