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Why you shouldnt work with clients like Foxie Games. [Personal Experience]

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Gumbata polycounter lvl 6
This is a post explaining my experience working with Foxie Games and how you shouldnt devaluate your craft.

Important points!
1. If the client offers ridiculous payment for your work, compared to what you think its worth, dont even waste your time. Companies and clients that post jobs which require a lot of work or expect high quality and pay nothing for it have no respect for artists. Nothing good will come out of it.
2. Do not work with promises about payment after the project/task is complete. Always work with a safety payment/deposit.
3. Ignore promises for many future tasks and higher payment in next projects. "There will be a lot more work for you in the future" - At least 5 clients(even big companies) have told me this already and the only one that gave me more work was after 8 months...

So, here is the story about my experience with Foxie Games and their Art lead: 

Their Lead posted the job on the Freelance jobs here on Polycount and I contacted him to get more information. I told him that I normally work with deposits to which he said they would prefer milestones. We agreed on simple milestones after finishing some simple meshes. I worked 
with him for about a week trying to reach their "Commercial standards". They requested a full body horse with more than 5 accessory meshes to be textured(The meshes were badly unwrapped, no reusing on UVs and a lot of stretching). After multiple revisions, i drew the line and said, I cannot keep amending the textures while you keep changing the requirements. Since there was no concept the direction was unclear. We initially agreed on 200 Australian dollars but an artist cannot do endless revisions and spend weeks for that price. I think as a 10+ years experienced artist from which 5+ in leading mobile games I know how to create quality art that fits the brief. After I sent them a working copy of the textures they decided they do not meet their "Commercial standards" and said they only pay for completed and approved work. 

I wanted to share this experience about this person's bad practices and disrespect towards the artist's craft and time so that other people do not waste their time. 

I understand that people live in different countries, have different needs and could be even desperate but if you do not value your own craft, no one will. Also, by doing so you are hurting the industry.

Hopefully this helps! Thanks for reading!

Replies

  • Outsourcing
    Gumbata, your frustrations are misdirected.

    As I do recall you agreeing to the job at the increased rate that you requested. However now that you failed the first milestone and refused to make the requested changes, you respond with crude remarks, embellishments and skewed facts. It does not reflect well on you.

    1) We matched your suggested / requested rate, so you cannot then complain about the budget you yourself set.
    2) We use milestones to reduce the risk in case an artist is not able to deliver.
    3) We informed you of the milestone requirements.
    4) Your quality did not match that of your portfolio or hold up to our existing game's assets.
    5) You refused to make the changes requested and thus we considered the milestone failed.
    6) Only the screenshots / renders you posted have been viewed. All working files link status will show that they have not been downloaded, as they are not usable.

    Lastly, I highly recommend you don't rant and smearing others online. Defamation of character is a serious legal offence and breaches our confidentiality agreement, thus I have reported this post. It displays the very reason why we chose to no longer work with you and just reflects poorly on you.

    I truly wish you would have completed the milestone, as I honestly believe you are a talented artist. Sorry it didn't go as you wanted and I wish you all of the best.
  • rollin
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    rollin interpolator
    What I can see from "Outsourcing"'s posts here on polycount: it is already quite clear that they pay not very much per asset. If it does take too long to meet their needs it will hardly pay out (depending on where you live). But it's clear from the very beginning. 
    On the other hand pointing this out to other fellow artists is just part of being on an online board which you did also choose "Outsourcing".

    Everyone can comment on this and so both of you did. This makes a good point about what it can mean to work in this industry - viewed from both perspectives.

    If nothing else this might help others, so I appreciate it.
  • Brandon.LaFrance
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    Brandon.LaFrance Polycount Sponsor
    1) We matched your suggested / requested rate, so you cannot then complain about the budget you yourself set.
    2) We use milestones to reduce the risk in case an artist is not able to deliver.
    3) We informed you of the milestone requirements.
    4) Your quality did not match that of your portfolio or hold up to our existing game's assets.
    5) You refused to make the changes requested and thus we considered the milestone failed.
    6) Only the screenshots / renders you posted have been viewed. All working files link status will show that they have not been downloaded, as they are not usable.
    This is a garbage. You took someone's time, pay them for it.
  • NikhilR
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    NikhilR interpolator
    Rumen Petrov, your frustrations are misdirected.

    As I do recall you agreeing to the job at the increased rate that you requested. However now that you failed the first milestone and refused to make the requested changes, you respond with crude remarks, embellishments and skewed facts. It does not reflect well on you.

    1) We matched your suggested / requested rate, so you cannot then complain about the budget you yourself set.
    2) We use milestones to reduce the risk in case an artist is not able to deliver.
    3) We informed you of the milestone requirements.
    4) Your quality did not match that of your portfolio or hold up to our existing game's assets.
    5) You refused to make the changes requested and thus we considered the milestone failed.
    6) Only the screenshots / renders you posted have been viewed. All working files link status will show that they have not been downloaded, as they are not usable.

    Lastly, I highly recommend you don't rant and smearing others online. Defamation of character is a serious legal offence and breaches our confidentiality agreement, thus I have reported this post.

    To falsely attack someone personally in a public forum on behalf of the company is illegal. It displays the very reason why we chose to no longer work with you and just reflects poorly on you.

    I truly wish you would have completed the milestone, as I honestly believe you are a talented artist. Sorry it didn't go as you wanted and I wish you all of the best.

     Would it be possible to post all the completed work received here so we can look into what went wrong?

    This is a garbage. You took someone's time, pay them for it.
    Would be good to see the full contract in this case. If anything there ought to be payment for completed milestones at the least.
  • NikhilR
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    NikhilR interpolator
    I do not have all of the information here, but based on the tone of the response from @Outsourcing, I'm perfectly willing to go out on a limb.

    The reason I think the quoted practices are garbage are because they are extremely exploitative. Taking all of the information given from both parties at face value, it seems clear to me that that the definition of "commercial standards" were poorly articulated at best. This is something that should be explicitly defined in a contract before work even begins, and from the information here I would venture to guess that that was not the case. But even aside from that, a contract is an agreement between both parties, that exists to protect both parties and prevent these kinds of misunderstandings. Any contract that allows one party to "only pay for completed and approved work" and then gives that party arbitrary authority over what constitutes "approved work" is a garbage contract. It is completely one-sided in whose interests it protects, completely ignores the value of the other party's time, and is therefore exploitative.
    I agree, please post the contract here @Outsourcing

  • Eric Chadwick
    Important note. 

    Polycount does not pass value judgements on job posters nor on job seekers. This is not our role, nor can it be. We do moderate obvious scams or spam. However it is ultimately up to each job seeker to evaluate each job offer, to decide if the terms match their particular needs. 

    It's important to realize this forum has a global reach; rates are not the same everywhere. It is your responsibility as individual professionals to evaluate the client, and decide if their rate matches yours. 

    As long as things are kept professional and within our forum guidelines, we welcome discussion.
  • neilberard
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    neilberard polycounter lvl 14
    Gumbata said:
    I told him that I normally work with deposits to which he said they would prefer milestones. 
    You can't rely on someone else look out for your best interest. Right there you could have said, thank you for your time but I'll pass. Being able to say no is a critical tool in negotiating any contract. 
  • Gumbata
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    Gumbata polycounter lvl 6
    Rumen Petrov, your frustrations are misdirected.

    As I do recall you agreeing to the job at the increased rate that you requested. However now that you failed the first milestone and refused to make the requested changes, you respond with crude remarks, embellishments and skewed facts. It does not reflect well on you.

    1) We matched your suggested / requested rate, so you cannot then complain about the budget you yourself set.
    2) We use milestones to reduce the risk in case an artist is not able to deliver.
    3) We informed you of the milestone requirements.
    4) Your quality did not match that of your portfolio or hold up to our existing game's assets.
    5) You refused to make the changes requested and thus we considered the milestone failed.
    6) Only the screenshots / renders you posted have been viewed. All working files link status will show that they have not been downloaded, as they are not usable.

    Lastly, I highly recommend you don't rant and smearing others online. Defamation of character is a serious legal offence and breaches our confidentiality agreement, thus I have reported this post.

    To falsely attack someone personally in a public forum on behalf of the company is illegal. It displays the very reason why we chose to no longer work with you and just reflects poorly on you.

    I truly wish you would have completed the milestone, as I honestly believe you are a talented artist. Sorry it didn't go as you wanted and I wish you all of the best.
    I believe that I have every right to be frustrated and even then I still kept the story accurate and professional without "false personal attacks" nor "defamation of character". 
    You are correct that we agreed on the terms, however these terms as others have stated are extremely one sided and protecting you in every way and exploiting the artists.
    I honestly took this task because I enjoyed it and thought it would be an easy process/communication with an serious game company. And it was! But it was not fair since I was putting days of work and doing multiple changes for payment way below industry standard. It caused frustration because you are exploiting an artists time and effort trying to reach "AAA Quality" while paying peanuts.

    As these conditions are obviously unfair and insulting for an artist, it is my duty to share and warn the community about them. My fellow artists need to proceed with caution when dealing with such clients and one-sided contracts which give them no safety net. My sole intention was to protect the community and raise awareness. I do not seek justice or compensation. 

    I thank you for the opportunity and even though unsuccessful this experience will be a lesson to me for the future.

  • Gumbata
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    Gumbata polycounter lvl 6
    Gumbata said:
    I told him that I normally work with deposits to which he said they would prefer milestones. 
    You can't rely on someone else look out for your best interest. Right there you could have said, thank you for your time but I'll pass. Being able to say no is a critical tool in negotiating any contract. 
    You are completely right @Neliberard! I only agreed because it seemed like a fun and suitable to my skills job. I was foolish to trust that an established company would be just and fair towards me and my time. Additionally, I was told that this was a screening exercise(test) and normally artists receive higher payment on following tasks once they have proven they can deliver the quality.
    Now that I look back on it, its a very obvious no.

    I do not have all of the information here, but based on the tone of the response from @Outsourcing, I'm perfectly willing to go out on a limb.

    The reason I think the quoted practices are garbage are because they are extremely exploitative. Taking all of the information given from both parties at face value, it seems clear to me that that the definition of "commercial standards" were poorly articulated at best. This is something that should be explicitly defined in a contract before work even begins, and from the information here I would venture to guess that that was not the case. But even aside from that, a contract is an agreement between both parties, that exists to protect both parties and prevent these kinds of misunderstandings. Any contract that allows one party to "only pay for completed and approved work" and then gives that party arbitrary authority over what constitutes "approved work" is a garbage contract. It is completely one-sided in whose interests it protects, completely ignores the value of the other party's time, and is therefore exploitative.
    Brandon.LaFrance  Thats exactly what was on my mind but could not put it in words so elaborately. Thank you very much for your comment!
  • mustacheman
    So basically you misjudged your skill level and thought it will be fun. When they are clearly a business looking for a professional artist to solve a problem i.e. deliver certain assets. I'm sorry to say but they are right when they say it does not reflect well on you.

    Please never trust anyone in a business environment. People are trying to make money. It's not a charity. Make a contract and read the legal stuff jeez.

    They invested time in communication so they already lost money. Now they are getting bad mouthed for something that was 50% your own fault. Please be aware that not only freelancers will be aware of the questionable methods but also studios will be aware of your inability in a business environment.

    I'm not associated with this company in any way. I don't even know them. I just want to avert further damage from both parties here.
  • marks
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    marks greentooth
    Maybe this thread should be renamed "Why you shouldn't trash-talk clients in public". Just a thought.
  • mustacheman
    But even aside from that, a contract is an agreement between both parties, that exists to protect both parties and prevent these kinds of misunderstandings. Any contract that allows one party to "only pay for completed and approved work" and then gives that party arbitrary authority over what constitutes "approved work" is a garbage contract. It is completely one-sided in whose interests it protects, completely ignores the value of the other party's time, and is therefore exploitative.

    How is a contract one-sided when a contract is a mutual agreement between both parties?
    If in fact it was, than why did he sign it?

    You also don't know the contract, yet you declare it to be exploitative.
    I think thats highly speculative.
  • Alex Javor
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    Alex Javor high dynamic range
    Thanks for sharing experience, but should leave names and specifics out of it. That doesn't help anybidy. Company shouldn't defend themselves either. Just request private dis ussion, it's the professional thing to do.

    Anyway, always look after number one. Nobody else is gonna. Live and learn. 
  • Brandon.LaFrance
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    Brandon.LaFrance Polycount Sponsor
    But even aside from that, a contract is an agreement between both parties, that exists to protect both parties and prevent these kinds of misunderstandings. Any contract that allows one party to "only pay for completed and approved work" and then gives that party arbitrary authority over what constitutes "approved work" is a garbage contract. It is completely one-sided in whose interests it protects, completely ignores the value of the other party's time, and is therefore exploitative.

    How is a contract one-sided when a contract is a mutual agreement between both parties?
    If in fact it was, than why did he sign it?

    You also don't know the contract, yet you declare it to be exploitative.
    I think thats highly speculative.
    You're right, it is highly speculative. Maybe I should have been more clear, but I was referring to any hypothetical contract that gives those kinds of protections, and not necessarily this specific contract (if it even exists). As this thread is supposed to serve as a warning to those venturing out into the world of freelancing, I thought it was important to highlight exactly why terms like that are not in their best interest.

    I still stand by my assertion that a contract that looks like that is one-sided. It only protects one of the parties, while completely ignoring the interests of the other. Whether or not both parties agreed to it is beside the point. It is possible to agree to a contract that does not have your best interests in mind, and many predatory businesses rely heavily on getting people to sign those kinds of contracts. If someone hands you a contract that looks like that, do not sign it.
  • Brandon.LaFrance
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    Brandon.LaFrance Polycount Sponsor
    This is a pretty solid lecture on the whole topic:
    https://vimeo.com/22053820
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