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  Setting an Inde Game Studio  (Read 6306 times)
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Offline _Al3x

Senior Member


Medals: 7


Indie Games FTW!


« Posted 2012-03-04 19:09:24 »

Hello everyone!

I was wondering if anyone can point me in the right direction to set up an Indie Game Studio. I mean, legally what should I do? Where? How much it would cost?

I want to protect my game's names or ideas.
I want to be aviable to ask for donations.
I want to be aviable to sell games.

Any hint or tip or anything would be much apreciated.

For now, I've set up a Google Site web with my stuffs, check it out! https://sites.google.com/site/rafindiegames/  Pointing

Offline mast3rpyr0

Senior Newbie


Medals: 1



« Reply #1 - Posted 2012-03-04 19:21:29 »

I would first find some friends or people from this site to help you collaborate on producing something worth selling. If you can find people that are really interested in your project, then it wont really cost anything to get started.

As for protecting your stuff, generally you release with a licence(GPL, Apache, or one of the less open source ones, im not incredibly aware of whats out there).

As for donations, you'll need to give people a reason to donate. Proof that you can actually create a game, or actually having something to release thats worth their money is generally good.

Selling them is just as simple as a donate button with paypal, however by the time you are ready to release a product you should have a decent functional website with a backend that can seemlessly use Paypal or Google Checkout to accept payments.
Offline _Al3x

Senior Member


Medals: 7


Indie Games FTW!


« Reply #2 - Posted 2012-03-04 19:32:52 »

Thanks for your tips.
I know I can't ask for money just because, and I don't plan to!  Angry
I will read about GPL right away.

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline mast3rpyr0

Senior Newbie


Medals: 1



« Reply #3 - Posted 2012-03-04 19:40:41 »

No problem, good luck! I am on the same path at the moment. So far I have 1 collaborator (ra4king) and we will bring on graphics artists in the near future and once the game is nearing completetion I will spend a weekend or so getting the website up at http://warmongerstudios.com but its just going to be blank for now. Its hosted on a VPS at Linode and setup with Google Apps for Business. Once we're closer to launch I will also setup as an LLC.
Offline Archibald

Junior Member


Projects: 1



« Reply #4 - Posted 2012-03-04 20:44:11 »

Depends on country of your residence of course. There is no universal legislation. In some countries you can earn a certain thereshold of money without any obligations, in some you have to setup a company regardless of volume.
Generally, it's best to go to the nearest local government institution and ask, they will provide you with all details (small business is nowadays worshipped by governemnts and I would be surprised if your goverment do not have a specialized institution aimed especially at answering "how to setup a business" questions Smiley).

I want to protect my game's names or ideas.
I think you are thinking too big. Generally, the whole boardgames industry don't bother with trademarks since these are too expensive for them. As an indie these will be probably too expensive to you as well. Besides, why would you need it for? Can you afford a lawyer to pursue others who used similar name to your game?

As for ideas, well, you can't copyright ideas Smiley
Offline ReBirth
« Reply #5 - Posted 2012-03-05 00:50:53 »

I'll tell you my plan, aware it's more painful

1. Create fully working free game. Only publish it on here <- I'm on here
2. Set up a free site first but pay for a domain for profesional feel
3. Publish the free game to the world
4. Keep making free casual games
5. If goes well, process to donate button. If not, repeat no 4
6. Getting donate, try to make a bigger game to sell. If not, repeat no 4
7. Sell game. Now try to attract media.
8. Profit!
 

Offline _Al3x

Senior Member


Medals: 7


Indie Games FTW!


« Reply #6 - Posted 2012-03-05 01:12:30 »

I agree with you ReBirth!
I already have a plan for free games. I plan to make them in time to time between big projects.
Right now my only big project requires a lot of knowledge from me, so I stick to make simpler free games Smiley
I'll worry about the company later on. Thank you all!

Offline Oskuro

JGO Knight


Medals: 39
Exp: 6 years


Coding in Style


« Reply #7 - Posted 2012-08-01 20:27:27 »

I want to protect my game's names or ideas.

I'm not sure about trademarks or branding, but as far as creative content is concerned, the act of creating it grants you full copyrights.
And if anyone challenges said rights, owning the intermediate steps (notes, sketches, design documents, beta versions) should be enough to prove your ownership.

From Wikipedia:
Quote
In all countries where the Berne Convention standards apply, copyright is automatic, and need not be obtained through official registration with any government office. Once an idea has been reduced to tangible form, for example by securing it in a fixed medium (such as a drawing, sheet music, photograph, a videotape, or a computer file), the copyright holder is entitled to enforce his or her exclusive rights.[10] However, while registration isn't needed to exercise copyright, in jurisdictions where the laws provide for registration, it serves as prima facie evidence of a valid copyright and enables the copyright holder to seek statutory damages and attorney's fees.

Offline _Al3x

Senior Member


Medals: 7


Indie Games FTW!


« Reply #8 - Posted 2012-08-01 23:42:36 »

Awesome input, thanks for that! Smiley

Offline ReBirth
« Reply #9 - Posted 2012-08-02 01:16:42 »

If you worry about "name", just go secure all nowday network sites (google, g+, twitter, facebook, linkedin, wordpress, blogspot, domain, tumblr, everything) with your name Wink

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Oskuro

JGO Knight


Medals: 39
Exp: 6 years


Coding in Style


« Reply #10 - Posted 2012-08-02 08:11:52 »

I wouldn't worry about that too much. Unless you have a product/business to back the domain name up, chances are it can be legally snatched away by someone who does.

Heck, chocolate company Milka actually managed to sue and take away the domain from a woman literally named Milka, who used the site to promote her seamstress business.

Trademark/Brandi laws are more concerned with having an actual marketable product, and the economic effects thereof. So until you have said product, don't lose sleep over branding.

Offline ReBirth
« Reply #11 - Posted 2012-08-07 05:37:14 »

I'll tell you my plan, aware it's more painful

1. Create fully working free game. Only publish it on here <- I'm on here
2. Set up a free site first but pay for a domain for profesional feel
3. Publish the free game to the world
4. Keep making free casual games
5. If goes well, process to donate button. If not, repeat no 4
6. Getting donate, try to make a bigger game to sell. If not, repeat no 4
7. Sell game. Now try to attract media.
8. Profit!
 

I progressing to lvl 2 (almost): domain

Offline Phased
« Reply #12 - Posted 2012-08-07 05:53:14 »

me too in a way, at least I baught a cheap VPS, but it seems to go down alot, but in the TOS they offer 10% for the next month for every 1 hour your server goes down Cheesy who offers 10% discounts per hour, if they cant keep it up?

edit: seems 10 mins after my ticket I put it, they rebooted my VPS Smiley and it works
Offline Oskuro

JGO Knight


Medals: 39
Exp: 6 years


Coding in Style


« Reply #13 - Posted 2012-08-07 10:56:30 »

My personal plan is as follows:

 1. Set up a project architecture/engine while learning the ropes of Game Development
 2. Build a first Game on said architecture
 3. Refine steps 1 and 2 as needed
 4. Build simple games using the existing architecture, experiment with ideas
 5. Of the games that work, release for free
 6. Repeat 4 and 5 until I have confidence on my skills, my technology, and have an audience
 7. Study revenue model (probably donations at first) and project requirements
 8. Build a serious project
 9. Release and see what happens
 10. With the lessons learned, go back to 7, rinse and repeat.

Note that this plan assumes Game Development as a hobby, at least at the start, I have a day job to pay the bills. Eventually it could evolve into a full.time job, but for now it isn't.
Also note how it is malleable, many of the steps are recursive self-improvement steps. In the end, the market, and our lives, are in constant flux. Strict plans with no room for "what-ifs" are not realistic, in my opinion.

Nowhere in my plan are there defined points for "buy a domain", "rent a server", "buy Unity3D", "hire an artist". Those concrete steps will depend heavily on how your plans unfold, and concerning yourself with them early is, to the very least, wasteful. Again, in my opinion.


Now, if I ever make it down that list, I'll probably look back on this post and laugh at my naivete... Just remember: No plan survives contact with the enemy.

Offline Mads

JGO Ninja


Medals: 26
Projects: 3
Exp: 6 years


One for all!


« Reply #14 - Posted 2012-08-07 18:06:41 »

The legal stuff would depend on which country you reside in, I would think?
As for free games, you could allow people to play it in development and then start charging a minor amount as development progresses. I wouldn't buy Kerbal Space Program if I couldn't have played it for free a while first. The same goes for Minecraft.

Offline ags1

JGO Ninja


Medals: 62
Projects: 3
Exp: 5 years


Make code not war!


« Reply #15 - Posted 2012-08-07 18:29:01 »

1. Write a killer game.
2. Get sued by patent trolls.
3. Hire a lawyer, then another lawyer.

Offline Oskuro

JGO Knight


Medals: 39
Exp: 6 years


Coding in Style


« Reply #16 - Posted 2012-08-07 21:48:35 »

The thing with payed games is that you are expected to provide post-sale support, and thus your involvement doesn't necessarily end with the sale. Not doing so could result in a very bad PR hit.

My recommendation of releasing the first few simple projects for free is in line with avoiding all costs. Since they are "learning projects", just release for free, with a big "Provided AS IS" label, and gauge audience reaction to your material, without needing to invest anything.

Rushing to make money can be detrimental if you are not ready for the responsibility. Ironically enough, being successful can be harder on a fledgling developer (Think server costs to keep up with bandwidth demand, feedback response/moderation, post-sale support... And that not counting with any online infrastructure you might have planned).


But again, just my personal opinion.

Offline Pickleninja

JGO Coder


Medals: 10
Projects: 1


I'm tired of working for someone else.


« Reply #17 - Posted 2013-01-08 22:04:53 »

1. Spend a ton of time trying to develope my current game.
2. Release game for free*
3. If all fails, go for my masters in CS or BA.
either way
4. profit!


-Pickle Smiley

* I plan on free for the most part however I'm mulling over the idea of charging a 1-time fee if you want to do something like purchase property in the game. I'll just have to see if my other plans for making money pan out... but that's way down the road and I'm starting to ramble, so I'll just leave it at that lol.

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