Taking over someone's WIPs?

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charrororiero
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Taking over someone's WIPs?

#1 Post by charrororiero » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:26 am

This might be a bit of a weird question...

I have a friend who got me into game development. They used to hang out here a lot, but they had to move back home to take care of their father and quit game development.

They recently contacted me to ask me to take over their WIPs. I've seen their computer, they have pages on pages of outlines and drafts... I know some of what they were working on, and I definitely wouldn't be opposed to taking on those projects. However, I'd do them in my own way, and the final product likely wouldn't math up with my friend's original vision. In addition, I know they had some free artists make assets, and they even had posts on here for some of them, that I would be disregarding in their entirety to do it my own way.

In a way, though, this whole thing makes me feel kind of dirty... almost as if I would be stealing their ideas? Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Should I take their WIPs on?
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Re: Taking over someone's WIPs?

#2 Post by Imperf3kt » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:55 am

If they've asked you to continue their work, then I say do it.
Though, I'd caution you to talk with them first and explain that you will likely end up with something different to what they had initially designed.
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Re: Taking over someone's WIPs?

#3 Post by Draziya » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:15 am

Yeah, I agree that you should definitely talk to your friend more about this. This doesn't seem like a situation where one person just takes the WIPs and that's the end of discussion. Or maybe it ultimately is, and they don't care what comes of their ideas because they're not going to use them anyway, but that still needs to be communicated.

Do you know how involved the artists were? Were they essentially members of the team? Were they just doing free commissions? I can only speak for myself, but if I were creating art for one of these WIPs as free commissions, I wouldn't care so much if my art was ultimately used because it can still go into my portfolio. Regardless, I'd contact the artists to keep them on the same page.

I definitely wouldn't consider this stealing, because they're asking you to take over the WIPs, but again, ask them.
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Re: Taking over someone's WIPs?

#4 Post by Preseva » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:18 pm

To look at it from a different perspective, it is common enough for producers and writers in professional game studios to leave a company and end up giving control over the project to someone else, with the knowledge that their original vision will inevitably change. That situation is by its nature different than indie games that are begun by one person rather than by teams, but the point stands that this is not as unique of a situation as it may seem at first!

You are right, you will not make the game your friend would have made. Talk to your friend about that and make sure they understand and are cool with turning it over to you and giving you complete control, unless they'd rather stay on the game to continue as a collaborative partner. I'd advise against agreeing to take on only partial control if they will not be an active part of developing the game. It will stunt your personal involvement with the game, and you'll never be able to match their original vision. Even if you could match that vision, at that point you'd be a hired employee without the pay making someone else's game, and that doesn't sound fun. Hopefully, just seeing some of what they worked on put to use to create something great will bring about its own satisfaction for them. I know that after all the effort I've put into my own game, and even as attached to my vision of it as I am, if couldn't work on it anymore then I'd rather give it to someone else than let it rot as a failed project.

If your friend is comfortable with the idea of truly turning the game over to someone else, I think this is a wonderful opportunity if the project catches your interest and you think can do something good with it. Don't think of it as stealing someone else's ideas, think of it as a collaborative effort, even if their part was limited to starting the game. The ideas and writing you have right now are resources. As for other game assets you'd inherit that you don't want to use, like art - I wouldn't worry about it. Every indie project comes with a high risk of never being finished. I don't see how having an abandoned game with their art in it that will never be released is any more respectful or helpful to an artist than having a completed game that won't feature their work.

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Re: Taking over someone's WIPs?

#5 Post by charrororiero » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:41 pm

Thanks so much for the input!! ^.^ I'm definitely going to talk to my friend again, and make sure they'd be okay with me doing the projects my way.
Do you know how involved the artists were? Were they essentially members of the team? Were they just doing free commissions?
From what I understand, they were just doing free commissions
The ideas and writing you have right now are resources. As for other game assets you'd inherit that you don't want to use, like art - I wouldn't worry about it. Every indie project comes with a high risk of never being finished. I don't see how having an abandoned game with their art in it that will never be released is any more respectful or helpful to an artist than having a completed game that won't feature their work.
That's a really good point!! I'll definitely try to contact them so that they're on the same page.
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Re: Taking over someone's WIPs?

#6 Post by Czero » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:26 pm

I'd be cautious and communicate with said friend.
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