Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Stock Photos, Redesign, Portal Worries...
Allsorts going on. I've been adding commuting to Kudos, and it's nearly done. There are different ways to get to work, each with advantages and disadvantages etc. I'm quite happy with it so far.
That means buying some stock images for use in the game, which isn't as expensive as you might think (especially for low resolution ones). I also had to learn about batch processing in photoshop when I did a bit of a GUI redesign that meant re-processing about 50 files, but that all went very well indeed.
The only thing going wrong (apart from a v slight sales dip for Democracy) is a worrying glitch in the royalty data for one of my old games. I don't have much contact with the game 'portals' (like yahoo, Big Fish etc) but I DO sell one game through one of them. I noticed today that a brief check showed a big discrepancy in the number of sales that were made in the last month, and the number I got paid for. That REALLY worries me.
Basically, most developers have to just trust the publisher to send them royalties for the right number of units. You can see the problem there I hope? Luckily, my VERY old deal (maybe 6 years old now?) for my game means I get an email for every sale, and like the nitpicking git I am, I keep all of them. A quick count up of them, revealed a discrepancy. I'm sure its just an admin error, and they will sort it out and pay me, but the scary thing is, most developers I know don't even get sales emails, so when this happens to the,, they never even know.
This applies to everyone doing anything creative. How does JK Rowling KNOW how many sales there were in Portugal in Dec 05? How does a struggling screenwriter KNOW how many obscure countries licensed his sitcom?
Unless you keep a close eye on your business, you will find this kind of thing happening to you. That's why I prefer to control the sales channel, and strongly encourage people who like my games to buy direct from me (via a credit card company for now).

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