Technique 1: The Chapman

Games conferences are sordid drunken affairs and you can be assured that your mark will be drinking somewhere prior to his meetings the following day. Sadly, he is an industry big-wig and you are most definitely not on The List.

A glimmer of hope emerges though as you see a fellow developer striding confidently toward the bouncer. Stop the developer (The Chapman) and reveal to him The Plan, which is thus…

He goes forward shows his pass to the guard and befriends him with talk of “beer” or “the game” or “being stabbed” or some other topic of interest to the average bouncer. It is crucial that during this exchange the security guard sees Chapman’s pass.

Chapman then returns to you and says loudly, “she’s not coming let’s just go in” whilst surreptitiously passing his pass to you. You then both approach the guard, Chapman is known and therefore admitted and you march in on his pass.

How To Start Your Own Games Studio, Pt 4
Getting in to some events can be a pain...

Once in, go and befriend The Mark, but don't talk about business – just give him a warm glow to entice him and set him up for when he comes and sees you tomorrow. The Chapman.

Technique 2: The Mute

This is derived from an old journalist trick based on the psychological phenomenon that most people (especially when under pressure) hate silence and like to fill it with words. (That’s a trade secret! – Ed)

I’ve actually fallen for this trick myself and before I was taught The Mute and I once ended up giving the whole company away together with all our games for the next ten years in order to avoid the uncomfortable silence which my skilled adversary had orchestrated.

The Mute is a simple technique; when The Mark makes an offer which is too low, or refuses to concede or asks for that which is too much you look him straight in the eye, and say nothing. After a while you can reach for a glass of water or pretend to make a few notes, but you must remain absolutely silent. After a period of about a minute The Mark will almost always crack and bend to your steely will.

Remember that once a tide of offerings or concessions is flowing it must never be dammed – stay silent and reap the rewards. Although this is a powerful technique it must not be overused and you must always be aware of dreaded MuteLock. In this situation The Mark is also an accomplished Muter and you can find your self trapped for days in a silent battle of wills waiting for a crack in the armour and the first concessionary word to be spoken. The Mute.

Technique 3: The Vocab

Many vocations have a specialist vocabulary that is spoken fluently by the accomplished within its ranks. With the military it’s acronyms, the legal profession enjoy Latin and the medics like words twice as long as the rest of us.

How To Start Your Own Games Studio, Pt 4
...but there are perks to succeeding!

During our short period performing negotiations within the video games industry, we’ve developed a short lexicon that may be of use to you. Here are some examples.

“Why would you want to do that?” – Derisive. Used to off-balance The Mark when they have just spent ten minutes outlining their business strategy or game idea. Always have an answer to this question.

“Why would we want to do that?” – Derisive and inclusive. Used to off-balance The Mark when they have asked you to do something – however reasonable – use immediately after the request has been made.

“That doesn’t really work for us” – Escalatory. Used to extract more money from The Mark.

“Up-side” – A metaphor for profit.

“Advance on Royalty” – A request for real money, in my hand, now.

“Deductions” – A counter-attack used to reduce “Advance on Royalty” to “Royalty”.

“Acceptance and Rectification process” – Metaphor meaning you are being asked to surrender creative control.

“Le Grande Fromage” – A metaphor for The Boss.

“Flying Hamster” – Secret IV Code for the Introversion HQ.

“SKU” – A cover-word for any bullshit product.
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