RJK's Bottle City updates
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 37 of 43123 ... 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 ... 414243
Author


Active Collector

Posts: 91
Joined: Jun 22, 2007
Last Visit: Jun 22, 2012

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:30 am 
 

kevin mayle wrote:I had been too afraid to check out this thread before, because it was so extremely long, and I didn't have an interest in the product, but I just read through it and found striking similarities to another "RPG Founding Father's" company's business practices.
Dave Arneson's Zeitgeist Games:
Not paying artists, writers, editors.
Not shipping product, including contributor copies.
Not responding to e-mails or phone calls.
Endless excuses of problems with the printer, death in the family, etc.
Stating that they all shipped and the USPS must have lost them.
Taking money for preorders and never delivering product.
A secondary publisher popping up with the stock to re-sell.
One man company working out of the proverbial garage.
It's not Dave Arneson though. He only lends his name and some saved notes from the 70's to be used to develope the products. They have been created from that by freelance talent (and it would seem by the lack of payment for the work, that it's voluntary). Then the entire business is run (or should I say mis-run) by Dustin Clingman.
Sure there have been exceptions:
Some contributor's have been paid. Some product has surfaced, albeit much, much later.
Sorry for this not being about PPP or it's products, but the thread was an eye opener to me as how this problem is more widespread than I had thought.
I was a contributor to several books for Zeitgeist Games Blackmoor line. That actually led to me being contacted to contribute work for RJK's products for PPP. After reading this thread I am very glad those plans fell through. It most certainly would have soured me from continuing in the freelance market.


Kevin,

Didn't you do the cover to Temple of the Frog? It is insane that they haven't paid you yet. First Rob, now Dave? What heroes are left?

  


Sage Collector

Posts: 2117
Joined: Jul 25, 2007
Last Visit: Jul 29, 2021
Location: Far Harad, Texas

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:52 am 
 

goatboy wrote: It is insane that they haven't paid you yet.


That's really the way it is for all forms of intellectual property [small press or corporate], & for that matter general contract work [manual labor]. Contractors are not protected by the laws governing employment, so employers take advantage of it.

I just finished a season of work in financial reporting, & received a fraction of the money promised. They know I won't spend $50K suing them to recover $3K. Remember the line in 'The Grifters?' "If they're not stealing a little, they're stealing a lot."

Subsequently I cringe every time I see the 'Report Sellers who Infringe Copyrights' thread. In all probability the writers/artists were already being cheated before the titles ever went to press. My first major published work is still available in reprints by Dark Horse Comics, but they deleted by byline years ago, & I've never seen a dime.

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
JG Valuation Board
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 5029
Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Last Visit: Jan 16, 2017
Location: Texas

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:27 am 
 

I also deal in intellectual property in my work.
I also own my own business.
I Get paid upon delivery, or no delivery is made.
It is in my contracts, which all of my clients either sign, or go elsewhere.



Get your rewards by making plans to do so yourself and never rely on others to help you make it in life.
It seems all too obvious to me that they are too busy spending the money that they gained from YOUR hard work to care about how you will feed your kids.

FAR Too many people expect the government to save them from themselves.
You have been trained to rely on nanny gubment by the liberal press and the liberal governments in the US and other countries as well.

"Let us take care of you, send us all your money and allow us to decide how it shall be divied out."

Sound familiar?
Get over it and protect yourself.


"Guys, I am starting to think Tegel Manor might be haunted..."
Stated by me as a PC during a run of Tegel Manor DMed by killjoy at NTRPGCon 2010

Charter Member of the ATM

  


Sage Collector

Posts: 2117
Joined: Jul 25, 2007
Last Visit: Jul 29, 2021
Location: Far Harad, Texas

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:54 am 
 

Aneoth wrote:Get your rewards by making plans to do so yourself and never rely on others to help you make it in life.. You have been trained to rely on nanny gubment by the liberal press and the liberal governments in the US and other countries as well.


You're absolutely right, I should travel cross-country with a trunk full of guns every time there's an issue over payment, although I don't see how the resulting life in prison would free me from government. Perhaps the appeal is that my son would then be able to tell the other kids at the orphanage that his daddy don't take no guff.

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
JG Valuation Board
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 5029
Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Last Visit: Jan 16, 2017
Location: Texas

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:00 am 
 

sauromatian wrote:
You're absolutely right, I should travel cross-country with a trunk full of guns every time there's an issue over payment, although I don't see how the resulting life in prison would free me from government. Perhaps the appeal is that my son would then be able to tell the other kids at the orphanage that his daddy don't take no guff.


Typical knee jerk liberal reaction to common sense advice.

No you should get your money BEFORE delivery.
I mentioned NOTHING about guns or retaliation, or prison.

please re-read my post.


"Guys, I am starting to think Tegel Manor might be haunted..."
Stated by me as a PC during a run of Tegel Manor DMed by killjoy at NTRPGCon 2010

Charter Member of the ATM

  


Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6463
Joined: Dec 13, 2004
Last Visit: Apr 04, 2021

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:20 am 
 

Aneoth wrote:
Typical knee jerk liberal reaction to common sense advice.

No you should get your money BEFORE delivery.
I mentioned NOTHING about guns or retaliation, or prison.

please re-read my post.


Except its really not that simple is it?  What happens when the artist takes the payment up front and then fails to produce the work he was commissioned for?  Is the peson who made the upfront payment a liberal  idiot for paying for the art before it was in his hands?


"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." -Neitzche

  

User avatar

Verbose Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 1787
Joined: Apr 26, 2005
Last Visit: Aug 04, 2020
Location: Indianapolis

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:26 am 
 

Aneoth,

I happen to agree with most of your sentiments.  However, I wish you could make your points without calling up the divisive labels such as "liberal".  It leads to exactly what sauromatian responded with.  So the good points you made are lost.  And he responded with exactly what you really wanted, which is a flame war.


Martin

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7960
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jul 29, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:48 am 
 

bclarkie wrote:
Except its really not that simple is it?  What happens when the artist takes the payment up front and then fails to produce the work he was commissioned for?  Is the peson who made the upfront payment a liberal  idiot for paying for the art before it was in his hands?


Actually, good points all (except for the comments about trunks full of guns, what is this, a Punisher comic?).  Let's not let this devolve into Lib vs Con crap.  

I think the point here is that if you are desperate for work, you ocassionally bypass upfront payment for various reasons. Sometimes it works, sometimes it bites you in the ass. I have friend's whose entire living is based around completing a project or item, then getting paid, IF the buyer decides to pay them.  I think it's insane, but a lot of industries rely on that model, and typically the one doing the work with expectation of being paid is screwed, while the contractor gets rich.

I have only sent items without upfront payment maybe twice in 15 years. Both times I got Frakked.  Never again.  Which is why Ebay's "new" business model is so nauseating....

Most of the time the buyer counts on the creative person to not have the time or money to prosecute his case legally.  For everytime a creative type has reneged on a contract, 1000 other times a corporation has screwed a creative type out of money (look at the entire history of the music and film industry which is corporations screwing creative types out of money as an institution).  Seeing this, it shouldn't be a shock that even in our hobby it happens.  The solution, of course, is to only be paid up front. I would bet in many cases, this just isn't an option to work in the industry. Which really sucks.

Mike B.


"THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT WHY i DONE WHAT i DONE THE MORE i LAUGH" Cougar
"The Acaeum hates fun" Sir Allen
"I had a collecting emergency" Nogrod
Co-founder of the North Texas RPG Con
http://www.ntrpgcon.com

 WWW  


Active Collector

Posts: 40
Joined: Jul 25, 2006
Last Visit: Nov 14, 2020

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:03 am 
 

Badmike wrote:I have only sent items without upfront payment maybe twice in 15 years. Both times I got Frakked.  Never again.  Which is why Ebay's "new" business model is so nauseating....


We used to pay upfront, but were burned as well.

Most of the time the buyer counts on the creative person to not have the time or money to prosecute his case legally.  For everytime a creative type has reneged on a contract, 1000 other times a corporation has screwed a creative type out of money (look at the entire history of the music and film industry which is corporations screwing creative types out of money as an institution).  Seeing this, it shouldn't be a shock that even in our hobby it happens.  The solution, of course, is to only be paid up front. I would bet in many cases, this just isn't an option to work in the industry. Which really sucks.


Generally payment for writing or art is made upon publication of the product in the rpg industry. That is often several months after the creative turns in their work as graphic design, layout, printing and distribution must happen before a street date is hit. At XRP we pay upon acceptance of the art or manuscript. As I said above we tried to pay upon commission of the work because I think creatives (being one myself) have a hard enough time as is , but that got us burned so we stopped.

Paying upon acceptance is, IMO, a good middle ground. It protects the creative because they have no long delays between delivering the product and payment and it also protects the publisher as they don't have any upfront costs without a product in hand. It does mean that we as the publisher carry the debt on the work for a longer period as opposed to passing that carry time to the creative, but I don't mind that as I think it gives us a group of fairly loyal creatives that would be very understanding if we, god forbid, have any payment issues. I view it as building a good relationship that, if troubled times arise, will help us get over any rough patches.

joe b.


Expeditious Retreat Press

  


Sage Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 2884
Joined: Nov 04, 2004
Last Visit: May 09, 2020

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:37 am 
 

Aneoth wrote:Typical knee jerk liberal reaction to common sense advice.

Yes, that's what this thread needed: some political bullshit. Come on.

+++++

As a contract worker myself (insert "freelancer," "1099 guy," or other terms, as necessary), I'm pretty familiar with these sorts of issues, and it's one of the main reasons why I've fired-up on RJK a couple of times lately.

From the creative end, it's helpful to have a written contract; that is probably pretty obvious to everyone. But it's also possible to make some money with "handshake deals" or verbal agreements, especially if the two parties are familiar with each other. And most other freelancers I know are willing to take those sorts of deals here and there ... until they start getting burned.

What's so disappointing to me about some of the things I'm hearing about RJK/PPP is that it seems clear that actually paying contributors is an afterthought at best. I really get the sense that RJK is banking on the alleged "star power" of his name and credits (vastly over-rated, IMO, but I've made that clear elsewhere) to entice creative talent to help him out (either with or without a contract) with some crucial tasks ... but then actually compensating those same people, as previously agreed, is conveniently forgotten. That's wrong in the most basic sense, of course ... but to those of us who do freelance work, it just really hits home. It's just unacceptable.

I've never been that interested in PPP's or RJK's previous efforts, although I respect the fact that some "legendary" old-school D&D stuff is finally seeing print. But, even beyond that, it's an absolute guarantee that I will never spend a single penny on any project RJK is involved with until I'm satisfied that he has paid what he owes to his previous contributors. I have to stick with my "union brothers" on that point.

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7960
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jul 29, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:38 am 
 

jgbrowning wrote:

Paying upon acceptance is, IMO, a good middle ground. It protects the creative because they have no long delays between delivering the product and payment and it also protects the publisher as they don't have any upfront costs without a product in hand. It does mean that we as the publisher carry the debt on the work for a longer period as opposed to passing that carry time to the creative, but I don't mind that as I think it gives us a group of fairly loyal creatives that would be very understanding if we, god forbid, have any payment issues. I view it as building a good relationship that, if troubled times arise, will help us get over any rough patches.



This sounds like the best method. I envision a wild west type showdown, the artist holding the artwork in an envelope, the publisher holiding a check in an envelope, warily eyeing each other...."Got the art?"  "Yep..got the check?" "Yep."  "Well, on the count of three we both lay them down on the table....1, 2, ....3!!!!"

Mike B.


"THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT WHY i DONE WHAT i DONE THE MORE i LAUGH" Cougar
"The Acaeum hates fun" Sir Allen
"I had a collecting emergency" Nogrod
Co-founder of the North Texas RPG Con
http://www.ntrpgcon.com

 WWW  


Active Collector

Posts: 33
Joined: Sep 29, 2005
Last Visit: Dec 20, 2014

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:53 am 
 

Or how about this for fair?

1. When the artist is completely finished with his work, he contacts the publisher. All he has to do to send it is push "enter".

2. The publisher then sends the artist half his payment.

3. The artist hits "enter", thus sending the art.

4. Immediately upon getting the art, the publisher sends the other half of the payment.

The whole transaction would take less than 10 minutes. It would minimize screw-overs, and (in the case of a screw-over) it's a 50% screw rather than a 100% screw. Plus, the artist and the publisher have the exact same danger: of being screwed-out of 50% of the agreed payment.

  

User avatar

Active Collector

Posts: 98
Joined: Sep 03, 2006
Last Visit: Aug 27, 2013
Location: WV

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:06 pm 
 

We haven't talked nearly enough about religion in this thread...Personally I think those of us who haven't received out BC yet are clearly be punished by Jesus or L. Ron Hubbard or somebody...

No, I'm kidding. But I still haven't got this damn thing yet.  :roll:


Hmm, no, I don't have a gambling problem, I'm winning, and winning is not a problem. That's like saying Michael Jordan has a basketball problem, or Def Leppard has an awesomeness problem. So why don't y'all pour some sugar on that?

  


Sage Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 2884
Joined: Nov 04, 2004
Last Visit: May 09, 2020

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:10 pm 
 

Partial or staggered payments are actually pretty common, and they can be quite useful when the publisher isn't rolling in cash or is just getting started or whatever. Three $300 payments, for example, might be less of a blow than one $900 payment, even though it adds up to the same amount in the end.

From the freelancer's perspective, it can also be a way to protect themselves and to gauge whether the company in question is going to be worth working for. To use RJK as an example, I would absolutely insist on staggered payments: if I was contracted for three pieces of B/W art, I'd turn the first one in and demand one-third payment. If that worked out okay, I'd begin work on the second piece ... but if I didn't get paid, I'd stop right there, and no amount of pleading or promises would get me to budge. Cash is king when you're on the freelance trail.

 WWW  


Active Collector

Posts: 40
Joined: Jul 25, 2006
Last Visit: Nov 14, 2020

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:10 pm 
 

Geoffrey wrote:Or how about this for fair?


It would result in twice the payment fees as PayPal is used extensively for payments. That would be about a 3% reduction in income for a freelancer. The person sending the payment wouldn't see any effect. I have only one person I work with that doesn't prefer PayPal.

Generally, the risk only really comes the first time, or the first few times one works with either a new creative or a new publisher. Once a relationship is established after successful delivery and payment transactions the risk decreases significantly. Of course, things can always go bad, but when that happens with an existing relationship there's usually some warnings that things are going downhill so there's time to protect oneself from exposure if one starts to think that there's no salvaging the situation.

joe b.


Expeditious Retreat Press

  


Sage Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 2884
Joined: Nov 04, 2004
Last Visit: May 09, 2020

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:24 pm 
 

jgbrowning wrote:Generally, the risk only really comes the first time, or the first few times one works with either a new creative or a new publisher.

Very true. This is the main reason that freelancing works so well when it does work: the publisher finds someone reliable and talented (who doesn't miss deadlines, either) and the freelancer finds a reliable source of income for work that he/she enjoys doing. Everybody wins. As an example, I had a great deal from 2005 to 2007 with one company; it probably provided 50 to 60 percent of my income for those three years. In 2005, we worked with a contract, but in 2006 and 2007, we didn't even bother. We all trusted each other at that point.

To swing this back around to RJK and Bottle City, it's practically guaranteed that RJK doesn't realize some irony here: he might think he's kept some money in his pockets, but he's really costing himself in terms of reputation and the odds of finding reliable people in the future. The biggest irony of all is that if he had a reputation for being fair and paying people what they were owed, he'd have freelance talent clamoring to work for him. Who wouldn't want a credit in a nice old-school D&D product? Instead, his name — and, by extension, PPP's — is being dragged through the mud.

 WWW  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 125
Joined: Aug 26, 2006
Last Visit: Mar 18, 2015
Location: The basement of the Alamo

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:03 pm 
 

I've had a few different situations, usually depending on the publisher's standard operating procedure. Honestly, too, it depends on how busy I am and how much time & money is at stake. I have a steady full-time job, so I'd have to be a bit more adamant if fighting for scraps payed my rent. As it is, whatever the publisher likes usually works for me.

ZG's contract stated something like 100% upon publication or 9 mos after acceptance, whichever comes first. In both cases, publication was MUCH later than acceptance (as Joe stated above).

Goblinoid Games pays me 100% via paypal upon acceptance.

All of my non-RPG commissions pay 100% upon acceptance. One even pays me 100% in advance, because he knows that I'm reliable.

PPP was sort of a different deal, and I'll admit that I was foolish enough to get myself in that position. Our standing deal was 50% upon acceptance, and 50% a "reasonable time" after publication. No contract - a purely handshake deal (my bad). But, I trusted Rob and knew he wasn't living the high life on my borrowed dime. In between publications, it seemed like I was on unpaid retainer. A logo here, a web banner there. I was happy to help out. Things were prompt at first, and then started to gradually slide. I should have prepared myself (again as Joe stated above) when it started to get slushy. Again, my own fault for not utilizing a contract and standard invoice, etc. The reason that the cover artist got paid for BC is because he demanded paypal payment before delivering the final piece.

More than anything, I felt that my patience and generosity had been betrayed. Months later, when it started to appear that the customers were getting the shaft too, that's when I decided to speak up. Like I replied above, it's actually detrimental for me to be airing dirty laundry. It's very likely to make other pubs wary of employing me. It is a small niche, after all. That goes both ways. ;)

I'd say that both freelancers and small pubs are in a tricky business. Most that I know generally do it for the love of the game and the craft -  no one's getting fat, except Mama Cass.


Jason Braun
Art Monkey for Hire
http://www.jasonbraun.com
_______________________
No animals were harmed during the posting of this message,

 WWW YIM  


Active Collector

Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 06, 2006
Last Visit: Dec 27, 2016

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:07 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:Cash is king when you're on the freelance trail.

Not always true.  When I was getting started in the field, I did some comp (i.e., free) work for certain people, and a few of those have turned out to be the right people.  I'm now a full-time editor/writer (with a retirement plan for the first time in my adult life!) in part because of favors that were returned.

With interest.



  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
JG Valuation Board
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 5029
Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Last Visit: Jan 16, 2017
Location: Texas

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:27 pm 
 

bclarkie wrote:
Except its really not that simple is it?  What happens when the artist takes the payment up front and then fails to produce the work he was commissioned for?  Is the peson who made the upfront payment a liberal  idiot for paying for the art before it was in his hands?


I did not mention the word idiot either.
But, I agree (somewhat) that I should not have added the word Liberal.


"Guys, I am starting to think Tegel Manor might be haunted..."
Stated by me as a PC during a run of Tegel Manor DMed by killjoy at NTRPGCon 2010

Charter Member of the ATM

  

User avatar

Prolific Collector

Posts: 178
Joined: May 03, 2005
Last Visit: Jul 11, 2021
Location: Upper CANADA

Post Posted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:54 pm 
 

Can I ask a question of the industry dudes here?

When art is commissioned what exactly is "delivered"?  Is it the original "physical" illustration or does the artist deliver a scan of the artwork suitable for print publication?  Basically I want to know if most artists usually keep their work.  

Second does the artist retain the rights to sell the art to other publishers?  I've seen art that has appeared in more than one book from different publishers and have wondered if one of them has used the art without permision.

Lastly what is the typical size of a piece for a cover illustration on a module or rule book?   If they are working to get paid will they produce a full blown piece or for economy and time sake do they produce the minimum size required for the job?

Cheers!

  
PreviousNext
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 37 of 43123 ... 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 ... 414243