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Weekly Update – May 4th, 2012


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#1 Serellan

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:01 AM

Hey all! Wanted to drop an update with what is going on. Things have been incredibly busy, and lots of gears are turning on all fronts. Here are some highlights:

INVESTORS –

Discussions with primary potential investors are ongoing and progressing well. Hope to fly out next week to finalize. Meetings this week with secondary investors interested in the project, which is great. Phone call next week with another group.
Quote from primary potential investors (no I can’t reveal the details):
“We want takedown to get made exactly the way you want it, and are willing to pay for it.”

HIRING-

Two primary hires this week, Tiffani, Studio Manager, and Terry, Executive Assistant.

Tiffani has great experience with studios like Day One and Disney, and has been invaluable with cutting through the red tape of all the business ###### to allow me to focus on the game, investors, and tech. Also has been great with recruiting.

Terry has a great background working with startups, and is helping with everything from ordering desks to setting up calendaring software, and has gotten more admin ###### done in two days than we had in two weeks.

Continuing discussion with former Zipper folks, some very great prospects, including folks that have worked on SOCOM 1-2 and SWAT 3 at Sierra.

One of the producers from Monolith who has been helping us out until this point has bowed out, as she had other commitments that were interfering with her dedication to Takedown. Currently in discussions with a producer with experience at Day One and Microsoft to replace her.

Moving from a group of people who want to make a game to a business with employees has taken longer than I anticipated, as we draw up contracts, payroll, and stuff like that. We want to be extremely careful that we do everything to the letter of the law, so as not to risk any money or legal issues down the road. Other previously committed team members are ongoing to get paperwork and crap done.

Next week will be discussions with Audio Director on analyzing my estimates for audio budget and scheduling.

Rich Douglas has been in contact, he is excited about scoring the game, contacted Charles Guan about commissioning new, original concept art, and following up with Matt Corboy about putting together a promo video.

ENGINE –

Meeting with some former Monolith folks who did engine evals when I was there to pick their brains on engine plusses and minuses, has been very valuable.

Currently in eval of Crytek, have had discussions with them and will update when I have more information.

BUSINESS-

Tiffani and business partner reviewed lawyers, they will be finalizing lawyer next week (meeting on Monday). Turns out we need to get a lawyer sooner rather than later, something I hadn’t anticipated, but we found a group that specializes in tech startups, IP law, and equity negotiations.

Same with accountant, found one that has experience with our kind of company, gained valuable info that will keep us from getting in trouble with our contract/full time employees on what we can get on a 1099 vs. a W-4. Also going to help review our bank’s payroll system to ensure that we are covered.

Wells Fargo has been very helpful, we have a personal representative assigned, which is what I guess you get when you walk in and ask if your 200k deposit is in the account. They have been VERY helpful and attentive.

Following up next week with two companies that have contacted us wanting to digitally and physically distribute TAKEDOWN. Great opportunities.

SPACE-

We have spent a lot of time over the past few weeks looking at spaces and talking to real estate folks. We finalized on a space we are happy on (Kickstarters got a preview this week). However, at this point it would have required us to sign a longer lease, and with additional investment talks ongoing, we didn’t feel it was prudent to commit Kickstarter money towards securing this space until we get the rest finalized.

Thus, we have decided move in our current temporary offices into a larger space there (still small), as the rent is reasonable, and is month to month. This lets us optimize or costs (again, we are about spending money on the game, not on fancy spaces or big parties). Because many of our folks are remote or are working from home, this is mainly a space for Terry and I to work in (I am an ADD ###### and need a work environment to get ###### done, and p art of Terry’s job is to slap me on the head when I get off track into non-game territory and get me back into game mode), but we have space for others to come in and work where appropriate.

This also allows us to put off costs on IT, phones, copiers, and other ###### for a few months because the executive space comes with this kind of think for minimal costs. Oh, and there is free coffee. Free coffee makes games come to life. Pictures of the smaller space we are going to go with for the next few months at the end of this post.

THE GAME-

More design docs underway, as well as following up with folks on art scoping and external art pipeline. Tech eval is primary focus beyond design docs. Concept art being contracted.

COMMUNITY-

Web team (which is made up of awesome folks that are among YOU!), are working to integrate devblogs and other tech into the forums and website so I can better communicate. They also continue to make the website and forums better. Say thanks to your local admin or mod.

Working on team member bios to publish to you. Organizing calls to high-level Kickstarters. Working on first video blog. Terry will be sorting through backlogged Kickstarter messages; we have 400+ pending to respond to.

Talking to a few Community Manager candidates to help better focus my time so that I can hit the key points you are interested in, instead of randomly hitting the forums at 2AM.

Contacting Brian Fargo to try and find out more info on how they set up their additional funding model, as we keep getting messages from folks who want to contribute. Need to set this up but want to make sure we don’t step into legal quicksand.

Pics from the new space will follow!

Click here to view the article

#2 Emshumi

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:11 AM

Thanks for the update!

#3 Serellan

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:21 AM

Temp Office Pics:

Outside

Attached File  ah6sw.jpg   57.94K   402 downloads

Putting together chairs

Attached File  g1iwb.jpg   37.12K   484 downloads

Desk Delivery

Attached File  4v5br.jpg   38.11K   479 downloads

Desks

Attached File  dyvqxt.jpg   45.52K   484 downloads

Kitchen

Attached File  5ozmh.jpg   33.47K   487 downloads

Reception

Attached File  rf2tl.jpg   36K   386 downloads


#4 Serellan

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:23 AM

BTW, got the desks from a office furniture liquidation warehouse...$30 ######ing dollars each! BAM!

#5 Trauma

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:43 AM

Haha I pledged more than it cost you to get a desk... that's efficiency right there. Thx for update.

Edited by Trauma, 05 May 2012 - 07:43 AM.


#6 SpacemanSpiff

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:32 AM

Thanks for the update. Good to see it all come together bit by bit!

Posted Image


#7 TheOz91

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:33 AM

If you are considering CryEngine, the Crytek devs are actually big supporters of open source development and indie development, with the CryEngine giving support for Blender 3D, meaning that many of us with no access to commercial software can contribute models such as myself.

EDIT: And oh, thanks for the update!

Edited by TheOz91, 05 May 2012 - 09:33 AM.

EA account: AlphaZuluMI
Steam: AlphaZuluMikeIndia
Non-gaming (Youtube, Twitter, etc): TheOz91

#8 hiredhelp

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:27 AM

WOW did serellan just mention crytek under "Engine"
And folks from zipper and from sirrea swat series OMG". I'll defo be wanting to add additinal fundings too

#9 palbert

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:09 AM

Awesome update. Looking forward to the next!

#10 SofaKingGood

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:53 AM

Thanks again for the update and your hard work!

#11 MeanMF

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:17 PM

Thanks for the great update as usual. Good call on the space - it's not ideal but it sounds like it's a good fit for what you need right now.

#12 kingGILLEY

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:23 PM

Awesome update, thanks.
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#13 Boomer

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 02:24 PM

Awesome!! Christian you are the man for this daunting task. Thanks for doing this. Cool news about the zipper prospects too.

#14 Rocky

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 02:30 PM

BTW, got the desks from a office furniture liquidation warehouse...$30 ######ing dollars each! BAM!


Haha awesome result, nice one!

#15 JohnTC02

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 02:51 PM

Great news, good to see things are slowly progressing.

Thanks for the update Christian.

#16 Partnur

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 04:50 PM

All right! Thanks for the update, Christian! Welcome Tiffani and Terry! And thank you Mods! Good luck to the ex-Zipper employees because hopefully they would help with the 3rd person mechanics, as SOCOM 2 had the best I've ever seen!

#17 PRE_-CISION-_

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:50 PM

Crazy to think how far things have come already! Very excited with the engine/hiring/potential employee news

#18 k3nny1550

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:23 PM

Well ######, if they're using CryEngine 3, I'm gonna have to upgrade my computer O.o;

Will we get to see some of the concept art?

#19 Flogger23m

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:03 PM

Some very good info. Cryengine would be nice as it looks mod friendly and should be flexible. The graphics can be very good which is a plus. Though I wonder what other engines you are looking at.

Having some work from home can be helpful if your work space is small.

Edited by Flogger23m, 05 May 2012 - 10:23 PM.


#20 Pest_AWC

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:24 PM

All sounds great!

Well, almost everything.

I didn't like the part about you not jumping in here at 2am to reply to various posts. :)

Keep popping in!





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