Open Letter to Punto Informatico (Informatic Online Magazine)
I've sent a letter to an Online Italian Magazine about Information and Communication Technology, called PUNTO INFORMATICO.
It is titled: In Italy everyone against Games Developers.
I thank P.I. and all those who have watched and commented with their views this article.
Lord Hol Napult
- In Italy everyone against Games Developers - Rome -
Hello Punto Informatico, I'am a fan of video games since I was a child and I would say my opinion about Video Games, as we work in Italy?
I have already created a video game, and it has already been published by you about one year ago; it is called "No One Shoots Forever."
Inside the video games there is its history (Main / credits / history) and I decided to keep it inside because I've thought it was interesting; it describes the effort I made developing that game.
I came from a group of people from Italy in touch via Internet (which in fact was too dispersive) and I fell to do everything alone.
Sadly, I did not find fans like me who gave me an hand, and so I arranged to make code, graphics, sound, level design, beta testing and all that is necessary to reach at what I consider a good freeware product (free of charge) . The fact that after 2 years and some months of work, the product is released as freeware, was due to purpose that I wanted to reach a little reputation in this sector, but not between videogame players, but between the Italian software house that produces video games.
I thought, int the past, that there was some attention for developers emerging ...
Incredibly, there wasn't just a poor attention, there wasn't even the software house in Italy!
In addition, I must admit that people who would like to make videogames are thousands ... those who actually have the capacity and desire are a many less.
This videogame should be my true calling card! Unfortunately, things went differently.
I had to suspend the "video coding" (now I'm working inside financial IT) for lack of time and money need, but nobody (and I say NONE!) has really contacted me for a job.
Strange, since I received a corner inside various magazines (The Games Machine in 2005 and some European magazines).
The sum of Downloads (about 30,000) took nothing good to me. The road in Italy is really uphill, such as a climbing for climbers.
This also means that everything that KOALA GAMES have said is correct... they seek for state funds, become developers and publishers at the same time, in short, create themselves this new sector because neither institutions nor entrepreneurship benefits to the cause.
Now take two aspects of the problem. For example, the SIAE (Italian society for Authors and Publishers) problem, because I've tried to register at least one software in my short career.
Here's how they register a software in Italy:
1) The registration of a Software is optional.
2) The software must have a "SIAE sticker" upon each CD, and this is available only recording software (but wasn't it optional?). This legislation stickers are even in CONTRAST with European directives.
3) To register a software you must obtain that the software has been "PUBLISHED", that is made with a publicly exposure and then distribution to a client.
4) If I register to SIAE, it is because I want to be sure that in case of PUBLICATION the software will results uniquely mine, and nobody could thief the idea, the CD or whatever else about the Software.
5) If the recording have succeed (about a costs of 130 euro!) you will receive the confirmation of registration with the reg. number, otherwise... heh, otherwise,I have not received anything. Neither YES, or NOT. For 130 euro a silly postcard that said: "REFUSED because ..." could also be sent.
6) The provincial SIAE offices didn't know anything about Software registration, and the only ones who know are in ROME, in the "Software Registration Office"
7) The telephonic help desk suggest to call Tuesday or Friday for 2 hours. Incredible, but even in those days and in those hours the automatic voice is the same! But you cannot say it:"Hey! But it is NOW!".
Then there is the question that assails the bureaucratic italian softwarehouse.
Abstract: Shareware market (where Shareware is often the single solution for small software house just born ...) is made by trial programmes that are unlocked and become fully operational by registering on the site, upon payment of the amount.
Question: How could a developer or a small development team to risk the financial activity, pay a regular accountant, self-development (we speak about years of work, eh ...), issue invoices "to myself" (in case of sales) and throw away about 50% / 60% of the price of software in various taxes and charges, when not even know if it will sell a copy of their program?
And I haven't talked about the costs of the offices, hardware, software, and anything else is required to create a Software.
They would like tho call this a "risk business"? I think his true name is LEGALIZED FAILURE FOR SURE.
It should also be considered that wealthy entrepreneurs are indicatively "elder" and is not easy that they would pay in advance a team of young boys that use young technologies that entrepreneurs don't know and don't understand, in order to archieve (if thing goes right) some results on the marked, such as the sale of video games.
It also must be considered that the extra-Italian reality they touch is very advanced from the Italian Reality.
That is why the Koala Games pay much attention to their REGIONAL contributions (blessed them, I should wait for eons some NATIONAL contributions), they persuade investors to finance them (I do not know how they reach that and using what of their vodoo practice), they die under hours of work and produce in strict times their games.
I conclude by saying that as a programmer I refuse to make Videogames in strict times, because I've an high respect of what I consider a new modern ART, and modern art needs its time to be created.
Now it is better than I lower my voice tone and I return to make my good stand-alone freeware ... but "if I would like to write seriously my videogames, I would have written this message in a non Italian language... " .
Lord Hol Napult