Wednesday, June 9

Rollcoaster Finally Falls Off Tracks

So I hinted that there might be some exciting news coming soon on my blog. Sadly this isn't it.

After I announced that I was closing the company I had several enquiries from people interested in acquiring either some or all my stock or even a share in the company. Despite being obviously very disappointed to be closing down the company after three and a half years, this interest in buying bits from me was a silver lining as it meant I might be able to pay off my debts and even possibly re-coup a small chunk of my initial investment.

Then, just over a week ago I went to a meeting with another UK publisher: Spiral Galaxy Games to discuss the possibility of a co-publishing deal for Braggart, the fun card game I've been alluding to on my blog for many, many months. It was a productive meeting, we came up with an agreement we were both happy with and it looked like Reiver Games was going to rise from the ashes and continue publishing games. I contacted the designer and the artist I had lined up, everything looked good, everything was go. We were going to try to get everything ready for Essen in the hope I could get a stand booked at the last minute (it was already past the booking deadline).

The designer had already seen the contract (though not yet signed it) and was up for it, but he wanted to finalise the game before signing the contract. The artist needed to get working immediately, and wanted me to sign a contract with her. I was a little wary about signing the artist's contract before the designer's one was signed as I didn't want to be left carrying the can if the designer dropped out.

After a chance meeting with the designer at the UK Games Expo it became clear to me that the designer wanted to finalise the game before signing the contract so that he could negotiate a new contract where I didn't have the right to change anything - he wanted complete control over the game design (which I can understand - it is after all his baby). Sadly, that meant that he was not interested in signing my standard contract (which give me the right as the publisher to make changes to the game as necessary after seeking input from him). With the designer pulling out, I'm left owing the artist a couple of hundred quid for the early artwork she's done (which was fantastic).

With no hope of publishing that game, and nowhere near enough cash in the company to publish anything else any time soon I'm back to shutting the company down. I've sold a bunch of stock to a UK distributor and now I'm trying to close a deal to get rid of the rest of the stock to a publisher in the US.

The last couple of weeks have been very intense. First very down, then very up then down again. Fortunately, on another front things are looking up as I've got a chance to work with a former employer in Newcastle on a short-term contract. It'll give me a chance to refresh my IT skills and add some recent experience and a recent reference to my CV.