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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 49 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Co-Creating A World For Release  (Read 1367 times)
IanEHewitt
Member

Posts: 6


« on: June 12, 2004, 04:35:09 AM »

I am currently working on the creation of a game world/campaign setting.

I began my project online with a website that comprised the growing content of the Campaign Setting. The majority of the work was done by myself and one other, with a couple of others working as editors but the direction of the website was geared toward allowing anyone to submit content. Since the world began to grow I began to look about for possible publication (either print or pdf) at some time in the future. I am under the impression that if anyone were to be interested they would want a work not already available for free on the website and so I pulled the www presence and began working offline.
 
My first question would be this: Would it be incredibly complicated to work with different individuals - most of whom do not have any published credits - to develop the world? My thoughts are that if it were to be published at some time in the future contracts and payment may lead to confusing legal issues that I would be ill equipped to deal with. Or could I simply share any spoils made as I saw fit and fair?
 
My second question: It is obviously much easier to publish in pdf and move to print if sales and interest warrants. What kind of sales do even the best pdf products (developed by independent or new writers) generate?
 
Publishing via an established company would obviously be preferable, but how easy would it be to create my own pdf and offer it for sale somewhere online? I am would be very cautious in that respect regarding the legalities of the license etc, much of the technicalities of which I am not confidently familiar with.
 
Cheers
Ian
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Tav_Behemoth
Member

Posts: 152


WWW
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2004, 08:49:31 AM »

Quote from: IanEHewitt
My first question would be this: Would it be incredibly complicated to work with different individuals - most of whom do not have any published credits - to develop the world? My thoughts are that if it were to be published at some time in the future contracts and payment may lead to confusing legal issues that I would be ill equipped to deal with. Or could I simply share any spoils made as I saw fit and fair?


Hi Ian, good to see you here! Someone will soon provide the Forge perspective: it depends on what your goals in releasing a game is. From my own perspective, Behemoth3 decided we wanted to make money if we could, and incorporated rather than forming a LLC in order to be able to scale up better if we succeeded in this. We soon learned that our "adventuring party" model of splitting the treasure by shares of profit would cause each profit-sharee to be able to claim a share of the basic equity in the company.

I'm not the B3 corporate guy, and none of us could have figured this out without expert advice, so I can't be as helpful as I'd like. If you're hoping to make a sum of money that's large enough for someone to consider hassling you over, it might be worth finding someone who is equipped to deal with contract and/or corporate issues.

Or you could check out the Graphic Artists Guilds web site, www.gag.org, to browse the Contract Monitor portion of the site and see some actual contracts drafted by some fairly large companies. Using one of these off the shelf shouldn't lead you too far astray, I hope!
 
Quote from: IanEHewitt
My second question: It is obviously much easier to publish in pdf and move to print if sales and interest warrants. What kind of sales do even the best pdf products (developed by independent or new writers) generate?


Common figures for quality releases by first-time publishers seem to fall in the 50-200 range; what the biggest names in PDFs are selling, and what's going to happen in that market in years to come, are good questions! There's a good guide to e-publishing available as a PDF at RPG Now (a little out of date) and e-publishing forums at EN World that might help as well.
 
Quote from: IanEHewitt
Publishing via an established company would obviously be preferable, but how easy would it be to create my own pdf and offer it for sale somewhere online? I am would be very cautious in that respect regarding the legalities of the license etc, much of the technicalities of which I am not confidently familiar with.


Publishing via another company isn't necessarily preferable if you want to retain the rights to your work or control how it is developed & marketed in the future.

Publishing via PDF is the easiest way to go; the problem is that other folks know this too, so it's hard to get recognized even if you do stand out from the herd.

The Open Game License issues, like the contracts, don't matter as much if your ambitions are to have fun/support the community/keep it on the down low. (Bigger companies also seem to get away with a lot the OGL technically forbids if they're friends with the folks who matter).
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