how to start a mobile company with no.money?

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by Planetman, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. Planetman

    Planetman Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2014
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    Any advice on how to start a mobile company to hire a programmer an artist a marketer and a soundperson if you have no money?
     
  2. IronNinjaGames

    Jun 17, 2014
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    Sure. Add them as partners, each with equity in the company.
     
  3. Planetman

    Planetman Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2014
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  4. IronNinjaGames

    Jun 17, 2014
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    Completely serious. If you don't have any money to provide, there must be some other form of compensation you can offer to bring them aboard.

    Either you offer (A) some other payment in benefits or trade or (B) offer to have them share the risk/ROI with you.

    You can add a step in raising capital through investors to then turn around and pay them (as well as your other overhead), but that can become a job in and of itself.
     
  5. Planetman

    Planetman Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2014
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    Yeah complicated that with investors, specially if you are not already big company with game already doing well.

    So next question is where to advertise for programmer etc?
     
  6. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    Learn a skill so you have something other than ideas to contribute as well as previous advice.


    Ideas are pretty much worthless without execution. Check out http://sivers.org/multiply to get an idea. For example your brilliant idea with no execution via that table is worth about $20 but even a weak idea with weak execution is worth more than this! While the numbers obviously aren't precise the ratio's are pretty accurate.

    Someone who is able to code a game would be a moron to work with you for equity if you aren't bringing the same level of skills to table. Having a project which you have people join is a better of getting help for equity because you have something to bring to the table. You also have to give away a lot of equity. For example you are a coder and you want an artist to help you it is not uncommon for it to be a 50/50 split.

    Anyone who joins a project purely for equity should either be a cofounder with other skilled people or see there is a reasonable chance of the project being finished. So an artist shouldn't join until there is fully playable prototype. Likewise a sound person shouldn't join until a significant portion of placeholder art is replaced.

    The exception to the rule for the ideas guy is if the ideas guy is bringing money to the table (which is there skill) then they are paying for it so they can do what they want.

    It reminds me of the people who want to give me an idea for a game and give me a 50% share of what it makes if I make the game. I get this all the time, even people I work with have asked this of me in different variations. Unless they were an awesome graphic designer I wouldn't even show the slightest bit of interest and just say I have too many projects already.
     
  7. IronNinjaGames

    Jun 17, 2014
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    If I had a dollar for every time this very thing happened to me, I'd be fully funded right now!
     
  8. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    How do you reply? I often find it hard to reply without being the bad guy ruining their dream because I can make it a reality but won't.
     
  9. Rogue

    Rogue Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2011
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    Games Developer
    Brisbane, Australia
    I totally use the "I have too many projects" line. If I go to a party, I even avoid telling people I make games. I always say "Programmer" etc and try to avoid saying what I actually do without being rude. It is easier than getting 50 worthless game ideas. Ideas really are useless without a means to execute them.

    Planetman, you really need to find a skill to offer the game creation process. Since you have ideas, maybe looking at the design aspect. A great way to beef up that skill is making levels for existing games (Hey, it is what I did before I learnt to code) but you cannot really monetize that straight away.

    If you want to monetize straight away, perhaps you need to look into some game creation tools that are aimed at non coders. A designer friend of mine (with a decent career as a pro games designer) went indie and decided to make his own smaller games by himself. He does stylised art and uses Game Salad. I am totally impressed with the games he creates (sans coders and artists) and thoroughly enjoy playing them.

    Anyway, to summarise my rant: Learn a skill and ideas are worthless
     
  10. IronNinjaGames

    Jun 17, 2014
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    This.

    If you're really serious about developing games, you'll be really serious about developing the skills to make it happen. It's the best advice there is.
     
  11. Rubicon

    Rubicon Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2011
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    Lead Programmer, Chief Bottlewasher
    Isle of Wight, UK
    #11 Rubicon, Jan 3, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
    Absolutely. Developers have their own ideas all the time anyway. We need a separate "ideas man" like we need a hole in the head. An ideas man who's not paying me well for my time can go find his own route to market, i'll make my own.

    If you want to start a company with no track record, no relevant skills and no seed money, that makes you a... Well, there's not even a name for that as it's not a thing.

    Some free advice: Don't bother looking for volunteers either. If you find a programmer and an artist who will work for free on a promise, you'll find that they're worth what you're paying them.
     
  12. psj3809

    psj3809 Moderator

    Jan 13, 2011
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    England
    I think you need a good track record. Trying to do it like this for free sounds crazy. If you could say 'here's some games I've done already' then you may get people on board perhaps

    But saying 'I've done some games already but no you can't see them or know what they are' won't work
     

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