Thanks for stopping by. This is an un-official message about the new direction for Screen 7. If you know me then you know what s7 is all about. For over a decade s7 have helped with various point and click games whilst working on a few ourselves. Mid-way through the last decade I decided to try and push a film-making career but at the end of the decade I pretty much gave up on that.
It's fun to make home-movies but there was no real enjoyment trying to get into the business, which is not only cut-throat, it's really designed for individual trades (like electrictian, or script writer) rather than all encompassing film-making (though that route can be achieved, certainly). There are also large setup costs, for equipment, for even funding a project.
So as you may have noticed for the last couple of years I've put my effort back into what Screen 7 originally set out to do - make point and click adventures. And that is very true, the company was formed back in 1997/98 specifically to make adventure games. Perhaps it (or me) lost its way, perhaps it didn't and the last 15 years or so have just been a massive learning curve. Either way, things are changing now - hopefully for the much better
Early next month the website will be upgraded and its focus will be purely for adventure games under the wing of Screen 7. You will still be able to access all the side-ventures like old movies, ufo watch, AdventureX & Wallystock etc but the primary goal now is to develop, promote & publish point and click adventures. That means both commercial
games and freeware
. And of course, the initial marketplace will be strongly focussed on AGS games.
Over the past year I've been working on securing a good future for s7, others have also helped to ensure that is possible - by means of supporting our projects, joining them, coming along to events and funding various aspects. I really hope it can become a success so I can use it to pay back all the generosity I've gained from the community over the last 12 years. So remember from here it is all about helping you out as best as I can, by promoting your work, holding events so that everyone can feel included, and all manner of things I can't begin to imagine at this stage.
This mockup shows the new website, simple stuff, with a wonderful slidey thing at the top. I realize people may not like it over the current design, but as no-one has mentioned the web-design about the site that's been online for 6 years since the day after I put it online, I'm really not bothered about changing it radically. But thank you to those who gave me feedback on the new site.
Website mockup. Big poopy poop does not actually make games for Screen 7.
To explain the venture a bit further - basically I want to stop being a poor hobo, and the Government wants that of me too, so I'm currently on a "business course" as it were and the aim is to have something set up by the start of May. That means that come May, Screen 7 will be a proper tax abiding formed company that can register trademarks and claim travel expenses.
My main aim over the coming month is to find developers who want to go commercial
and also those who want extra promotion for their freeware titles
. The aim is to do both of those as fairly as possible, and be as generous as can possible whilst being able to support the company (ie making enough to not go bankrupt but making sure commercial developers are well imbursed).
Now it's true that there are benefits to going commercial with a company, but there are also benefits of selling your own games on your own
. A number of people do that, and effectively the benefits are great for individual developers because it can mean higher earnings. So if that is your consideration, none of this may interest you. You may already be pushing for a commercial venture elsewhere, perhaps with W.E.G. or Himilaya or similar. If so again this may not interest you but it's always good to keep your options open, and you're welcome to get in touch during any consideration phase you may have.
As I stated to begin with, this is an un-official message really just to say "this is what's going to happen, now is a good time to keep an eye out". So the following information really is just information at this stage, not everything is set in stone, but this will give you some idea and hopefully influence your decision early.Selling a game with Screen 7
What you may not know is that if you sell games for yourself, you're going to have to pay some money for a half decent way of people obtaining your digital downloads. I'm hoping I can lift these tasks off some people's backs and offer other incentives on top.
In the future projects can be funded by the studio whether they are in-house or being developed off site. Of course you'll also have to deal with all customer interaction, any problems with payments and one single error in your game can often lead to hundreds of emails about the same thing. Going with a commercial studio means it is THEIR responsibility to deal with such things. The question is, do you want to make games, or do you want to run a business?
I'm looking for anyone
that thinks or wants to make something back from their work. As you know the Summerbatch
incentive is well underway, and there will be plenty of oppurtunity to join that in the future, but perhaps you're looking for something a little better than pocket money or would rather your project is standalone.
Also I'd like to make it clear that super-epic games are not the only eligible candidates for being digital downloads. The world is obsessed with app-like prices and products these days so I have every intention of marketting "the little guy" as much as "the big development team". Maybe you've got a well made short game, perhaps you don't want the game to have a talkie - that's fine, we'll definitely still consider your game.
If you have a project in the works, a game that is ready soon or won't be for another year
- I strongly suggest you have a read of the Screen 7 selling guide which may help you make a decision. Ultimately - I am looking for anyone who this interests now
. Also thank you to everyone who responded to me privately about this when I got in touch. I realize this means more options on the table and it won't necessarily be the right one for you.Guide to selling (and freeware) with Screen 7 overview PDF
(offline whilst I update it, please delete your old copy!)
Everyone has to start somewhere, so you must keep in mind that this begins from a basic standpoint. All the great reasons to use another publisher may not apply to Screen 7 just yet because there is little financial backing. Basically, if you need thousands of pounds to get your game made, certainly at this point it's worth getting in touch elsewhere. Screen 7 can't fund big projects right now. Are you the little guy though - if you need $20 to eat next week whilst you work on your game, we will definitely help you out.
Initial payment system will use PayPal which also accepts credit & debit cards
Furthermore - unless you're developing it in-house under our name, we will NOT be sticking "Screen 7" all over your game. If you use another name, ie, Intergaming Studios - that's fine. You remain the developer and Screen 7 just the publisher. In those cases, you probably won't need to do anything more than include a preload graphic of our logo.Freeware games with Screen 7
Perhaps money is not your goal, perhaps you have other reasons to stay strictly freeware. Screen 7, unlike other publishers, will remain a leader for promoting free point & click games. We WANT our visitors to be able to download and play full games for free, in the same way we want to help you get exposure and reap the benefits of being attached to a name like s7.
If you have a freeware project on the go and want a safe home for it and all the benefits of our "selling your game" stuff without any cash involvement - s7 can definitely help. Again, read the guide PDF above and get in touch as soon as you are ready (or just to ask further questions).The pipeline for the next two years
Main focus is of course making sure great adventure games are made and released, so don't think that production is slowing on games you may have already heard about, some you haven't. As you know, Kinky Island
is very well underway and could be finished by the end of 2012. Recently we took under our wing great looking game A Night At Camp Ravenwood
and sometime in 2013 you'll also see a new game from Screen 7 courtesy of Flight of the Amazon Queen
's John Passfield. The success of s7 also ensures that FoY's development will benefit and quicken, and of course that will remain a totally free, massive point & click when it's ready. There's also Summerbatch
and a couple of personal projects I hope to finish up, but ultimately I hope we can get your game on the list!
So that's about all I have to say about this for now. If you have any questions or suggestions my ears are definitely open to them. You may also wonder how this will affect my involvement personally with AGS. As far as I can tell, nothing is going to change there. I'm accessable and always open to ideas and ways of being as fair as possible. It also means (hopefully) that some jobs will open up for people. Furthermore, the services Screen 7 will offer doesn't stop at selling games/giving freeware. Game developers will also be able to hire our services for composers and what not, and of course s7 will continue to host live events and in the coming year or so a proper AGS game-jam.
Other than that, thanks for reading and watch this space. I'll be back when it's official and such. In the meantime do drop me a line (here, PM or email) if you want to add your game to our catalogue
and remember the criteria is not as strict as you may think it is! Final word just to say thanks to everyone who's given me advice and ideas, and helped boost my confidence and such. You know who you are, thanks again! Peace
(You can also email me: mark at screen7.co.uk)
PS. For the record, I want you to know Ben Jordan: Must Die
(fan film) is still very much alive and will be ready at the time of launch. You can even catch a preview of the opening 26 minutes here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDYich3ei-g
- I also want you to know it's been massively frought with problems and I can't wait for it to be finished, but am very proud of it and what everyone helped it become. But more on that in a new thread in May
PPS: A small percentage of what's raised for Kinky Island (see link in my sig) will be used for the forming of the studio, so you're not just helping get a game made, you're helping the studio form up too. Funding that will also give you news on this situation and other benefits for being someone who wanted to help out early on.