Game Developers -- Call

Rick Harrison harrison at
Sat Jul 15 21:47:47 EDT 2006

On Jul 15, 2006, at 12:44 PM, Andre Garzia wrote:

> Rick,
> it is not about flames, many times here, I was replying to some one  
> pointing them on some very different direction than the one their  
> we're going and yet, we can always be nice. Be honest is one thing,  
> but you can always write your email in a more polite way. You don't  
> call other peoples projects and ideas joke on public lists just  
> because you fell that they are a joke.  Or if you want to call it  
> that way, you send it as a private email.


I was not referring to you or your comments personally at all.

Sometimes being nice and politically correct all the time fails to  
make the point.

What caught my attention was that someone was asking for the Moon and  
the Stars,
and offering to pay very little in return for those qualifications.

I said nothing about their idea, or project being a joke.  I was  
discussing their
extraordinarily high expectations of the quality of candidate they  
were looking to get
for the little money they were willing to pay.

It is also a bit of a long shot to ask for all of those  
qualifications, lack of pay, and
also to have an interest in Hindu ideology.  An extremely tall order  
for most people.

I didn't send it as a private email because there are a few on this  
list who could use
a reminder about how much one should expect in the way of  
qualifications when
paying for programming services.  You could have responded to me  
privately as well.
I know you have my email address.  Any future responses you can  
please direct to me

> I am working for the Kauai Hindu Monastery, I am sure many on this  
> list would not have accepted the same contract I did accept but I  
> am having the best moment of my life working with them. Its a very  
> inspiring thing to see your work actually helping people out there,  
> not only making money but actually making people live better. I am  
> not saying that you were wrong but that there are multiple ways of  
> looking into something, no one holds all the truth in their hands.

It's nice of you to donate your work to a cause you believe in, if  
you like working for little or no pay that is your business.

However, if you are charging below market rates, remember that you  
are potentially dragging down the rest of us
who still need to eat and keep a roof over our heads.  Places like  
Froogle, eBay, and eLance are actually dragging down
profit margins worldwide.  As a friend of mine put it, "eBay is a  
place where buyers are looking for stupid sellers, and sellers
are looking for stupid buyers".  The whole world economy is based on  
ignorance of prices and the true value of products or services.
Now that everyone in the world can go to Froogle to find the best  
price for any item, it drags everyone else trying to sell that
same item down to that lowest price, the result is that profit  
margins are disappearing.  When profit margins get too low it
for a product it is no longer worth making or selling that product.

Here is another example, there is a friend of mine who already has a  
full-time job working for a company.   Since he is doing this
his other business on the side, he wants to help people out from the  
good of his heart and charges only 1/5th the market price
per hour for the same job.  He isn't concerned at all for himself  
because he has his other job keeping him afloat, but he is
damaging all the similar businesses in this area.  His unfair  
competition is putting them out of business!  He isn't considering
the damage he is doing to his own local economy by charging prices  
way below market value.  (But I digress.)

I never claimed to hold all the truth in my hands.  Of course you  
don't qualify for that either, so that statement is a wash.

> I am sure you're talking honest and that many will think just like  
> you and that is not wrong but someone on this list might want to  
> enter such project not all for the money but for something else too  
> and then a very nice game might emerge, I'd give all my help to see  
> such project fruit.

Like I said, if you want to just give your talent away for free that  
is your business.  I actually have several very heavy projects of
great value that could use your free time and efforts which would  
make you feel just fantastic because you'd be helping out the

> I've seen more than one small-no-budget-for-you project rise and  
> get the big bucks, this happened because the people who worked on  
> it were passionate about it and then reward came. Remember it's a  
> game about Hindu concepts, Hinduism has a very huge following and  
> it also may appeals to other crowds such as new age people or if  
> the game is fun enough, to gamers in general. Knowing the works of  
> the monks in Kauai, their magazines and books and how far they can  
> reach, knowing that computers and games are very popular in asia  
> and in america (where you have many many Hindus), I am sure such  
> project could soar.

I've seen a lot of shareware and small no budget projects go  
completely to waste, and never earn any money to speak of.  The big  
bucks ones
are usually the rare exceptions.  I was not referring to the subject  
matter of their game at all in my comments, just candidate  
expectations and pay.

Perhaps I've just seen too many examples of programmers who took a  
lot of abuse from managers that they never should have in the past  
and that
has colored my view of the programming world.  I've met more people  
in my line of work who think that programmers should just give them  
hours and hours of blood, sweat, and tears without ever compensating  
them properly.  There are also a lot of managers that have never  
programmed one line of code, but yet believe that code should just  
magically appear in front of them after 2 minutes of programming time  
has elapsed.  They suffer from the "Is it done yet?" syndrome.  I've  
met others who think that because you work with computers, it means  
that you must therefore know everything there is to know about all  
computers, and all software programs that exist in the entire world.

I really believe in the hard work that programmers do with Revolution  
and other computer languages.  I also believe strongly that they  
should be
adequately compensated for their efforts with at least fair market  
value pay for their respective areas of the world.  Programming  
authors who have written
20 games know all about Versiontracker, Tucows, and other  
distribution points for their software.  They are probably so  
successful at that level
that it would be highly unlikely for them to want to work on a game  
which promises little pay for their efforts.

Oh, and just to state some of my other beliefs a little more clearly,  
Music is not free just because one can download it and duplicate it.
Likewise software is not free just because one can download it and  
duplicate it.  These things are only free if the author or creator
of the work states specifically that the work is free.  Otherwise,  
you must pay for these creations.

> Don't mistake them for amateurs, they were coding and doing  
> computer projects and dtp since a very long time. They may be naive  
> about game markets, but if they trully want to make this game, I am  
> sure it will reach far.

I was trying to get them to pull back on their extra high  
expectations.  Anyone who has 20 games out on the market with all of  
the rest of the
qualifications listed will not work for them for peanuts.  I was not  
trying to discourage them on their project.

> PS: ... the side effect of working with Monks who are also a  
> publishing house is that you learn much, not only talking to them  
> but reading them, nothing beats walking besides Sivakatirswami  
> listening him explaining what is karma!
> Cheers
> Andre

Please contact me off list for any further comments.



> On Jul 14, 2006, at 7:47 PM, Rick Harrison wrote:
>> Sorry, I couldn't sound nicer about this.  I'm sure I'll get  
>> flamed for just trying to be honest.
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