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  Meeting the publisher's concerns about Java  (Read 3717 times)
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Offline Preston

Senior Member


Medals: 4



« Posted 2004-01-12 07:12:14 »

Hi ho,

new scenario: say, your development crew is basically willing to do a commercial game in Java. (Just say, ...)
Now you plan to do a technical demo/proof-of-concept for about half a year with your crew. Then the plan is to visit publishers with your concept plus demo, in order to make a deal about the two year development time for the full game.

Roughly. I've to add the scenario should apply to Europe; it may differ in USA, but not very much I think.

But there's a big problem: the publisher's concern of Java for a boxed game. How to meet their concerns?

I'm being told that (European) publishers are very carefully these days because they lost much money during the last years in the gaming industry.
They're extremely carefully when it comes to invest in games of small and unkown development studios - like you.
When you show them your demo and they like it, they won't say: "now do what you want, we pay you for the final two years until the game is ready". No, they will inspect your studio and question your concepts. So, aside your obligatory track-record (of finished games, which isn't be a problem in your case) they'll want to see your development environment: programing language(s), tools for programming, rendering, your backup strategy, etc.
Now when they see you're doing the game in Java (no matter if you "just" do the game logic in Java and use a well known 3d engine), they say: "What? Java? That's for online games only! It sucks, how dare you to ask for xxx000 Euros for a Java game?" you've got a problem.

So basically the question is: How to appease a potential publisher and convince them that Java is the best choice for a commercial full price game in your case?
:-)

{Edit} OK, during demo-time nobody does have to see that the demo runs within Java but sooner or later you'll have to tell what language you use. (Aside this: I don't think a nice program should have to hide the fact it's Java!)
Offline Herkules

Senior Member




Friendly fire isn't friendly!


« Reply #1 - Posted 2004-01-12 07:25:12 »

Quote
So basically the question is: How to appease a potential publisher and convince them that Java is the best choice for a commercial full price game in your case?


Maybe, today, you just cannot? The proof is missing so far. No Java killer app that people heard about.

The only thing you can do is saying that you can develop THAT cheap and deliver such an cool game in THAT short amount of time. Then of cource, you need to be sure that Java really gives you the desired advantage in development time and budget. Are you?


Quote

(OK, you could try to hide Java so they won't see it but that's not a really good idea, I'm afraid)


Having secrets with business partners always is a bad idea....

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Offline Preston

Senior Member


Medals: 4



« Reply #2 - Posted 2004-01-12 07:55:46 »

Quote

Maybe, today, you just cannot? The proof is missing so far. No Java killer app that people heard about.

Yes, that's exactly the problem.
Not for us developers, but for the "sales & marketing guys" at the publisher houses, because they hardly got references to rely on...

You can do a "List of commercial games using Java" (see other thread, please) but the list isn't very long.

Quote
The only thing you can do is saying that you can develop THAT cheap and deliver such an cool game in THAT short amount of time. Then of cource, you need to be sure that Java really gives you the desired advantage in development time and budget. Are you?

I am.
But again: since I/we are new to the publisher they don't have got any reason to trust what we're saying; just what we're showing them.
So maybe it won't help much if the small studio says to the publisher: "trust me, I know what I do"...
(sounds like the cool Sledge Hammer btw. ;-)

Quote
Having secrets with business partners always is a bad idea....

Of course.
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Offline crystalsquid

Junior Member




... Boing ...


« Reply #3 - Posted 2004-01-12 13:09:56 »

To be honest, if the demo looks good & plays well on the average machine spec. the publisher is targetting & most importantly, whether it fits with the publishers current portfolio (they wont sign a football game if they already have one on their books), then what it is written in is less of an issue than factors such as the management team, the risk assesment & contingency planning, & all the other non-technical aspects of the team. Emphasising how Java will positively affect the risks of the project is a better tack to use.

You may want to consider porting aspects - the publisher may well want to consider console versions, which will be more awkward coming from Java.

Also don't push the 'this will be much cheaper' aspect or they will just pay you less money for the game. Don't forget that people expect a certain price for certain things - if you go in too cheap they will be suspicious.

- Dom
Offline Preston

Senior Member


Medals: 4



« Reply #4 - Posted 2004-01-12 14:42:46 »

Quote
To be honest, if the demo looks good & plays well on the average machine spec. the publisher is targetting & most importantly, whether it fits with the publishers current portfolio (they wont sign a football game if they already have one on their books), then what it is written in is less of an issue than factors such as the management team, the risk assesment & contingency planning, & all the other non-technical aspects of the team. Emphasising how Java will positively affect the risks of the project is a better tack to use.

Now that reads clever and pretty well. I hope(d) for such thoughts, and it's good to hear it from a commercial game developer.

Quote
Also don't push the 'this will be much cheaper' aspect or they will just pay you less money for the game. Don't forget that people expect a certain price for certain things - if you go in too cheap they will be suspicious.

Oh yes, of course, the "much cheaper" is just for the interal crew's householding.
Offline Jens

Senior Member




Java for games!


« Reply #5 - Posted 2004-02-03 04:56:47 »

It's offtopic, but does anyone know why Preston deleted his account and doesn't post to the forums anymore? Did his dev crew decide not to use Java after all?

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Offline Preston

Senior Member


Medals: 4



« Reply #6 - Posted 2004-02-03 06:52:36 »

For the mentioned project Java won't be used, unfortunately.
I wanted to rename the nickname which is impossible. I'm still here enjoying Java and the forum.
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 369
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #7 - Posted 2004-02-03 08:22:26 »

Why not resurrect yourself under a new nick?

Cas Smiley

Offline Jens

Senior Member




Java for games!


« Reply #8 - Posted 2004-02-03 12:11:04 »

Quote
For the mentioned project Java won't be used, unfortunately.


Looks like Java still has a long way to go.  Embarrassed

Quote
I wanted to rename the nickname which is impossible. I'm still here enjoying Java and the forum.


What's your new nick?

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Offline Preston

Senior Member


Medals: 4



« Reply #9 - Posted 2004-02-08 09:37:30 »

Quote

Looks like Java still has a long way to go.  :-[

In the mentioned project it's hardly technical problems but mainly political ones. It's the prejudices (¹) of  project manager(s), graphic artists and most important publishers you've to fight.
Like always in mankind's history. Maybe it's a bit like Don Quichotte (Quijotte in espanol, Quixote in english).

I'll be ready for the next project to come and try to use Java then.

Quote
What's your new nick?

Isn't the whole purpose of renaming the old nick to get rid of it? ;-)

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to rename the nick without having to create a new account? (There's a security whole: if you delete an account, another person can choose that nick and edit your old posts.)  Wouldn't it be nice if the email notification would finally work? Also wouldn't it be nice if you could list more than just the last 10 postings? I lost many discussions because of this ... feature ... when you take a look at the forum a week later or so.

See you.


(¹) These are also seeded by several magazines, and a few very big companies, etc.
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kul_th_las
Guest
« Reply #10 - Posted 2004-02-12 11:58:28 »

I think nick renaming should be allowed. All posts would be updated with your new nick, just like when you change your avatar - all posts' avatar changes.

Let's say I changed my name to "Kul Th'las". It should display as such:

Kul Th'las
(a.k.a. kul_th_las)

And place a freeze on the old name for a period of say 6 months, upon which time the 'a.k.a.' would disappear, and the old name would become availble.

Additionally, you shouldn't be able to change you nick if the 'name freeze' period has yet to expire for your last name.
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