Re: Aw: [stella] Calling all...

Subject: Re: Aw: [stella] Calling all...
From: Chris Wilkson <ecwilkso@xxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 13:26:03 -0400 (EDT)
I'd like to take the time to speak out in defense of ummm...Christopher
and what he's trying to do.  This kind of thing is hard when you *have*
a market.  When you're in a commodity market or worse, a hobby market
like ours, developing a business, with a real business plan, is nearly
impossible.  Unless you want to lose your shirt in the process.  If I
understand correctly, Christopher wants to form a complete publishing
house with professionally made boxes, manuals, etc.  These are the types
of things that push a product over the top.  Just like the last 10% of
of the changes in writing a game are what make it really shine, these
packaging efforts add greatly to the appeal of the carts.

I think none of us are in this for the money (except me, of course ;).
We do it out of a love of the 2600.  And a love of finding just one
more byte of RAM.  And a love of squeezing that last square millimeter
of board space.  There are those among us who are historians, and
archaeologists, who want to see this little bit of history preserved
for posterity.  And there are those who just want to share a bit of
themselves with "the younger generation" (that hurt).

And to Christopher....people have some good points, Manuel included.
I like your idea, and I support it whole heartedly, but I think you
need to rethink your programmer rewards a bit.  These types of things
are why programmers left Atari to form their own companies.  If you
really want to attract programmers and engineers to your label, you'll
have to make the arrangement much more attractive, as evidenced on this
list.  I think royalties are the way to go.  That is a sure fire incentive
to write games that sell well.  You might offer programmers a per cart
royalty, similar to Hozer, or maybe a percent share of the profit per
cart (essentially the same thing, but...) or per title though that's
more difficult.  You might also offer a tiered royalty.  Pay a programmer
more for their second title than for the first.  And pay more for the
third than the second, etc., up to some predetermined maximum.

I think you should definitely talk with Randy at Hozer Video Games
about what you want to do.  Bounce your ideas off him.  I can't speak
for Randy, but he  might offer some useful insights.  He might even
decide to work with you.  Who knows?  After all, the last thing a
commodity market needs is more competition.  You should also speak with
Marc Oberhauser.  He is releasing Combat II in much the same way I
believe.  I think it would be useful for anyone trying to publish a
game to have a single outlet.  I think you mentioned Songbird.  That's
a great example.

Ahhh....enough rambling.  I lost all the files in my student account
and I have to try to recover them.  Which reminds me...if you've sent
me email in the past 2 weeks, please resend as I obviously can't reply


PS.  Did Randy raise his royalty payout?  It used to be $5 per cart sold.
I thought.  Or does he renegotiate royalties for each separate author or

On Mon, 14 May 2001, Manuel Polik wrote:

> Hi Christopher!
> >   "Why should one work for/with you and share the profits?"
> >
> >   Hmmm.  Good question, but I have one for you in return.  Are you doing it
> > for the money?  Geez.
> If someone wants a game I make, he has to pay the price for it. Until
> then I'm doing it for free.
> Why should I give the work of hundreds of hours away to someone who
> doesn't even pay half a dollar for an hour of work?
> Thats 250 hours for your 125$. And I doubt that the time is enough.
> If I release my title via Hozer Video Games, I may get some 10$
> royalties per unit, so after selling 13 carts I already earned 5$ more
> as if I sell it to you.
> Greetings,
> 	Manuel
> -
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