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Subject: Aborted Pandemic iOS project rss

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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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Anyone else catch that the player names used in the video are the main cast of ReBoot?
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Robert Forrest
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HungryTenor wrote:
Sadly, I'm Canadian, and thus can't do anything with Kickstarter. Otherwise I'd be putting all sorts of ideas up there.


Put your ideas here then:

http://www.indiegogo.com/

A Canadian friend of mine just successfully funded his comic project through them
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Paul Beasi
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Am I the only one who has been extremely disappointed since Filosofia acquired Z-Man?

Things like this ugly situation and the extreme drop (at least in my experience) in the quality of their customer service have really tainted my impression of Z-Man as a company.

It's really too bad this game won't see the light of day and that Filosofia and Z-Man burned you. FWIW, I would have bought your version of the game in a heartbeat. You did a great job!
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Matt Pinchuk
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I live down the street from Filosofia and I'm thinking about taking a walk over there to set them straight!
Not only is this a stupid buisness descision for them but it's pissing me off
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Rob Ryan
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It is really unfortunate that Z-man /filosofia won't chime in with side of the story. I would speculate that part of the sale of z-man to filosofia was to break off some of the loose ends before the official sale. It would probably be cheaper to pay you some compensation (even to not use or publish you app version), then to try and litigate against you for damages after it potentially gets released under a re-themed name at a cheaper price...

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Rob Ryan
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mpin wrote:
I live down the street from Filosofia and I'm thinking about taking a walk over there to set them straight!
Not only is this a stupid buisness descision for them but it's pissing me off


This reminds me of that scene from the movie "The Jerk": "Get away from those cans games, he hates those games..."
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Kevin
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HungryTenor wrote:
Guys, I appreciate the support, but please don't be rude.


You don't have to be rude but please let them know if you don't support this type of business practice.
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Tim Earl
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Thanks for bringing this to light. I very rarely take stands on principle, but there are so many good games out there that I don't think it will hurt me in the slightest to stop supporting the new overlords of Z-Man. It sounds to me like Zev made a mistake in selling to these guys.
 
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Henry Truong
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I just want people to be clear that there's realistically no chance of this coming out with Filosofia's support. For what it's worth, during that time when we *were* conversing, the Filosofia people were polite and seemed reasonable. This is part of why it baffles me so much that they would just stop responding to me. I wonder if it's a legal advice thing for liability reasons, or something like that.
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Clyde W
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I'm sure if you just posted the app to the App Store, they'd start talking with you again. devil
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Simon Lundström
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Well, I don't know for others, but this puts Philosofia in a REAL bad light for me. Zev is a great guy, but hey…

It may all boil down to "you didn't write a contract" but if a company can't even contact the guy they've made a deal in faith with… they're not getting any good will from me. Acting like assholes might be REALLY economically effective, I don't care. They're still assholes. And I'm not very likely buying from assholes. Z-man is a good games company, but if I'm helping assholes when I'm buying from them, I'm not sure.
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Richard Keiser

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Henry... get this thing up for sale.

It is your work. Filo passed, but don't have any legal right to bury it. Let the best app win.

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Clyde W
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Yeah, give them a fair warning and tell them you'll give them 10% of the profits "as you agreed on with Z-Man" (even if you never actually agreed to this).
 
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Richard Keiser

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No. Do not establish any new contract with Filo. You were only obligated to pay them under the old contract. They never paid you any dev costs, so you don't owe them anything. Your contract was to pay them for the copyright of their game images and trademark (if there is one) for the name Pandemic. Since you aren't going to need any of those elements with the clone dev, you owe them nothing.


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Zev Shlasinger
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OK, so I was recently informed of this thread – how can a company expect to answer a thread against them if it is not at least on a game page where we might catch it while monitoring the sites?

And it would be fairer to judge when you do hear both sides rather than jumping into one camp without knowing the full story.

So here’s what happened.
Henry came to me with a contract for the digital rights of Pandemic.

While the app was being worked on, Henry contacted me in order to ask for an extension of our contract for he was not going to meet the deadline stipulated by his contract. And then the contract lapsed.

I know now that I had entered into a contract that benefited Henry only, and hurt not only me, but Matt (the designer) as well. I believe it was not intentional on Henry’s part, I just thought it would be cool to have an app: I just didn’t understand the terms of a digital contract and the consequences it would have.

The new owners of Z-Man invited Henry down to their offices to discuss how to pursue working together so that everyone could benefit fairly.

Henry was offered a job to continue making the app – he did not accept. He offered to sell the code, but that was declined due to our disagreement on the structure of the app. Seeing as working together did not seem likely, he was offered his advance back as well as travel expenses to the office – he did not accept. And in fact he said, “No, I want more.” We were under no obligation to offer his money back and felt this answer showed us that we would not be able to work together in a professional manner. His decision to post on BGG on this issue only reinforces this perception.

I believe I have said all that could be said so I will not engage in a back and forth in this thread. But I hope I have shown that we did no wrong to Henry, and even tried to make it right, and therefore the comments made in this thread are wholly undeserved and that Z-Man and I will be seen in a different light.
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Simon Lundström
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As far as I've followed the thread, I don't think anyone's really blaming Z-man per se or you, Zev. But thanks for sharing. Sounds weird that he was offered his expenses and declined, but I guess he wanted the app to be published. If so, why not accept the job offer? Weird. What put me off most was the story that he wasn't even contacted. But I guess that can be seen in a lot of different lights.
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Henry Truong
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Okay, guys, I'm sorry this had to become public, but now it looks like I have to defend myself.

Zman wrote:
While the app was being worked on, Henry contacted me in order to ask for an extension of our contract for he was not going to meet the deadline stipulated by his contract. And then the contract lapsed.


I wrote you to tell you I was ready to release and I wanted you to give it a look over so that we had the okay to release it. I asked you several times over several weeks. Eventually I asked for an extension because it had passed the point where the app would have been released on time after going through Apple's review process, and I explicitly stated that the purpose of the extension was to give you the time to review the app at your convenience, since when you did reply, you only said you were busy. By the time you actually told me you had sold the company, it was one week to the deadline.

I had submitted the app to the App Store for review anyway, in case you gave me a last-minute go ahead so that I could release it on the spot. The app passed Apple approval several days in advance of the deadline. I could have hit the button and released it right then, but I didn't, because in my naivete, I thought I should wait and work *with* you guys, to do this relationship "right". That was my biggest mistake.

Zman wrote:
I know now that I had entered into a contract that benefited Henry only, and hurt not only me, but Matt (the designer) as well. I believe it was not intentional on Henry’s part, I just thought it would be cool to have an app: I just didn’t understand the terms of a digital contract and the consequences it would have.


I was new to these kinds of agreements as well. If you had told me your concerns, I would have been open to a discussion. No discussion happened.

Zman wrote:
The new owners of Z-Man invited Henry down to their offices to discuss how to pursue working together so that everyone could benefit fairly.


I did meet with them at their offices. It was their preferred way of meeting new people to do business with, which I can understand, so I went and we talked. They were polite and courteous.

Zman wrote:
Henry was offered a job to continue making the app – he did not accept. He offered to sell the code, but that was declined due to our disagreement on the structure of the app. Seeing as working together did not seem likely, he was offered his advance back as well as travel expenses to the office – he did not accept.


This timeline needs to be cleared up.

After the meeting, Filosofia said they would deliberate and get back to me. Two weeks later, they gave me a call. They started by talking about the rationale for their decisions, about needing to do what's best for the company. Perfectly fair. They told me they couldn't license the property anymore. Heartbreaking, but understandable. They offered a refund of the upfront payment we made to secure the rights. They also offered me a job to come work for them to develop apps in-house. I told them thank you, but I couldn't relocate for personal life reasons.

It was only after this call that I made the sale offer. I received no reply of any sort. The call was the last time we ever spoke, for reasons outlined in the next section.

During our initial meeting, they offered to help me with my travel expenses if I needed to come to see them in the future. At no point was I offered compensation for the initial travel costs.

Zman wrote:
And in fact he said, “No, I want more.”


In the aforementioned call, I responded to their offers by saying that perhaps a refund of the upfront payment would be unnecessary, because I wanted to present other ideas for ways we could collaborate. Since they began the call by talking about their rationale for their decision before actually telling me their decision, I decided to begin the same way. My rationale for saying we might not need the refund was that, while generous, it "wasn't enough" to cover the costs of our development, which is why I wanted to present other options. Immediately after I said "wasn't enough", it was misconstrued as a threat. I realized that almost immediately and attempted to clarify, but was talked over for about a minute afterward. I thought I had cleared up that misunderstanding in the call after that, but apparently I was mistaken. I attempted to bring up the subject again in several subsequent communications with Filosofia; I never received any reply of any sort.


Zman wrote:
We were under no obligation to offer his money back and felt this answer showed us that we would not be able to work together in a professional manner.


I admit, I was not completely professional in that phone call. That's because I was crying.

As I have said, I completely understand the business reasons why Filosofia would choose not to work with me. What I did not understand is why they would refuse to even communicate with me. I now know that it's because I had failed to clear up that misunderstanding. I had suspected as much, and in my subsequent communications I tried to clear the air on the issue. But, again, no response.

Zman wrote:
His decision to post on BGG on this issue only reinforces this perception.


It has been over half a year since all this went down. If my goal was to hurt you, I would have gone public right away.

Read my blog post again. Read my posts here again. I have said over and over that I understand the decisions made. But I needed people to know this project existed because it was killing me that people didn't know. I make games because I want them to be played. I have been through all kinds of personal hell in the past half-year, and I needed to tell people this game existed for my own personal sanity. Given the alternate possible reactions that people have demonstrated in this thread, I think I've been reasonable.

Zman wrote:
I believe I have said all that could be said so I will not engage in a back and forth in this thread. But I hope I have shown that we did no wrong to Henry, and even tried to make it right, and therefore the comments made in this thread are wholly undeserved and that Z-Man and I will be seen in a different light.


I do think several of the comments in this thread have been out of line. As I've tried to make clear, there is no hope of changing anything by attacking Z-Man or Filosofia, and that I understand all their decisions. This is all in the past. I just wanted a little bit of a memorial that my work existed.

I am saddened, however, that instead of using this opportunity to open the dialogue with me that I've been trying to open with Filosofia for all this time to try to clear the air, all you've tried to do is hurt me more. And I'm sorry... but you can't possibly hurt me more than you already have.
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Rob Ryan
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Wow! Two sides and an elusive truth. It sounds like Z-man had buyers remorse with his contract (and gave you the slow-roll to get out of it)and he also cites a problem with the code structure (whatever that means).

Henry, understand one thing, he responded to this thread to answer the public writ large, not you.

As far as I can tell you performed some work and paid some money to the company for the digital rights. If I was filosofia/z-man I would send you a cheque with delivery confirmation for some amount (at least refund your initial investment). This way they can show a court they made good faith to give you some compensation/refund. If you choose to not cash it out of principal than that's on you. This is a reasonable approach if they want somebody else to develop the App. If you cash the check I would never release your code re-themed or not and both sides can wash their hands. If they offer nothing then I think they deserve whatever negative press/attention they earn here. Whatever they offer will not be enough to make you happy but at least it is better than nothing. The law may or may not be on their side, but morally they are bankrupt in my book until they attempt to refund your initial investment with Z-man.
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Martin Gallo
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Too many wrongs, and no clear "path to right" in this one. My sympathies to ALL parties involved.
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Richard Keiser

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At the very least, Filo is legally responsibile for reimbursing you the initial payment for the rights. Why they have not done this is baffling. They took your money, didn't accept your work, then because you said "no" to the return of the monies doesn't mean it is theirs.

Zev is a good person, but I think he nailed it when the he stated the contract was not in his or Leacock's best interest, which they probably realized around the time Filo was doing it due diligence on purchasing Z-man. It does seem like they slow walked the final step in the process, so they could slip from the contract. Now, that is their right, because they aren't forced to accept any work that you submitted. It does appear that both sides both tried to be professional and also exemplified examples of failed communications.

I think Filo and Henry could both attempt to forge some new relationship, but since Filo cut Henry loose, perhaps they should make some effort to restart the talks.

And I don't mean to be ignorant here, but does dev work really need to be done in house or does Filo just like to employ people (laudable) rather than contract them?

It does seem a bit unfair to Henry, because he and his friends were staking their entire futures on this app, and this outcome couldn't be any worse for them. Perhaps Zev and Filo could at least view it from that perspective. Not saying they owe Henry and his team anything, apart from their initial payment, but c'mon Zev... if you spent two years on developing a quality game, coming within literally minutes from publishing it, and then your partner just said..."No, thanks!" Do you think that Z-man would have survived that setback?

I hope that both parties can learn something from this episode and make a way forward that is both fair and equitable to everyone, while keeping in perspective that little guys get trampled more easily than big giants.

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Peter B
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Memo to self: never enter into a business relationship with someone whose reaction to things turning rocky will be "I'll post about it on an internet forum."
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Brandon M
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peterb12 wrote:
Memo to self: never enter into a business relationship with someone whose reaction to things turning rocky will be "I'll post about it on an internet forum."


1. Never get involved in a land war in Asia.

2. Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.
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Matthew Rooks
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Inconceivable.
 
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David Boeren
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HungryTenor wrote:
They also offered me a job to come work for them to develop apps in-house. I told them thank you, but I couldn't relocate for personal life reasons.


I'm a bit confused why an app developer would be required to relocate, it's normally a pretty easy job to work remotely, they can email you whatever art files, etc... that you need.
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Drew Dallas
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dboeren wrote:
HungryTenor wrote:
They also offered me a job to come work for them to develop apps in-house. I told them thank you, but I couldn't relocate for personal life reasons.


I'm a bit confused why an app developer would be required to relocate, it's normally a pretty easy job to work remotely, they can email you whatever art files, etc... that you need.


If it is anything like most jobs they don't trust you to work when not under someones thumb...
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