During my first summer interning with New Media Rights (NMR), I produced an educational video series (on a non-profit budget) with my supervising attorney aimed at game devs and several legal issues they commonly face. You can find them at the New Media Rights YouTube Channel, or I’ve embedded them here as well. In addition to the educational video series, you can also check out below (or at the NMR channel) the 12 in-depth interviews I conducted with successful game devs, including the likes of Gabe Newell of Valve, Chris Avellone of Obsidian Entertainment, and Jordan Weisman of Hairbrained Schemes. The only thing missing from this series of awesomeness was a proper teleprompter, but our tongue-in-cheek attitude kept it rolling just fine!
Video: Nondisclosure/Confidentiality Agreements (3 parts)
QUESTION ONE: When should game developers consider getting an NDA?
QUESTION TWO: How do you put an NDA together if you can’t afford a lawyer?
QUESTION THREE: When does it make sense to put an NDA together yourself, and when would it be useful to have an experienced lawyer take care of this?
QUESTION FOUR: What are the typical problems you’ll have with an NDA after it’s written?
Video: Independent Contractors vs Employees (2 parts)
QUESTION ONE: What can a game developer do to make sure that the person is an Independent Contractor (IC)?
QUESTION TWO: What problems do game developers face if they treat their ICs like employees?
QUESTION THREE: What extra steps do game developers need to take so they own all of the work that their ICs make?
Video: Trademarks and Branding Basics for Game Developers (3 parts)
QUESTION ONE: What are trademarks, what do they do, and, most importantly, WHEN do you need to worry about them?
QUESTION TWO: What should you be thinking about when you decide to name your game?
QUESTION THREE: What does and doesn’t a trademark registration do for you, and when should you consider getting a lawyer?
QUESTION FOUR: How can you enforce your trademark rights if you can’t pay for a lawyer?
LAGD Game Industry Interviews
Click on the name to be directed to the interview.
Yes, I wore the same shirt for each one.
I talked with Gabe Newell about how Valve operates, game development, modding, digital platforms, and the future of the industry. I also asked him how he’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse, which Team Fortress 2 hat is his favorite, and we discovered his favorite pony.
Chris talks about working at Obsidian, working on licensed games, dealing with game cancellations, publisher roles in game development, and changes in the industry.
I talked to Jordan Weisman, creator of BattleTech, MechWarrior, and Shadowrun Returns. He discusses the process of going from concept to finished game, licensing issues, working with publishers, and his experiences with Kickstarter.
I talked with Peer Schneider, Senior VP of content & publishing at IGN Entertainment. He discusses working at IGN, the role of reviewers, “payola,” DLC, and April Fool’s jokes.
I interviewed Chris Plante, editor at large for Polygon, about his insight on the role media can play in a game’s launch. We also discussed the differences between large publishers and whether reviews are tainted by ad revenue, how good reviews do or don’t translate into actual sales, and the how-to (and how-not-to) approach the press regarding your game release.
I talked with Adrian Hon, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Six to Start as well as co-creator of Zombies, Run! He discussed why he went into game development, his experiences with ARG (alternate reality games) and Perplex city, his Kickstarter experiences, and how to build a team for projects.
I talked with Naomi Alderman, writer best known for her work with Perplex City and the Zombies, Run! app. She discussed her transition from novel writing to game writing, ARG (alternate reality games) writing skills, and her experiences with Kickstarter.
Zach discusses forming a team, creating map editors, choosing a platform, selling and marketing games. See his game, SpaceChem.
I interviewed Shay Pierce, who was the only developer to walk away from the OMGPOP-Zynga acquisition so as to protect his indie game, Connectrode. He talks about the decision to go on his own, his LLC, and dealing with independent contractors.
I interviewed Edmund McMillan of Team Meat, creator of Super Meat Boy, Aether, and The Binding of Isaac. He talks about choosing the difficulty level for games, choosing game development as a career, the vetting process for forming a team, his experiences with NDAs, and how to succeed in marketing and branding your game.
I interviewed Rami Ismail of Vlambeer, creator of Super Crate Box, Ridiculous Fishing, and Luftrausers. He talks about forming Vlambeer, working as an independent developer, the emotional effect of game clones, platform choices, and his awesome presskit.
I talked to Adriaan deJongh of Game Oven Studios, best known for the iPad game, Fingle. We discussed his experiences a developer, creating a business in the Netherlands, choosing a platform, and utilizing a presskit for launching a game.