Game Designer Free lancer woes

I need some advice here…

I have a project that required some MAYA texturing that was above my and our inner office capabilities. I hired a game designer who has more than 10 years experience in working at Midway Games. I am happy with the renders thus far but now he is telling me that he can’t get me the .mb files because he has secrets inside there that are his own.

Now I have lost my temper on less but come on. I have never heard of this game designers crap that he can’t give me the files. In product design that’s what you pay for the file. The guy is coming over to pick up a check and he is not even giving me the files. Someone fill in the blanks for me. What should I do?

I guess it depends. I’m an industrial designer, and it may be different. When I freelance and I’m asked to deliver images, I will render files (and re-render and re-render…) until the client is satisfied. I will never give them native surface files or even .igs files. I build my cad models and develop environments (shaders, lights, cameras etc…) in ways which are pretty clever (I think), and I wouldn’t want someone to copy them without my permission. I will only supply them unless I’m contracted to do so. What did your contract say?

if its his own proprietary thing see if you can give him some kind of recourse for your use of it. License it or give him credit for it. Freelance coders have similiar agreements with software companies. At worst, He sould be prepared to protect his own proprietary technique by just walking away from you with no problems. Sorry to say so should you.

not sure if this helps but according to an ex Gf who was in house at Midway anything a designer/artist/proigrammer develops while in house with Midway becomes Midway’s and the creators exclusive IP. Everything; even things skecthed on napkins at bars not related to Midway.

I’d say try negotiating with him to get it. Get disclosure, find out why he is protecting it and see if there is away to get it while protecting him and his IP (if thats what it is). Make sure you cover your ass. If he is shopping this thing and if you use it by paying him or not you will be ultimately liable for its use.

Good advice…

Contract? I don’t sign contracts for projects under 2 thousand dollars.

Maybe I should?

When the guy says he is going for an interview and can’t deliver then come off the native geometry. I build the files anyway. The only thing that he may have done is download a wood grain and managed the placement of the maping.

I am liable to hit the guy with a wiffle ball bat then I will negotiate.

I have a project that required some MAYA texturing that was above my and our inner office capabilities.

The only thing that he may have done is download a wood grain and managed the placement of the maping.

If what he did was simple, then you’ve just made yourself look bad. And belittling his effort reminds me of those in Engineering who belittle the design profession (“All you’re doing is…”). You might want to rethink this as it isn’t uncommon. If you don’t make it clear the deal is for the native files up front, then you get what you apparently asked for: renders. I sometimes do renders and I don’t supply native files. Those files often contain custom shaders; some of which have taken a lot of time to develop - mostly through trial and error. If I started every shader from scratch, I’d take longer and have to charge for that.

And btw, not every CAD person supplies native files. Some will send iges.

I’ve seen Bart with a wiffle-ball bat (and it ain’t pretty).

I guess it comes down to the deliverables that you both agreed on. If it was renderings only, well then, it’s renderings only.

However, thinking of shader-design-as-IP maybe is one of the reasons that making shaders always take time and effort for everybody.

Nobody shares so nobody learns. And thats a shame.

Not true. There are plenty of free shaders online. And considering Bart charges cash-money for training (last I heard), that comment could apply to his business as well.

[i]However, thinking of shader-design-as-IP maybe is one of the reasons that making shaders always take time and effort for everybody.

Nobody shares so nobody learns. And thats a shame.[/i]

Huh? If I’m a freelancer and my client is jerking me around about paying me, why should I want to give him my shaders or code? So he can learn? Is it up to my mechanic to show me how he installed the clutch in my car so I can do it myself next time? I agree with you that everyone within an office should share techniques, but out in the world, only deliver what you’re paid for. Get everything in writing.

My advice is to get everything in writing, regardless of how simple or straightforward you believe the deliverables to be. Contracts protect both parties’ interests. I don’t ever work without one.

Final outcome. freelancer dude took out his special ligting tricks and is giving me the models.

je-zus lo-izus

So Bart, have you made those modeling tutorials free? If not, why not?

Sounds like a good compromise. If you want the proprietary stuff, you get a flat render, if you want the model, you get the surfaces minus the tricks…

yo: Compromise: I had to look it up to spell it. and Compromise only in hind site. I should not have to compromise. Next time I’ll know not to hire a game designer and stick with industrial designers. :wink: Jokers and always playing games.

seven: I tried to work a one per month deal with core77 and help with ‘software and technology’ talk board to kick it off but several thought my tutorials were not set at the level for do it your self learning. Those tutorials are meant more for instructor based learning. I wanted to compromise for the forum but we are all busy and communication stopped. I say lets do it! I would throw 20 hrs at it per month. I am personally geared more at training ID’ers on Maya - Alias Studio and Pro/E and less Rhino and Solidworks BTW but there are others in the office that could help w/ the SW and Rhino.

I look forward to seeing the tutorials posted on the web for everyone to see. I’ll be happy to post links in the software sticky. Let me know and I’ll add a section for them. No reason tutorials of any kind should not be freely available, right?

I put them free on other tallk boards.

Ah. “free on other tallk boards”, huh?

So you let me guess: those are the talk boards for your former students, yes? The one’s who already paid money for instruction, correct?

And that board is the same one that came up in a previous discussion here (in the “Asia” forum). However, those were supposed to be private forums, and you messed up by posting a link which gave Guest access to them… but which I now assume are once again restricted to your former students. Right?

And the “deal” with Core to post tutorials also had some sort of financial benefit for you as well, yes? Otherwise why call it a “deal”? Was Core going to pay for those or provide advertising? If there was nothing in it for you or your business, why wouldn’t you post links to them here anyway?

If I’m mistaken, please explain why you don’t simply provide a link to those tutorials such that everyone can have access? There are plenty of free tutorials online (and free software, and shaders, and…). If the value of your training is in the personal instruction, it seems to me you’re missing an opportunity by withholding them and only granting access to former students.

csven, I was beginning to think you were about to lighten up. you do got a stick up your arse. You must be short or something. Maybe I am mistaken so if you are not trying to be an arse forgive me “about being short or something”, but you still have a stick stuck up there. It is so easy too be an arse on a talk board and my above proves it (am just tring to prove a point). Who made u a moderator anyway. You are suposta keep conversations flowing not scare people off. When ever we meet you are going to buy me a pitcher of beer and apologies.

All Proding fun aside:
No deal with the tutorials on core77 for financial gain, i just did not think anyone cared much and the talks I had with the powers at large stopped after several iterations on some Alias tutors it was thought that the tutors were not detailed enough for the talk board. And I got busy and quit pushing it. As a matter of fact I give that password out to anyone who asks and your asking so … l:student p:sushiwabi < I think a better place to post these tutors is in the software technology forum. I wish I had more time to build those tutors… maybe if I quite playing with talkboards…

I use the tutors more for class organization and apologies in advance for them not being fully detailed. I am trying as hard as possible to make that sound like it is not an advertisement for personal instruction. (there aint that much money in helping people anyway) I don’t think anyone could argue it is better to sit with a more advanced user who is willing to put forth personal attention over self learning. I am self learned and wish I had the forethought to pay for an instructor to get me ahead long ago. It took me 14 years and more to get surface modeling to where I am now and I thought I was an expert as surfacing 10 years ago. I do now pay for instruction myself… I just took a Pro/CABLE class on my birthday Saturday and I must say that is boring stuff. guess the instructor could have been more fun with it.

And about the past student talk board no need to keep that private. It is a great mechanism to keep track of everyone so each can network with each other for jobs, couch for traveling cheep and general knowledge.
Got hacked though. Jokes on me i guess.

So what about that pitcher o beer? What city are you in csven? I do post those tutors on other talk boards like and other ID boards. Next your going to say PTC pays me to hit these talk baords. I turned them down.

I like to say something.

Game designers and Product designers are two different industries.

Though both are designers but in different fields of expertise.

Thus the way they work differs from one another.

As I looked through the thread, Common grounds and rules and contracts must be set to achieve what you want.

This must be done at the beginning of any job commencement.

Anything must be in Black and White. Signatures as well. So that in case of failed deliverables, legal actions can be taken.

2 cents


All I’m doing is trying to figure out why you post a thread disrespecting someone who’s only abiding by the terms of the job and watching out for themself just the same way you do. Here’s a little scenario since you don’t seem to be able to figure this out on your own:

  • Imagine you’re a talented freelance CAD person.
  • You get hired by someone who trains people in CAD to deliver a CNC-cut model.
  • After you deliver the model the client now wants the original files as well - which, by the way, contain techniques and solutions to problems that would be useful to someone wanting to learn a technique to teach to students… who will then become competition.

So why exactly should this person you hired do you a favor when as far he knows you’re training his future competition using files he provided when they weren’t part of the deal?

Like everyone here has said: you had a verbal agreement, he delivered. If you wanted more than what was asked, that should have been discussed up front. It doesn’t get more clear than that. Whine all you want, it won’t change a thing.

Who made u a moderator anyway.


You are suposta keep conversations flowing not scare people off.

I’m not a moderator anymore.

When ever we meet you are going to buy me a pitcher of beer and apologies.

I don’t apologize when I’m right.

All Proding fun aside:

As a matter of fact I give that password out to anyone who asks…

Why is there even a password?!? Jeesuz.

I work in both. They’re not that different.