Q&A With The Flux Capacity
This Article is in regards to the contest on The Game Crafter. The Contest is being Judged by Publishing Company The Flux Capacity in Toronto. 1st Place will be picked up for Publishing. Josh from The Flux Capacity joined The Game Crafter's Chat Room to do a Q&A over the rules. This is an almost unaltered transcript of the event. The only alterations where in the effort to get all questions in their own buckets and all chat relating to those questions in time stamp order under them. Please read the whole thing. There are hints and tips in each line of questioning. I added all the bold text for ease of classification. QUESTION #1 Why this contest?
19:01 JT So, how about we start with Josh telling you all what inspired him to do this contest.
19:02 THE FLUX CAPACITY Thanks JT... alright... we are a startup publisher that is very much based on community oriented publishing this community happens to be a very awesome one that seems to me to also be very collaborative and supportive to game development
19:04 sheppy And they have a kickstarter right now called Gone Viking you should support it!
19:04 THE FLUX CAPACITY we are hunting down designers that want more than just to be 'published' but want to be involved in the complete process of the game development and thought after meeting JT last year at Protospiel that this place would be a great place to run our first MAJOR contest
QUESTION #2 Contract Details?
19:06 JeBuS the thing I keep seeing discusses is the lack of details about the possible contract
19:06 actionjack -Thats What AJ Say Question about the format
19:07 THE FLUX CAPACITY @JeBuS - the contract will be very dependent on the game that wins... there are many items in the contract that will have to be worked out between us and the designer but I can assure you that we are looking for a collaborative effort on all fronts
QUESTION #3 Artwork?
19:06 zovu when you select a winner, will you be hiring an artist to do the artwork for the game? or will it be up to the designer to get all the final artwork?
19:07 mr-joe jeb is right, alot of people are wondering if they should bother getting or doing all the art for the game, and if the company will just change it, , or if you guys are just looking for the general idea for the game
19:07 Matthew (Broken Prism Games) You said "the whole process" my question about this contest is, If a game is submitted, and all the mechanics are extremely sound, but you didn't like some of the artwork, is it just strikes off the list or would you consider it a chance to win if you knew the designer would be willing to retool the art work.
19:08 Mr Alex My question - considering the cost of artwork, would a game that required a reasonable amount of artwork be looked upon more favorably than one that required a huge amount. Or to put it another way, will potential production costs be a consideration in the judging
19:08 THE FLUX CAPACITY @zovu we can hire artists if the game needs new artwork, yes
19:08 mr-joe is there a budget?
19:08 actionjack -Thats What AJ Say so still need a decent art?
19:09 THE FLUX CAPACITY @sheppy we aren't requiring FINAL artwork, but decent artwork will show the game off a lot better than stick figures
19:09mr-joe true but good art takes time and cost lots of money, so knowing a certain budget and designing a game to fit that budget might be good to know
19:10 THE FLUX CAPACITY @Matthew the contest is not dependent on artwork... so if the game is a good game... we will offer the contract to the winner regardless of its “state" ARTWORK >> don't invest crazy money in it just make it presentable
19:18Bill (Pass That Chit) So placeholder art is acceptable?
19:18actionjack -Thats What AJ Say yes Bill but still make it pretty to pass the public round
19:18THE FLUX CAPACITY @bill placeholder art is fine...
QUESTION #4 Contract Negotiation?
19:09sheppy In your standard contract, design wise, it's not uncommon to give a standardized percentage however, if the artwork is deemed high quality enough that new art isn't needed and the artist/designer were the same person, would this entitle one to a larger percentage
19:10THE FLUX CAPACITY @sheppy that IS a possibility.
QUESTION #5 Contest format?
19:06actionjack -Thats What AJ Say is there a public judge phase before semi-final, like all contest?
19:08JT actionjack: This contest process will be just like our normal contest process. Semi-finals by the community, Josh will judge the finals, and the winner.
Question #6 Rights?
19:10actionjack -Thats What AJ Say and we retain all rights to the entry, if it is not selected, right?
19:11Matthew (Broken Prism Games) If it is selected and we dislike the contract we still keep our rights and can walk away right?
19:11THE FLUX CAPACITY @Matthew if you don't want the contract thats ok
19:12Matthew (Broken Prism Games) I do, until i see the contract.
19:12THE FLUX CAPACITY @MAtthew, no I mean... we will work with the winner to develop an appropriate agreement
19:12Mike McGinnis-Enigma Nexus I suppose he's saying, what if the parties can't reach an agreement, does 2nd place get the win?
19:13Matthew (Broken Prism Games) Or does 1st place lose their rights. just because they won
19:14THE FLUX CAPACITY @mike if the 2nd / 3rd .... etc games are what we are looking for, there is nothing saying we won't offer them a deal if #1 turns it down
19:14EptonicTermplor And if the game IS selected and the contract is accepted, it means rights to the game rights go to The Flux Capacity? (sorry if this was already clear.)
19:15THE FLUX CAPACITY @eptonic the PUBLISHING rights will go to us.. .yes... standard style agreemet
Question #7 More prizes?
19:13actionjack -Thats What AJ Say can you add more incenative for 2nd and 3rd place? some bonus prize?
19:19THE FLUX CAPACITY @actionjack we will promote all of the games selected for review.. don't worry
Question #8 Marketing?
19:12Daniel - One Man Act Games What sort of marketing is going to go into the winning game? KS, Essen, etc?
19:16THE FLUX CAPACITY @Daniel The game will be treated as any of our other games, which could include KS and any cons that we attend
19:16actionjack -Thats What AJ Say depend on the contract, I would assume, Matt and flux's budget
19:16THE FLUX CAPACITY yes of course depends on how many of you back our KS now
19:17Mike McGinnis-Enigma Nexus I'd assume they would like to sell as many as possible because they make money too
19:17Daniel - One Man Act Games Plus the backing of TGC, and any personal connections I assume...
19:17THE FLUX CAPACITY @daniel exactly
QUESTION #9 Custom Molded Pieces?
19:07sheppy My question comes in how willing would Flux Capacity be to creating a custom mold like, say, someone was working on a sci fi train game.
19:12sheppy Custom Molds, aka like say my design requires a non standardized component like a custom risk game, and the entry focuses on using shards in standees, would custom molded components be considered for a final production?
19:13Mr Alex ^ will potential production costs be a factor in the judging - ie custom mold reqs or extensive artwork or dice cuts etc
19:32JT Was there ever an answer on sheppy's questions about custom molded pieces?
19:32THE FLUX CAPACITY @sheppy we will do custom molded stuff if need be
QUESTION #10 Manufacturer?
19:17Daniel - One Man Act Games Will the winning game(s) be published through TGC and orderedin bulk, or will they be produced by TFC?
19:18JT Daniel: TFC does their printing elsewhere, except for prototypes.
19:18THE FLUX CAPACITY @Daniel depends on the arrangement again.. if TGC is our best option we will print it here.... if not we will use our printing partner in China
19:18Daniel - One Man Act Games So further development will be decided once the contest is over and winner(s) determined?
19:19THE FLUX CAPACITY @daniel yes.... because every designer wnats to have different involvement after the agreement
QUESTION #11 Non-Contest Submissions?
19:17Zen (Zen River Games - NS) What about game submissions other then through the contest?
19:26Daniel - One Man Act Games What are your policies for submissions outside the contest?
20:01 Matthew (Broken Prism Games) can we submit games to Flux capacity outside of this contest.
Question #12 In Person Meeting?
19:18Mr Alex Would winning require in person development meetings or promotional activities?
19:19Matthew (Broken Prism Games) Would winning require in person development meetings or promotional activities?
19:19Daniel - One Man Act Games Fly me to Essen and I'm gung ho for winning!
19:20THE FLUX CAPACITY @matthew not if you don't want it to lol
19:20THE FLUX CAPACITY @daniel could be an option
QUESTION # 13 Theme?
19:20EptonicTermplor Can you expound on your feelings and philosophy towards theme? I find that the most intimidating dimension to this contest.
19:20Zen (Zen River Games - NS) Sorry I am late to this conversation due to other obligations, but I was wondering are there any particular themes that you wish to see in submissions for this contest? Since it is suppose to be a family oriented game with depth that limits the scope of designs. Comments?
19:22Zen (Zen River Games - NS) "Depth" creates problems however as kids attention spans do not often fair well to certain elements such as history or sci-fi that is not "fluffy"
19:22Daniel - One Man Act Games It's 13+. They can probably hang with longer attention spans...
19:22JT Zen, not "kids" exactly. Target demo is 13+
19:22Mike McGinnis-Enigma Nexus So the games need to be family friendly, but not specifically a family game, yea?
19:21THE FLUX CAPACITY @zen means we don't want games that have offensive themes and or games that limit too much the demographic, thats all
19:21Daniel - One Man Act Games Opera-punk troll collection.
19:21THE FLUX CAPACITY steam punk zombie pirates in space is perfect for us
19:24THE FLUX CAPACITY @mike correct... we don't want a "FAMILY GAME" but friendly.. yes
19:24Matthew (Broken Prism Games) like HOST
19:24Matthew (Broken Prism Games) family friendly.
19:29sheppy What if a theme has a twist but it's still a fairly common theme?
19:29actionjack -Thats What AJ Say the train theme, sheppy?
19:39EptonicTermplor Sorry to bring up theme again, but I wasn't quite wondering about what theme, but more what you think creates an immersive thematic experience.
19:40Mr Alex Russian Roulette is an immersive thematic experience
19:40JT Russian Roulette has an elimination mechanic, and is against the rules.
QUESTION #14 TFC HQ?
19:21actionjack -Thats What AJ Say where is Flux located?
19:21THE FLUX CAPACITY Toronto
Question # 15 HINT: Mechanics
19:23Mr Alex Not to limit the creativity of entrants using different mechanics, but I got the impression that the worker placement mechanic would be a welcome one to use. Is their any particular game mechanic you are eager to see used?
19:24THE FLUX CAPACITY @Alex worker placement is very welcome... in fact role-based worker placement would be cool
Question #16 Cost Limit?
19:27jrdnklsn If we are somewhat limited due to price or components, how can we share are larger vision for the game with you?
19:27THE FLUX CAPACITY @jrdnksln yes.. .of course
Question #17 What are your favorite Games?
19:27Mike McGinnis-Enigma Nexus What are some of your personal favorite games from larger publishers?
19:28THE FLUX CAPACITY @Mike hmmmmmmm.... Tzolk'in, In the Year of the Dragon, Suburbia, Village... those are hitting the table a lot these days
QUESTION #18 Judges power to appoint.
19:29Matthew (Broken Prism Games) Josh, do you have the capacity to Flux the community votes
19:29Matthew (Broken Prism Games) Say a game you spotted received poor community support.
19:29THE FLUX CAPACITY @Matthew I won't be voting
19:30zovu Matthew, all contest judges can bump up any game to a semifinalist according to TGC rules
19:30Matthew (Broken Prism Games) Right but if a game looks great to you, but gets tanked by the community can you in your infinite wisdom and power resurrect it to the final round
19:31Daniel - One Man Act Games I have a feeling if the community doesn't like it well enough to be voted in, I probably won't be lifted in Deus Ex Machina...
19:31JT Matthew, yes he can.
19:31Matthew (Broken Prism Games) i only ask, because stranger things have happened
19:31JT But Daniel is right. Thought it has always been an option, no judge has ever used that power.
19:31Matthew (Broken Prism Games) I have seen games in contests get under appreciated
19:31actionjack -Thats What AJ Say agree, Matt
Question #19 Why no Elimination Mechanic.
19:33actionjack -Thats What AJ Say no elimination mechanic.. why is that?
19:33Mr Alex Because the are annoying
19:33JT actionjack: I would guess because it's not fun to sit out while others are having fun,
19:33Daniel - One Man Act Games So everyone can play for the length of the game.
19:34sheppy Elimination mechanics tend to make other people either watch the game, or encourages pile on syndrome to reduce competition. AKA, it's bad design
19:34Zen (Zen River Games - NS) Josh - Is a cooperative mechanic preferred over a competition oriented mechanic?
19:34THE FLUX CAPACITY @action I don't like games where players have to sit out
19:34Daniel - One Man Act Games IT has to be competitive for this contest.
19:34JT Zen: co-op is against the rules.
19:35Mr Alex Elimination mechanics only work well in games that last
19:41THE FLUX CAPACITY @hungry any size box is fine
19:41Zen (Zen River Games - NS) Does it have to have the large box?
19:42JT Zen any size box
19:42hungry animals But the Large Pro Box is just a blank box. Is that fine?
19:42Daniel - One Man Act Games So, save money without the box wrap? Interesting...
19:42JT Hungry, you can add a box wrap if you like to decorate the large box
19:42hungry animals But that's not required, right?
19:43Daniel - One Man Act Games But no box wrap means more money for parts!
19:43hungry animals (i'm not lazy just trying to save money :P)
19:43Mike McGinnis-Enigma Nexus Daniel, that was the only way I got a game under the limit last contest
19:43actionjack -Thats What AJ Say good question.. box wraps?
19:43JT you guys have a huge limit to work with in this contest though
19:43JT shouldn't be any reason to have short cuts
19:43hungry animals YOU WOULD THINK
19:43Jaime-Fractal Evolution Games don't forget to focus on a balanced, fun game....that just may be important too.
19:43Mike McGinnis-Enigma Nexus I've got to trim back from $60…
19:44actionjack -Thats What AJ Say well.. unless you give us a budget for protyping too, JT
19:44EptonicTermplor Tiles get pretty expensive though.... if you want randomized modular boards.....
19:44 Daniel - One Man Act Games More parts money!
19:44 hungry animals That's what I was going for, Eptonic.
19:44 Mike McGinnis-Enigma Nexus I'm glad to see an increase for this contest though
19:44 hungry animals Did not work out at all.
19:44 EptonicTermplor It really does get rough
19:44 Mike McGinnis-Enigma Nexus the smaller limits are challenging but it's nice to have the room to stretch
19:44 Mr Alex $40 scares me, im cheap and the idea of such a big extravagant budget is outside my comfort zone
19:44 actionjack -Thats What AJ Say agree with Alex
19:45 THE FLUX CAPACITY we had to have a limit of some sort... right JT?
19:45 sheppy Mr Alex, one of the finalist this time around was a $10 game
19:45 Zen (Zen River Games - NS) 40 bucks for a six player capable game is not extravagant
19:45 sheppy My entry would be impossible under $25
19:45 JT exactly TFC
Question #20 Compent Quality?
19:38zovu Will component quality be a factor in choosing the winner? FOr example, I'm going to be using mats instead of boards because of the price limit. Will that affect my chances of winning? Or will you mostly judge based on mechanics, theme, how well the game plays, etc?
19:39Daniel - One Man Act Games @zovu - I don't think component quality will be that big of a factor, based on the previous conversations about reworking art, custom molded pieces, etc.
19:40zovu good point daniel
19:42jrdnklsn To repeat an earlier question I don't think was answered, how much will the amount of art work (printed components) be a factor?
19:43THE FLUX CAPACITY @jrdnklsn - it won't make or break a decision
Question #21 Protospiel?
19:43sheppy Will you be attending Protospiel Milwaulkee?
19:43THE FLUX CAPACITY @sheppy not this year
QUESTION #22 Number of players?
19:45 jrdnklsn 2-6 players is the minimum player range, correct?
19:45 JeBuS TFC, you did say that 6 players wasn't a requirement, correct?
19:47 Daniel - One Man Act Games The contest says it needs to be 2-6 players...is that not accurate? Thanks JT.
19:48 JeBuS right, but the max of 6 isn't a requirement, is it?
19:49 Scott Starkey The "2-6 players" rqeuirement ... is that minimum and maximum? Can it be... for example... 2-5 players?
19:49 jrdnklsn Likewise, can it be 1-7?
19:49 Daniel - One Man Act Games It has to support 6 players, is my understanding...
19:49 THE FLUX CAPACITY @JeBus not a requirement!
19:50 Zen (Zen River Games - NS) the what is the min requirement Josh? 2-4?
19:50 THE FLUX CAPACITY 2 is the minimum
QUESTION #23 contact info?
19:51 THE FLUX CAPACITY josh@THE FLUX CAPACITY.com is my email if you want to reach out further
19:58 Matthew (Broken Prism Games) can we contact you directly during the contest.
19:58 THE FLUX CAPACITY josh@THE FLUX CAPACITY.com
19:59 sheppy Wouldn't that be kind of, shady? Requesting feedback from a judge during the contest?
19:59 Matthew (Broken Prism Games) I think it would be
19:59 Matthew (Broken Prism Games) Thats why i want that clarified now
19:59 THE FLUX CAPACITY please feel free to email me anytime
Question #24 Contest User Interface?
19:46 Daniel - One Man Act Games @JT -Will the voting list have the "hover cursor and see ads" idea posted from the last contest?
19:46 JT Daniel, I can't say for sure, but my hope is to have a major upgrade to the contests UI by voting time.
Question #25 Contract info, Again?
19:59 Karmachela @TFC : May I ask about a contract with a publisher? what kind of system?
20:00 THE FLUX CAPACITY @Karma whats the question?
20:01 Karmachela about 1st prize in this contest
20:01 THE FLUX CAPACITY yes
20:01 Karmachela i dont understand about contract with a game publisher before
20:01 THE FLUX CAPACITY @karma maybe email me at josh@THE FLUX CAPACITY.com
20:01 THE FLUX CAPACITY I can explain anything
20:01 AnSR-entertainments I think Kama is asking what kind of contract is it. Is it a % of sales (royalty), an upfront buy-out of the idea, etc.
20:02 THE FLUX CAPACITY royalties... generally
20:02 AnSR-entertainments Yeah, I wondering the same. Royalties is what I thought (and hoped) would be the answer.
20:03 Karmachela how the average royalty for a game ... because in my country there is no game publisher
20:03 Mr Alex Questions about the contract where asked earlier and Josh answered them - so they should be in the kindly offered transcript
20:03 THE FLUX CAPACITY I gotta jet guys