It is currently Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:41 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 4:59 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:12 pm
Posts: 19122
Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Recently I received an offer to program a very simple NES tech demo for €20. The work described in the requirements was roughly the same complexity as the "Blob Ball" minigame from Tengen's Klax. I replied that I would need more money because that much money would barely buy enough time to spin up a new copy of nrom-template and draw tiles for the background and sprites. I counter-offered €80 for a tested and documented program, at €40 per hour for two hours. (I expressed it in euros rather than U.S. dollars to attempt to meet the prospective client halfway.) The prospective client tried to haggle me down to €40, and I replied that the program would not be complete but there would be pseudocode (with links to Wikipedia's articles about pseudocode in both English and the prospective client's native language) to allow anyone who knows 6502 assembly to complete the work.

But in this post, Punch wrote:
"Protip to the OP: PAYPAL ONRY! (or whatever site your programmer agrees to accept money from)"

When I asked in an IRC channel how to express politely that €20-€40 isn't enough for custom programming work, one user recommended a wire transfer instead of PayPal because it was so hard for a PayPal seller to win a purchase protection claim. The two grounds for such a claim are "item not received" and "significantly not as described". PayPal's user agreement defines the latter to include "The item is missing major parts or features and those facts were not disclosed in the description of the item when you bought it." Particularly the pseudocode part is likely to be seen as "significantly not as described".

What should a contract programmer do in advance to protect himself from PayPal purchase protection claims? PayPal also has a seller protection policy, but only for physical goods shipped through a carrier offering delivery confirmation, not services, and not for "significantly not as described". Or what other payment method is suitable for payments of this scale (less than 100 euros, British pounds, or U.S. dollars) without adding the $25 fee of an international wire transfer (source)? If "Bitcoin", then how to find a reputable exchange for me and for my prospective client and not look like the ransomware purveyors in the news recently?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 5:17 am 
Offline
Formerly WheelInventor

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:55 am
Posts: 910
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
You couldperhaps formulate a contract which states that what is paid for is the service of 2 hours of coding, rather than the program itself.

_________________
http://www.frankengraphics.com - personal NES blog


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 7:10 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:21 pm
Posts: 214
Location: Central Illinois, USA
This isn't the answer you're looking for, but my answer is: don't do business with someone that you don't have reason to believe you can trust.

_________________
My games: http://www.bitethechili.com


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 2:44 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:03 pm
Posts: 5736
Location: Canada
Aside from dueing some dilligence to figure out whether your prospective partner is likely to pay you for your work, the main thing I'd suggest is to write an actual contract with all the requirements in it.

Be very specific with the requirements, and don't let them be vague. If they want to change something later, if it's outside the contract they must re-negotiate. Writing a good contract is actually difficult, and you should probably expect to make mistakes while you're learning (...and those mistakes will cost you time and money). If they don't know what they want, it will be difficult to satisfy them: nail those ideas down before you agree to them.

If you're being paid by PayPal, be sure to attach the contract to the invoice.


IMO, just the labour involved in writing a proper contract is worth more than €20. I probably wouldn't even be willing to consider such an offer.

There are things like Fiverr though that seem to facilitate small jobs and transactions, though, I think they get around this by keeping the stakes small enough that people pay up front and they can side with the seller in most disputes. (By the way, there aren't really standards for whether contract work should be paid up front, after the work, half and half, etc. this is generally a negotiable item.)

Whenever someone asks me to do NES work for them, my first question is: "What's your budget?"


FrankenGraphics wrote:
You couldperhaps formulate a contract which states that what is paid for is the service of 2 hours of coding, rather than the program itself.

I wouldn't really recommend charging by the hour. You should estimate how long it will take for yourself, and that may factor into the price, but your time is not really what the customer wants directly. If you finish early, are you cheating them? If you take longer, should they pay you more? They wanted the result, not for you to spend a specific amount of time. (There are contract situations where selling units of your time is appropriate, but this probably isn't one of them.)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 3:41 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:43 pm
Posts: 10068
Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
rainwarrior wrote:
IMO, just the labour involved in writing a proper contract is worth more than €20.

I guess some people don't understand the difference between paying for a copy of something being sold to the general public and paying for software customized specially for them.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 6:58 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:37 am
Posts: 208
Location: Wisconsin
tepples:

I hope you don't find this odd when I say your work is worth more than what is being offered.
At my workplace I've been advised by those that deal with the haggling daily: Don't ever quote "number of hours", just give an expected completion date.
As rainwarrior also said, just have a basic single line-item called "programming" and charge accordingly. Adding any more information only causes ridiculously frustrating negotiation.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 8:02 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:04 pm
Posts: 936
^^^ Sounds like you know what you're talking about! I'm sure Tepples is
tokumaru wrote:
rainwarrior wrote:
IMO, just the labour involved in writing a proper contract is worth more than €20.

I guess some people don't understand the difference between paying for a copy of something being sold to the general public and paying for software customized specially for them.

In the age of digital distribution, the costs per-copy are practically nil after that first one…which requires all that labor to produce.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 11:02 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:49 am
Posts: 1905
Location: WhereverIparkIt, USA
It's rather easy, just use payment between friends option. You forgo the fees and all the protections that those fees are paying for. You can't claim buyer protection for payment between friends. If you're worried about it being an issue, prob sounds like something not worth taking on though..

_________________
If you're gonna play the Game Boy, you gotta learn to play it right. -Kenny Rogers


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 12:52 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:29 am
Posts: 256
Location: Denmark (PAL)
I hope this is purely theoretical and you're not seriously considering going into a deal with someone you don't even know or trust, for a two hour €80 deal.

While I recognize that €80 is obviously more to some people than others - for a professional contract, it's simply not worth it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 1:41 am 
Offline
Formerly WheelInventor

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:55 am
Posts: 910
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
rainwarrior wrote:
I wouldn't really recommend charging by the hour.

You're right. That wasn't thought through to include a time factor as the base of the service.

_________________
http://www.frankengraphics.com - personal NES blog


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 5:54 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:20 am
Posts: 21
infiniteneslives wrote:
It's rather easy, just use payment between friends option. You forgo the fees and all the protections that those fees are paying for. You can't claim buyer protection for payment between friends. If you're worried about it being an issue, prob sounds like something not worth taking on though..


This. But I'd also say it sounds like whoever is trying to contract you has no appreciation of the work/skillset involved and has no business haggling you down from €80.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 10:07 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:22 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Ohio
Refer him to me, I'll quote him €150 for the same job. He'll surely come running back, willing to take your price of €80 :wink:


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group