Monday, April 6, 2015

Learning isn't fun

I have decided that I want to get my latest game creation, Camp Nightmare, published.  This sounds like a grand adventure to some people, but there is a lot of pain in the ass to work through before anything fun comes of it.  I started reading about what I will have to do to make this happen and it was a rabbit hole with no end in sight.

I need to register a business and pay business taxes.  No wait, I don't have to do that, pending specific business type.  I need to charge and then remit taxes on anything I sell - no wait, I don't, until I hit a certain threshold of sales.  (I doubt I will ever hit it, so that is easy at least.)  I need to figure out if I have to do all kinds of stuff related to having an employee given that I hope to hire someone to create all the art for me.

And the art!  I need to learn about royalties, intellectual property rights, and make sure I can write up a good contract since I can't afford to pay someone to do that stuff for me.  There is also the need to be very sure I know exactly what I want and communicate that effectively because an artist contracted to make a particular thing isn't an employee who I can just tell 'eh, do it again, but different'.

I spent much of the day trying to figure out the things I will have to do to get a game published and barely scratched the surface.  This isn't even being complicated by the need to make a profit because I know that small scale self publishing isn't remotely profitable so I am just trying to make sure it is legal and that I don't waste any more money than I have to.

This is the sort of thing that stresses me out because there is no reward for doing it all perfectly but there can be big penalties for messing it up.  I don't mind pouring in energy to make something beautiful and just so but I find it hard to summon up the energy to figure out how to make it just barely good enough to get by.  It isn't especially challenging technically speaking - there are plenty of people who aren't so bright who manage it - but there is just so much stuff to do.

I am sure when I finally hold my game baby in my arms for the first time it will be wonderful but being pregnant with a board game sucks!


  1. You may be digging too deeply too soon. I could have briefed you on business registration and HST, and I'm pretty sure you do not want an employee, you just want a contract for services with an artist.

    If you're not planning on hitting $30K in sales, the contract may not be quite as critical since there won't be millions in profits.

    Is there a path where you go to a game publisher convention and bring the game like thousands of other hopefuls and try and get people's attention? Reach out through your gaming contacts to people in the industry and learn the standard process? Are you set on self-publishing? You probably don't need art to demo the game.

  2. I am pretty sure I do need art. At the moment I am wanting to self publish, but if I got attention I would happily sell out. I might push for someone else to publish my stuff, but it isn't the first thing I am doing.

  3. Given the state of demos I've seen at WBC you sure don't need art.