Thoughts on associates who call every paid business requirement a scam

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BreakerZero

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Before you dismiss this as unnecessary or dumb, hear me out. And if there's a better place for this it can be moved accordingly. Basically I'm at a point in my project where I'm having to put added cost in for some of my project provisions (recently it was for Olivia's ordered-positioning battle system) and I have a serious discrepancy. The issue is that I have associates (primarily family members) who think every cost of business that requires payment for online collaboration is a scam (and it doesn't matter whether it's commissions, uncovered transportation costs etc.) and that I'm setting myself up to be robbed blind if I were to buy in. It doesn't matter if there's a BBB on the provider or not, they would simply disavow my actions if I were to do something like that. For example, I recently got a Dreamhack invitation (not saying whether this ain't legit) and I'd be working to update my game with dialog fixes and near-final design elements for submission; however they do not cover transportation costs (whether or not they're legit) and as such I am hesitant to enter content into something like that for consideration (especially considering that a number of serious trust issues sunk a similar situation when I did a community stint on the newswire side of videogame publishing).

Any thoughts?
 
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takes money to make money. obviously stuff like Olivia's plugins count as legitimate business expenses. people expect to be paid for their hard work. transportation to conferences and hacks is never covered unless you're a special guest or have some kind of scholarship or fellowship arrangement. part of being a professional (or semi-pro or serious amateur) is that you're willing to pay for things that are essential to your goals. most of us here have purchased RPG Maker MV. is that a scam? hardly -- it's an excellent tool. just like plugins, art, networking and marketing opportunities, etc.

that's not to say you shouldn't be careful when dealing with online transactions. but you can usually go by reviews and reputation.
 

BreakerZero

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Exactly my point. The problem here is on where to draw the line when you have suspicious associates who don't trust what you're doing because of all the horror stories of those who don't check their sources and end up worse off for not being as thorough in their research, and who by consequence are the most difficult to convince that your work is legit. Obviously this also applies if the hesitation is because of a fault where they don't know jack about the business in the first place.
 

Shaz

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If you pay something to receive goods or services, and you receive those goods or services, it is not a scam. And even if you don't receive them, it's not always a scam (things get misdelivered - had it happen).

Are your "associates" actually helping with your game development? If not, they don't need to know what you're spending your money on. Save yourself the anxiety of trying to justify your expenses to people who think everything should be free.

It's National Scam Awareness Week in Australia right now, so I've been hearing some interesting stories of how people have been (or nearly been) scammed. Hard to believe people actually fall for some of these (the Australian Taxation Office can only take your debt payment via gift cards that you need to send via WhatsApp? Really?)

Just don't believe anyone who rings you telling you your computer has a virus or has been hacked and you should pay them to fix it. And don't believe anyone who emails you and says they're going to marry you but need you to send them money to help them get back home. ;)
 
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BreakerZero

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Yeah.... who knows how many idiots fell for it. I've received many calls like that, and I know well enough to reject the call.

Which brings me to my next question: if the person you have a problem with in this situation also tracks your expenses during the course of the project, then what's the best way to approach things so you don't hit a brick wall? For those not keeping track, I'm the one who recently published the much-requested rumble plugin and went into detail about what was involved and still got accused of being scammed until I gave reassurance that I didn't request commission or put it up for sale. Again, I'm dealing with the type of people who don't know jack about what I'm doing beyond the fact that I'm doing it, and that any such transaction would be suspect as a result (whether or not it's actually legit). It's kind of like the whole "living while black" mess in terms of comparison, only this one's in terms of cash flow instead of blood sacrifice.
 

Shaz

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Why are these people tracking your expenses? Why do you have to answer to them? Are they funding your project? Are they your parents and just want to be sure you're not wasting (or losing) your money?

If it's something like that, perhaps setting some expectations might help. Surely they agree that you need to spend money on some things rather than doing it all yourself? If you list the things you need to spend money on, and how much you expect to spend, so they are aware of it up-front, that might help alleviate things a little. It would be up to you to do your research and figure out the right amounts, so you don't end up short then have to explain why you need to spend more than expected. After that, you just have to be careful that the people you are dealing with are legit. At this point, I should send you to the pinned threads in the Commercial area, that have all sorts of warnings and steps to take before commissioning anyone. Even on this forum, you have no guarantee that the person offering to provide your resources will come through, and there is nothing the mods can do if they don't (at least nothing in the way of getting your money back). So yes, be careful.

Use Paypal, as they offer a money-back guarantee for 30 days (or something like that - look into it) and will handle disputes for you.
 

BreakerZero

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Why are these people tracking your expenses? Why do you have to answer to them? Are they funding your project? Are they your parents and just want to be sure you're not wasting (or losing) your money?

All of the above, and then some. (Blame welfare management procedures - if I can pull one out of this it would be on par with the madness when Harry Potter went viral.) That and she was literally equivalent to CFO positioning in a region-specialized marketing group with big business owners in technology as its customers (literally, we're talking AMD, Microsoft, HP and other such companies). So obviously there's some serious cred in this, and also a lot of reasons for caution in these situations.

EDIT: I should probably mention that I don't open up about this a lot, even to other close associates. Not that anyone really needs to know the specifics, of course.

EDIT 2: I should probably note that I already track my expenses because of this, and tandard welfare audit checks are bad enough.
 
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Shaz

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With experience like that, it surprises me that she thinks all online money transfers are related to scams.

I guess all you can do is assure her that you're being very careful, and do your best to make sure you're only dealing with reputable people. Look for people who have a good track record, stay away from those who don't, and if you can't find their track record to be able to tell, look elsewhere.

Also, be sure that you actually NEED these things before you spend money on them. Speaking from experience - don't pay for things because you plan to use them down the track. Get as much of your game done as possible without them, then when you have something solid and you know they will be used, buy them then. That will save you spending money on stuff you think you'll use but end up not using. I commissioned my entire game's soundtrack, and have fallen out of love with it and want to replace almost all of it. I commissioned a fair amount of art and just about all my mapping, and I'd still be using those if I stuck with Ace. But I moved to MV and have decided to replace it all. If you can manage to avoid getting stuff until you're ready to put it in, that will probably help.
 
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BreakerZero

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And it certainly doesn't help when both parents are products of the early 50s (chronologically speaking, that is) which by extension puts both of their births just four to six years out from WWII and the Great Depression. I'm doing my best to explain this as I go but I also have to stay focused on the technical and chronological disconnect. Throw in shenanigans like the Equifax hack job and the litany of mailbox scams (both online and streetside) and you can probably imagine the cautious approach to this.

EDIT: Which reminds me of progression in general as far as requirements are concerned:

...be sure that you actually NEED these things before you spend money on them.

I can attest that it has already happened at least once in my project. In particular, I have a map region that's patterned after "far east" Asia for which I had asset issues which sent me to the MV shop for DLC to buy the associated asset pack just for the purpose of design accuracy. (That includes both the visual and sound design as I was otherwise having some serious difficulty with locating equivalent assets.) I also ended up using some of the material from the FES pack, and the "cop car" assets are from the horror city pack (which I also required so that I could properly build out the urban zone in my game.) I also have concept materials that were built using ComiPo (my favorite being how the "cat pose" made for a rather creative piece of hang time off the upper edge of a warped wall that I plan on using if I end up going full trilogy).

That's not to say that some of these purchases won't end up being left behind in the cutting room. It happens! Seeing that you can't always predict when something for which you put down a good sum of cash ultimately doesn't work out, it's just another little something of its own to expect that you may end up with a dud or six over the course of your project's development just shopping for additional material that you can't get any other way.
 
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gstv87

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if you're going to operate online, don't use credit card, use direct bank transfer.
(but don't use online banking! request the account number, go to the bank, and make the transfer in person!)

if the business you're paying to is legit, they'll have no problem in giving you their account number.

when is everyone going to learn that credit cards themselves are a scam?
you're essentially paying people for the service of paying your bills, for you.
 
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jweav8705

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I really don't want to derail here but I don't want to let this go.

when is everyone going to learn that credit cards themselves are a scam?
you're essentially paying people for the service of paying your bills, for you.
Sure. But...I need this computer/laptop/tablet/[thing] for school right now, and I don't have $XXX dollars laying around.

This actually happened to me, although it wasn't school related. Network card in my laptop DIED. It was 7 years old. I didn't have money to get another one. Used my Best Buy credit card. 0% interest for so many months. Paid it off in 4. Did the same with my phone.

What about like, "I need tires for the winter."
Can you agree with me that credit cards do have a place and purpose?
I'll agree upfront that they are not a leisure item, or method to live by.
Unless of course you're REALLY good at budgeting and can pay it off in 1 shot every month if you're accumulating cash back or rewards.
 

BreakerZero

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@gstv87 and @jweav8705, I hate to say but you are both moments away from being reported. While I can see both sides of that argument it is unfortunate on my part to report that both of you are borderline hijacking my conversation by discussing that. And unfortunately, hijacking conversations is totally against the rules here. That's not to say for 100% (and there are times where I get it wrong myself) but in general you shouldn't be injecting random material that can easily upend progression on finding ways to accommodate matters regarding the original subjective intentions.
 

mlogan

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@BreakerZero Please don't min mod, next time just report it and let us deal with. I don't think @gstv87's point was hijacking but attempting to offer advice, however @jweav8705 did pull it off topic. So, let's just get back to discussing the original topic and leave the merits of credits cards to another topic.
 

jweav8705

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@BreakerZero
Yo, I have 2 theories for you.

1.) Sent you a PM, as I wouldn't want to...derail things.

And if I've followed this thread correctly. then:
2.) "The issue is that I have associates (primarily family members)"
This is honestly might be the issue. It's extremely difficult to develop professional relationships from personal ones. How many other things have they been involved in? Have you lost any of their money before? Have you ever failed at something before? Have you ever not delivered before? Are you dealing with people who don't see you as a professional but as a kid (probably, I'm guessing they're older than you)? Mixing business and family is usually not a good idea unless it's mutual effort for a mutual goal.
If the answer to any of this is "yes," then the answer to your "how" is probably a "you can't." I mean, how genuinely can you say that these individuals are taking you and your project seriously? And I mean those 2 separately.
+Do they take you seriously?
+Do they take your project seriously?

How much money did you tell them you were going to need? You've exceeded this amount? Have they paid over that amount already? I don't know this whole story but from what you've told us, it almost sounds like this.

There's honestly a lot of holes in this that need coloring in order figure out what's really happening. I see that people are trying to attack the problem thats being presented but that might actually just be a symptom of something else.

@Shaz
"With experience like that, it surprises me that she thinks all online money transfers are related to scams."
This individual may see it as "you have the software what are you talking about?"
Or maybe, as a person in business, they've seen bills from other companies for food, boarding, transportation that were outrageous. I've delt in accounts payable and I've seen expense invoices from other companies before and sometimes they include every receipt down to the penny, and sometimes they just send you a figure that you now owe them now with no supporting documentation. So if this person has seen stuff like this happen, I can totally understand why someone, even a business person, would feel this way.
There's no way this person thinks thay "buying things online" is a scam, which is what thos thread had has seemed portray in some places.
 

Shaz

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There's no way this person thinks thay "buying things online" is a scam

uh ... according to the OP:

I have associates (primarily family members) who think every cost of business that requires payment for online collaboration is a scam (and it doesn't matter whether it's commissions, uncovered transportation costs etc.)
 

BreakerZero

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Thank you all for the advice to this point. Sadly I am still getting nowhere and all my attempts to explain are still being dismissed as being set up to fail and eventually getting to where I've effectively been robbed blind. And all without the evidence that would clearly say otherwise. Basically I have three problems:
  1. They don't believe in the genre and/or style of presentation
  2. They believe without evidence that I'm paying scam artists
  3. It's been over a year since I started the project
Because of this lack of consensus that I cannot resolve I am unfortunately left with no choice but to end this discussion and scrap all the work that I did on my project. I will most likely also have to eat the cost of everything I put into this as a result due to the collaborations and contributions being dismissed as nothing short of criminals and frauds that I know otherwise are not true. It also doesn't help that I had a childhood friend that was accused of similar things which in his case were ultimately proven otherwise from my initial beliefs from working on his website at the time, though to be fair in his case he ultimately didn't know better and couldn't make it work meaning that he had to fake every part of the deal to give me all of the material he needed for marketing his supposed "services". (Granted, this did give me some plot material but now even that is liable to also happen to me when in my case I know what I'm doing in a situation where they don't, which is rather ironic considering my experience from the last such disconnect.)

I can't say it's not for lack of trying of course, and hopefully the contributions I have provided from outside my project will be of use to the community but for now I am unfortunately going to have to end this mess. That being said, if anyone is willing to take over what I have started and get this hot mess off my hands I am more than willing to accept by direct message in exchange for a consultation role but otherwise at this point I have no further use or ideas for my work to date. Sadly at this point I am bound by law to potentially destroy all that I have done (except for that which I remit to the community of course), and despite not being the outcome I wanted to have in this matter it is at the point where I basically have no other choice.

And with that, the conversation is now closed pending formal assertion by the mod team. Again, this is not the outcome I was hoping for but with such lack of trust I cannot do otherwise at this time.

EDIT: Further requiring that I close this is because my original intent is starting to be lost, not to mention the conversation is starting to go off topic anyway.
 
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gstv87

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Used my Best Buy credit card.

that's not a credit card because it's not issued by a credit company or a bank.

but my comment doesn't even touch that: I said "avoid credit cards altogether"
there's means for transferring money from person to person, that doesn't involve neither cash, nor credit cards: the bank transfer.
it's been there since the dawn of banking.
both parts go to their respective banks, exchange ID credentials, agree to the transfer, and call it done.... no money, no scams.

and when it comes to paying for purchases at local businesses, you have the bank's own debit card, which you get when you open your bank account.
why do people still use credit cards (that require the user's signature to be used BTW, as a means of authentication) for online transfers that request no authentication whatsoever, is beyond me.
not to mention the extra charge for the usage of the card itself.
 

BreakerZero

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Read above. For reasons beyond my control I am no longer discussing this, and the conversation is also starting to go off topic. I am going to unfollow this and defer to mod control because I cannot have this go into unintended conversation per forum rules, not to mention the fact that what I am discussing is unfortunately not going to be resolved despite the best of my intentions.
 

bgillisp

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Some people just refuse to accept new tech. I have some friends who will not use anything but cash, and some businesses are no longer taking cash here, and I keep telling them they will need to adjust someday. You may have to just wait until they are no longer in your life to make your game. So I'd say don't scrap it, but instead delay it until you can get into a position where you no longer need to worry about or care what they think about the game.

Closed at Request of OP

 
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