Tom Tomaszewski
Crunching Koalas

How to find a publisher, negotiate a fair contract and not get robbed?

Tom is one of the makers of MouseCraft, a pretty successful indie puzzler commonly described as a mix of Tetris and Lemmings published on many platforms. Currently working on his new game and helping other indie developers in getting the visibility and appreciation they deserve and bringing their games to consoles. Recently worked on titles like Book of Demons, Lichtspeer, Sky Force Anniversary. He’s also the main organizer of Gamedev Evening, an annual invite-only unofficial gathering of polish game developers.


Speech Abstract:
The lecture is targeted for indie developers and small game development studios. The “indie apocalypse” is a thing, more and more games are getting lost in the vastness of games being published these days, and more and more studios decide to sell their games by working with a publisher. Unfortunately not all publishers are enough competent and not all publishers are fair when offering contracts to indie developers usually making their first games.

1. Speaker’s bio:
– why they should listen to me? (I’m an indie developer who published the same game alone and with a publisher. I saw really bad publishing contracts and some fair ones. Also, I’m currently helping other indies get their games published on platforms like Steam, PlayStation Network, Xbox Marketplace, Nintendo eShop)

2. How to find a publisher
– where to look for these guys?
– for what kind of publisher you should look for?
– how to talk and negotiate with publishers?
– how to evaluate a publisher?
– what do you need to find a publisher? (a strong pitch, prototype, a vision for the whole game, try to have multiple USPs, hooks and coolfactors)

3. How to negotiate a fair deal and don’t get robbed?
– good and bad practices when negotiating a deal
– examples of very bad contracts (for developers)
– things that indie developers should avoid for all cost when signing a deal
– a few examples of things you should pay attention to when signing a contract (for example: IP ownership, expiration date, recoupable costs, marketing plan)
– how to make a publisher agree to our request?
– how to treat a publisher?
– what should and what can a publisher give you?
– what can and what will a publisher take from you?

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