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Business and/or Tech Partnership opportunity with startup game publishing company...

Hi Everybody!

I am looking for 1-2 individuals with professional experience in either business or technology who would be interested in joining me to establish a new game publishing company. This opportunity involves "sweat equity" in exchange for a partnership position and percentage of the company.

Business Partner - Operations and sales experience is preferred. You will be tasked with assisting me in finalizing, sharing, and implementing the business plan and model for the company. Must be able to create financial & market analysis; marketing experience is a plus but not necessary.

Technology Partner - Experience working with/developing augmented reality apps is required. *If you are an app developer or programmer with an interest in building an AR app from scratch, we want to hear from you.

Experience in either the tabletop or video game industries is a plus but not required. MUST have a passion for games, gaming, and new technology. We are developing a virtual library of tabletop games for players to access & play anywhere. If you are interested in discussing this opportunity with me further please send a resume or portfolio/website/LinkedIn link to: damienlopezgames@gmail.com

You will be required to fill-out and return an NDA before moving forward.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Damien

Comments

What's the NDA for???

You're looking for partners and then you are asking people to sign an NDA?

What's so secret? You want to be a publisher...

You might find it easier to find a "Business Partner" - but "Technology Partner" might prove to be more challenging for several reasons:

  • Offshoring to India is killing the IT business.
  • Tech people are usually quickly employed by large businesses.
  • Tech people are also involved with their own projects.

You might want to deal with Off-shore resources for the Tech portion of your venture. It's well known that App development is being done everywhere... You could get a team for a fraction of the price and save on not having a "Tech Partner" as you are thinking...

But best of luck(?!) to you! Cheers.

Secondly equity in a company is dangerous

Also I don't know if you thought about it, you are looking for "partners" for YOUR business. Now that could sound "nice" at first, however do you know that "partners" also assume liability for the company too.

That means if you run the company into the ground (in the RED) and disappear... The partners will be the ones that have to assume the financial losses.

I've seen these kinds of "opportunities" and take them for a grain of salt.

And I'm not saying this is what you are going to do... I'm just "exposing" the RISK a potential "partner" will be taking. Unless your company has two levels of shares (it's possible to set-up but more complicated), where the preferred type of share is only attributed a PERCENTAGE of the VALUE of the company (per share). This valuation type of profit sharing is better... I'm not a professional accountant. But I was told this "preferred" type of share gets paid FIRST and BEFORE any liabilities owned by the company... Something to that effect.

I'm not sufficiently business-savvy to tell you how accurate all this is. I suggest you consult with a Chartered Accountant who can help in defining the business better.

Cheers.

Preferred Shares

The only problem that I see with "preferred shares" is that they are WORTHLESS if the company is operating and only has expenses. Meaning if you are running the company and it is in the RED (which may occur with many start-ups, especially if they are operating on their own without any Venture Capital), you get nothing for those "preferred shares".

As per my understanding, the company may be private but must be operating in the BLACK and therefore a monetary value may be establish to determine the value of a "preferred share".

I doubt your "private" company will become a public one (I think ALL Publishers are private... to my knowledge). So then the speculation on the value of "preferred shares" can never come into play, meaning you can't sell your preferred shares once a company becomes public and make a ton of money...

Again just stating some facts... people should be informed.

Fair points. All I can say

Fair points. All I can say to it all is I have a vision I'm trying to make a reality. I need help to make it happen. I hope I can find the right person/people that are interested, willing and able to make this a successful opportunity for all.

can you tell us a bit more

can you tell us a bit more about you - why you would be a good partner, what you have that makes the proposition interesting?

I tick the first box pretty hard and am well connected with the second but....not sure why I should be interested yet :)

I'm guessing he wants you to sign an NDA first...

@Krone9: My guess is that Damien will want you to sign some sort of NDA...

After all that's what he says in his OP.

Thanks for showing interest

Thanks for showing interest in my post!

I'm a 36 yr old artist living in Portland, OR. I worked for many years as a storyboard artist for animated and live-action productions throughout the country. I'm highly self-motivated, creative, and goal-oriented; in college I researched, sought-out and coordinated an internship with a NY animation studio on my own; I've conceived and produced a number of live events throughout my life, most recent being UNPUBs and Protospiels in Portland, OR; for a few years I traveled the US, living out of a van, volunteering and working to experience life outside of my home, New Jersey.

I intend to be an open and honest partner because I'm looking for someone I can trust as we grow a new business together. I am lacking in business sense and I have very limited technological expertise. I do have a tenacious attitude when it comes to making a plan come together and an imagination that allows me to find solutions to almost any problem (they aren't always winning solutions, but I'm rarely without some idea of how to move forward). I'm passionate about building a company that will make it easier for newer and independent game designers to get their projects played, connect them with exciting new artistic talent and push the boundaries of what a tabletop adventure can be in the 21st century.

I have a vision for what the company can become and an eagerness to share it with others. I've spent years developing this project to the point where I can speak about it and my goals for it and I look forward to spending years nurturing it's evolution.

I hope this provides you with the insight you were looking for... I'm eager to answer any questions I can.

It's very difficult

It's very difficult to have someone invest in an idea that 1) has an NDA, 2) is coming from an unknown designer, and 3) is looking for business partners in a game designer forum.

You have to build trust in order to get someone to commit to something...especially in an endeavor like a game concept where people here are trying to get their own concept off the ground. You're asking people here to give up their dream in order to move yours.

Even if there are people that have the skills you are looking for, chances are they are knee-deep in their own project to not even give you a second glance.

I've released games in the Video Game industry and I released my own game in the Board Game Industry and I'll tell you from personal experience that they are two completely different beasts.

I hear you... don't ask,

I hear you... don't ask, don't get though.

d.walkabout wrote:I'm

d.walkabout wrote:
I'm passionate about building a company that will make it easier for newer and independent game designers to get their projects played, connect them with exciting new artistic talent and push the boundaries of what a tabletop adventure can be in the 21st century.

So, IGA, basically?
(http://indiegamealliance.com/)

No, but thank you for

No, but thank you for pointing them out. I had not heard of them.

More like a Playstation for tabletop games. In the vein of Playtable and CastAR:

https://playtable.com/

http://castar.com/

Is there a market though? I

Is there a market though?

I mean, Ipad has quite a selection if one wants mobility.
Otherwise, the whole point is in physicality, no?

I believe there will be a

I believe there will be a market for this product because A) Augmented Reality Technology is evolving rapidly with many companies investing billions in unlocking the potential it has to change industries. B) Our system utilizes traditional features of tabletop gaming in order to maintain the physical connection and person-to-person interactions that makes boardgames so enjoyable.

Golem Arcana

d.walkabout wrote:
In the vein of Playtable and CastAR...

AR on the iPad is probably a more realistic approach to "enhance" the Tabletop Game Experience. Whereas Playtable is a "disruptive" type of technology. As a designer I would NOT support the Playtable just because it cuts into the whole "manufacturing", "shipping", "distribution" and "local game store" side of a game...

While REAL AR such as "Golem Arcana" which uses microdot technology (with a light-pen) to allow the game to interact with an iPad APP is much more "friendly" type of technology. Why? Because it actually ADDs to the "core" game which is a physical form, but keeps track of health, can simulate dice rolling or you can enter the values from physical rolls, etc. All things like that... Things that are "POSITIVE"...

Anyways take a look at "Golem Arcana" and then compare with "Playtable" and you will see the DIFFERENCE between TRUE AR and "trying to replace the entire tabletop board game industry" type of tech...

Cheers.

That one hadn't turned up in

That one hadn't turned up in my search. Thanks for pointing it out.

Hmm... Looks like "Golem Arcana" is "discontinued"

Sad to say but "Golem Arcana" is being discontinued.

Too bad - they had some pretty innovative ideas. I think they want to focus on the "Video Game Market" and sales of their expensive 3D Models were probably not doing too well.

Really a shame...

Check out some "Golem Arcana" videos. Tom Vasel did a review for The Dice Tower and you can get a pretty good idea from Tom why he thought the game was interesting... And the whole iPad APP a benefit to the game.

Cheers.

Will do. A closer example of

Will do. A closer example of what I'm going for would actually be Genesis AR card game...

http://www.genesisaugmented.com/

Hmm...

I cringe when I see people "looking at their phones"... Yeah I have Smartphone. But I might as well have a "dumb phone" since all I use it is for calling and text messaging.

I have a total of two (2) games. Neither which I really play often...

I rather prefer my 27" screen/monitor over my laptop (or even my phone). To surf, work on and watch Netflix (during downtime).

So this type of AR does not appeal to me.

Things I don't like:

  • Real-Time combat... makes it furious and frantic attacking
  • SmartPhone screen. As I explained I'd rather use a LARGE screen.

But there are some things that are cool:

  • Can bring to life a "character" from a card.
  • Could allow for more complex type of gaming - with more rules and turn-based type strategy.

So to me it has it's PROs and CONs. Personally I prefer "turn-based" games such as "Fire Emblem" series. Same goes for card games: I don't want to have to furiously click on my SmartPhone (looking like a dummy) or stare aimlessly into it...

But for each person: different strokes, different folks.

Best of luck(?!) with your venture!

Oh and check out Chaotic TCG

This game was popular for a couple of years and then just "disappeared".

It's called "Chaotic TCG". You would have CODES on the cards and you could SYNC them in online play. That was pretty cool... Still wish I had gotten into the whole experience of that game.

I personally, think I missed something. The artwork was SUPER nice too.

So using PHYSICAL cards to create an ONLINE game experience has been done. Chaotic did it and it was pretty cool.

Take a look, just Google: "Chaotic TCG". And you can see all the cool images of the cards ... There is also a Wiki for the game.

Real bummed I didn't get to play. :(

That was way back

The cards looked very nice. Comparable to pokemon or even nicer. Problem is that no one knew where to buy or how to play. No one even knew how anyone got some in the first place. They were probably given out in Mcdonalds and it just got collected with the pokemons all together.

I am happy that I didn't play that game. Seems like a pokemon clone. Never been into those cards in the computer either.

Never hurts to play a game once!

Zeto wrote:
The cards looked very nice. Comparable to pokemon or even nicer. Problem is that no one knew where to buy or how to play. No one even knew how anyone got some in the first place...

That's why I say it's a SHAME that I missed it... Would have been cool playing this TCG - but like you, I had no idea WHO was playing it and I found out years later when visiting a "Toy's R Us" and I remember seen "Starter Decks" being sold at 50%. I bought some boosters ... just so I could see what the artwork looked like - and that's when I saw the "codes" and learnt that the game could be played online too!

That's why I say, "I missed something..." And regret not having the opportunity to play the game online with probably thousands of players.

But I like "card games" ... so that's why I would have liked to at least TRIED the game... I don't judge unless I get the chance to play. Once I play, I can say IF this is something that I would play again...

I'll counter with

d.walkabout wrote:
I hear you... don't ask, don't get though.

But timing is everything... ;)

Another note about Chaotic TCG

From a "Technical" perspective the game is "genius". The codes used by the cards are supposed to be UNIQUE. And even if you have card "X", you might have a 90 points, your friend my have a RARE version of card "X" with 100 points. Each code could be used only ONCE on the website. That's why just about everyone hid their own card codes.

Just thinking about the Software Logic behind these codes - makes me stare and wonder: I would love to know their system... I'm not saying I'm into AR ... but codes you could put in to validate them online ... would be a real cool piece of technology.

"Technically" I'd really like to see "under the hood" how they made this possible. And how they could have PRINTED all those unique codes on all those cards! Still very impressive, even if you think the game is OLD. To me, it was AHEAD (WAY AHEAD) of it's time...

Why it';s good to start ASAP

Why it';s good to start ASAP and not wait til it all looks perfect. Takes time to make something worthwhile.

I made a profile on

questccg wrote:From a

questccg wrote:
From a "Technical" perspective the game is "genius". The codes used by the cards are supposed to be UNIQUE. And even if you have card "X", you might have a 90 points, your friend my have a RARE version of card "X" with 100 points. Each code could be used only ONCE on the website. That's why just about everyone hid their own card codes.

Just thinking about the Software Logic behind these codes - makes me stare and wonder: I would love to know their system... I'm not saying I'm into AR ... but codes you could put in to validate them online ... would be a real cool piece of technology.

"Technically" I'd really like to see "under the hood" how they made this possible. And how they could have PRINTED all those unique codes on all those cards! Still very impressive, even if you think the game is OLD. To me, it was AHEAD (WAY AHEAD) of it's time...

making the code unique is not that hard, but the idea was as you said, too advanced. i think that s why no one caught on.

You are right!

Zeto wrote:
making the code unique is not that hard, but the idea was as you said, too advanced. i think that s why no one caught on.

Actually making a "code unique" is HARD. In Java a UUID can be created as being unique using a synchronized method. But this code is FAIRLY "large" in size.

Chaotic codes were relatively "small" in size: 12 alphanumerical characters.

And remember EACH card had a UNIQUE code. Which means whatever application created the codes needed to be portable enough that the manufacturer when doing the print layouts, added the codes to the cards. Again not the most complicated thing - but still not trivial either.

There are "sometime" things you can "recycle" in games especially mechanics. This unique code mechanic, however a manufacturer would be able to use it - is definitely a mechanic worthy of being recycled.

I would go a step further and add that AR applications using the code system would be pretty cool - especially IF the codes allowed for Rare/Mythic cards that were NEARLY identical EXCEPT for a few extra points like 100 points instead of 90 points, make for an exciting chasing method of designing cards.

Fundamentally everyone could get card "A", but some people got Rare/Mythic version of that SAME card "A"... Very cool indeed - and it's something that lends well to reality: why chase different Rare/Mythic cards, when the cards you get can be Rare/Mythic themselves...


What I am hinting about is the "smartness" of the Rare/Mythic concept. We can both have card "A", but I can have a Rare/Mythic version of Card "A" while you have the Common version of Card "A"... And my Card "A" could be stronger by 25 points (for example: 120 points) while your Common "A" would be the default 95 points...


About Java UUIDs, their size is 36 characters (32 alphanumeric characters and four hyphens). 36 compared to 12 = 3x the size... So the random number generator needs to ensure that CODES are always UNIQUE... Random number generation can have duplicates - uniqueness is NOT guaranteed. If it's a function of time (somehow), perhaps hashing a timestamp could be done in 12 alphanumeric characters ... although I have never tried.

My guess is the generator MUST be based on the timestamp... but encoded. That's only an educated guess ... since you want to guaranteed uniqueness.


Been playing around with UNIX Seconds from Jan 1, 1970 and some base conversions like Base36 and the hashing unique codes (which are by the second) are 9 characters long.

How they get them to be 12 - I'm not sure... The numbers need to be "higher" in terms of seconds... So not certain. You could PAD the UNIX integer value, but then again, you could eventually run into a value you used before because of PADDING...

Again more thinking how to get the base and the number of characters right. My educated GUESS is that the unique codes are BASE 36: "0123456789ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ"

From what I have seen in the "Chaotic" card samples: Alphanumeric characters.

unique = hard, sequential = easy and unique

You do not have to generate random codes, you just assign sequential codes (the assignment itself can be a random grab from a reducing set) and print things out.

You could also assign values to elements of the code and the unit description (encoded) then IS the code. But this method makes duplicate cards have duplicate codes where a serial number only means "was assigned a number next".

Think cars and Vehicle Identification Numbers.

Cars and Vehicle Identification Numbers.

They require a DATABASE. Are you telling me you are going to rely on a local database to have that "reducing set"? I am probably thinking VINs are random and the software checks to see IF that combination has already popped-up before.

If a match occurs, then the software moves on to the NEXT random code and sees if that one has been used and repetitively.

However if it is TIME-BASED and seconds from 1970, each record will be unique and doesn't require a database. Just a well adjusted clock.

Globally unique

Simple sequential and trait encoding are a bad idea, since the code will be broken with a week of releasing the game.

Plugging in traits as some of the digits is fine, but there needs to be a lot of (pseudo)randomness in the code and the vast majority of potential codes need to be invalid. Something like 999,999 out of each million. Then the server needs to lock out people trying scads of codes.

Fortunately, all of the codes can be calculated ahead of time. But it needs to be handled as a trade secret, so be sure you trust the printer and the server hosting company.

I'd also recommend something closer to base-32 (excluding I, O, S and Z) and/or switching to a QR code if no one is expected to actually type them.

QR Codes are TOO BIG!

You are right... I had not even CONSIDERED "cracking". It's nice to have some kind of nice number generator - but like you say, the problem is insuring that people trying to "crack" codes are not successful. That's brings into play a whole other type of concern.

999,999 out of each million might be a bit "drastic" but a fair point.

I had not even thought of having an "invalid ratio" to ensure people just don't enter whatever they like as code.

Trust is an important factor - but what I feel is even more challenging is having designed some piece of software that can allow this codes to be generated without worrying about "codes leaking out to the public".

Your Base-32 (excluding certain characters) is a pretty good idea. It ensures that the hashing/base computation is unique. But still with enough codes, people will be able to figure out which digits have been excluded. You just need a wider sample of cards/codes.

We'll it's rather true - if it's an App that they used, you wouldn't want that App to get out into the public's hands... Leaking of information is one thing, but if an App that is used to generate Card Codes gets leaked ... that could be terrible.

Ways to mitigate against this is: Have a database of VALID codes.

This way even if you create NEW codes, they are USELESS because they are not in the "master" database... So I guess you do NEED a "database" if you want to ensure that the codes you do use are correctly registered and will function when a player uses the codes online...

But the risk of "losing control" of the application (even if web-based) is still worrisome. And generation of codes is more complex than most people think as @FrankM has pointed out.

Excellent points!

I was thinking...

This UNIQUE code is a BAD system/idea. Printer don't usually print ONE SHEET of cards... This is unheard of. Usually then setup the plates for a large sheet of paper they will be printing ... and then they reproduce it many, many times.

Going to one-off production seems like the WORST idea ever.

There must be more to this UNIQUE code generation/printing ...

This is really a LARGER pickle if you start to think about HOW normal print runs are done, how they use giant sheets of cards stock and how this is usually used for multiple print runs.

I know it all sounded simple to everyone, but I knew better. The normal process of creating multiple copies based on plates - just doesn't work for this type of unique codes.

Anyone have ideas/comments/feeback to this effect. Clearly the challenges are much greater than most of us have considered...

For heaven's sake

I don't even think one-off production like "The Game Crafter" (TGC) would be any easier either. Since each game would need to be UNIQUE... So even printers that actually DO "one-off" production would be ineffective to printing unique codes on each and every card...

So it's really quite an "achievement" to figuring out HOW exactly they managed to print so many different cards, all with unique codes for each one of their cards...

It seems to me like we have quite the mystery on our hands. One that defies the laws of printing/manufacturing in addition to somehow countering the "cracking" of codes... As previously stated, having a database solves all the cracking issues - but printing still seems like a mystery to me!

Thoughts anyone?!

questccg wrote:I don't even

questccg wrote:
I don't even think one-off production like "The Game Crafter" (TGC) would be any easier either. Since each game would need to be UNIQUE... So even printers that actually DO "one-off" production would be ineffective to printing unique codes on each and every card...

So it's really quite an "achievement" to figuring out HOW exactly they managed to print so many different cards, all with unique codes for each one of their cards...

It seems to me like we have quite the mystery on our hands. One that defies the laws of printing/manufacturing in addition to somehow countering the "cracking" of codes... As previously stated, having a database solves all the cracking issues - but printing still seems like a mystery to me!

Thoughts anyone?!

There are a whole host of serial printing devices that will print a unique code on individual items, from cans and bottles, to cds/dvds, to fabrics and paper (books, magazines and yes, even cards).

These machines print on items that have already been created, and so you can do your mass production then set it up to print a string of numbers, letters and/or symbols on the product after.

They are pretty common in the manufacturing industry and the most likely places you'll have seen them are Expiry Dates on any perishable products and/or if you ever had magazines/catalogues delivered to your door the address label was done this way typically.

I Will Never Grow Up Gaming

I Will Never Grow Up Gaming wrote:

There are a whole host of serial printing devices that will print a unique code on individual items, from cans and bottles, to cds/dvds, to fabrics and paper (books, magazines and yes, even cards).

There's a difference between a lot number (like an expiration date that is identical for everything made that day) and a unique identifier, but you are correct that this is not an unknown problem.

I would look to gift cards for ideas. These tend to have fairly high-quality print for the unique code, as opposed to that crappy dot-matrix you see inside cereal boxes or packs of diapers.

One example is L.L. Bean, which uses a 19-digit number (just digits 0~9) plus a 4-digit PIN. Another example is iTunes, which just uses a long string of alphanumeric characters (don't have one on-hand to see the exact pattern). For game cards, I'd suggest taking a page from McDonald's Monopoly codes and avoid all vowels altogether. That way you can't possibly spell out a word by mistake.

As a really rough example, suppose you go with base-25 to keep the OCR as simple as possible. A 30-digit number could be invisibly broken down into fields such as:

ABBCBCBCCCBCBDDDBCBCCCBCCCCCBA

A: a two-digit checksum
B: a ten-digit "username"
C: a fifteen-digit "password"
D: a three-digit encoded "not valid before" date

The usernames and passwords should be generated by independent processes. The username might encode some visible card characteristics, but that is not actually necessary. One place it might be useful is flagging beta-test cards so that they always get sent to test servers (perhaps only beta-test cards ever have a "B" in the username).

The app checks fields A and D locally. If the code looks valid, it is sent as a kind of login with the username and password. That "user" record has all the actual details of the card's virtual existence. By leveraging existing login tech, you can take advantage of techniques like encrypted sessions, salting and multi-cycle encryption of passwords.

Once that card's "user" record has been unlocked, the information is shuttled over to the player's account alongside the whole card code sent by the app. Prior to this, the database didn't even "know" the whole card code.

If the app thinks a code is invalid, it can retry the OCR several times, then finally send a "request" that is the same length as a normal request but gets an instant rejection rather than using up server resources salting and encrypting the password.

The encoded "not valid before" date should have some salt in it. It can be 30x the period number, plus a random number 0~29. With 3 base-25 digits, that gives you over 500 time periods.

Though it doesn't take a lot of effort to spec out a code like this, getting it to actually work requires a Nontrivialâ„¢ amount of effort.

2nd printing

I Will Never Grow Up Gaming wrote:
There are a whole host of serial printing devices that will print a unique code on individual items, from cans and bottles, to cds/dvds, to fabrics and paper (books, magazines and yes, even cards).

These machines print on items that have already been created, and so you can do your mass production then set it up to print a string of numbers, letters and/or symbols on the product after...

Then that means many of the card samples you see on the web, are probably leaked by the card manufacturer since they don't have any codes. All you have to do is Google: chaotic tcg

That's true that you do have the possibility of printing addresses or expiry information on products that have been already made and printed. Perhaps this is a 2nd printing operation as you have suggested.

Looking further into the Chaotic cards and it seems like STATS are also not printed along with the cards... Which means stats + codes are printed during a 2nd process...

Thanks for pointing that out. Makes it more logical that this is a do-able process... especially when dealing with cards. Makes much more sense...

gxnpt wrote:You do not have

gxnpt wrote:
You do not have to generate random codes, you just assign sequential codes (the assignment itself can be a random grab from a reducing set) and print things out.

You could also assign values to elements of the code and the unit description (encoded) then IS the code. But this method makes duplicate cards have duplicate codes where a serial number only means "was assigned a number next".

Think cars and Vehicle Identification Numbers.

but you can't have that, because it would be fairly easy to get the sequence and enter codes for the cards without having the physical code. but yes with a database everything should be easy.

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