Recruiting for SBG Commercial Project

For recruitment of team members to help create visual novels and story-based games, and for people who want to offer their services to create the same.
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SBG_Eric
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Recruiting for SBG Commercial Project

#1 Post by SBG_Eric » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:57 pm

Hey all, SBG_Eric here. Over the past month or so I have been working towards organizing my company, Sunbridge Games (SBG), as an LLC with the intent of making commercial game releases. Originally my plan was to avoid digital media but my love for visual novels ended up winning in the end, despite the lack of a significant market. Currently I'm working with a local lawyer, having him help write up the contracts; EULA; Articles of Organization; etc. Now that everyone has the briefest of backgrounds about the project and where I'm at currently, let me go a bit more in depth about everything.

About Me:
So, I bet plenty of you are wondering who exactly I am. My name is Eric, founder and owner of Sunbridge Games LLC., a small development company located on the east coast of the United States (specifically out of Connecticut). I'm also currently a senior, getting ready to graduate with my degree in Business Management and Entrepreneurship, numerous years after beginning my education as a Computer Science major. I do extensive independent game design, and have multiple games that are currently in various phases of testing. I also have experience with writing, particularly with poetry and fiction, and spent a few years doing editing for others.

Open Positions:
Animator

Filled Positions:

Team Positions:
Project Lead: SBG_Eric
Coder: SBG_Eric
Musical Composer: Ole Sole
Writer 1: King Oliver
Writer 2: Raithfyre
Writer 3: Kmarsel
Artist 1: Tooaya
Artist 2: Demetis
FMV Animator: Dretchlord

Project:
This project is designed to be a collaborative effort on the part of all team members, no one should be working in isolation. Interested individuals should be familiar with both the Dropbox and Skype programs, as these will be used regularly for team-wide communication. Ideally the team will hold bi-weekly conferences to discuss progress and distribute new resources and ideas. All members of the team are expected to participate in multiple aspects of the project. Are you doing art and have free time before a meeting? Read one of the scripts beforehand so you can give feedback and criticism to the author. Listen to that new song idea the composer posted into Dropbox yesterday. Does it fit the scene(s) it's intended for? Does the tempo or feeling of the song need more variation? These are all things that we want to work out earlier, rather than later, and a team effort is paramount in making this all happen efficiently. The goal is to make the best product possible.

Project Goals:
The goal of this project is to create a visual novel, over the next year to year and a half, intended for commercial release on a SBG managed site and on Steam. The project also will use Kickstarter, raising funds and awareness for the game. Eventually SBG hopes to make this a regular part of the company's (and the Ren'Py community's) activities, keeping a continual 1-2 projects in development at all times.

Payment:

-Summary-
I'm going to avoid going into a lot of detail on this right now, as the contracts haven't been finished as of yet, however I will give a brief description of how payment will likely look to those participating in the project. Members of the project's team, as defined by an individual's contract, will each receive a percentage of the final product to be paid in royalties. Contracts will also include a buyback clause.

-Royalties-
Royalties that are kept, or remain outstanding after buybacks, will be paid off of annual profits (revenues - costs/taxes/etc). Initial royalty distribution will be done in such a manner that, should the Kickstarter attempts to raise funds fail, all members of the team have a fair and adequate share. Obviously I'm avoiding making any specific numerical promises for now, as this will be a topic for further discussion between myself and individuals interested in working on the project.

-Buybacks-
The contract will include a buyback clause at the end, allowing the company to purchase back some of these royalties on the condition of a successful Kickstarter project. These buyback prices are intended to lower the risk of working on the project, especially for those contracted by the company, by having buyback prices set slightly above the projected valuation of the royalties being purchased. For the company, these buybacks are intended to ensure that when the final product is released SBG will make enough money to cover our continued costs (legal, marketing, etc) as we move towards our next project and to also ensure that I'm actually able to pay myself for my own work once everything else is concluded.

Are You Interested?
It may sound like a lot of work for a small visual novel project, but remember, our timeline is projected to be up to a year and a half. Obviously this isn't what most people would define as their "main job", so not everyone is going to be able (or willing) to spend every waking hour on the project. If you feel like this is a project that you would be interested in working on then please get in touch with me either using the lemmasoft forums or via e-mail (this will be given out only to interested parties who contact me first, as per lemmasoft forum regulations). If I take a look at your linked work and think you could be a good fit for the team I will schedule a time with you when we can talk on Skype, and things will go from there. I'm looking forward to working with everyone here, hopefully for a long time to come!

When Will The Project Start?
The project will start as soon as all of the positions are filled and the team has been fully organized. Ideally this won't take more than a month after the contracts have finished being drafted. For those interested in looking at a sample timeline, I posted one here: http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 47&t=24881 (post #11, attached image). I'll be keeping tabs on this thread in the meantime, if you want to get in touch with me early, but positions will likely begin being filled in about 2 weeks or so. I will be continually updating and editing this post as positions are filled and as needs arise over the course of the project.
EDIT: This image has been posted into this thread as well, 2 posts down, per request and confusion regarding the goals of the project.

Will The Game Include Adult Content?
Yes and no. Explicit adult material (sex, nudity, etc) will not be put into the game. Adult themes (teen pregnancy, drugs, violence, etc) are fine. The final say on content simply comes down to one question: "Will this content force us to get an ESRB rating to put the game onto Steam or other similar services?" If the answer is yes, then it's a no-go. :D
Last edited by SBG_Eric on Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:17 am, edited 8 times in total.
Sunbridge Games Projects
Visual Novel Project (Pre-Dev): http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 60&t=33087
- Seeking Writer (5% per scenario) [1 Scenarios Remaining]

Galactic Domain (Post-Dev/Testing) & Dragonfish Racers (In-Dev): Projects on Hold // Require Artist(s)

Other projects TBA: 2+

Fantasy/Play-or-Die Light Novel (Outline/Drafting)

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Re: Recruiting for SBG Commercial Project

#2 Post by Laiska » Wed Feb 12, 2014 5:37 pm

While it is really fantastic how organized you are about this (really, it's a rarity!), could you provide a few details about what sort of project you are planning on? i.e. genre, game style, etc?

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SBG_Eric
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Re: Recruiting for SBG Commercial Project

#3 Post by SBG_Eric » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:57 pm

Laiska wrote:While it is really fantastic how organized you are about this (really, it's a rarity!), could you provide a few details about what sort of project you are planning on? i.e. genre, game style, etc?
I would suggest, to anyone who has questions similar to this one, to go look at the image I posted. I linked to it already, but I'll post it up in here as well. This diagram follows a rough timeline for the project. To sum it up in words, however, the project is designed to be collaborative. This means that the team starts working together off of a blank slate. Genre, Setting, Characters, Theme, etc are all topics that will be discussed during team meetings. I'll take the team's ideas and preferences into account, and then at the subsequent meeting (or earlier via PM or e-mail) I will present what seem to be the 2-3 most popular ideas to the group and they'll be put up for a vote. Similarly for something such as assigning character paths: I would have the writers list their top 3 path choices for what they would prefer to write, and then after weighing preferences against themes and writing styles I would assign writers their paths to outline and write.

Of final note, I will be updating the main post with this as well, but the goal of these projects is to create story-centric games and not sex-centric games. Explicit adult content will not be included in the game (eg. sex), however adult themes would be fine (eg. teen pregnancy, drugs and alcohol, etc). The goal is to avoid content that would prevent SBG from releasing the game for wider distribution without an ESRB rating.
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Organizing-a-VN_300b2kba.jpg
Sunbridge Games Projects
Visual Novel Project (Pre-Dev): http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 60&t=33087
- Seeking Writer (5% per scenario) [1 Scenarios Remaining]

Galactic Domain (Post-Dev/Testing) & Dragonfish Racers (In-Dev): Projects on Hold // Require Artist(s)

Other projects TBA: 2+

Fantasy/Play-or-Die Light Novel (Outline/Drafting)

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Re: Recruiting for SBG Commercial Project

#4 Post by KingOliver » Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:40 am

Hey, there. If you need a writer, I'd be happy to help. It sounds like you have a really nice, organized project in the works here, and I'd love to be a part of it. I can also compose music if, for whatever reason, you might want another person to make music alongside the composer you currently have. I have a lot of experience as a writer, and have a writing background in university. Would you like me to message you some of my writing for you to check out?

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Re: Recruiting for SBG Commercial Project

#5 Post by icy-snowflake » Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:16 am

If you are looking for a writer (I'm a professional one) I'm ready to work with you. The outline looks very organised and I'd love to help. If you want I can send a PM with samples

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Re: Recruiting for SBG Commercial Project

#6 Post by Taleweaver » Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:31 am

SBG_Eric wrote:To sum it up in words, however, the project is designed to be collaborative. This means that the team starts working together off of a blank slate. Genre, Setting, Characters, Theme, etc are all topics that will be discussed during team meetings.
Hm. So essentially, you have prepared all steps for the creation of a visual novel project, except for the very first one:

Deciding on what kind of VN to create.

Frankly, I see this as a rather major issue since VNs can be very, very diverse in terms of theme, topics, mood, size, focus (plot vs character) - we're talking about a form of narrative literature here. The only defining statement you have made so far is that you don't want this to be an adults-only game. That's a little, well, unspecific.

To make matters worse, you're looking for three writers. Who of these writers will get to decide the main focus on the game? What do you do if you have three writers but they can't agree on whether to do a character-centric romantic comedy, a plot-centric sci-fi mystery or a multi-perspective psychologial horror scenario?

If you already HAVE a main focus in mind and all three writers would get to work on the details, that would be fine, of course, but then you should reveal what that main focus is supposed to be. If you're actually looking for someone to give you a project idea more detailed than "a non-porn visual novel", then I'd be interested on how you're going to decide which idea to follow.

The reason why I'm writing all this because frankly, you look like very professional people, and I'm quite interested in working with/for you myself - if the project tickles my interest, and even moreso if you'd actually be willing to produce one of my ideas. (And yes, there is something larger I have in mind which I'm quite confident will make a good VN.)

So, in a nutshell: Do you already have a basic theme in mind, and if yes, what is it, and if no, how do you expect your eventual team to work it out? (And if you're looking for a lead writer, I'd like to apply for that position.)
Scriptwriter and producer of Metropolitan Blues
Creator of The Loyal Kinsman
Scriptwriter and director of Daemonophilia
Scriptwriter and director of The Dreaming
Scriptwriter of Zenith Chronicles
Scriptwriter and director of The Thirteenth Year
Scriptwriter and director of Romance is Dead
Scriptwriter and producer of Adrift
More about me in my blog
"Adrift - Like Ever17, but without the Deus Ex Machina" - HigurashiKira

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SBG_Eric
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Re: Recruiting for SBG Commercial Project

#7 Post by SBG_Eric » Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:22 pm

icy-snowflake wrote:If you are looking for a writer (I'm a professional one) I'm ready to work with you. The outline looks very organized and I'd love to help. If you want I can send a PM with samples
KingOliver wrote:Hey, there. If you need a writer, I'd be happy to help. It sounds like you have a really nice, organized project in the works here, and I'd love to be a part of it. I can also compose music if, for whatever reason, you might want another person to make music alongside the composer you currently have. I have a lot of experience as a writer, and have a writing background in university. Would you like me to message you some of my writing for you to check out?
Sure, go ahead. I'll PM both of you with my e-mail address and I should have time within the next couple of days to look through what you send.

Taleweaver, your question and the problem you propose are interesting. Personally, as bad as it may sound, I don't care what type of VN the team decides to go with. The reason the first meeting is set to include the things it does is because I want the team to bounce ideas around. I don't care if the writers all decide they want to do my least favorite genre if it's what they think they could do best as a collaborative effort. I'm going to be doing my best to only select people who I think are going to be coming both prepared and with a positive attitude towards working with others. If it does come down to it, however, I'll take the 2 genres that the team has shown the most interest in and put it to a vote by the end of the first meeting.
Sunbridge Games Projects
Visual Novel Project (Pre-Dev): http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 60&t=33087
- Seeking Writer (5% per scenario) [1 Scenarios Remaining]

Galactic Domain (Post-Dev/Testing) & Dragonfish Racers (In-Dev): Projects on Hold // Require Artist(s)

Other projects TBA: 2+

Fantasy/Play-or-Die Light Novel (Outline/Drafting)

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Re: Recruiting for SBG Commercial Project

#8 Post by Taleweaver » Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:42 pm

SBG_Eric wrote:The reason the first meeting is set to include the things it does is because I want the team to bounce ideas around.
In that case, I'd be interested in joining that "ideas bouncing" part. Just to see what comes out of it. My current job for Winter Wolves is almost done, so I will have the time to tackle a new project.

If you'd take me (a part of my portfolio is in my signature, the entire thing on my blog), just PM me with your e-mail.
Scriptwriter and producer of Metropolitan Blues
Creator of The Loyal Kinsman
Scriptwriter and director of Daemonophilia
Scriptwriter and director of The Dreaming
Scriptwriter of Zenith Chronicles
Scriptwriter and director of The Thirteenth Year
Scriptwriter and director of Romance is Dead
Scriptwriter and producer of Adrift
More about me in my blog
"Adrift - Like Ever17, but without the Deus Ex Machina" - HigurashiKira

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Re: Recruiting for SBG Commercial Project

#9 Post by Laiska » Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:28 pm

Now that I understand your process a bit better I might be interested as well, should you still have a need for any writers (seems you already have a few talented applicants!). My basic portfolio is here, and I can easily provide any other relevant samples, if need be.

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Re: Recruiting for SBG Commercial Project

#10 Post by tooaya » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:28 pm

I may be interested in joining as an artist (seeing how organized this is), if you are interested in anime styled art.

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Re: Recruiting for SBG Commercial Project

#11 Post by icy-snowflake » Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:07 am

tooaya wrote:I may be interested in joining as an artist (seeing how organized this is), if you are interested in anime styled art.
Tooaya is one of my favorite artists. Her work for these games http://www.sakevisual.com/backstagepass/ and http://www.sakevisual.com/realistair/ are simply amazing! I would love to recommend her as an artist!

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Re: Recruiting for SBG Commercial Project

#12 Post by bunbun » Sat Feb 15, 2014 5:22 am

I definitely recommend tooaya as an artist too, if you're looking for an anime artist!
Seeing as she already got 2 projects done, she's dedicated and responsible.
Not to mention she draws in various styles and her art style is the favor of recent art style which will attract more customers!
Good luck with your recruitment btw!
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Re: Recruiting for SBG Commercial Project

#13 Post by SBG_Eric » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:31 pm

SBG_Eric here with a quick update. Thanks to all those who have expressed an interest in the project thus far, I've gotten way more interest a lot quicker than I ever expected to. A number of you have already followed up on your initial messages, so I thought I would take the time to cover where I'm at currently. As of last night I've made it through about half of the submissions that have come in so far. As of right now I'm still waiting to hear back from my lawyer. I was hoping to have contract drafts done by the time I started interviewing people, however it seems like that's unlikely at this point if I keep on my current track. As of right now, I'm looking to start setting up interviews with applicants starting the beginning of next week as I finish looking through what I've been sent.

Thanks to everyone for the interest thus far, and if anyone still is interested in applying I'll take submissions up until the morning (midnight EST) of Thursday, 2/27. Interviews will hopefully start 2/24.

EDIT: I have heard back from my lawyer, and we're planning to meet the morning of 2/18. Thanks for everyone's patience as I get all of the legal stuff sorted out. :D
Sunbridge Games Projects
Visual Novel Project (Pre-Dev): http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 60&t=33087
- Seeking Writer (5% per scenario) [1 Scenarios Remaining]

Galactic Domain (Post-Dev/Testing) & Dragonfish Racers (In-Dev): Projects on Hold // Require Artist(s)

Other projects TBA: 2+

Fantasy/Play-or-Die Light Novel (Outline/Drafting)

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Re: Recruiting for SBG Commercial Project

#14 Post by Allegra Hughes » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:44 pm

Thanks for the update! Looking forward to the Interviews!

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Re: Recruiting for SBG Commercial Project

#15 Post by KingOliver » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:52 am

Sounds great! Thanks for keeping us posted!

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